Younha : biography
Go Younha (Korean Hangul: ; hanja: ; Go Youn-ha, Japanese Katakana: ユンナ, Yunna, born April 29, 1988 in Seoul, South Korea), is a South Korean pop singer who first got her start in Japan, and continues to have success today in both countries.
Younha made her debut as an artist at the young age of sixteen. Nicknamed the "Oricon comet" for her success in Japan, she has released eight singles and two albums there with varying degrees of success. Several of her songs have been featured in anime and drama series.
Younha was signed to Epic Records, a branch of Sony Music Entertainment Japan, from 2004 to 2008, after which she moved to Sistus Records, a Geneon Entertainment label. In South Korea, she is currently signed to Wealive.
Born in South Korea to music-loving parents, Younha began to play the piano at the age of 5. She developed an interest in Japanese television dramas and began to teach herself Japanese. What began as an interest in Japanese dramas developed into an interest in Japanese music. With the recommendation of an older student in her school’s broadcasting club, she began listening to artists such as Hikaru Utada and Misia. Younha began to dream about becoming a singer alongside her favorite artists.
2004–2005: Early Career & Moderate Success
Pre-debut to "Yubikiri"
In order to accomplish her dreams, Younha began to audition within Korea. She says that she went through as many as 20 auditions. She also commented in an interview that certain companies refused to sign her to their labels because they believed she was not "pretty" enough, although she sang very well. News.nate.com
After a TV drama producer heard her demo tape, her single "Yubikiri", was chosen as the insert song for the Japanese Fuji TV Monday drama Tokyo Wankei ~Destiny of Love~. In October of the same year, she released her official first single, "Yubikiri -Japanese version-". Despite the tie-in, the single did not chart on the Oricon Chart.
‘"Houkiboshi" to Go! Younha
It wasn’t until Younha’s second single, "Houki Boshi", that she found mainstream success. The song was used as an ending song for the popular Bleach anime. It became a hit, debuting on the Oricon daily chart at #18 and peaking at #12, and propelled Younha into the limelight. With this single, she became the second Korean, after BoA, to have broken the Oricon chart’s top 20. Less than 2 months after the success of Houkiboshi, she released "Motto Futari de", to little fanfare, with minimal promotion, and Younha made no TV appearances to promote the single live. Her third single, "Touch / Yume no Tsuzuki", with a tie-in to the Touch live action movie adaptation, with Touch as the theme song, was significantly more successful, and brought her back into the Oricon Top 20, matching the success of "Houki Boshi". The single debuted at #15, and peaked at #11 on the Daily chart. After releasing four singles, Younha released her first album entitled Go! Younha with moderate success. It reached the #10 spot on the Oricon daily charts, and #12 on the weekly charts.
2006–2007: Later Struggles and Korean Debut
"Te wo Tsunaide" to "Hakanaku Tsuyoku"
However, Younha’s next three singles, "My Lover", "Te wo Tsunaide" and "Ima ga Daisuki", despite various tie-ins such as Bleach GC: Tasogare Ni Mamieru Shinigami, Jyu Oh Sei (獣王星) and Jang Geum’s Dream, failed to replicate the success from her earlier efforts, all ranking in the lower half of the Oricon Top 100.
In the meantime, Younha began her debut in Korea, releasing a digital Korean single titled "Audition". Many performances of this song were shown on Korean TV, and the single received much promotion, as a result, "Audition" charted well for over 3 months on all Korean charts.