BoA Breaks In

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Pop superstar BoA relaxes in her hotel room in Hollywood on Feb. 25, ahead of the release of her first album in the U.S. (MIKEY HIRANO CULROSS/Rafu Shimpo)

BoA, the pop superstar in Japan and South Korea, recently performed at the Kollaboration 9 concert at the Shrine Auditorium. The 22-year-old singer, whose first U.S. release, “BoA” is due out March 17, answered a few questions for the Rafu.

Rafu Shimpo: How would you describe your music?
BoA: I would say my music is pop and dance. As for the sound, I think my sound is very upbeat and refreshing.

RS: Musical influences?
BoA: I’d say Michael Jackson, from when I was young, but these days, I’m influenced by so many American artists.

RS: What’s in your iPod?
BoA: These days I have been listening to a lot of Neyo, TI, T-Pain and Lady GaGa.

RS: The best part of performing?
BoA: When I am on stage and see that my fans enjoyed my performance.

RS: Reasons for coming to America?
BoA: I want to share my music with as many people as possible. I’m really proud of my first American album and I hope everyone enjoys it!

RS: What are your musical ambitions and goals?
BoA: I can’t wait to start touring throughout America. There are still so many cities I haven’t visited yet!

RS: In light of the difficulty of maintaining success in the states, how do you plan on differentiating yourself from others?
BoA: I’m really focusing on my choreography for this album. I feel so lucky to be working with great choreographers in Hollywood.

RS: Along those same lines, what challenges do you see for yourself as an Asian pop star in America? What advantages do you see for yourself?
BoA: That’s a tough question but if I had to answer I would say that the hardest part of transitioning to America is the language. As for advantages, I guess I would say I have been in this industry for almost 10 years now so it would have to be my experience.

RS: Outside of music, how do you spend your time?
BoA: I’m just like any other person. People find it weird when I tell them I love to sing after I’ve had a long day of recording. Other interests include hanging out with friends, watching movies and just relaxing at home. And how could I forget, shopping!!!

RS: With the changing economy, people downloading albums for free, and music being broadened by the internet, what is the future of music in your opinion?
BoA: It’s sad to see that due to piracy CD sales are dropping. I understand that everything is all digital now and I think SM Entertainment has done a great job keeping up with the market and all the obstacles that this economy faces.

RS: Dream collaboration?
BoA: Hmm….I could say so many artists but the ones that come to mind are Justin Timberlake, Neyo, and Timbaland.

RS: Dream venue to perform?
BoA: Madison Square Garden – just like Justin Timberlake!

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