Riding off of the success of her hit behemoth “Gashina,” Sunmi makes her long awaited comeback with “Heroine.” Released five months after, “Heroine” serves as the prequel to “Gashina,” a time when the protagonist of her story wasn’t herself, like “a flower locked in ice.”
Sticking to the tropical house sound of the last release, “Heroine” tackles a more mellow and somber feel—almost like a declaration. Anticipation for the release built incredibly when it was revealed that 24 and Teddy, masterminds behind her last hit track, would be producing the newest single. Teddy is known as one of the best producers in South Korea, supplying popular tracks for groups such as 2NE1 and BLACKPINK. The Black Label, a sub-label of YG Entertainment, definitely rises up to the hype despite the rumors of plagiarism. Sunmi herself took part in writing parts of the lyrics for the song, highlighting “the show must go on” as inspiration from the film 9 ½ Weeks. With heavy bass hits in the hook, the chorus will leave anyone tapping their foot and singing along.
The Music Video
As if transitioning straight from the first scene of “Gashina” where Sunmi was enjoying her milkshake after her lover walks out on her, “Heroine” has Sunmi sitting in a car contemplating life over a soda. Though she lingered over the milkshake left at the diner, she satisfyingly takes one last sip of her soda before tossing away her cup along with her past. Her stark blue eyes along with her doleful blue dress have a captivating aura. The music video beautifully puts together shots of Sunmi dancing alone, then transitions to her dancing with a partner and ultimately alongside a team of supporting dancers. Despite the uniqueness of the dance, it was beautifully adapted from the music video to fit her M Countdown comeback stage. As her heart thaws out, Sunmi is seen transitioning into brighter and stronger colors as she moves on and displays herself on a previously dismantled billboard before it falls off again.
The aesthetics don’t disappoint, with the lighting and colors of the music video highlighting Sunmi’s emotions as the song progresses. The transitions between scenes keep the viewer encaptivated, waiting for the next one as they sing along to the catchy lyrics. Additionally, nothing would make a music video complete without the outfits. Regardless of whether it’s casual wear, the elegant blue dress at the beginning of the music video, or something funky and vibrant, Sunmi pulls it off, perfectly integrating them into her concept. While each outfit sports a mature look—bold cuts, a hat, hooped earrings, or complex patterns—the subtle flowiness and doll-like features of each outfit, along with the tripping and skipping in her dance, bring out a child-like innocence that builds on top of her lyrics and goes hand-in-hand with the flower theme carrying over from “Gashina.”
While not as iconic as the dance from “Gashina” (check out our review), the quirky choreography for “Heroine” surprisingly matches the song and will leave all wanting to learn it. The song overall allowed Sunmi to express a vulnerable side that juxtaposes her alter ego in “Gashina,” emphasizing the determination and confidence that she has garnered throughout the anthemic “Heroine.” Overall, “Heroine” will likely be on repeat for the rest of the winter and well into the spring. Fans look forward to seeing more of Sunmi, perhaps with a mini-album sequel to “Gashina,” as “the show must go on.”