KOREAN MUSIC: Lee Hayi of SBS’s “K-Pop Star” (9)

케이팝 스타: 이하이 (Lee Hayi, or Lee Ha Yi)

As SBS’s “K-Pop Star” is heading toward season’s end and as one of my blog readers asked me in comments – “Suppose that you are one of the judges and that you cast Lee Hayi. What song would you let her sing?” – I thought it’d be fun to share my picks with you.  This anonymous reader picked Michael Bublé's  “Feeling Good” or Ella Fitzgerald‘s “Summer Time,” which I also think would perfectly suit Hayi’s vocal technique and her unique vocal style.  And now, here’s my pick:  The greatest Nina Simone (1933~2003).
Simone’s musical style ranged from classical to pop: a crossover of classical music, jazz, blues, rhythm and blues (R&B), gospel, and folk; and she was best known for her uniquely deep, low-pitched, resonant, vibrant, divine voice that was characterized as female tenor or low tenor.  Yes, just like Hayi even though Simone’s voice was deeper, richer, more mature, and more soulful than Hayi’s.  And of course, considering her age, it’s no wonder – I have no doubt age will ripen her voice and soul.

I hope Hayi sings one of Simone’s songs someday on SBS’s “You & I,” or KBS’s “Sketch Book,” or on any stage, if these songs are not suitable for the competition.  Of course, these songs need a face lift, i.e., rearrangement, to flavor them with a contemporary spin and modern edge.

Nina Simone: Feeling Good

Nina Simone: Everything Must Change

Nina Simone: I Shall Be Released