K-Pop’s 3rd generation fans might have memories when hearing the name DALsooobin. That’s because one of the current soloists in the game just got a new stage name by mixing her actual name (and former stage name, Subin) and her former group’s name (Dal☆Shabet). “There are a lot of people called Soobin. I wanted to highlight my own personality and that way [by changing the stage name] seems easier for the fans and other people to differ me from the others”, DALsooobin explained one of her reasons over an exclusive interview with K4US.
Besides that, the fans also contributed so the new stagd name was no other than the current one: “I don’t ever want to forget that our fandom is Darling, so I wanted to remind them that Dal☆Shabet is not over“. Just like her, other members have also said that even though the situation isn’t the best for this now, they still want to perform as Dal☆Shabet in the future.
After her contract with Happy Face Entertainment expired, DALsooobin signed with KeyEast, through which she released her new project. ‘Katchup’s MV and lyrics already give us a taste – literally – of what we might expect from this new moment of her career. “Katchup is a magic sauce that makes every food more delicious and the word play also refers to ‘catch up’ (as to overcome). It’s about a woman who both suffers because of love but also gains strength to overcome the pain of love”.
The Music Video reminds us of the latest female soloist scene we’ve been witnessing in K-Pop – such as Sunmi and Jimin Park -, in which women showcase a strong and independent image, specially regarding failed love stories. In ‘Katchup’s case, with a pacifier and inside a baby crib, DALsooobin mocks a man’s mistake of judging the woman as naive based on her appearance or age. “After suffering because of this kind of love, there is a woman who toughen up“, she tells about her image duality through the video.
The style she’s been exploring in this new phase distances her from the ballads she used to work as Subin, when she’d reconcile both solo and Dal☆Shabet’s activity. According to DALsooobin, while she was in the group, she could count on the other members to deliver the best of results to the public, so being a soloist comes with new challenges: “I don’t have anyone to complement my abilities so I need to study more and work harder”.
All these changes come with an unwavering character: Nikita. “Kita is a friend that helps me overcoming my shyness. She influences me with her free-spiritedness and she gives me cofidence when I release an album”. Described as DALsooobin’s best friend, Kita is also her alter ego – they even interact on instagram, which makes it even funnier and more curious.
In the western pop music industry we have examples of Lady Gaga and Nicki Minaj, both carrying a series of alter egos that come alive depending on the project’s concept. Nikita, though, is a character that haven’t ventured in the music world. Self-declared Alternate Reality Influencer, she rather foccus on her model career and promoting her own clothing brand. And she’s not the only one. Moon Hyuna (9muses) and the model Hyelim also give life to characters that work in these terms. Although the three alter egos share the blond hair feature, they also showcase different styles and narratives.
Nikita might foccus on her brand and online shop, but DALsooobin assures us that is only a matter of time for the model to enter the music scenery, considering that amongst DALsooobin’s 2019 projects there is an album featuring Nikita. And they’re working on it already.
We asked DALsooobin to play a game in which she had to answer with the first thing that came to her mind. Check out her thoughts:
• Music is… Everything.
• My biggest flaw is… That I don’t love myself completely yet.
• If there’s something I’m good at it’s… Challenging myself.
• One thing I wanna have as a tattoo: I want emoticon-like drawing of my family.
• A woman I admire: My mom.
Considering DALsooobin’s long term career, there’s no doubt she believes in music. Kind enough, she left a message to all the girls pursuing a career as an artist: “I think it’s natural to look for challenges when you’re young. When you express your feelings through art, your results will not be comparable to anyone else’s, so I recommend that you work with an open mind.”
Interview by Bea and Chugga | K4US redators tram
Translation: Charlie Cout (KR-PT) and Bea (PT-ENG) @ Credit please