George Clinton’s sound is alive and well in South Korea.
The 72-year-old intergalactic funk pioneer formed Parliament Funkadelic, and its many offshoots (P-Funk, Funkadelic, etc.).
With his genius gang of musicians at his side, Clinton created a sound that was one of the major templates for hip-hop, disco and every major dance movement since they landed their spaceship onstage.
Yet as deep as Clinton’s legacy resonates, it would still have to make the old man smile, that his style is being mined for such quality results by 22-year-old South Korean singer Joo Young on his new single “Popstar.” Produced by Jay Cheong, formerly of the popular 1990s South Korean R&B group SOLID, and penned by Joo himself, “Popstar” is solid dance floor funk with its eyes to the skies.
Star Child would surely approve.
Joo Young, who also spells his name Joo Yeong, delivers an original performance and never even seems to break a sweat.
His delivery has a tastefully stripped down quality that many pop singers twice his age could learn a thing or two from him about.
And while even at such an early point in his career, he is already carving out a niche for himself as he calls out more modern day R&B singers like Anthony Hamilton or R.
Kelly with his powerfully restrained, soulful delivery.
The sound is the perfect compliment to the track’s nasty retro intergalactic funk.
It should also be mentioned that the playing on Joo’s “Popstar” is brilliant.
Driven by a deep synth bass groove that Quincy Jones would most likely approve of, the synthesizers float over a simple in-the-pocket drum loop, that skips the hi-hat happy drum sequencing currently all over Korean hip-hop and R&B.
In other articles about Joo Young’s “Popstar,” including one from this publication, have focused on the similarity to Michael Jackson.
While there are certainly overtones of “Thriller”-era Q production on Joo Young’s new single, the singing is something quite different.
Unlike singers like Justin Timberlake who stretch their vocal chords to reach into that famous MJ range, Joo seems content to deliver a melody you can sing along with, delivering with the confidence and poise of a veteran performer.
Check out the music video for the new Joo Young single “Popstar” RIGHT HERE