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09/03/2017 Interview > Student

Title

Writing as a Comprehensive Skill

Essay, Poem, and Music

전채윤

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http://i.hanyang.ac.kr/surl/kycM

Contents
What makes up a good song? Some would say good melody while others say good lyrics. Then, where do good melody or lyrics come from? Kang says, at least for the lyrics, it comes from everyday life. Kang Min-gu (Korean Language and Literature, Doctoral Program), a musician and a poet, unearthed his talent in writing when he was a young boy and developed that talent into his career. His discovery and strength in writing led him to become who he is today, an indie singer-songwriter and a poet by the name of Kang Baek-soo.
 

A friend and the band

Kang was schooled in all-boys middle school and high school in Korea, which completely eliminated any possible chance of school romance. When his friend presented a tempting idea, to make a band and perform at a all-girls high school, Kang could not help but accept the suggestion. This seemingly petty reason was the turning point of Kang’s life—this is how Kang began music. “I tried to have different hobbies such as sports and photography but they all didn't last long. Music is the only hobby that captivated my interest.”

Entering Hanyang University and belonging to the College of Humanities, Kang naturally joined the band of the department, Dasalnolae. His ability of handling different instruments led him to be the main member of the band, especially in the times when only a few people joined the band. On one insignificant day, Kang saw his fellow member writing a song and making music. “At that moment, it looked easy and I thought, ‘why don’t I try writing a song myself?’” This is how he began writing songs. 

The lyrics of Kang’s songs come from his daily life as well. Just as he gets inspired by the little happenings in his life, his songs reflect the ordinary parts of his life and arouse a wave of empathy from the people who listens to his music. “I drink with my friends pretty often and every time, on my way back home at nights, I think about the memorable conversations I had because they could give me ideas for the lyrics.” One of his song, titled Wangsimni (click to listen), is a song based on his bitter feeling when he visited Wangsimni after graduating. The lyrics of his songs are easily relatable to those who have similar experience because they are not extraordinary. As an indie musician, Kang performs in music festivals, cafes, and other concerts he is called for. His nearest concert, The Wander Concert, will be held in few weeks on the shore of a cafe located in Incheon. 

 
Currently having seven music albums, hundreds of poems written, and four essays in books, Kang is actively engaged in his writing life.
(Photo courtesy of Kang)

A fine artist

As a poet, on a different note, Kang insists on something of his own. When composing a song, he tends to take other people’s opinions into consideration because he aspires to produce music that people can feel attachment to. However, when it comes to poems, his own thoughts are all that matters. “To me, poems are like my identity. I take no other opinions and evaluate and judge my own poems on my own. No other peoples’ opinions are to be incorporated,” stated Kang, sternly. While his songs are for the public, his poems are for himself exclusively. Though he started his band and music by a coincidental chance, he firmly believes that his life path would still have navigated toward writing anyway.

As a Korean Language and Literature major with his specialty in modern poetry, he regards his main job as a poet. Kang is preparing to publish his first collection of poems. He has written hundreds of poems so far and he is currently in the process of selecting the best ones of all. “I want to maintain my creative stamina and consistently produce my works.” He wants to be someone who maintains his job and be proud of the stacks of works he produces as time goes by. Reflecting his relatable and interesting songs and their lyrics, his collection of poems sure sounds unique and exciting to see.
 
“Writing is my job. If I write on a manuscript paper, then it’s a poem. If  on a music paper, it’s a song.”
(Photo courtesy of Kang)



Jeon Chae-yun        chaeyun111@hanyang.ac.kr
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