Wednesday, September 17, 2014

A Cappella Dynamo Inhyeok Yeo Takes On Stevie Wonder’s Classic “I Wish”

Korean-born vocalist Inhyeok Yeo is a veritable one-man band. He can emulate almost any instrument with just his voice.  The gifted young musician has been blowing people away with his impressive a cappella renderings of well-known classics on his Youtube channel. One of them is an amazing multitrack cover of Stevie Wonder’s smash hit “I Wish.” Yeo sets the groove in motion by vocalizing the track’s famous walking bass line. He drops the bottom right in the pocket as if were actually playing a real bass.  Following the bass intro, he skillfully takes on each instrument with his voice, dazzling the listener with his vocal virtuosity, style and flair. And his delivery is flawless on both the lead vocals and background harmonies. It’s a superb and thoroughly unique rendition of the song and makes you  really appreciate what a great piece of music it really is.  And I also dig his little ad-libs: “Knee bone connected to the thighbone.”

Yeo was born in Seoul, South Korea in 1987 and grew up in Japan.  He started singing when he was in junior high school and joined the renowned a cappella Circle of Kyoto "CrazyClef" while in college in Japan. Following graduation, Yeo joined the military for two years, which is a requirement in Korea for all young males. After completing his military service, he began studying composition, jazz piano, country guitar as well as developing his voice and performance skills. He soon began making demo tapes. That’s when he began a cappella overdubbing.

In 2013, Yeo was hired by an IT company in Japan.  On the weekends, he focuses on his music. Some of Yeo’s other a capella covers include Michael Jackson’s “Bad,” George Benson’s “This Masquerade," Seal’s “Kiss from a Rose”  and “Fallin’” by Alicia Keys. Like many smart, enterprising young musicians these days, Yeo recognized the power of the Internet and its potential to help him reach a big audience; he effectively utilized Youtube and social media sites like Facebook and Twitter in launching his music career. Yeo’s Youtube videos caught on like gangbusters, with each receiving thousands of views.

In late August, Yeo released his debut album ONE MAN ACAPELLA. The 13-track collection contains a cappella covers of classic R&B and pop songs, including “I Wish.” Yeo has been busy doing radio interviews and other speaking engagements in support of the album.

Yeo's cover of "I Wish" at Amazon

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