There’s seemingly no end to the list of talented soloists in the k-pop industry. Once often overshadowed by groups, solo singers and songwriters have seen a small resurgence over the past few years, with artists such as Chungha, IU and Taeyeon consistently sweeping the charts. In fact, you could say the solo artists have always held a massive sway over the top spots. From Boa to Park Hyoshin, a solo release has the habit of sticking with the general public, soaring their sales.
However, amongst the soaring stars, there are quieter glimmers that are steadily building their own fanbase. One of these artists is Stella Jang, a singer/songwriter who has produced a stream of catchy, quirky songs for the past six years. Debuting with ‘Dumped Yesterday’ in 2014, she recently released her first full-length album, ‘Stella I’, under Grandline Entertainment. The lead single from this, called ‘Villain’, is a perfect example of the style that runs throughout most of Stella’s music. It’s relatively sparse in its backing track, her vocals equally restained yet pretty. There’s also a large number of English lines, especially in the main hook, that showcase her linguistic talents. Having been born in Korea, Stella moved to France at the age of 12 to attend school. She’s fluent in French, English and Korean, and her music seems to reflect that interesting amalgamation.
Not only this, but her YouTube channel, StellaJangTV, offers an insight into her musical process and her ideas. Whilst it was only started 9 months ago, Stella has uploaded multiple covers and acoustic versions of her songs. A version of her song ‘YOLO’, created using a loop station, demonstrates how she created the entire song acapella, and her cover of the song ‘Le Festin’ from the film Ratatouile has over 6 million views.
After moving to France and studying in both nancy and Paris, she chose to rename herself Stella after some people had difficulty pronouncing her Korean name, Seung Eun. Seung, meaning star, lent itself perfectly to an English name that also had the same meaning, and by extension, also hinted at her desire to pursue music. Since her debut under her stage name, she’s released multiple digital singles, including a long list of OST’s, four mini albums, and was also a member of the project group CSVC.
In a lot of ways, her music shares similarities with IU – a quirkiness and command of quiet vocals that emphasize her ability, she tells stories through her creative lyrics. Hopefully, in the future, her popularity will see as much of surge as she deserves.