It was last Thursday, November 19, when K-pop sensation Minzy was formally introduced as a member of the Viva Artists Agency.
Yet, before being a star in the Philippines, she was a powerhouse performer in Korea, being known as the "Queen of Dance" and a long-time member of 2NE1.
Alongside CL, Bom, and Dara, otherwise known as Sandara Park, she made songs that struck into the hearts of Filipino K-pop fans such as "Fire" and "I Don't Care."
She broke away from the group in 2016 and solidified her solo career a year later, releasing a hit single called "Ninano" from her debut EP that placed at the US Billboard World Charts. She has since made hit after hit with songs such as "All of You Say" and "Lovely."
The latter song would launch her Philippine career as it would be her debut single in the country, only with a unique twist: a Tagalog version.
Now, the song is making K-pop fans swoon as it was released on Friday, November 20.
But, now, let us get to know more about Minzy and her upcoming career in the country.
Check out the translated transcript of her Q&A below, culled from her Zoom press conference that was hosted by Viva.
(Translation courtesy of Ms. Sandra Jung.)
Minzy: Hello! This is Minzy and sobrang nice to meet you all. Sana ma-enjoy po natin ’yong araw na ’to.
What made you decide to sign up with Viva? Would this mean that you’ll be working on a career here in the Philippines? Will we physically see you most of the time?
First of all, kasi sobrang na-overwhelm ako sa support ng mga Filipino fans when I had a concert with 2NE1 before and ngayon dahil po sa Open Artist, nakilala ko si Mr. Timmy [Park] and also Sir Guji [Lorenzana]. That’s why naka-pasok po ako sa Viva and sobrang thankful po ako sa kanila. At dahil po doon marami po akong mga opportunity or projects na in the future para makikita ko sa Filipino fans and please abangan po n’yo lahat.
[Timmy Park and Guji Lorenzana are partners in a talent agency called Open Door Artists. They have also partnered with Minzy’s own management company called MZ Entertainment. And as partners, they have linked with Viva Artists Agency and Viva Records to pave the way of Minzy’s solo singing career in the Philippines.]
What are your impression of your Filipino fans especially that one of your members in 2NE1 is Sandara [Park]?
Hindi ko talaga makalimutan ’yong mga support ng mga fans kasi sobrang friendly sila, hospitable, and ang lakas talaga ng energy na binibigay ng mga Filipino fans. Yan po ’yong pinaka first impression ko sa kanila.
How do you feel that you are recording in Filipino? How did you prepare for this? Did you ask some friends about the pronunciations... about the meaning of Filipino words? Did you ask like, Dara?
Unang-una ang dami pong tips na binigay po ni Sandara sa akin tapos when I recorded the Tagalog version of Lovely, hindi naman po ako sobrang nahirapan kasi okey naman po ’yong pronunciation ko ng mga Tagalog.
When will we see you here?
Sa palagay ko after po ng Covid  na ’to, willing po na pupunta dito sa Pilipinas as soon as possible.
Now that you’re with Viva and launching a career in the Philippines, will there be any changes to your sound? What kind of sound are we going to hear from you?
Sa palagay ko po good opportunity po sa akin kasi kagaya po nu’ng kanta ni Ms. Sarah [Geronimo], ’yong Tala, parang ganu’n ’yong gusto kong mga genre na gusto kong gawin at makikita n’yo po ’yong mga changes ng music ko.
Are you open to collaborating with other Viva artists? Who are the local artists would you like to work with?
Kagaya po ng sinabi ko kanina gusto ko pong i-collab si Ms. Sarah G. and also narinig ko po si Ms. Ella Cruz, one of the fans daw po dati sa 2NE1, gusto ko din po s’yang maging collab.
What was the reason why you left 2NE1?
Actually kasi po tapos na po ’yong company contract po namin kaya parang naturally it has happened.
Since you’re with Viva now, are open to do movies or TV series in the Philippines?
Kapag may opportunity po na magkakaroon ng mga project like sa acting, gusto ko po na gawin din.
What is your impression of Philippine showbiz? If you’re willing to work in Filipino movie and who would you like to be paired with?
Kasi narinig ko po kay Ms. Dara [Park] na sobrang maraming talented artists dito po sa Philippines. So, kahit sino man basta kung may opportunity, gusto ko silang maka-work.
Are you in a relationship right now?
You have experienced some challenges along the way, personally and in terms of career, but what keeps you still going on, what pushes you to still make music?
Actually my fans is muse of mine, so dahil po sa mga fans parang I keep going and they motivate me so much.
Now that you’re a solo artist, what kind of musical direction do see pursuing in the future and do you also plan to do more projects globally?
Maybe dito po sa Philippine showbiz gusto ko po ipakita na hindi ko pa pinakita sa mga iba.
What are the places you want to visit and looking forward to see here in the Philippines?
Actually, before nu’ng naka-visit po ako sa Pilipinas kasama ko ’yong mga 2NE1 members and nag-rent kami ng resort kaya gusto ko din pong makita ’yong mga dagat po at s’yempre I want to visit in Cebu.
Aside from Sarah Geronimo who are other the Filipino showbiz stars that you are familiar with?
Actually, ’yong si Mikee sya po ’yong nagsulat ng Tagalog lyrics ng Lovely kaya sobrang friendly rin po s’ya kaya parang s’ya po ’yong parang bestie ko dito.
One of the artists po sa Open Door and s’ya po nagsulat ng Lovely, Tagalog version po.
[Mikee is Mikee Misalucha, one of the artists of Viva Records.]
I mean the stars that she’s familiar with aside from Sarah Geronimo?
Nu’ng last time po may event po dito sa Pilipinas I met Nadine [Lustre].
What year was that?
Sa Macau po pala s’ya, hindi sa Manila po.
She’s never been here?
Sandra Jung: Hindi po pumunta na po s’ya dito nu’ng concert po ng 2NE1 noong 2014 po. May concert sila dito as 2NE1.
How have you grown as an artist and as a singer from first being a K-Pop idol being part of 2NE1 and now as a solo artist?
S’yempre as a solo artist kasi po ako po kailangang mag-decide ng lahat kaya parang even small details kailangan ako po talaga mag-asikaso.
Now that you’ve signed with Viva, how much control do you have in your career and what do you want to do? Like does Viva give you freedom to chart your own career?
Sobrang ganda po ’yong communication namin ng Viva so sobrang excited na po ako sa mga future projects namin—between Viva and me.
She’s free do to whatever she wants?
Yes po. Sobrang supportive po ng Viva.
I’m curious about your other hobbies and interests. If you’re not a singer or a performer, what would be your line of work?
Kapag may time po mostly I’m watching movie kasi I really love to watch a movie.
If you’re not performer what would be your line of work?
Actually, I really love to write a poem, baka magsusulat po ako ng poems siguro.
Now that you’re turning a new chapter in your career with Viva Records and Open Door Artists...we all know that you’re quite busy these days...as a CEO and artist, how do balance your work and personal life?
Parang kahit may free time ako, iniisip ko talaga ’yong work kaya parang naturally it comes...work and kasama po siya sa free time ko po.
Can you tell us the most memorable moments you’ve had here in the Philippines?
Nu’ng 2018 po, merong event sa basketball sa UUAP kaya pumunta po ako dito for the event... dahil po sa mga light sticks na hawak ng mga fans, sobrang hanggang ngayon talagang it was really memorable for me.
Why do you think K-pop resonate to so many people around the world including—and especially—the Philippines?
As artist po, as a Korean, sobrang proud po na nakalat po ang lahat ng K-pop wave dito sa global and sana mas maging famous po ’yong K-pop wave po.
Do you have any particular memorable experience with any of your Filipino fans?
Kagaya po nu’ng sinabi ko kanina, ’yon pong nagpunta ako dito nu’ng 2018 basketball event sa UAAP. Parang hawak po ng lahat ng fans ’yong light stick namin so sobrang yan po ’yong memorable sa akin kasama ’yong mga Filipino fans.
Tell us about how you learned Tagalog for your new project?
Parang sobrang sinulat ko po talaga—one by one in Korean language—para makuha ko po ’yong mga pronunciation ng Tagalog.
What can your Filipino fans expect from your new move?
Sana abangang ninyo po mga future project namin kasama po dito sa Pilipinas. Please support and wait for that one.
What’s your impression of Filipinos as a whole? What do you think of them before you signed up with the Filipino-based recording studio and right now that you are with Viva Records?
Dahil po kay Sandara, sobrang maganda po ang impression ko dito sa Pilipinas kasi marami pong magagandang sinabi nya sa akin. And nakita ko talaga na sobrang friendly and hospitable ’yong mga Filipino and also Filipino fans. S’yempre kasama na po ’yong Viva, ’yong local agency po dito sa Philippines kaya sana expect po ninyo ’yong maraming project na kasama ko po dito ’yong mga [taga-] local showbiz.
You have already gone a long way in the music industry in such a very young age...what is you advise for aspiring singers and performers who want to make it big in this industry?
Gusto ko lang sabi s’yempre hindi po talaga parating maganda ’yong pathway... kahit na nagpa-practice po tayo. S’yempre may mahirap din na magkakaroon pero sana wag nila ma-give up ’yong dream nila and s’yempre, sana ma-purchase nila ’yong pangarap po nila.
Among the many talents that you have—dancing, singing, songwriting—which do you think you’re best at?
Isip ko po, sayaw.
What were you exactly thinking about when you were writing Lovely?
Actually, nu’ng nagsulat po ako nito medyo nahirapan po ako sa mga buhay ko, pero dahil doon parang gusto ko pong sasabihin sa sarili ko na kaya ko rin at s’yempre gusto ko din sabihan sa mga fans na kaya rin para makuha nila ’yong mga message ko doon.
Since Lovely will become a song in Tagalog, what was your favorite line in the original Korean and does your favorite line change now that it’s in Tagalog now?
’Yong line na gusto ko po sa Korean original version is parang, ‘We will be together,’ pero na-translate din po s’ya sa Tagalog kaya yan po ’yong pinaka- favorite line ko po.
With such a huge contrast with your image when you were in a group and your image now as a solo artist, are there any particular influences that have helped you develop your current image and your creative direction?
’Yong as a group s’yempre, may girl-crush, parang ganu’n ’yong concept. Pero as a solo artist meron po akong...gusto ko ipakita sa mga fans about for me, in personal. Kaya yan po ’yong gusto ko ikasama sa mga concept na gagawin ko as a solo artist.
Is there a particular side of you, or is there a special color that you want to emphasize as a solo artist now that you’ve mentioned that you wanted to highlight your other side?
Hindi ko specific na hahanap ng isang color lang pero actually my favorite color is violet. Alam ko na alam ng mga fans na talagang gusto ko po ’yong violet. Pero maybe it depends on the album, I will change my color.
What do you think of the Filipino music scene? How will you compare it to K-pop?
’Yong narinig ko po ’yong mga OPM [Original Pilipino Music], unang-una kong napansin ’yong sobrang maganda ’yong mga rhythm at parang na-relate po ako sa mga ’yong sa mga composings song. And if I compare in Korean K-pop...maybe kasi ’yong Korean K-pop is more on hip-hop and EDM ’yong mga kanta ngayon. I think that’s the difference between OPM and Korean music.
In addition to a Tagalog version of Lovely, do you have any exciting projects lined up specifically for your Filipino fans?
Sana i-support ninyo po and wait for my music kasi marami po akong projects na gagawin ko para sa mga Filipino fans. Paki-intay lang po konti.
As it is your first time to do project abroad, what do you feel and think about becoming Viva Records newest artist?
Sobrang excited po ako sa mga projects na gagawin ko po dito sa Philippines. Sobrang thankful po na isa po akong pamilya ng Viva.
If you are to describe the Tagalog version of Lovely, what would it be?
I think warm.
If you can describe your music as a whole what would it be...cause you know, you’ve evolved as a musician through these years...What would you describe your music as or what would you like it be?
Gusto ko po ’yong mga fans and other people can heal with my song and gusto ko po medyo warm po ’yong mga nararamdam ng mga tao tuwing naririnig nila ’yong kanta ko.
You are the crowned the queen of dance for K-Pop... the dance community in the Philippines is very vibrant/ Do you plans to interact with the dance community in the Philippines as well?
Sana magkakaroon po ng opportunity and I’m really wait for that one and gusto ko din po mag-collab sa Filipinos, kagaya po nu’ng sinabi ko po kanina.
Besides the Philippines, have you had any other offers from other countries to become a solo artist in partnership with a local company like Viva?
Actually, marami pong nag-offer s’yempre kasi global na po ’yong K-Pop. Pero feeling ko po, pinaka-importante ’yong communicate between each other. So, yan po ’yong nagustuhan ko sa Viva kaya yan po ’yong first na ginawa ko po. Nag-contract po dito sa local agency.
Now that you’re also a CEO with plans to train talents for MZ Entertainment, are you open to bringing future talents to the Philippines as well?
If ever there is a chance and opportunity na p’wede ko silang dalhin dito sa Philippines, gusto ko po silang i-promote din po dito sa Philippines showbiz.
Are you doing a separate music video for the Tagalog version of Lovely and are you working on a new K-Pop song?
Actually, I’m preparing ’yong Korean album dito po sa Korea din, pero gusto ko din i-share sa mga Filipino fans and also I’m planning to have other music video.
How do you find your inspiration when writing your songs?
I’m inspired from my fans and also from my surround people.
Message to Filipino fans:
First of all, maraming salamat po na nakapunta kayo sa presscon ko and abangan rin ninyo po ’yong iba’t-ibang future projects ko dito sa Philippines. So please support and please love my album and music po. Salamat po.