|Kei, lead vocalist of K-pop girl band Lovelyz, released her first solo album "Over and Over" on Tuesday. Courtesy of Woollim Entertainment|
By Dong Sun-hwa
Bangs have been the trademark of Kei of K-pop girl band Lovelyz. Since the group's debut in 2014, few have seen the singer, 24, without her bangs, although a legion of fans has longed to see her forehead.
But now, their wish has come true. For her first solo album "Over and Over," Kei got rid of her fringe and dyed her hair blonde.
"My managing company (Woollim Entertainment) didn't allow me to go without bangs at first because the officials were anxious about revealing my big forehead," Kei told The Korea Times and other media outlet at a cafe in Mapo-gu, Seoul, on Monday.
"They also believed I needed the fringe to look more like a high school student, fitting into the Lovelyz image. But I began revealing my forehead bit by bit and later realized that many of my followers actually were fond of me without bangs. Thanks to such positive reactions, the officials also changed their thoughts and suggested that I try offbeat hairstyles."
Kei said she also had a fear of transforming herself and felt awkward seeing herself in the mirror. But her challenge has turned out to be a success.
|Kei. Courtesy of Woollim Entertainment|
"My fans and Lovelyz members were surprised at first, but later praised my new style, saying it matches me well," she said. "That made me feel relaxed."
Hairstyle is not the only change. She also used a different vocal style for the album's lead track "I Go."
"My voice was mostly velvety and soft when I sang as a part of Lovelyz. But for my own number, I am more vibrant and powerful," Kei said. "I also added deeper tone, which was hardly heard on Lovelyz's previous releases."
She added that "I Go" delivered the listeners a message that people can proceed despite hardships, if they have other people supporting them.
"I hope my song can give strength to many people," she said.
Also included on her album are five B-side tracks including the intro "Back in the Day," the R&B "Paper Moon," the hopeful "Dreaming," the maudlin "Cry" and the acoustic "This Rain."
Kei said her voice was the key to the album, which was released on Tuesday.
"Singing is the only thing that I can do well and my voice is the only thing I can show you," she said. "So I tried to include all my stories in my voice. I am actually a 'fool' for music. I know K-pop singers these days are so versatile that they compose their own numbers and even forge acting careers. I also made similar attempts in the past, but realized that I was not happy when doing things other than singing."
She added: "I am happiest when I sing, so I will work harder to be a better singer [instead of trying to be a multi-player.]"