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Sunmi returns with seductive yet dangerous ‘Warning’

  • Published : Sept 4, 2018 - 18:01
  • Updated : Sept 4, 2018 - 18:01


After hitting her peak as a soloist with “Gashina” and “Heroine,” Sunmi set her eyes higher as a singer-songwriter with her new album “Warning.”

Hauntingly beautiful and dangerously seductive, the seven-track “Warning” is highlighted by “Siren,” the provocative yet dreamy lead track penned and partially composed by the artist. The title refers to the dangerous creature of ancient Greek mythology known for seducing sailors with its beautiful voice, luring them to their deaths.

Described by the singer as the third and final part of its trilogy that began with angst-riddled “Gashina” then to “Heroine,” the hypnotizing “Siren” sends a message of “warning” to a lover. “I told you not to get fooled. The moment you hold my hand, it will become more dangerous. Now you are bleeding, but do you still get attracted to me?” Sunmi declares. “Get away out of my face. Don’t get any closer boy,” belts out Sunmi as the electronic blips in the melody build to the explosive chorus.

“I got inspired by the siren, a beautiful but perilous creature. In a similar context, I focused on the mermaid that appears in the movie ‘Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides.’ I thought I would be able to express such a feeling in my own way,” said Sunmi during a media showcase for “Warning” in Seoul on Tuesday.


Sunmi’s “Warning” album comes about eight months after her previous work “Heroine,” created by popular producer Teddy, came under fire for allegedly copying another musician’s music upon its release in January. There have been claims the song sounded similar to Cheryl Cole’s 2010 single “Fight for This Love,” to which Teddy denied any plagiarism claims.

While Sunmi affirmed that it wasn’t part of an attempt to avoid similar controversy, the album shows the fingerprints of the artist in each track, both as composer and songwriter.

“I didn’t participate in making the album because of the past controversy. I just had a lot of songs I’ve prepared and I wanted to establish my own identity to public through ‘Warning.’ I hope it could be a stepping-stone to create my own brand,” she said.

The album includes “Addict,” Sunmi’s first English-language song, “Curve,” which uses the curve as a sign for danger, “Black Pearl,” which compares the formation of pearls to the agonizing depression of modern people, and “Secret Tape,” a toned-down track plunged in a retro vibe, all of which were written and composed by the artist.


Asked why she put the message of “warning” at the center of album, Sunmi confessed she’s been contemplating its meaning in every phase of her life, from social media to the world she lives in.

“Actually, I see a lot of comments that tackle my body shape, which say that I’m too skinny and ugly. So I wanted to tell my haters that the real me is not like their fantasies, and if they don’t like me, just go away. And when I think about our society, I felt it was such a harsh and dangerous place to live in,” she said.

Having debuted with Wonder Girls in 2007, Sunmi released her first solo EP “Full Moon” in 2014. She departed the group in 2010, then rejoined it in 2015, but the group disbanded in January last year following Sunmi and Yeeun’s decision not to renew their contracts with the agency. After leaving JYP, Sunmi signed with MakeUs Entertainment, home to K-pop acts like Park Won and Urban Zakapa, around the end of February last year.

Continuing her winning streak, Sunmi rose to solo stardom with “Gashina,” her first song under the new label, which virally swept local music charts and debuted at No. 3 on Billboard’s World Digital Song Sales upon its release in August last year.

“I don’t want to be called as the second version of somebody. I’m not as glamorous and beautiful like pop divas Lee Hyo-ri and Uhm Jung-hwa, but I think I have my strong edge in my fragileness and energy that radiates within myself in a short moment,” Sunmi said.