Ex-Turtles member Cha Eun-sung begins new chapter with trot

By Hong Dam-young
  • Published : Apr 16, 2018 - 20:08
  • Updated : Apr 16, 2018 - 20:08

Changing one’s name is a big deal, as it means starting from scratch with a new identity. But soloist Cha Eun-sung, whose previous stage name was SuBin, said opening a new chapter of her career as a trot singer was more than delightful.

“I’ve been singing since 2001, but it hasn’t been steady. But I will go back to basics with a mindset of a rookie so that I can sing for a long time,” said Cha during a media showcase for “Moon and the Star,” her first EP under her new name, in Seoul on Monday.

Cha Eun-sung performs during a media showcase for her new EP “Moon and the Star” in Seoul on Monday. (Haha Entertainment)

The name Cha Eun-sung is new to the public, but she has been around the K-pop scene for more than a decade, having originally debuted as a member of Korean hip-hop trio Turtles in 2001 under the stage name SuBin. The group enjoyed its heydays in the early 2000s with hits like “Airplane” and “4 Seasons,” but it disbanded in September 2008 following the male lead singer Turtleman’s death from a heart attack in April the same year. The group attempted a revamp in 2011 with new members, but eventually faded into a distant memory.  

Ever since leaving the group in 2008, Cha has been pursuing a solo career, releasing singles between 2009 and 2011. Between the two singles, she took a break, battling depression. Despite failing to make a big impact in the scene, her arduous journey continued as she joined forces with her current agency Haha Entertainment and changed her name to Cha Eun-sung.

Her new EP “Moon and the Star” is fronted by a lead track of the same name, which is a medium-tempo disco number. The singer explained the song’s lyric originated from the idea of a marriage proposal made by a woman, who can sweetly say “I can give you the moon and the star” to her love interest.

“The song is not only very sweet and lovely, but also infectious and easy to follow. I hope many women will be able to use the song when proposing to men,” she said. 

Cha Eun-sung performs during a media showcase for her new EP “Moon and the Star” in Seoul on Monday. (Haha Entertainment)

Cha also said that trot has always been in her roots, as her family used to l
isten to trot songs all the time.

“Even my mom listened to trot when she was pregnant with me. I’ve always wanted to try trot, and thought it would be nice to try it when I am over 30. And I think there are many advantages to it, as I can share musical discussions with my family and enjoy songs with the elderly. It feels like I’m being a good daughter to my parents,” she said.

The three-track album also includes “Life Is Like a Song,” a folk-tinged trot song, and “Pyeong Gang Princess,” both of which are composed by the singer. Cha said that “Life Is Like a Song” was dedicated to her late grandmother, who loved music, especially trot.

“I’ve missed the stage so much. Now that I’m on a new starting line, I want to become a singer who doesn’t stop singing,” she said.