Three months after the resurgence of their 2017 hit, “Rollin’”, Brave Girls are back with new music. Their fifth mini-album aptly entitled, Summer Queen, contains the title track, “Chi Mat Ba Ram”. Riding on their newfound popularity and the beginning of summer in South Korea, Brave Girls are bringing the fun and familiar elements of K-pop summer music videos while trying also something new.
“Chi Mat Ba Ram” is a combination of two words: skirt (“chima”) and wind (“baram”). In South Korea, chima is the skirt being worn in the hanbok. Literally, the phrase means “skirt wind” and its connotation is traced to a woman’s power or influence. Nowadays, the phrase is attributed negatively to controlling mothers over their children. Producers Brave Brothers, however, assured that the song intends to show Brave Girls as a new wind sweeping the K-pop scene.
From the get-go, “Chi Mat Ba Ram” checks all the marks of being a summer music video. Dancing on the beach? Check. Bright colors? Check. Smiles, fun, and party? Check, check, and check. Summer music videos are made to be fun and the Brave Brothers made sure to not hold back.
The music video begins with individual shots of the members: Minyoung being a lifeguard, Yujeong being a bar owner at the beach, Yuna as an office worker, and Eunji seems to be working part-time washing cars at a gas station. Yujeong glances at the TV and sees an airplane and that same plane flies above Minyoung. A brassy sound opens the song and shows the girls dancing on the beach with Brave Girls in big bold yellow letters at the back.
Reading through the lyrics, the song is about falling in love. It’s that cliché moment we see often in dramas—the breeze gently blowing the often female protagonist’s face and the whole world slowing down when she sees her fated lover. Falling in love is a fun and exhilarating feeling as illustrated by the elements in the music video.
When the blue breeze blows over
And brushes my cheeks (hey)
My heart starts to pound for some reason
The members star as people either alone or bored with the monotony of life until they experience falling love. Eunji is probably the most obvious with the lack of a bright set. Instead of looking for someone in danger, Minyoung is actually searching for love. Yujeong sits alone at the bar with no one to have drinks with. Yuna is bored at work and munching donuts.
As their love intensifies, their individual sets change. Yujeong comes out of a store with the phrase “Rollin’ in the deep”, alluding to their hit song “Rollin’” plastered on the windows. (Interestingly, the timing of the visual allusion in the music video is fitting as lyrically, “Rollin’” tells of how desperately they are in love.)
She is then surrounded by drones handing her gifts from her newfound lover. Yuna is now out of the office rut and changes into her date-ready attire. Eunji dances in an overflow of carwash bubbles and tosses back a bouquet. Minyoung is seen running determined on the beach. Towards the last part of the song, the video reaches its peak with confetti, sparklers, and fireworks.
Taking the literal title of the song, the choreography incorporated movements as to the wind as well as how it blows through the skirt. The clothes also give further emphasis through pleated and flowy skirts, especially the one with a seemingly white long tail. The choice of fabric, however, could be improved as the quality is quite obvious compared to their high-budgeted sets.
The music video is a breath of fresh air with the right mix of open area shots and studio sets. (Yujeong shared that they filmed at the same place in Yangyang where they shot the new version of “Rollin’” in 2018.) And if that wasn’t enough, Brave Brothers added CGI: the plane with a Brave Girls’ banner, neon humpback whales, and animated balloons. The use of CGI is used widely among K-pop groups nowadays, but with Brave Girls’ video, they come off as unnecessary and excessive. Even without them, the music video will still stand.
Bright, colorful, and nostalgic are the words to describe Brave Girls’ “Chi Mat Ba Ram”. It is reminiscent of the simplistic approach of second generation K-pop acts; think Girls’ Generation’s “Party” and Sistar’s summer anthems (“Loving U”, “Shake It”). Moreover, they steered away from fitting themselves in today’s girl group concepts (cutesy or badass) and embraced a summer concept—“healthy sexy” as they call it—that is fitting to their age. Summer is back all thanks to our new K-pop summer queens.
(YouTube: . Yonhap News Agency. Korean Culture for Curious New Comers by Hanna Park (2013). Shadow education in the southeast of South Korea: Mothers’ experiences and perspectives of shadow education by Soo Kyoung Lee (2014). Lyrics via Popgasa. Images via Brave Entertainment.)