A new girl has stepped into K-pop town and we’re not entirely sure if she’s a human or a fairy.
YooA is definitely not a new name in K-pop. Being the main visual for 2015-debuted girl group Oh My Girl, she has spent a lot of time in the limelight and is a familiar face in music shows.
This is time we’re seeing her in a new light, as the first to go solo in the girl group and we think this is how she was really meant to be.
유아(YooA) 1st MINI ALBUM ‘숲의 아이 (Bon Voyage)’
2020. 09. 07 PM 6 pic.twitter.com/XTiOEaAxZb
— OHMYGIRL_official (@8_OHMYGIRL) September 1, 2020
Meet the fairy YooA of Oh My Girl
Bon Voyage is YooA’s first solo mini-album produced outside of Oh My Girl acts. It’s been making waves in the Korean entertainment scene in ways which Oh My Girl’s group releases have, unfortunately, not seen before. As of writing, its views are over 16 million on Youtube along with over 750,000 streams on Spotify.
In the whimsical fairy-tale of a music video, we see YooA set against the backdrop of lush forests and meadows of yellow peonies, with butterflies swarming around her luscious ginger hair, embodying a daintier version of a forest protector like Princess Mononoke.
The music–absolutely stunning and when put in stark contrast with other K-pop music today, is incredibly refreshing as well.
None of the usual Kpop bass drops or populated electronic effects, Kpop critic, Thebiaslist recognizes YooA’s atypical music with its haunting vocals and restful silence. No one says it better than thebiaslist; “It’s the rare K-pop single that takes its time, placing just as much emphasis on silence and space as it does hooks and drops”. “Most of the production drops out for the pre-chorus and we’re left hanging in the air for a longer-than-expected segment,” the critic observes.
Yes, there are layers to the sound but most of these only support YooA’s haunting vocals. The most notable backing sample that’s rarely found in K-pop is the soulful choral chanting in the background. Apart from that, YooA’s nature calls that seem to be a nod to Nordic folk music is the ultimate appendage to her fairy-tale concept.
Some netizens are calling out this concept as blatant cultural appropriation of Native American cultures, pointing out that the war paint is a sacred symbol for the culture and that this is an act of sacrilege. Others came to the defense of the YooA’s production saying that the concept was merely based on the famed Ghibli movie, Princess Mononoke.
Whatever the real inspiration may be, if not confirmed by the makers themselves, is just an accusation and should therefore be taken in with a grain of salt. On that note, we continuously and eagerly anticipate the next moves for this rapidly rising K-pop artist!
Stream Bon Voyage as well as other amazing tracks like Diver and Abacadabra on all digital platforms out now!
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