K-Pop Comeback Spotlight: IU and BTS’ Suga Ask “Are You Happy Now?” In Tender Collaboration Track Titled “Eight”
IU makes a stunning return with BTS’ Suga for their track “Eight”, a nostalgic song exploring the sadness of passing youth and the happiness of memories
Perhaps one of the most anticipated collaborations of the year so far, IU’s track “eight” with BTS’ Suga is equal parts heartwrenching and comforting. Both the digital single and its music video embrace the listener, acknowledging the fleetingness of happiness but reassuring them of its eventual return.
At its core, “eight” is a nostalgic testament to memory and its ability to help one find infinite happiness again.
“Eight” Comeback timeline
IU shocked fans and made headlines with her surprise announcement of a May comeback release. Her company, EDAM Entertainment, made a statement at the end of April announcing that IU would release a digital single called, “eight”. Additionally, the track’s release would be accompanied by a music video.
Exciting fans even further, the company explained that the digital single would be a special collaboration between IU and BTS’ acclaimed producer and rapper, Suga. Suga both produced and featured in the song, summoning global interest as to what the two music industry phenomenons had in store.
Her company hinted that the track was borne from their relation to one another as same-age musicians, forming a mutual synergy from their shared opinions.
One day after the announcement, IU released the first teaser image for the song on her Twitter account, continuing to build frenzy online.
Following the first promotional image, IU began rolling out consequent teasers across her SNS channels, pushing her comeback into full gear. This included a stunning solo shot and a moving visual teaser.
⠀IU Digital Single
<에잇(Prod. & Feat. SUGA of BTS)>
⠀#IUxSUGA #아이유 #eight #에잇 pic.twitter.com/pwfVrYtNjs
— 아이유(IU) 공식 트위터 (@_IUofficial) May 1, 2020
Moreover, track collaborator, Suga spoke briefly about the track with fellow BTS member, Namjoon, during a VLIVE broadcast. Titled, “DJ Suga’s Honey FM 06.13 with RM #0613FM_0502”, the members responded to fan comments, and many wanted to hear more from Suga about his collaboration.
Both excitedly commented that the track was excellent. Namjoon jokingly stated that though he does not have his license yet, the song is the perfect music to play while driving.
Suga explained that the process of the collaboration was very smooth, with few back-and-forth revisions. Instead, Suga wrote beats and sent them to IU, and he received the melodies promptly after.
The broadcast summoned even more hype surrounding the collaboration as Suga and Namjoon reiterated that the track was one that fans would love for a long time.
On May 5th, the first teaser clip for the music video was released. The video features IU in a galactic setting, as only a short line from the song plays in the background, stating, “So are you happy now?”
IU’s company, EDAM Entertainment, also released a reaction video as a teaser to the track. Lucky fans listened to the song ahead of its release with the singer herself. The track brought many to tears, and they hinted that the song is heart-wrenchingly sad, but comforting all at once.
Only one day before its release, IU teased fans with behind the scenes photos from the music video for “Eight”.
“Eight” first impression
“Eight” was highly anticipated ever since IU announced her comeback. Carried by the vocal powerhouse, while being produced and having a feature by BTS’ Suga, “eight” was regarded with high expectations. It did not disappoint.
The song begins as IU tenderly sings, “So are you happy now? Finally happy now?” kickstarting the whimsical track. The song is instrumentally driven, allowing IU’s stunning voice to be the star. Its melody is nostalgic and bright, leading into the upbeat chorus in which IU repeats a hopeful line of “Forever we young”.
Suga’s section in the song is a wonderful addition to IU’s higher, airier vocals with his deeper rap in the third verse. His rap style during the track is charming, featuring a soothing mix of rapping and singing that the artist has been celebrated for in his other work, such as in BTS’ “Best of Me”.
Despite the freeing, upbeat tempo and catchy melody, the song’s lyrics are heartwrenching. Suga’s signature production and writing skills shine, seen in the contrast between the cheerful beat and poignant lyrics. The artists explore the sadness of life passing and of losing youth.
Happiness becomes a fleeting experience overshadowed by its fragile nature. However, the artists take their fans on a hopeful journey by comforting them. Instead of seeing passing experiences as departures, listeners can find happiness in the memories they made.
In this way, everyone can achieve eternal youth.
“Eight” is a lovely track that feels like a warm, consoling hug. Sad but reassuring, the song is a lovely gift for IU and Suga’s fans who often find comfort in both artists’ work.
“eight” MV Afterthoughts
The accompanying music video for “eight” was beautifully fitting to the song. Driven by the narrative and featuring a blend of realism and animation, it was similar to a mini-film.
The music video follows IU in a galactic laboratory where she plans to erase all of her memories. Before doing so, she records them and relives every moment one last time.
IU embarks on a journey through her past. She experiences the good and bad memories once more. Recalling the turbulence of life, she realizes that these make up her journey. All of the ups and downs constitute her life.
The end of the music video shows IU quietly smiling at the camera. Rather than hurt, she has found happiness through these memories.
The music video was truly an artful rendition of the track’s lyrics. The whimsical color grading of the video and the animated scenes provided beautiful cinematography. This added to the song’s overall nostalgic appeal. Moreover, IU’s acting strengths portrayed the narrative well.
Similar to the song itself, the music video brought fans on a dreamy journey.
Images Credit To: EDAM Entertainment
Video Credits: YouTube – EDAM Entertainment 1theK