Nia is a four member female band (meaning they play their own instruments) under ‘Run To Asia Enterin’ company. During my beginnings as a Kpop noob, I ran into this group while stalking around Kpop forums and websites and I’m actually really glad to have reunited with them almost a year later.
Nia is made up of Sseo Ji (leader/drummer), Jeon So Yeon (vocals), Choi Yeong Shin (Bass), and Hwang Bo Nare (guitar). They’re pretty educated in what they do, by the way. For instance, leader Sseo Ji studied English Language and Literature, while Yeong Shin went to school for broadcasting in music and video. They’re all artsy and a very believable group of individuals already, but they absolutely shine through their music.
They released 2 singles last year, one in April and another in December and this week marks their third release with Nia’s latest mini album ‘Remember the Forest‘ featuring 3 songs. They’re a rock band; Not thrashed out of control-rock, but rock nonetheless.
The title track and opener – ‘기억의 숲’ – lays down 2 facts — 1.) Nia’s vocalist (So Yeon) not only has a really pretty color to her voice, but has the fabulous strength to belt it out with ease, and 2.) they know what they’re doing with those instruments.
I really like ‘기억의 숲’ because it sounds very youthful to me. The chorus reminds me of my 15 year old sister’s care free attitude. It’s full of angst and all those sappy emotions adolescents use to lace their day to day lives. It also reminds of something I’d hear on a girlish anime a la -NANA — OMG who watched that, by the way!? One highlight of my silly boyish high school life right there!
‘환상 (Vision)‘ follows after the uptempo opener as a much slower song, and if you know me, it ended up being my favorite song off the 3rd single mini album. ‘환상’ is overflowing with beautiful melodies that are greatly intensified by the amount of emotion So Yeon delivers from start to finish. Not to mention how talented she is. Her vocal control is just breathtaking. Accompanied by the appropriately powerful instrumentation, she managed to turn this song into one of my favorites this summer. It sounds so meaningful and it’s times like these that I wish I completely understood Korean.
The mini album ends on a high note with ‘Rollercoster’. I really want to call this cute, but Kpop idols have twisted my perception of that word, so in this case I think uplifting is a much better fit. It’s bright, definitely girly, but enough of a laid-back feel that even a guy can enjoy this. The expression “letting your hair down” comes to mind when I hear this song. Nia sound at ease in this song, as well as the rest of their music.
Not a single aspect of Nia’s style feels forced to me and that is such a relief coming from a female group in Korea. They make very pretty music, yet exude a lot of strength through their beautiful instrumentation and very fun melodies. And just like that, this review is complete! Now, if you excuse me, I have a date with 4 lovely ladies this evening. I’m a lucky man.