IU is widely known for being a one-of-a-kind K-Pop powerhouse. While her vocals, unending charisma, and overwhelmingly kind personality are widely known, something that doesn’t get discussed enough is her songwriting.
The first self-written song published by the artist was an OST, “Hold My Hand,” for the 2011 K-Drama The Greatest Love, when she was only 18 years of age. Since then, her discography has also expanded into an impressive repertoire of her songwriting, given that a large chunk of it is self-written.
IU recently appeared on BTS Suga’s YouTube show, Suchwita, where the duo discussed IU’s songwriting in detail. IU shared that she decided to release her first self-written song as an OST because Yoo In Na, her closest friend, was in the cast.
IU said she had started writing since middle school, though her label didn’t find them fit to be released.
When asked if she has a favorite among the songs she has written to date, IU said there are three particular ones she would like to be remembered for, even after she is long gone.
The three tracks are “Heart,” “Knees,” and “Through The Night.”
“Heart,” as most fans know, has a very special place in IU’s life, as she almost always includes the song in her concerts. In fact, it had become her tradition to ask the audience to sing along as she would remove her in-ears to bask in the moment and listen to her fans’ voices. The track was originally released as an OST of her K-Drama, The Producers.
“Knees” is a deeply sentimental song from IU’s discography. It was first released on YouTube in December 2014 as a gift to Uaenas after her Melon Music Awards win in 2014. It was then officially released as part of the Chat-Shire Album in 2015. IU mentioned that she wrote this song while suffering from insomnia and recalling how lying on her grandmother’s knees always put her to sleep the easiest. The lyrics reflect the beloved childhood memories of a person and have a bittersweet tone of remembrance.
IU once revealed that she wrote ‘Knees’ during a time she wasn’t able to sleep and eat well because she’s sad. She thought that the only way she could sleep well is if she could lie on her grandmother’s “knee” just like when she was young. pic.twitter.com/M3WbhF3xb0
— Words by IU (@wordsbyIU) July 29, 2022
And lastly, “Through The Night” is another touching song IU wrote. It was released in 2017 as her album Palette‘s lead single. The artist had explained that the song was written during another episode of insomnia when she was left wondering what could be the purest form of confession to someone you love. Since she herself had trouble falling asleep, she realized that being able to wish someone “Good night” or “Sleep well” was the realest feeling of love for her.
These three songs not only reflect the lyrical genius of IU but also showcase the unbelievable range of her emotionality as an artist. There’s a reason why she is the icon of Korea.