Shin Hae-chul

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Shin Hae-chul
Birth nameShin Hae-chul
Also known asCrom
Born(1968-05-06)May 6, 1968
Seoul, South Korea
DiedOctober 27, 2014(2014-10-27) (aged 46)
Asan Medical Center, Seoul, South Korea
GenresRock, pop, techno, jazz
Occupation(s)Singer-songwriter, record producer, radio DJ, author
Instrument(s)Vocals, guitar, piano
Years active1988–2014
LabelsDanal Entertainment
Formerly ofN.EX.T (in Korean)
Shin Hae-chul
Revised RomanizationSin Hae-cheol
McCune–ReischauerSin Hae-ch'ŏl

Shin Hae-chul (Hangul: 신해철; May 6, 1968 – October 27, 2014)[1] was a South Korean singer-songwriter and record producer known for being a pioneer of Korean experimental rock music. He was referred to by fans as the "Demon Lord" or "The Devil" for his charismatic stage presence.[2][3]

Shin and his band Muhangwedo debuted at the 1988 MBC Campus Music Festival, where the band won first place for the song "To You."[4] He formed the experimental rock band N.EX.T in 1992.[5] He was also known for hosting a radio show from 2001 to 2012.[4]

Shin died as a result of medical malpractice after undergoing surgery in 2014.[6]

Early life[edit]

Shin Hae-chul was born on May 6, 1968.[1] He enrolled in Sogang University in 1987, where he studied philosophy until he dropped out to focus on his music career.[7]



Shin formed the band Muhangwedo (Hangul: 무한궤도) in 1988 when he was a sophomore at Sogang University. The band received national attention when it appeared on the televised 1988 MBC Campus Music Festival, a singing competition for amateurs. Muhangwedo won first place for the song "To You" (그대에게) which was written by Shin.[7] The band released one album, 1989's When Our Lives Are Almost Over (Hangul: 우리 앞의 생이 끝나갈 때).[8]

Early solo career[edit]

Shin released his first solo album in 1990, which included a song that had an English rap, which was unconventional in the Korean music scene at the time. The album was a huge hit, leading to Shin rising to the top of Korean pop music charts and receiving multiple Korean pop music awards. His second solo album, Myself, was released in 1991, which was first album in Korea to have used midi. He also started a gig as a radio DJ on MBC FM.

The N.EX.T years[edit]

In 1992, Shin formed the band N.EX.T — moving from pop music to rock. Their first album, Home, was a concept album. While his previous songs were mainly about love or heartache, here Shin started to write more about social issues, such as criticizing the fast lifestyle of urbanites in "City People". The group's second album was released in 1994 titled The Return of N.EX.T Part 1: The Being where Shin introduced more philosophical lyrics, such as questioning the meaning of life in the song "The Ocean: About Immortality". The band's third album, The Return of N.EX.T Part 2: World. Some of the band members changed over time, with Shin being the constant lead singer/songwriter.

During this time he also did a one-time collaboration with singer Yoon Sang to form Nodance, wrote the original sound track for the Korean movie Jungle Story, and was the DJ for the MBC FM radio program FM Music City from 1996 to 1997. In 1996, he created his own label, Big Bang Music.

In 1997 N.EX.T released a rock ballad single, "Here, I Stand for You" which sold 500,000 copies in South Korea. (The lyrics of this song are engraved on his tombstone). The band went on to release their fourth album Lazenca: A Space Rock Opera in November 1997, which was also the original sound track for the television animation series Lazenca. The band split up after this- Shin went on to study music producing in London.


In London, Shin re-named himself Crom (inspired by Cromwell) and released a techno album Crom's Techno Works in 1998. The following year, he formed a project group Monocrom with guitarist Chris Tsangarides and released the eponymous project album Monocrom. The music in the album was experimental, combining heavy metal with Korean folk music, rap, and lyrical rock ballads. Most of the songs in this album were in English, which he collaborated with lyricist D. Yvette Wohn. After the release of Monocrom, Shin went to New York where he worked on producing his live album and some Korean movie soundtracks. In 2000, he created a three-man band Wittgenstein to produce a home studio album of the same name. He also wrote the song "Zergs are Coming" for the StarCraft music album.

Return of N.EX.T[edit]

Shin returned to Korea in 2002 and worked on various projects, mainly writing songs for other artists or for movie soundtracks. In 2004, he re-formed the group N.EX.T although the members were different, and released a double album The Return of N.EX.T Part 3: 개한민국. He also started DJing for a late night radio show Ghost Nation that became extremely popular. In 2007, N.EX.T released a jazz album The Songs for the One inspired by his newborn daughter. In 2008, the band released the album 666 Trilogy. After a long break, the band's final album, Reboot Myself was released in 2014.


Shin participated in special project in 2004, with the best musicians of Korea, the album named as "Tribute to Park Nohae's Collection of poems The Dawn of Labor 20th anniversary".[9][10] It is the first attempted project which the recordings dedicated to poetry in the history of Korean music. And he sang "Heaven" (Hangul: 하늘) with Psy on this album.

Radio DJ[edit]

Throughout his career Shin hosted several radio programs, including Music City with Shin Hae Chul[11] and GhostStation with Shin Hae Chul[12] After supporting and campaigning for the president Roh Moo-hyun in 2002 election, Mr. Shin hosts the popular Ghost Nation on MBC, a late-night radio program since 2003. His fans call him "Mawang" (마왕 'the Demon Lord').

On September 16, 2007, Shin ended Ghost Nation. But he also announced that the broadcasting will be continuously served through the web, but no more broadcasting through MBC.[13]

Personal life[edit]

He married Yoon Won-hee (윤원희) on September 29, 2002,[14] just before the 2002 election. He released his first jazz album The Songs for the One in 2007, dedicated to his wife and daughter.

Shin was found to be suffering from prosopagnosia, on a TV show (MBC Goldfish) in which he made a guest appearance.[15] After that, he hosted a brand-new TV comedy debate program 100-second Debate (since May 2007), with a similar format of the MBC's 100 Minute Debate.[16] On July 29, 2007, he appeared as a victim (guest) of Lee Kyung-kyu's Hidden Camera.[17]


Shin was treated for gastrointestinal problems by Dr. Kang Se Hoon at Sky Hospital on October 17, 2014.[18] Kang carried out stomach reduction surgery without consent from Shin.[18] During surgery, Kang punctured Shin's upper small intestine and pericardium, which later resulted in peritonitis. After developing a fever, which he was told was normal after surgery, Shin suffered a heart attack on October 22, and died on October 27 from peritonitis, pericarditis, sepsis, and brain damage due to lack of oxygen.[18][19][20] At the urging of friends, Shin's family stopped his cremation at short notice and requested an autopsy.[21] In March 2015, Songpa police found that Shin Hae-chul died from medical malpractice.[22] Kang was struck off the medical register, fined and sentenced to one year in jail.[19] The death of Shin through malpractice led to a revision of the law in South Korea to allow a state-run agency to help in malpractice cases. The law is referred to as the "Shin Hae-chul Law."[23]


Psy's song "Dream" was released in 2015 as a tribute to Shin. The lyrics were based on "talks with him about philosophy and death while drinking with him" which he answered "maybe all our lives might be a dream".[24] Thus the profits from the particular song were planned to be donated to his bereaved family.[25]



Studio albums[edit]

Title Album details Peak chart positions Sales
우리 앞의 생이 끝나갈 때
(When Our Lives Are Almost Over)*
  • Released: 1989
  • Label: Danal Entertainment
* denotes unofficial English translation.

As a solo artist[edit]

Studio albums[edit]

Title Album details Peak chart positions Sales
슬픈표정하지 말아요
(Don't Put on a Sad Face)*
  • Released: May 1, 1990
  • Label: HKR, Danal Entertainment
  • Released: March 20, 1991
  • Label: Daeyoung AV Co., Danal Entertainment
Crom's Techno Works
  • Released: June 1, 1998
  • Label: DMR, Bugs
  • Released: May 1, 1999
  • Label: Doremi, Bugs
The Songs for the One
* denotes unofficial English translation.

Extended plays[edit]

Title Album details Peak chart positions Sales
Reboot Myself Part 1
  • Released: June 26, 2014
  • Label: Daeyeong A/V, Danal Entertainment



  • Shin Hae-chul (1991). 사랑의 날개는 너에게. Prunsoop.
  • Shin Hae-chul; Ji Seung-ho (2008). 쾌변독설. Buen Libro. ISBN 8995968230
  • Shin Hae-chul (2014). 마왕 신해철 (Mawang Shin Hae-chul). Munhakdongne Publishing Corp. ISBN 8954634761


  1. ^ a b 신해철 소개 [Shin Hae-chul Profile]. Mnet (in Korean). Retrieved January 31, 2018.
  2. ^ Hong, Dam-young (October 27, 2017). "Fans, family remember rocker Shin Hae-chul on third anniversary of death". The Korea Herald. Retrieved January 31, 2018.
  3. ^ Doo, Rumy (November 26, 2015). "Psy to honor Korean rock legend Shin Hae-chul in new album". The Korea Herald. Retrieved January 31, 2018.
  4. ^ a b Sung, So-Young (October 29, 2014). "Legendary singer Shin Hae-chul dies at 46". Korea JoongAng Daily. Retrieved January 31, 2018.
  5. ^ 넥스트 소개 [N.EX.T Profile]. Mnet (in Korean). Retrieved January 31, 2018.
  6. ^ Hong, You-kyoung (January 31, 2018). "Shin Hae-chul's surgeon sentenced to prison". Korea JoongAng Daily. Retrieved January 31, 2018.
  7. ^ a b Lee, Se-a (October 29, 2014). 서강대 철학과 동문들이 기억하는 ‘故 신해철’ [Sogang Philosophy Department Alumni Remember the Late Shin Hae-chul]. 여성신문 (in Korean). Retrieved January 31, 2018.
  8. ^ 우리 앞의 생이 끝나갈 때 – 무한궤도 [When Our Lives Are Almost Over – Muhangwedo]. Mnet (in Korean). Retrieved January 31, 2018.
  9. ^ "네이버 뮤직 :: 박노해 시인 노동의 새벽 20주년 헌정 음반 – Various Artists". (in Korean). Retrieved December 14, 2018.
  10. ^ Kang, Heon (2018). 신해철 : In Memory of 申海澈 1968–2014. Seoul, Korea: Dolbegae. ISBN 9788971998434.
  11. ^ 신해철의 음악도시, distributed by MBC, April 1996~September 1997, served as 'the 1st Mayor'
  12. ^ 신해철의 고스트스테이션, by SBS, April 2000~March 2003, The matrix of MBC's 'GhostNation'.
  13. ^ "Ghoststation(고스트스테이션)". Archived from the original on June 16, 2004. Retrieved September 26, 2007.
  14. ^ Singer Shin Hae Chul married in Japan[permanent dead link](Korean), Yonhap, Retrieved on September 29, 2002
  15. ^ 'Mawang' Shin Hae Chul suffering from prosopagnosia Archived February 24, 2007, at the Wayback Machine(Korean),, Retrieved on February 22, 2007
  16. ^ Shin Hae Chul hosts '100-second Debate'[permanent dead link](Korean), Yonhap, Retrieved on April 21, 2007
  17. ^ Even Shin Hae Chul encounted Molrae Camera Archived September 29, 2007, at the Wayback Machine(Korean), Hankook Ilbo, Retrieved on July 30, 2007
  18. ^ a b c "Shin Hae Chul's Death Ruled a Result of Medical Negligence". Soompi. March 3, 2015. Retrieved April 23, 2019.
  19. ^ a b "Jail Sentence for Doctor in Shin Hae-chul's Death Upheld". Retrieved April 23, 2019.
  20. ^ "Shin Hae-chul's Doctor Who Was Blamed For His Death Is Recently Linked To Death Of An Australian". JKDaily. January 25, 2016. Retrieved April 23, 2019.
  21. ^ "Late singer Shin Hae-chul's family decides on autopsy". Korea Times. November 3, 2014. Retrieved May 21, 2015.
  22. ^ "Rock singer Shin Hae-chul died from medical malpractice: police". Korea Times. March 3, 2015. Retrieved May 21, 2015.
  23. ^ Herald, The Korea (April 30, 2018). "More medical disputes mediated under 'Shin Hae-chul Act'". Retrieved April 23, 2019.
  24. ^ "'싸리텔' 싸이 "'드림' 故신해철 헌정곡..시아준수 참여"". November 25, 2015.
  25. ^ "싸이 "신해철에 헌정곡... 음원 수익은 유족에"". November 26, 2015.
  26. ^ Tsang, Ann (August 8, 1998). "Asia Pacific – Viewer's Choices, Techno Works And A Brother Act". Billboard. Retrieved December 29, 2018.
  27. ^ "Gaon Album Chart". Gaon Music Chart.
  28. ^ Sales of Reboot Myself Part 1: