Jung’s soundtrack work garnered international acclaim in 2019 with the score for Bong Joon-ho’s Oscar and BAFTA-winning box office hit Parasite. The film proved a global sensation, becoming the first ever foreign-language film to win the Academy Award for Best Picture. This was followed by the soundtrack for Netflix’s smash show Squid Game in 2021, which stands as the platform’s most-watched series ever. He also collaborated with Bong Joon-ho on the music to the award-winning 2017 Netflix film Okja, starring Tilda Swindon and Jake Gyllenhaal.
Jung Jaeil says of his signing, “I grew up listening to countless albums from Decca so am truly amazed that my music is now being released on Decca and I’m getting to join an archive filled with historical recordings from the legends. For my album ‘psalms’, I found so many prayers from the Bible that relate to our current lives, so I sincerely hope that this work can resonate through the difficult times.”
A genre-defying musician, Jung Jaeil has woven famous classical musical quotations seamlessly into his soundtrack work – composers like Handel, Beethoven and Johann Strauss can all be heard in the Squid Game and Parasite scores. In addition to his orchestral soundtracks, he has collaborated with some of the biggest names in K-pop, writing songs for artists such as Hyo Shin Park (with Wild Flower reaching No.1 in the Korean charts) and IU.
On psalms, Jung interweaves choral a cappella (performed by the Budapest Scoring Orchestra and Choir) with electronic sounds and string ensemble. The music commemorates the 40th anniversary of the May 18th Democratic Uprising of Gwangju, South Korea, and uses Psalm verses from the Bible as text. It was originally scored for the audio-visual film and exhibition Round and Around, bringing to life pivotal moments from Korean history, directed by Jang Minseung and produced by the Korean Cultural Centre UK and the Korean Film Archive.
psalms was given its Korean release in 2021 on Universal Music Korea. For the international release on Decca in partnership with Universal Music Korea, four bonus tracks will be included with material from psalms rearranged for string ensemble.
Co-Presidents of Decca Label Group, Tom Lewis and Laura Monks, say, “We are thrilled to work with Jung Jaeil. His unique style and approach to composition makes him stand out from the crowd. He has already achieved great recognition for his soundtrack work that we now aim to amplify on a global scale.”
CEO of Universal Music Korea, Beom Joon Yang, says, “I am incredibly excited about this partnership that will bring more light to this talented artist and composer on the global music scene, which he wholly deserves. I look forward to seeing his creativity inspire audiences around the world.”