A new version of “On Your Way” by JoA Project was released on April 6. Last year, the song won first place in the 8th Idea Promotion Contest for its high-quality production and encouraging lyrics. For this year’s version, JoA Project collaborated with EWHA With U, a club established to promote Ewha via YouTube.
The collaboration included a five-language relay verse with selected lyrics translated into Chinese, English, French and German. They also created a new music video featuring the members of EWHA With U.
The idea of converting the second chorus was proposed when the collaborators realized that various members of EWHA With U could speak different languages. Their ultimate goal through this special twist to the song was to reflect the diverse and colorful characters of Ewha.
Looking back on their recording sessions, JoA Project admitted that it was not easy matching rhymes with five entirely different languages, but it was a memorable time thanks to EWHA With U.
JoA Project is a group of two musicians, Lee Seung-a and Lee Jo-eun, both from the Department of Composition. They made their debut in the music industry on April 1 with “On Your Way,” releasing it on all Korean music sites as well as iTunes and Spotify. JoA Project received rave reviews for their first single, especially from fellow Ewha students via Ewha’s online network communities, Everytime and Ewhaian.
Numerous students have even set the song as their Kakaotalk profile music. Among them is Chun Joo- hyun, a junior in the Department of Philosophy.
“I was excited to hear the news about the official release of the album,” Chun said. “I was depressed by the prolonged school closures due to the pandemic. Listening to the song, I felt like the music was reassuring me.”
She chose the lyrics “You are doing better than you think. My darling, just the way you are” as her favorite. These lyrics comforted her when she was having a hard time studying and thinking about her future career.
A freshman of Division of Communication & Media thought the song perfectly matches Ewha’s slogan #Yes_to_Ewha since the slogan implies two different meanings, “Yes, let’s attend Ewha Womans University” and “Yes, just the way you are.”
“I especially like the lyrics ‘Hold our hands, just the way we are. With my friend (beot), just the way you are.’ The part, ‘just the way you are,’ reminds me of Ewha’s slogan,” she stated. “It well represents the identity of Ewha and makes students feel a sense of belonging.”
JoA Project shared their intentions of the lyrics mentioned above. Lee Seung-a stated those were the words that she herself wanted to hear from others.
“When I was writing the lyrics, I was having a hard time as a senior,” she revealed. “I was not fully satisfied with what I had done so far, even though I had worked hard. I discovered that many Ewha students are having similar concerns, so I decided to write what I wanted to hear myself and ease our worries by reminding ourselves that we are valuable as who we are.”
Lee Jo-eun chose “Hold our hands, just the way we are. With my friend (beot), just the way you are.” as her favorite line.
“From the start, I wanted to include the word ‘beot’ in the lyrics no matter what,” she said.
JoA Project highlighted that they wanted all students, regardless of nationality, to feel connected and united through the word “beot.”
“We wrote this song for both Korean and foreign students,” they said. “Due to COVID-19, students from foreign countries must have felt like they did not have enough chances to interact with Ewha students. We hope they realize that being a part of Ewha means everyone is supportive of each other regardless of nationalities.”
JoA Project hopes to have a chance to perform at the school’s festival, so that students can sing the song in a united voice — connected as one.
“If COVID-19 is alleviated, we will busk on campus,” she said. “We are also considering releasing an acoustic version of ‘On Your Way.’ We often wish the Central Library would play ‘On Your Way’ instead of the usual classical music for students to hear as they walk out at 10 p.m.”