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[Interview] Rolling Stone Korea Interview with Yves (240531)

By Shay Yoo

Yves stands alone. Onstage, with the chattering that had been buzzing in her ears now gone, only the quiet silence remains. Like this, Yves is learning to face herself. She says that this process isn’t a smooth one, but that makes it more enjoyable.

1. You’re having your solo debut after 6 years and 6 months, right? It must be especially moving, coming back after so long. First, I’d like to hear your thoughts on returning solo after being in a group.

If I felt fearful because everything felt new to me in 2017 when I was in the group and released my solo project single, in 2024 now, I’m calm and also excitedly nervous. I’m nervous of course, but I want to hurry and be onstage.

2. (As of the day of the interview) There’s around a week until your solo debut, how do you feel?

It hasn’t really hit me yet. “Am I really debuting? Is this the start?” These question marks keep pouring out, so I think I need to feel it with my own skin while performing onstage for the first time on the day of the showcase.

3. We learned in March that you had signed with PAIX PER MIL in November. It’s been around half a year since. How has life been in your new home?

When birds build their nest at first, they also pick out branches to move one by one, to try and get comfortable. PAIX PER MIL now, in May, has become a comfortable nest for me. Though it was unfamiliar and difficult at first, the company staff gave me a lot of help.

4. A lot has changed around you, hasn’t it? What’s the biggest change you’ve felt?

How the loud, feel-good decibels have disappeared and gone silent? When I was with the members we would chat and joke around all day, but having more time to myself now, I think I’m having more thoughts as well.

5. I imagine there could be a big difference between Yves as a girl group member, and Yves as a solo singer. That could include your attitude or mindset as you face the stage. What do you think is the biggest difference between the two?

If as a girl group member my mindset was “let’s make up for each others’ weaknesses”, now, as I have to fill the stage on my own, I think my sense of responsibility has become much greater. It makes me look at myself more objectively, and notice my points of weakness even more, so I’ve practiced more, but I don’t dislike this process. It’s fun.

6. You mentioned “beyond being an idol, as an artist, expanding your musical spectrum as an artist”, right? What do you think fills the world of Yves, not as LOONA, but as a solo artist?

I want to honestly log my emotions and things I want to say, moment by moment. What that will become is like the unknown in an equation, so I’m very curious, and looking forward to that. In a year from now, two years from now, how will my colors be painted? It’s fun, like a room of secrets.

7. And you’re preparing a fan showcase as well? Are preparations going well?

I’m calmly controlling my mind to not feel rushed, and am working hard on preparations!

8. What kind of album is your solo EP, [LOOP]?

It’s an album that expresses the desire to break the endless cycle of daily life that’s unchanging, breaking out of the repeating loop and running away, through songs in various genres.

9. While preparing your new album, which part did you put the most effort into?

Telling my story. Of course, my debut album was made by awesome artists and producers from the company, but it contains all of my honest stories. How that came to be was through everyone who was curious about my stories, and listening to it attentively, so I am thankful.

10. In this EP, there’s a handwritten “Yves’ Love Letter”. What’s in that letter?

I wrote it with honest feelings in a notebook at dawn, with piano music playing. As it was my first letter to a large group of unspecified people, word choice was difficult. But as a result, I was able to cleanly trim down the letter to only include my honest, but also plain affection. It’s like a letter that anyone can read and feel comforted by.

11. As a solo, how was the process of making your first album? I’m curious what sort of emotions you felt the most during this process.

It’s like a saw-toothed wheel. As it rolls, the points poke and hurt, but that leaves a deep trail. It’s not an easy process for mind nor body, and I did feel uncertain and upset, but these are precious emotions to me that I can’t let go of.

12. What left an impression was the image of cycles in <LOOP> and with that, mentions of “lotus flower”, “calmness”, and “tranquility”. Was there any sort of special inner transformation?

I needed something to ease my mind during my inactive period. I was so unstable at the time. While at the temple, I saw a pretty lotus flower blooming and ran over to look, and after I got close and looked below it, there was mud. At that moment I think I gained the strength to stand again like a lotus flower blooming atop the mud.

13. I don’t think it would’ve felt all that easy to break away from the rules of the past on a journey solely on your own.

It wasn’t, but that’s why it was more fun. I don’t like typical, stereotypical rules. Ever since I was young, I was a bit of a rebel inside, like the green frog, then CEO Millic even called me a green frog. I tend to choose the harder path to go down, but I don’t dislike myself for doing that.

[T/N: the character of the green frog comes from Korean folklore]

14. And with that, four tracks were completed. Which song do you think best captures Yves?

<Afterglow>. The feeling of wanting to go back but also not wanting to go back, I think CEO Millic captured these feelings of mine that even I don’t quite grasp.

15. Lil Cherry joins you as a feature in your title track; you met her for the first time while working on this, right? Did you have good chemistry?

It was my first time working with unnie and I got to know her through this opportunity. After just hearing the rap in the guide version, comparing that to the song filled with her rapping, I remember feeling happy, thinking “this is it”. Unnie said let’s get something to eat next week.

16. Not long ago, a documentary clip <Ha Soo-young> was posted on the PAIX PER MIL Youtube channel, which included you expressing your feelings about hard times, and making up your mind to get past that. What’s something that keeps you going during hard times?

The fans. Even if it’s a really predictable answer, there’s nothing but the fans. Even if it’s because I started music because I liked it, if you told me there was just one fan of mine in the world, I would sing for that fan. Since it’s a promise. And I want to do that. I won’t ever be able to repay all the love I’ve received, but I would like to.

17. Do you remember when or where you first wanted to become a musician?

I don’t remember the exact details but when I was young, my older sister and I would watch TV and see cool singers singing R&B, and I remember how one time I imitated them while holding the remote. It was so fun that I sang until my mom came back home from work at night, and the next day my mom said she heard on the elevator “that her daughter was a good singer”.

18. You must want to try many things moving forward. Please let us know what first comes to mind.

There’s so many things but what comes to mind now is a concert. Isn’t it so cool, being able to stand onstage for a concert with a setlist of just my own songs? I think I’ll need to work hard.

19. I’d like to hear your dreams as a musician.

At the company terrace I talked with producer and artist Ioah, who’s a same-aged friend. More so than hoping for success, I really want to make music. We spent time talking about various genres of music, like “let’s try all of this sometime.” Whereas some people become bitter as they get older, I look forward to later expressing myself in a more mature and skillful way through music. I thank Ioah for getting me to have these thoughts.

20. What side of Yves do you think we’ll meet next time?

I’m still not entirely sure, but like a lotus flower that has become a little more deeply rooted, an Yves that is elegant and confident, but also humble. I would like to greet you in a more mature way, both musically and internally to myself. I will keep working at it.



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