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Seo Tai-ji dazzles fans

Legendary Korean pop singer-producer and cultural icon Seo Tai-ji, 37, has proven his star power once again through his new album and concerts.
The musician`s second single album, "Seotaiji 8th Atomos Part Secret," which was released on March 10, is already topping the charts of such online websites as Hanteo Chart and Interpark, as well as offline record stores.
"The first 100,000 copies are expected to sell out soon as anticipated, so we are planning to produce an additional 50,000," a spokesperson for Seotaiji Company, Seo`s management, told Yonhap News Agency.
The phenomenon reflects the strong response from music fans in Korea, considering that only four musicians were able to sell more than 150,000 copies of their albums last year, said the spokesperson.
It is also notable because Seo, unlike when he released his first single "Moai" last year, has not had any television exposure yet, he added.
Seotaiji Company said it expects the title song "Juliet" to refresh and captivate the K-pop market, which has been dominated by so-called "hook songs" with simple, repetitive refrains.
Seo`s second single is also expected to be more successful than his previous one. The new album is currently getting positive reviews from both fans and critics because of Seo`s talent in bringing in a new form of music.
Seo held two concerts titled "Wormhole" last weekend at the Olympic Hall of the Olympic Park in Seoul, promoting his second single album.
At the concert, which drew more than 5,000 fans, Seo started off singing three songs, "Juliet," "Bermuda" and "Coma." The singer also performed "Moai" and "Human Dream" from his first single.
Seo also lived up to fans` expectations by presenting some hit tunes -- "Robot" and "Take 5" -- from his previous solo albums. He said that "Nan Arayo," the debut tune of Seo Taiji & Boys, has a "legendary" spot in Korean music history, while mentioning his stint at the group. In addition, Seo arranged a special event where he gave out candy to fans at the Saturday concert on White Day.
The musician will kick off his activities after revealing the teaser of his new music video for "Juliet" today.
A singer-songwriter and former leader of Seotaiji & Boys, Seo has won millions of Korean fans thanks to his innovative music style from the early 90s. Since the group disbanded in 1996, Seo has been pursuing a solo career, intermittently releasing albums and staging concerts in Korea.
Seo`s music, a mixture of heavy metal, hard rock and hip-hop in a dramatic departure from mainstream K-pop, was a sensation in the 90s. His unique style made him a cultural icon of Korea, giving him the nickname "President of Culture."
The musician launched an ambitious project called "The Great Seo Taiji Symphony" last year where he united with renowned Turkish-Cypriot orchestra conductor Tolga Kashif. Kashif, acclaimed for his classical interpretation and arrangement of music for the Queen, presented new takes on Seo`s past hits.
By Koh Young-aah