Not many people have the power to command the attention of everyone in the room, but that’s merely an innate ability of K-pop superstar Hwasa.

The South Korean singer-songwriter and rapper first came onto the scene as a member of the renowned girl group, Mamamoo, but is now best known for her captivating solo career that has spawned an entire string of hit songs “Maria,” “I Love My Body,” and “Chili.” 

With her powerful vocals, magnetic stage presence, and distinctive style, Hwasa has carved out a prominent place in the highly competitive K-pop industry. Since making her solo debut in 2019 with the single “Twit,” she has consistently wowed audiences with her unique blend of R&B, hip-hop, and pop, earning widespread acclaim and admiration.

Her solo endeavors have not only garnered success in her home country but have also resonated strongly with international audiences, particularly in the Philippines. Hwasa’s soulful voice and dynamic performances have captivated Filipino fans, leading to a sizable and dedicated following in the country. 

Through her music and presence, she has become a symbol of empowerment and confidence, inspiring fans across cultures and generations. With her infectious charisma and talent, Hwasa continues to leave an indelible mark on the global music scene, solidifying her status as one of K-pop’s most influential soloists.

In an interview with Billboard Philippines, the K-pop icon opens up about her excitement on returning to the Philippines, taking the Wanderland stage, and what inspires her creative process when it comes to making songs that resonate with millions of listeners across the globe.

Billboard Philippines: Following your concert here in the Philippines with MAMAMOO last year, this marks your second time performing in the country. What is it that excites you to be back here and performing on the Wanderland stage?

Hwasa: First of all, in the Philippines, I have a lot of really good memories here. Performing on the stage in the Philippines is something I find exciting in itself, but to be here at the Wanderland Festival, I didn’t have a second thought and I said yes right away at the opportunity to perform here.

Billboard Philippines: Your music is both empowering and catchy in its nature, so it’s no surprise that it translates very well to a universal audience. Yet what inspires you during the creative and recording period of your songs? 

Hwasa: Actually, it’s not that special. The things that inspire me when I make my music aren’t exactly the most special or extravagant things. Yet because these are the more mundane things I see — it’s where I find beauty and inspiration. Sometimes you can think of these familiar things as boring, but you realize that it’s these things that are also most precious to us.

Billboard Philippines: During your live performances, there’s a lot of impressive choreography and visuals that immerse audiences further into your music. What do you hope they can take away from your performance tonight?

Hwasa: I hope that audiences find happiness in my performances. I think I am a bit obsessed with the stage because I like to see my audience being happy and enjoying themselves with my shows.

Billboard Philippines: What can we look forward to from Hwasa this 2024?

Hwasa: Come to think about it, I don’t think I’ve shown a lot of music of my own just yet. This year, I want to show the many sides of myself through my music, which is why it’s exciting for me to see what else I have in store for the rest of the year,

Billboard Philippines: Who are two artists you’d want to collaborate with and why?

Hwasa: Actually these days, I want to do a lot of collaborations. Maybe you could give me a recommendation?

Billboard Philippines: How about SZA? Or Olivia Rodrigo?

Hwasa: That would be awesome, Olivia’s such a great artist. Hopefully, I can show a lot more of myself through my music in any future collaborations I have in the future.

Listen to Hwasa’s latest single “Chili” below: