KMA2015: Artist of the Year

After Album of the Year and Song of the Year, today we have a look at those who have been nominated for Artist of the Year in this year’s Korean Music Awards.


Danpyunsun and the Sailors

After performing as a solo artist for several years, Hoegidong Danpysun teamed up with other musicians to form Danpyunsun and the Sailors in 2013. The psychedelic folk band released its first full-length album em>동물 (Animal) in August 2014, including new titles as well as reinvented versions of songs from Danpyunsun’s solo days.

In addition to a nomination for Artist of the Year, Danpyunsun and the Sailors are also nominated with album 동물 (Animal) both for Album of the Year and Best Rock Album and with song “공 (Ball)” for Best Rock Song.

Learn more about Danpyunsun and The Sailors through their mini-interview with Indieful ROK.


Seo Tai Ji

Seo Tai Ji started his music career as a teenager, most famously for joining Sinawe as a bassist for the band’s 4th album. Since the early 90’s, through Seo Taiji & Boys, he is often credited both for creating the first modern Korean idol group and for bringing hip hop to a Korean audience. After Seo Tai Ji parted ways with the Boys, he returned with a strong rock sound for his first solo album in 1998. Successfully trying different directions of rock since, for his 4th solo album Quiet Night, released in October 2014, Seo Tai Ji instead ventured into the realm of electronic pop.

In addition to a nomination for Artist of the Year, Seo Tai Ji is also nominated for Best Dance & Electronic Song with “크리스말로윈 (”.


Lee Seung Hwan

Songwriter and pop singer Lee Seung Hwan debuted in 1989 with the release of his first full-length album B·C 603. He has remained active since, releasing his 11th album Fall To Fly 前 in March 2014. Loved by fans and musicians alike, for his 20th anniversary Lee Seung Hwan saw some of Korea’s top bands and artist cover his songs for the Hwantastic Friends compilation.

In addition to a nomination for Artist of the Year, Lee Seung Hwan is also nominated for Best Pop Album with Fall To Fly 前 and for Best Pop Song with “화양연화”.


Wonsool Lee

After primarily supporting other jazz musicians, bassist Wonsool Lee released his first own album Point of Contact in January 2012. He followed up with second album Into The Time in June 2014 supported by pianist Vian, guitarist and twice KMA nominee Jean Oh, and JSFA trumpeter Jung Hyun Cho. A month earlier Wonsool Lee and Vian together with drummer Woongwon Han had released the album Coexistence (공존) after forming the jazz band Trio Closer. In October 2014, A Lonely Sight was released with Wonsool Lee again paired up with Jean Oh, also playing together with Icelandic trumpeter Birkir Freyr Matthíasson.

In addition to a nomination for Artist of the Year, Wonsool Lee is also nominated for Best Jazz Album with Into the Time. Further, Trio Closer, is nominated both for Best Jazz Album and Best Jazz & Crossover Performance for Coexistence (공존). Wonsool Lee was nominated for Best Jazz Album also in 2013 and won the award that year with Point of Contact.


Gonne Choi

Singer-songwriter Gonne Choi released her first EP in 2010. Two EPs and a performance at England’s legendary Glastonbury Festival later, her first full-length album I was, I am, I will came out in November 2014. The album includes re-recorded songs from last year’s EP & DVD set REAL–Record Everywhere About Life. Gonne Choi became the Hello Rookie of June 2011 and won Japanese audition show Asia Versus in 2013.

In addition to a nomination for Artist of the Year, Gonne Choi is also nominated for Best Folk Album with I was, I am, I will and for Best Folk Song with “Monster”.

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