The recently-concluded final season of K-Pop Star was one of the series’ best years, largely due to the producers’ decision to include trainees in the process. This has continued to pay off, as multiple contestants are releasing material only weeks after the final episode aired. Many of these acts come from smaller agencies that are hungry for a hit, and you have to assume they had already mapped out debut plans before K-Pop Star had even ended. This results in Sohee (whose group finished in second place on the show) giving us her first track now — in contrast to the winning acts of 2015 and 2016, who have yet to release any music despite being signed to YG and Antenna Music, respectively.
Sohee is slated to join a girl group, but Spotlight gives us an idea of what she might sound like as a solo act. There’s a glaring BoA-shaped hole in k-pop for a young female soloist, and Spotlight makes a case for Sohee as a worthy contender to that legacy. Her light, poppy vocals are certainly in the same realm as early BoA, even if the laid-back melody doesn’t give her much to do. But the trendy production choices strip the track of any individuality, which is a problem when paired with an underwhelming breakdown of a chorus and a restrained tempo.
On K-Pop Star, Sohee was complimented most for her ability as a dancer. Knowing this makes Spotlight‘s purpose more clear. What the song lacks in melodic excitement, it makes up for in its ability to showcase Sohee’s greatest skills. And taken alongside the music video, everything about the track seems to come alive. Rather than a knock-it-out-of-the-park debut, it feels more like a sneak peek at an artist with incredible potential.