Put Your Hands Up Towards The World Stage
At first we thought it was a joke, however this guy is quite serious about this. He’s the cool middle aged bloke that goes “What’s there to think about? If you’re going to do it then just do it.” Park Myung Soo quest continues on.
How many names are there to describe Park Myung Soo? There is “2nd in charge, rice insect, 1st Comedian to use black hair powder, Great Star, Proper Myung Soo, 6 Thrower, Puny Brother, The Hugh Grant of Seolla Village, Min Su’s Father, Bangbaedong Wildcat, Great Park… etc etc” There is roughly over 10 nicknames that come to mind the moment you start think about him. He may say that he has had the same character for 10 years but there isn’t a lot of entertainers that has had the variety of characters Park Myung Soo has had over such a long period of period.
In recent days, his activities as the Bangbaedong Wildcat has been of particular interest. Lately Park Myung Soo has been showing off his talents as a musician, as a singer, composer, lyricist, DJ and music producer.
I had the impression that we have been unable to fully appreciate Park Myung Soo’s charms up till now as he was always in the shadow of Yoo Jae Suk, thus I decided to pay a visit to a talk concert in which he was to be a guest speaker. The song that played as he appeared was “Naengmyun,” the song that he performed with Jessica 6 years ago during the “Infinity Challenge – Olympic Freeway Duet Song Festival.” He went up on stage and then proceeded to sing the whole song by himself.
“This song was once a big summer hit. I sang it in an effort to improve the mood but it seems like you don’t remember it. You know that I was originally a singer that specialised in lip syncing right? I somehow ended up singing the whole song from start to finish. Now that you’ve seen me in person, what do you think? Don’t you think I look nice? Lately I’m exercising twice a week and also receive (beauty) treatment. As you may know, I don’t necessarily gain weight or anything. Of course my face is starting to sag (Laughs), Yoo Jae Suk? His face is a mess as well. He’s got a false image thanks to his popularity (Laughs).”
He was extraordinary right from the start. The day of the speech was a bright sunny weekend day. Park Myung Soo started off his speech in the most Park Myung Soo way possible, “Thanks to everyone in the audience that came here by themselves because they didn’t want to spend time with their family on a day like this.”
“Even I have a bloody hard time when I stay at home lately. My kid or my wife wakes me wake when I try to rest for a bit. Recently we bought a puppy as well and so it nevers really feels like I’m resting when I’m at home. Still, you’re not going to find another guy like me anywhere else. My wife would sometimes suddenly get wake up and grab my hand to say ‘Hey, if I was ever reborn, I would still marry you again.’ I tried to jump out the window when I heard that (laugh), Then my wife would ask a very awkward question, “What would you do?” That’s when I said “There is no way we would be reborn.” (Laugh). Of course, If I was reborn then I would marry my current wife again but having lived for around 50 years, in my opinion, you only get one chance in life. There must not be another life and you must not think of that possibility either. That’s what makes life worth living.”
He may talk harshly but actually Park Myung Soo is famous for being a dedicated family man. His wife, Han Soo Min, is a doctor that runs a dermatologist in the City of Mapo, Dohwa. Yoo Jae Suk calls them the “The Bragelina (Brad Pitt + Angelina Jolie) of Seolle Village.” Park Myung Soo’s wife, Han Soo Min, posted a picture of Park Myung Soo on her Instagram and put the hashtag “The Hugh Grant of Seolle Village” on it.
“In the past I used to smoke two packs of cigarettes a day. I would drink pretty much every day. Then at some point I started to notice that my health was taking a hit. I was once admitted to hospital with Hepatitis A. At the time, my wife also got infected and we would lie down together in a 2 bed patient room. I really thought I was going to go crazy (laugh). If I think about why I got Hepatitis A back then, I think it’s all because of “Infinity Challenge.” It’s because we would constantly roll around on the ground and eat food off the ground but Kim TEO PD doesn’t realise that.”
This year marks that 10th anniversary of “Infinity Challenge.” When they first started the members were in their 20~30’s but now they are married and are fathers. Amongst them, Park Myung Soo is the oldest, 46 years old this year. He mentions how he once said “Oh dear, I can’t do this anymore, it’s too tiring.” Yoo Jae Suk then told him, “Hey, even 10 years ago you said you found this tiring.”
“Infinity Challenge is already 10 years old. For 10 years Jung Jun Ha did nothing but act stupid and I consistently did nothing but get angry. Yoo Jae Suk did everything by himself and my abilities as an entertainer didn’t improve(laughs). Still I can’t even ask them to let me do this. If I’m bad at it then the nagging would be immense, “you’re bad at this, it’s not funny.” The members have worked with each other for so long that sometimes there are days when we would get angry with each other. I would tell them to stop talking about my wife on air but they keep talking about her…..at first it was really frustrating but still we’re all in the same boat so I endured it. We wouldn’t be friends if we can’t endure it? We would instead be enemies.”
His agelong character is “2nd in charge.” He would stand next to Yoo Jae Suk, occasionally making sharp jokes, telling him “I can’t do anything without you.” It’s the type of behaviour you would see from a mischievous little kid. But there was a time when he was the main focus of “Infinity Challenge,” taking the show by storm. This was during the “Park Myung Soo’s How About This?” special. This project aired around 3 years ago and was all the rage as the Infinity Challenge members sung songs that Park Myung Soo produced himself.
“I wasn’t one of those students that studied diligently. Instead I spent a lot of time thinking about how I would live my life. The conclusion I reached was ‘I’m going to learn a skill.’ I constantly thought that I would need my own special skill of some sort. I always liked club dance so something that I looked at with interest was to become a Electronic Music Producer. ‘Park Myung Soo’s How About This?’ was a project that I proposed myself.”
Park Myung Soo had now begun working as a composer in earnest and he had spent 3 months of endless nights learning how to compose for the “Park Myung Soo How About This” special.
At the time, Jung Hyung Don’s “Gangbook Fashionista” swept multiple music charts and he even appeared on music shows. It was extremely popular. It showed Composer Park Myung Soo in a new light. Last year he setup his own recording studio in Bangbaedong under the name of “G-Park,” producing his own songs like “Myung Soo’s Ddeokbokgi,” “Don’t Go,” etc. The most recent song he produced was released in March, “You fool” was produced in collaboration with singer So Chan Hee and placed within the top 10 for numerous music charts. This guy was quite serious about this.
“Just 3 years ago, who would have thought that Park Myung Soo would become a real composer. However I had already been slowly preparing for it at the time. On June 12th and 13th, I’ll be participating in the UMF (Ultra Music Festival) being held at Jamsil. This is already my 3rd year at it. If I had done nothing 3 years ago then where would I be right now? Next Monday, I’ll be performing in Canada in Vancouver and Toronto. In the past I didn’t even know where Canada was, my life has really changed a lot. I have gained quite a lot since I started this line of work. Now being a DJ has become another occupation for me.”
The moment you think it’s too late is when it’s really too late to start, so start now.
“The bird that wakes up early, dies early”
“The moment you think it’s too late is when it’s really too late to start”
“Little gains are little gains.”
At a glance, Park Myung Soo’s quotes are quite absurd. However, if you think about it, all these quotes really convey the knowledge that Park Myung Soo has gained during his 23 year career.
“I was 43 years old when I first time dreamed about becoming a world renowned DJ. I was quite old to start thinking about this when you think about the fact that most of the talented DJ working across the world are in their 20’s. It really is true that the moment you think it’s too late then it really is too late. However that’s why I decided to start right away. As you may know, to become a world renowned DJ, knowing English is a must. That day I immediately started to learn English. My skills have still not improved much but I believe it’s a small step towards my dreams.”
I was honestly surprised. Not in my wildest dreams did I expect Park Myung Soo to be putting this sort of effort towards this, especially since he was already an entertainer at the top of his field. What more, his target was the world stage. The world stage isn’t a place where you can just use your domestic popularity to succeed.
“I called the world’s most famous music label company. Of course I didn’t make the call, I got a friend that was good at English to do it (Laughs). I told them that I would like to produce an album with them. They told me to send that sort of request by Email. So we sent them an email but those heartless people didn’t even send a reply. Still I couldn’t give up there. I got my thinking hat on and this time I personally sent a message to world renowned DJ. ‘I’m a famous celebrity in Korea and DJ G-Park, this is a song that I made, could you try making an arrangement for it?”
He has recently started his own Instagram account. His reasoning was that, if he wanted to stand on the world stage then he needed to start interacting with other famous artists across the world. He states that the (current) target for Bangbaedong Wildcat is to be the “World renowned artist that is currently aiming to enter the Chinese market.’ He states that “Taking the Hallyu craze into account, this is more definitely an achievable goal.” In some ways, hearing him say this so sincerely feels somewhat unusual.
“Think about it, a DJ that operates in a small country like Korea, got in contact with a world renowned DJ so that he could work with them. At first they might have said, ‘Who is this guy?’ but they must been curious. That’s why they would have looked for my Instagram. “wow, he has this many followers, he must be quite famous.’ Making them think like this was my goal. Right now, that DJ has 2 million followers. G-Dragon has 4 million. I currently have 400,000 followers but I’m going to get over 1 million this year. Everyone that is here, can you please follow me? (laughs)”
Up until now, I really didn’t know about Park Myung Soo’s sincerity. “The moment you think it’s too late then it really is too late, so you should start right away.” This is probably the most important quote in Park Myung Soo’s life at the moment.
“The DJ I shared a stage with in 2013, Tiesto is ranked 3rd in the world and has own private jet. This yearly earnings are over USD$80 million. I heard that he recently put up his personal jet for sale, I’m going to buy it in the not too distant future. Since I was born as a man, I should at least live extravagantly once in my life. How could I die peacefully when I haven’t done something nice (like that). This must be why my wife loves me so much (laughs)”
He wasn’t well off when he was young. His father suffered much and his mother was always depressed. He claims that he probably matured early because of his memories of those days. Myung Soo’s dream was to quickly become successful so that he can make his parents happy.
“If my life was misfortunate then that is something I should stop at my generation. What kind of parent would want to pass that down to their own children as well? When I think of that I get right back up and go study at school no matter how tired I am. I need to learn as much as possible now. I want to raise Minsuh up to be special and different from the other kids. I am a bit worried because she is a daughter but I’m going to work hard to teach her English then send her out onto the world stage.”
As the lecture came to close, someone from the audience asked to choose either DJ work or Yoo Jae Suk. Up till now, he had talked nonstop but even hesitated briefly here. “Ha…..I think for now it would still be Yoo Jae Suk. I would become a penniless bum if I didn’t have him.” He might have ended with a laugh but today Park Myung Soo gave us something more than laughs. I nod my head in agreement when he said “This is why my wife loves me.” This is Bangbaedong Wildcat, Park Myung Soo’s infinite pursuits (Infinity Challenge)
- Reporter: Jung Hee Soon
- Sponsor: JTN Media