DECCA RECORDS SIGNS AWARD-WINNING COMPOSER BEHIND SQUID GAME & PARASITE JUNG JAEIL
ALBUM ‘PSALMS’ TO BE RELEASED INTERNATIONALLY ON 22 JULY
LISTEN TO FIRST SINGLE “HIS DAYS ARE LIKE A PASSING SHADOW I” HERE
PERFORMANCE VIDEO HERE
10 JUNE 2022 (TORONTO, ON) – Jung Jaeil, the multi-award-winning South Korean composer behind the sensational Parasite and Squid Game soundtracks, has signed to Decca Records. The first project in this new partnership will be the international release of his choral-electronic album psalms on 22 July, in partnership with Universal Music Korea.
Jung’s soundtrack work garnered international acclaim in 2019 with the score for Bong Joon-ho’s Oscar and BAFTA-winning box office hit Parasite. The film proved a global sensation, becoming the first ever foreign-language film to win the Academy Award for Best Picture. This was followed by the soundtrack for Netflix’s smash show Squid Game in 2021, which stands as the platform’s most-watched series ever. He also collaborated with Bong Joon-ho on the music to the award-winning 2017 Netflix film Okja, starring Tilda Swindon and Jake Gyllenhaal.
Jung Jaeil says of his signing, “I grew up listening to countless albums from Decca so am truly amazed that my music is now being released on Decca and I’m getting to join an archive filled with historical recordings from the legends. For my album ‘psalms’, I found so many prayers from the Bible that relate to our current lives, so I sincerely hope that this work can resonate through the difficult times.”
A genre-defying musician, Jung Jaeil has woven famous classical musical quotations seamlessly into his soundtrack work – composers like Handel, Beethoven and Johann Strauss can all be heard in the Squid Game and Parasite scores. In addition to his orchestral soundtracks, he has collaborated with some of the biggest names in K-pop, writing songs for artists such as Hyo Shin Park (with Wild Flower reaching No.1 in the Korean charts) and IU.
On psalms, Jung interweaves choral a cappella (performed by the Budapest Scoring Orchestra and Choir) with electronic sounds and string ensemble. The music commemorates the 40th anniversary of the May 18th Democratic Uprising of Gwangju, South Korea, and uses Psalm verses from the Bible as text. It was originally scored for the audio-visual film and exhibition Round and Around, bringing to life pivotal moments from Korean history, directed by Jang Minseung and produced by the Korean Cultural Centre UK and the Korean Film Archive.
psalms was given its Korean release in 2021 on Universal Music Korea. For the international release on Decca in partnership with Universal Music Korea, four bonus tracks will be included with material from psalms rearranged for string ensemble.
Co-Presidents of Decca Label Group, Tom Lewis and Laura Monks, say, “We are thrilled to work with Jung Jaeil. His unique style and approach to composition makes him stand out from the crowd. He has already achieved great recognition for his soundtrack work that we now aim to amplify on a global scale.”
CEO of Universal Music Korea, Beom Joon Yang, says, “I am incredibly excited about this partnership that will bring more light to this talented artist and composer on the global music scene, which he wholly deserves. I look forward to seeing his creativity inspire audiences around the world.”
psalms is released on 22 July on Decca Records / Universal Music Canada, the country's leading music company.
About Jung Jaeil:
Having taken up piano at the age of three and guitar aged nine, Jung Jaeil went on to graduate from the Seoul Jazz Academy. By this time, Jung’s career in the soundtrack world was already underway, having worked on the score for his first film Bad Movie at the age of 15. His music for film has earned such accolades as Best Original Score for a TV Show or Limited Series at the 2021 Hollywood Music in Media Awards (for Squid Game) and Best Music at the 2020 Grand Bell Awards (for Parasite).
Alongside his work as a composer, Jung Jaeil excels as a performer of multiple instruments, including guitar, bass, piano and drums and has even performed the musical saw and recorder on his soundtracks. Besides working as a session musician on over 200 K-pop albums, he has played in popular Korean groups ‘gigs’ and ‘Puri’. Jaeil has been musical director on numerous musicals including Jesus Christ Superstar and Linie I, and plays such as Incendies, Macbeth and Salome. He is a frequent collaborator on dance productions including Little Prince with the Korea National Contemporary Dance Company and Change of Seasons with the ballerina Juwon Kim.
Jung Jaeil performed piano at the historic April 2018 Inter-Korean Summit between Moon Jae-in, President of South Korea, and Kim Jong-un, Supreme Leader of North Korea.