K-pop girl band Lovelyz has a name that perfectly suits the group. Since its debut in 2014, the eight-piece act has been an icon of loveliness, with most of its music creating a saccharine mood with a touch of pensiveness.
So when member Ryu Su-jeong first heard that she had to transform herself into a charismatic woman for her solo debut, she felt a big challenge was at hand.
"I almost lost my mind when I learned about the album's concept and was really worried at first," Ryu said during an interview with The Korea Times at a cafe in Mapo-gu, Seoul, Tuesday.
"Having a radiant smile and acting adorable on the stage were something familiar to me, but being cool and charismatic was not. I had to overstretch my limit to develop charisma. So I practiced a lot and as time went by, I found the whole process very enjoyable."
Asked about the rationale behind the image change, she said Lovelyz's record label Woollim Entertainment made her the offer.
"As it is my first time to go solo, I mostly accepted my company officials' ideas," the singer said.
The Lovelyz member is due to release her first solo album "Tiger Eyes," fronted by the lead track of the same name, on Wednesday afternoon (KST). The EP offers seven cross-genre songs including the intro "Be Cautious," the R&B "Call Back," the ballad-style "Your Name," the medium-tempo "42=," the romantic "Na, Ni," and the sentimental "zz."
She said the focus of the album was on her voice, which is both husky and velvety.
"For the lead track, I attempted to give out a new voice by reducing the air sound, so that I could create a chilly atmosphere that fits into the vibe," she said.
The number, a blend of Pop and EDM, likens a man's charming eyes to those of a tiger and unfolds how the singer gradually falls under the spell of that man. It also vividly depicts the tiger's movement through the lyrics.
The star also touched on the B-side songs.
"I think the numbers included in the EP all suit my voice well," she said. "I want to let people appreciate diverse music in my own sound through the upcoming release."
Among the songs, "zz" is Ryu's first self-written work.
"I composed the number using my guitar four years ago," she said. "I am fond of visualizing something that has not happened to me and I was inspired by my imagination to make this track. So far, I have about five self-written songs."
She added, "Whenever I am on a hiatus, I try my best to make as many numbers as possible. I hope I can unveil my other works in the future, if they suit the album's concept."
Although "Tiger Eyes" is a much-anticipated release, Ryu felt sad that she could not meet her fans face-to-face, as people have to practice social distancing amid the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. But the singer hinted that she has been seeking other ways to interact with them, such as via video calls.
She wrapped up the interview by delivering her goal: "I hope I can work on my music for a long time. I have been thinking about how to make my wish come true."
source: The Korea Times