I have often written here repeatedly that I firmly believe that when G.O chooses a song to cover, it will be a song that resonates with him or holds special meaning. I myself have pondered often as to what it was in a song that captures him. Is it the melody? Is it the lyrics? A little of both? On his birthday this past 6 November, he opened a chatroom in MBLAQ’s Daum Cafe and answered that question.
You’re my dream, you’re my soul, you’re my reason . . .
We all know G.O has a magnificent voice and can sing. We tell him over and over. He has been reminded of it by the many legends he covered during his time gracing the Immortal Song 2 stage, and was equally commended by all who heard him perform in his three musicals as well as most recently during his stint on King Of Masked Singer. The man has a beautiful voice. Still, with all of the accolades, he probably remains one of the most underrated vocalists in Korean popular music. So yeah, I am working on changing that.
I recall feeling a rush of absolute excitement when the charmers of MBLAQ released the track list for their 8th mini album, Mirror, and there was a song penned by G.O entitled, I Know You Want Me. I could not even begin to wrap my brain (or emotions) around the fact that he wrote a song with a seemingly provocative title. And, he gave that song an English title. The anticipation of hearing a new G.O composition was overwhelming . . . I could hardly wait!
I have been enjoying the exploration of G.O’s many endorsements and know I have not even scratched the surface of realizing them all. What is most enjoyable is that in seeking out endorsements, it often leads to more than just a mere peek at the product being featured. This is a good thing in that it expands the material available to share and invariably takes my thoughts to other more substantial facets of his style. An artist’s style is most definitely an extension of his art. On the surface today it may look like I am taking a look at some of G.O’s jeans endorsements when in fact, I really would like to simply look at his denim style.
When my plane touched down in Chicago on February 15, 2016, I was not prepared for the barrage of tweets and messages I received upon powering up my phone with news of G.O’s enlistment. I went numb and initially had a difficult time watching all of the fan cams from the I.Callist show, specifically G.O’s performance of his opening song, 너를 위해 [For You]. In fact, it is only recently that I have been able to watch and/or listen to G.O sing this achingly beautiful song. At last, I am ready to revisit all three of his 너를 위해 [For You] performances and as such, I anticipate this to be a longer post in comparison to the others in this Countdown series mostly because I am so completely enamored with G.O’s love and respect for this song and the way in which he performs it.
G.O seems to be a man of many consistencies. And when you are consistent, it does not mean you simply want to maintain a comfort level, or a status quo. No. To me, being consistent shows a sign of deep loyalty, reverence and respect to people, work, an idea…or, for G.O, a song.
News of MBLAQ’s mercurial main vocal heading to the Army broke on Monday, February 15 and to many came as a complete shock and surprise. I was in flight heading back to Chicago when reports of G.O’s enlistment was spreading like wildfire throughout various media posts, and admittedly I was still reveling in the intoxication of spending the evening with him on what was a very windy and chilly Valentine’s Day attending the I.Callist Idol Vocalist Concert in Seoul the night before. I admit I was stunned when I began reading the news and immediately felt the bittersweet aftertaste of the concert realizing that my bias was going to be gone for two years. In retrospect, however, if you paid close attention, the messages leading up to this news were there. They were subtle, but nevertheless, they were there.
On February 4, 2016, some sweet G.O Instagram updating took us all by surprise. Inasmuch as it has only been a little over a week since he shared some love, G.O’s prompt and steady flow of updates since joining Instagram had us all a bit anxious as to where he was, but more importantly, what he was up to.
We all knew MBLAQ’s main vocal man was up to something. His mysterious Instagram posts were tantalizing yet revealed nothing solid in way of exactly what he was doing. Speculations were high. Since he is pretty much a triple threat when it comes to entertainment (sing, act, dance), anything was possible and he, more than capable. The reveal came today a little past 11:00AM KST and it was every bit as exciting as we thought it would be!
My Crown is in my heart, not on my head. ~ Shakespeare
On December 20, 2015, the sweet and mellifluous sounds of the gentle Bungeuppang returned to the King of Masked Singer stage. Although he did not advance to get the opportunity to de-crown the reigning king, he nevertheless left an indelible impression on both the audience and judges by quietly laying claim to a new kingdom he forged in their hearts with his passionate and heartfelt renditions of 광화문 연가 [Gwanghwamun Sonata] and 너를 위해 [For You].