On Monday I mentioned that through perseverance and consistency, Bibi was actually discovered by Yoon Mirae on SoundCloud, giving her the opportunity to make a career in this big, bad industry. So I thought that I should probably take this chance to highlight Yoon Mirae since she is so foundational to what we know and love about Korean music. I mean…come on…Yoon Mirae.
Yoon Mirae was born to an African American dad and South Korean mom in Texas on a military base. On top of a career in the military, her father was a radio DJ and had an extensive record collection – he likes to say that this is where she was inspired to become the artist she is today. The small family moved to South Korea when Yoon Mirae was kiddo and in this land of no diversity, she was bullied for being of a mixed-race family. Ultimately, she dropped out of school and took a high school equivalency exam. We’d like to pretend that things would have been easier for her in the US, but we know that is not true. People are terrible everywhere.
In 1995, Yoon Mirae was scouted while accompanying a friend to an audition. Though she wasn’t trying out, a company rep heard her singing outside and scooped her up. She debuted at 16 as part of a group called Uptown and also participated as part of a female rap duo. In 2000, the group disbanded after several members and Yoon Mirae’s boyfriend (yes, THAT boyfriend – her now-husband Tiger JK) were arrested on drug charges. Yoon Mirae was not implicated in the case, but she did go into seclusion for a period of time after the incident.
After going solo in 2001 and releasing three albums under the name “T”, Yoon Mirae signed with Tiger JK’s label Jungle Entertainment and joined her husband and rapper Bizzy in the trio we all know and love, MFTBY. The group officially signed to Tiger’s newest label, Feel Ghood Records and all three members have released both solo and group efforts throughout the years.
Yoon Mirae is an extremely talented singer, rapper, and all-around person. She is wicked smart, witty, brash, and strong. I love much of what she does and respect the songs I don’t prefer. But I have to say, the song Always, from the Descendents of the Sun OST is one of my favs. Even removed from all of the feels I get from the drama, it’s just an absolutely perfect and romantic song. It gives me goosebumps.
Always, Yoon Mirae