Moody K-Pop Princess Heize Dazzles During Debut KCON NY Performance (REVIEW + PHOTOS)
While K-pop's dashing boy bands and energetic girl groups may be the bread and butter of KCON, one (literally) shining soloist stood out this weekend among the nine troupes on the lineup for KCON NY 2018 Presented by Toyota.
On Saturday night (June 23), South Korean rapper and singer Heize dazzled tens of thousands of K-pop fans at the Prudential Center in Newark, New Jersey, where the 26-year-old made her debut with a shimmering four-song set.
Clad in a stunning silver sequin mini-dress and black velvet thigh high boots, the artist added an ethereal sheen to an otherwise frantic and colorful lineup, delivering an assortment of glistening hip-hop, jazz and trip-hop inspired gems from her small yet memorable discography.
Heize was only the second performer of the evening—she took the stage after rookie group Stray Kids, who impressed with a rambunctious, high-energy set—but she felt like a bona fide headliner, especially during her performance of "Star," her melancholy hit 2016 single which she reimagined for her 2017 mini-album /// (You, Clouds, Rain). The artist's emotive delivery drew appreciation from the crowd, who lifted thousands of phones up (in lieu of lighters) and waved them gently back and forth like tiny shooting stars.
She also performed her undeniably catchy "Don't Know You," off the aforementioned EP, as well as two new tracks off her gorgeous recent mini-album, Wind: the smooth, jazzy single "Jenga" and the bittersweet, melodic "Didn't Know Me."
While time was tight for each of KCON NY Night 1's five whirlwind performers, Heize treated concertgoers to a very special a capella verse from a fan favorite song, which attendees had voted for online: 2016's "And July," which sounded even more magical and honey-sweet in its stripped-down state.
Her presence in New York may have been brief, but despite time and set constraints, Heize proved that she's one of the K-pop industry's most unique rising stars and that, amid all the energy and color the genre has to offer, K-pop is particularly enchanting when it's a little moody.