Lee Jin-ah, also known by the mononym JINA, is a South Korean singer-songwriter signed under the record label Antenna. She is best known as the second runner-up of SBS’ K-pop Star Season 4.
Born March 16, 1991, in Gwangju, South Korea, Lee Jin-ah grew up being known for her unique voice, which, she says, she got from her grandmother. She attended the Seoul Institute of the Arts.
She was a relatively unknown artist despite having been able to release her first full-length album, Unvisible, under Chili Music Korea in 2013.
Lee Jin-ah rose to fame as a singer and pianist in 2015 when she finished third on SBS’ K-pop Star Season 4, an audition program that has produced many other artists such as Jimin (JYPE), Lee-HI (YGE), Akdong Musician (YGE), and Katie Kim (YGE; now AXIS).
During her stint in K-pop Star 4, Lee Jin-ah managed to release a total of nine singles, with the three most popular digital releases being “My Own Way,” “Yum Yum Yum,” and “Already One Year.”
In one of the episodes of the show, she also received praise from American singer Jason Mraz when she played “Time Slowing Down” on the piano.
Following her stint in K-pop Star 4, she released the singles “Life is Ninano” and “Road to the Airport” in 2015.
In 2016, she released the single “Times Call” and collaborated with SHINEE’s Onew in the song “Starry Night,” which was released for the first season of SM Station, a digital music project by SM Entertainment featuring their own artists collaborating with artists from other agencies. She also participated in the official soundtrack of MBC’s hit television series, “Weightlifting Fairy Kim Bok Joo,” starring Lee Sung Kyung and Nam Joo Hyuk, where she released the song “Again Again Again”.
In 2017, Lee Jin-ah released the extended play Random, featuring the title track of the same name. The EP mostly contains self-composed songs, which she worked on with pianist Shin Sung Jin. Random did well on music charts and scored first place on jazz charts in South Korea.
In the same year, she held her first solo concert, titled “Jin Ah’s Restaurant – Main Dish” and took part in Antenna label’s concert, “WITH, ANTENNA” alongside artists like You Hee Yeol, Jung Jae Hyung, Peppertones, Chai, Kwon Jin-ah, and Sam Kim.
In June 2018, Lee Jin-ah released her studio album, Jin-Ah Restaurant Full Course, and participated in the official soundtrack of Mysterious Apartment: Birth of Ghost Ball X with the song “Fly Away”.
On August 16, 2017, Lee Jin-ah was reported to be in a relationship with pianist Shin Sung Jin. The two reportedly started dating after working on her album, RANDOM, together.