Kim Tae Hoon not only appears on the popular television program broadcasting on Sunday evenings called “I am the Singer,” he also appears on many other media outlets. As a DJ, writer and pop columnist, he obviouisly has a very busy schedule. Yet, he sacrificed his precious time to give an interview with CAH. CAH hoped to find out what aspects of Kim Tae Hoon attract public attention through this interview.
Q: Can you tell us about some fascinating aspects of your job as a pop columnist? I heard that this job is comparatively independent.
A: As you mentioned, my job is not subordinated to other fields. It is, so to speak, non-regular work. Since I do not get paid every month, my job is quite unstable. However, one positive feature of my job is that, music takes a big part. I get to listen to the music and share ideas with the public. Yet, to be honest, I do not suggest this job to students because pop columnists do not have enough space to stand in our society, where people rarely spend time to acquire knowledge of understanding music in cultural aspect.
Q: Why did you decide to become a pop columnist?
A: Due to several problems at school, I had to quit in 1995. I was the president of a solidarity movement in the student government. After ardently protesting against the intense atmosphere in the society, I realized that I was lacking credits to graduate. Hence, I just left school. Without a diploma, I could not dream of entering a major company. Consequently, I started writing music reviews in magazines by applying some of the writing skills and knowledge about songs I acquired in my past experiences. This is how I got to start my job as a pop columnist.
Q: In order to evaluate pop culture, you need wide background knowledge. How do you acquire the knowledge?
A: Without basic knowledge about humanities, which not only includes literature but also philosophy and social science, one cannot truly evaluate pop culture. Still these days, I study humanities by reading popular books, newspapers and book reviews. Furthermore, when I was a university student, I read books at the library in my spare time instead of studying for my major, which was French. Participating in student movements was also helpful because I received an education about social science theory and philosophy.
Q: You have such proficient speaking and writing skills. Do you think this ability is innate or acquired?
A: Innate aspects cannot be neglected. Yet, the environment influenced me more. As a chief reporter in the student body, I often gave speeches in front of students. This event helped me a lot. Also, writing official documents for the student movement trained my writing. And I still work hard to develop both skills by studying literary creation at Dongduk Women’s University graduate school.
Q: After reading your book ‘Random Walk of Kim Tae Hoon,’ readers can definitely see how much you love music and movies. Since when did you have such interest? How often do you watch movies and listen to music?
A: My parents do have an influence on my interest in music and movies. My mother is a film enthusiast. When she would watch a movie on television on the weekends, I would sit next to her and listen to her interpretation about the movie. On the other hand, my father was a voracious reader. He always read books in his room instead of playing with me. I was curious at the time about what parts of books make him so absorbed. Hence, I also began reading some of the books in my father’s room, and this served as a momentum to gradually grow my passion in reading. Moreover, my father always played music, like ABBA, in his car, which influenced me to become interested in music as well.
Q: By leading a show ‘returned playboy clinic’ in a radio program ‘Bravo my life of Spring, Summer, Autumn, Winter,’ you got a nickname of “love counselor.” What makes you good at love consultation?
A: When you admit the fact that you also have a problem, having a relationship gets easy. The main purpose of going out is to become happy and joyful. With this principle in mind, I give advice to people.
Q: Various mass media outlets and the public want you. Why do you think so?
A: The public is simply curious about who I am because I possess a unique characteristic. People would hardly see such a person like me who appears in TV shows, writes literary columns, criticizes singers’ performance, and talk with middle-aged women about life on talk shows. This character has no one to be compared with, so I am naturally differentiated. Furthermore, I am not obsessed about how nice and kind I am reflected through the screen. If the public likes me the way I am, then that is good. I hate being fake in front of people.
Q: As one of the members of consultants in a famous TV show “I am the Singer,” you should have your own standard to evaluate singers. What are they?
A: How well they are reflected on television is, of course, very crucial. But, more importantly how dramatically the singers lead their performances, how much sympathy they gain from the audience, and how distinctively they interpret the music and perform are my main standards. Since they are all professional singers, I do not evaluate their ability to keep the beat and tune.
Q: It is winter, finally. Can you recommend some of the movies or music that students should watch or listen to in the winter?
A: This question is worthless. There are no movies or music to recommend especially for winter. Students cannot dare select movies or music. They should watch any movies and listen to any songs at random. This would definitely help them grow in some ways. Quantitative change brings qualitative change. When students go into the world, they would be busy reading books that are related to their careers. When they have time as a university student, they should read books, especially those related to humanities. Through listening to countless songs, watching movies, and reading books, students can understand the world.
Q: Finally, can you give some words to the CAU students who are assiduously chasing their dream?
A: Many people ask me what makes them passionate. What they should know is that passion is not obtained through effort. The reason why they ask such a question is that they are not satisfied with what they are doing now. Expecting to be the top of anyone else while living just like them is foolish. If you did not get a satiable outcome despite your tremendous effort, you quickly realize that you are not heading in the right direction. Without talent, you cannot feel interested. Without interest, you cannot have passion. How can you live doing something you are not enthusiastic about? Students should not fear to challenge themselves. By having novel experiences, students can finally discover what they truly love to do.
People with three jobs can rarely be found in society. Even though having three-jobs sounds arduous, Kim Tae Hoon proves that everyone can achieve their goal only if they have passion and volition. CAU students should realize that there is nothing to fear and they can be the ones to change the world. < 저작권자 © 중앙헤럴드 무단전재 및 재배포금지 >