Sunmi free of pressure to show new side after 10 years as K-pop soloist

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SEOUL, Oct. 17 (Yonhap) – With a more than decade-long career as a K-pop soloist, Sunmi said Tuesday she is no longer obsessed with presenting a new side of herself when she makes a comeback.

"Actually, I don't feel the pressure to show another side of myself any more as I'm in my 17th year since my debut and have spent 10 years as a solo artist," Sunmi said during a media showcase held in Seoul to promote her new single album due out at 6 p.m.

"I wanted to emphasize that 'this is what Sunmi is like, don't you all know that?' rather than showing a new side of myself."

That's obviously why Sunmi chose to return with "Stranger," a digital single she introduced as being just like herself.

The songstress, known for her strong vocals and stage presence, as well as her unique music style, showed off such of her charms as she performed live "Stranger," the title track of the namesake album during the media event.

It marks the first release from her since "Tail," her last single album, which came out in 2021.

The song is about a woman who falls in love with a stranger even though she knows the danger of doing so.

K-pop soloist Sunmi performs her new single "Stranger" during a media showcase for the album in Seoul on Oct. 17, 2023. (Yonhap)

But there is a twist in what the stranger in the lyrics really means. Sunmi said she wrote the tune's lyrics, thinking it would be fun if the stranger was herself.

"I always feel like Sunmi who performs on stage is strange. That thought was reflected in the music video for the song," she explained. "I became curious about another, strange Sunmi seen in the eyes of Sunmi."

She added that it's a song that has a lot of "narcissistic aspects" in some ways.

Sunmi debuted as a member of the now-disbanded girl group Wonder Girls in 2007 and began pursuing a solo career in 2013.

She has since released many hits, including "24 Hours," "Gashina" and "Siren." The girl group, managed by JYP Entertainment, was disbanded in 2017 after a relatively successful 10-year run.

K-pop soloist Sunmi speaks during a media showcase for her new single album in Seoul on Oct. 17, 2023. (Yonhap)

She stressed she is just adding another package of songs to her discography, or "an exhibition of her music," as she described.

"I don't think I have to surpass those three hits," she said. "Just like actors have a filmography, I have a discography. Even if each song doesn't perform well, they are all part of my discography."

The 31-year-old singer said her efforts to constantly sing about her own story are probably what has built her fanbase.

"It's probably because the people are curious to see what story I'm going to tell next, rather than liking a specific aspect of Sunmi," she answered when asked about her long-lasting popularity.

"Since I started producing and telling my own story, I think my lifespan as a solo artist has gradually increased."

Source: Yonhap News Agency

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