[Exclusive Interview] Step into SPARKY's World as She Discusses New EP "Dressing Room"

A real-life Barbie, SPARKY is making waves with her new album Dressing Room. The artist known for her doll-like aesthetics, fast-paced rap, and flawless vocals released Dressing Room her fifth album on July 21st. Debuting in 2020 she’s come a long way since appearing on the Rap TV competition Show Me The Money 9. Last year saw her release three new tracks each diverse in range, and seeing her reference 60’s fashion in her music videos such as “Heart In The Box (Feat. TAKUWA.)”

I got to talk to the talented artist about her new album, and musical influences growing up. As well as her love for fans affectionately named Soda, and of course passion for fashion. 

Your upcoming album, 'Dressing Room', is scheduled to be released on July 21st. Can you summarize the overall feel of the album in three words??

 Distinctive, life story, sublimation.

The tracklist for the dressing room contains over 10 new tracks. For you what is your favorite track, and did you have any musical influences for this album?

It’s quite hard to pick one favorite track amongst all tracks in the album.

Still, it is “Wonder Weeks.” I keep listening to it for some reason, and Beyonce is definitely the foremost musical influence on this album! I was deeply inspired by her latest album. “Sanibell Shell Beach” is the track that indicates the influence of it. There is another artist who musically influenced this album. It is myself! It is myself in the past to be exact. I wanted to go back to myself before the official debut, before the time I wrote songs and lyrics with my raw feelings and words. 

Was there a particular artist that influenced you into getting into music? Who influences your artistic style?

I felt difficult to hang out with my peers when I was a student. I was actually bullied in school. I was isolating myself from the world around me by listening to J-POPs and songs on the Billboard chart. It was….pretty blissful. It felt like the songs embraced me comfortingly. I listened to lots of musicians at that time, Sheena Ringo the Japanese singer, Lady GaGa, Katy Perry, and Beyonce for instance. All these four musicians have influenced my musical styles Doja Cat, SZA, and Beyonce these three artists inspire me so much these days. 

Looking back on that time, it really was a crazy thing to do for many reasons. It was a huge challenge for me, and I got to meet various artists through the program. And I felt I still need to learn so many things.

In 2021, you appeared on Show Me the Money 9. How was the experience for you, and what did you learn from being on the show?

Sparky: Looking back on that time, it really was a crazy thing to do for many reasons. It was a huge challenge for me, and I got to meet various artists through the program. And I felt I still need to learn so many things.

Following this you released ‘Unicorns Fancy Resume” a five-track album with the lead track “Squash” featuring an aesthetically pleasing video. With lyrics such as “I thought this was a game, we two played together. But it was all my misunderstanding. I didn't exchange the ball of love with you. I was throwing the ball at the wall of you. Like squash.” Do you find writing from experience helps?

Actually, the phrase is a summary of the song, not actual lyrics in the song. And apparently, it came from my real experience. That was my utterly sincere impression of the relationship with the person who had kept saying “I love you with all my heart” but it really was not. But I didn’t want to tell it in a depressed manner.

In 2022 you released singles such as "Love Rose,” “Paint A Paradise" and "Heart In The Box" for new fans. Which one would you recommend out of the three?

Sparky: I definitely recommend “Heart In The Box”! That was a second work with my best friend and experienced colleague, rapper “TAKUWA.”  I put every aspect and feature that I love about disco. I actually designed a simple dance move for that, I’d love to do it together with my fans if I ever have a chance.

Speaking of 2022 you collaborated with rapper Takuwa on the catchy single “Heart in the Box.” The music video includes different elements such as 60s fashion, fembot, and Austin Powers vibe. Can you tell me how the idea for the video and collaboration formed?

“Heart In The Box” was a short demo made when I was so into disco. I really wanted to make a disco tune that makes everyone dance with it. One day, I randomly played that short demo for TAKUWA and he said he likes that tune. So I said, “Then we should do this together!”. Then he answered right back “Yes!”. How nice a person he is. He doesn’t have any prejudice when he approaches my music or myself. And he also has strong confidence that he can perform well in any genre. So the second collab, “Heart In The Box”, all started very smoothly. While TAKUWA was writing his verse in his very own style, I got down to research for visualizing our concept. 

As I was googling around, I found a movie series called “Austin Powers”. This is not a familiar show in South Korea, but it contains fashion and aspects of the 60s in a very fascinating way. I’d seen the movie very thoroughly, then I googled tons of male and female disco outfits of the ’60s. I created a color chart so I could embody it in the music video. For some outfits, I’ve done total hommage, and for some others, I depicted in contemporary trends. 

Your aesthetics are a Barbie dream, how do you get ideas on outfits and who influences your fashion choices?

I just love Barbie and Bratz. I got inspired by their outfits. When I want to go retro, I’m just looking for retro Barbie dolls, their hairstyles and outfits to be exact. I don’t think I get inspired by a particular individual. I completely separate wardrobe and wearer when I see the outfits. I think it is because I’ve studied fashion design.

Can you tell us about the origin of the nickname "Soda" for your fans and any message you would like to share with them?

Well..it started with kind of broken English (laughs)). I decided to make a name for my fans. I was thinking if my fans are listening to my music or watching my video, they are experiencing SPARKY…or SPARKY-ing... Then, the word Sparkling sounds and feels similar to SPARKYing. I was thinking what is sparkling? It was soda, like Pepsi or Sprite. 

That’s how I gave the name “SODA” because they are SPARKY-ing. I think it is quite cute. It often brings a tear to my eyes when I think about my fans. They love my music and support my life even though we couldn’t even meet each other in real life. It is unbelievable. I feel so much love when I think about that. I really want to say to my SODAZ that I always thank you for your support and waiting for me. I will be the proud artist to you. I love you all my SODAZ!!

What is something that you are looking forward to in 2023 and what is your main goal?

I want to be reborn with this album ‘Dressing Room’ in 2023. I want to be more honest with my music and myself as well. I want to introduce myself to the whole world so they can be aware of my existence. In other words, I want everyone to enjoy my music.

Listen on Spotify

Follow Sparky on all her social media:

Youtube: SPARKY

Spotify: SPARKY

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Kirsty Bright

A UK freelance writer, who stumbled into the land of Kpop while studying Korean. Her bias groups are BTS and Seventeen, but she loves a range of groups and finding new artists to listen to! Contact on Insta: @kirstybright_ Portfolio: kirstybright.journoportfolio.com

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