Sunmi has always been K-pop’s most fashion-forward superstar — even as far back as 2007 when the Korean artist first rose to stardom during her years in the girl group Wonder Girls at just 16 years old. Over time, her style caught the eyes of many fans when she debuted as a solo artist and now, her latest music video for her new single “Heart Burn,” which premiered on Friday, June 24, proves even more so.
In “Heart Burn,” the singer takes fans on a journey as she plays an infatuated partner, following her relationships that span different eras. Throughout the three-minute video, the 30-year-old musician is seen madly in love on a warm summer day but her summer flings take a terrible turn for the worst as her lovers suddenly become ill with a fever. Sunmi seems to be heartbroken, but is she really?
Though the singer stuns in her bright orange hair for her anticipated return to the stage, Sunmi’s fashion choices in the video are also quite the scene-stealer, too. As the music video goes through her past lives, she experiments with a range of aesthetics, like cottagecore, opting for ruffled silhouettes and floral dresses paired with matching headscarves. In other scenes, she transforms into the ultimate cowgirl rocking westernwear-inspired hats and boots, and during her Roaring ‘20s style phase, she dons elegant pearls and a tulle gown.
Ahead, Sunmi exclusively spoke with NYLON about her latest singles “Heart Burn” and “Childhood,” the inspiration behind her outfits in her new music video, and more.
You finally released two new singles “Heart Burn” and “Childhood.” How do you feel to release and promote your latest work for the first time in over a year? How long have you been prepping for it?
I’m overjoyed. I’m thrilled to see my fans after such a long time and I’m happy to show them the new songs and performances I’ve worked so hard on. I have been preparing for the new release since the beginning of this year.
You described the “Heart Burn” video as a “hot midsummer love story,” and you take viewers through a journey of your lovers from various eras. How did you come up with this concept?
The concept of “Heart Burn” was inspired by having a love fever. I thought of the hot and dangerous part of what it’s like to have a fever and I wanted to portray the “Sunmi” in the music video as a fresh young woman who also resembles summer.
In “Heart Burn,” your fashion embodies a range of aesthetics, like cottagecore, westernwear, bohemian, the roaring ‘20s, and more. What was the creative and styling process behind the video?
I thought that they were all styles that matched the summer well, so I chose to opt for light styling over a heavier one. I also wore lots of lovely outfits that fit well with my hairstyle.
Do you have any fun memories or stories from shooting the “Heart Burn” video?
It’s not a pleasant memory, but there was a scene in the music video where I had to lay down on the grass. However, the [pollen] from the grass spread to my arm and caused an allergic reaction. But I was pleased because the scene turned out to be fantastic.
I really enjoyed the choreography we saw in the video, especially when the dancers used the giant fans at the end. What part was your favorite?
I enjoy them all, but many people enjoy the choreography that makes me look like I’m sliding up and down from behind the fan! I like that part as well!
Aside from your latest releases, what are you most excited about? What else is next for Sunmi?
The most anticipated thing is the world tour. I’m so excited to meet fans from all over the world.