Lizzy is my favourite non-Kahi After School member, so I was excited when I heard that she’d be making her solo debut as a trot singer.
Trot –a.k.a. the original K-pop– isn’t winning any music shows these days, but it’s still more relevant in the mainstream than most people probably realize. Popular girl groups like Crayon Pop and Lizzy’s own Orange Caramel have incorporated trot into their music to varying degrees, plastic fantastic trot star Hong Jin Young staged a major comeback in November with “Cheer Up,” and just last year A Pink’s Eunji starred in the trot-themed drama series Trot Lovers.
Of course, Lizzy’s take on this classic genre isn’t the same as corny old trot singers like Joo Hyun-mi and Yoo Ji-na. The Orange Caramel cutie mixes it with the disco cheese and synth-pop that so heavily influenced Asian pop music in the 1980s. It’s retro to the point of kitsch, and so kitsch that it’s cool–much like Orange Caramel.
It also features a funny rap from popular comedian and variety show star Jeong Hyeong-don, which is just one of the many ways that “Not An Easy Girl” appeals to both young and old audiences alike.
The music video –which sees Lizzy flawlessly superimposed into the 1961 film Seong Chunhyang— is already guaranteed to finish 2015 as one of the year’s best. The film is based on a classic Korean folk tale about the love between different social classes and a woman who must fight to keep her integrity after being pressured into sex. Lizzy uses the story to turn “Not An Easy Girl” into a feminist anthem, and also plays up her countrified image by asserting herself as a no-nonsense woman with good morals who can’t be seduced with superficial trappings like those fake city broads in Gangnam can.
Watching the live performances, in which Lizzy prances around in a trendy hanbok and acts out small scenes from Seong Chunhyang, is just the cherry on top of what is already a perfect solo debut.