Singer-songwriter IU stood by a song she wrote inspired by a 5-year-old boy character from a classic novel and for which she was mired in a controversy over pedophilia.
At her solo concert in Seoul on Saturday, the 22-year-old singer-songwriter performed the controversial song, “Zeze,” explaining to the audience that she “still dearly loves it.”
A track on IU’s latest EP “Chat-shire,” the song is named after the boy protagonist of Portuguese novel “My Sweet Orange Tree.” Its self-written lyrics have been the target of criticism, with some critics viewing them as “hinting at pedophilia.” That the singer had described the character Zeze as “sexy” in a separate interview also became a point of debate.
IU was unperturbed, however, as she sang the piece in front of around 6,000 audience members at Saturday’s concert at the Olympic Hall in Seoul, in what was to be the opening of her domestic tour.
IU started off the concert with “Shoes,” from her latest mini-EP “Chat-shire,” followed by “Everyone has secrets,” “Obliviate” and “Red Queen,” leading up to “Zeze,” the fifth in the song lineup.
People close to IU were present to give her emotional support. IU’s boyfriend of two years, Jang Ki-ha, along with her best friend Yoo In-na and Indie duo group 10cm’s Kwon Jung-yeol were in the crowd.
The chanteuse finished off the show by thanking the audience, “As this was the first concert (for ‘Chat-shire’), we prepared hard, and there were things to overcome. I was very nervous but upon coming up to the stage, I saw your smiling faces and felt grateful. You had no worries on your shining faces and that was reassuring.”
Following the two-day concert over the weekend, IU will continue on a national tour that stretches to Daegu, Busan, Gwangju and more venues through the end of the year.