According to a survey conducted by the Korea Federation of Culture and Arts last year, 88.7 percent of artists declined in earning year-on-year in the same period after COVID-19. 2,500 performances and events were canceled and postponed between January and April last year and the amount of damage was about 60 billion won. Under these circumstances, the Ministry of Culture and Sports secured funds of about 156.9 billion won in order to normalize the art world, and the Seoul Metropolitan Government provided 3 billion won in support for the culture and arts community this year. As a result of COVID-19, many artists have been negatively impacted by the direct connection to their livelihood, and the art sector has been changed. There are many artists who are located in a particular area and perform various activities. They are called local artists. CBT reporters will meet with D.young, a local musician who works in Cheong-ju, where the university is located, to find out about various changes that artists have encountered right now and various activities that have been carried out in Cheong-ju and will be carried out through him.
1. Thank you for accepting to the interview. I think that some of people are wondering who the artist is. First, please introduce yourself.
Hello, I’m D.young, a local musician from Chungbuk National University who works in Seoul, Gyeonggi, and Chungcheong. I’m a producer, vocalist, and vocal trainer.
2. Please introduce your music as your main activity in the music field.
I’m the type a person who tries to approach all kinds of music regardless of genre. Therefore, on top of being a vocalist, I’m producing pop music, writing lyrics and composing ballads and acoustic music while time studying, targeting and working on single-person productions. I started music to tell my story. Therefore, I would like to express my music as a collection of short stories that consist of my life.
3. Could you tell me how about your future plans?
Since it has become an unstable era for musicians in term of income and economy compared to the pre-COVID-19 era, we are expanding our activities to music and cultural education. Moreover, as there are fewer opportunities to perform face-to-face, I’m focusing on improving my musical skills and knowledge and working on my album. There will be a lot of songs that I produced and participated in as a vocalist, and solo albums in November and December this year.
4. Then, this question is about local art. First, I think this word is unfamiliar to readers and there is not much about the word in the dictionary. How would you define the word?
The meaning of local art covers a wide range with many contents. My expertisement is only music. Therefore, it’s hard to explain exactly about the overarching meaning. I just think that it is the coexistent and developing relationship between residents, merchants and artists. Therefore, it is like an organism that is trying to make the area a better place to live.
5. Then, could you talk about local art in Cheong-ju, where you engage in artistic activities?
I think there are many artists who practice art happily in Cheong-ju. Although I don’t profess to know all genres because I am strictly a musician, there are many other artistic activities including theater, art, cultural education, cultural planning and performances of various genres, etc. It is like the art activities that you can experience in any metropolitan area like Seoul.
6. In your opinion, what activities are memorable and will be interesting in the future?
I think the busking survey taken in 2020 is one of the most memorable activities. Buskers went out to the streets, were surveyed by citizens, and performed. It was good to hear citizens’ honest opinions about busking, not just performing. After COVID-19, it has calmed down to some extent, but I hope to find buskers who are doing music in their own spaces. This can be expected of various forms of cultural activities. In fact, it was an event hosted by local cultural agencies.
7. How about Cheong-ju to do art activities compared to other cities?
Although it is not comparable to large metropolitan areas like Seoul, there are many artists in Cheong-ju who work with great skill. Also, there are many organizations that support and help artists, so I personally think Cheong-ju is a great place to do art activities. Of course, other regions have a very good environment for art activities, but I feel like that because I am a native of Cheong-ju and I like the people I met while living and working here. However, there are so little web bases that citizens can easily access to get information about various art activities. It is regrettable that they cannot enjoy it even though there are good performances or good contents.
8. Now, let the reporters ask you a question about COVID-19. With the recent COVID-19, the art world has seen many changes. What is different in your activities from before?
Simply, before COVID-19, we had face-to-face communication. However, now we normally live the word ‘untact’ that means non-face-to-face. Moreover, we enjoy exhibitions and performances ‘online.’ It seems that we live in the age of ‘ontact,’ a newly coined word that combines two words ‘untact’, ‘online.’ In order words, we live changed lives in the non-face-to-face era. In my case, I can pay more attention than before making solo albums and recording music. In addition, with the advancement of technology, I can meet the audience online. I think it is a good thing. All events across the country are held in non-face-to-face form. I carefully and personally think that even if COVID-19 ends in the future, there will be a continuation of some of the things that have been done non-face-to-face. As a musician, I’m trying to think positively. Saying that the COVID-19 era is too difficult and gloomy, on the other hand, I have more time to spend on the tasks I mentioned earlier, so I can develop myself. Of course, although everything of the era before COVID-19 is better than present, I’m trying to think good things are good things.
9. Thank you so much for making time for this interview. Is there one last thing you want to say?
My Instagram ID is ehedud135. If you follow my account, you will get the latest news about my album and performance. There are also various cover songs so it will be honored to pay attention on people. Moreover, between September and October, musicians including me are planning a program to record music and make videos for foreign students. As this article is going to be written by English, many international students read it. I’d appreciate it if they would show a lot of interest. Finally, Despite the COVID-19 situation, many cultural and artistic activities are being carried out accordingly. It would be nice if you could show a lot of interest in local culture and art. Thank you.