Ugh. The last thing I wanted to happen was to find myself falling into smitten kitten land over yet another artist, but sometimes these situations are unavoidable. It seems someone made a lasting impression on me and it took me all of about a minute to discover that Golden Child main vocalist Hong Joochan had some solo work floating in the K-pop ether waiting for me to collide head and heart into. Fresh from my GolCha Playlist Roulette rant over Without You, I’m back to take an introspective trip with Joochan via his solo digital single, A Song For Me.
What can I say? I am a sucker for a melodic ballad with simple thoughtful lyrics sung by a sweet voice. Listening to Joochan’s remake of The Classic’s hit 문제아 [Problem Child] is literally healing my soul piece-by-piece with every listen. Lord knows we all could use continued healing as we navigate life during this never-ending pandemic. One tenth of the talented bunch that comprises Golden Child, Joochan is a gem that shines like a diamond in that gold (at least for me). Yeah, yeah, it’s true, I have a serious case of smitten.
Released on February 27, 2019, A Song For Me marked Joochan’s first solo release. The song is a remake but that is no matter as I have never heard the original so as far as my ears are concerned, this ballad is all Joochan’s.
The song. So simple in its make up (verse, chorus, verse, chorus), it may seem an impossible task to adequately find, let alone, build emotion. Songs usually have pre-choruses and bridges to assist, but not here. Joochan finds the right balance by keeping the verses gentle and lithe, and the chorus in charge of crescendo and weight. It’s just lovely. Lyrically, I find A Song For Me to be reflective, a soul-searching rumination about seeing yourself as ‘a problem child’ searching for a way to not only be better, but to be seen as someone who is putting forth the effort to be strong, confident and good. I cannot tell you how many times I have sat in meditation thinking those same thoughts. Probably why this song struck a subtle nerve with me, compounded of course by Joochan’s tender vocals.
The MV. Again, understated and simple, we join Joochan as he plans and takes a trip to coastal Japan. We sip tea with him, gaze out at the beautiful sea, journey on a train, and walk along the beach. Nicely edited, possibly using clips he himself filmed, we experience this peaceful sojourn right along with Joochan. At a time when I want nothing more than to travel, this is manna to my wayfaring soul!
Okay, I admit to being somewhat obsessed with Joochan’s ‘to do’ list he muses upon and writes. In my very limited and elementary Korean, I think he wants to:
- Leave footprints on Shichirigahama Beach.
- Drink warm canned coffee by the cold sea.
- Ask a stranger for directions.
- Take any train.
Everything about Joochan’s A Song For Me is cozy, warm and inviting, right down to that soft white cable knit sweater he wears. I so very much wanted to be on this trip with him, and I think the MV manages to create that very sensation whether it is intentional or not. While traveling with a companion and/or group is generally the norm, I am a huge champion of solo travel (probably because I have done it so often in the past). I know that it can be daunting and look, I am fully aware that Joochan was technically not alone while filming this MV. But, the suggestion of taking a solo journey somewhere new, even if that place is within yourself, can prove to be a source of great renewal, confidence building, healing and inspiration.
Well done sweet golden child, Joochan.