K-Drama Original Soundtracks: What Is The Significance Of Actors Singing On Their Own OST?

Ji Sung, star of the hit melodrama 'Secret', will appear on the latest installment of the soundtrack.

Following the release of the latest Heirs soundtrack which featured vocals by actress Park Shin Hye, it has been announced that actor Ji Sung will be singing on the latest installment of the Secret soundtrack. Ji Sung will contribute to the soundtrack with the aptly titled Wuthering Heights, as Secret has heavily featured references from Emily Brontë's novel about the tumultous relationships of three doomed individuals. While it has become a common practice in Korean drama, why do so many actors choose to participate on their own soundtracks?

The Trend Began With The Original F4

While Korea is largely attributed for the spread of Asian entertainment throughout the world, the phenomena of actors gaining wide success for their vocal abilities can be largely attributed to the success of the stars of the Taiwanese drama Meteor Garden. Meteor Garden was the 2001 Taiwanese adaptation of the Japanese manga Hana Yori Dango, which would later become the 2009 South Korean hit Boys Over Flowers. The original F4 or Flower Four were actors whose widespread success in the drama led to the formation of the band F4. In this sense, art imitated life as the four male leads were able to travel throughout Asia promoting both their drama and the music they were creating as a group.

Korea's F4 Solidified The Trend

The 2009 Korean adaptation of Boys Over Flowers yielded a soundtrack that placed high on pop charts and featured SS501, the male group of star Kim Hyun Joong. While Hyung Joong received acclaim for his acting in the drama, the soundtrack served as a key part of each episode. Although, Kim Hyun Joong was primarily a vocalist, Boys Over Flowers paved the way for the success of soundtracks for upcoming dramas. Actor Lee Min Ho also gained notoreity for his performance of the song My Everything, which would later be a key part of fan meetings and the focal point of his recent album release. This success helped to create fan meetings and performances where actors did not merely wave at fans or sign autographs, they were able to deliver full performances centered on the theme of the television show.

A Rock Drama Paves The Way For An Industry Standard

You're Beautiful's Jang Geun Suk and Park Shin Hye adapted what Kim Hyun Joong brought to the table and delivered peformances which were so convincing, the drama led to the successful music career of Jang Geun Suk. Prior to starring in the 2009 Hong Sisters drama, You're Beautiful, Jang Geun Suk had acted in roles which emphasized musical talent such as his portrayal of a musical prodigy in Beethoven Virus. As Shin Eun Gyu, Geun Suk potrayed the leader of a rock band in the 2008 film Do Re Mi Fa So La Ti Do. While many international K-Pop fans may recognize Jang Geun Suk primarily for his role as Hwang Tae Kyung in You're Beautiful, the actor had firmly established his musical ability the time he had accepted the role. In You're Beautiful, Geun Suk and Shin Hye were supported by leaders in the Korean rock sector, CNBlue's Jung Yong Hwa and FTIsland's Lee Hong Ki, which added to the actor's credibility as musicians.

November will deliver Jang Geun Suk back to Korean drama, as he stars with IU in Pretty Boy. With two talented vocalists as the lead characters, the soundtrack will definitely be a success. Park Shin Hye can currently be heard on the Heirs soundtrack with her single Story. Actor Ji Sung will have what are sure to be fantastic vocals on the song Wuthering Heights which is set for release on November 13th for the Secret soundtrack.

Ji Sung
Park Shin Hye
jang geun suk
Lee Min Ho


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