Interviewing Mr Sungbong Choi...

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1) If I say: "Nella fantasia"... what do these words suggest to you?
Into my fantasy... It is a bridge that allows the fate of being born as a human being but unable to dream, see the possibility of realization. It is the dream that Sungbong Choi, who could not dream for 22 years, dreamt of.

2) What does music represent to you?
People hurt people, yet people gain courage from people. However, there is a kind of love you can’t receive from people. It is music that filled the void of love in me.

3) As a role model, what's the message you'd like to give to the people, especially the young ones?
I lived on the streets for 10 years as a homeless and nameless boy, selling chewing gums and energy drinks ever since I was four years old in 1994. I wanted to be loved by people, and I wanted to have friends and so I applied for the national qualification examinations. I passed the examination for elementary school at the first attempt and at the fifth attempt for the examination for middle school, all through self-study without going through proper education. With that result, I made it into Daejeon Art High School, being the last among the 12 students. I was an outcast for three years at school because the environment in which I lived and that of my classmates were very different. I had a strong desire to study in a university and I was admitted at once, but I had to give up in the end because of financial difficulties. By chance, I took part in Korea’s Got Talent in 2011 and ended up as the first runner-up. Simply put, I didn’t have a single person who would give me trust, or look me with warm eyes. My existence was always dominated by fear ever since birth; that fear was caused by the society and adults. But you live only once, and the time given to you is only once. Even if you think it is too late at this moment, if you really want something and if you really care about something, do it with all your heart. Be it one year or 10 years, it will certainly bear fruit someday. The fruit came to me as an opportunity [through Korea's Got Talent] for the first time after 22 years.

4) Who and what is an artist, for you?
People meet people who have different set of values, respect each other, gain courage and comfort through words and actions. The role of an artist is also about communicating with the audience through music, knocking on their doors with singing skills and conveying the meaning of the lyrics, and then planting the seed of warmth in the hearts of the audience.  

5) Can you tell us something about your book? And where can we buy it?
My English autobiography will be published very soon. If it is okay with you, may I request an interview regarding the book after it is published? And of course, I would be more than grateful if you buy a copy of my book.

6) Where there is a will, there is a way: what does it mean, in everybody's life?
Friends, people, time, parents, food or shelter - none of these things existed in my life in the past. In a world of darkness, looking at an invisible future, I survived each day. Why do I have to live? What is a dream? What is the joy of life? What is the definition of life? I faced reality and confirmed my existence in every passing moment. During the 22 years of monologue, there were words that I always kept deep within myself. I trust myself. My life only belongs to me. If you believe in yourself and follow the right path, your path will be visible someday. I searched for light in the long tunnel for 22 years. And the belief I hold on to is that even when left with no visible means of subsistence, never cause harm to others.

7) Can the music save the world, and how?
Music, I think, is a bridge between what’s visible and what’s invisible. It is more than meets the eye, and the invisible world also offers me consolation. If I can offer consolation to people living in the harsh world of today by singing, then I will not hesitate to do it.

8) Which are the values that you would like to share with the people?
This is not the time for you to despair just yet. In this life you only get to live once. I hope all of you get to live the life which you do what you truly want to do, see only good and store only good things in your mind…

9) Determination, hope and music: how did Art influence your life positively?
Music has given me a reason to live, and it offers me consolation. It gives me love to heal the wounds inflicted [upon me] by society.

10) What about your future?
As an artist, I always do my best to produce music that has profound depth. I hope to meet you, my readers and fans [present and future] through my album or my book or at my concert.

11) Feel free to say something more, if you want.
Whether I succeed or whether I fail, they are all a part of Sungbong Choi. Since I know what I lack, I am working diligently to overcome them and so I ask you for your kind support and affection. In order to further develop my music career in the international market, I am looking for an international management company. If you know of any, please introduce them to me. Thank you.

 

Paola Elena Ferri

Very special thanks to P.L.