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[Herald Interview] Solar expresses individual beauty through ‘Face’

Cover image for Solar’s EP “Face” (RBW)
Cover image for Solar’s EP “Face” (RBW)
After nearly two years away as a solo artist, Solar of Mamamoo returned with her first-ever EP, “Face,” on Wednesday evening.

The singer-turned-soloist said it took her a while to drop a new album because she was initially “musically lost.”

She felt she had done everything in terms of being experimental while sprinkling in whatever she liked for her solo debut “Spit it out.”

But messages and support from her fans helped the musician overcome her fears about how the public and fans would react.

About her new mini-album, Solar said everything stemmed from the word “yong,” -- the middle syllable of her real name “Kim Yong-sun.” The artist said she wanted to stay connected to herself and her roots.

“The Chinese characters of my real name translate into fresh face, so I wanted to meld in the word ‘face’ for my new album,” she said in a group interview Tuesday. The musician everyone was unique in their own way, which is why they all look different.

“I wanted to meld in my beliefs and thoughts about beauty in general, by saying that beauty is in the eye of the beholder, and the most important beholder is yourself,” the singer said when asked about why she decided to use the tagline “people don’t know they are beautiful” for her new album.

Beauty emanates from within, the singer said, and people should rejoice in being original in terms of accepting who they are.

The singer said the two album cover images – with the singer dressed in yellow in one and white in the other—were an attempt to express different types of beauty and faces.

But when it comes down to it, she definitely prefers yellow.

“I think the color carries cuteness, energy and positivity,” she said. “I think the biggest reason why people like me is because of my confidence and the positive image I have.”

The artist said she hoped her album would help people cope with the pressure to live up to society’s beauty standards, which tap into people’s deepest insecurities.

“I curated the list of my five-song package with positivity and happiness. Hopefully, people would be able to enjoy my album during the spring,” she said.

Musically, the album puts a new twist on Solar’s usual style. She described “Honey” as a “cute song with fluffy tunes that matches the spring season and music that could comfort people.” 
Cover image for Solar’s EP “Face” (RBW)
Cover image for Solar’s EP “Face” (RBW)
“I had a specific role in Mamamoo. For example, I would mostly be in charge of singing high notes, and people would be surprised if I sang in a low-tone voice. I think I never had a chance to start the song with my voice when I sang in a group,” she said, reminiscing about how she decided to branch out to a different side of her.

“The whole recording for this track was tricky because it felt weird singing this kind of song. But I’m satisfied with the outcome, and I wish to show that Solar as a soloist could also have this kind of musical traits tailored to her.”

The songstress said she also took a leap of faith by listing herself as a composer and lyricist for the first time. She wrote the words to “Honey,” as well as “Raw” and “Chap Chap.” “Big Booty” is Solar’s first-ever self-penned track.

“Some of the tracks were written several years ago, and it’s a song I’ve performed before during my concerts. I’ve always wanted to list them on my album, and they were on the top of my list for ‘Face.’ I’m proud and curious about how people will find them,” she added.

Also, Solar echoed her stance that she plans to show that she is “diverse” through her latest print.

“It’s been almost eight years since I got my foot in the door, but I want to hear people tell me I could do a certain music style and show that I still have more to show (as a solo musician). And I would be more than happy if people would find me and my music as something new.”

By Park Jun-hee (junheee@heraldcorp.com)
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