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Jung in April 2016
2 September 1996|
Cheongju, South Korea
|Years active||2006 – present|
|Associated acts||Jason Mraz, Megan Lee, Gabriella Quevedo, Trace Bundy, Andy McKee, Tommy Emmanuel|
|Revised Romanization||Jeong Seongha|
Sungha Jung (Korean: 정성하; born 2 September 1996) is a South Korean musician who specializes in acoustic fingerstyle guitar. Jung creates acoustic covers and arrangements, typically by ear and/or by watching videos, and has original music, which he plays and uploads online. He was often described as a "guitar prodigy" and the "Korean Michael Jordan of the Guitar", though he prefers to be known as a 'guitarist' rather than a 'guitar prodigy'. His YouTube channel currently has more than 5 million subscribers.
Jung developed an interest in guitar after watching his father play. He found his father's guitar playing more interesting than piano, which he was already learning. Jung's father taught him the basics, and after learning the basics, he developed his skill greatly just by trying to play what he heard. When he struggled he would study online videos. Jung came to play fingerstyle when his father discovered the technique on the internet. His first 'idol' was guitarist Kotaro Oshio, from whom he developed interest in fingerstyle. At first, Jung's mother and grandmother disapproved of the 'noise' that Jung and his father continuously created, but they came to understand it as his gift.
Soon after his first debut video on the internet, he garnered many supporters, from whom he asked for advice on his playing. His cover of "The Pirates of the Caribbean" theme song, which currently has over 55 million views on YouTube, made Jung an internet sensation, and his playing caught the attention of world-renowned guitarists, who found his covers of their songs impressive. Jung has since played on stage with them multiple times. Jung has received guitar lessons from Hata Shuji, a well-known Japanese jazz guitarist. He has also been mentored by German guitarist Ulli Bögershausen, who Jung has referred to as his musical inspiration, and from whom he learned much about composing and arranging.
In a video he recommended the 'AllEars method' for those who like his style of guitar playing and want to learn it. In addition to steel-string and classical guitar, he has been recorded playing twelve-string guitar, electric guitar, ukulele, guitarlele, harp ukulele, and piano. He has also sung live, such as when he sang "Falling Slowly" at a concert in Bangkok. Apart from Korean, Jung speaks English, which he studied to be able to communicate during concerts abroad.
Jung received his first guitar at age nine, a very coarse plywood guitar that cost less than $60. Upon discovering Jung's skill with the toy-like guitar, his father decided to buy him a better one – a Cort Earth900. Jung began seriously playing with this guitar. His third guitar was a custom-made small-combo sized "All Spruce" Selma model, upon which Thomas Leeb wrote "KEEP ON GROOVING! TO MY FRIEND, THOMAS LEEB" In 2009, with the help of Ulli Bögershausen, he established sponsorship from Lakewood Guitars and currently still plays a Lakewood guitar, which has his signature inlaid on the fretboard.
Practice and recording
Jung's daily practice time as a child was one to two hours long when there was school, and up to three hours during school breaks. Jung usually took an hour to figure out the notes and fingering to a piece, and typically took another five hours to practice before recording. However, to make his songs better and more accurate, he occasionally spent from a couple days up to a month practicing.
In 2010, Jung was featured on Narsha's solo album NARSHA, for the song "I'm in Love". In 2011 he performed in the US with Trace Bundy, and also toured Scandinavia and Japan. In 2012 he collaborated with 2NE1, creating acoustic versions of the group's hit songs "Lonely" and "I Love You". Later in 2012, he participated in a live stage with BIGBANG's G-Dragon, where they performed "That XX". He performed "I'm Yours" with Jason Mraz, who described Jung as "amazing" and his "hero", in 2013. Jung played Ahn Hyeok in the 2011 Korean movie, The Suicide Forecast.
Jung released his first album, Perfect Blue, on 17 June 2010, his second album, Irony, on 21 September 2011, and his third solo album Paint It Acoustic on 15 April 2013. These three were recorded at Ulli Bögershausen's studio in Germany, each featuring increasingly more original compositions. Jung also recorded an album consisting of guitar duets called The Duets, released on 17 December 2012.
Jung's fourth solo album, Monologue, almost exclusively composed of his own original pieces, was released on 28 April 2014. This album was recorded at Brickwall Sound in Seoul and produced by Jung himself. Jung's fifth solo album, Two of Me, was released on 1 May 2015 and consists entirely of original compositions. L'Atelier, his sixth solo album, was released on 13 May 2016, and has nine original pieces, as well as one original arrangement.
Jung released Mixtape on 12 May 2017, describing it as a 'mixtape' of various genres that have had a large influence on him over the last few years.
- Perfect Blue (June 2010)
- Irony (September 2011)
- The Duets (December 2012)
- Paint It Acoustic (April 2013)
- Monologue (April 2014)
- Two of Me (May 2015)
- L'Atelier (May 2016)
- Mixtape (May 2017)
- Andante (May 2018)
- Jung, Sungha (10 October 2008). "Interview (by DCinside)" (Interview). Interviewed by DCinside. Retrieved 2014-03-04.
- "jwcfree". YouTube. Retrieved 2017-12-07.
- "Sungha Jung interview -part 1". YouTube, uploaded by Fríðrikur Ellefsen. 1 February 2011. Retrieved 2014-02-26.
- "Sungha Was On TV! (English subtitled)". YouTube, uploaded by fatalsignal. 18 December 2008. Retrieved 2014-03-04.
- "Sungha Jung on 文化思索- (En_sub)". YouTube, uploaded by Dee Kim. 1 September 2010. Retrieved 2014-03-04.
- Sungha Jung (2009). "About Sungha Jung". Retrieved 2014-02-26.
- "Sungha Jung on TODAY (Eng_sub)". YouTube, uploaded by Dee Kim. 7 October 2010. Retrieved 2014-03-04.
- "Lakewood musician Sungha Jung". Lakewood Guitars GmbH & Co. KG. Retrieved 2014-03-04.
- "Untitled". Vimeo, uploaded by Thinksoul. 2 April 2011. Retrieved 2014-02-26.
- "Sungha Jung singing..." YouTube, uploaded by jwcfree. 11 October 2015. Retrieved 2015-10-11.
- supporters of Sungha (2009). "Sungha's Guitar". Retrieved 2014-02-26.
- supporters of Sungha (2009). "FAQ Sungha Jung". Retrieved 2014-02-26.
- Yoon, Ja-young (28 February 2011). "How YouTube impacts lives of ordinary people". The Korea Times. Retrieved 18 May 2011.
- "G-DRAGON_0923_SBS Inkigayo_THAT XX (그 XX)". YouTube, uploaded by BIGBANG. 23 September 2012. Retrieved 2015-05-22.
- "(Jason Mraz) I'm Yours – Jason Mraz ft. Sungha Jung". YouTube, uploaded by jwcfree. 16 May 2013. Retrieved 2014-02-26.
- "The Suicide Forecast (2011): Full Cast & Crew". IMDb.com. Retrieved 2014-02-26.
- "(Making Film) Sungha's First CD "Perfect Blue"". Youtube, uploaded by jwcfree. 14 June 2010. Retrieved 2014-03-12.
- "(Making Film) Sungha Jung's 2nd Solo Album 'Irony'". YouTube, uploaded by jwcfree. 10 October 2011. Retrieved 2014-03-12.
- "Sungha Jung 3rd Solo Album (Paint It Acoustic) Promo". YouTube, uploaded by jwcfree. 10 April 2013. Retrieved 2014-03-12.
- "Sungha Jung's New Album "The Duets" Making Film". YouTube, uploaded by jwcfree. 4 December 2012. Retrieved 2014-03-12.
- "The Making of Sungha Jung's New Album: MONOLOGUE". YouTube, uploaded by jwcfree. 15 April 2014. Retrieved 2014-04-28.
- "Mobile Uploads, OK, Sungha Jung New Release [MONOLOGUE] officially out now!! www.sunghajung.com". Facebook, uploaded by Sungha Jung (Official Fan Page). 28 April 2014. Retrieved 2014-04-28.
- "SUNGHA JUNG New Album [L'Atelier]". Facebook, uploaded by Sungha Jung (Official Fan Page). 14 May 2016. Retrieved 2016-07-24.
- "Sungha Jung's own introduction and full track preview of his 7th solo album [MIXTAPE]". YouTube, uploaded by jwcfree. 30 April 2017. Retrieved 2017-07-14.
- Korean website http://cafe.daum.net/blueseaJSH
- Sungha's guitar http://www.lakewood-guitars.com/guitar_details.php?series=signature&model_id=sungha_sig