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[Herald Interview] Yoon Ji-sung is back in bloom with another spring EP

Yoon Ji-sung poses during a group interview Friday. (DG Entertainment)
Yoon Ji-sung poses during a group interview Friday. (DG Entertainment)

Perhaps because songs in the spring season can cheer listeners, remind them of romance, or even welcome new beginnings, singer-songwriter Yoon Ji-sung has made his way back to the music scene each time the cherry blossoms have bloomed.

This year is no exception, with his 3rd EP, “Maze,” set to be released Wednesday evening.

It is his first release in nearly a year. His previous work “Temperature of Love,” was released last April, and since then he has joined a new agency.

The former Wanna One leader began his career as a soloist in 2019, and says the season holds a special place in his heart.

“I was born in springtime, and it’s not like I went for it, but I’ve always made a comeback in the spring. As spring signals new beginnings, I think it’s the time of the year that many people wait for, so I thought of meeting my fans with a song that suits the spring,” he said in a group interview Friday.

Leading the five-track package is the main track “Bloom,” and the tracks that round out the album are, “Todok Todok,” “Summer Drive,” “Florescence” and “Sleep.”

The singer said he was looking for an easy listening tune, and “Bloom” fit the bill. He was inspired by different types of colors and thought flowers best matched the hues. 

Yoon Ji-sung poses during a group interview Friday. (DG Entertainment)
Yoon Ji-sung poses during a group interview Friday. (DG Entertainment)

“For example, people usually give flowers to their date, and there are meanings behind each favorite bloom. I made many connections with flowers, and that’s how I ended up naming my song ‘Bloom.’ Believe it or not, I made it when I was in the military.”

Since it’s the first song he has ever written, Yoon explained how “Bloom” had added meaning, saying that he took the opportunity to be candid about himself and the emotions he felt at that time.

The movie “Call Me by Your Name” was also an inspiration for the singer, saying that the film struck him as a collection of colors.

“The night view I saw at that time, and the movie hit me real hard, and I thought I could be able to come up with a song with a beautiful tune. The initial version was a city pop tune, but I wanted it to be more fun, so it eventually became a dance song,” he said.

The singer said it’s it was a disappointment that he couldn’t go with the original version of “Bloom,” but hinted at releasing it as an album track in future.

Yoon said it took a lot out of him to take his studio sound to the masses. He also expressed hope that “Bloom” could fill many people’s spring with happiness and vivacity.

The singer also reunited with his former Wanna One bandmates. Dae-hwi, now with boy band AB6IX, composed “Summer Drive,” and JR raps on the same song. When asked about the reunion that happened while preparing for the album, Yoon said walking a path as a soloist is tough, so the get-together was a touching moment.

“Since Dae-hwi and I co-wrote the words to the song, it’s something that talks about the memories that we both carry. I wanted to recollect our memories and meld it in the music, so it would be fun for fans when they hear it,” he said, laughing.

But unlike the springtide ambiance that fills the album, it was born out of a period of uncertainty. 

“I had an amazing time in the military, but I questioned myself: I’m keeping myself busy, but why do people not know this? I was working hard from doing musicals to starring in theater works, but it wasn’t exposed a lot to the media, so I think people misunderstood me,” Yoon said.

Going back to why he decided to write songs, the singer said he wanted to show that Yoon Ji-sung, as a celebrity, is a person who tries new things.

“Yoon Ji-sung as a person is a coward. But I think I have to show that I’ve matured and that I’m improving (as a celebrity), and I want to see myself doing better in different areas. I want to show that I’ve studied music this much with my new album and that I’m continuing to push the envelope.”

And the singer said he’s confident about his five-song package.

“I would rate my album as four stars out of five. Since the album came out when I was going through times of trouble, I want to tell myself that I did a great job. I left one star out as room for improvement because I want to know how others think about my music and fill the void with feedback.

By Park Jun-hee (