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Nicole returns after 8 years to fill in summer breeze with ‘You.F.O’

Nicole poses during a press conference for her new digital single “You.F.O” in Seoul on Tuesday. (JWK Entertainment)
Nicole poses during a press conference for her new digital single “You.F.O” in Seoul on Tuesday. (JWK Entertainment)

As the days are getting long in summer and the weather is getting hotter outside, Nicole, a former bandmate of the now-disbanded girl group Kara, returned with a new digital single, “You.F.O“ to put music listeners in a sunny mood.

This marks the singer-turned-soloist’s return to the music charts in nearly eight years since she last dropped her first EP, “First Romance,” in 2014.

“It’s been eight years, and I took the time to look back on myself,” the singer said during Tuesday’s press conference.

The soloist’s namesake title track is a term that she coined, combining the word UFO and the phrase “you will find your galaxy.” The three-minute track carries a groovy bass line with a rhythmic tempo, and an addictive melody throughout. The lyrics liken falling in love to embarking on a new journey.

The musician gave a tweak to the term UFO for her new single. If the original word means an unidentified flying object, her version of “You.F.O” talks about the excitement of something new. It’s a song that goes well with the summer season and has a refreshing vibe, the singer said, adding that this was the reason she brought it to life.

Nicole said she came up with the idea for her latest release.

“Since UFO is a word we’re all familiar with, I wanted to include the word (in my new song). This is why I participated as a lyricist, because I wanted to convey the excitement of a new venture,” she said, saying the overall concept resonated well with her situation.

“Many elements that spell out summer or something refreshing like the summer season can be spotted here and there if you watch my music video and performances,” the musician added.

“There’s a dance move where I spread my arms in the part that goes ‘my galaxy.’ And in another verse, there’s a dance move where I make a moon. Also, light blue is the main color in the music video. Not only is the hue pretty, but it also adds more vibrancy.”

Although preparing her way back in eight years was no walk in the park, Nicole is eager to set off on her music journey.

Going back to how she pulled herself together, the soloist said that her fans, especially those who’ve been twiddling their thumbs waiting for her, were her biggest motivations.

“I’ve always wanted to return, but things didn’t turn out well. It took me a while to meet my fans here, but I can assure you that my jam-packed music will answer why it took me long to come back,” Nicole said as she took a trip down memory lane.

The singer-turned-soloist also spoke of her former bandmate during the event when asked how they helped her solo journey.

The vocalist said dropping an album as a soloist for the first time in eight years was definitely pushing the envelope for her, and the process was a long row to hoe. But she showed appreciation toward her members, saying they visited her during the music video shooting.

“For example, I didn’t make minor mistakes like forgetting the lyrics before, but since I’ve been away for eight years, a lapse of concentration distracted me during the music video shooting. But my bandmates gave me advice while filming as if they were my directors, which was a big help in pulling out my charms,” she said.

The singer also hinted at a possible reunion of Kara, responding to rumors that the band is preparing a new project.

“We’ve been talking about a possible reunion for months now. I think we’re getting our bearings and currently fleshing out plans about it. Since this year marks our 15th anniversary, we do want to see our fans,” she said.

At the end of the event, Nicole expressed hopes that her bright energy would land well with listeners.

“I heard a rush of K-pop comebacks will fill the summer music craze, but I can give an energetic performance. Also, I hope people will know that the singer Nicole is back through this new music.”

Nicole’s new digital single will be released on Wednesday at noon.

By Park Jun-hee (
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Korea Herald daum