Korean newcomer WVVE—born Sohyun—has been cultivating her path for years.
In 2014, the hopeful musician competed in the popular survival reality series K-Pop Star before studying at one of South Korea’s most prestigious art universities, the Seoul Institute of the Arts. By her early 20s, WVVE landed a life-changing opportunity to sing backup for K-pop icon IU, who she now credits as one of her biggest supporters.
Now, she’s forging her own place in the K-pop industry with her charming debut single, “Sweet Like Sugar.”
“I think my peers will be surprised by this project,” WVVE reveals to Sweety High with a bright smile. Prior to this release, she’d only worked on ballads—quite different from her breezy, upbeat debut.
As WVVE trades off in English and Korean, she chronicles a feeling of new, young love over a lively bassline: “Sweet like sugar, look like gold/ Sweet like flowers, smell like a rose/ Sweet like honey, watching love unfold/ Looking like Bruno, 24K gold.”
Ahead of the release, WVVE sat down with us to discuss the meaning of the single, her wholesome relationship with IU and how her studies at the Seoul Institute of the Art prepared her for a solo debut.
(Photo Credit: Francesca Sostar)
Sweety High: I imagine there’s a lot of pressure to decide upon your debut single. What was it about “Sweet Like Sugar” that felt like the correct first release for you?
WVVE: It’s a style that I’ve never shown to people. So far, I’ve only done features, and they’re usually ballads. This is my beginning, and I thought it would be cool to try something new.
SH: For those whose first introduction to you will be “Sweet Like Sugar,” what do you hope they take away from the track and learn about you as an artist?
WVVE: I’m a very, very bright and sweet person! I want to sing songs about lovely things.
SH: The music video is a very straightforward celebration of love—you’re simply enjoying the presence of your partner in a scenic getaway. Can you talk more about you came up with this concept?
WVVE: This song is about a person who is completely fascinated by the person she loves. Nose, tongue, eyes and even how he walks. I wanted to show this in more detail in the music video.
SH: Jordan Lewis, who has worked with Travis Scott and Drake, produced “Sweet Like Sugar.” What was the experience working with someone who has hip-hop roots? Did that influence the making of this single?
WVVE: It was my first time working with someone in hip-hop. Jordan is very good at what he does and was really helpful! He made me feel comfortable throughout this process.
SH: Before you began your solo career, you worked with IU as one of her backup singers. Has she inspired you? How has she shaped you as an artist?
WVVE: We’ve been working together for nine years. I’ve learned a lot from her.
Thanks to IU and her team, I’m here now. While preparing for “Sweet Like Sugar,” I was nervous and worried because it was a big challenge for me. She sent me a cheering message, and I feel like I was able to release this song because of her support.
(Photo Credit: Francesca Sostar)
SH: You also studied at the Seoul Institute of the Arts. How have your studies there prepared you for a solo debut?
WVVE: I majored in vocal performance and songwriting. I trained on how to record things, perform on stage and play the piano.
It was very helpful. I think they gave me the chance to be reborn as WVVE.
SH: Is there anything else you want to share?
WVVE: I’m grateful for my crew and IU and her team. IU is so encouraging. She’s the person who’s the best at this work, so her messages meant a lot to me.
I’m experiencing a lot of firsts. “Sweet Like Sugar” is my first song, my first music video. This was my first interview, ever. I really just am grateful for anyone who has shown me support in any way.
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