After 11 years at the forefront of the K-pop scene as a member of girl band Girls' Generation, Yuri released her first solo album on Thursday, finally making her teenage dream come true.
"Today is the first day of accomplishing my dream. Since the time I was a trainee, I dreamed of issuing an album tinged with my own colors," Yuri said in a media event showcasing her solo debut album, "The First Scene."
"I have an 11-year career, but I am a rookie as a solo artist," she said, introducing herself at the beginning of the event.
The album is fronted by "Into You," an alluring pop dance song combined with Yuri's sexy-concept choreography and stage costume -- a slight departure from Girls' Generation's style.
Yuri called the album an accumulation of the knowhow she has gathered in her 11-year career.
"My separate position within Girls' Generation so far has been with my healthy image. (I was called) a black pearl," Yuri said. "So I made efforts to carry sexiness, femininity and beauty into this album."
The project for her first album was in fact launched last year. It took more than a year for Yuri to finally release it, as she juggled various roles ranging from band music, acting, TV program hosting as well as reality TV shows.
Two new TV programs starring Yuri -- the drama series "Dae Jang Geum Is Watching" from MBC and a reality show with Channel A, tentatively named "Makgeolli on Rooftop" -- will be aired later in October.
They follow Yuri's co-hosting of JTBC's talk show "Talk to You," which ended last month, and her release of two new singles as part of Oh!GG, a sub-unit of Girls' Generation, also last month.
Adding to her busy schedule, starting this week Yuri will start appearing on TV K-pop competition programs and radio shows to promote her solo debut album.
"October will be a month of Yuri," she joked.
"I just want to be able to release the next album," Yuri said after being asked about her goal. "If possible, I want to throw a solo concert and collaborate with other singers I like."
Asked why she is making her solo debut after such a long time since her initial debut, Yuri said, "Every flower and tree has its own set timing (for blossoming). I feel that now is the right time for me. I think it's also the right time for you to be 'Into' Yuri," she said, referencing the title of her album's lead track.
"I hope the character and the personality of Yuri as a human being can be continuously rediscovered (by fans)."
Other Girls' Generation members gave her words of support and encouraging jokes as she launched her solo career, Yuri said. "I could feel that they were waiting on me and have curiosity, interest and trust in me even though they don't say anything directly to me."
The first Yuri solo album has five other tracks in a variety of genres, including bossa nova and urban pop. They are "Illusion," "C'est La Vie," "Butterfly," "Chapter 2," and "Ending Credit (To Be Continued)."
source: Yonhap News