Pop singer BoA
By Han Sang-hee
Korean pop princess BoA is about to knock on the door of the U.S. music scene.
At a press conference in Seoul, the 21-year-old singer expressed her excitement at being finally able to reveal to the world what she has been up to for the past couple of years.
``It was so hard to hide our plans. People kept asking me why are you not making an album, but the truth was, I was already working on one! Now, I am finally showing everybody what I've been working on. Now it really feels like I'm going to the U.S.,'' she said at the conference Wednesday. Lee Soo-man, president of her agency SM Entertainment, project manager and producer Max Gousse, music executive Hayden Bell and choreographer Flii Stylz joined her for the conference.
Debuting in 2000, BoA started out as a young, aspiring artist with a big voice and superb dance talent. She moved to Japan, becoming one of most popular performers among Japanese fans. With the catchphrases ``Best Of Asia'' and ``Bring on America,'' she has teamed up with some of the best producers, choreographers and managers in the U.S. to bring her best to the U.S. public.
The singer had a cast on her arm on Wednesday following a fall down some stairs.
``We started working on her entry to the U.S. market in 2005. We considered other options like acting, but came to the conclusion that music was the best way to start. The people we met through the project actually knew who BoA was, and this was already a good sign,'' Lee said.
Following the other two major agencies JYP Entertainment and YG Entertainment's U.S. market endeavors with Rain and Se7en respectively, Lee has confidence that BoA has the chance to repeat her success in the U.S.
``BoA's debut in the U.S. is meaningful as she will be competing in the mainstream of the main market in terms of music,'' Lee said.
Aiming only for the best, BoA and Lee joined top production team Bloodshy & Avant. The team has worked on Britney Spears' ``Piece of Me,'' ``Toxic'' and Madonna's ``How High'' and others including Jennifer Lopez and Kylie Minogue.
Two music videos of her new digital single ``Eat You Up,'' directed by U.S. director Diane Martel and Korean Cha Eun-taek, and a short documentary of BoA working with dancers and producers were unveiled at the conference, complete with short messages from the team to her.
When asked about BoA from a producer's and choreographer's point of view, Stylz and Gousse said that she was one of the best they have ever worked with.
``I was initially taken by her charisma and her mastery of English. I've come to know her as someone with a great work ethic,'' Gousse said.
BoA has been considered one of the best dancers in the Korea pop scene among local and Japanese fans, and the professional choreographer agreed that she was ``fantastic.''
``BoA can be summed up in one word: innovative. (She) is like a canvas. You can try out anything; she has a lot of vocabulary. She's the elite class around her age whatever it may be. For choreographers, she's a challenge, because you don't want her to be bored. I believe she is approaching the level of master of her craft. She's the most diligent and most hard working artist I've (met) in my life,'' Stylz added.
BoA looked quite tired from her injury but when reporters asked about her plans and future, her voice jumped with excitement.
``I was like a fish in the water. I never really showed hip-hop to fans, but I'm actually very fond of (the genre). I'm thrilled to now finally share it with you. It was hard to follow the different culture, but I'll work on it slowly,'' she said.
The next goal for the ambitious singer?
``I want to perform in Las Vegas. I watched Celine Dion's concert and was moved by her performance. I want to do the same too, soon I hope,'' she added.
BoA will unveil her new single ``Eat You Up'' online on Oct. 7; her debut single in the U.S. Oct. 11; and finally release her first album in the U.S. early next year.