I’m a K-Music enthusiasm, I have been listening to K-Music, mainly K-Pop, since 2010, I saw a lot of controversies, I read a lot of news about those idols, artist that filled my ears with their voice and melodies. If I can easily pass over controversies and disbandment news, there is one news I can’t get over, the news of an artist passing away always get me hard.
During my seven years into the K-fandom, I saw, not a lot, but more than needed artist leaving us for, I hope, a better place. It could have been caused by illness like a cancer, a medical error or a tragic car accident, they were all shocking. It could also be caused by the wish of just end everything, end the pain cause by an illness that affect more people we can think of, depression or any other mental illness.
It was the 18th of December, I was doing my thing, I turn off my laptop, I was about to go to bed. I passed a part of the night writing a first impression post and finishing a collaboration post, I was satisfied with both of them. I was a little bit tired, a slight headache cause by the time passed in front of the screen. After turning off my laptop, and preparing to go eat, I did the same thing I always do, look at my phone, look at my different twitter accounts. I was scrolling down my timeline on my K-Pop account, when I saw the news, a news I refuse to believe and still today while writing those line have hard time to believe, even if the funeral happen. Kim JongHyun, idol, artist, member of the k-pop boy group SHINee, have passed away and the first reports were talking about suicide. I was shock, why this had to happen?
As I already said, I have been in the k-fandom for some year and SHINee was one of the group I was always looking forward their comeback knowing I will not get disappointed. In my opinion the group always released solid album. But even if I always enjoy their music, I never considered myself as a Shawol, despite that I knew a little bit about Jonghyun condition, he never hide it, he talk about it on his social account or in his lyrics. He did what a lot of people are not doing afraid by the stigma. It take courage to talk about it, talk about a subject, somewhat taboo, that is not taken seriously. I read a lot of account, most of them where saying how he look good and happy lately, how thing seems to going well for him. He was preparing to have is next comeback and even finish to record his next album. I think…I think he knew what he was about to do and he wanted to give one last bright image smiling before leaving,
I debated with myself a lot before writing this post, a lot have already been written and some website probably wrote too much about it, milking the tragic event for views. That is probably why I’m publishing this post only now, almost two weeks after the event. The days, week following it was saturated and it almost make me sick to so the way some website was handling it. I don’t want to be like one of them, what I want to do with this post is celebrate Kim Jonghyun life and his musical legacy. Jonghyun was living for music, it was flowing in his vein, he needed like with need oxygen and that what people will remember from him.
Jonghyun debuted in 2008 with the five-members boy group SHINee, sign under one of the Big 3 agency SM Entertaiment. They released their first EP Replay in May 2008 with the title track “Replay”
Following their first mini-album, in August 2008 the group released their first studio album SHINee World with the lead title “Love Like Oxygen” and the repackage in October, of the same year, including the single “Amigo”
“Love Like Oxygen”
During the following years, the group released 10 more studio album and 4 other mini-album. They also released Live album, Compilation album, Soundtrack Album and 30 Singles.
Here some of my favorite SHINee song
“Sherlock” (Sherlock – 2012)
“Dream Girl” (The Misconceptions of You – 2013)
“Everybody” (Everybody – 2013)
In 2010 SM Entertainment announced the creation of a subunit with member from different group, S.M Ballad. This special unit released two mini-album, Miss You in 2010 and Breath in 2014
“Miss You” (Miss You – 2010)
“Breath” (Breath – 2014)
Jonghyun made is solo debut in 2015 with his first EP Base, which include “Crazy (Guilty Pleasure)” featuring Iron and “Hallelujah”
“Crazy (Guilty Pleasure)”
During is short solo career, Jonghyun released a total of four albums. One mini-album (Base – 2015) one studio album (She is – 2016) and two compilation album (Story Op. 1 – 2015 and Story Op. 2 – 2017). On the second compilation album, we can found one of my favorite track, but also the one that make me cry the most, “Elevator”, Without even looking up the lyric I knew what he was talking about in it.
“Elevator” (Story Op. – 2017)
Jonghyun wasn’t only a great signer with a unique voice he was also a great lyricist. To quote Wikipedia
Jonghyun is the first artist of S.M. Entertainment to have participated heavily in writing, organizing, and composing an album. The company is known in the K-Pop industry for limiting its artists’ control over the production of their albums. Kim Da-hee of the Korea Times named Jonghyun as one of four K-pop musicians who have distinguished themselves from the mass-produced singers in the idol industry, the other three being G-Dragon, Zico and Jinyoung by their “exceptional talent in songwriting, producing and dancing, plus other abilities that make them successful musicians”.Jonghyun is considered to have had a style in his music that is all his own, and was praised for writing and composing the majority of his solo tracks. Insight Korea mentioned him as one of seven idol group members who seemed to have been “born to music”
He wrote a lot of song, a lot, one of them is a song sang by Lee Hi and release on her second studio album Seoulite in 2016, “Breathe”
You can find a video with the translation here.
Kim Jonghyun was an accomplished artist, he left behind him a musical legacy no one will forget. He worked hard despite his struggle with life, with his inner demon.
Metal illness is something real, it’s not a myth, it’s something you can’t make fun of. It take courage to talk about it. Metal illness is an illness that will go away with time and patience.
There is good days and there is bad days, when the bad days out number the good one, please do not stay alone, seek for help, talk don’t keep it for yourself. I know not everyone believe that mental illness is an actual illness, some might just say just “go over it” if you ever come across those kind of negative comment, seek help to someone help, get away from the negativity, look for people who will be there for you, people who will listen to your concern.
For those of you who might have someone struggling with metal illness, reach for them, ask them if they are okay, ask them if they want to talk, but don’t push them, let them time to open up. It make take times, but if they don’t you are there to help them, they might feel more at ease to open up to you. in the mean time, be there for them, support them the best way as you could.
I’m not the best at giving advise, I often struggle to find the good word to say since I never pass through that, but know that my contact box is always open if you need to talk, feel free to contact me.
~ Thank you for reading ~
See you next time