(Korean: ???, ???; born November 9, 1984), better known by his stage name Se7en
, is a South Korean singer from YG Entertainment. He has also advanced into Japan, China and the United States.2003: DebutHe began training under the management agency YG Entertainment at the age of fifteen. After four years of training in voice and dance, he made his debut in 2003 with "Come Back To Me". He released his debut album Just Listen
on March 8, 2003. Later that year, he received the Best Newcomer Award from MNET. MNET described Se7en as a super rookie who could only stand against Rain, although these two were friends back in their high school years, alongside Boom.
2007–2009: American debut
Se7en and the YG Family (including Big Bang, 2NE1, Jinusean, Gummy, PSY and Tablo) made an appearance on the now defunct MTV K, followed by three concerts in Washington DC, New York City, and Los Angeles, to celebrate YG Family's 10th Anniversary and to help promote Se7en before his American debut. The MTV K documentary aired on December 11, 2006.Se7en is a featured guest on Amerie's Take Control on her album, Because I Love It
, which was released in May 2007. This remix is available on Asian versions of the album.Yang Hyun Suk, (CEO of YG Entertainment) had announced that Fabolous would be featured in Se7en 's first U.S. single. However, due to a leak in March 2007 of his US debut song, "This is My Year" featuring Fabolous, which was produced by Rich Harrison and Lionell Davis, on Myspace and YouTube, this caused some changes in Se7en's U.S. debut.Se7en worked with former CEO of LaFace Records, Mark Shimmel and Grammy-winner Rich Harrison and Richcraft producer Lionell Davis on his first American album. A new production team called Noize Trip, who produced The Black Eyed Peas' Disco Club also contributed some work.YG Entertainment and Se7en also took necessary steps to ensure his debut such as trademarking his name in America.Se7en began promoting his English songs through a U.S. album preview party tour with his first stop at the Hiro Ballroom in New York City on March 14, 2008 (produced by Swerve Media and Base NYC). Three of his U.S. album tracks were played at this preview party. Verizon Wireless sponsored his preview parties and autograph signings for a charitable cause.On March 10, Se7en 's first single "Girls" featuring Lil' Kim was released through digital stores such as iTunes and Amazon MP3. The music video for "Girls" was also released on Myspace that same day.Se7en 's "Girls" music video premiered on BET 106 & Park on June 2, 2009.
2010: Korean comeback
Se7en made an official comeback in Korea after a 3-year long hiatus on July 31, 2010 with his 1st mini-album "Digital Bounce." The album consisted of 6 songs including a song from his American debut titled 'Money Can't Buy Me Love'. His 2nd track 'Digital Bounce' featured the rapping skills of Big Bang's T.O.P. Se7en began his follow up promotions in October with the song 'I'm Going Crazy' which featured his longtime girlfriend Park Han-byul as the main actress in the music video. Throughout his comeback, Se7en attended many variety shows and even featured in fellow labelmate 2NE1's hit reality show 2NE1TV, where he described his hardships in America and his hiatus. Se7en ended his promotions on the October 30, 2010.
Se7en has recently revealed, by means of 2NE1's Nolza Japan Concert, that he is planning a comeback in Japan after his four-year hiatus since 2007. He has revealed that this album will have a Pop concept and that his first official fanmeet will be on November 6 of this year. Se7en has also revealed that he will be releasing a digital single named 'Angel' in November of this year, and will release a full Japanese album alongside a Korean album in January 2012.Se7en released his 2nd mini-album on February 1, 2012 with title track "When I Can't Sing." The track was produced by JYP and written by JYP making it the first ever official collaboration between YG Entertainment and JYP Entertainment.
2013–present: Military service
On March 19, 2013 Se7en enlist for his mandatory military service at the 306 Reserve in Uijeongbu, Gyeonggi Province for five weeks of basic training followed by 21 months as an active-duty soldier. On that same day, YG Entertainment released Se7en's music video "THANK U (???)".VoiceSe7en's vocal range can be classified in the tenor range. His voice can be described as smooth, mellow, and sometimes mildly abrasive (see vocal belting) when songs, such as "Crazy," "La La La," "Hikari" and "I Know," call for it. He often sings with a vibrato in his voice that American R&B singers are known for, and also incorporates beatboxing into many of his songs such as "Passion." Se7en maintains an adamant belief that he should not lipsync during his live performances.
In June 2009, Se7en acknowledged on his website that he and actress Park Han-byul had been in a relationship for seven years, with the couple having first met when they were seniors in high school. Se7en had previously denied rumours that they were a couple in order to protect Park's privacy and let the relationship grow naturally. Now they have been dating for more than 10 years. Han-byul was featured in Se7en's music video for his song "I'm Going Crazy".
Se7en is currently under investigation for allegedly visiting a massage parlour, famous for prostitution, whilst on military duty on June 22, 2013 alongside Sangchu of Mighty Mouth. It was decided that they broke curfew trying to get massages. They allegedly visited several parlors that were closed before they found one that was open late. They left as soon as they realized that is a parlor for prostitution. Both received ten days in military jail for their actions. At the same time, five other celebrity recruits were sentenced to 4 days military jail for possessing cellphones, and one was sentenced to 10 days probation for leaving to watch a movie after hours. The incident caused a severe backlash, & caused the Ministry of Defense to abolish the Celebrity Soldier unit.