Who is Yoon Seo-bin? Born and raised in South Korea, Yoon Seo-bin found his love for music during his teenage years. After being discovered on the streets of Seoul, the singer trained for over a year and seven months. Despite leaving Produce X 101 (2019 – reality survival show), he decided to wait for a bit before revealing his music to the world. In 2021, he presented STARLIGHT, a single that showcased his vocal abilities. The following year, Seo-bin released two additional singles, Beautiful and 100%, that, yet again, impressed his listeners with his beautiful voice. 

However, his music career wasn’t enough for the singer, and as a result, he embarked on a new journey: acting. He debuted in 2020 in a Korean drama, Touch Me If You Can, followed by The Mermaid Prince: The Beginning. A year later, Seo-bin had a supporting role in Not Found Love alongside Im Sung Kyun, an actor known for his roles in Sh**ting Stars and Walk to Kwangya.

Image © Peace Angels Company

2022 was a turning point for the singer-songwriter – for the first time in his career, Seo-bin portrayed an LGBTQ character, Min-hyeon, in Kissable Lips. During our interview, the artist candidly admitted that he “wanted to try a BL drama” as he likes “breaking the boundaries of prejudice or bias and transcending them”. In a country where being LGBTQ is still seen in unfavourable colours, it was surely a brave move from the 22-year-old Seo-bin. 

A few days ago, we sat down with Seo-bin and chatted about his journey into the music industry and his love for acting. He also shared his thoughts on the Korean entertainment industry and what he likes to do in his free time. 

Image © Peace Angels Company

Before discussing your acting career, I would love to know what was the role of music in the early years of your life that made you want to become an artist? Do you feel that you chose your “passion” [in reference to music], or did it choose you? 

Yoon Seo-bin: I was noticed on the street, as if it was fate, and became a trainee who began dreaming about becoming a singer. I think once debuting became a goal, passion followed. It might have been passion that gave me the courage to take on the challenges I faced during my time as a trainee.

While music was your first choice, you smoothly transitioned to acting in 2020 when you starred in Touch Me If You Can, you first role. You later acted in The Mermaid Prince: The Beginning, followed by Not Found Love. In 2022, you had a main role in The Circumstances of Pungdeok Villa Room 304 as well as in Kissable Lips. I would like to talk about the role of Min-hyun (Kissable Lips). You play an ordinary university student who develops feelings for a male vampire. What was the preparation for that role like, and how did you feel about being a part of a BL drama? Was it a challenging role for you? 

Yoon Seo-bin: I felt Min-hyeon was a character with an innocent personality. I thought there would be no reason not to be with someone once you really fall in love and I tried to look at everything from Min-hyeon’s perspective. I had always wanted to try a BL drama. I like breaking the boundaries of prejudice or bias and transcending them.

How much artistic freedom did you get while filming Kissable Lips? Did you follow the script from A to Z. How much were you allowed to improvise in the TV drama?

Yoon Seo-bin: Things were quite free and the director gave me plenty of room to ad lib as long as it didn’t affect the program negatively. I think I was more spontaneous about expressions, gazes, or actions that weren’t specified in the script rather than coming up with lines ad lib. Things like giggling because I like something or scratching my head because I’m embarrassed.

Image © Peace Angels Company

Is there a particular role you would love to portray in the future? Have you ever thought of a villain type of role before? 

I want to play a character that seems somewhat melancholy and exudes a sense of solitude. I’d be worried about playing a villain because I might reveal too much at once. But if I were to take on the role of a villain, I think I would do a fantastic job of it. Personally, I love Heath Ledger’s performance as the Joker.

In August of this year, you released 100%, a single which you had co-written with OF’F and NOEL BAHK. The song was also composed by you, Liv, OF’F, Th!nk, and VOYOON. What was it like to work with those artists and did you experience any artistic differences during the recording of the song?

It was such an honour to play a part in the making of the song and I was so happy because the end result was a song with an ambience that I like. I don’t think we had any conflict of opinion.

Four of your songs ended up on Korean dramas: Touch Me If You Can OST – Yellow Light, Summer Guys OST Part.3 – Dreaming, Kissable Lips OST Part.3 – I’ll Be Here, and Kissable Lips OST Part.4 – How Could I Live Without You. How do you feel about having your music associated with Korean dramas? 

It’s so strange when my song comes out in the middle of a program. Having a song that I sing work with another work of art to create synergy makes being on a soundtrack significant, and I was so lucky to have been given the chance to do it.

How does it feel when you release music in general? How do you feel when you put your new songs out there for people to judge? 

When I’m working on a song, I think the song becomes complete when I’m not expecting it. Occasionally, I’ll be trying to get psyched up for it and ‘Bam!’ the song is right there. So, I really try to give it 100% during every moment. Sometimes, I feel the song is being evaluated, but I also think you just have to go with it when you can’t avoid something. Besides, I think that’s also my job.

Image © Peace Angels Company

Which artists are you currently listening to? And is there anyone that you would like to collaborate with? 

I’ve been listening to Harry Styles a lot these days. As It Was is my favourite song. I would love to keep working with artists either in Korea or abroad if a good opportunity comes knocking and we click.

Looking at the popularity of Korean cinema, music, and art, what do you think makes Korean music and film entertainment, in particular, desirable in other parts of the world? 

I think that could be because Koreans like to have fun and are sensitive to trends which pass by very quickly, so a lot of good quality content pours out in a short amount of time.

Looking at the Korean music industry, and since you became a singer, have you suffered any ‘resistance’ or scepticism from within the industry? What would you say are currently your main artistic challenges and has being an artist changed other aspects of your life?

When I first started working in the music industry in Korea, my family and relatives were worried that it would be too difficult for me. But I think nothing is gained easily, so I’m enjoying the processes I’m going through now. I think being an artist influenced my life in a certain way – since I’m exposed to a somewhat more glamorous life than that of people with ordinary jobs, I think at times I was confused about my identity or tried to go after what was glamorous. I think one of my responsibilities as an artist is to ground myself well.

When you are not working, whether it is in a studio or a film set, what do you do to get away from it all and relax? What’s your favourite thing to do in your spare time? 

I usually exercise and do stretches. Sometimes, it’s important to read and calm my mind.

What are your upcoming plans? Are there any other projects that you have planned for the future? More music or acting roles?

I’ll be pursuing both acting and music. I’m getting really into composing now, so I think you’ll be able to hear music that reflects a lot of my tastes and my thoughts in the future.

Is there anything you would like to say to your UK fans? 

Thank you to all my UK fans, and I’m so happy to communicate with you this way. I haven’t been to Britain yet, but I really want to go and meet you guys someday. I wish you all good health, and I hope that you’ll continue to keep an eye on me and what I do!

Written and interviewed by Maggie Gogler

View of the Arts is a British online publication that chiefly deals with films, music, arts, and fashion, with an emphasis on the Asian entertainment industry. We are hoping our audience will grow with us as we begin to explore new platforms such as K-pop / K-music and continue to dive into the talented and ever-growing scene of film, music, and arts, worldwide.

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In Conversation with, K-pop, Music


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