[INTERVIEW] Ryeowook of Super Junior sets mature tone in 'Drunk on Love'

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[INTERVIEW] Ryeowook of Super Junior sets mature tone in 'Drunk on Love'


A teaser image of Ryeowook's new solo album "Drunk on Love" Courtesy of SM Entertainment

By Kwak Yeon-soo

After a long hiatus due to mandatory military service, Super Junior's Ryeowook is finally back in the limelight. In a recent interview with The Korea Times prior to his solo comeback planned for Dec. 11, the 31-year-old idol said the new album "Drunk on Love" sets a more mature tone than his last album "Little Prince."

"'Drunk on Love' addresses one's emotions after splitting up with a lover. Through this album, I wanted to expand my musical repertoire," Ryeowook told The Korea Times at the SM Entertainment Communication Center in Seoul, Tuesday.

The upcoming album opens with "I'm Not Over You," a slow-burning pop ballad underscored by piano melodies and orchestral arrangements.

Lyrically, it speaks about painful feelings after a breakup.

The seven-track album also includes songs "One and Only," "Drunk in the Morning," "Without You," "Something Good," "Sugar" and a special track for his long-awaited fans, "The 2nd Story."

Having completed his military service in July, the K-pop idol described the experience as pretty uneventful, but a valuable time for self-reflection.

"I felt as if time had stopped in the army. I spent a lot of time contemplating what musical genre or path I should pursue," he said.

When asked what it was like to perform in small venues after singing in massive stadiums and arenas, including the 50,000-seat Tokyo Dome, Ryeowook said, "There were times when we had to perform in streets and in parking lots. But those experiences have allowed me to appreciate what I have and realize how lucky I am to be loved by so many people for being a member of Super Junior."

He added his hope that people feel consolation and healing through his music. "I've grown to appreciate the little things in life. In that sense, I'm thankful for being able to work constantly, perform on stage, record a new album and sing for my fans," Ryeowook said.

A teaser image of Ryeowook's new solo album "Drunk on Love" Courtesy of SM Entertainment
The K-pop idol shared his plans for writing and composing his own music more often in the future. "So far, I've solely focused on improving my vocal abilities because SM founder Lee Soo-man once told me a singer's highest priority is to sing well," he said.

"I want the album to serve as a turning point for my solo work in the coming years. I noticed if an artist makes one hit, they are then driven by a steady string of hits. I want to follow in their footsteps."

A vocalist of Super Junior, one of the country's most successful K-pop acts, Ryeowook has been praised for his vocals, lending his voice to a number of Korean drama soundtracks as well as taking on musical roles in productions such as "Temptation of Wolves," "Goddess is Watching" and "Sonata of a Flame."

Ryeowook is one of a handful of SM's male artists pursuing singing careers outside their groups. He will be the fourth this year to fly solo following EXO's Lay's U.S. debut with studio album "NAMANANA," SHINee's Key with his solo debut "FACE" and Onew's "Blue" release.



A teaser image of Ryeowook's new solo album "Drunk on Love" Courtesy of SM Entertainment

By Kwak Yeon-soo

After a long hiatus due to mandatory military service, Super Junior's Ryeowook is finally back in the limelight. In a recent interview with The Korea Times prior to his solo comeback planned for Dec. 11, the 31-year-old idol said the new album "Drunk on Love" sets a more mature tone than his last album "Little Prince."

"'Drunk on Love' addresses one's emotions after splitting up with a lover. Through this album, I wanted to expand my musical repertoire," Ryeowook told The Korea Times at the SM Entertainment Communication Center in Seoul, Tuesday.

The upcoming album opens with "I'm Not Over You," a slow-burning pop ballad underscored by piano melodies and orchestral arrangements.

Lyrically, it speaks about painful feelings after a breakup.

The seven-track album also includes songs "One and Only," "Drunk in the Morning," "Without You," "Something Good," "Sugar" and a special track for his long-awaited fans, "The 2nd Story."

Having completed his military service in July, the K-pop idol described the experience as pretty uneventful, but a valuable time for self-reflection.

"I felt as if time had stopped in the army. I spent a lot of time contemplating what musical genre or path I should pursue," he said.

When asked what it was like to perform in small venues after singing in massive stadiums and arenas, including the 50,000-seat Tokyo Dome, Ryeowook said, "There were times when we had to perform in streets and in parking lots. But those experiences have allowed me to appreciate what I have and realize how lucky I am to be loved by so many people for being a member of Super Junior."

He added his hope that people feel consolation and healing through his music. "I've grown to appreciate the little things in life. In that sense, I'm thankful for being able to work constantly, perform on stage, record a new album and sing for my fans," Ryeowook said.

A teaser image of Ryeowook's new solo album "Drunk on Love" Courtesy of SM Entertainment
The K-pop idol shared his plans for writing and composing his own music more often in the future. "So far, I've solely focused on improving my vocal abilities because SM founder Lee Soo-man once told me a singer's highest priority is to sing well," he said.

"I want the album to serve as a turning point for my solo work in the coming years. I noticed if an artist makes one hit, they are then driven by a steady string of hits. I want to follow in their footsteps."

A vocalist of Super Junior, one of the country's most successful K-pop acts, Ryeowook has been praised for his vocals, lending his voice to a number of Korean drama soundtracks as well as taking on musical roles in productions such as "Temptation of Wolves," "Goddess is Watching" and "Sonata of a Flame."

Ryeowook is one of a handful of SM's male artists pursuing singing careers outside their groups. He will be the fourth this year to fly solo following EXO's Lay's U.S. debut with studio album "NAMANANA," SHINee's Key with his solo debut "FACE" and Onew's "Blue" release.



Kwak Yeon-soo yeons.kwak@koreatimes.co.kr
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