When one discusses underrated artists in kpop, Suzy is not a commonly posed example.
As premier starlet of JYP and internationally recognized visual, she doesn’t fit the normal profile of one who might be considered to be undervalued.
However, in my opinion, she is in fact underrated.
In a landscape dominated by edm, tropical house and hip hop influenced pop, Suzy aspires to varied heights.
JYP could easily have elected to give Suzy current trend material for her title tracks, yet he and his production team have instead chosen to diversify her offerings and reach for something different, even if they don’t land commercially.
Yes No Maybe
Suzy’s Yes No Maybe released in early 2017 is one of the most underrated tracks of any artist in kpop in recent memory.
The stripped down minimalist approach fits the aesthetic evoked by the music video. It’s the kind of minimal, roughly constructed romantic performance you’d expect to find in some swank smoke filled music hall on a dark side street in Hong Kong. A place of late night trysts and unseemly encounters between secretive lovers and exiles, sharply dressed gentlemen trying to drown their troubles in liquor and companionship, and sensual women in want of romance, glamour and escape.
Here is a song that is moody and sexy. Dark and seedy. A sensuous and romantic lament. Mature in it’s fragile femininity and presentation.
It remains on my shortlist of the best tracks of the last 5 years.
Don’t Wait For You Love
A 2017 duet with Park Won, Don’t Wait For Your Love is a prime example of Suzy’s particular talent as a vocalist.
Her light, airy and feminine voice pairs beautifully with Park Won’s soft, masculine vocals and works to offer one of the best acoustic romantic pop pieces of recent memory.
The song paints a beautiful portrait of youthful romance and the hesitation, lightness of heart, and possibility that such situations entail, with Suzy and Park Won’s vocals ushering us gently along the way.
It is one of the best singer-songwriter-esque acoustic pop tracks released in kpop in recent years.
Suzy’s most recent released track, Holiday, offers up a very minimal romantic pop piece with light jazz influences.
Dreamy and elegant in it’s presentation, Suzy’s soft vocals serenade us as we are taken on a luxurious tour of exotic locales and breathtaking scenery.
While I don’t think the track ultimately hits the height it intends, I still commend Suzy and team for their effort to give us something different.
Such a piece that evokes the kind of jet-setting atmosphere of the kind once featured in Old Hollywood movies about the wealthy and their aspirational lives, is nearly unheard of in kpop.
In a time when many decry the stale nature of kpop and the lack of diverse offerings, Suzy is releasing tracks that look to step beyond the confines her background and status might suggest.
Suzy, conventional visual, dares to be unconventional.
Give her another listen.