Interview with Johnny Lee, founder and leader of 3RD WAVE Music


From Right to Left - Brian, Lim and Johnny

1. Where are you from originally and how did you get involved in music?
From New Jersey, USA!
I got involved with music professionally when I worked for the entertainment company Apple of the Eye in Korea. It was a new company opening up in 2009 with three A-list stars: Daniel Henney, Kim Hye Soo, and Jung Ryu Won. They were opening up a music division and I was asked to be the Head of Music.


2. How/Why did you decide to start 3RD WAVE Music?
As I was putting a project together for the first time, I wanted to have K-pop stars singing Christian and meaningful songs. There are millions of Christians all throughout South East Asia and I knew that their star power could really help people. Brian Joo and I got together and we decided to do something meaningful together.


3. Have you been surprised at the reception thus far?
So far, it’s been fascinating! Currently, we are the only Christian band to travel consistently outside of Korea with K-pop artists to do charity concerts! We have been travelling or making music with artists such as Siwon of Super Junior, Van Ness Wu, Lim of the Wonder Girls, Brian, and Alexander. One of the greatest honors was when we were asked to travel with the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association. We’ve also been invited to Japan, Malaysia, Indonesia, and Thailand, so it’s been a very humbling and blessed experience.


4. What led you to do a new album?
This album has more of my personal touch because I sing more, and also musically, it’s the sound I was looking for. This is something I wanted to do before I get too old... Hehe. But in all seriousness, the songs are meant to reach out to this generation. I wanted to keep challenging the people around me - the band, the musicians, and the artists - and to have a platform to keep making new music and influencing people in the world.


5. What can you tell me about the new album as far as the sound/feel? Is it similar to past recordings? 
We have a group of new songs. Most of them are worship songs, but a few special songs are life songs. There are about 10-12 new songs and we are deciding which ones will go in the final cut because we want to make sure the songs match our theme title.

It’s by far our best album and we feel that it’s going to really touch a lot of people.


6. What inspired you to choose the Soldiers of Light (S.O.L.) name for this CD?
S.O.L. was a motto that Siwon and a few other artists were using for their Twitter accounts. I thought that slogan is exactly what the young generation needs: They need better role models and examples to guide them through dark times and circumstances, so I wanted to raise more S.O.L. through our album project.


7. Who is featured on the new album and how did they get involved? What led you to include mainstream artists in 3RD WAVE Music and this current project?
Brian sings “Where You Are.” This song is about all the people who are hurting out there, but despite the hurt, God is always watching and He is always near. You can feel Brian’s passion in his singing. There is always someone hurting and someone who needs hope, so a song like this is there to remind people of God’s love.

In addition, we’re singing a rockier version of “I Stand”, but this time, Siwon is singing it. On the English version, it’s Siwon and me, but on the Korean version, people have something to really look forward to because Brian and Siwon will be singing together for the first time.

Lim is singing a song called “Cry of Love.” This is one of the newest songs I wrote and it’s about this simple idea of desiring to change the world for the better.

Below are pictures of artists that are involved in 3RD WAVE MUSIC.


 Johnny and Siwon



 Johnny and Lim



 From Right to Left : Xander, Brian and Johnny



Xander, Johnny and Brian visiting an orphanage 


8. Future plans for 3RD WAVE Music?
We’re planning our concert dates and getting ready to join different conferences to promote our music and win people over to our music. We will be concerting in Japan, Indonesia, Malaysia, Korea, and Thailand, so we will release dates shortly and we hope to see everyone soon.


9. What message would you want to give out for the younger generation who have taken interest in 3RD WAVE MUSIC?
The music is for us to unite! It's the rally call for us to start our movement together. It's just the beginning so that we can pass on the baton to each person in his/her countries to be light, truth, and salt.

Soldiers of Light is available now at their official website - www.3rdwavemusic.org.

Official release begins October 10, 2013 on iTunes and through official distributors in South Korea, Taiwan, Singapore, Malaysia, etc.

For more information, please visit www.3rdwavemusic.org.