South Korean singer-songwriter BIBI has been a busy bee this past year.
Back in January, the Feel Ghood Music artist collaborated with former IZ*ONE member Yena on the track “Smiley.” In April, she joined 88rising for their superstar set at Coachella, where she performed “Best Lover,” one of the tracks included in 88rising’s “Head In The Clouds Forever” EP. Last month, she was featured in CHUNG HA’s song “Crazy Like You” from the latter’s second studio album “Bare&Rare.”
All of that hustle has turned her into a force to be reckoned with; a few weeks ago, she was one of the performers for the Camp McDonald’s in-app summer campaign alongside the likes of blackbear, Omar Apollo and Kid Cudi. Camp McDonald’s was “a virtual camp experience featuring the hottest lineup of food deals, menu hacks, limited-edition merch and music performances from amazing artists.”
On July 24, BIBI shared in-app performances of her hit songs, including “The Weekend” and “Best Lover.” When asked what drew the food giant to reach out to BIBI, they told NextShark that they “always aim to collaborate with artists that will resonate across our diverse, multicultural consumer base.”
NextShark corresponded with BIBI via email to discuss her experience working with McDonald’s and how she stays authentic to who she is as an artist.
A daily dose of Asian America's essential stories, in under 5 minutes.
Get our collection of Asian America's most essential stories to your inbox daily for free.
Unsure? Check out our Newsletter Archive.
“It’s been a pleasure working with such a global company. I had so much fun during the shoot – especially stuffing our faces with an endless supply of fries and McFlurries,” she says. “I’m overjoyed about how my performance turned out. Not sure if it was all the McFlurries I ate, but I felt like I became as sweet as a McFlurry – more lovable than usual.”
Born and raised in South Korea as Kim Hyung-seo, BIBI oscillates between Korea and America, providing the 23-year-old talent with the opportunity to illustrate her unique artistry to different audiences: a more socially conservative entertainment industry filled with pedantically polished idols and a Western audience that openly accepts her flinging of cigarettes and condoms while she is onstage. Last year, she went viral after kissing a fan during her performance at the Head in the Clouds music festival in Pasadena, California.“Though there were times I was intimidated by trolls or negative comments, I’ve realized that I have to live my life as authentically as possible – and not doing so has not-so-great consequences (learned that the hard way). I live to entertain and sometimes I get lost into it a little too deep, but I think that’s one of the many factors that make up an artist,” she shares.
Her confidence is something her fans, known as BIBI Bullets, have come to love about her, going so far as to cite her as a girl crush icon. Even with such a status thrust upon her, BIBI stays relatable – at one point, her TikTok profile picture was Itachi from the anime “Naruto.” At the moment, she loves binging other anime series such as “Hozuki’s Coolheadedness,” “Food Wars” and “Hori-san to Miyamura-kun” and also has some girl crushes of her own.
“Awkwafina!” she exclaims. “I think she’s super dope and multi-talented. She’s funny and attractive, such an amazing actress as well.”
For BIBI, binging anime and thinking about girl crushes comes between crafting her upcoming album, which is scheduled to be released sometime this fall. “If I were to define this album’s genre in one word, it would be ‘noir.’ You’ll see me dive into different concepts and styles in my upcoming album 100%,” she says.
Attendees of 88rising’s Head in the Clouds festival this weekend will bear first witness to BIBI jumping off the deep end with new concepts and “never-before-heard songs,” with some of them from her forthcoming album. She will be joined by other talents such as NIKI, Rich Brian, Jackson Wang, Joji, Jay ParkBIBI strives to be consistent and true to herself whether in Korea with her Feel Ghood label or abroad playing with 88rising.
, MILLI and her fellow Feel Ghood labelmates Tiger JK and Yoonmirae.
“First and foremost, I am a Feel Ghood Music artist – and when it comes to cross promoting for my stateside activities, I’m grateful that 88rising and Feel Ghood joined forces – during Coachella, HITC, and our song ‘The Weekend,’ getting onto US Radio! It truly takes a village,” she says. “Though my Feel Ghood family is based in Seoul, our team is made up of an eclectic, internationally-raised bunch from all walks of life. We all work together to bring my big ideas to life in a way no one else can.”
“I am a firm believer of music transcending languages and boundaries, I approach my Korean fans and my international fans in the same way – I’m always going to be me no matter what country I’m in.”
Featured Image via McDonald’s