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Jo Yu-ri dances waltz to convey ‘amour propre’ in first EP

Jo Yu-ri poses at a press conference in Seoul on Thursday. (Wakeone Entertainment)
Jo Yu-ri poses at a press conference in Seoul on Thursday. (Wakeone Entertainment)

As warmer days are quickly approaching, singer-songwriter Jo Yu-ri returned with her first EP, “Op. 22 Y-Waltz: in Major,” to make the soundtrack of the season and get playlists in order.

This marks a return for the singer nearly eight months after her previous work, “Glassy,” a digital single released in October. And with the new album, the singer aims to broaden her musical horizon as an artist by showcasing various music styles.

In a press conference Thursday, the singer delineated her new EP as “an album that shows who Jo Yu-ri is.”

No. 22 in the album’s title references her Korean age, and the phrase “Y-Waltz” also has a dual meaning. The letter “Y” is her first initial, but also “why,” so the album’s title could be interpreted in two ways.

When asked why “waltz,” Jo Yu-ri said, “From what I know, the waltz is a dance you rock to when in a good mood. I wanted to say that ‘I’m doing fine after a breakup’ for my title track, so the term was a good fit for it.”

“A total of five songs round out the album, and I’ve tried a different musical style for each track to branch out and show a different side of me, especially as an artist. I hope to hear that I’ve matured over time.”

Leading the six-song package is “Love Shhh!” which she described as “a track that tries to pass on a message to love yourself and enjoy your life regardless of what you are going through,” referring to the aftermath of a breakup.

Unlike a typical sad love song, the musician added that her powerful vocals and the dynamic sound of the three-minute track add more fun to the music.

“The ‘Shhh’ means to be quiet, but it could also mean the curse word, and just like the ‘Y’ in my album’s title, it carries a dual meaning, which makes it more entertaining. But I think it’s closer to the four-letter word,” she said, laughing.

The other four tracks add to the album’s character. “Round and Around” focuses on the musician’s vocal skills, while she went for a singing rap style for “Rolla Skates.” “This Time” is a sweet ballad song, and the self-composed “Opening” is a track that signals the new side of Jo Yu-ri, she said.

Talking about her self-composed track, the young musician said she lacked confidence when she first brought “Opening” into the world. But her company and staff members all rooted for it, which instilled with her the necessary courage.

“The positive comments about my song eventually turned the downside of my mind into confidence,” she said, reminiscing on how she brought her studio sound to the masses.

Saying singer-songwriter Baek Ye-rin was her greatest inspiration and role model in penning her solo tracks, Jo Yu-ri hinted at her next music, “I want to try a fun band song after this.” 

Jo Yu-ri poses at a press conference in Seoul on Thursday. (Wakeone Entertainment)
Jo Yu-ri poses at a press conference in Seoul on Thursday. (Wakeone Entertainment)

Gushing about her new release, Jo Yu-ri was confident about the album throughout the press conference, returning to the central message: There is a lot of variety. Apart from the up-tempo pop-dance music of the lead track, pop R&B, a ballad tune and a contemporary Waltz song round out “Op.22 Y-Waltz: in Major.”

Asked why she had gone through such a seismic change from her previous music project, the versatile musician said she wanted to show that she could “dance with energy” and “sing powerfully.”

“I think one of the biggest charms I have as a singer is that my voice suits well with any music and tune, and each track shows a different side of me. And I can also dance powerfully.”

“The underlying message of my title song is to love yourself, and I hope to see myself as an artist that I can acknowledge. I want to claim the ‘all-rounder artist’ title in the future,” she added.

At the end of the event, Jo Yu-ri expressed hopes that she would be able to take a step closer to Glassy, her official fandom, via the new EP.

“How well I do on music charts and the numbers are essential, but I want to end my promotions well with my fans. That’s the biggest thought I have right now in my mind.”

The five-track package was released on global music platforms on Thursday at 6 p.m.

By Park Jun-hee (