Current Obsession: Royal Pirates: Seoul Hillbilly

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How time flies: after a two-month hiatus, we’re back with more Current Obsession. This week, we’ll take a look at one of my favorite bands Royal Pirates, who recently dropped their latest single “Seoul Hillbilly, ” which will get you rockin’ and dancin’ until the day’s end and long into the night. If there was ever a band that had to stay on the grind for years to achieve the kind of success in the Korean music industry now, this trio would win that battle hands down. They’re one of the great examples that showcase how hard work, a sense of integrity, and a genuine love for the music can make a dream into reality.

Royal Pirates- “서울촌놈 (Seoul Hillbilly)” [ Download ]

 

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The Band: Kim Moon-chul (lead vocalist & guitar), James Lee (bass guitar), Kim Soo-yoon (drums)

The Backstory: Now that I think about it, I’ve known about Royal Pirates for over a decade now; I first heard of them by another name: Fading From Dawn, a band on Youtube that uploaded mostly cover songs from both Korean and American pop music back in 2004. It was apparent then that the talent was there waiting to be discovered, and so for a while, I felt that their debut would happen sooner than later. A few years later, however, tragedy fell (Moon-chul’s brother, Richard, tragically passed away in a car accident in 2008) and further news of the band suddenly became silent.

So I was both surprised and eager when the band revamped itself with a new (and current) name, Royal Pirates, and brought in new band members. Slowly but surely, the group gained recognition, and debuted in Korea with the single “Shout Out” in August 2013. I’ll be honest in saying that I wasn’t particularly thrilled by that song, but I absolutely fell in love with their first mini-album “Drawing the Line” in January 2014 (“See What I See” is my favorite track).

The trio has been involved in various variety show and radio appearances since then, and one can tell that they’re just three guys who love to make music from their hearts. And that’s what I love about them: knowing that they’ve got the most crazy schedules now and thousands upon thousands of adoring fans growing by the day, but are willing to see where their journey takes them.

The Song: What more can I say besides the obvious: I love this song. I knew that the band was in the studio preparing for a new single, but this one came as a pleasant surprise. I read that Moon-chul wrote the song while he was in New York City filming for the variety show “Laws of the City,” and that the lyrics speak of his experience about those few weeks (the cast was dropped in the city with zero money and had to find means to support themselves with jobs and food).

Sometimes a little suffering produces great music, but here’s to hoping he doesn’t have to go through so much again for his next hit single. This fangirl can’t wait until their second mini-album “Love Toxic” is released on August 27.

 

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The Lyrics: (Korean from Naver Music and English from PopGasa)

나 서울에서 태어나서
빌딩 숲에서 뛰어놀며 꿈을 키웠어
이것만이 내 세상
날 틀리다 말하는
우물 안 개구리들도 참 많았어
거울 속에서 난 더 큰 내 모습을 봤어
증명하고 싶어졌어 내가 옳다는 걸
함께 떠나자
멀리서 불어오는 바람을 타고
하늘에 뭉게구름 따라가면
새로운 나를 찾아서
실패를 딛고 일어서
서울 촌놈이 간다
일곱 번 넘어져도
다시 일어설 수 있어
힘이 들 땐 상상해 보는 거야
어린 나의 두 눈에
지금의 나는 정말 웃고 있을지
가시 밭 속에서 피는 꽃송이를 봤어
혼자라고 생각했어 But it’s all around the world
함께 떠나자
멀리서 불어오는 바람을 타고
하늘에 뭉게구름 따라가면
새로운 나를 찾아서
실패를 딛고 일어서
서울 촌놈이 간다

칡흙 같은 밤 속 혼자의 세계를 펼치네
힘없는 나날에 지친 날 위로하며 괜춘해
이 도시 안에 널려있는 나 같은 사람들
이건 아무것도 아냐 just a way to go
실패했다고 우는 넌 아직 덜컸지
또 다른 나를 찾아 달려봐 한걸음씩
다 놓고 떠나보자 지금 누구든 어디든
서울촌놈이 간다 또 다른 나를 찾아서

함께 떠나자
멀리서 불어오는 바람을 타고
하늘에 뭉게구름 따라가면
새로운 나를 찾아서
실패를 딛고 일어서
변치 않는 소중했던 기억들을 떠올리며
상처를 견뎌내며 가는 거야
한 걸음씩 더 나가면 결국엔 웃게 될 거야
서울 촌놈이 간다

 

I was born in Seoul and grew my dreams
As I ran around the jungle of buildings
This is my world
There were so many frogs in the well
That told me I was wrong

But I saw a bigger me in the mirror
I wanted to prove that I was right

Let’s go together
Riding the wind that came from far away
Following the puffy clouds in the sky
To find a new me
Stepping on my failures and getting up again
The Seoul Hillbilly is going

Even if I fall seven times
I can get up again
When it gets hard, just imagine
In my young eyes
Will the present me really be smiling?

I saw flowers blooming from a field of thorns
I thought I was alone but it’s all around the world

Let’s go together
Riding the wind that came from far away
Following the puffy clouds in the sky
To find a new me
Stepping on my failures and getting up again
The Seoul Hillbilly is going

I spread out my own world on this dark night
As I comfort my strengthless and tired self
People like me are all over this city
This is nothing, just a way to go
You’re crying over a failure, you’ve still yet to grow
I’ll run step by step to find a different me
Leave everything behind and go right now, whoever you are, wherever you are
The Seoul Hillbilly is going to find a different me

Let’s go together
Riding the wind that came from far away
Following the puffy clouds in the sky
To find a new me
Stepping on my failures and getting up again

As you think of the unchanging and precious memories
Overcome your scars and go
If you go step by step, you will be smiling in the end
The Seoul Hillbilly is going

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