June 30, 2009 09:12
Last year she celebrated the 30th anniversary of her debut, and she recently released her 17th album. So what further dreams could Insooni have? "I want to have a concert that I can be 100 percent satisfied with, where I feel I sang the best I could. It's hard, because no singer is 100 percent happy with the way they sing," the Korean songstress says. And she wants her songs to reach a wide and diverse audience. "It's very fulfilling when I hear people say that I've helped to bring together different generations."
Insooni is known for her frugality, but when it comes to investing in her on-stage dresses, for the sake of her fans she does not hold back. "I have about 1,000 dresses for performing. Even though there's no more room in my dress room, I can't throw them away because trends come in cycles," she says.
Surviving as a singer for three decades has required constant effort, Insooni says. "I have done everything I could as a female singer. I even tried doing sexy dances or using a shouting method. I don't want to fall behind when it comes to fashion or revealing my feminine charms. In order to keep my fans' attention, I've learned dancing, ballads, Trot [Korea's oldest pop music style], jazz, musicals, and traditional Korean singing."
When people ask when her heyday was, Insooni replies that it has not yet come. "I still want to climb higher. I want to be a singer with womanly charms when I'm as old as a grandmother. My rivals are all younger than me. I think young singers can be good teachers for me as well," she says.
Among her other activities is acting as an adviser to the Pearl S. Buck Foundation Korea. Having never met her African-American father, Insooni knows the hardships faced by cross-cultural children. Still, she says she holds no grudge against her father. "My father was a soldier who came to Korea to help the country. I received help from the Pearl S. Buck Foundation when I was young, from scholarships to help fund my studies to counseling when I needed advice. I believe it's my turn to give back what I was given. I look after children of foreign nationalities and children of migrant workers."
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