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[ENG] Hankook Ilbo: "Yves of LOONA, Solo Debut in May" (240430)

(Sources: Part 1, Part 2)

Yves, from the girl group LOONA, is making a splash debut as a solo artist next month. Having performed as an all-rounder following her 2017 debut with LOONA, Yves had previously signed an exclusive contract with Paix Per Mil and embarked on a new beginning.

LOONA, which had consisted of 12 members, has divided into ARTMS, with members Heejin, Haseul, Kim Lip, Jinsoul, and Choerry; and Loossemble, with members Hyunjin, Yeojin, Vivi, Go Won, and Hyeju. Chuu and Yves declared going as solo artists and began their bold journeys.

Yves expressed an ambition to widen her musical spectrum, as an artist beyond an idol. Hard at work focused on recording, she is preparing to encounter the fans in a completely changed appearance. Yves hinted to us that her musical color and concept will be entirely different from her group activities, and she will be proving her abilities as a solo artist through a new album.

Yves recently met with us with a bright expression. Unlike her charismatic appearance on stage, her smile is radiant like a lily, and her eyes became moist whenever she mentioned the fans. It would be natural to feel tired with recordings going on for days, but Yves is enjoying her days filled with excitement and passion; we discussed a range of topics in our conversation.

Yves facing a new beginning

“I’m preparing for a solo debut in May. I had a goal to do it before summer, and after getting good songs and making good progress, I’m able to meet the fans earlier. I’m hard at work recording right now, and re-recording over and over again. I’m trying to challenge myself with some new things, listening to and reflecting the CEO’s feedback, singing with a different feel, all as I’m working. It takes time, but I’ve been learning a lot."

Deciding to go solo

“During group activities, maybe because I was a leader, my biggest thought was that the group had to do well. I had a lot of affection for the members and the team as well. During the hiatus I pondered deeply, of course had many conversations with the members, and talked a lot with myself as well. I realized that I wanted to tell some honest stories through music now, and the members supported me, so I decided to exert some more strength and go solo.”

Songs that feel different

“I’m personally so fond of these songs. It was new for me too, so I think the end product is something that will surprise fans as well, like ‘Yves is doing something like this?’ It’s a house-genre pop-feel track, and I think it stays a step ahead of the fans’ expectations, so I really want to show this to them soon. I’ve had a dream of participating in production work too, but since we have skilled producers at the company, I thought it’d be good for the company to at least ground the title track, so I left it fully to them. I’m thankful to them for thinking about it day and night to craft it and determine its colors. After this debut song, I’m planning to participate too as we produce songs.”

The crucial reason behind the choice of company

“I met with lots of companies, and that year of hiatus wasn’t a short time. The thing I thought about the most back then was ‘What is my identity’, and in order to find out the answer, I thought ‘Let’s figure out what it is I truly want to do’. I wrote lyrics and composed, deciding to make something on my own even if the song would never be released, and I learned about my own colors in that process. It was helpful to delve into the areas that I couldn’t focus on during group activities. I thought Paix Per Mil was a suitable company to broaden my musical spectrum, and they had skilled producers, so I trusted and chose them.”

The LOONA members’ encouragement

“All the members often tell me that they’re looking forward to it. I’m a big worrier, and they encourage me along the lines of ‘Unnie is going to do so well’. That gives me strength because they know me better than I do. And they’re my biggest motivation. We still chat often, and we have a group chat. We’re each other’s greatest supporters, to the point we always attend each other’s showcases too. I still believe that we are one team, so wherever I go I call them ‘the members’, and the girls call me ‘leader unnie’ too. Those things give me a lot of strength.”

Yves’ leadership

“It’d be a lie to say there was no pressure in being a leader. But I like to step up to compromise and make things and mediate. I used to be class president as a kid and I think I’m the personality type to have leadership. And I had such affection for the team and a passion to make this team successful, which also made me want to grow the members’ skill level. I was someone who wanted to continually motivate, and that was so much fun and gave me pride. That was only possible because the members trusted and followed me.”

The process of learning about herself

“When I met with this company, Millic CEO-nim asked me about the things I like. It wasn’t homework but it kind of was, and it was something I’d never thought about during group activities so I felt stuck at first. Vaguely, I just liked singing and dancing, but I didn’t know what kind of colors I possessed, and this felt refreshing and difficult and fun. It was a process of learning about myself. I looked at the list I made, which taught me about colors and interests I didn’t even know about, and Millic was the person who helped me find those things and guided me.”

The music Yves pursues

“Before, I used to listen to a lot of music that expressed emotion, like R&B and ballad music. These days I’ve been focusing on expanding my spectrum and learning, so I try to come across new algorithms. There is this artist, Caroline Polachek, and her cyber-sounding yet dreamy music is so nice. Listening to music I didn’t usually listen to, I guess you could say I’m expanding my ear for music. That’s what I’ve been working on.”

A paradigm shift

“I’ve had a shift in my mindset while working solo, because unlike working in a group, you can tell more honest stories and emotions as a soloist. I don’t think you can always be joyful and happy. Sometimes you’re sad and tired, and if you can deliver that emotion too as a message in music, some people would feel comforted by that, and I wanted to share that through music. It’d be nice if work and life were separable, but even when they are one, I felt like I could get honest and deliver my stories well. They could be like a diary, a record of ‘Back then, I was singing music like this, in these emotions.’”

Reflecting on 7 years since debut

“I can’t believe it’s already been 7 years. There are so many amazing seniors, so the 7th-year title humbles me even more. I think a lot about the early debut days, and I find the beginner’s mindset again as I reminisce. Of course I’m sure I’m a bit more relaxed on stage and mature now, but as the fans have been with me 7 years and grown tighter, I want to repay the fans, which makes me more passionate and resolute. They have waited for me for so long.”

The reason for operating a blog

“These days, there are many ways to communicate, social media and all. I used to like writing and keeping a diary ever since I was little, and I was thinking about how I could communicate honestly like that, which led me to this analog idea of a blog. Sometimes I posted poems and recent updates, sometimes funny photos, communicating with the fans in these ways, and the reaction was better than I thought. I read all of the comments, and they give me strength because there are comments like ‘I like seeing this side of unnie I didn’t know before’ and encouragements and other good reactions. I’ve never had to force myself to write out of duty. When I have a lot of thoughts, or I come across a book I want to share, I just naturally open the blog.”

Lovely fans

“I think the fans’ comments are attention and love. Sometimes they’re private comments and only I can see them, but they share about the prettiest moments in their days. They take photos of flowers or the sky, or post about their precious lives, and I’m so grateful that I can’t sit still. They are so kind-hearted and I want to repay them. My fans tend to be overwhelmingly more female. About an 8 to 2 ratio? I’m always grateful.”

Yves’ childhood

“When I was little, I was class president all the time. I was shy back then but I think I still had leadership despite that. I do feel proud of my younger self, wanting to lead my class well, and I want to compliment myself for overcoming that shyness to be an idol right now. Haha. When my parents went to work, it’d be just me and my sister at home, and we used to copy the songs and dances on the TV. I was really introverted and liked to hide and be shy as a child, but when my relatives got together for the holidays and told me to sing, I would actually sing and dance. I think I’ve always dreamed of being a singer since kindergarten. Imagining myself holding a mic.”

A born attunement with the stage 

“I’m so happy whenever I’m on the stage. Some people say you need to separate work from life, but for me I think work is life and life is work. Even my hobby is music, and I don’t think of being on stage as work, but rather just a part of my life. I feel grateful and lucky to be loved and supported through doing something I love.”

The memories of earnestness from Queendom 2

“Even if I were to go back, I would still want to go on there. My affection and passion for the team was great at that time, as it always was, and I wanted to show people through a survival show how passionate and skilled my members were. I wanted to guide the team well as a leader, and when I look back on videos of myself from back then, I was full of grit. Looking at things like that, I feel like even if I were to go back, I’d be even more like that, not less. Every stage was so precious and earnest during that time.”

Dance, an indispensable thing in life

“I really love to dance. I guess it’s because my personality doesn’t let me sit still. I have many dancer friends and I ask them, “Is there any choreography you’ve come up with lately?” and ask them to teach me. When we meet, it’s not so much of a lesson as much as learning choreo from each other. Because while professional dancers perform movements in a professional way, I think idol friends express and make the dance lines come alive in a way that’s consistent with their unique charms. My dancer friends tell me they learn a lot from me, and I learn from those friends, and I think we have fun dancing in that way.”

Artists she likes, and goals

“Watching Lee Hyori sunbaenim still being very active, I thought that I would also like to be a sunbae with a long run myself. She has many talents and is a role model of mine. Dreams as an artist? Dreams should be big so I’d like to make the Billboard charts. Haha. I haven’t made my solo debut yet so I think everything will come across as fascinating, but I would like to hold a solo concert too. I think I would cry (of happiness).”

Dreams of Ha Sooyoung as a person

“Having no regrets. With every moment being so precious and earnest, my standards got so high that I found myself unable to be satisfied with any stage. I started this work to be happy, but sometimes I’d find myself making it so painful, so I thought a lot about ‘What can I do to not have regrets?’ I’d like to put in the effort to craft perfect performances, but also to not regret what’s in the past and live true to the present. Kim Hyeja sunbaenim had a famous line in the drama The Light in Your Eyes that spoke to me and I try to take that to heart.”

What she would like to say to fans

“It would be understandable to dislike how I’m just all talk all the time, but my fans still support me and never hold back their love, and to them I always feel fondness, and guilt, and gratefulness. I’m not seeking anything else, just that if you stay by me, I want to be an artist who can console you with good music and performances. After a successful debut I plan on gradually working on the next album and sharing songs that I’ve made, one by one. I think maybe the day will come when fans will realize, ‘So this is what Yves wanted to do,’ and support and love me even more.” 

Hoping to be remembered as a warm page for you

“I get sad if I can’t see the fans for a long time. Some time ago I had an event so I saw the fans in person, and it felt like the moment you set your eyes on love. I only get to communicate through text, so sometimes I get lonely. I’m good at putting faces to people so I know many fans’ faces too, and there are a lot of unnie fans. We had a whole year of not being able to do anything, but they waited, just believing in me, so this love is beyond measure. It would be a lie to say that this doesn’t sound forlorn, but I hope that when the fans think about me at some point in their lives, I would be happy if I could just be remembered as a nice and warm page. Being together forever would be amazing and I hope for that, but I know that this is difficult.”

Singer friends that provide strength

“My closest friends are Youngji, Weki Meki’s Yoojung, and (Lee) Chaeyeon, whom I can talk about anything with. We’ve even made a trip to Gapyeong to hang out, and these friends are always on my side, no questions asked. I’m always grateful and I feel guilty that I’m not good about staying in touch, but they are such lovely friends. Youngji’s very thoughtful and mature. She’s younger than me but I have a lot to learn from her, and she’s been in the scene since she was young so I’m often learning from her. Chaeyeon’s done many survival shows so her mentality is strong. She does get hurt but also recovers quickly, and I would like to learn this too."

Wanting to give various fields a shot

“I would really like to give variety a shot. Lately I met with LOONA members and Heejin and Jiwoo (Chuu) told me that ‘It would be really nice if unnie went on talk shows. It’s unfortunate that we’re keeping unnie’s humor to ourselves.’ I like making people laugh, and when the girls acknowledge me in this, I start getting ambitious. Haha. Recently I’ve started living on my own so I’d like to show my everyday life through “I Live Alone,” and I’ve heard that I get along well with manager oppa so I’d like to be on “Point of Omniscient Interfere” as well. I like Park Myungsoo sunbaenim, so I’m even in the “Silent Park Myungsoo room” open chat room, where you get kicked out if you talk. I’d like to go on Pinggyego or Halmyungsoo on YouTube, too. Lately I’ve been taking acting lessons and though I haven’t been learning for long, I’ve felt how fun it is and think I’m starting to get serious about it."

Being a singer is a joyous profession

“I’m thankful that I’ve achieved my dreams and to this day it still fascinates me. I think every profession has its difficulties. Having become a singer, I think this profession is so worthwhile, where you receive more love than you could ever repay in a lifetime. At some points, since humans aren’t robots, you can get exhausted, but whenever that happens, someone picks you up like a rope coming down from the heavens, and that would be the fans. I get to communicate emotions through music, and thinking about it that way, it’s a really a joyous profession.”



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