K-Pop diva Ailee paid a visit to Melbourne as the headliner for the first ever Asia Pop Fest. Hello Asia editor Johnny Au sits down with the K-Pop superstar to talk about her smash hits ‘Reminiscing’ and the Goblin OST “I Will Go To You Like The First Snow”. Ailee also spoke about her excitement to be in Melbourne and her beauty secrets.

Ailee welcome back to Australia.

Yes. It’s so good to be here again.

Can you believe it’s actually been four years?

Four years, yes. It has been four years.

And looking stunning as ever.

Ah, thank you.

First question then, let’s talk about what you’ve been working on lately musically. You’ve just released a brand new track called Reminiscing, congratulations. Can you tell me a little bit about the track, and do you reminisce about things?

Well Reminiscing is definitely about, well pretty much self-explanatory, reminiscing. It’s about a girl who you know casually thinks about the person she used to love, and just you know knowing it’s too late to go back now because it’s been such a long time. Yeah, I mean who doesn’t reminisce about anything really. It could be anything, it could be about a stupid mistake that we could have made, or I could have made in the past. Yeah, I think it was like a topic that was so common, but not really talked about in music. So I think it was pretty interesting to work on that topic.

Well you also had a huge hit song in the massive hit drama Goblin with ‘I Will Go to You Like the First Snow’. Can you talk to me a little bit about that track? I think you had everybody actually in tears in that episode!

I actually didn’t get to watch the drama myself, but I’m trying to get to it. I promise I’m going to watch it. I’m really excited to watch it because it’s been so hyped to me, but definitely when I have a long period of time to rest and watch the show, I’m definitely going to sit down and watch the show. Yeah, pretty much the song it’s about the male character’s point of view about how he falls in love with this girl, and now he has to like let her go, but he’s always with her at heart and things like that. So I felt like I kind of watched the drama, and I had to like speak in his point of view and things like that. So I kind of figured what the drama is about, but I’m not sure yet. So I definitely have to check it out.

You’ve been getting more hands on in the production of your Korean tracks lately songwriting and the producing side. Do you have a favourite topic that you like to write about?

Favourite topic, there’s nothing, like I wouldn’t say I only want to do this, I really like this because I love trying new things. Favourite topic…

Or is the usual things, like love, boys, that kind of thing?

I do write about things like that, but I also do write about my fans, or like inner confidence and things like that, but I definitely do love writing music that can be hopeful to many people, and helpful because that’s what music really is. It has to speak to the people, and it has to move them in a way. So I think that’s one of the main reasons why I do music as well.

Do you have a big scrapbook of all your songs you have written over the years?

Actually I don’t have a scrapbook. Who writes in a notebook and a pen anymore right?

I do. I’m old school so…

I used to actually have a notebook before I purchased a laptop obviously, but yeah in my notes section I have a lot of like ramblings and mumbo jumbo, things like that.

Now we’re in Melbourne today for Asia Pop Fest. What’s your thoughts on performing in Melbourne for the first time?

I’m actually really excited because well I haven’t been in Australia in a very long time, and it felt good to be back. When I heard that we were coming back, I was really excited because I was hoping to see kangaroos, I didn’t get to see them last time.

No you didn’t last time. You told me last time you didn’t see it.

So I was really excited. I was like okay maybe in Melbourne there will be a lot more kangaroos than in Perth. I asked my dancers, they had a couple days to come here early and hang out, they said the kangaroos and koalas are like two, three hours away from here. So, yeah, so sad, but I’m very excited to meet my fans here in Melbourne. I’m really excited to see what kind of energy they can bring in the crowd.

Is there anything else that you’d like to do while you’re in Melbourne for the next, I know it’s a very short trip.

Yeah, well definitely I do want to go sight seeing, see what’s interesting around the neighbourhood.

The Formula One race outside? It’s Formula One race this weekend.

Yeah, I heard it while I was rehearsing. Yeah, definitely want to check some places out, and I want to try the food here as well.

I want to ask you about beauty secrets.

Beauty secrets?

What’s Ailee’s beauty secrets? You’re one of the most gorgeous women in K-Pop, what’s your beauty secret?

Thanks. Well, in anything really, the basics is the most important thing right? I would say the cleansing part of my ritual is very, very important because I do wear a lot of makeup. If you don’t cleanse very well, even the next day your makeup won’t look too good, or it won’t spread on very nicely and stuff like that, but cleanse is the most important part of my ritual. And moisturising.

Cleanse and moisturise. That’s Ailee’s tips. So what’s next for Ailee? What’s your plans for the rest of 2017?

I’m just enjoying my time off right now. I’ve been working so hard for the past four, five, six years. So I gave myself like two, three months of breather and it felt so awkward just doing nothing. Just hanging out with my friends, catching up with family, and things like that, but it felt good at the same time. I’m kind of itching to go back to work. I definitely have started recording, and we’ll see how it goes.

Do you have a message for your Australian Aileeans?

Yes I am so excited to be back here in Australia. I have missed you guys so much. So I’m hoping to give you guys all my energy on stage, and I hope you guys will do the same for me as well.

Well Ailee it’s great to see you in Melbourne. Good luck on stage.

Thank you.

We’ll see you very shortly.

Yes, see you soon. Thank you for having me.

Photos by Anthony Smith