In a recent interview held with Daily Sports, legendary singer and songwriter Yoon Jong Shin talks about SM Entertainment, YG Entertainment, his own company Mystic89, and answers other questions that they had in store for him.
Yoon Jong Shin is probably one of the busiest celebrities in Korea. Besides being a singer and producer, he is also busy being an entertainer, husband, and father to 3 children.
Yoon Jong Shin made his debut as a featured vocalist for 015B in 1990 and began making a name for himself as a singer. Later on he made a name for himself on variety shows and has now become an “A class MC.” He is also a part of shows like Radio Star, Superstar K and Inside Story Salon.
In 2010 he launched an entertainment company called Mystic89. The company is home to Kim Yun Woo, Park Jiyoon, Kim Yerim, and Eddy Kim. Soon after, the company expanded by taking over Family Actors Entertainment and APOP Entertainment. Even with other activities going on, Yoon Jong Shin hasn’t been idle in his career as a singer either. Since March of 2010, he has been releasing a new song every month through Monthly Yoon Jong Shin up until now.
Check out his interview with Daily Sports below:
Q: Does the producer Yoon Jong Shin see YG Entertainment and SM Entertainment as a goal to strive for?
A: “Our contents are different from each other. However, I’m learning a lot from them on how to expand a company. I think it’s wrong for a producer to play artist. The producer has to be responsible for feeding his people, and I feel that it’s more important for them to create an environment where the artists can comfortably pursue their music. I have difficulty with that too, mainly because the music we try to do is not considered very mainstream. It took a long time to change that notion. I knew since Superstar K 2 that the era of idol music was starting to die down, but I didn’t have the guts back then. I was a little scared.”
Q: So you think the idol music represented mainly by SM Entertainment and YG Entertainment should be over turned?
A: “I don’t necessarily think their genre of music is the best, but I respect them. They have invested a lot in order to make their music main stream. Of course they experienced times when their music was frowned upon. Even with those times, they endured and took the risk in order to conquer the industry. Some people, however, talk about them as if they spread some kind of drug around to make the public fall for their music all at once. That’s not it at all. I felt that especially ever since I started producing. People like Lee Soo Man, Yang Hyun Suk, and Park Jin Young invested millions knowing that they could go bankrupt, and took a risk in order to take over the industry. They’ve had a lot of obstacles to get where they are, but I am saddened that most think they had it easy. Some producers even attack these companies. If they had invested as much as SM and YG since the 90’s, the music industry would be very different right now. It’s unfair to say that only idol music ever had a chance at taking over the industry. It is just that producers who had influence at that time tried to imitate SM. They were, however, were able to produce at the same quality. Most producers who started off as musicians tend to be slow. They refrain from making bold decisions. I think it takes a certain keenness to be a successful producer that is very different from the keenness required in musicians.”
Q: When do you think the current 2 top system in music will change?
A: “A producer can only provide the system. I think in the end it will be a monstrously talented musician who will change the trend. The positive thing is that many talented musicians seem to favor non-idol companies these days. Our company is simply working to increase awareness in other genres, and letting the public become comfortable with it. I think in the next 1-2 years a change will come.”
Some people call you Mr. Ambition after your recent expansions.
A: “I think they just put the word ambition in there. It is actually my partner who takes care of all business sides, so I think even talking about this is overstepping my boundaries. The reason we expanded Mystic89 is because in the end it all comes down to the size of your company. Unless you become big enough you will always stay just a label. If you want investment, size is always an issue. It would be hard to get investments with just Park Jiyoon and Kim Yerim, so we took over Family Actors who are known to work hard and have good profit. APOP we took over because of producer Jo Yung Chul. I can’t do all the musical part for the entire company.”
Q: Why did you launch Mystic 89?
A: “I thought there should be a company among the major companies who does music without group choreography and fashion. The top company from first to 5th are all idol music companies, but all the popular songs at karaokes come from small companies. It makes no sense that companies who make such popular songs stay so small. This means there is something wrong with the system. I was angry at the fact that singers who sang these priceless songs had no money to market themselves. I felt like I just needed 5 people similar to Sung Si Kyung and IU. I think it would still be hard for us to fight at 1st place level, but I want to reach 3rd or 4th rank.”
Q: In 2013 Mystic89 placed its name besides SM and YG as the fastest growing entertainment company
A: “I think we got lucky last year. People just gave us credit for our potential. We only had Park Jiyoon and Kim Yerim. It’s not like they make 10 million dollars each. I think they just thought ‘I like what he’s doing, It’s new’. I expected this year to be hard. Yerim was only featured, and Jiyoon didn’t do so well. We’ve had failures here and there.”
Q: Any dreams or goals as a producer?
A: “I don’t think I’ll ever be like Soo Man hyung or Hyun Suk hyung. They’re fighters. I’m going to completely let go of everything at a certain point. Even now I’m trying to make it so that Mystic89 can function without me, and I think that’s my dream. When that time comes I plan to just go do music at resorts or lounges with my group Shin Chi Rim. Hopefully sometime soon.”
In other news, Yoon Jong Shin has recently released a music video for his OST “Happy Tears” on November 17th, for upcoming movie My Love, Don’t Cross That River. The legendary artist also garnered up the most votes while competing against against his vocal doppelganger on JTBC‘s Hidden Singer. Not only did he win against his competitors, but he also got the most votes in the history of the show.