In conjunction with the release of her new single “Oh Sorry Ya,” K-pop idol Sunmi has opened up about her battle with mental illness.
Sunmi made her K-pop debut in 2007 as a member of the Wonder Girls until 2010, resuming her career in 2013 as a solo artist. She has previously released hit singles such as “Gashina” and has 2.6 million monthly Spotify listeners, as of this writing.
In the latest episode of the “Spotify: Mic Check” podcast, titled “Sunmi” and released on March 8 (International Women’s Day), the musician talks about her journey to K-pop stardom, from joining the Wonder Girls to battling mental health issues.
The 29-year-old also shares how her songs convey her struggles with her borderline personality disorder — which she first revealed she was diagnosed with in 2015, on a December 2020 episode of Mnet’s reality show “Running Girls” — and how her new single reflects the beginning of a new chapter in her journey.
“When I was 13, I took the bus to Seoul by myself for almost five hours to audition for JYP,” she said. “Fortunately, I passed the audition and after becoming a trainee I started living in Seoul, and at the time my younger brothers had to take care of my sick father instead of me. I’m always grateful and sorry to my younger brothers. They make me move forward so whenever I go through hard times I can get over it soon.”
Sunmi explains in the podcast that she first acknowledged her battle with mental health in her song “Borderline,” which debuted on her 2021 mini-album “⅙.” The song was meant to portray the “raw feelings” that Sunmi was experiencing as well as provide “comfort” for her listeners who may have also been going through similar struggles.
“I was afraid to express the raw feelings I experienced,” she says in the podcast. “But before I even realized, I [eventually] overcame all the pain at some point. So finally I got the courage to make ‘Borderline.’”
She then goes on to talk about her new single “Oh Sorry Ya,” which was released on March 8, and explains that it shows how she is overcoming the “old Sunmi” and starting a new journey.
“The new Sunmi is no longer sick because of the old Sunmi, no matter how much the old Sunmi tries to hurt, the new Sunmi became stronger [by] not getting hurt at all,” she says.
“Oh Sorry Ya” was released as a part of Spotify’s EQUAL X Spotify Singles project, which was created in celebration of female artists on International Women’s Day. The song was co-produced by Sunmi and a Los Angeles-based songwriting duo called LYRE.