Heize has become something of an ‘it girl’ in Korea, rising to the top of the charts with each release. This is helped along by the nature of her music, which feels alternative by k-pop standards. Male soloists like Crush and Dean have found success with a softer blend of r&b, hip-hop and balladry, but Heize is one of the few notable female artists to do so.
Don’t Know You (널 너무 모르고) seems tailor-made to appeal to this niche, forgoing aural fireworks for something groovier and mature-minded. As a song, it’s like the little indie movie that bills itself as an alternative to all the summer blockbusters. These types of tracks can have immense appeal when you least expect it, sneaking up with a well-placed hook or a quirky bit of delivery. The most memorable aspect of Don’t Know You is Heize’s vocal, which has a slightly sharp tone that won’t be to everyone’s taste. Her idiosyncratic performance meshes well here, especially as she segues into an extended rap segment. In some ways, she’s like a one-woman group, covering a large amount of textures in one track.
Know‘s instrumental takes a constant kick and gradually brings in a warm series of percussive elements. Taken apart from the actual song, it feels reminiscent of the type of soulful, mid-tempo disco that artists like Michael Jackson were tackling in the 70’s. The track could do with a bit more oomph, but this groove-based arrangement fits right in Heize’s wheelhouse. If you’re already a fan, you’ll love this. If not, it probably won’t do all that much to win you over.