Musically minded junior finds success

The Korean pop scene has been kind to junior Jimmy Woo, whose musical composition was incorporated in the making of a hit single that became a four million view YouTube video

Creating music requires an extensive sense ofcreativity—a vision, even—to convert a series of jumbled thoughts and ideas into a melody that not only conveys an artist’s ideas and message, but also invokes feeling in a listener. The efficacy of a piece of music cannot be determined solely by its popularity, but rather, by a combination of factors, including the impact it has on its creator.

For junior Jimmy Woo, producing music has been one of the few constants in his life. In the last seven years, he has composed countless pieces of music.

“I think music as a kind of ‘you make it on your own and you can play whatever you want’ thing,” said Woo.

About a year ago, Woo began work on a full-length piece of music that would include guitar, drums, piano and a series of computerized instruments, but no lyrics.

After a six-month process largely comprised of tedious alignment, the piece was finished. Woo subsequently submitted his musical creation to a Korean music-composition contest and was awarded second place.

To Woo’s surprise, the runner-up finish resulted in interest from South Korean rock band, Day6. The band asked if they could use parts of his composition for their own musical creation. Woo agreed.

Then, in September, Day6 released a song titled “Congratulations.” The song, which includes “about 30 percent” of Woo’s original composition, became an instant sensation.

Now with over four million YouTube views, “Congratulations” is a reassuring reminder to Woo that his efforts do not go unnoticed.

“It is actually so cool to see,” he said. “It makes me really happy.

 Over MEA break, Woo traveled to Toronto for a musical talent open audition. The audition was run by South Korean company JYP Entertainment, who is responsible for the formation of the band Day6 and other highly acclaimed artists, such as Wonder Girls, 2PM, missA and GOT7. In order to receive a contract from JYP in Toronto, auditioners needed to pass a series of rounds that show- cased their various talents.

“The first round was ‘Tell who are you, why you’re here and compose music for us,’” Woo said. “The second round was singing and dancing and stuff. I passed the first round, but I failed the second round; I’m not a good singer or dancer.” Out of 1,000 auditioners, only four were chosen by JYP to be future clients.

Although Woo wasn’t made one of the victors, the joy he feels when composing was largely unaffected. His musical creations have already generated unexpectedly positive results, and he feels that success is only a bonus.

“I will still make music,” he said. “My friends have said I have the concept for it. I love doing it no matter what.”



About Kenny Kiratli

Kenny Kiratli ('17) attends Northwestern University.

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