I don’t know if you’ve heard, but I had a friend move into town last week. I’ll let her tell you the tale, but from my end the process involved a lot of curling up on Alix’s couch watching YouTube episodes of Mix and Match…the show that built Ikon. Again. And tore them down. Again. It was heartbreaking. I don’t know that I could take watching nine full episodes. But what I did watch made me realize a few things: 1. The boys in Ikon are mad talented, 2. It’s no wonder they struggle to operate as a team, 3. YG was an asshole to put those children through that. Twice, 4. San E and Tablo are perfect even as judges, and 5. I love powerful female vocals and firmly believe that they add something to almost any song…especially when the female is a-freaking-dorable and tough as nails.
Watching Lee Hi sing along with Hongbin, Donghyuk and Hongseok (who, incidentally, lost out on Ikon, but won at life by ending up in Pentagon) perform Hongbin’s adaptation of Let It Go (link included below) reminded me just how much I love her voice and sent me on a bit of a Lee Hi bender. She was super competitive on the show despite it not actually being her show or competition. She was fierce, not because she was invested, but because she is a girl that Does. Not. lose. She is young, tiny, and attractive, but she absolutely does not let you forget that she is also hugely talented, savvy, and a professional. She debuted as a solo artist at 16 years old when the rest of her potential girl group was dismissed from YG. At the ripe age of 21, she has been in the business for longer than many groups have lasted, period.
The song 1234 was one of the first Kpop female led songs that I let my daughters listen to early in our Kmusical exploration because I didn’t particularly want my then six and four year olds mimicking the cutesy voices of so many of the other artists. I wanted them to have some power behind them when they presented themselves to the world and Lee Hi really embodied and still embodies that. Lord knows, as much as I hate it when my kids feel the need to have the last word, I would much rather listen to a 7 year old girl argue using logic and her real voice than try to butter me up with syrupy sweet antics.
So, in honor of awesome ladies with strong voices…particularly those that see fit to move halfway across the country because I said that Denver is an adequate place to live, and in honor of the friends that are willing to stay up all night to wait for planes that get delayed time and again, and in honor of all of the ladies with big voices and lots to say, I give you Lee Hi.
Lee Hi, 1234
Hanbin, Donghyuk, Hongseok, and Lee Hi – Let it Go from Mix and Match