ENTERTAINMENT

[Herald Interview] Jung Eun-ji says she sings to comfort herself

By Hong Dam-young

Apink vocalist talks about her first self-produced solo album ‘Hyehwa’

  • Published : Oct 17, 2018 - 15:22
  • Updated : Oct 17, 2018 - 15:31

Long before Jung Eun-ji started her K-pop career in 2011, music was more than just a hobby or something she was good at.

Speaking to The Korea Herald at her record label’s headquarters, she confides it’s always been a source of healing and stability for her. Growing up, she would hum songs like Maya’s “Shout Myself” whenever she felt depressed and Kim Gun-mo’s “My Son” when her parents objected to her dream to become a musician.

It’s an effect she hopes to have on others by sharing her soothing voice with her third self-produced solo EP “Hyehwa.”


Jung Eun-ji (Plan A Entertainment)

“The overall theme of my album is ‘sympathy.’ I tried to start working on the album by reflecting on myself, as I used to sing whenever I needed comfort,” Jung told The Korea Herald in Seoul on Tuesday.

Having debuted as a soloist in April 2016, the Apink vocalist’s new album was significant in that she participated in songwriting, composing and even producing every track on the album. Going by what Jung says, the entire eight-track album is a placid production, filled with slow-tempo ballads that put her husky, soulful vocals front and center.

The evocative, nostalgia-tinged lead track “Being There” is a song about yearning, while its object can be anything, such as family, pets, hometown and one’s childhood, the singer explained. 


Jung Eun-ji (Plan A Entertainment)

“It initially stemmed from the idea of longing for family and was a song for those who are living away from their families. But I thought that everyone keeps the feeling of ‘longing’ deep in their hearts amid their hectic lives. I hope people could look back on whatever they’ve been missing after listening to this song,” she said.

The rest of the album also sparkles with Jung’s creativity and warm sensitivity. “Box” talks about breaking out free of a restrictive frame and “Secretary Kim” touches on arduous office life, inspired by hit drama “What’s Wrong with Secretary Kim.”

Despite already having two albums under her belt, the singer-songwriter said she found writing lyrics for the entire album a challenge. But Jung, now in her mid-20s, said she learned a lot about the self-reflection and the power of cooperation in the process.

“While preparing for the album, I realized how important it is to join our forces. And after struggling with writing the lyrics, I thought, ‘Why haven’t I read more books?’” Jung said.

The veteran K-pop idol member also shared how she’s changed and matured over time. 


Jung Eun-ji (Plan A Entertainment)

“At first, I was always dragged by people and, literally sleep drunken, even dosing off during interviews. But now I feel like I can lead my own way and actually talk about my own stories. And I feel proud for doing so,” said Jung as she looked back on her early days.

The versatile musician, who has expanded her career into acting and musical theater, said she actually enjoys keeping herself busy. Having made a successful acting debut with coming-of-age drama “Reply 1997,” Jung also wishes to hone her acting talent, saying that she recently finds acting more attractive than before.

“While continuing to grow up as a singer-songwriter, my goal is to work and sing until I turn 80,” she said.

Jung wrapped up her solo concerts titled “Hyehwa Station” from Oct. 13-14 at Yonsei University in Seoul.

(lotus@heraldcorp.com)