Korean singer-songwriter (and hesistant superstar) IU has, for better and worse, truly grown up in the limelight. Debuting as a young teen, her music was judged as “too dark”, and her appearance was criticized, leading to years of insecurity and self-doubt.
It’s these very issues that have made her into a symbol for so many in Korea, and even the world over. In a society strictly based in maintaining a certain image, IU has broken down barriers with bracing honesty regarding her ongoing struggles with mental health, from depression to insomnia, as well as her past eating disorders.
The past few years have been a decidedly mixed experience for the musician, with her rising from judgment to arguably being Korea’s single most popular solo artist. On the other hand, she’s lost not one, but two close friends to suicide, most notably fellow Korean feminist icon Sulli.
Suffice to say, then, her finally choosing to (however satirically) embrace her “Celebrity” in name as the title of the first offering from her approaching fifth full studio album is no small gesture. The video for the single matches her appropriately defiant, wry attitude, with the music (and artist) switching seamlessly back and forth between powerful, iconic visuals and sly winks. I’m calling it now: we’re in for quite the era.
Check out “Celebrity” below, and stay tuned for more information regarding IU’s approaching album, rumored to see release in February, very soon.