|Joseph Kwon in Butterfly Flakes. — Photo courtesy of the artist
Lương Thu Hương
Music has become a means for South Korean singer and songwriter Joseph Kwon to demonstrate his love for Việt Nam.
Coming to Việt Nam three years ago, Kwon has written seven songs that spread the beauty of the S-shaped country to international friends, particularly in South Korea, and therefore help to tighten relations between the two nations.
His latest two songs, entitled Waiting for you, 5,000 years and Butterfly Flakes, were filmed in many famous landscapes across the country, such as Cúc Phương National Park, Tràng An Scenic Landscape Complex, Sa Pa and Hội An Ancient Town.
|The South Korean artist wishes to introduce Vietnamese beauty to international friends via his songs. — Photo courtesy of the artist
A graduate of the National Conservatorio of Firenze, Italy, Kwon is well known as a versatile artist. He works as a musician, composer, singer, music producer of K-pop, as well as a therapist of The Well Hospital Voice Centre, and a conductor of SBS Choir Radio.
He is now based in Hà Nội, working as the music director for PNJ Entertainment and a youth choir conductor at the Korean Cultural Centre.
Kwon said his love for Việt Nam came to him naturally. Since childhood, he has loved and always been interested in learning about the country.
“What a coincidence that my birthday is on September 2, Việt Nam’s Independence Day. I personally studied Vietnamese history and came to admire the people of this country who helped each other through any difficulties,” he said.
“I was fascinated by the images of the conical hats and áo dài (Vietnamese traditional dress). I always wanted to come to Việt Nam.”
|Joseph Kwon is pictured on Dragon Bridge in Đà Nẵng City.— Photo courtesy of the artist
It wasn't until 2018 that he had the opportunity to visit Việt Nam for the first time and was taken by surprise.
“Indeed, Việt Nam is even more beautiful than what I have seen on TV, books, and newspapers. I was most impressed by the hospitality, friendliness and warmth of the local people, which has deepened my love for the country,” he said.
After that visit, the South Korean songwriter decided to settle in Việt Nam three years ago and started to compose songs.
“At that time, the spirit of the whole country was britghtened by the success of the Vietnamese national football team under the guidance of coach Park Hang-seo. Seeing the support and enthusiasm of the locals, I wanted to do something for the country that I have considered my second hometown and for the enthusiastic, hard-working Vietnamese people,” Kwon recalled.
“However, shortly after I came to Việt Nam, the COVID-19 pandemic swept the world. All of us, not just me, couldn't do much. But I was able to understand and learn more about Việt Nam while working on music. There were many difficulties, but it was a great opportunity to confirm our love for each other. Now I am grateful for all that time.”
|Joseph Kwon in Vietnamese traditional long dress. — Photo courtesy of the artist
During the pandemic, Kwon wrote five songs about the friendship between Việt Nam and South Korea, his love for the country and the local cuisine, prior to the recent release of Waiting for you, 5,000 years and Butterfly Flakes.
Particularly, the song entitled Việt Nam, released in 2021, went viral with over 113,000 views on YouTube and over 50 broadcasts on various television channels.
Kwon added: “All the culture, nature and food of Việt Nam have given me great musical inspiration. I have been so charmed by chả cá (charcoal grilled fish) and mắm tôm (shrimp paste) that I have even written a song about it, entitled Chả Cá Hay Peace.
“I believe that the viewers of these videos will love Việt Nam as much as I do. Living in Việt Nam is like my destiny. I will always do my best as an artist to support this country.”
Hà Văn Siêu, deputy director general of the Việt Nam National Administration of Tourism, expressed his appreciation for the South Korean artist’s love for Việt Nam and his creativity.
“Vietnamese beauty has shone through Kwon’s music, his love and videos. We hope that his love for Việt Nam will fly far and wide around the world,” he noted.
Talking about his future plans, Kwon said: “I want to live here forever.” — VNS