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[Interview] Offstage Interview with Heejin (231116)

OFF INTERVIEW: HeeJin celebrates new solo phase and support from LOONA members

Giu Bressani


HeeJin is more than confident about her fresh start. The 23-year-old South Korean singer recently released her solo album “K”, accompanied by the title track “Algorithm”, which marks the beginning of an important new phase.


At the age of 16, she was the first member of the group LOONA to be revealed with the song “ViViD” and now, seven years later, she can showcase her full potential as a soloist. Today, she is also part of the ARTMS project alongside fellow LOONA members JinSoul, Kim Lip, Choerry, and HaSeul.


Following the album’s release, HeeJin talked to OFF about her new phase, the most memorable - and difficult - moments of her career so far, and her dream of visiting Brazil one day.


OFF: Please tell us a little about the concept of your album


HeeJin: My new album is called ‘K’, which stands for Korea. I was nicknamed ‘Dangun’ (founder of the first Korean kingdom) for being the first member of LOONA, and I’m showcasing the traditional Korean beauty and attraction with the letter ‘K’. K-pop has become a genre recognized all over the world, and this album includes all the elements that represent it.


OFF: It’s been said that your album is ‘charming in a uniquely Korean way.’ What are some of South Korea’s charms that you would like to share with the world?


HJ: K-Pop, K-movies, and K-dramas have become popular all over the world. So I’d like fans from other countries to be able to experience other elements of traditional Korean beauty, which I believe is unparalleled.”


OFF: What message would you like to convey with this release?


HJ: The lyrics of Algorithm are about an old love that keeps popping up in your thoughts, like an algorithm. And just like the title of the song, I hope your algorithms show me to you all the time!


OFF: The MV for ‘Algorithm’ shows a princess who dreams of becoming a big star. How do you personally relate to this character? Was it inspired by your personal experiences?


HJ: In reality, my parents were against my dream of becoming a singer. Despite this, I took dance lessons and auditioned in Seoul when I was at school and never gave up. I worked hard and managed to make my dreams come true. My life and the MV are connected in this way.


OFF: How would you describe this comeback in just one word?


HJ: Return


OFF: You made your debut at a very young age. Do you feel you had to grow up earlier than people your age? How has that influenced the person you are today?


HJ: I think I grew up faster than young people my age, and I believe that’s why I was able to face many challenges even before my debut. Bearing in mind that I debuted so young and that this profession usually doesn’t last long, I’m still confident that I can do much more.


OFF: You always have to give up a lot of things when you’re an idol, especially what is considered a ‘normal life’. Is there anything you regret in this regard?


HJ: Sometimes, people I know regret not enjoying school, making friends, going on school trips, etc. But I can’t feel that way because I wouldn’t be able to do the same. I followed my own path and have no regrets.


OFF: Is there any part of your journey so far that you would change if you had the chance?


HJ: I’d like to go back to the time I was in school and audition for another company [laughs].


OFF: Did you ever think about giving up your idol career?


HJ: I’ve never, ever thought about giving up this job. I’d like to be an idol even if I were born again.


OFF: You were the first member of LOONA to be revealed, and now, after seven years, you’re releasing a new solo song. What would you say is the biggest difference between HeeJin from ‘ViViD’ and HeeJin from ‘Algorithm’?


HJ: I took a very active part in the production of my album. During the ‘ViViD’ era, I wasn’t familiar with the way this industry works, but now I’ve grown up a lot and was co-producer of this album, which makes me very proud.


OFF: What advice would you like to give to your younger self?


HJ: You’re doing a great job, and let’s try to make it even better!


OFF: We’re seeing all the LOONA members supporting each other in their new projects. What do they mean to you, especially in this new phase?


HJ: During the production of this album, I realized that I leaned on them more than I had imagined. The feeling is that we’ve become inseparable.


OFF: What would you say are the most important and memorable moments of your career so far?


HJ: I definitely remember the first tour. It was the first time I realized how many international fans we had.


OFF: LOONA has always been very popular in Brazil and was even in the Top 10 of a list of the most popular groups in the country in 2021. What does it mean to you to know that you have so many fans on the other side of the world?


HJ: I feel bad that I haven’t managed to visit Brazil yet! I want to meet my fans who are waiting for me on the other side of the world at least once!


OFF: What are some dreams and goals you’d still like to achieve?


HJ: To tour in Brazil! Please wait for me!”


OFF: Finally, please leave a message for your Brazilian fans:


HJ: Thank you so much for loving and supporting me even from so far away. Please look forward to the day I visit Brazil! I love you so much!



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