South Korean singer-songwriter IU (Lee Ji Eun) has been under fire recently for the content of her new album, CHAT-SHIRE.
Not only has the bonus track "Twenty-Three" come under scrutiny for allegedly sampling a Britney Spears track without permission, but new criticisms challenge the lyrics for another song on the album, "Zeze," which was based on a book about a physically abused 5-year-old child.
A post uploaded to the singer's official Facebook page addressed the concerns of fans.
"I have recently become aware of all the opinions surrounding my song lyrics and it took a while before I mustered up the courage to post this," began IU in her message. "Sorry for taking so long. I deeply apologize for those who were hurt by my lyrics."
The young idol explained how she arrived at her concept and inspiration for the album and defended the use of polarizing characters and imagery. "I wanted to use my personal experiences as a 23-year old as the foundation of "Chat-Shire," so I used characters in various novels to write the songs. Zeze was one of those characters," she said.
"'My Orange Tree' is a book I really cherish. I swear that I did not write those lyrics with the intent to sexually objectify a 5-year-old boy. The Zeze in the lyrics was only borrowed from the story as a 3rd person observer. However, I realize that many were made uncomfortable by my lyrics and I became aware that many were hurt by that. This is because I am inexperienced as a songwriter."
The songstress went on to clarify some remarks made about the song during a recent interview. "In that interview, I stated, 'I feel that Zeze's temper (sungjil, also meaning 'personality'), not his words, is sexy.' I was not referring to the boy, I was referring to the double meaning of temper/personality," she explained. "However, it was my fault for using the word 'sexy' in the same sentence that a 5-year-old was mentioned in."
IU additionally addressed allegations that another track on CHAT-SHIRE came into being through questionable means.
"To continue, on the bonus track 'Twenty-Three,' I apologize for not carefully checking the source that we used for sampling the song," she wrote, reiterating a statement made by her agency on the matter just the day before. "We have requested information from Britney Spears's agency and are currently awaiting a response. We will proceed based on their reply."
"I was too greedy in being excited and wanting to be complimented for producing my own album for the first time," the young singer added. "I made a lot of mistakes."
"I bow my head in apology to those who I hurt or who are disappointed in me as a result of my actions. I am reflecting and will work hard to bring you a more mature IU in the future. I apologize."