Kim Sejeong‘s star has been rising since her debut in 2016. She’s among the most famous Korean celebrities of the moment, earning accolades as a singer and for starring roles in shows like Netflix’s “Business Proposal” and “The Uncanny Counter.”
On Sept. 4, Sejeong opened the door to her latest era with the release of her first full-length studio album, “Door.” The 11-track offering marks her first music release in two years.
“I’m very thankful that I finally have an opportunity to show me as a singer and be able to perform again,” said Sejeong, 27. “I feel very fortunate about this opportunity.”
Meet Kim Sejeong, Netflix star and solo K-pop musician
In 2016, Sejeong placed second on reality competition show “Produce 101,” earning a spot on the final lineup of project girl group I.O.I. That group disbanded in 2017, and looking back on her time on the program, Sejeong said she learned “how important it is to be honest and how much work you have to put through to stay in this industry.”
As a solo artist, Sejeong has released two EPs, one studio album and many singles. Both her EPs peaked in Top 20 of the Circle Album Chart in South Korea.
As an actress, Sejeong’s performances have captivated and entertained domestic and international audiences. Her first major role was in “School 2017,” for which she won best new actress at the KBS Drama Awards.
Her international breakthrough came as Shin Ha-ri in “Business Proposal,” which hit Netflix’s Global Top 10 and became the first Korean-made series that was airing simultaneously on a domestic TV channel and Netflix to rank No. 1 on the streaming platform’s viewership chart. She won the top excellence award for an actress in a comedy/romance miniseries at the 2022 SBS Drama Awards, and performed an acoustic version of “Love, Maybe” for the soundtrack.
In all that she does, a humble mentality resonates throughout Sejeong. She doesn’t forget her beginnings and approaches life with gratitude and an open perspective. Who Sejeong is today has been shaped by her experiences and struggles, she said. If not for them, she wouldn’t be where she is right now.
“This album, it felt like showing the history of my career. What I’ve been feeling so far,” she said.
Opening the ‘Door’ with new music
Sejeong has become known for her unique vocal tone. When she started her solo career, Sejeong wanted to explore different music styles, but was hesitant at first. “What if I lose my own color?” she said. “What if I don’t have my color anymore?”
With the support of those around her, Sejeong said she found the courage to try and expand.
“Door” has allowed Sejeong to spotlight her abilities in both songwriting and performing to fortify her musical prowess.
“I just want to show different sides of myself,” she said. “I want to go more deep dive into myself and showing who I am in different angles.”
Lyrics were another aspect to curating the album. With each track, Sejeong adds more to the picture of her identity, proving her worth under any circumstance. “Top or Cliff” further bears this message, capturing the essence of the album.
“My being is here, and no matter how unstable, what kind of stability that I’m standing on, I’m still here,” said Sejeong.
Growth through each ‘precious’ step
Sejeong has grown from every moment in her career. These experiences taught Sejeong to value each part of her journey.
“When I was younger, it was all about the results of anything. I didn’t particularly pay attention to a lot of details of the process,” she said. “Now, looking back, I feel like every step of the way is precious.”
Along the way, Sejeong has fulfilled these goals thanks to her fans.
“Ultimately, the only message I want to send across in everything I do is thank you,” she said. “Every new adventure I try is because I want to repay all their love and support.”
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