Jack of all trades

By Korea Herald

Young Belgian takes on all facets of Korean entertainment

  • Published : Nov 25, 2012 - 18:31
  • Updated : Nov 28, 2012 - 13:01

This is the fifth in a series on foreign entertainers gaining popularity in the Korean entertainment industry. ― Ed.

Belgian Julian Quintart may be young ― he turned 25 this past August ― but he’s already played many roles in Korean entertainment in his eight years in the country.

He’s been on TV, appearing in SBS’ “Way to Eat Well and Live Well” and KBS’ “Golden Star Bell,” in movies such as “Papa” and “My Tutor Friend 2,” in dramas like “Sky High,” held concerts, performed on “Inkigayo,” modeled, and now, the enthusiastic artist has settled back into music, this time as a DJ and producer.
Actor, model, DJ Julian Quintart. (Julian Quintart)

“Music is something I love. When you are on the stage and all these people are dancing to your music, you feel incredible,” he said. “And that feeling is why all performers really like to perform. But, DJs are very special in the fact that I’d say, you are putting the mood here,” Quintart said in a recent interview with The Korea Herald.

Quintart DJs at clubs Ellui and Boutique every week, and also makes appearances at other clubs. He still models from time to time, and will be shooting a new film next month. But it is obvious that music is his passion. He started out just DJing, but is now beginning to produce his own music.

He said he listens to music every day so that he can be familiar with many songs. It helps when he is onstage. He said knowing the music well helps make a difference.

“You have to spend all day listening to music sometimes … sometimes it’s clubs where you can play what you like. And sometimes you have to do a mix. But I never play stuff I don’t like,” he said.

His latest project is an upcoming launch party called Burgershop at Cakeshop in Itaewon for his new duo with friend and fellow DJ Yann Cavaille.

He said the concept is to do something different than other parties in Korea, which he says try to be too classy.

“Our main concept is having no concept. And the name is completely irrelevant to the party itself. And it’s just about randomness. And fun. And good music,” he said.

The two have been working on the party for the last month, putting together music and creating posters and videos. Quintart said their partnership works well, with everything happening in a way that makes it seem like it was meant to be, calling Yann his “soulmate in music.”

But it wasn’t always so easy for Quintart, who seemed to have entered Korean entertainment the second he stepped off the plane.

He arrived in Korea when he was 17 as an exchange student. He did a homestay and was placed in a small town, which he said was boring in the winter but fun in the summer.

He recalled a camera crew being at the airport when he and five other students arrived, since back then there weren’t too many foreigners.

“I came out of the airport and right away I had a TV camera in my face. They were asking me, ‘What do you think about Korea?’ And I was like, I just arrived, please give me a second. Since the first day, it started like that,” he said.

He came here to immerse himself in Korean culture, and that’s just what he did as he transferred to a university in Seoul and progressed quickly in his Korean language study. Today Julian is at a level of fluency that not many foreigners reach.

From there, he went on to appear on TV and eventually moved into acting. It was a very exciting time, Quintart said, as he was able to have many experiences that other foreigners could never have, such as going to North Korea, attending a training camp for the South Korean Army, making kimchi the traditional way, and cycling across Korea.

But things went downhill when Julian decided to separate from his company. He said they were good people and had the right intentions, but he thought they didn’t understand how to manage talent. He was unable to work for six months as he waited to leave, and ran out of money.

“My family was not in a good situation, so I didn’t want to ask for anything. So I was very, I was really short,” he said.

But thankfully, things turned around when he began modeling, landing a job representing Korean brand Metrocity. And since then, things have continued climbing for Julian.

He attributes his success to luck and having the right opportunities through the people he’s met while here.

“Who you know is what defines you more than anything in this country. And I got lucky with that,” he said. “And my being able to speak Korean, that was really lucky. I have a lot of good contacts. I have a lot of good people around me.”

By Emma Kalka (ekalka@heraldcorp.com)