It’s kind of ironic how a sizeable number of K-pop listeners might have first learned of OOHYO on a reality show about two girl group sisters.
The latter – Jessica Jung (former Girls’ Generation vocalist) and Krystal Jung, of f(x) fame – make music with mass appeal. OOHYO meanwhile, falls into the singer-songwriter spectrum that’s relatively niche.
But that niche sound is also what that makes the 23-year-old singer a breath of fresh air in K-pop. OOHYO’s music centres on woozy electronic and synth-pop, with a couple of indie pop elements thrown in.
She has once commented in an interview that she composes music with “logic and a keyboard”, and that shows in her brand of refreshingly minimal sound. The melodies have a buoyant quality to them, allowing the Seoul native’s equally buoyant vocals to ride on them effortlessly.
Past offerings such as Vineyard and Teddy Bear Rises explored this dreamy template beautifully. But on OOHYO’s latest single album, she’s upping the game.
The main song Pizza sees the singer in her element, riding on the waves of laidback electronic rhythm. The number is given a satisfying interpretation – with the verses picking up momentum from one verse to another – on the groovy remix by electronic dance producer Kai Takahashi.
Meanwhile, Vamos – the only Korean track – is as chilled as chilled-out songs go. The tempo remains languorous throughout the song, letting OOHYO’s airy vocals take the rein.
It would be exciting to hear what OOHYO has to offer in her upcoming releases. Until then, past offerings such as the full-length Adventure and the single Youth should give K-pop listeners a more concrete bearing of this talented act.
Mun Hwa In