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  • BoA: ‘I Have Challenged Myself for Ten Years As Singer’
  • [2010-08-11]
  • Singer BoA (real name Kwon Bo Ah, 24), who has been celebrating the tenth year since her debut, said, “For the last ten years that I have lived as a singer, I have tried to spare as much time as possible.”

    She made her debut in Korea in 2000 when she was in the second grade of middle school, and became a role model among Korean singers as she successfully debuted in Japan in 2001. In 2008, she also advanced to the American music industry, so that entire process that she had to complete required a long time, and "twelve months in a year was not enough time for her." She reportedly did not even have time to long for an ordinary life.

    As she has lived in a whirlwind of overseas activities, her recently released 6th album entitled “Hurricane Venus” was actually released in Korea after a five year break. In a recent interview, BoA said while smiling, “I have not been bored at all for ten years because I have kept challenging myself for the last ten years. My record of challenges says that I debuted at the age of fourteen, advanced to Japan, completed the first tour concert in Japan, advanced to America, released my 6th album after five years, and will appear in a Hollywood movie soon.”

    Even though she had to spend ten years on those challenges, she is still in her twenties. Thanks to her strong image of a “powerful girl,” when she made a debut, she is still remembered as a teenage girl in people’s mind. But, her appearance with smoky makeup on her new album jacket looks very natural now. She said, “I want to have a strong romantic relationship which comes like a strong hurricane. I used to be a shocking girl to the public, but since I cannot stay a teenage girl any more, I just want people to accept my changes as natural.”

    -"The moment I came to the USA was the turning point.” -- For the recent two years, BoA has only strived to develop in the American music market. She has not had any noticeable outcome yet, but it is too early to define it as a failure because she is still trying to develop in the market. BoA stressed, “It is like that I silently released an album without a distinct outcome. But, working in the American music market had become a turning point for my life as a singer. It has acted as a stimulus, and I could feel my passion for music again. I could also improve my singing and dancing while working together with famous music producers in the USA. Even though I could not achieve something as a singer, I have received great help regarding developing my ability as a singer. In addition, Lee Soo Man has given new challenges to me whenever I am in trouble.” She continued, “Radio promotion is essential for the American music industry, and one day he made me, who is not a native speaker of English, appear on a live radio program. It was very much like our company (SM), which pursued a Spartan style of training.” She smiled when she said this. As she will have activities in Korea, she might feel like coming back home after long overseas activities, which had given pressure to her and been full of tension. But she unexpectedly said, “I am worried whether I can adjust to the transformed Korean music industry, and I feel like that I become a new singer again.”

    -"I hope many women will vibe to my 6th album.” - BoA said, "I was agonized over the same reason when I prepared for producing my 6th album. I had to follow the trend of Korean music industry by adopting electronic sounds and a repeated chorus, and at the same time, I needed to show off a completely new trail like a pioneer in the music market."

    She had showcased songs that were composed by foreign music composers so far, but this time she worked together with many famous Korean music composers and singers and songwriters such as Kim Dong Ryul, Kim Jong Wan from the group Nell, and Jinu. BoA said, “I was curious about what kind of music would be produced if I worked with famous Korean musicians. Since I personally like ballad songs made by Kim Dong Ryul and Kim Jong Wan, I asked them to make songs for me. I also decided to work with Jinu after I listened to the song ‘Abracadabra,’ which he produced. For my album, I wanted to find really good songs instead of including many songs.”

    In the new album, songs for performances which will produce satisfying visual effects and songs for emotions which will produce satisfying audio effects are both included. Jinu’s songs such as “Game,” "Dangerous,” which features strong sounds of drums and synthesizer, and the electronic pop song “M.E.P” are those songs intended for performances, and Kim Dong Ryoul’s ballad song “Stand By,” Kim Jong Wan’s “Implode,” and the song “Romance,” in which jazz pianist Song Young Ju participated, will give audiences a chance to listen to BoA’s mature vocals.

    BoA stated, “I chose the title song ‘Hurricane Venus’ to showcase a splendid performance on the stage, but generally I wanted to make an album that can arouse women’s sympathy. Women in their twenties might want to listen to my songs in various situations: in a car, in a club, and in a situation when their boyfriends upset them. And this is the reason why I included chic songs that women can enjoy cheerfully.”

    Two of her own songs are in this album. The song entitled “Let Me,” which expresses her passion towards dancing, and the song entitled “Ordinary Day,” which contains the feelings that we can have in our daily life, are those songs. Her brother, pianist Kwon Soon Hwon, participated in recording the song “Don’t Know What To Say,” for which BoA wrote the lyrics.

    BoA explained, “I think that the break worked as a positive effect. I could choose various songs among various selections, so songs in my new album become more diversified.”

    -"In a Hollywood movie, I want to immortalize my dance.” - Her new challenge this time is going into Hollywood by acting. She will appear in Duane Adler‘s new movie. Duane Adler, who had been highlighted by writing the movie script for dance movies such as “Step Up” and “Save The Last Dance,” will write the script and direct the movie. The movie will be about dance and based in New York, and the title of the movie has not yet been decided. She said, “My schedule as a singer alone was too tight, so I have not thought about acting, but the movie is about dance and will be produced by the director who made my favorite movie ‘Step Up,’ so I was fascinated. It was an attractive opportunity for me to have my dancing, which I have just presented through TV, immortalized in a movie; it was not just an opportunity to advance into Hollywood.”

    She has stayed at the top for ten years as a dance music singer, who tend to have short careers. It seems that she has come over a level road, but actually she has suffered injuries and her body condition has become worse. But, she has a strong feeling that she can perform as a dance music singer until she becomes 35 years old as long as she takes care of herself thoroughly. In this way, she has always shown her attitude as a professional, so she is actually a role model of many junior singers who focus on dancing.

    She continued, “Dancing and singing live at the same time on the stage is not easy at all. In contrast to the time in the early 2000s, singers who lip sync are blamed. Junior singers who are singing while dancing have a great ability and they look amazing. Singers do not have to show off their appearance, so it is more important for them to try to improve their singing ability.”

    There are many titles for BoA including idol, dance music singer, artist, and performer, but she wants to be called a performer because she has a deep affection for dancing.

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