It seems like I’ve written quite a few posts like this in the last few years…artists we love, or would love if given the chance, escaping from the basements of big labels without the cash flow to really promote everyone on their roster. YG, in particular, has seen quite the exodus following their ongoing dust-ups with the law. But I haven’t seen anyone have quite as much fun with her change in management as Lee Hi.
I have always had somewhat mixed feelings about Lee Hi and her gorgeous, husky voice, stern expression, and intimidating presence. She felt unapproachable to a goofy little gal like me. I always just assumed that she didn’t put out much music because she was a complete perfectionist with insanely high standards that I would never quite understand. Oh silly, Sara. Stop projecting.
When her contract expired with YG, Lee Hi started a little YouTube show, starring herself with a selfie camera, asking all of her artist friends for advice on which label she should join. Three things struck me about these episodes. 1. Lee Hi has the best friends – like seriously, the best. 2. The wide range of advice – from tongue in cheek to serious – was invaluable. And 3. Everyone really wanted her on AOMG for all of the reasons I think everyone should join AOMG…or H1ghr.
Holo Ep. 1, Lee Hi and Guests
Seeing her relationship with Code Kunst was what really chipped off all vestiges of the ice around my heart for this singer-songwriter. The short time I watched them hanging out showed how silly, smart, contemplative, and lovely she really is. I, much like Kunst, was really rooting for her to sign the contract he supposedly had printed up and ready to go in the next room.
And ultimately, she did.
Welcome to AOMG, Lee Hi, Code Kunst, Woo
The announcement of their contract came out the same day as Lee Hi’s most recent single, Holo. when I first heard the song, I was captivated. It’s gorgeous. Written by Shinae An of the Barbarettes, it’s an emotional R&B ballad perfectly suited to her voice and style. It wasn’t until I saw her sing it in a white t-shirt and jeans sitting on a stool with an audience of one that I realized just how fabulous it is. I got goosebumps. It is now in frequent rotation on my playlist. I play it at least a couple of times a day.
Her interactions with the kids in the following video and her insights into her own introverted personality were quite revealing of how well she manages herself and how mature she is. She felt decades older than the 16-year-old, but alas, she’s still in her twenties. My perception of standoffish behavior was really a private woman holding her own in a hugely public profession under the thumb of a controlling agency.
If You Could Be 16 Again, ODG Studios
Here’s to many, many more Lee Hi releases in the future now that she’s found a home that will let her music as often as she wants to.
Holo, Lee Hi