Send to

Yunmin of Touched makes history with 9 wins on ‘King of Masked Singers’

‘Rock is my life,’ says the talented vocalist of the rising band

June 13, 2024 - 14:26 By Lee Jung-youn
Yunmin of Touched poses for a picture during a press conference held in Mapo-gu, Seoul, Wednesday. (Hwang Yun-ha/The Korea Herald)

Yunmin, the lead vocalist of the prominent South Korean band Touched, has made a significant mark on “King of Masked Singers” by achieving nine consecutive wins, a milestone not seen in nine years.

“King of Masked Singers,” which has been airing on MBC since 2015, is a singing competition where singers and celebrities wear masks, leaving behind their careers and fame to compete solely based on their voice and singing ability.

Yunmin maintained her top position from mid-January to early June this year, making her the first contestant to achieve nine consecutive wins since Ha Hyun-woo of Guckkasten set the record nine years ago.

“As a long-time fan of the show, just appearing on the show was an honor. Winning nine consecutive times was beyond my imagination. I am still overwhelmed and immensely grateful. I never imagined I would continue to win for such an extended period,” said Yunmin during a press conference in Mapo-gu, Seoul, Wednesday.

Yunmin's band, Touched, consists of four graduates from the Seoul Institute of the Arts: Yunmin, bassist John B. Kim, drummer Kim Seung-bin, and keyboardist Chae Do-hyeon. The band has won several awards in domestic music competitions and gained recognition by winning Mnet’s band competition show “Great Seoul Invasion” in 2022.

The 27-year-old vocalist accepted the invitation to participate in the show with the desire to promote her band, and she recalled how the members’ support encouraged her. “The members have always cheered me on and recognized my talent. With each win, they were just as amazed and supportive.”

Throughout her five-month journey as the champion, Yunmin tried to cover a wide range of genres while maintaining the essence of rock in each performance. Her song selection included powerful rock tracks like Boohwal’s “I Remember” and Nemesis’s “Rose of Versailles,” as well as a musical number “Death Note” and the ballad “Let Me Love” by Jo Sung-mo.

“I tried to experiment with various genres, including musical numbers and crossover songs with elements of traditional Korean music. However, I wanted to show that rock spirit can shine through in any song or genre.”

She emphasized that the greatest charm of rock is its sense of freedom, and that rock 'n' roll is a significant part of her life.

Yunmin candidly admitted that preparing for each round was not easy.

“Choosing songs that could showcase my talent quickly and figuring out how to infuse my unique style into them was challenging. The biweekly recording schedule was also physically demanding.” During the competition, she juggled between the show’s schedule and Touched’s performances and concerts.

Yunmin stressed that she had done her best in every stage, considering each stage as a separate artwork.

With her remarkable achievement of nine consecutive wins, Yunmin's name is often mentioned alongside Ha Hyun-woo, who holds the same record.

“I am honored whenever people refer to me as the ‘female Ha Hyun-woo.’ It motivates me to work even harder to elevate my name as Yunmin of Touched,” she said.

“I’m glad (that my hard work) has highlighted how rock vocalists can excel,” she added.

Humbly rating herself a mere 10 out of 100, Yunmin expressed her gratitude to her fans and hinted at more active engagements in the future.

“I am far from perfect, but I deeply appreciate the fans who have walked with me to this 10-point milestone, and I look forward to continuing this journey with all of you toward the remaining 90 points. I will do my best to ensure that the fans who discovered me through ‘King of Masked Singers’ also come to love Touched’s music.”

Yunmin of Touched poses for a picture during the press conference held in Mapo-gu, Seoul, Wednesday. (Hwang Yun-ha/The Korea Herald)