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'Sexy but kind': Bibi shrugs off the censors

Singer-songwriter out to prove that sexy doesn't mean obscene

Scenes from music video of Bibi's new song
Scenes from music video of Bibi's new song "Bibi Vengeance." (Feel Ghood Music)

Bibi is truly a one-of-a-kind musician in K-pop, especially as a young female artist who speaks through her music about raw emotions that are not often publicly discussed.

With her debut LP "Lowlife Princess -- Noir," dropped Friday afternoon, Bibi has set herself out as a singer who won't compromise on self expression.

On Friday morning, Bibi invited media to a cinema in Cheongdam-dong, Seoul, and premiered the three new music videos from her first full-length album, which were unveiled along with the album later that day.

Appearing onstage before the event began was Bibi's label Feel Ghood Music chief Tiger JK, who gave an explanation to why they organized the event.

"It's taken two years for Bibi to complete this album. When Bibi makes an album, she develops a character for it and completely drowns herself in the character to create the story for the music video. It's as if she is making the song as a soundtrack for the music video. And watching her go through the whole process, crying many nights and sometimes laughing her head off like crazy, just didn't allow me to drop the album and released the music videos and be done with that," Tiger JK, also a veteran rapper-producer, said.

It was not just an album that Bibi was presenting with her debut LP, but a whole universe of stories that revolve around her alter ego, "Oh Geum-ji."

"Lowlife princess -- these two words are incompatible in their meanings, and I thought the two they were like me. They seemed to expound the character Oh Geum-ji that was created through the emotions I pulled out of myself. And the whole universe comes in the noir genre. It's about what happens inside the dark, new world," the 24-year-old said.

It's a 12-song package, including an instrumental intro track, that Bibi led the writing of both the music and the lyrics. With the album, Bibi released the last three music videos from the album, each for tracks.

Leading the album is one of the four lead singles, "Bibi Vengeance," and with it, she goes all out on expressing her rage and revenge.

"I was so mad when I wrote this song. I'd been deeply enraged back then. And I didn't actually take the vengeance because I'd relieved (the rage) by making this song," Bibi said, adding about the outrageous experience, "The incident was a relationship problem. If I had filed a report, the person would have been sent to jail."

According to Bibi, Oh Geum-ji is a character who craves for the love that she couldn't have growing up as an abandoned child.

"Anger and love are mingled here. In the music video (of 'Bibi Vengeance'), the character wants to be loved even though she's a foul person. She was abandoned when she was young and to survive in the sin city, she makes actions out of the desire to be loved. But, at the end of everything, all she hears is people who call her a 'bitch' and 'the queen of underworld.'"

Scenes from music video of Bibi's new song
Scenes from music video of Bibi's new song "Bibi Vengeance." (Feel Ghood Music)

Building the background of the character Oh Geum-ji is another female character who appears in the music video of "Jotto." Actor Park Jeong-min stars in the video.

"I'd actually thought that Park had to star in the music video when I'd first decided to make the video. As I was trying to get in contact with him, I discovered a direct message from him on my social media, which read: 'I'm such a big fan of yours. I think you're a genius.' I thought it was just meant to be," she said.

All the tracks on the album are of different genres, and Bibi said she defined the album as a "noir" piece, because she didn't define herself by the genre but by the stories she tell.

"I don't consider myself as someone doing some great work of art but just a person telling fun stories," she said.

In September, Bibi unveiled "Animal Farm" and its music video as the first pre-release from "Lowlife Princess -- Noir," and went onto drop "Sweet Sorrow of Mother" and "Motospeed 24."

Bibi hoped the album could be a source of relief for people under stressful emotions, just as it had been for her.

"I express myself through art, but people who are not able to do that, those who go on with life with the anger piled inside them, I hope they could listen to my songs and pass through the situation more smoothly," she said.

Scenes from music video of Bibi's new song
Scenes from music video of Bibi's new song "Bibi Vengeance." (Feel Ghood Music)

She hinted that her next album will have a different more romantic color.

"My next album will be about love and self-reflection," she said. "Its story will also take place in year 2044. I'm thinking about the title of the album. It could be 'The real kid' or 'The story of a female singer.'"

The music videos revealed from the album and the songs have all been prohibited from television broadcasting because of their content. But Bibi said she couldn't compromise on the story nor her music.

About "Bibi Vengeance, she said, "I expected that I wouldn't be able to bring the song to TV. But I chose this story because I thought it well portrayed the character I had created. It shows who the person is. And the song is very addictive," Bibi said, adding, "The stories (of the album) were important, but I wanted it to include many catchy songs, so that it could be just a series of bangers."

While controversies surround Bibi and her music for the risque and sexually explicit topics and visuals, she hoped she could continue her music to show that sexual doesn't always mean provocative.

"I just hope that I could change people's thoughts slowly and show them that sexy isn't always bad. (I thought) 'Let's become someone who is sexy but kind,'" Bibi said.

About her goals with the blockbuster music videos, she said, "I don't really have anything I want to achieve through them. I just think we're living an era where music has to satiate all five senses. That's why I made the music videos. I didn't convey some kind of deep or philosophical meanings into them. I hope they could be entertaining (for the viewers)," and added, "But I suppose I would thrilled if they get nominated to MTV awards."



By Choi Ji-won (jwc@heraldcorp.com)
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