‘The Sound of Magic’: Director Explains Music Was the Most ‘Effective Tool’ for the K-Drama

There have been a select few K-dramas that combine storyline with music. Netflix’s The Sound of Magic combines a heart-fluttering story of childhood dreaming with the whimsical aspect of music and real magic. The K-drama opens with a musical number. Its leading actors like Ji Chang-wook, Choi Sung-eun, and Hwang In-yeop use their vocal capabilities for their characters’ emotions. The Sound of Magic director explains music was a vital tool for the K-drama.

Hwang In-yeop and Choi Sung-run in 'The Sound of Magic' in a meadow field.
Hwang In-yeop and Choi Sung-run in ‘The Sound of Magic’ | via Netflix

Park Sung-il was responsible for adding a musical charm to ‘The Sound of Magic’

The official soundtrack for The Sound of Magic includes all the pivotal musical moments in the K-drama. When Ri-eul convinces Ah-yi about a magical world, he sings the song “Merry-go-round.” He lights up the abandoned amusement park with color and brings it to life. Some of the characters’ hardest and most resonating moments were told through song.

Fans gravitated toward Ri-eul singing “A Curse of Asphalt” to Il-deung to help him realize the path he is on is not his own. There is also the sweet scene where Il-deung and Ah-ri share headphones and are transported to a meadow. Actor Hwang made fans’ hearts swoon in “I Mean It.”

According to Soompi, Park Sung-il was the creative mind behind The Sound of Magic’s music element. Having worked on drama like Itaewon Class and others, Park explains, “We limited and minimized the fast numbers to the fantasy scenes and arranged ambient music for the emotional parts.”

Park also worked with lyricists Seo Dong-sung, Lee Chi-hoon, and Kim Eana. Hong Se-jeong is known for his work in the productions “Phantom” and “The Man Who Laughs.” He was in charge of the K-drama’s choreography and felt the dances were another form of a script for the actors.

‘The Sound of Magic’ director felt music was vital to convey the emotions of the characters

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The original webtoon from 2010 is in black and white and, by default, has no musical element. While the written and illustrated story elicits immense emotions, the K-drama also needed to. Director Kim Sung-yoon was hesitant to add music and choreography to The Sound of Magic. He explains, “There were a couple times when I thought, ‘Will this work?’ However, the staff members gathering ideas and all the moments I worked with the actors were like magic.”

In a behind-the-scenes video with the director and cast, Kim explains, “We thought combining magic with music, the message that we try to give will be more effectively shown. We use music because it’s the most effective tool to show characters’ feelings and their fantasies.”

The director explains the team gave them an array of fantastic melodies to work with. Actor Choi was in awe of how the lyrics conveyed Ah-yi’s true self. “The lyricist gave me a deeper insight into Ah-yi’s emotions through lyrics than I thought,” said Choi. The actor explained she could understand her character’s emotions, and it was a “lightbulb” moment.

Ji Chang-wook and Hwang In-yeop dazzled with their vocal abilities

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Besides impeccable acting on-screen, Ji has had a fulfilling career in musical theater. He has starred in Jack the Ripper, Thrill Me, The Days, and more. The Sound of Magic was an opportunity to showcase his impressive vocals and help bring his webtoon character’s story to life. The actor admits the mechanism between on stage and filming are different.

Ji explains he did not necessarily use his theater experience in the press junket, “The tone of the music is much lighter, and the mechanism is really different from theater performance. We had to rehearse with the camera, light, and other teams on site.” He does explain there was pressure when singing but came to enjoy it while on set.

Fans were excited to hear Hwang’s voice and musical talent in The Sound of Magic. He gained fame for his singing in True Beauty and astounded fans in his new K-drama with “I Mean It.”

A fan on Twitter commented, “OMG I’VE BEEN WAITING TO HEAR HWANG IN-YEOP SING MORE SONGS AFTER “TRUE BEAUTY,” AND HE’S SINGING IN #TheSoundOfMagic!!!” Many fans felt the K-drama did the webtoon justice for including a musical element that displayed its whimsical yet resonating nature.

RELATED: ‘The Sound of Magic’: 3 Reasons Why Fans Are Eager for the Webtoon Musical K-Drama