The visuals channel Sia and Björk
K-pop singer Sunmi has returned with a brand-new song ‘LALALAY’, which arrived alongside a mesmerising music video.
Weaving traditional Korean wind instruments with dancehall-inspired beats, the song – which Sunmi co-wrote with DJ Frants – is an instant electro pop earworm. The South Korean idol sings about newfound confidence, brushing off her haters as she goes along. “If I’m criticised until I crumble to dust, I’m okay / What? No matter what you’re doing, you know I’m okay,” Sunmi sings on the chorus.
In the accompanying video, Sunmi and her troupe of dancers rock identical platinum blonde wigs (Sia, anyone?) while serving impressive choreography. At one point, Sunmi dances in front of a massive psychedelic butterfly motif with her face on it: very Björk. Check it out below.
“The inspiration [for ‘LALALAY’] came while [I was] on tour,” Sunmi told Kpop Herald. “I went to Mexico with high expectations about their passion and fans were enjoying my show very passionately without caring about what other people think. I was back in bed in my hotel room and thought about how Koreans also love to have fun. Then the word ‘Lalalay’ suddenly sprung to my mind.”
Sunmi also added that upon further research, the word also became a reference to taepyeongso, the traditional Korean wind instrument used on the song. “I thought it was perfect to use as source material and suggested making beats with it to DJ Frants,” she explained.
‘LALALAY’ follows Sunmi’s one-off March single, ‘Noir’. The singer had previously released her sophomore EP ‘Warning’ in 2018, which featured hits like ‘Siren’ and ‘Black Pearl’.
Sunmi rose to fame as part of K-pop girl group Wonder Girls, who were best known for their 2008 chart-smashing song, ‘Nobody’. Sunmi later left the group in 2010 to pursue her studies and a solo career before rejoining the band three years on. The girl group, who made their debut in 2007, announced their split in 2017.