Baek Ji-young is showing that age is no barrier to success in Korea's music scene, as her eighth album "PITTA" continues to meet with approval from fans.
The sultry 36-year-old, who is back after a two-and-a-half-year hiatus, has seen the album's title ballad land in the upper reaches of various music charts.
Some industry critics claim it is remarkable for a female singer in her mid-30s to continue to shine and appeal to fans in an industry which are dominated by teen bands, but Baek disagrees.
"I always wanted to make music that could move people every time I sing," she said. "Each song has a different message for listeners. That's why I try very hard to deliver the message and emotions contained in each of the songs whenever I sing."
Each singer has their own style, which is why she refuses to blindly follow the trends just for the sake of being popular, she said.
"I will try my best, just as I have always done with my music. However, as I mature as a singer, I intend to experiment with other genres outside of my comfort zone of ballads and dance," she said. "I think this is the key to dealing with career problems associated with aging."
When asked about her latest romance with actor Jung Suk-won, who is nine years her junior, Baek was quick to quash rumors that the couple may be getting hitched. "We first met in July last year and we started going out early this year. I like the fact that he always listens to my stories attentively," she said. "But talk of us getting married one day just puts more pressure on us, due to our age difference, so we have reached a mutual understanding that this relationship is not about marriage."
Baek said she is happy with her career right now and does not want to see it end anytime soon. "I don't want to put an age limit on it. I'd like to sing with undying passion even when I’m old. As long as my voice doesn't let me down, I will keep on going."