Amid a K-pop scene dominated by flashy dance moves and fast beats, heart-rending ballads may seem out of date. But these have served as Baek Ji-young's bread and butter for the last 10 years and helped cement her enduring popularity.
The singer, now in her late 30s, recently released her latest single "I Hate It," which is competing with Girls' Generation's "I Got a Boy" in the local charts.
Baek will hold her first solo concert in seven years on Feb. 16 at Jamsil Gymnasium in Seoul and have a nationwide tour in March.
While preparing for her concert, Baek said she wrestled with the desire to try and compete with popular girl groups on their own terms. "Honestly, I felt a strong desire to dance passionately on stage, similar to how I performed when I started out in 1999. But you can't turn back the clock, so I came to the conclusion that it's better for me to stay consistent and stick to the songs that suit me," she said.
She said there is "nothing special" about her voice, but added that she strictly adheres to one winning principle while on stage. "I completely immerse myself in the songs I sing. I think of myself as an actress who acts for three or four minutes at a time," she said.
She has also participated in numerous soundtracks for TV soaps, most of which have proven to be very popular.
"I love to participate in producing music for soaps if I like the female lead after reading the script," she said. "It's a thrill to hear my song played during melodramatic moments in soaps."
"I want my concert to follow a narrative that tracks back my musical career," she added. "I also want to do a long-running series of concert at small theaters in the future."