BOA THEN AND NOW
BoA's Sweet Sixteen
BoA recently celebrated her 16th anniversary -- 16 years of delivering pop goodness. Dubbed "the Queen of K-Pop," she is an accomplished vocalist and dancer and is multi-lingual, fluent in Korean, English, and Japanese. She's recorded albums in all of these languages, as well as Mandarin Chinese.
She released her first album at the tender age of 13. 'ID; Peace B,' her debut Korean album, was a modest success, hitting the top 10. After a breakthrough in Japan, she followed that up with 'No.1,' a prophetic name since it hit #1 and stayed there for 4 months. The same year she came out with 'Miracle,' containing Korean versions of some of her Japanese singles. Over the next year, she put out two more albums, 'Atlantis Princess' and 'Shine We Are!'
'My Name' saw her ditch her young and cute image for a sexier one. With 'Girls on Top' she continued to morph her image into a more mature, confident one. Take a look at these two, and note the transition.
Taking a hiatus from the Korean scene, she concentrated on Japanese activities and an eponymous debut album in English for the American market. It took five years, but we were finally treated to 'Hurricane Venus,' which won a Bonsang Award and ranked number one on the Hanteo album sales chart, as well as in the top five on other charts like Naver and Soribada. A repackage album 'Copy & Paste' was released soon after. That's where I first found BoA, and thought her sound was absolutely compelling. Her next project was another K-Pop comeback, 'Only One,' containing the self-composed title track, which met with even greater success. "The Shadow" is one of my personal faves on the disc.
2013 was a turning point for BoA. It was a year of firsts as she held her first Korean concert tour. Not only that - she BoA made her big screen debut in the indie dance film 'Make Your Move' alongside Derek Hough ('Dancing With the Stars'). It received mixed reviews, but critics raved about the stellar dance moves, and reluctantly agreed the actors had charm. The singer also participated in MBC's 'Infinity Challenge.' BoA starred in 'Big Match' as well, her first Korean film.
Her most recent promotional cycle was her 15th-anniversary disc 'Kiss My Lips.' Self-produced, this album represents BoA taking even more control of her music. To date, this is my favorite album, probably because of the sheer range of genres. It made IZM's "The 10 Best Albums of 2015" list. And I particularly love "Shattered," equal parts ethereal and exciting.
Most recently, BoA's Japanese company Avex Trax quietly released an audio track on YouTube in January. Sung entirely in English, the tune turned out to be the theme song for the Japanese drama 'Ooku.' The songstress cranked out a song with rapper Beenzino as part of SM Entertainment's 'SM Station' project. Their tune "No Matter What" hit YouTube and Naver June 16th.
After 16 years in the biz, BoA continues to grow and add to her already voluminous body of work. Sexy, stylish, and undeniably talented, she continues to delight us with her music. Just discovering her now? Let me know what you think!