Sometimes, we all need something to make us feel a little bit better about our differences. For some, being different from societies ‘norm’ brings criticism, bullying, confusion, self-hate, mental health issues … the negativity caused by attitudes to difference is disappointingly vast. Though, as one, the ‘different’ of us probably outnumber the ‘normal’. However, ‘difference’ is exactly what it says on the tin – we appear the minority because we are all – different.
Amber Liu has never been silent about being different and feeling at odds with the ‘norm’, in fact, it is one of the main reasons she is adored by so many Kpop fans.
Recently, she teamed up with friend, Enik Lin, and his rock outfit, FYKE, to address this exact topic in a track called ‘Get Myself’.
FYKE are formed of Enik Lin (honorary member, former session musician, writer and producer for RP/Royal Pirates following James’ injury), Steven Delman, Mikee Fabella, Justin Wright, and Gerard Christian. Their music focuses heavily on topics such as mental health and identity.
‘Get Myself’ is no different. There’s no intense narrative to do a deep dive into this week during MV Breakdown – just an important message.
The mv shows Amber and Enik each address one of their biggest criticisms in a mock argument opening. Enik asks if Amber she should consider growing her hair, Amber responds with the suggestion Enik should dress differently.
We follow the six as they implement the FYKE + AMBER MAKEOVER PROJECT, a project that aims to work on their Mannerisms, Body Image, Talent and Dress Code.
They work on Enik’s posture and suggest a catwalk like swagger for Amber. Enik fails miserably at push-ups, while Amber fairs pretty well. Talent exists by the truckload in these guys, and Amber proves she can rock out with FYKE, no problem – obviously!
Then comes dress code. The outfits, particularly on Amber and Enik, are meant to be jarring. Even if your only experience of the two is from this music video, it is immediately obvious that Enik would never wear the purple jumper (sweater), and Amber is clearly uncomfortable in the black crop top, even before she covers herself up.
This scene accompanies Amber’s lyrics:
If I showed you the things that I couldn’t
Would you leave?
Would you love me the same?
Because I couldn’t
‘Because I couldn’t’ strikes deep with this visual, and the journey the mv continues to take – Amber knows that ‘normal’ is not for her. This plays out as the six perform in their new outfits; Enik with his signature hair tied back and wearing colour; Amber with long blue hair, wearing a skirt. The rest of FYKE transformed also to draw closer to age and societal trends and stereotypes.
It is, in a way, uncomfortable to watch. f(x) and Amber fans will no doubt feel odd about seeing Amber in a way they know she doesn’t choose to appear. For FYKE and Enik fans it’s even strange to see him force a smile – Enik isn’t a naturally smiley person.
I can’t get myself to change
Cause I’d drive myself insane
And there’s no one left to blame
I don’t get myself
I don’t get myself
The six reject their new looks and let their natural energy take over, Amber reveals her real hair and Enik unties his – given they both have striking hairstyles that portray their difference and personality so perfectly this is a simple but effective break out back to their own definition of ‘normal’. They’ve embraced their difference and know it is the only way they can be. There are even some cute Llama plush toys in there for a little added embracing of one’s own ‘brand’.
There’s a fantastic lo-fi cut of them maxing out their weird, in dinosaur and unicorn costumes. Even without the lo-fi effect, it is raw and real; it is from the heart.
Enik posted a photo from the filming of this section that really hammers home the core of why music like this needs to exist.
‘Some guy drove by and shouted ‘Oppan Gangnam style!’ when we were filming this part’ – because the short-sighted nature of some in society can’t see past their idea of normal, and then difference sometimes becomes a generalisation and stereotype, something to direct negativity at.
Do what FYKE and Amber do – embrace your difference, even if you don’t get yourself. Your default resting bitch face and solely black wardrobe make you, you. Your short hair and androgynous image make you, you. It’s not always easy being different, but you’re actually not alone. There are millions of us ‘different’ people, and despite our differences, we all will have suffered some of the same negative energy towards what makes us, us. So live your truth, be weird, be different, be you!
You can check out (and fall in love with) FYKE on your preferred streaming and download services, follow them on social media, and even help them reach their funding goal for their ‘Disorder’ album by buying merch
Just to add to their cool (yep, different is definitely cool), Enik is a graphic designer and designs all their merch!
Bonus points not available to those that added up that the UKP Boss Lady is a Graphic Designer with a default resting bitch face and solely black wardrobe – and is coincidentally a long time Enik Lin fan