Photo: Sirui Ma
The rising international popularity of K-pop and Latin music signals a shift in music consumption - namely, a deviation away from English as the dominant language in music. Korean house, or K-house, sits at the forefront of this landmark shift, led by artists like Peggy Gou and Yaeji. K-house newcomer 박혜진 Park Hye Jin, who made her major streaming debut in 2018, is quickly ascending to the apex of the movement as well.
Producer, singer, and rapper 박혜진 Park Hye Jin released her debut EP IF U WANT IT in late 2018 to widespread critical acclaim. The K-house artist capitalized on her newfound popularity in the wake of IF U WANT IT, performing several notable gigs in 2019, including Sweden's Way Out West and Lost Village in the UK.
박 Park's musical inspirations range from electronic staples like Jamie xx and Disclosure, Korean rapper Beenzino, to '70s psychedelic rock pioneer Shin Joong Hyun. The London-based producer’s music can be characterized by flippant vocal delivery paired with catchy house instrumentals. The effect is trance-inducing.
박 Park's vocals glide effortlessly across the dreamy, dancefloor soundscapes of songs like "CALL ME" and the industrial "CLOSE EYES." She often adds an element of the ephemeral to her music, whether it be in the pensive chants that make up the majority of her lyrics or the fleeting sense of urgency that is scattered throughout IF U WANT IT.
The characteristics that define 박 Park's debut EP come to life in her latest single, "Like this." In the Ninja Tune-released "Like this," 박 Park raps in her native Korean over jangling wind chimes and a compelling backbeat. The rising DJ repeats one refrain over and over in a hypnotizing mantra, evoking the spellbinding, meditative nature of IF U WANT IT's "I DON'T CARE" and "ABC."
"Like This" is the first single from 박혜진 Park Hye Jin's sophomore EP, How Can I, out June 26 via Ninja Tune.