Rising Korean Star Youn Sun Nah

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Youn Sun Nah is a far cry from Psy and Gangnam Dance.  Also far from soupy Asian pop or synthetic productions.  She has recorded a few albums for a German label, ACT, and splits her time between Korea and France.  Her new album Lento just went to #1 on the European world music charts.  She also was awarded the French honor of being knighted “Chevalier de l’Ordre des Arts et des Lettres”  (Knight of Arts and Letters).  I was given this same award in 1998 for spreading Francophone music here in the USA.  So Youn Sun and I have something in common.

She sings with both fire and conviction and tenderness, depending on the song.  She culls repertoire from diverse places: Russian composer Alexandr Scriabin, Nine Inch Nails, Sergio Mendes and Brazil 66, Randy Newman, Rodgers and Hammerstein.  She even did the classic American western song, “Ghostriders in the Sky”.  To say her range is eclectic is putting it mildly.

Here she is singing a Korean traditional “Kangwondo Arirang”  Her version of this old chestnut on the new Lento album is beautiful and very touching.  May Youn Sun Nah’s star continue to rise.

Here she is performing the traditional song in France, where she has a growing and adoring audience.