Since leaving JYP Entertainment, Sunmi has been one of the most successful solo artists, even completing her first world tour!
Still, it is impossible to neglect her significance as a member in the Wonder Girls, one of the most successful and popular girl groups.
Recently on Radio Star where Sunmi guested, where the other MCs and guests couldn’t help but notice the effects that JYP Entertainment had on her. For one thing, they pointed out that her breathing pattern was really unique to listen to. They even compared it to a grasshopper hopping over the leaves.
It turned out that this helped answer the question when the hosts were curious about why Sunmi pays close attention to her details when recording as a solo artist. She stated that when she was an idol under JYP Entertainment, J.Y. Park tightly managed how she was supposed to perform onstage. This linked back to how she developed her current breathing pattern, because JYP Entertainment had pushed for her to sing with the classic “half air, half sound method”.
The “half air, half sound” style of singing has been one of J.Y. Park’s biggest signatures and something he has pushed for all of his artists, to generate a softer and breathier sound. The issue for Sunmi was that this style of singing was being pushed for every song, which meant that she couldn’t experiment or be more versatile with her vocals.
Hence, when she left to become a solo artist, she suddenly had the creative freedom to do what she wanted with her songs.
After leaving JYP Entertainment, I could direct and decide everything for myself. I tried having 80 percent of air and 20 percent of my voice.
Furthermore, Sunmi was able to adopt her own performance style, which has been successful in garnering public attention.
And coming up with these performances is very different too.
In contrast, while under JYP Entertainment, she was required to adhere to what J.Y. Park wanted. Even if she disagreed with it.
Sunmi released her debut album “Full Moon” under JYP Entertainment, and had to follow instructions from J.Y. Park on how to promote the title track “24 Hours”, which was not that appealing to Sunmi at the time.
For one thing, she was not allowed to wear a stitch of makeup, because J.Y. Park wanted her to go for an expressionless look.
When I performed “24 Hours”, he told me to look like a pale girl and not to wear any makeup or any fake eyelashes. So I really performed without any false eyelashes. So I sang with a blank face.
Additionally, Sunmi was told by J.Y. Park back then that she wasn’t allowed to make any facial expressions while performing “24 Hours”.
As for Producer Park Jin Young, he told me not to make any kinds of facial expression on stage … After leaving his label, I could perform however I wanted including facial expressions.
With Sunmi having full creative freedom as a solo artist, she has been able to deliver a viral performance of “24 Hours” last year where she was able to showcase the expressions that she wanted.
The hosts sympathized with Sunmi’s lack of independence while under contract, though she did still state that she was on good terms with her former producer.
Sunmi admitted that JYP Entertainment was her foundation. Naturally as she became more confident in herself as a performer, she would want to defy what others wanted in favor of what she wanted.
A lot of people who have worked with Park Jin Young say, “I was disappointed back then, but in retrospect, he was right.
Yet, the hosts then highlighted that those same former artists of JYP Entertainment never want to work with J.Y. Park ever again.
When I ask if they want to work with him again, they go “No. It won’t happen again.”
To this, Sunmi sheepishly showed her agreement.
It looks like Sunmi is ready to join that list of former artists who don’t want to work with J.Y. Park again.
Regardless of where she goes in her future, it is clear that Sunmi will always appreciate her roots.