It would be hard to give any account of K-Pop without mentioning HyunA: born on 6th June 1992 as Kim Hyun-Ah, at 24 years old, HyunA stands out as one of the most influential and significant K-Pop stars of the transitionary period between 3rd and 4th generation Hallyu.
As the former member of two highly successful girl groups, a highly celebrated duo, and increasingly famed solo artist, HyunA first gained attention in the Hallyu world after debuting with Wonder Girls. Health issues meant that she could not fully commit to the group and she left Wonder Girls in 2007 before signing a contract with CUBE Entertainment and becoming the sub-vocal, main rapper, main dancer, and visual for newly created girl group 4Minute. It was with 4Minute where her major success lay.
However, from her debut with 4Minute to the disbandment of the group in 2016, HyunA has made her name as major solo artist. Most famously, she gained international attention after appearing in PSY’s ‘Gangnam Style’ as the female protagonist in the music video.
In Hallyu, however, she is most well-known for her first solo debut, “Bubble Pop!”, and its music video which featured MBLAQ’s former member and heartthrob, Lee Joon. After “Bubble Pop!”, she released a series of solo EPs that became equally successful and were received well by the Hallyu community.
Arguably, one of HyunA’s biggest projects was her collaboration with BEAST member Hyunseung, “Trouble Maker”. Released on 24th November 2011, both the EP met critical acclaim along with a provocative and bewitching music video that was both classy, fantastic to watch, and had a choreography that has become highly popularised. The duo produced a second EP, “Chemistry”, and its title track ‘Now’ was released with a Bonnie and Clyde-esque story which was equally successful.
HyunA has become well known for her provocative choreographies, bubbly and poppy musical style, and her confidence and brazenness in her music and MVs. Her release in 2016, “A’wesome” and its title track ‘How’s That?’ was met with great success, whilst the EP allowed her to explore various genres and play with more American sounds and styles.
Her latest project is a collaboration with two of her label juniors from the rookie group PENTAGON. Alongside Hui and Edawn she has debuted as Triple H with a mini album that was well received by the critic and that show us yet another shade of HyunA.
HyunA has proven to be a significant figure in K-Pop despite how young she is: her success lies in the fact that she is not afraid to challenge the norms in Hallyu, and push the boundaries to test her Korean audiences and appeal to her international fans.
Written by Tariq