Tuesday, 9 April 2013

Sung-Bong Choi - A Quick Catch-Up

A lot has happened to the manual worker from Daejeon over the past 8 months, and every day for the next few weeks until we reach the present moment, every aspect of that journey will be told.

This story paused at the point just before Sung Bong was to invited to play at the Shani Rigsbee event entitled 'We Hear Your Voice', an event designed to achieve global awareness and strengthen solidarity through the unity of musical figures of hope. They would all come together to sing the song "We Hear Your Voice" which was also written by Shani herself to be performed by the entire ensemble (the lyrics to the song are enclosed in the gallery below).

There was initially some concern and worry as the target of $4500 in order to pay for Sung Bong's travel expenses was not reached. But where there is a will there is a way and he was able to make the trip and perform on August 4th 2012 to a packed Greek Theater in Los Angeles, USA. Shani personally expressed how overwhelmed she was upon hearing Sung Bong's story while looking on the internet and how she knew there and then that he just had  to be involved in the inspirational event.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PfPlWL9T-cU

A full video of the event will be available soon and all the proceeds from the downloadable single help promote the welfare of children throughout the world.

Pictures of the wonderful experience have been added to Sung Bong's Flikr photostream below

Photostream of Sung Bong Choi at The Greek Theater, Los Angeles





Saturday, 14 July 2012

Help Sung-Bong Choi get to LA for the humanitarian project "We Hear Your Voice"



International artist Shani Rigsbee and her Persian star husband Andy Madadian have formally invited Sung-Bong Choi to join them in Los Angeles as part of the project "We Hear Your Voice", which aims to bring together many global icons of music to form a spectacle of solidarity. Sung-Bong will represent Korea and the whole event will be streamed live.

All artists must pay for their own travel expenses which is why Shani herself has set up a donation page for Sung-Bong fans to contribute. At this moment in time the amount that has been raised is $783 but this figure  is quite a way off the needed target ($4000). It would be amazing if Sung-Bong could be able to continue his journey and become a beacon of hope for Korea at this international  gathering so let us all get behind him and donate whatever amount that we are able to and make this trip a reality for Sung-Bong!

Full details can be found here on the donation page which Shani has officially verified:

http://www.gofundme.com/fu8k8

Sung-Bong sings national anthem for Korea's athletes

Sung-Bong Choi was privileged enough to sing Korea's national anthem before a room of distinguished guests and top athletes hoping to perform at their best at the London 2012 Olympic Games. Sung-Bong was calm and composed during his rendition as his fellow country men and women contemplated solemnly the task they have ahead of them.




Wednesday, 11 July 2012

Are we trying too hard?

In the last few days there has been some concern for Sung-bong Choi, the manual labourer from Deajeon City who's only goal is to sing for the world. A recent post on his personal Facebook page spoke of him 'starting over'. Although I am unclear precisely what the message means (as I don't speak Korean and Google translate is awful) it was enough to produce a wave of consolation from fans who reiterated that they are here for him and that they will do whatever is necessary to help him succeed.

Upon browsing the more recent Sung-Bong comments on his Facebook and Twitter pages I noticed several things:

Sung-Bong's tweets (in English) are completely incomprehensible and make no sense
People are making judgments about his appearance and dress sense
Sung-Bong has undergone lots of different 'looks' to see which one fits

My fear is that Sung-bong is being treated like a performing chimp. Like a person who is there to make US feel good about ourselves, instead of the other way around. Let us not forget that it is WE who have lived the privileged lives in comparison to Sung-Bong.


Sunday, 1 July 2012

New Sung-Bong Image Gallery

55 new images showing some of the many highlights Sung-Bong has enjoyed over the past year are now up on the Flikr photostream. Be sure to have a look to find some hard to find and rare images of Sung-Bong.

Sung-Bong Choi Flikr set

A Brief Overview of Sung-Bong's Journey...

A little over a year has past which has seen the lowly day labourer from Daejun, South Korea go from despair to bright hope. It is a story that is being written as we speak. What does the future hold of Sung-Bong? He is an nspiration to millions around the people who look at how he has managed and face the adversity in his life and refuse to give up.

Will he go on to become a famous opera singer? Will he become a global figure of hope for those in troubled times? Will be return to the place of misery that he came from? Who knows? All that we wish for is that he is able a chance to realise the potential that is within him that we are all so clearly able to see and feel.

This timeline does not represent all of Sung-Bong's achievements in his life, just some of the events that I feel are important in appreciating what Sung-Bong has achieved in short amount of time.


18 February 1990 - Sung-Bong Choi is born
1993 - Enters orphanage
1995 - Escapes orphanage due to abuse

2004- 2007 - Meets Jeong So Park and agrees to teach him.
Passes GED for elementary and middle school
Gains entry to Art School funded by Deajeon School Fund
Experiences difficulty balancing living, working and studying and leaves college for Deagu, disenchanted with opera
Loses contact with Jeong So Park for a year
Comes back and works at Jeong So Park's "Praise" concert


Thursday, 25 August 2011

Where now for Sung-Bong Choi?



In just 11 weeks, Sung-Bong Choi, the manual labourer from Dae Jun has picked himself up from the depths of despair and achieved something quite breathtaking. When I think back to the first time I watched the video of Sung-Bong Choi's audition, I remember having to pause the video just before he started singing as I couldn't bear the tension! His story struck such a deep rooted chord in me that I almost feared he wouldn't be able to sing at all; that absolute silence would be projected. And after fouling up his audition he'd be shoved in a taxi and driven straight back to the streets of Dae Jun along with a crate of Bacchus energy drinks. I was happy I was wrong.

At the end I of his performance I found myself shuddering with the need to shed tears of joy, witnessing this young man become truly free. I felt a strange sense of sorrow mixed with a powerful rush of being very privileged.

But where now for Sung-Bong Choi? Is a record deal with Sony possible?  Will he strive for a regular and more normal life: a girlfriend, job, house? Will he go back to the life he has now in Dae Jun, or will he just spend his time exploring with his only friend in life, music? His desire for wanting to share his song with the world is the sole reason why he is where he is today, and that ought to be the road he should stick to.