For Yun Hwan (Adam) Kim, a sophomore here at McNary, being a foreign exchange student has really given him a new outlook on life.
“I came to America with my family to experience more as a musician,” Kim said. Last July, Kim came to Keizer from South Korea to be able to learn and experience new things, and to work on his astounding talent for music.
When Kim gets older, he wants to be a famous musician. His favorite band is Green Day, and even though he loves all their songs, his favorite song by them is, “Wake Me Up When September Ends.” He has been listening to them since he was about 10 years old. Along with Green Day, Kim enjoys the bands Oasis and Maroon 5. He has a guitar that is even signed by some members of Maroon 5.
Kim decided to pursue music when he was 13 years old. He can sing as well as play guitar, bass, drums, and piano. He taught himself how to play based on what he heard; he then mimicked it with his instrument. “It took me about a year to teach myself. I don’t even know how to read sheet music. I just go by ear,” Kim said. “My whole family likes music though, and they really encourage me.” When Kim is sad or having a bad day, he goes and plays his guitar until he cheers up; “Music makes me happy,” Kim said.
Back home, Kim has a band, called Losario, with his four other friends he met at church. Kim calls their style “Funk Rock”. His band is one of the things he misses about Korea.
However, there are many things about Oregon that he loves, including his favorite place to eat, Carl’s Jr. Kim also enjoys school over here more, “I like school here. In Korea, school gets out at 10:00pm so I don’t have much time to do things.” he said. Kim also said that schools in Korea do not have the class time to pursue music like they do here in Oregon.
Other than music, Kim likes to play sports including soccer and baseball. He even played some competitive soccer for the capital city in South Korea, but then had to stop because he broke his knee.
Back at school in Korea, they had a class that teaches the students to speak English. For Kim, it has helped him learn more by singing songs in English, especially the songs sung by his favorite bands. “I still have an accent, but the songs help,” Kim said.
When the school year ends, he will move back to Korea. Kim knows that once he goes back, he is truly going to miss McNary, “I’ve had a great time so far. I’m going to miss all the people,” he said. He is positive, that once he’s back in Korea and as long as he loves it, he will work until he is famous for his music.