It has been about three years since we last saw Natty, when she got eliminated from Idol School (the show that formed fromis_9) during episode 11. She was also part of JYP‘s program Sixteen (the show that formed Twice) and was also eliminated in episode 11. Despite her eliminations in both survival shows, fans of Natty continued to support her in hopes that she will debut some day, and that day has finally arrived.
“Nineteen” is a representation of Natty’s journey thus far, as well as a way for her to mark the start of her journey as a soloist. Both the song and the MV has a futuristic vibe to it, and while the lyrics look back on Natty’s struggles to become an idol, it also focuses on how she intends to take charge of her future.
I’ve been looking for you, my nineteen
I’m going to tell you, cruisin’
Open the secret door
At the moment I met you, now start
You’ll be surprised, new light
A dream shining in front of me
The MV shows many different sides of Natty through her styled looks, implying that she is a versatile artist who can pull off different concepts. The floral dress implies innocence and purity, the oversized colourful sweater and space buns indicate playfulness, and the shiny cargo pants with the high ponytail suggests a girl crush aesthetic. Despite the difference in aesthetics the MV takes on, all of them blend well together with the futuristic/hip hop track, and it convinced me that Natty is a soloist who is versatile and charismatic.
Looks aside, the MV loosely centers around Natty’s journey, with her walking on the highway with her belongings, or running after her doppelgänger as a representation of chasing her dreams and establishing herself as an individual. One scene that really spoke out to me was when we see her lying in a crate filled with tapes titled “Nineteen”, almost as if she was lying on top of her dream, hoping that her debut will be strong enough for her to last in the industry. Through this scene alone, it made me realise how difficult it is to survive as an idol in Korea– many artists debut each year, yet only a handful survive their debut and can continue doing what they love. The rest of the artists either go back to being trainees, or give up completely and return to their daily lives.
For Natty, the stakes are higher, considering the fact that she had already lost her chance to become an idol twice. Now that she has finally debuted, she acknowledges the fact that the struggle does not end here, and hopes that she will become enough of a success to continue doing what she loves. The scene where she holds the tape close to her heart suggests that her dream is extremely precious to her, and that she wants it to come true.
Although the MV had beautiful shots of Natty, it bothered me a lot that they did not focus on her dancing during the short dance break. Instead of seeing shots of Natty as a performer, we got scenes of the city and close ups on her face. Considering the fact that Natty had proved to be an outstanding dancer on survival shows, it was a shame that they did not add many scenes of her dancing, and when they did, the set lighting was so dark that you could barely see her skills as a dancer.
Other than that small gripe I have with the MV, I love the aesthetics, the story, and its futuristic look. I’m excited to see what Natty has to bring to the table in the future– will it be a mashup of different genres, or a completely different style from “Nineteen”? Whatever it is, she is definitely one to keep an eye out for.
(YouTube; Lyrics and Images via Stone Music Entertainment)