The Queen of K-pop – BoA returned to the stage as a powerful female in “Woman”.
Marking her ninth full-length album, the new record’s title track blends upbeat synths and diverse beats that lead into the soloist’s explosive chorus where she belts out, “Feels good to be a woman.”
Crafted by BoA herself, the song kicks off with the clicking sounds of high heels and embodies the image of a charismatic and powerful woman, which the artist hopes to be herself in real life.
“Many relate the song with my previous hit ‘Girls on Top,’ which was about independent, powerful ‘girls,’ and the subject shifts in ‘Woman’ as it talks about strong ‘women,’” explained BoA during a showcase for her new album in Seoul on Wednesday.
BoA acknowledged the album’s “woman” topic could be deemed sensitive to some in this time, but said she had planned such a themed album long ago.
The 10-track album, “Woman,” is BoA’s first full-length album in about three years and the first full-length album she has released in her 30s after she debuted at the age of 14 in 2000.
“This year marks the 18th anniversary of my debut. I came up with the idea that I need to sing more great music to fans when I was delving into how I would be able to enjoy (my music career) more over the next 20 years,” BoA said in a press showcase of her new album. “I think I also need to perform more.”
The title track, whose lyrics were written by BoA, reflects her own growth from a girl to a full-fledged female adult who is not bound by the traditional notions of femininity.
“Being pretty is, of course, important. But I wanted to express more varied images of women, like their defiant or humorous sides,” BoA said.
“The lyrics say you illuminate the most when you are true to yourself. It has this message of finding one’s own beauty and strength rather than trying to become another person.”
“The word ‘woman’ is a sensitive subject, but personally I think humankind is able to exist because men and women are equal,” she said. “I wanted to convey the images of wanna-be women. I wanted to write a song that raises women’s self-esteem with which I can do self-hypnosis.”
To visualize the message, she adopted the girl-crush concept for the title track’s music video and stage performance, as well as her stage costumes.
The song “Woman” begins with the tapping sounds of a pair of stiletto shoes and brings back the signature vigor of BoA’s dance performance.
Turning to her 30’s, her physical vigor is not what it was when she was in her teens or 20’s, BoA said of her long K-pop career.
“In my teens, I felt my dance was rigorous and disciplined while my skills improved in my 20’s,” according to her. “In my 30’s, I think I have more feminine (body) lines when I dance,” she said.
Now, she is on a special health care regime to keep up with the latest round of her performance career, she said, referring to her abstention from alcohol and regular visits to a gym.
The album’s third track, “Irreversible,” whose Korean title translates as “In a Fit of Anger,” is another song that reflects BoA’s girl crush concept.
This song is one of the four tracks both composed and written by BoA.
BoA is in fact one of the first K-pop stars who came to global fame and helped Hallyu, or the phenomenon of global popularity of Korean pop music, take root, making her the first Korean singer to top Japan’s Oricon music chart with her first full-length album, “Listen to My Heart,” in 2002.
“When I first went to Japan, there was not even the word K-pop. I was afraid, but at the same time very much encouraged by people who congratulated me on my success as if it were their own success,” she said.
Having come this far, she also noted that: “Recently I’ve been thinking, ‘I am really gifted to be a singer.’ It’s my true happiness that I still enjoy doing the music I pursue.”
Listen to her full album below: