Superstar soloist Chungha dropped her newest album, “Bare&Rare Pt. 1,” and a bubbly summer music video for title track “Sparkling” on Monday.
Every track on the album was co-produced and co-written by Chungha and beyond the splashy “Sparkling” song, the album includes seven other tracks: “XXXX,” “Louder,” “California Dream,” “Good Night My Princess,” “Love Me Out Loud,” “Nuh-Uh” and “Crazy Like You” featuring her 88rising labelmate Bibi. Both Chungha and Bibi are slated to perform at 88rising’s Head in the Clouds festival next month. An alternative and retro but equally glitzy version of the “Sparkling” music video was also released in collaboration with 88rising.
“Bare&Rare” is the long-awaited follow up to Chungha’s first full-length album “Querencia,” which dropped almost a year and a half ago.
At a press conference Monday in Seoul, Chungha shared her feelings about her newest sophomore album and reflected on her previous work.
“I realized that while I’ve been a singer for the past few years, I had never really expressed my personal memories through my music. So far, I thought of myself as a performer; someone who performs the stage routine and lyrics that others designed for me. For this album, I wanted to fill it up with my innermost stories,” she said.
She said that even after giving it her all and releasing “Querencia” last year, featuring a whopping 21 songs, she “felt empty for some reason.”
“I asked myself what was causing that feeling, and I thought of the times that I sang lyrics that I couldn’t relate to, or wanted to change some musical aspects in my songs. So I really wanted to tell my own story this time.”
Chungha also mentioned she recorded 24 songs over the past two months, including collaborations with other artists, and has practically lived in the recording booth.
“Honestly, I felt naked during the production process. I felt like I had thrown away my bulletproof vest. People know me as the primped-up version of myself, especially my signature glittery makeup, but this time I wanted to take all of that off and show who I really am. That’s where the album title comes from. There’s still a lot left for me to reveal. It was a tight schedule, and I practically lived in the recording booth. But I really want to keep releasing albums that have a lot of tracks, making people say, ‘Chungha’s albums are always the fullest!”
While the glitter comes out for the aquatic-themed title track, past teasers of the album have shown a moodier, grittier Chungha in black and white.
It is “Very, Very, Very” much a departure from her debut days with girl group I.O.I back in 2016, formed from the Mnet reality singing show “Produce 101.” The MNH Entertainment soloist has since dropped hit after hit with works like “Roller Coaster” in 2018, “Gotta Go” and “Snapping” in 2019, “Bicycle” with 88rising’s Rich Brian and “Dream of You” in 2021, to name a few.
Chungha and 88rising sister singer Bibi both performed at this year’s Waterbomb festival in Korea last month. She is set to perform at the upcoming MIK (Made in Korea) music festival in London on July 30.