Hyosung just made her Korean comeback with a Spice Girls remix last week, but TS Entertainment has already announced that the nation’s wrongfully accused ilbe goddess is set to debut in Japan next month.
That got me thinking about Song Jieun‘s little-known Japanese debut from last December, which nobody really talked about apart from a few SECRET stans.
“Pretty Age 25” was one of my favourite songs from last year, so I was excited to see it get a J-pop makeover despite SECRET’s unremarkable history in the Japanese market.
Kiss Entertainment didn’t open up their budget much so Jieun had to pull a T-ara and just dub the Japanese audio of “25” over the original music video, but it still turned out great. “25” sounded just as good, if not better in Japanese.
She also dropped a whole mini-album featuring Japanese versions of her Korean songs, including B-side “La Boum” and her brooding ballad single, “Don’t Look At Me Like That.” She even re-recorded the amazing “Vintage” from the 100% flaw-free Tortured Hope single.
K-pop artists can’t really get on TV in Japan any more unless they’re on TVXQ or KARA’s level, so Jieun went the Tiffany route and supported her album with a classy mall tour. (Hyosung is scheduled for 10 days of promotions, so she’ll probably do something similar.)
Unfortunately, no matter how hard I’ve searched online I’ve NEVER been able to find a download link for Twenty Five <JPN>. That means the only Japanese Jieun tunes I’ve heard are the single and the mall tour tracks–which is basically everything except my fave, “Vintage.” Ugh.
As expected, Twenty Five didn’t do that well commercially. Despite topping Tower Records daily pre-order chart, it only sold a little over 4000 copies and ended up peaking at No. 29 on Oricon’s weekly chart.
I’m not sure how Hyosung will do, but I am looking forward to hearing her songs sung in Japanese. Labelmates B.A.P were actually starting to do really well in Japan before their whole TS lawsuit went down, so maybe there’s still some hope for SECRET in JPN.
Jieun and Hyosung are sure as hell better than other foreign J-divas like Che’nelle, so it’d be nice to see them have some shred of success over there. I could totally see Jieun being the Korean Kana Nishino!