Shin Hae-chul

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Shin Hae-chul
Birth nameShin Hae-chul
Also known asCrom
Born(1968-05-06)6 May 1968
Seoul, South Korea
Died27 October 2014(2014-10-27) (aged 46)
Asan Medical Center, Seoul, South Korea
GenresRock, pop, techno, jazz
Occupation(s)Singer-songwriter, producer, radio DJ, author
InstrumentsVocals, guitar, piano
Years active1988–2014
LabelsDanal Entertainment
Associated actsN.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 while 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," 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 a group "No Dance", 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 of 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 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 game 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" which 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>[10]. It is the first attempted project which the recordings dedicated to poetry in the history of Korean music. He worked with incredible passion in a short time. 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 16 September 2007, Shin ended his popular late-night radio program, "The 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 suffered a massive heart attack on 22 October 2014 and fell into a coma. He was hospitalized at Asan Medical Center in Seoul, where he was also treated for an infection of the peritoneum and intestines. It was reported that the singer had died at the age of 46 after receiving surgery on October 22 after complaining of heart and abdominal pain and had been unconscious since.[18] At the urging of friends, Shin's family stopped his cremation at short notice and requested an autopsy.[19] In March 2015, Songpa police found that Shin Hae-chul did die from medical malpractice.[20]



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; 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 2018-01-31.
  2. ^ Hong, Dam-young (2017-10-27). "Fans, family remember rocker Shin Hae-chul on third anniversary of death". The Korea Herald. Retrieved 2018-01-31.
  3. ^ Doo, Rumy (2015-11-26). "Psy to honor Korean rock legend Shin Hae-chul in new album". The Korea Herald. Retrieved 2018-01-31.
  4. ^ a b Sung, So-Young (2014-10-29). "Legendary singer Shin Hae-chul dies at 46". Korea JoongAng Daily. Retrieved 2018-01-31.
  5. ^ "넥스트 소개" [N.EX.T Profile]. Mnet (in Korean). Retrieved 2018-01-31.
  6. ^ Hong, You-kyoung (2018-01-31). "Shin Hae-chul's surgeon sentenced to prison". Korea JoongAng Daily. Retrieved 2018-01-31.
  7. ^ a b Lee, Se-a (2014-10-29). "서강대 철학과 동문들이 기억하는 '故 신해철'" [Sogang Philosophy Department Alumni Remember the Late Shin Hae-chul]. The Women's News (in Korean). Retrieved 2018-01-31.
  8. ^ "우리 앞의 생이 끝나갈 때 - 무한궤도" [When Our Lives Are Almost Over - Muhangwedo]. Mnet (in Korean). Retrieved 2018-01-31.
  9. ^ Kang, Heon (2018). 신해철 : In Memory of 申海澈 1968-2014. Seoul, Korea: Dolbegae. ISBN 9788971998434.
  10. ^ "네이버 뮤직 :: 박노해 시인 노동의 새벽 20주년 헌정 음반 - Various Artists". (in Korean). Retrieved 2018-12-14.
  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)
  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 2007-02-24 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 2007-09-29 at the Wayback Machine(Korean), Hankook Ilbo, Retrieved on July 30, 2007
  18. ^ Renowned pop singer Shin Hae-chul dies, Korea Times, Retrieved on October 27, 2014
  19. ^ "Late singer Shin Hae-chul's family decides on autopsy". Korea Times. 2014-11-03. Retrieved 2015-05-21.
  20. ^ "Rock singer Shin Hae-chul died from medical malpractice: police". Korea Times. 2015-03-03. Retrieved 2015-05-21.
  21. ^ Tsang, Ann (8 August 1998). "Asia Pacific - Viewer's Choices, Techno Works And A Brother Act". Billboard. Retrieved 29 December 2018.
  22. ^ "Gaon Album Chart". Gaon Music Chart.
  23. ^ Sales of Reboot Myself Part 1: