By now, Park Bom is a pretty universal household name in the Kpop sphere. From being one-quarter of 2NE1 to her distinctive voice to the scandal that made her infamous throughout Korea. Bom is not one someone forgets easily.
2019 marks the year of her grand comeback after moving from YG Entertainment to newly-established entertainment group: D-Nation.
Both her new mini-album and its leading track are a fitting tribute to her: Bom, meaning Spring in Korean. Spring was produced by Brave Brothers and features fellow 2NE1 member Sandara Park.
Spring is a song of strength and hope – to Bom from Bom. The lyrics will ring particularly true to fans who have been closely following Bom’s career.
Beyond that, Spring shows that Bom still retains her strength as a soloist. She’s one of the most successful female soloists ever in Korea.
Selling over 12 million downloads, she was the first female soloist to hit a Perfect All-Kill on the Korean charts. As part of 2NE1, she achieved even more Perfect All-Kills.
Bom, born in Seoul and educated in America, goes against the grain in many ways. She debuted at age twenty-six, after three years of auditioning for YG Entertainment.
Even then, she was noted for her vocal tone. The whispy, nasal voice is instantly recognisable – for better or for worse. But it has become almost a blueprint that other unique vocal tones are compared to.
Her tone, and many others like it, have been at the centre of debates of whether it’s sustainable, healthy, or pleasant to hear.
Bom’s voice was fuller, rounder when she was younger. Though now, she has an emotional maturity and control that’s hard to replicate.
Like any good artist, Bom’s style and sound have grown with her.
You and I, her first single achieved a PAK, is reportedly one of Korea’s best selling songs: ever. It’s a song that has been covered and replayed a thousand times over. Including by BLACKPINK’s Rosé.
Regardless of timeless popularity, You and I is a product of its time. From the convoluted MV storyline to the over-use of blur and the heavy-handed autotuned instrumental.
In contrast, while Spring still caters to modern trends, it feels like a song that could have been released then, now and five years from now.
It’s more mature, more self-aware without losing the charm that’s so unequivocally, innocently, Bom.
Bom is one of the defining characteristics and voices of the Kpop music scene. Discussions about the impact and relevance of idols, within the greater music scene, would be incomplete without mentioning her.