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[INTERVIEW] Chungha talks about SXSW debut, connecting with global fans

  • Published : Apr 8, 2019 - 17:10
  • Updated : Apr 8, 2019 - 17:10

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Back from this year’s South By South West, Chungha talked about how it felt visiting her hometown of Texas after nearly 10 years and performing at the US festival as one of the most prominent K-pop stars.

“I was thankful just to share a cultural experience there. It was definitely a major event for me,” Chungha told the Kpop Herald during a recent interview in Seoul.

“I also used to live in an area in Texas. Some fans from that same area would shout that they were from there. It almost felt like I was meeting an old friend,” she added.


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Recalling her visit to Austin in early March, the solo artist shared that she had literally screamed upon finding out that she would take the stage at the event’s Korea Spotlight showcase, along with other K-pop musicians like iKon, Jambinai, XXX and Hitchhiker.

At the annual event, Chungha performed her hits “Rollercoaster” and “Gotta Go,” and was impressed by global fans who sang along to her songs in Korean.

“The difference in languages must make it difficult for overseas fans. They would dance along with me to the song, though,” she said.

“I mean, I am not on air outside of Korea, and that means that fans go out of their way to look up videos of me performing online. That amazes me. I was amazed that fans memorize the Korean lyrics. I have a hard time with my own lyrics. It’s hard enough as my native language, but being able to sing along to a song in a foreign language shows how much my fans love me. It made me want to work harder,” said the singer with a soft chuckle.


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Formerly of temporary girl group I.O.I, Chungha has transitioned from a girl group member to one of the most successful solo artists -- a rarity in the K-pop scene. Her debut EP, “Hands on Me,” featuring the lead track “Why Don’t You Know,” and the EP “Offset,” featuring “Rollercoaster,” topped local music charts.

Often described as a singer who continues the legacies of female solo artists BoA and Uhm Jung-hwa, Chungha has become one of Korea’s most popular K-pop acts with her sleek vocals and choreography.


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Having lived in Dallas for eight years before pursuing a music career in Korea, the 23-year-old singer gained interest in K-pop while singing in a church choir in the states. The singer also shared that she had time to reunite with her family and old friends living in the US during her stay in Texas.

Expressing her wish to meet overseas fans more often, she added, “I would like to thank all my fans overseas. I know you miss me; I miss you, too. I am trying hard to make more chances to go and reach you guys. Wait for me for a little while, and I will be there soon, I promise.”

By Hong Dam-young (lotus@heraldcorp.com)