Chungha, one of the winners of the first season of Mnet's idol survival show "Produce 101," released her first single, Wednesday. Her new solo song "Gotta Go" comes six months after her mini-album "Blooming Blue" fronted by the bubblegum pop "Love U."
"Gotta Go," or "Already Midnight" in Korean, is the work of producing duo Black Eyed Pilseung and star producer Jeon Goon, who created Chungha's hit "Roller Coaster," which surpassed 100 million streams on various domestic music charts at the tail end of last year.
Thanks to "Produce 101," Chungha saw immense popularity as a member of the temporary girl group I.O.I. Since its scheduled disbandment, she has gone on to be a chart-topping solo artist with her breezy, vivacious dance tracks.
Having had a unique opportunity to be part of a prominent girl group and then pursuing music on her own, the past two years have been the most magical moments in her life, according to Chungha.
A skilled dancer and singer who said she hadn't imagined herself as a soloist, she sat down with reporters last week to discuss her career and how she's been able to explore her own style as a soloist.
Q. Tell us about the new single and how it differs from your previous hits.
My new song "Gotta Go" was inspired from the Disney film "Cinderella." It is about an unattainable love as the female protagonist has to leave her boyfriend before midnight. I tried to bring out deep and dark sides of my voice to match the lyrics, which is quite different from the breezy, mesmerizing tones in previous songs, including "Roller Coaster" and "Love U." The choreography changed, too. In contrast to the previous choreographies, which dealt mostly with arm movements, I'm making use of the legs this time.
Q. How much has the success of "Roller Coaster" and "Love U" changed things for you?
I think it really gave me a certain amount of confidence. As a new solo artist, I was kind of scared to do stuff that's different or new, because at some point I just wanted to go with what's already being played and popular. Among I.O.I members, I was the first one to go solo and there weren't that many solo artists (because all young artists wanted to be members of idol groups). But now I feel like I've found a niche market.
Q. How does it feel to be bigger? Does it freak you out?
I feel like so much stuff is happening to me all the time, but that's a good thing. It just feels amazing that people are actually listening to my songs and they know the lyrics. Whenever I hear my songs on the streets or see my mother being proud of me, I'm happy. I still feel anxiety about the stage and performances, but I'm always trying to learn or get better at those things. I'm always curious about stuff so it just leads me onto the next thing and lets me grow in some way.
Q. Now you're a solo artist, do you feel more of a responsibility to be a role model?
I do. I feel the people you look up to as a kid definitely influence you in some way. Personally, IU and Sunmi have set good examples for me as female solo artists. Like them, I want to be a good influence on aspiring idols. I also want to give courage to young people and tell them to "follow your dreams instead of following others' dreams."
Q. What do you want people to think when they hear the name Chungha?
Maybe a mix of honest and exciting? I'm just a 23-year-old girl trying to be honest. But as a performer, I want people to be excited and curious about my music. To do so, I need to show off the unexpected and unpredictable sides of me.
Q. What are your future goals, professionally and personally?
I am under pressure to come up with something new every time. In 2019, I want to write my own story instead of singing what others write for me. The story could be about my past on how I endured hard times and persuaded my mother to become a singer. I'd also love to hold a solo concert and release more albums for my fans.
source: The Korea Times