While one can’t ignore that Amber‘s debut solo EP Beautiful was a chart hit (with five weeks on Billboard‘s World Albums chart so far after peaking at No. 2) and showcased her as more than a singer but a lyricist and producer too, what stands out most is her bold statement of self; an unabashedly clear declaration that she was “beautiful” regardless of anyone else’s opinion.
Billboard caught up with the Los Angeles-bred K-pop star for an in-depth chat about the new side fans saw of the f(x) member:
While the EP was promoted with the bouncy lead single “Shake That Brass” featuring Girls’ Generation‘s Taeyeon, Amber teased the project with the buzz track “Beautiful.” She says the anthem (that recalls past self-acceptance tracks like Lady Gaga‘s “Born This Way” and Christina Aguilera‘s “Beautiful”) was the introduction solo Amber needed to make.
“My goal was to give people a better picture of who I was and who I am,” she says. “‘Beautiful’ was something that I kept really close to my heart, that I kept from a lot of people for years and years. It’s my story. And I think that was the first impression I needed to give to people as a solo artist. This is who I am; this is what I’m about.”
But Amber clarifies that the record isn’t her own personal therapy session, but something to inspire everyone.
“I haven’t said this yet, but my goal for this Beautiful album is not to say, ‘I’m beautiful’ or ‘OK, I’m so cool.’ This is, honestly, an album written for the listeners,” she adds. “That’s what my definition of music is, as an artist. I want to share that message. I’m not just saying ‘OK, you’re beautiful just because you’re beautiful.’ I really, deeply, sincerely mean you are beautiful the way you are.”
And now with a successful solo promotion under belt, Amber gave us a tease for a girl group member who’s next on the solo watch list: none other than her “Shake That Brass” collaborator, Taeyeon. “I think she’s so talented,” Amber says. “I think she’s going to put out something really awesome. I hope she lets me feature on her stuff.”
Watch the full interview for more from Amber including her advice for how to feel beautiful, if we’ll see her in America anytime soon and more.