B-Sides: Female Soloist Edition
While everyone may have their favorite girl group, K-Pop also offers a strong array of female soloists. This week in B-Sides, we will look at four female soloists who have positively impacted the K-Pop scene.
“What” - Park Jimin ft. OLNL
Popular ASC host and member of the group M.O.L.A. under JYP Entertainment, singer Park Jimin released this B-side track on her 2018 EP Jiminxjamie. The song oozes a chill R&B sound, and her clear and confident vocals really fill out the sound to create a whole experience. The contrast between featured artist OLNL’s rap and Jimin’s crisp vocals also show off Jimin’s talent in composition. She expertly weaves together the vocals and smooth backtrack to create an aura that draws you in quickly. She proves that she is more than just a singer, and that she is also an artist who knows how to use her skills well.
“Jam Jam” - IU
Veteran to the female soloist scene, IU shows that she still has all the talent with this track. With a slightly unnerving melody, IU leads you on a sensual experience. The song opens with her singing a soft melody and simple minor harmonies that really set the mood for you wanting more.
Following a pastry image, IU craves attention and affection just like spreading jam on a sweet pastry. She is unafraid to get what she wants, and even though she sings softly, she is in total control of the situation. This song has a darker tone that listeners may not be used to from IU, but she is confident in trying new sounds while still being able to utterly captivate you.
“Good Love” - BoA
Moving on to another veteran soloist under SM Entertainment, BoA shows that she is very comfortable with her musical style in this fun B-side track. The backtrack has a funky synth and combined with her charming vocals, the song has an upbeat sound that makes you smile. BoA shows off her talent with her precise vocals in the syncopated melody. The melody is complicated with a slightly jazzy sound, but BoA makes it sound effortless. She is nothing but confident, and she sounds like she is having a good time. Essentially, this song reminds you that BoA is a veteran in the K-Pop field, and that she still knows how to create great songs.
“Dispatch” - HEIZE ft. Simon Dominic
In this more controversial track, soloist HEIZE addresses the difficulty that K-Pop stars face in public versus private relationships. HEIZE expresses the struggle of when you really like someone but you have to hide when you date, so you question whether it is a real relationship at all. The song questions whether the work-to-life balance of a celebrity is worth it and what sacrifices are necessary to live a good life.
The song has a bittersweet melody, haunting falsettos, and soft backing vocals that create a yearning feeling. Also, the transition between the vocal and rap parts powerfully add to the emotional struggle expressed in the song. At first, HEIZE sings smoothly into Simon Dominic’s rap, but his verse ends with just his voice and no backtrack. After a slight pause, the song moves forward to HEIZE’s vocals again, but the musically bare rap really shows how isolating the lyrics feel. It is a difficult song to make for many reasons, but HEIZE makes her stand in this vulnerable track.