Successful New Music Releases Catapulting Solo Careers Forward for SSM Alumni

April 08, 2021


Last week, three SSM alumni achieved new success in the music industry, including two new releases and an official signing with a record label.

Shon Seung-Wan, known professionally as Wendy, attended SSM from 2007-2010 and was one of the inaugural members of the Vocal Performance Program Center of Excellence. In 2014, she made her professional debut as Wendy in the popular K-Pop group Red Velvet, and she voiced the role of Wani in the popular movie Trolls World Tour. She also voiced the role of Queen Poppy in the Korean-dubbed version of the film. On April 5, 2021 she released her first solo album entitled, Like Water, along with the music video for the title song.

According to International Business Times, the album “dominated iTunes Top Album charts in 30 regions around the world, including the U.S., Australia, Norway, New Zealand…and more,” not long after its release. Wendy told IBT, “This is my first solo album…I felt like I had a greater sense of responsibility, so I did my best to make music that contained my voice and emotions.”

While attending SSM, Wendy starred as the lead role in the musical production of Hello Dolly, starred as Glinda in the musical production of The Wiz, and had several solos in the musical collaboration of Love in the Modern Age, all these while in grades 7-9! She also played interscholastic golf.

Meanwhile, Jonah Kagen ’18, a graduate of the Boys Soccer and Engineering Centers of Excellence, released his first single, “Broken,” back in January. On April 3, 2021, he signed with record label Arista Records, a subsidiary of Sony Music, giving fans of Jonah’s music on TikTok reason to hope for more original music soon! Arista Records has worked with the likes of Pink, Brad Paisley, and even Prince over the years.

Finally, Wynnm Murphy ’14, a graduate of the Vocal Performance Program Center of Excellence, released her latest single, “Before I forget,” on Friday, April 2, 2021. Throughout last spring and summer, she released the five songs on her debut E.P. album, Moonwalking, which provided listeners with much-needed comfort during the beginning of the pandemic. “Before I Forget” is the second single on her second upcoming album, following the single, “Falling From The Stars.”

Our stellar alumni musicians haven’t let anything stand in their way this year, not even a global pandemic! Read more about Jonah’s journey and Wynnm’s music on our website.

  • Wendy Shon, Winter 2010
  • Jonah Kagen, Spring 2018
  • Wynnm Murphy, Fall 2013