Minzy on Life’s Teachable Moments, Advice for Aspiring Singers, and Future Plans
Minzy’s thoughts on what led her to this moment in her career and what comes next.
Note: This was originally published in November 2020. Although I will still be releasing new content this week, it is also Archival Week! I am re-uploading interviews from many months ago and releasing curated guides to past episodes, so it’s a great week to subscribe and catch up on episodes and interviews you previously missed!
For those who are not familiar with your story, could you summarize how you got into the world of K-pop and what led you to this moment in your career?
I have loved dancing so much since I was young. Whenever I disappeared from my mother’s view, she would find me dancing in front of a music speaker on the street. After I watched a Korean singer’s music video, I imitated their dancing and started having a greater interest in dance. My parents always supported what I wanted to do, recognized my talent, and helped me attend a dance academy. After learning dance from the academy for about two years, I built up my dancing skills by learning foreign artists’ dances for myself. Fortunately, I was scouted by YG Entertainment, and they said my dance skills were extraordinary. After four years of training, I became a member of 2NE1 and toured all over the world. Currently, I am working as a solo singer, and I founded a company based on my eleven years of experience as a singer. I think my pure passion and love for music have led me to this moment.
How did the training process when preparing to debut in a K-pop group change you as a person? What was the biggest lesson you took from that training period?
I participated in training when I was very young, so I went through a very emotionally unstable period as a trainee. But I was able to overcome this difficult time thanks to the warm-hearted support and encouragement of my parents and others. I learned from training that I should endure everything to create amazing outcomes. Such great outcomes bloom as a result of desperate effort and endurance and leave me feeling accomplished. I realized I was able to enjoy such plentiful results because of my hard work in the past.
How would you describe 2NE1’s music to new listeners? What 2NE1 song do you most recommend for listeners to learn more about 2NE1? How would you describe your solo music differently, and which Minzy songs do you most recommend for new listeners?
2NE1 was a group that represented and supported women and their minds. The song “I Am the Best” best represented 2NE1’s confidence. The great goal of 2NE1 was to freely and boldly represent the words that women used to hesitate to speak, with the confidence of four female band members with different colors and personalities. Working as a solo singer, I was able to deliver more personal and direct lyrics to my fans. I wanted to make music that could provide comfort and warmth to people. This inspired the creation of the songs “Superwoman” and “LOVELY.” Many people still remember me as a dancing machine, but I wanted to show that I am a musician presenting warm and understanding music too.
What was the inspiration for the “LOVELY” music video? Do you have any behind-the-scenes stories from filming it?
During a tough period of [career] inactivity, the song “LOVELY” gave comfort and energy to me. So it represented the warmth, excitement, longing for fans, and joy as the look of darkness turning into light. When I was a member of 2NE1, I used to show such great, confident, and strong looks. But in the song “LOVELY,” I had to express beauty, love, and affection, so it was not easy to film the music video.
What have reactions been like from friends, family, and online followers since your solo music career started?
Many people supported me and gave me advice. I am receiving a lot of attention and expectations.
How does promoting solo projects differ from promoting as part of a band?
I think I have more free time now as a solo singer than I did as a part of the band. It is also easier for me to make decisions with enough time to prepare to turn my ideas into reality. But I am still responsible for the results, and there are many things I have to pay attention to. So there are pros and cons.
How has the content or the sound of your solo music evolved from your first solo EP to your newest single?
I seek out various [musical] developments and new challenges. My first album mainly focused on the dance genre and a delicate sound, but the lyrics of the single album represent the fans’ love.
What advice do you have for aspiring singers?
If you do your best with a sense of responsibility for the path you have selected, your best efforts have amazing potential, so please finish the course to the end without looking back.
Who are your biggest musical inspirations? Do you have any dream collaborations in mind?
The person who gives me the most musical inspiration is Michael Jackson. His music contains universal meanings beyond the level of simply enjoying the music. Just like Michael Jackson, I want to become a musician that develops a direction and a philosophy of life.
Do you have any dream concert venues you hope to perform at someday that you haven’t already?
Every space together with my fans is a dream venue. Nowadays, it is so difficult to meet with people. When I can perform again next, that will be the dream stage.
Are there any upcoming projects that you can give hints about? What is next for you?
There are so many fans who miss my dancing, and I still have great interest in dance. So I have recently been listening to Latin music to increase the range of genres I dance in. On top of musical activities, fans will be able to see me on screen through various collaborations with overseas companies.
What company values and goals do you have for [your new agency] MZ Entertainment?
MZ Entertainment aims to create music, to cultivate young artists equipped with dreams, abilities, and character, and to manage artists who can expand the status of Korea and K-pop.
Check out one of Minzy’s latest singles here!
Answers have been edited and condensed for clarity. Photo credit: Instagram.
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