It's been more than two years since Jeon Ji-yoon, also known to the public by her stage name Jenyer, walked away from the much-hyped girl band life to step into a solo career.
Leaving her label Cube Entertainment after failing to renew her contract in June 2016, the 28-year-old singer recalls starting from scratch was a difficult decision, but it was indeed necessary for her to move forward.
Now, she has a steely side when it comes to trying to make it on her own. "Being on my own is intense. Ever since I left the band and the label, I've weathered a series of ups and downs," Jeon said in a recent interview with The Korea Times.
"The biggest challenge was that I was not familiar with business in terms of sales, marketing and public relations. So I had to learn those skills first."
Now that she's got full creative control, the singer-songwriter reads books related to business management obsessively. Jeon wants to make sure her work encompasses all that she is and she wants to be as hands-on as possible.
"It's really hard to get on television because I'm no longer signed to a big label. So, I usually appear on radio talk shows and perform at festivals or small venues. As I'm working alone, I need to be in charge of holding meetings with staff and making my own schedule," she said.
The singer-songwriter mentioned that her seven years spent as a member of then-popular girl band 4Minute was about living out what her heart desired. Now she's considering this solo chapter to be a precious time because she has the opportunity to experiment with various musical styles and find her own creative identity.
"I think our music was different from other girl groups. Instead of being tinged with girlish vibrancy, we did our best to portray a 'girl crush' image and show that girls could look cool, too. I'm still proud of that," Jeon said. "But after years going hard and non-stop, I also realized that in order to stay true to myself, I need to produce my own music instead of getting others to write what I should sing."
Jeon released a new single on Oct. 31 and plans on unveiling new songs along the way.
Her latest song "Shower" is about letting go of all bad memories and saying to oneself that "everything is gonna be okay."
"I think my solo tracks, including the latest Shower, are more personal yet relatable, story-driven tunes," Jeon said. "I'll have another release ready next year, although I'm still unsure if it's going to be a single or a mini-album. We'll have to see because self-releasing an album requires a lot of money."
Jeon confessed after spending nearly a decade toiling away in the music industry that maintaining a positive balance is of the utmost importance in her life. "I'd like to tell K-pop idols who are just starting off to keep the balance between your work and personal life, because if you don't, one day you might have no work at all and you could feel emotionally broken," she said.
source: The Korea Times