The Rogue Rouge, Amber
Everyone’s favorite llama, Amber, is back with new music!
Over her almost 10-year career, Amber has become an idol with many additions to her name. She’s a rapper in the SM Entertainment girl group f(x), a singer-songwriter in her own solo activities, and she also runs a YouTube channel called What the Pineapple! Most importantly, she’s an artist who continues to stay true to herself, and as a result, has written many powerful songs in the last few years.
On April 15, Amber released her new mixtape, Rogue Rouge. Amber wrote the lyrics to each track and made a point to share the entire album on her Soundcloud so that fans could listen and download the album for free. Those who follow her on Instagram have been able to catch glimpses of her working on this mixtape tirelessly to get it finished, and the end result is excellent: Rogue Rouge is a gorgeous exploration of House/EDM genres that Amber’s lyrics tie into a perfect package.
When talking about the album, Amber said: “Rogue Rouge is about the journey of searching for oneself. Whether it’s through hope & betrayal, love & heartbreak, or patience & anger, we can find who we really are if we try to. Gone rogue, gone rouge.”
In celebration of her new mixtape, let’s take a closer look at Amber’s solo career this week!
“Shake That Brass”
Amber made her first solo debut in 2015 with the single “Shake That Brass,” a boisterous, brass-shaking song. If there were any doubts that Amber wasn’t an amazing artist, this song quickly dispelled them; she juggles both rapping and singing effortlessly, switching between the two in between a funky, horn-driven chorus. “Shake That Brass” also features Taeyeon of Girls’ Generation, who provides harmonies and equally powerful high notes. While other female soloists might go for a sexy concept or a soft-spoken ballad to appear demure, “Shake That Brass” is silly, bold, and unapologetically Amber, which is part of what makes her and her music so easy to adore.
The music video for “Shake That Brass” is as colorful as Amber’s personality and features a huge amount of K-Pop artists who make quick cameos as musicians in her band. In addition to Amber and Taeyeon, eagle-eyed fans can spot Jackson of GOT7, Joon Park of g.o.d, Girls’ Generation’s Hyoyeon, Min and Jia of miss A, Aron of NU’EST, and many others! Can you spot everyone?
Aside from participating in SM Station through the track “All Mine,” f(x) has unfortunately not had an official comeback since their 2015 album 4 Walls was released. So one can easily imagine why f(x) fans were so excited when it was revealed that Amber and fellow groupmate Luna were releasing an SM Station single together this January titled “Lower.”
The song is a dreamy, ambient mix of House and EDM genres that sounds like it could be played at any club. The melody is very clean and atmospheric and allows Amber and Luna’s soft and alluring voices to shine at the forefront of the track. The chorus has a fun, thumping beat that is perfect for dancing along to as well, making it the ultimate party track.
The music video for “Lower” is shot primarily in black in white and features two main motifs. One is of Amber and Luna walking alone at night in Seoul, and the other places both of them in a pure white room performing flawless choreography together. It’s so refreshing to see both members performing together again after such a long time. It’s almost a bittersweet moment; they sound so great together and perform perfectly together, it makes the viewer desperately wish for another f(x) comeback! For now, we’ll just have to keep listening to “Lower.”
From April 15 to April 30, Amber will be releasing music videos for each of the six tracks on her album, starting with “Closed Doors.” The next music video, released on April 18, is for the song “High Hopes.” A schedule for all of the upcoming video releases can be found here.
The song was written by Amber and Gen Neo and is entirely in English. The lyrics focus on a strained, secret affair between two people who are fighting to stay together. It’s a romantic song, but a sad one at the same time. Amber’s vocals are so expressive and openly vulnerable, which really helps to sell just how emotive “Closed Doors” is. At times in the song, it feels like she’s almost pleading with the other person to continue their relationship even though it feels like it’s falling apart. It’s a hauntingly beautiful synth track that sticks with the listener long after the song is over.