Usually, this time of year, I like to put up a spooky Halloween version of a video or highlight a particularly hilarious costumed dance practice from some idol group we’re all currently loving. But this year I’m going in a little different direction. There are still some classy masks, so don’t worry.
Back in the 20teens sometime, I rolled into my first Kcon with my KB Alix and my mom as a test run vacation prior to our first trip to Korea to make sure we all got along in adventure mode and to soak up some of the entertainment culture we’d been delving into. We knew, at least superficially, most of the artists on the bill for the concerts, but weren’t as familiar with Ailee, not having yet gone down the female solo artist path.
That night, the sound went out during one of Ailee’s songs – a scenario in which a lesser performer might crumble. Not our girl though, our girl rocked it loud and powerful without any backing track to a stunned and impressed crowd. It was phenomenal. We were more than sold on her talent and stage cred. I have forever been impressed with this woman as an outspoken advocate for women artists and the unique pressures they face in this insanely demanding industry and as the caring friend and human we see reflected in her interactions with the people surrounding her.
This past week, Ailee released her first album in a long long time and I gotta say, I was definitely eating up the teasers with anticipation. The title track, Don’t Teach Me was exactly what we needed to lead us into a season of female empowerment and what I needed in my personal life as I navigate some trying times where I hold little sway over the outcomes. The song is a retro jazzy musical with her powerful vocals over brass instruments. The MV wins, hands down, for costume changes this year. She looks stunning with pristine hair and makeup and the mature competence and confidence behind her eyes that you just can’t fake. It’s not a ‘you done me wrong’ kind of song, it’s a ‘you don’t even have the power to do me wrong if you try’ kinda song. And that, my friends, is exactly what we need right now.
Don’t Teach Me, Ailee