Rookie Music Composer Support Program <O’PEN MUSIC>

CJ ENM’s CSV program ‘OPEN MUSIC has started to offer ‘Open’ opportunities to aspiring young composers since 2018. The selected creators of OPEN Mus MUSIC ic are provided with various benefits such as financial support, space for content development, and mentoring from the industrys leading composers. They can also join well-structured programs including special lectures and practice sessions for composition, lyric writing, mixing, recording, and production. In addition, O'PEN MUSIC hosts the Song Camp through which participants can actively communicate with various music experts. Moreover, they are given chances to take part in drama OST production, artist album, or broadcasting soundtracks, which help them continue their pursuit of different aspects of music and overcome the unstable environment of creation and the high entry barrier as rookies. 


Furthermore, OPEN MUSIC not only finds and nurtures talented young musicians but also supports a wide range of musical activities to secure the diversity of genres and help expand the base of Koreas music industry. We give composers of OPEN MUSIC chances to collaborate with legendary musicians in Korea so that they can learn from the experience and know-how of industry experts and further communicate with the general public. Recently, OPEN MUSIC launched digital Youtube Channel <Romance is Back> together with the legendary singer-songwriter Choi Baek Ho, who is the chief mentor of OPEN MUSIC, demonstrating a musical communication that broke down the barriers between generations.


<Special Mini Interview>

Chief Mentor of O'PEN MUSIC & legendary Singer-songwriter ‘Choi Baek Ho’

Q. How did you meet OPEN Music?

A. I first met young composers of OPEN MUSIC since 2018 as a chief mentor of 1st OPEN MUSIC program. The new musicians discovered by CJ ENM were highly talented, so I thought, ‘if I could continue to exchange inspiration and strengthen a network they would surely be able to stand on their own feet with music in a short period of time’. Many programs for seniors are disappearing nowadays. I thought it would be nice to start a program on digital including Youtube, which can be easily accessed by anyone, to newly introduce the songs of senior musicians and let more people listen to them. The digital channel <Choi Baek Hos Romance is Back> started from the idea that it would be great if new composers of OPEN MUSIC remake original songs of senior musicians.


Q. What was the most memorable work experience with OPEN MUSIC?

A. I recently released my new album <Moment> with young OPEN MUSIC musicians whom I thought had excellent composing skills when I first met them in 2018. Ive been in singing for over 40 years, but this album was a big challenge because it had songs in new genres. The work was not easy or familiar to me, but the process of releasing this album was unforgettable.


Q. What does OPEN Music mean to the Korean music industry? 

A. K-Pop still has high entry barriers for rookies, and performers have a higher threshold. However, the transformation of K-pop starts with the new composers, and we need them to introduce good music to the public continuously for the next 10 or 20 years. Many want fruits, but there are very few who sow the seeds. In that sense, OPEN Music is really meaningful in the efforts it has put into the development of K-pop industry for the past five years. I hope this program will continue for more than 10 years ahead and offer good opportunities for many new composers. 

Q. Is there anything that you want to accomplish with OPEN MUSIC?

A. First of all, I hope the newly released album gets good responses and proves to be of help to the new composers I worked with. As of now, there arent enough occasions for musicians aged 50 or more to work in the K-Pop industry. As a singer getting old together with them, Im thinking of creating opportunities for them to interact more with young composers. I hope OPEN MUSIC will also offer great support in this regard.


Q. As we conclude this interview, please share your words of encouragement for young composers.

A. When you get older, romance becomes good memory. You dont realize that youth itself is romance. You may have difficulties and challenges right now, but your youth is already a strength in itself. I hope you enjoy your youth at this moment.


1st O’PEN MUSIC, ‘Choi Eun Hye(HEN)’

Q. What made you apply for OPEN MUSIC?

A. While engaging in many projects, you get new inspirations. I wanted to meet people in the same field, and introduce my music to more people. Having those thoughts, Ive got the information about OPEN MUSIC and applied for the program.


Q. What does O’PEN MUSIC mean for rookie composers?

A. Most rookie composers in K-Pop industry do their work with only limited boundary of people. As I was able to meet new musicians and people from the business side, I had opportunities to come up with various ideas and broaden my music perspective from a more diverse views of point. O’PEN MUSIC is my good and reliable friend who is always by my side.


Q. What activities of O’PEN MUSIC were most helpful to you?

A. Throughout O’PEN MUSIC program, the point that I could introduce my music to the world was very helpful. This program allowed me to have more opportunities to join various projects with my songs and meet new people and peers with whom I could work with.


4th O’PEN MUSIC, ‘Jung, Na Young’

Q. What made you apply for O’PEN MUSIC?

A. I was told by my friends that the programs of O’PEN Music were really good. I applied for O’PEN Music as it offered opportunities to meet great musicians, develop my skills with various training programs, and introduce my songs to the people in the industry while exchanging ideas with experts.


Q. What does O’PEN MUSIC mean for rookie composers?

A. O’PEN MUSIC is like a big tree for lonely new musicians. We can seek shade in hot sun, suffer less damage from rainstorms, get some rest under the tree’s shadow, and meet good friends within the safe fence of O’PEN. I had to go through challenging competitions before joining O’PEN Music. But after that, my colleagues and I felt a sense of partnership rather than rivalry, and thought we would be able to make advancements together.


Q. What kind of music do you want to create through O’PEN MUSIC?

A. I hope to make music that can heal and give comfort to people. I still feel a need for improvement, but I met many good people and will continue to work on new songs. Moreover, by creating songs that many people love, I want to become financially more stable!