“There were times when I tried to find something else to do, other than to sing. But later, I realized that I was born to sing. Now I work happily day by day,” he said.
Born as the fourth son out of five brothers in Philadelphia in 1981, Tim was offered an audition in Korea in 2000. The Korean-American singer was first known through an MTV Korea documentary, “Tim’s World,” where singer aspirants, including Tim, were introduced in 2002. He debuted in Korea in 2003 with the album “First TIM” and his soft K-pop ballad “I Love You” from that album is still popular.
However, his following albums, including his fourth released in October 2007, were not as successful as the first.
After that, Tim couldn’t find the right label for his music. And last year, he became seriously ill with Hepatitis A, which he contracted while volunteering in Africa.
“I was told at the hospital that there was no cure for Hepatitis A and had to wait to recover by myself. Since then, I’ve come to realize that my life wasn’t in my hands,” the 30-year-old recalled.
The hardships eventually made him stronger and helped him deal with uncertainty in the music and entertainment business, the singer said.
During the three-year break, he learned to play the acoustic guitar. Tim plays the guitar when he appears on TV to sing his latest song “Unnecessary Words.”
He said that although he is far away from becoming someone like John Mayer or Jack Johnson in terms of performance skills, he will keep trying.
“Since coming to Korea, I seemed to have forgotten to advance myself as a musician. I could’ve tried harder but I will try harder now,” he said.
Tim produced the latest album “New Beginnings” and participated in the composition, lyric-writing and arrangements of several songs.
The title song “Unnecessary Words” was composed by pianist Yiruma and the lyrics were written by Lyn, a K-pop female vocalist who is a long-time friend of Tim. The song became popular after SBS TV drama hit “Secret Garden” used it once as background music.
The album has two songs ― “Liquid” and “He Said, She Said” ― sung in English and Korean, as people around him have encouraged him to sing in English for the larger K-pop market.
From the early stages of making the album, Tim had planned for a debut in the overseas market, he said.
“I’m getting many offers from Asian countries to release an album. But now is not the time. I have to make a strong presence in Korea first,” Tim said.
“I’ve been biding my time. I may do some touring or promotions in Asia.”
In Korea, Tim plans to be on TV variety shows and hold a concert later this year.
By Kim Yoon-mi (email@example.com)