Celebrity Spotlight on Solo Artist Sunmi

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Celebrity Spotlight on Solo Artist Sunmi

This was the music video cover for Wonder Girl's song

This was the music video cover for Wonder Girl's song "Nobody" that was released in 2007. This was when Wonder Girls had 5 members. The former member, Hyuna, left due to health concerns but later debuted with another girl group under the name 4-Minute in 2009.

This was the music video cover for Wonder Girl's song "Nobody" that was released in 2007. This was when Wonder Girls had 5 members. The former member, Hyuna, left due to health concerns but later debuted with another girl group under the name 4-Minute in 2009.

This was the music video cover for Wonder Girl's song "Nobody" that was released in 2007. This was when Wonder Girls had 5 members. The former member, Hyuna, left due to health concerns but later debuted with another girl group under the name 4-Minute in 2009.

Sydney Delgado, Staff Writer

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Sunmi is a South Korean female solo artist that is mostly known for her hit single “Gashina”, that was released back in 2017.

Before having a successful solo career, Sunmi was a former member of a hit girl group, Wonder Girls. The group debuted under JYP Entertainment, in February of 2007. Wonder Girls is known for big hits such as ‘Nobody’, ‘Tell Me’, and ‘So Hot.’

At the time, Sunmi was only 15 when she started her career. This exposed her to have advantages to travel to different countries and gaining her knowledge of the US and the music industry. At this age, this lead her to decide on wanting a solo career in the future. But before she could make a debate on a solo career, she temporarily left the group in 2010 to focus on her academic career. However, she later re-joined the group in 2015.

“Why So Lonely” was Wonder Girls last comeback before the group disbanded in early 2017. Sunmi (the last on the right) received song writing credits for this single along as its’ B-Sides.

In June of 2016, Wonder Girls had a reggae comeback called “Why So Lonely.” The song won awards on several music television show programs such as M-Countdown, Inkigayo, and Music Bank. The song received positive reviews from music critics and Wonder Girls were praised for successfully attempting a reggae style song in the Kpop genre, since it was a new sound for the group. During this comeback, the members had played actual instruments for this track which transitioned them into a real band rather than a dance-oriented based girl group. Sunmi was the bassist for this comeback, shown in the music video for “Why So Lonely” and the B-Sides “Sweet and Easy” and “To the Beautiful You.”

Sadly, this was the group’s last hit song before disbanding in sometime in January of 2017. It was later revealed that two of the former members renewed their contracts with the company. However, this was not the case for Sunmi, since she was said to have signed with another entertainment company that goes by the name ‘MakeUs Entertainment.’

This is where the beginning of her solo career really took off. She had previously released the hit single “24 Hours” back in 2015. When people heard that Sunmi was going to continue her solo career, fans were more than excited to see what Sunmi had in store next.

“Gashina” was a chart breaker in 2017 making Sunmi along with her company well known. To this day, the song is one of the most recognized in the K-pop music genre.

This is where her hit single “Gashina” comes into play. The song is meant to be a warning towards men. The word ‘Gashina’ refers to both thorns on a flower and a farewell statement meant to be departed, which is well shown through Sunmi’s imitated finger guns and flower hand movements. “Gashina” was an immediate success, with the song being broadcasted and premiered on different stations and reaching #1 on the weekly South Korean Gaon Digital Charts and peaking at #3 on US Billboard. By the end of 2017, the song had over a million digital downloads. To this day, the song is one of Sunmi’s most recognizable songs and it a common Kpop classic.

Sunmi’s single “Heroine” talks about Sunmi finding herself as a woman representing a sort of hero figure, hence the name.

After Gashina, Sunmi released another single in 2018 called “Heroine.” According to an article posted by the Korean Herald, “Heroine is said to be the backstory for “Gashina.” In “Heroine”, Sunmi is shown to be a woman that finds herself but becomes skeptical of a dying love between her and her withdrawn partner. Sunmi explains, “If you listen to ‘Heroine,’ you will understand why that woman in ‘Gashina’ was shooting a gun in madness. Some might have expected ‘Heroine’ would be about me bragging about myself, but it’s actually about the man the woman loved.” The song was well received, debuting at #6 on South Korean Gaon Digital Chart and in the song’s second week after release it placed at #2.

Sunmi released her second extended play “Warning” on September 4th, 2018. The track includes the title track “Siren” and four other new songs, as well as two previous included singles.

After Sunmi’s success with Gashina and Heroine, she released a mini album on September 4th, 2018, called “Warning.” The album includes title track “Siren” along with 4 other new songs (“Addict”, “Black Pearl”, “Secret Tape” and “Curve”) and previous other singles “Heroine” and “Gashina.” The new title track “Siren” along with Gashina and Heroine is said to form a trilogy. Sunmi explains this by saying, “If I have one more wish, I would like to firmly establish my identity as a singer named Sunmi with ‘WARNING.’ When I was singing ‘HEROINE,’ I wanted to make my own genre called Sunmi and ‘WARNING’ is an album that is meant to be a stepping stone to doing just that.”

Her song “Siren” is said to mean the end of a warning. Her song “Siren” is speculated to be inspired by mythology. The myth of a siren is that it is a beautiful woman who takes the form of a mermaid in order to seduce sailors into the sea with the siren’s tempting looks and beautiful voice. “I was attracted to it because it was such a fresh concept.” Sunmi explained. “Siren” is the final part and completes the album trilogy that links all three singles. The whole, overall theme is “warning.”

Sunmi’s song “Noir” would make the song her fourth single. The song was released March 4th, 2019. The song was received well throughout the community and spread a powerful message throughout the entirety of the song.

After “Siren”, Sunmi came out with her 4th single Noir on March 4th, 2019. Noir is a French word that implies on the meaning of danger or rather negative thinking. Sunmi’s song Noir is said to touch the reality of online validation and how we go to such drastic measures by putting ourselves in danger just to get likes on a certain platform. In the music video, Sunmi is shown taking what seems to “normal” pictures but don’t get as many likes as compared to her other posts where she is putting herself in danger. Throughout the song and music video, it seems that Sunmi tried to deliver the message about how people are obsessed with receiving likes and go as far as risking their life and pretending to be happy.

The song “Noir” was a success, placing #1 on five major Korean real-time charts such as Naver, Mnet, Soribada, Bugs, and Genie. The song also peaked at #2 on Melon’s real time charts.

Since the song’s release, netizens and fans were pleased by the message Sunmi was showcasing about the reality of social media and how we drive ourselves to only go by what people want us to do for likes.

Related imageSome fun facts about Sunmi is that she is a Taurus, (born May 2nd, 1992), and as it shows through her music, Taurus are known for being hardworking, reliable, practical, ambitious, and sensual. 

She currently attends Dongguk University, majoring in musical theater. Sunmi is also known to speak both English and Korean. Her favorite things include her favorite color, purple, and favorite artist, Drake.

To conclude, Sunmi is one of the most recognizable female soloists in the Kpop industry. Her hard work and dedication to her music, themes, and concepts deserve the need to be noticed and understood by different audiences. From the story her songs tell you, to the ‘warnings’ they give you, through the her music comes an interesting message to all viewers and fans worldwide.