Kim Dong-ryool

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This is a Korean name; the family name is Kim.
Kim Dong-ryool
Birth name Kim Dong-ryool
Born (1974-03-15) March 15, 1974 (age 40)
Seoul, South Korea
Origin Seoul, South Korea
Genres Pop, jazz
Occupations Singer-songwriter, record producer,
TV presenter, radio DJ
Instruments Vocal, piano, guitar
Years active 1993 – present
Labels Music Farm
Associated acts Verandah Project
Kim Dong-ryool
Hangul 김동률
Revised Romanization Gim Dong-ryul
McCune–Reischauer Kim Dong'ryul

Kim Dong-ryool (Hangul: 김동률; or spelled Kim Dong-ryul; born March 15, 1974) is a South Korean pop singer-songwriter. He is a popular artist who composes, arranges, writes lyrics, produces, and performs his own music. He has been active since 1993.


Exhibition era[edit]

While majoring in architectural engineering in Yonsei University, he formed a duet Exhibition with his close friend, Seo Dong-Wook. Dong-ryool composed their songs and played the piano and Seo Dong-wook played bass guitar.

The duet became famous through an MBC University Song Festival in 1993.[1] They won first prize and the special prize by the song "In Dreams" which Seo wrote the lyrics and Kim composed. From those days, Kim started his music career of singing, composing, and writing lyrics.

Kim's first album An Essay of Memory, which famous singers, Shin Hae-cheol produced, was released in 1994. Even though the duet were new figures in the world of popular music, they did the composing, piano, bass, computer programming. The album received positive reviews and climbed into the top ten chart, going on to sell over 600,000 copies.

In 1994, both members of the duet went into army service together in 1994. After finishing their military service, the duet released the second album Strangers in 1996. The album was also produced by Shin Hae-cheol, and the famous instrument players, Yi, Byeong-Woo, Kim Se-Hwang, Jeong Won-Young participated in their album, too. The second album also had positive reviews from critics but there was a plagiarism row about "A Testament", a song on the album. The song came under suspicion because of its similarity to "The Girl Who Fell from the Sky", from the soundtrack in Studio Ghibli's animated film Laputa: Castle in the Sky. Experts decided that the main melodies, ways of using instruments were similar, so 'A Testament' became a dishonorable song for the duet.[2]

In 1997, the duet decided to go back to normal school life. Then, they released the third album Graduation with five songs which had special personal meanings for them.[1] Especially, "First Love" was composed by Kim Dong-ryool when he was 14 years old and "In Dreams" was the song that made the duet very popular.[3]

Carnival era[edit]

After disbanding, his friend, Seo Dong-wook became a normal student. But Kim Dong-ryool said, "The only thing I can do is music." He made the project group 'Carnival' with Lee Juck with whom he became close through the Jam concert of a popular radio program, At Starry Nights. Both of them were 24, sing and make songs. But their music styles were very different. Kim Dong-ryool's songs were a bit naive and standard classical ballads but Lee Juck's songs were poignant and heretical.[4]

There two people got together and made great[5] songs of funk genre. They brought the world famous brass session team, Jerry Hey team and a Korean singer and jazz pianist, Kim Gwang-min for funky style jazz ad lib of keyboard. They released the album Carnival in 1997. The main theme of the album was retro style. The album was a great success for them. They won the Golden Disc Award.[1]

Solo era[edit]

After the success of Carnival, Kim composed several popular songs such as "For a Thousand Days" for Lee Seung-hwan and "Show" for Kim Won-Jun. In 1998 he released first solo album The Shadow of Forgetfulness with a piano-based sound recalling early Elton John.[6] About his solo album, critics wrote that he set up the new ballad style which had classical and polished melody and lyrics.[6] After the first album, he held first solo concert on Christmas Day in 1998.[1]

Even though he was a million-selling artist with his band Exhibition and Carnival, Kim decided to study music more. He entered Berklee College of Music in 1999 and majored in film scoring.[1] While studying there, he wanted to make real Korean-style music and he became more interested in Korean traditional music and culture.

At the end of the first school year in the college, he made his second solo album Hope. In this album, he used not only the London Symphony Orchestra but also 'Samulnori' which is a Korean traditional percussion quartet. In 2001, he released his third solo album Homecoming. He continued to integrate Korean traditional music and classical sound. The critics commented on this album that it had ample and splendid sound and the atmosphere of all the songs was natural and stable.[7]

After graduating head of his class, he came back to Korea and released his fourth solo album Exposing in 2004. His song "At Long Last" (이제서야) from his 4th album Exposing (토로) topped the KBS charts in April, 2004.[8] He tried to integrate some new style music such as bossa nova, samba, and popera in the album. His music became more comprehensive and mature. Especially, arrangements of the songs were much more refined than before.[9]

He had the second solo concert in Seoul and Busan in August, 2004 and released the live recording album Invitation in 2005. He put his music and experience of the past ten years into the first live recording album. From 2005 to 2007 he hosted the TV music program Kim Dong-ryool's For You and the radio program Kim Dong-ryool's Music Island. And he made a "best-of" albumn in 2007.[1]

In 2008, Kim released his fifth album Monologue. The album peaked at number one on the album-selling charts and sold nearly 100,000 copies. This record had a great meaning to Korean music industry because the volume of album sales had been very low.[10] Most songs of the album became very popular among all the generations. The critics reviewed that he his lyrics and melody.[11]

After his big success, Kim held three concerts in 2008. All the advance tickets of the concerts were sold out in less than 20 minutes. The concerts were full-scale in every way. He arranged each song again for the orchestra and designed the stages.


1 - Exhibition

Album # Title / Date Released Tracklisting
1 Volume 1 - Exhibition
Released: 1994-05
An Essay of Memory(기억의 습작)

Sky High(하늘높이)
My Thoughts About You(너에 관한 나의 생각)
A Boy's Tree(소년의 나무)
In Front Of The World(세상의 문앞에서)
Too Many You(그대가 너무 많은)

2 Volume 2 - Strangers
Released: 1996-05
At The Confessional(고해소에서)

At The J's Bar(J's Bar에서)
A Testament(유서)
On The Way To Meeting You(마중 가던 길)
A Bird(새)
Blue Christmas
The Drunken Truth(취중진담)
The Promise of Ten Years(10년의 약속)

3 Volume 3 - Graduation
Released: 1997-01

First Love(첫사랑)
The Pledge(다짐)
In Dreams(꿈 속에서)

2 - Carnival

Album # Title / Date Released Tracklisting
1 Volume 1 - Carnival
Released: 1997

A Roller coaster(롤러코스터-In Carnival Land)
It Was Like That In Those Days(그땐 그랬지)
A Friend(벗)
A Doll Made Of Soap(비누인형)
A Toast(축배)
A Joke(농담)
Seize Her(그녀를 잡아요) Feat. Seo Dong-Wook, Kim Jin-Pyo
Dreams of Geese(거위의 꿈)

3 - Solo

Album # Title / Date Released Tracklisting
1 Volume 1 - Shadow Of Forgetfulness
Released: 1998-09
The Beginning(시작)

The Consideration(배려)
My Old Friends(내 오랜 친구들)
Miracle(기적) feat. Yi So-Eun
Lonely Sailing(항해)
A Partner(동반자)

2 Volume 2 - Hope(희망)
Released: 2000-08
It's Been Two Years(2년만에)

A Wall(벽) Feat. Yangpa
Christmas Presents(크리스마스 선물)
A Midsummer Night's Dream(한여름밤의 꿈)
The Transmigration(윤회)
My Cherished Desire(염원)
The Adventure(모험)
A Letter(편지)

3 Volume 3 - Homecoming(귀향)
Released: 2001-10
The Words Of Loving You(사랑한다는 말)

Shall I Love You Again?(다시 사랑한다 말할까)
An Appeal(하소연)
Where Are Arrows We Shoot?(우리가 쏜 화살은 어디로 갔을까)
Fallen Leaves(낙엽)
The Courtship Song(구애가)
A Lullaby(자장가)
Let you leave(떠나보내다) Feat. Seo Dong-Wook

4 Volume 4 - Outpouring(토로)
Released: 2004-03
Let you leave again(다시 떠나보내다)

Because you don't love me(사랑하지 않으니까요)
At long last(이제서야)
Grabber(욕심쟁이) Feat. Yi So-Eun
Behind incense(잔향)
Compromise(양보) Feat. Wanted

5 Farewell(고별)
Second Concert - Invitation

Released: 2005-02

Grand Opening
A Bird(새)
Sky High(하늘 높이)
It Was Like That In Those Days(그땐 그랬지) duet with Lee Juck
A Toast(축배) duet with Lee Juck
Miracle(기적) feat. Yi So-Eun
An Essay of Memory(기억의 습작)
The Courtship Song(구애가)
Because you don't love me(사랑하지 않으니까요)
Fallen leaves(낙엽) feat. Ha Rim, Jeong Jae-Il
Petition(청원) feat. Ha Rim, Jeong Jae-Il
The Truth In Wine(취중진담)
At long last(이제서야)
A Partner(동반자)
The Promise of Ten Years(10년의 약속)

6 Thanks(감사)
Released: 2007-03

An Essay of Memory(기억의 습작)
Sky High(하늘 높이)
Too Many You(그대가 너무 많은)
At The J's Bar(J's Bar에서)
A Bird(새)
The Truth In Wine(취중진담)
First Love(첫사랑)
The Beginning(시작)
The Consideration(배려)
A Partner(동반자)
The Words Of Loving You(사랑한다는 말)
Shall I Love You Again?(다시 사랑한다 말할까)
At long last(이제서야)
Because you don't love me(사랑하지 않으니까요)
Grabber(욕심쟁이) Feat. Yi So-Eun
Behind incense(잔향)

7 Volume 5 - Monologue
Released: 2008-01

About It(그건 말야)
Old Song(오래된 노래)
Like A Child(아이처럼) feat. Alex
The Concert
The Figure From Behind(뒷모습)
Let's Start Again(다시 시작해보자)

8 Volume 6 - KimdongrYULE
Released: 2011-12

Because Today is Christmas(크리스마스잖아요)
Christmas Gift(크리스마스 선물)
New Start(새로운 시작)
Dream of the Winter Night(한겨울 밤의 꿈)
Method of Live in this world(우리가 세상을 살아가는 법) feat. Friends


  1. About Composers [1]
  2. Moneytoday [2]
  3. My Daily [3]
  4. IZM Neo Music Community [4]
  5. IZM Neo Music Community [5]
  6. IZM Neo Music Community [6]
  7. KBS [7]
  8. IZM Neo Music Community [8]
  9. Moneytoday [9]
  10. IZM Neo Music Community [10]

External links[edit]