Decca Records has signed Jung Jaeil, the multi-award-winning South Korean composer behind the Parasite and Squid Game soundtracks. Jaeil also collaborated with Bong Joon-ho on the music to the award-winning 2017 Netflix film Okja, starring Tilda Swindon and Jake Gyllenhaal.
In addition to his orchestral soundtracks, Jaeil 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.
The first project in this new partnership will be the international release of his choral-electronic album Psalms on June 9, in partnership with Universal Music Korea.
Speaking about the deal, Jung Jaeil said: “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.”
On his Decca debut Psalms, an official press release states 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.”
Jung Jaeil has already achieved great recognition for his soundtrack work that we now aim to amplify on a global scale
Tom Lewis and Laura Monks, Decca Records
The project 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, said: “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.”
Beom Joon Yang, CEO of Universal Music Korea, added: “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.”
In the latest issue of Music Week Decca's Monks and Lewis have told us that their A&R policy is defined by finding artists who can make a connection regardless of their genre or location. You can read more about their new vision for Decca Records here.