Trot Singer Nam Seung-Min: : From "Mister Trot" Sensation to "Fire Trot" Triumph, a Rising Star's Musical Journey
Trot Singer Nam Seung-min's digital single 'Three Letters.' cover. ©Showplay Entertainment
In January 2020, a high school student Nam Seung-Min wowed the nation on Mister Trot with his emotional performances, earning the titles "National Grandson" and "Trot Prodigy." Fast forward to 2023, at twenty-two years old, Nam Seung-Min triumphantly joined the grand finale of MBN's Fire Trot. Captivating viewers with his exceptional talent, he won their hearts as this popular audition show dominated the ratings for an impressive 12 weeks, surpassing competing shows in the same time slot.
Following its conclusion, Fire Trot sparked a wave of exhilarating momentum. The winner, Son Tae Jin, and the other six finalists were showered with a multitude of media attention. Special series like the revealing behind-the-scenes from Fire Trot - the "Fire Awards" - and the delightful spin-off, "Fire Rose Squad," left cherished memories in fans' hearts.
Amidst the bustling schedules of the Fire Trot cast – TV appearances, national tours, and interviews - Nam Seung-Min embarked on a solo journey. Post-show, he tirelessly prepared for the release of his new song. On March 31, after a three-week hiatus, he delighted fans with the highly anticipated song "Three Letters."
Known for maintaining a low profile and refraining from media interviews since the show's conclusion, Nam Seung-Min finally broke his silence, personally reaching out to the reporter to shed light on his "mystique."
He shared, "Life is pretty much the same wherever you go, isn't it? Throughout the show, I approached each performance with excitement, but the desire for self-improvement also brought a need for physical and mental recovery. In between practicing hard and preparing new songs, I found solace in spending time with fellow Fire Trot members, going out to eat, bowling, and of course, to karaoke bars (laughs)”.
Nam Seung-Min gained recognition as a member of the group "4 Bros" alongside Yeong Tak, Kim Soo Chan, and Ahn Sung-Hoon during his participation in Mister Trot 1. Afterward, he established himself as a solo artist, releasing popular songs and showcasing his talent in various entertainment programs. Despite these achievements, what led him to participate in Fire Trot?
“I received multiple offers to participate in different audition programs, however, I kept declining such invitations because of my own skill-related concerns. Over time, a yearning for a bigger stage grew within me. It was then that I stumbled upon the recruitment advertisement for Fire Trot and pondered, 'Could Fire Trot be the grand platform I have been seeking for?' The prospect seemed exciting, and I recognized that joining such an audition would offer invaluable learning experiences, albeit challenging.”
Born in 2002, this young artist yearned to join Fire Trot for the invaluable opportunity to learn and grow. Meeting senior artists, receiving mentorship, and gaining feedback on his voice would have greatly enhanced his artistic journey.
Fire Trot showcased a captivating lineup, including Nam Seung-min and contestants from Mister Trot 1, who have now become beloved singers among the masses. Amidst fierce competition, the set of Fire Trot radiated with a shared passion for music. This bond fostered a delightful mix of joy and excitement among the contestants.
Among the multitude of seniors and juniors encountered, Nam Seung-Min holds dear memories of the 'Trot Five' team (Son Tae-jin, Gong Hoon, Jeon Jong-hyeok, and Nam Seung-Min). Together, they navigated rehearsals filled with trials and errors, ultimately securing first place and shedding tears of heartfelt emotion. This collaboration marked a pivotal moment for Nam Seung-Min, venturing into a new music genre and igniting an insatiable desire for more. The 'Trot Five' stage remains an unforgettable experience, forever etched in his memories.
Journey of last years as a young trot singer. ©Showplay Entertainment
During Mister Trot 1, judges strived for objectivity as contestants were already established singers with active careers. Fans and loyal listeners, familiar with Nam Seung-min's music, held high expectations for something exceptional, making his decision to join Fire Trot much more burdensome.
Nam Seung-min expressed his relentless effort for growth, aiming to showcase a matured and deeper version of himself. Nam Seung-Min's performances in Fire Trot, particularly the unforgettable 'Trot Five' and the captivating 'Mother's Flower' in the preliminary round, sparked a renewed passion and amassed millions of views.
Supported by his mother, he dedicated his emotive voice to her sacrifices. Reuniting with judges Kim Joon-soo and Park Hyun-bin from 'Mister Trot,' Nam Seung-min deemed Kim Yong-im's impact as the most memorable. During the preliminary round, Kim Yong-im's inquiries about Nam Seung-min's mother and his encouraging remarks resonated deeply.
In Mister Trot 1, Nam Seung-Min made it to the 3rd round. In Fire Trot, he reached the semifinals, finishing 8th. Despite missing out on the top 7 by a mere 2%, it served as a catalyst for Nam Seung-Min to practice harder and push through physical challenges. He emerged from the experience with a newfound resilience.
"I thrive on challenges and delight in sharing my songs on stage. The experiences and connections from Fire Trot will shape my future under a new light. Elimination becomes an opportunity, driving my determination for another chance. I prepare with hope."
Mister Trot 2 and Fire Trot shattered the notion that audition programs are exclusively for rookies, as established singers and active performers, including Nam Seung-Min, took center stage. While acknowledging the benefits and pressures of such shows, Nam Seung-Min remains uncertain about future participation. If it contributes to his musical growth, he embraces the challenge, but past experiences have taught him to exercise caution in his decisions.
Nam Seung-Min, an extraordinary trot singer representing the MZ generation, has embraced the essence of traditional trot music like no other. On March 31st, he released his heartfelt digital single 'Three Letters,' composed by the renowned chart-topper Lim Jong-Soo. Describing it as a poignant melody capturing the bittersweet emotions of profound farewells, Nam Seung-Min's authentic trot gem is bound to resonate with enthusiasts and newcomers alike. He expresses gratitude to his fans for their unwavering interest and support.
“I dream of holding a solo concert at the renowned Sejong Center, touring nationwide and receiving love from a multitude of fans. The well-being of my aging parents and our financial circumstances fuel my drive to succeed quickly and repay their sacrifices. All this weighs heavily on my heart, leading to a busy life, yet my unwavering eagerness to share my singing persists."
Nam Seung-Min, a versatile artist with a background in acting, has showcased his talent in notable works such as the drama "Pure Heart" (2008) and the movie "Petty Romance" (2021). He has also made a mark in the realm of drama soundtracks, with his song "I'll Protect You" gaining recognition in the drama "Bossam: Stealing Fate" (2021).
Moving forward, Nam Seung-Min aims to venture into diverse musical genres, including ballads and up-tempo songs, taking inspiration from esteemed artists like Lim Young Woong and Yeong Tak. Moreover, he harbors a desire to leverage his experiences as a former child actor and once again challenge himself in the acting domain.
"Greetings to my 'Seungmindele'(meaning Seung-Min + dandelion) family and dear fans! Thanks to each and every one of you, I am where I am today. Through Fire Trot, I gained strength and was able to sing with such passion. I'm still growing and will continue to work harder. Always take good care of yourselves, and lots of love to all!”
Interview by Glenda Park, Editor-in-Chief at Avec G.
*This article is simultaneously published in Seoul Wire's 'Glenda Park's Blue Ocean'.
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