Younee, Cool and Red Hot

Not many female performers have stopped me in my tracks upon listening to them for the first time-they include Peggy Lee, Keely Smith and Tina Turner. Another name to do so is YOUNEE.

I first heard her perform three tracks from her album “TRUE TO YOU”- “East West” “True to You” and “Home to You” at the Korean Cultural Centre in London on the 16th of October 2009. Younee was one of the Korean artists in the UK in the programme.

Although the acoustics weren’t suited to musical performances Younee overcame the difficulty and produced something special.

On the strength of her musicality and my interest her agent Anthony Steinberg invited me to The Pizza Express Jazz Club in Dean Street in London on the 27th of October 2009 for the launch of her “TRUE TO YOU” CD.

In this intimate venue she performed with the Richard Niles Quartet. I was completely taken by her performance. She played Bach, sang the Beatles, Rolling Stones, standards and of course her own compositions (co-written with Richard Niles) from the new CD.

My enthusiasm for her performance must have been noticed by Richard Niles and Anthony Steinberg because I was subsequently invited to visit Richard’s studio on the 6th of November 2009.

I went with the proprietor of THE EAST and spent a very pleasant few hours in the company of Younee, Richard and Anthony. Younee showed her skills with an impromptu performance. I was amazed at the talent Younee possesses for someone so young.

She comes from Seoul in South Korea and is not to seen as “A KOREAN SINGER” but “A SINGER FROM KOREA” who is a gifted musician and performer. Without doubt she will make inroads into the world of music in the West. She is affectionately known as “Key’s Piano” in Korea.

Younee does not follow any particular genre when it comes to music. She is creating her very own genre. Very few artists have this particular ability to do so but she is definitely one of them.

Younee is virtuoso pianist and a versatile artist with rare musical talent.
Her studies began at the age of three, majoring in classical piano over the next twenty years, culminating in being awarded a BA in Classical Piano at Yonsei University in Seoul-on of the top two universities in South Korea.

At very young age-about five years- she began to discover why certain melodies captured peoples’ imaginations whereas others didn’t. She also discovered the English language which led to enjoying music of Beatles, Rolling Stones and others-hence her including them at her gigs.

At this stage she couldn’t understand English but was struck with the important thought that “Melody” was a language, a communication tool and made a statement.

Younee is remarkable indeed becoming a Professor of Music at prestigious Seoul Culture and Art University during her twenties. She studied Classical Piano under the renowned teacher Soo Jung Shin, a judge at he 2009 Leeds International Piano Competition and won numerous awards such as Yu Jae Ha Singer Songwriting contest in Korea, the UK Songwriting competition and the VH1 international competition.

Such successes have led to two CDs being released in Korea and her first English language CD for the Western market.

Younee has given numerous classical concert performances with well known orchestras. Her many television appearances have presented her own music. Younee is uniquely placed as not only being a highly trained classical musician but is equally comfortable in rock, pop and jazz.

Rather than being restricted by the Korean music industry she has shown determination and foresight by not renewing her recording contract.

Younee became the first Korean artist to fully utilize Myspace and the internet to establish herself as an independent artist. Through a German fan she became a Myspace friend of Grammy Winning American pianist Bob James.

When James performed on a Korean TV show on EBS TV, he invited Younee to play his demanding piece for piano four-hands (video available on youtube, http://www.youneeversal.com/).
When she related her desire to become an international artist, James recommended London based producer Richard Niles (http://www.richardniles.com/).
Younee was already aware of Richard Niles’ impressive career and his work with Ray Charles, Paul McCartney and Pat Metheny.
Upon contacting Richard he was extremely encouraging. As he had worked in jazz, rock, pop and classical music, here was someone who could become an ideal musical collaborator and give her solid direction as a producer.
They began to write songs together using Skype with Niles in his London office and Younee in her bedroom studio in Seoul. The result is her first Western album, “True To You”. They formed a label, cheekily named ‘Youneeversal International’.
After a trip to L.A. where Younee and Niles performed an acclaimed showcase, they released the single “Home To You” which reached the Top 20 of the US Independent Radio chart.
Younee toured England with the Richard Niles Quartet showing her musical diversity-pop, jazz and classical, a “Total Music Experience”. This concept gives Younee the opportunity of unifying all her musical elements under one roof.

They performed on the 24th of October at The Stables, Wavendon (the home of legendary jazz musicians Cleo Lane and John Dankworth) and the album “True To You” was officially launched at London’s Pizza Express Jazz Club, Dean Street, Soho for three nights between the 27th and the 29th of October and the 30th of October at Pizza On the Park. Younee also performed a Solo Classical Recital at the Vortex on the 1st of November. Her last performance was on the 8th of October at The 606 Club.

Younee has achieved many firsts for an artist from Korea-a rejection of musical restrictions and has crossed the all important barrier into the Western musical market-more especially with the compositions in English.

Quotes on Younee

“True to you will be a smash! Great songs, great singing and playing, great arrangements, great production! What fun it must have to create this music.”
(Bob James – Grammy winning Jazz Pianist)“Younee is certainly a talented young lady. The musician’s performances, as well as production work are of the highest calibre. All the best for the Younee’s album.”
(Richard Carpenter – of the Carpenters) 

“Younee has a voice as sweet as it is passionate. Great musicianship and an honest approach to music and playing.”
(Liane Carrol – jazz singer – winner of the Ronnie Scott’s Award and twice winner of the BBC Jazz Award)

The CD itself has thirteen tracks all of which make good listening and are easy to pick up on particularly:
“True to You” is the title track, which is especially catchy and would make a good single release.
“East West” is a vibrant song, which demonstrates feelings when opposites attract.
“Home to You” brings emotions to the fore and quite revealing.
“Here I Go Again”, which has a gospel feel to it is Younee’s own personal favourite.

How rare it is nowadays to meet an artist who combines charm, genuine talent, ability, worth and value in performance and personality without pomposity. These characteristics do not detract from her aspiration to succeed in becoming a role model in music. There is no doubt that the multi talented Younee is a rising star, growing in stature musically, who with the right exposure will become one of Jazz’s stalwarts and a recognised international artist.

Younee doesn’t need “The X Factor” or “The Wow Factor” because she is youneeQue.

For more information please contact Youneeversal International
Anthony Steinberg
07901 668 263
anthony@youneeversal.com
www.youneeversal.com
www.myspace.com/youneelondon
www.twitter.com/youneelondon

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