If you’ve been a fan of K-Pop for any period of time, it’s unlikely that you haven’t heard about MAMAMOO‘s Hwasa. In recent years, she’s really become popular in the music genre, and for good reason! Not only is she an incredible vocalist with a uniquely soulful, husky voice, but her performance skills are pretty much unmatched.
Even in a group with as many individually talented members as MAMAMOO — with Solar and Wheein also having very powerful and unique voices, and Moonbyul a very skilled rapper — Hwasa has made a name for herself, especially now that she has a solo career. Whether you’re a long-time fan or just wanting to learn more about the group’s maknae, here are 7 interesting facts about her!
1. The meaning of her stage name.
Hwasa’s real name is Ahn Hyejin! She didn’t want to use Hyejin as her stage name because she thought it was too common of a name, so she went with Hwasa because it comes from the adjective “hwasa-hada” which literally means “shine brightly”. It’s definitely suitable for an idol that shines so bright!
2. She didn’t come from riches.
Even though Hwasa now looks as regal and rich as a queen, she has very humble beginnings. She grew up in the countryside and even rode on her dad’s cultivator around their property. However, her parents were very loving and supportive, so even if they weren’t rich in material wealth, they had a rich family life.
3. She knew one of her fellow MAMAMOO members long before they debuted.
Hwasa and Wheein actually knew each other from going to middle and high school together! They both dreamed of becoming singers even back then, and helped to encourage and support each other even though Hwasa’s conservative parents weren’t initially supportive of her dream. They also supported each other through many, many auditions until they were both finally accepted into RBW Entertainment when they were in 9th grade!
4. She’s skilled enough to have huge K-Pop idol fans.
Hwasa is recognized by many professionals for her talent — from her incredible vocal range, to her ability to change vocal styles for different genres of music, to her rapping ability and just her incredible on-stage persona, Hwasa even has fellow idols in awe of her talent! One of them is HyunA, who is an incredibly talented performer of her own and even performed with Hwasa once with “Ice Ice”.
Another self-proclaimed Hwasa fan is After School‘s Nana, who says she loves how confident, passionate, and sexy she is! Even rapper Loco has spoken about Hwasa being his ideal type and requested a collaboration with her until it happened with “Don’t Give It To Me”. There are many other idols that have complimented her as well!
5. She didn’t care about a certain criticism.
Hwasa was caught up in a bit of a controversy when she arrived at the Incheon International Airport in July 2019 after a trip to Hong Kong for their Super Concert. She wasn’t wearing a bra underneath her white t-shirt, and people erupted over this decision and whether or not it was okay for her to do. She didn’t address the topic until the release of MAMAMOO’s song “Hip”, which included the lyrics, “My fashion is a controversy, but I don’t care, it’s just another action.” Clearly, she didn’t think it was an issue, and it’s impressive that she didn’t let the haters get to her!
6. She caused 3 unusual and random things to sell out.
When Hwasa starred on the show I Live Alone, she became known as the “sold-out queen” because of her ability to make things sell out! One time when she ate gopchang on the show, it suddenly became immensely popular; another time when she ate fried seaweed, it quickly became sold out; and on another episode when she played a recorder, websites that sold music books for the instrument were hit with a wave of orders. Talk about the power of Hwasa!
7. She’s a loving daughter.
It took some time, but when Hwasa finally started to get wealthier because of her idol status, one of the first things she did was pay off all of the loans that her parents had. It’s clear that she and her parents had a very close bond, and it’s wonderful that she was able to do something so huge for them!
Hopefully, you learned something new about this incredibly talented idol!