Dami Im is living the dream. She’s the most recent winner of ‘The X Factor’, has numerous brands begging to be associated with her and her new single ‘Super Love’ is already in the ARIA top 20 after only two weeks. Our resident reviewer Brad recently got to chat with the lady of the hour to talk ‘The X Factor’, the controversy over the aborted video clip to her first single ‘Alive’ and, of course, ‘Super Love’.
“For months I’ve been writing and trying to find my next single,” she tells us. “I wanted the song to be perfect and reflect who I am as a person (as well as) be really happy with it musically and as soon as I found this song, I knew that it had everything that I wanted.
“For me, it reminds me of my husband Noah and how good he is to me and how he has this unconditional love for me, but I hope that other people listen and think about their super love!”
Considering her eccentric persona, it’s not surprising that Dami had a lot of say about its visually stimulating video!
“I really enjoyed working on this video because I had a lot of creative control”, she reveals. “‘Super Love’ reminded me of a superhero and the love among many ordinary people in society, so that’s what I did. I also wanted to have some fun and use beautiful colours, so that it’s enjoyable to look at!”
And she admits that there’s a really simple premise behind the appearance of the slip ‘n’ slide in the clip.
‘Well… it’s about happiness. It’s about spreading joy and making people happy through love. That’s what the slip ‘n’ slide, which most people enjoy and makes most people happy, is representing!”
The outcome was a far more universally applauded video than that for her previous single, ‘Alive’, which was re-filmed after the original edition prompted an outcry from her ‘X Factor’ fans.
“When ‘Alive’ came out, I had just come off ‘X Factor’ and I was so busy,” she admits. “Everything was already prepared for me, including the video. So when I did the video, I didn’t have much control over it, I just went with the flow.
“Some people weren’t happy with it and I wasn’t completely happy either but I just thought that it was my first video and I couldn’t really do much about it. Luckily I got the chance to work with Dannii Minogue and Sony was really kind to allow me to do another one and it was much better!”
Dami has certainly made her aspirations of chart success in her home country South Korea very obvious, recently featuring in a segment on Channel 7’s ‘Sunday Night’ where she returned home for the first time since taking the ‘X Factor’ crown. Perhaps not surprisingly, she plans to continue her Korean invasion.
“Well ‘Super Love’ has been released in Korea already, so I will be travelling to Korea for more promotion later this year,” Dami tells us. “I am thinking of releasing Korean versions of songs there. I think it will be good to have both the original English version and Korean version because I do speak Korean so I might as well use it!’
Dami’s first single, ‘Alive’, made the South Korean top 30 whilst hitting No.1 here at home in Australia. After a number of months away from the charts, some might assume there’d be immense pressure on the star to replicate the success. Luckily, Dami doesn’t feel it.
“My fans really enjoyed watching me on ‘X Factor’ and I guess because so many people out there supported me, it was easier to go No.1 with ‘Alive’.
“With ‘Super Love’ I feel like I have to work harder and that this is the real deal for me as an artist in the industry. So it’s not pressure but it’s enjoyment, as I get more excited working on something I have a lot more creative control over.”
Speaking of ‘X Factor’, Dami tells us the experience of the ratings smash left her a lot stronger as a person.
“I learnt to have more confidence in myself overall. At the beginning I was so shy and I didn’t really think I could make it or anything,” she reveals. “I felt so different to everyone else but by the end of the show I realised that being different could be a good thing for me. I’m learning more and more to embrace the difference rather than be self-conscious or worrying about it.”
And she’s quick to dish out the advice to this year’s batch of reality show contestants.
“A lot of things in your life will be changed,” she warns. “You might not get much time to be home and you won’t be able to see your friends as much.
“It’s important to keep grounded because there are so many changes in your life and if you don’t have a rock in your life, it could be difficult.”
Luckily for Dami she has her husband Noah by her side to keep her grounded. He recently left his job to be with her during her travels promoting ‘Super Love’.
“I’m lucky that I have him with me otherwise it would just be work, work, work. Now we get to spend time together whenever I’m having a break or at night when I’m just at a hotel. I don’t really get much time to see friends like I used to but whenever I have days off I try to go home as much as I can to see my friends.”
Those days off are becoming less frequent thanks to Dami’s various brand commitments. We ask her whether “Brand Dami” is as important as a new album.
“All of these things I represent really reflect who I am, otherwise I wouldn’t have agreed to do them,” she explains. “I like to do good things and it’s important to me to influence the world in a positive way. But singing is my priority and getting good songs and good albums out there as a singer is my highest priority.”
Speaking of albums, Dami tells us that we can expect her first album of original songs in September/October.
“Basically I want the album to reflect who I am musically,” she hints. “It will have songs like ‘Super Love’ that are upbeat and make you feel happy but basically I want all the songs to be relatable.
“A lot of it will be about my own experiences but I want it to be relatable in some way so that it comforts people. Even if it’s a negative song, someone can relate to it and it could be strangely very comforting. I always look for uniqueness and something that’s not overdone and already out there.”
Dami is hopeful that one of the album’s future singles will be one that she has had a hand in writing.
“If it’s written by me, obviously I’ll feel a lot more connected to it. But then if something comes up that I haven’t written and it’s a great song like ‘Super Love’, then of course I’d still pick it. It really depends on the song though. A good song’s a good song, right?”
Once the album is out, Dami plans to tour the country and to “keep working both in Australia and in Korea and try my best in both worlds.”
And she plans on keeping to give back to those that have got her to where she is now.
“So many fans have been supporting me on Facebook and Twitter since the show started last year until now,” she says. “My goal is to keep them proud of me by making great music and continuing to engage with them.”
Dami Im’s new single ‘Super Love’ is available now.
The acoustic version of the single is due digitally next Friday.