Kang Su-sie Relishes Late-Night Intimacy with Listeners
Kang Su-sie was a popular singer in the 1990s but is now a radio DJ and TV personality. "I realize that people in Seoul work hard until late at night, so I get energy from them. For the two hours I'm on the radio every day, I hope I can communicate with people who are committed to their families and work very late at night, and we console each other," she said.
Since March, she has been hosting "A Journey into Night" on TBS (FM 95.1MHz) from midnight to 2 a.m. every day. Five days a week it is live, but two shows are pre-recorded. Traffic news interrupts the program three times, but even that is too much for ardent fans, who still remember the now 44-year-old as a fragile girl with a clear voice.
Kang likes to visit Seorae Village, the French enclave in Banpo-dong near her home, with her daughter, who is now a second grader in elementary school. She also goes to Gyeongbok Palace, Samcheong-dong, Mt. Cheonggye, and the World Cup Park to experience the changing seasons. The Namdaemun Market is also a great place to visit with foreign friends and neighbors, she says.
With 10 albums in 21 years behind her, she is currently preparing a mini album. But on her business card, it says executive of a construction company. She jumped at the chance to work for the firm in 2009, because she had been interested in interior design and homes for a very long time.
"I feel immense pressure because I don't want people to think I got this position just because I'm a celebrity. Personal relationships are the most difficult aspect of the job, and I learned that an organization can be a cold place, and how difficult things are for salaried workers," she says.
Kang was in a way at the forefront of the Korean Wave, since she was a celebrity in Japan in the late 90s. "I feel both a sense of achievement and disappointment when I look back at that time," she says. "Right now, K-pop is led by young singers and is incredibly popular in Asia, but I hope that some older singers can hold their own in a more adult music scene."