[Weekender] Star chef sees jang as part of Koreans’ DNA

Lena Park’s EP reduced to single as nation mourns

Ballad singer makes belated return with ‘The Year After’

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Published : 2014-04-30 20:22
Updated : 2014-04-30 20:23

The 38-year-old Korean-American gospel-singer-turned-K-pop-star Lena Park (also known as Park Jung-hyun) has finally made a belated return with “Syncrofusion.” However, instead of releasing an EP album as originally intended, she decided to release only one single.

Park was initially going to release “Syncrofusion” as a three-track EP on April 18. However, considering the tragic ferry sinking that resulted in the deaths of hundreds of young high school students, the singer’s agency announced that the release date would be postponed.

Fortune Entertainment officials said Tuesday that the decision has been made to eliminate two singles from the EP and only release one track ― “After this Year.”

“For all the fans who have been waiting patiently, we have chosen to release one single,” said a statement from Park’s agency. 
Lena Park. (Fortune Entertainment)

The original EP was intended to show fans a different side of the popular ballad singer, with more upbeat and energetic songs. It featured her collaborative dance track “Double Kiss.” However, as many Koreans are still grieving for the lives lost in one of the nation’s deadliest ferry accidents, Park felt it would be inappropriate to release such a cheerful track.

“I know I’m known as a ballad singer, but this time around I wanted to do more songs that were fun,” said Park during a round interview at the CJ E&M Center in Sangam-dong days before the initial EP release date.

“I really wanted to do a song where I can laugh and really just have a good time with singing. It’s been a long time since I have released something new, so I wanted to do something different ― doing the same thing just gets so boring.”

Park’s new single “After this Year” was released to the public on Wednesday and is a slow tempo ballad piece. The 16-year veteran singer wrote the piece herself and claims that although she is no longer the young starlet she once was, she has grown tremendously over the years both personally and musically.

“I think my voice has changed compared to the past. This happens with age. But when I first debuted, I didn’t have a lot of experience,” she explained. “Although I have lost that sort of youthful exuberance in me ... I think that I can make up for it with what I have learned through my experience.”

It has not yet been announced whether Park will eventually unveil the EP’s two unreleased singles. As the singer looks to the future and tries to change up her image from just a ballad singer, Park expressed her intent to delve into a wider variety of genres, including one that intimidates her the most ― hip-hop.

“I don’t think deep emotional expression is something that can only be done through ballad songs,” she said. “In the future I am really interested in trying out hip-hop because it is genre that I have the least confidence in.”

In commemoration of her return, Park will hold a series of concerts in Seoul at the Samsung Card Hall at the Blue Square theater in Yongsan-gu starting May 9 before moving on to hold concerts in Busan, Daegu, Daejeon and Suwon throughout June and July.

“I wanted to perform a series of small concerts to allow me the opportunity to to see and talk to some of the audience members during the show,” she added.

By Julie Jackson (juliejackson@heraldcorp.com)

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