이하이 (Lee Ha-Yi), better known as LeeHi, is a South Korean singer-songwriter who is best known for being a contestant on the first edition of the Kpop Star show in which she came in second place. Being an unusual talent, she made her debut on 29th October 2012, with her song “1, 2, 3, 4”, under the agency YG Entertainment. Since then, she has had a very special evolution in her career and has managed to touch the hearts of her fans due to her angelic and beautiful voice.
Image taken from the original video of the SBS Entertainment Channel
She was born on 23rd September of 1996 in Bucheon, South Korea. After her participation in Kpop Star, she signed an exclusive contract with YG Entertainment in which she debuted on 29th October 2012 with “1, 2, 3, 4”, a song that made it to the top of various music charts and made her an acclaimed rookie artist with expectations for the near future. The same year, in November she had her second single called “Scarecrow”. In 2013, she came back with her first album `First Love” which showed a more mature image of the artist, this album allowed fans to appreciate LeeHi’s versatility and received great support for her comeback. On 21st May of the same year, she held her first solo concert at Seokang University’s Merry Hall in Seoul, where she performed jazz versions of her songs, and stated that she was in the process of composing her own songs. In December 20th, a Christmas single was unveiled Mariah Carey’s original “All I Want for Christmas is You” which was a collaboration with Park Bom, under the name BH.
In 2014, she made her debut as a member of HI SUHYUN, which consisted of a collaboration with AKMU’s Soo Hyun for the single “I’m different” released in November 10th, alongside Ikon’s Bobby. On the 23rd of the same month, they won their first trophy on Inkiago with a score of 8.79, consequently, this single was included on Lee Hi’s second solo album. By 2015, LeeHi was preparing his comeback and this second album was now under the production of Epick legend Tabloo. This happened for time management reasons highlighting that he was still under the management of YG Entertainment. In 2016, he returned with his second album “Seoulite”. On February 28, a teaser for her album was released and the artist was uncertain due to her almost three-year hiatus. A strategy was used in which the first part of her album was released on one date and the second part on a different date. March 9 was the first release which had two main video clips “Hold My Hand” and “Breathe”, the latter being a real hit, due to its positioning in different music charts including international charts. The second part was unveiled on 20 April with the music video “My Star”.
LEE HI AND THE SONG BREATHE
This song has a great story because the real composer was hidden for a long time until the recording of the music video because the composer was a member of a boy band, the person in question is the wonderful SHINee member and late Jonghyun. There was a great appreciation from Lee Hi who gave him confidence and advice for the performance of the song. This song was very special for the artist’s personal and professional life since she was having some panic disorders at that time and somehow felt short of breath, that’s why she always hoped that the song would help those who were singing and had difficulty breathing, she mentioned this in 2017 for a program called Party People.
In 2018, the artist dedicated the song in a tribute at the 32nd Golden Disc to the great composer Jonghyun who passed away leaving a beautiful legacy in the industry, a moment in which the singer could not help but get emotional in her performance and shed tears of gratitude.
Image taken from the video of the 32nd Golden Disc presentation.
In February 2018, she made her debut in Japan, where she held her first tour at the Tokyo Kawasaki and Osaka Orix Theater, excelling at the events by displaying her fluent Japanese. On March 21 of the same year, her first Japanese album was released with the release of two discs with Korean tracks, collaborations with Epik High and the Japanese versions of “Breathe” and “Rose”.
In 2019, she returned after a bit of an overwhelming wait. She returned with his third mini-album “24°C”. Yang Hyun Suk in charge of YG posted his apologies via Instagram for the countless times the artist’s comeback date was postponed, finally the album was revealed reaching the top spot on almost every music chart in South Korea, debuting on the iTunes worldwide album chart with “24°C” in the first position being the first Korean artist to obtain this achievement. During this comeback, the agency was involved in different negative situations due to controversies and controversies regarding the former Ikon member, B.I.; although this situation did not affect her, her activities were directly affected. Thus, on 31 December of the same year, her contract with the agency came to an end. It is worth noting that the contract with the agency was for 10 years, but perhaps the processes and controversies facilitated the termination process.
Lee Hi’s new era and her early days with AOMG.
Image taken from the official AOMG Instagram.
After the artist’s departure from YG, on July 22, 2020, it is reported that Lee Hi signed an exclusive contract with AOMG agency which is headed by Jay Park. And in 2021, she returns with her third album “2ONLY”. Finally, he has performed songs for dramas such as Brave Enough for Record of Youth (2020), Hold my hand for Now, We Are Breaking Up (2021) and We’ll Shine Brighter Than Any Other Stars for Soundtrack #1 (2022).
Finally, Lee Hi is an artist who has undoubtedly left fans in awe of the vibes she gives off, her talent is unique and unmatched as her versatility sets her apart, she has challenged herself over the years and has managed to produce and write her works, her gratitude to her fans makes them loyal to her comebacks every time. There are many expectations since she is a very complete artist, together with her fans she can continue conquering platforms and topping the charts with her songs.
Written by María Valentina Urbina Mendoza
Reviewed by Andrea Ramírez