"Ppongjjak" is a term used to describe the oldest style of Korean pop music, which was formulated during the early 1900s. The genre has been influenced by Japanese, Western, and Korean musical elements. It is known for its distinct soulful and sentimental vocal style. ‘Manju Pocket’ is an indie ‘Ppongjjak Soul’ band based in Seoul, South Korea.
The band was established by members Yongsu Choi (Cajon, Guitar, & Melodion) and Junhee Han (Piano, Melodion, & Bongos), and the two eventually recruited Manju (Vocals, Percussions, & Kazoo) to join the band. The name of the band derives from a local snack called Manju which is an easy-to-grab snack full with filling; they wanted to make a pocket full of music that is filled with many easy-to-sympathize stories. After about a half year of preparation, Manju Pocket started performing in numerous live clubs in Hongdae, making fans laugh and cry along with their music. Three strong features of the music of Manju Pocket are, versatility in their music, its witty, extremely real, and empathic lyrics, and of course, its Ppongjjak feel incorporated with Western Soul music. The members wereinspired by a wide spectrum of music including ppongjjak, soul, folk, rock, & etc., and up to now, they show quite versatility in their songs. Also, when writing the lyrics, they concentrate on creating real empathy with listeners. On top of that, the music of Manju Pocket is finely woven to convey the distinctive soulful, but with a tint of traditional ppongjak feeling, vocal style of Manju’s. The band always writes its own song all together, building and singing along on top of one another’s ideas, thus creating the band’s own unique music style. Manju Pocket has released seven record singles and one EP album, and their first full-length album was released in February 2015. They work independently from creation to engineering and distribution without the help of a management company, making it possible to achieve speed-to-market and to wholly express their own music.Thus, despite its relatively short history, Manju Pocket was able to attain outstanding results including ranking 1st place in Indie Music chart as well as 10th place in All Music chart. ‘Go for a Drink’, from their latest album [Night Walk], vividly displays their distinct ppongjjak soul on a strong retro rhythm, with clever but real lyrics. The next time you plan a visit to Korea, do go and see the live show of Manju Pocket. You will find yourself tapping your feet along with their music, captivated with their charms.