"Whereas I had a 'tough sister' image from emphasizing the 'girl crush' concept in my 2NE1 days, I think I've taken on a more friendly image now," Gong told reporters at a recent media showcase for her new album "Minzy Work 01 Uno" held at the Shinhan Card FAN square in northern Seoul.
"Before, it was hard for people to approach me due to my strong image, but now I'm changing my likeness into a more mature one, while adding a feminine side," said Gong.
This will be her first album since she bolted from 2NE1 in April last year, a month before her contract with YG Entertainment expired. 2NE1 ultimately broke up in November of that year following a successful eight-year run.
All of the ex-2NE1 alumni, except Park Bom, are all currently pursuing solo careers. CL recently launched a single album in the U.S. last year to moderate success, while Sandara Park is trying out a TV and movie acting career. Gong also appears regularly on KBS 2TV's reality TV show "Sisters' Slam Dunk."
"I thought it would be good to make a new decision by the time my contract (with YG Entertainment) ended," said Gong.
The artist was also unwavering of her musical aspirations, saying, "I wanted to show a whole new level of growth in terms of music."
"Uno," the Spanish word for "one," stands for the singer's ambition for a new beginning, according to the agency The Music Works.
The title track "Ninano" is produced by Melanie Fontana, who previously collaborated with a slew of high-profile K-pop artists such as Girls' Generation, AOA, and f(x) as well as American artists including Justin Bieber.
The album also has the singer's first self-composed song "Beautiful Lie" and also features collaborations with hip hop artists Park Jae-bum and Flowsik.
Despite the tumultuous breakup, Gong said she was grateful for her 2NE1 career that lasted over 11 years, including several years as an idol trainee. "YG is like my parents house where I spent 11 years, a place where I learned to sing and dance." (Yonhap)