It all begins with a tiny bit of confusion…or maybe the raise of an eyebrow. You hear a voice that is soooo angelic in tone, that it almost sounds manufactured by some kind of computer intelligence. But…give your ears and your brain a bit of time to catch up to what’s going on. Then try to get your heart in sync as the song progresses. Your breath will begin to change its pattern, and as a feeling of disbelief distracts you from the reality of it all…she hits a few notes that will slip past your normal social defenses, and it will take hold of your deepest emotions and stretch and twist them in ways that you never thought possible.
THIS…is the experience of listening to So Hyang for the first time!
A phenomenal songstress in every sense of the word, South Korean singer, Kim So Hyang, has been touted as being one of THE best female vocalists on planet Earth! And I’m not joking about that! Can you imagine? Having people from all over the globe nodding in agreement when someone says you’re, easily, one of the best singers in the WORLD???
I had a close friend of mine introduce me to her earlier this year. She told me that her voice was SO beautiful that she literally shed TEARS because of it! Now…I’ll admit, I was skeptical. I mean, I’ve heard some absolutely mind-blowing vocalists, both live and recorded. I’ve heard people sing songs with such precision and power that I was seriously moved, and became an instant fan. But…tears? Come on now! Hehehe! That’s a pretty tall order for me. And people tend to exaggerate when it comes to their new favorites. So…after the Whitneys, and the Beyonces, and the Christinas, and the Mariahs, and the Celines…I highly doubted that someone was going to come along and suddenly blow me away with a talent that I’ve never heard before.
Well…I listened to So Hyang…and let me tell you…
…I was *SO* fucking WRONG!!!
Jesus Christ!!! I can’t say that I’ve ever heard anything like it before. It’s actually kind of hard to put into words. I started listening to her, and I could immediately understand why so many people could latch on to her and make her their all time favorite singer. She was really good! But then…the song kept going, and her voice got stronger, and her performance was absolutely flawless, and I felt every single heart string that I have being pulled on…HARD! And as skeptical as I was my first time, I actually began to feel chills, then I felt goosebumps on my arms…and yes, I actually began to get misty eyed! It was like, “WTF is happening to me right now?” Literal tears began to well up in my eyes! It was pretty frightening! It was just a video on Youtube, and her voice was having a serious biological effect on me!
My advice is for you all to get all of your emotional baggage dealt with before you tackle her live performances for the first time, or she is going to leave you a blubbering MESS by the time she’s through! Hehehe! I mean, there are plenty of artists that can blow you away if you catch them on the right day, in the right mood, with just the right song…but So Hyang is consistently giving you her all in ways that baffle me. I don’t think I’ve ever heard her drop short of an incredibly jaw-dropping performance. The emotion, the voice, her range…if you guys pay attention to vocals at all, you can clearly tell that what she is doing with her voice and her stamina is almost superhuman! The control. My God. Soft and pure and crisp and pure…and then she can be a powerhouse on top of it all. All while bringing an emotional performance with her smile and pitch changes and the way she’s able to completely command a stage in front of a live audience…it’s like nothing you’ve ever experienced before. Add to that the fact that she is ‘super model’ gorgeous and wow…how can you not be left in total awe of her?
So Hyang is, honestly, as close as any human being could ever hope to get to being a real life representation of a Disney Princess!!! And I mean that with all my heart!
But why delay the inevitable? Let me give you the chance to experience some of her talent for yourselves. This is her live cover of a popular Simon and Garfunkel song, “Bridge Over Troubled Water”. She totally owned this song and made it her own! And after getting all choked up myself while hearing this version, I had to find out if I was the only one feeling this way. Hehehe! Thankfully, I wasn’t! I thought that maybe I had some inner demons that I needed to deal with for a minute there! But I started watching reactions from other music lovers from around the world, and they shared a similar experience. Chills, goosebumps, shock, confusion, and actual tears. Look at their FACES when they react! And the people in the audience? They cry too! In fact, other singers and even vocal coaches who hone their skills and their voices for a living…they watch So Hyang, study her techniques, and even THEY cry sometimes!
So…I feel a little bit better about losing my marbles, here, for a while! 😛
Beyond beautiful, So Hyang’s life has also come with its obstacles. Including an unfortunate diagnosis some years ago where she tested positive for cervical cancer. An ailment that, unfortunately, made her sterile…but she beat it. So Hyang is a cancer survivor, and she is making the most out of her life by giving the rest of us the gift of her unmatched talent. I, for one, am extremely thankful for that. Because a voice like hers only comes along once or twice in a generation.
Now, I’m not saying that you should stubbornly cross your arms and stare at the screen, like, “Alright then…MAKE ME CRY, mega-beautiful song witch!” That just ruins the effect, hehehe! Just close your eyes, and allow yourself to enjoy it. Her voice is so pure. It’s like discovering that angels are real.
Aside from her singing, So Hyang is also a writer of sci fi and fantasy fiction, believe it or not. With two books (“Crystal Castle” and “Anaxion”) already available. Barely forty years old in age…(REALLY??? If you told me she just turned 21 yesterday, I’d totally believe you without a moment’s hesitation!), and married to her husband, Kim Hee-jun…a drummer in her earlier band, POS, she seems to be living quite a happy and fulfilling life, performing music and also giving lessons to others on how to perfect their singing techniques as well.
So, yeah…she’s just all around AWESOME!
This next song is “You Raise Me Up”. Another one that just got me all emotional and feeling bittersweet in the middle. Hehehe! Enjoy!
So Hyang has been the recipient of many South Korean awards over the years since she started singing for the public…but she is nowhere NEAR as big as she should be with a voice like that! My God! How have we not heard about her until just now? Blasphemous!
I went in, thinking that I’d be satisfied, but not impressed. But I take it all back. And if So Hyang isn’t one of the best female vocalists that you’ve ever heard in your life…then I dare you to mention just ONE that you think is better! Seriously. Who could go toe to toe with her on a live stage and come out the victor? I’d really like to know. Because I can’t think of one.
Here is her version of “Lean On Me”, which is also another one of my favorite songs of all time! And she changed it up a bit, and KILLED it!!! Amazing! ::Comsie Applause:: She’s so damn perfect!
I DARE you to make it through the whole video without getting the biggest smile EVER on your face and start dancing in your computer chair! Hehehe!