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[Herald Interview] Minzy’s sister debuts with ‘Rebirth’

Looking to continue her family’s musical background, Gong Min-young, the older sister of popular K-pop idol Minzy of 2NE1, made her official debut as a contemporary Christian music singer on Friday with the release of her first album, “Rebirth.”

However, unlike her younger sister, who chose the mainstream pop music route, Gong says it was always her dream to pursue gospel music.

“We grew up in a very religious household so gospel music is always something that has been a big part of our family,” the 23-year-old singer said in an interview with The Korea Herald.

As a member of mega K-pop girl group 2NE1, Gong’s youngster sister made her music debut at the age of 15 and has been active in the industry for about five years. Gong said that despite being the older sibling, Minzy has been a major influence on her musical career and that she doesn’t really feel any qualms about being referred to as “Minzy’s sister.” 
Gong Min-young.’ (Sony Music)
Gong Min-young.’ (Sony Music)

“Although she is my younger sister, in terms of music, I actually consider her my mentor,” she said. “Whenever she and I are home together we are always talking about music and singing. I think that Minzy really has a gift when it comes to music so she has been a huge help to me.”

The gospel singer has made a name for herself in the religious community, performing as a member of The Disciples choir for the past few years and even taking her music to various Southeast Asian countries, including Malaysia and Thailand.

Last week, Gong finally released her first official album as a solo artist. In her personal attempt to move gospel music in a new, unconventional direction, she decided to deliver her messages of faith through more contemporary genres such as jazz, hip-hop and R&B.

“Although this is a CCM album, I don’t want to consider my music something only for believers to listen to, but I think these songs can also appeal to everyone, including nonbelievers,” Gong explained. “Whether someone is religious or not, I like to think of my songs as a form of healing. When people listen to me sing, I hope I can uplift peoples’ spirits with my messages.”

A casual listener might not even realize that the album is a gospel record. With six of the eight tracks both written and composed by Gong, she admitted taking a more youthful approach to her music in hopes of making gospel music more appealing to the masses.

The songs have names like “Let’s Party,” “Go!” and “Turn It Up.” The lead single, “Turn It Up,” is an upbeat electro-pop track, and the chorus has an almost EDM club-like techno beat. If not for lyrics such as “Let’s turn it up/I’m never gonna stop/don’t you ever stop/forever praising my God” Gong’s album could almost pass for mainstream.

“I truly wish that one day we can be able to break down that wall between CCM and other genres,” she said, adding that she plans to continue releasing solo albums. “Hopefully with my music, I will be able to shine light on people lives and rejuvenate their souls so that they can all come together as one.”

The CD release of “Rebirth” is slated for Nov. 4.

By Julie Jackson (