While Got7 member BamBam only just made his solo debut with “Ribbon” this past summer, the now-soloist is already back with a new single to finish off the year strong. His latest release, “Who Are You?” — which features Red Velvet’s Seulgi in more of a duet role — ambiguously provides possible answers to the same question he poses throughout the song.
Musically, “Who Are You?” already gives one hint as to “who” BamBam is, and where he may be going next as a solo artist. Shockingly gentle and subdued, the track is a stark departure from the brightness and eccentricities abundant in his debut mini album, Ribbon. Featuring airy acoustic instrumentals and atmospheric elements blended with BamBam’s and Seulgi’s whisper-like vocals, “Who Are You?” is a blink-and-you’ll-miss-it kind of track. It may be muted, but that restraint only forces listeners to pay even closer attention.
This new sound for BamBam is fitting for the track’s lyrics, which again aim to explore the question of “Who Are You?”. While it’s somewhat unclear as to whether BamBam is directing this question toward himself, a potential love interest, or both, the MV provides more obvious clarity on the overall meaning of the track.
Who are you?
You’re like a maze
But I like you, like to find you
I realize someone else in mind.
The MV opens on BamBam standing in a dark field in front of a large mirror as he and Seulgi both sing “Who are you? / You’re like a maze.” Despite the purposeful ambiguity of the lyrics and the fact that a male-female duet often suggests a romantic narrative, the motif of the mirror signals that this must be a song exploring personal identity. As BamBam reaches toward the looming mirror, the MV cuts to an unassuming, almost entirely black set where BamBam and Seulgi perform the track’s contemporary choreography.
Aside from the repeated image of BamBam and Seulgi both looking at their reflections in mirrors, the MV’s choreography scenes are also particularly notable, as they convey similar messages surrounding the exploration of identity but in a more unexpected way. BamBam and Seulgi are both especially known for their dancing abilities as the main dancers of their respective groups, so it only made sense to further explore the meaning of “Who Are You?” via the performance aspect within the MV.
Certain moments of the track’s choreography feature BamBam and Seulgi dancing together, with Seulgi taking on the expected role of the female partner and BamBam the male. However, the most telling points of the dance have BamBam and Seulgi facing one another, performing the same choreography but mirrored — as if they are the mirrors themselves.
What’s more: they’re also wearing nearly the same outfits during each of the choreography scenes. In the first performance set, they’re styled in an all-black, flowy top and pants getup. In the second, they’re dressed in an all-white two-piece suit.
Both outfits are essentially genderless, allowing the moments in which BamBam and Seulgi perfectly mirror each other’s moments to have even deeper of an impact, and signify that “Who Are You?” isn’t about looking for someone else, but for oneself. BamBam and Seulgi’s nails are even painted in the same contrasting black and white pattern, so that during occasions in the choreography when their bodies align to appear as one, it’s even difficult to decipher whose hand belongs to who.
On top of the MV’s profound performance bits, its overall visual appearance is subtle, but stunning, much like the track itself. Slow yet delicate camera movements including zoom outs, zoom ins, arcs, and rotating tilts immerse the viewer in the hypnotic atmosphere of the track. And like BamBam’s and Seulgi’s outfits, the MV takes on a mostly black and white appearance with a frosty glaze superimposed on top.
It’s an interesting yet ironically fitting cinematic choice, as the song hints at the notion that identity isn’t all black and white. It can be a long, perhaps even painstaking process, as the lyrics of the pre-chorus suggest:
If you’re gonna say what I think
Go ahead and say it already
I keep wandering and wanting you
I can’t even escape.
However, the frosty effect over the MV’s visuals is also representative of the haze and fog that uncovering identity encompasses. No matter how hard we look, we can’t always see or understand it clearly.
Although BamBam has been in the business for seven, going on eight years, now that he’s ventured out on his own, he has a lot more ground to cover in terms of showing the world who he is. “Who Are You?” is a fitting comeback; a very literal next step in his journey to self discovery. With this new release, it’s not certain that he has all of the answers yet, but that he’s well on his way to getting there soon.