Of all the pop musicians in history, few are as ingenious as Stevie Wonder.
Wonder was born on May 13th, 1950, and has since been known as one of the most incredible pop musicians of all time. Although blind, Wonder still had an incredible ability to play piano and to come up with the most creative melodic lines that modern music has ever seen.
Although he has had a long and distinguished career, may fans appreciate his funkiest production in the 1970s. Throughout that time, he made hit after hit after hit.
Because of his formidable talent, he’s been a hard artist to approach or to imitate.
Fortunately, some brave musicians out there are still up to the challenge.
One such performer is Sungha Jung, a South Korean musician who plays fingerstyle guitar. Jung is not a household name but he is known online for his YouTube channel, on which he uploads all kinds of covers and arrangements of popular songs.
His skills have gotten him noticed all around the world, and some have even labelled him a guitar prodigy. Regardless, he recently uploaded a cover of Stevie Wonder’s “Isn’t She Lovely.”
Needless to say, the video was a huge hit online!
As the video begins, Jung can be seen fretting and plucking the guitar between his two hands.
Though the original version of the song is heavily reliant on keyboards and harmonica, Jung’s version transposes and rearranges everything onto an acoustic guitar.
The first part of his playing is totally faithful to the original and manages to capture all the sounds and textures of the original without losing much.
Still, he starts to interpret the song his own way about halfway through.
Halfway through the song is when Jung decides to start doing his own improvisations on the melody.
As soon as he starts, his right hand keeps the rhythm while his right hand flurries up and down the fretboard, picking out all kinds of complex melodies. Though he moves all over the guitar, he always stays in the pocket of the song and it’s never not recognizable what’s going on.
Although the actual sound of the music is great, watching his hands move over the guitar is also incredible on its own—Jung is definitely one of the most nimble guitarists we’ve ever seen!
After playing for about another minute, Jung wraps the song up.
Since he uploaded the video, it’s earned him some five million views on YouTube.
Although it’s easy to cover a great song faithfully to the original, imitating one as difficult as this one and taking it somewhere new is definitely not easy. Even so, Jung manages to due absolute justice to a musical legend while inventing all kinds of new musical flourishes along the way.
If you were a particular fan of this video, Jung still has plenty of other incredible performances on his YouTube channel that are worth checking out. For any lovers of the Titanic theme song, his reinterpretation is definitely worth a watch:
Above all, it’s always good to support new and upcoming artistic talent—no matter where it may come from. Needless to say, we’re guessing Jung is going to have a bright future in the music industry.
Special thanks to Sungha Jung on his amazing cover of “She’s So Lovely”! Watch the full thing in the link below:
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