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Campus NewsCAU People
Overwhelming Aura of Charisma: 1st Generation Female Rapper – Miryo
Jang Hyo-Won, Jeong Sae-Young  |  hwjang16@cau.ac.kr, jsy9709@cau.ac.kr
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“Unpretty Rap Star,” “Show Me the Money,” ”Brown Eyed Girls”: all three phrases may be familiar to many people. These phrases have the common feature that involves Miryo. Well known as a 1st generation female rapper, she has made a great contribution to the hip-hop boom in Korea. Rap songs are invading national music charts and various TV programs are broadcasting hip-hop competitions casting renowned musicians. Miryo’s voice, fashion, and distinct individuality that has taken complete hold of the stage has the hidden side of intelligence in her young age. Let’s find more about CAU alumnus of the Department of Advertising and Public Relations, Jo Mi-Hye, stage name: Miryo!

CAH: Looking back to your college years, what is the most memorable moment?
MIRYO: Being a member of Da C Side, one of the main clubs in our university. Da C Side is a representative African-American music club, which is short for The Chung-Ang Side. As a 2nd year member of Da C Side, spending time practicing music with people of the same interest and preparing shows was definitely the most memorable experience.

Back then, hip hop was a new trend in Korea and received great interest.
CAH: How did university help in your current career?
MIRYO: University taught me what society is like. Away from the academically concentrated lifestyle of my teens, club activities and team projects allowed me to earn experience in cooperation needed for human relations.

CAH: What does “Brown Eyed Girls” mean to you?
MIRYO: It literally takes up half of my life. My life without Brown Eyed Girls cannot be established. As it made the start of my career, it means lot to me.

CAH: You’ve appeared on the Korean TV Program “Genius Excavation Team” and mentioned that you’ve done well in school. Is there a secret tip for your academic success?
MIRYO: I tend to have strong desire to figure out what I’m curious of. Hence instead of studying as the exam guideline, I go in depth and create a knowledge like a mind map. If I spot something that I’m not aware of, I related to other information. Then I come back to the section for test. This type of learning takes up a lot of time, but makes me study a whole lot in depth and scope.

CAH: Due to your academic achievement, many would have gone against the uncertain dream of becoming a rapper. What kind of effort did you make?
MIRYO: Of course, there had been a strong opposition from my parents. My mother even stopped me from going to school for an entire week. She asked for re-consideration; however, like the old saying “No parent ever persuaded a determined child to do otherwise,” she couldn’t break through my obstinacy. Under the condition to go study in Canada, I quit school. Some said I was insane and others praised my courage. However, I was not once agitated with what others said about my choices. Being absorbed in dancing and hip-hop and admiring Seo Taji on the TV screen, I only dreamed of being an influential star in the coming future.

CAH: Is there specific reason why you chose to enter the CAU Department of Advertising and Public Relations?
MIRYO: Although there had been a feud with my parents, my mother has always been a great supporter of my life. She suggested that I should at least have a degree and looked for details of the college admission process. Among different majors, I chose the Department of Advertising and Public Relations because if I had to study a certain field, I thought it had to be something that interests me. After watching a clip about the Department of Advertising and Public Relations, I was attracted to lectures about the process of making advertisements. Luckily, I aced the linguistic section at the university qualification examination and entered CAU.

CAH: Through various programs and shows, powerful impression and confidence are distinguishing traits of yours. Do you think you have high self-esteem or what effort do you put to recover your self-esteem?
MIRYO: In my teens, I had strong confidence in myself. This trust in myself gave me strength to strive for what I sincerely wanted to do. But looking back, I could pursue my dreams and have such a high self-esteem because I’ve never experienced what “failing” is like as an elite student. After starting on my career and experiencing various failures and disappointment, I started asking myself ‘Am I qualified enough?’ Especially when my solo album “Dirty” had been released, unlike my high expectations, I was deeply disappointed with the result. When I started to fear failures, it made things worse and took away my unshakeable belief in myself. You can spot “persecutory delusion” in my lyrics, which reflects the hardship that I’ve gone through in my adulthood. However, I work to gain back my high self-esteem by looking at hopeful speeches and clips.

CAH: As you gain fame, there are likely to be both supportive and denunciative comments. What is your attitude towards criticizing comments? How did you overcome it?
MIRYO: At first, it was a huge stress for me to stand malicious comments. At that point, I was only concerned with fixing the things that people pointed fingers at. I wanted to gain positive recognition in every field such as my face, rap skills, and even personality. This ultimately made me consider plastic surgery. In my thought, the comments that people had given to me contained the facts, but I was so self-centered at that time that I couldn’t accept them. When I joined the hip-hop survival TV program “Show Me the Money,” I’ve gone through severe hardships. Therefore, I tried not to participate in the survival program anymore, but after time passed, I slowly recognized that the evaluations done through the program do not assess the sincere value of an artist. I thought that doing something with courage is better than doing nothing and fearing failure. I started to look at my good sides and made brave movements, which was a key to overcoming my stress and hurtful comments.

CAH: Back in your early career, as an artist in a minor music genre, what were some challenges you faced as a female rapper?
MIRYO: Back then, I thought hip-hop was for a minor audience, so I was special to pursue my profession in this area. However, after the breakup of the “Honey Family” crew, I faced my first adversity and was deeply concerned about my future career as a female rapper. This was also a period when I focused on university academic study. At this point, JeA, current member of Brown Eyed Girls, gave me a hand to join the group, and with modesty to gain a chance to rap at least eight measures, my dream had begun to spread its wings.

CAH: In your song “The Day of Loser”, we can look into your leisure, staying home playing various games. Has there been any change in how you spend your free time after your debut as a celebrity?
MIRYO: When I had lived in Soon-cheon, before my debut, there weren’t many enjoyable things, so most of my leisure time I spent online, surfing through interesting sites, and playing games, such as the “StarCraft.” Especially after entering university, I enjoyed playing online games with Da C Side members. It was one of my memorable moments to head off to the PC Room after practicing and preparing for club performances. However, since I started to work as an idol, I haven’t been able to play games for a long time. Nowadays, I’ve gotten back into my previous leisure pattern and enjoy playing the game “Overwatch” and participating on game programs on TV,

CAH: Through the media, we can see your fancy sunglasses, extraordinary hair style, and chic clothes, so it seems that you have a good sense of fashion. What kind of fashion do you usually prefer?

MIRYO: Well, you can see my clothes and make-up standing out, and showy but frankly speaking, it’s my stylists’ preferences to make me look powerful and sexy when I perform on the stage. Usually, I like to wear black and gray clothes very simply because such achromatic and monotonous colors present elegant moods. Moreover, the best combination of color which suits my taste is “black-white-red.” I like this combination of colors because I think it makes me look charismatic and sexy.

CAH: How can you define your music in a single word?
MIRYO: I think the word “messenger” goes along best with my music. I want to be one who makes good music that can send out love, peace, and so on. What’s more, I want to give a message of courage through the lyrics of my music.

CAH: What is your expectation for your future?
MIRYO: I want my future to be full with love, achieving my dreams, living happily and healthy. Since I’d realized a yearning of expanding to other countries, for example Japan, I’m thankful for my many fans all around the globe. And now, I am going to make music which makes me and others happy through the world.

Likened to a color, rapper Miryo is burgundy. Not only is burgundy a trendy color but also has depth to its powerful redness. By meeting Miryo in person, the depth of her charisma, high self-esteem, and courageousness shined through in every aspect. Keeping a clear goal in her head with bravery allowed her to go through hardships to become a pioneer of female rapper. This personal magnetism also made her to be loved by fans and step up with independence as an individual musician. CAH anticipates meeting Miryo with active work in various fields of programs and magnificent music on screen in the coming future.


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