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Dr. Lee, pioneer of Korean ‘Techno-trot,’ comes back

Trot music fever sweeps South Korea on the back of popular reality TV shows

Dr. Lee, a pioneer of Korean ‘Techno-trot,’ is set to make a comeback. (Big Daddy Entertainment)
Dr. Lee, a pioneer of Korean ‘Techno-trot,’ is set to make a comeback. (Big Daddy Entertainment)

Dr. Lee, a pioneer of Korean “Techno-trot,” is making a comeback. Lee Yong-seok, also known as Monkey Magic or Epaksa, was born in 1954 and widely regarded as a leading figure concerning the fusion music genre that was popular in the 1990s and early 2000s. 

While some people downplay his trot music with speedy tempo, experts have a different idea. Jeong Jae-hoon, CEO of Big Daddy Entertainment, who has arranged the comeback of Dr. Lee, said the singer added a new page to the history of the country’s trot music. 

There is a reason why the CEO of Big Daddy Entertainment is so confident.

For the first time as a Korean singer, Dr. Lee signed an exclusive contract with Japanese Sony Music Records, where world-renowned singers such as Murray Kerry belonged, and held a first sold-out concert as a Korean trot singer at Budokan that has a symbolic meaning in the Japanese popular music industry.

Budokan in Japan is a venue where only the world’s top stars, such as the Beatles, Queen, Red Zeppelin, and Eric Clapton, performed. Some top-rated Hallyu singers are allowed to hold performances there. 

There were only two Korean singers who performed at Budokan before Hallyu became popular in Japan. The two singers were Cho Yong-pil, the undisputed king of Korean music, and Dr. Lee, nicknamed Sinbaram. 

Big Daddy’s CEO Jeong, who transformed an idol singer to a trot star, reached out to contact Dr. Lee, who had been forgotten by the public. Jeong said that there is a trot music boom, but it is difficult to find a unique character such as Dr. Lee. 

Jeong said he is now putting the final touches on his album project and is eagerly waiting for the date of his comeback.

The songs to be featured in his album includes 2020 version of his hit song, “Monkey Magic and New Ong Heya,” a rearranged Eastern folk song “Ong Heya,” along with a new song, “Liquor is My Enemy.” In particular, “Liquor is My Enemy” has fun lyrics about alcohol and money, while sporting addictive EDM trot rhythm. 

A senior member of Big Daddy Entertainment said that a well-known female singer is also preparing to make her trot music debut.