5 Korean Solo Female Acts Who Dare To Be Different

K-pop’s many exciting possibilities and vibrance are what make it so captivating to the whole world. But sometimes, it can be a bit formulaic with some of these elements: catchy music, synchronized dance moves, trendy clothes, and all the typical things that we often associate with it. But this does not mean anything negative because these are also the reasons why we absolutely love K-pop.

There are, however, several artists who decide to break away from the mainstream mold either through their genre of music, overarching message, image, or personality. Here are some of the best female solo artists who dared to be different:

*lyric translations from Genius

 CL – Empowering and independent

CL is undeniably one of the artists, who, even when she was in 2NE1 or considered as a “K-pop idol,” never really subscribed to stereotypes. 2NE1 is one of the groundbreaking K-pop groups that made a strong impression. CL went above and beyond to embody a strong, independent woman whom fans can look up to. She paved her own way and set the standards high for everyone else to follow. In her latest comeback as a solo artist, she released a hip hop track that reveals her signature powerful side and a message about self-acceptance with the lyrics, “Haters always got something to say/ I’m different and you’re wrong/ You know that you can’t kill me.”

It’s also important to note that she referenced “mugunghwa” in the lyrics and in symbolism at the end. It’s a type of hibiscus flower that’s known as the national flower of Korea, which literally means “eternal blossom that never fades.” The mugunghwa also refers to a class of train in the part where she sings “Mugunghwa kkoci pieot seumnida,” which is a game similar to red light/green light. In one of the verses, she raps, “This is my seat, got it?”

CL is a woman who is sure of herself, her music, and her own path. She says in an interview with Billboard, “I know exactly where I’m going, what I want to do.”