[INTERVIEW] Why Zion. T sings 'May' at doorstep of winter - The Korea Times

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[INTERVIEW] Why Zion. T sings 'May' at doorstep of winter

Singer-songwriter Zion. T, whose real name is Kim Hae-sol, has returned with
Singer-songwriter Zion. T, whose real name is Kim Hae-sol, has returned with "May." Courtesy of The Black Label

By Dong Sun-hwa

It is November, but singer-songwriter Zion. T is still living in May.

Zion. T returned Wednesday with the mawkish ballad "May," ending a year-long hiatus. But why is he releasing a track titled "May" at the doorstep of winter? He gave the answer and, of course, it was related to love ― more exactly, a former love.

"I had other options for the title such as 'November Night' or 'Autumn Night,' but wanted to be sincere ― I met 'her' in May," Zion. T said during an interview with The Korea Times Wednesday at a cafe in Hapjeong-dong, western Seoul.

"Her" refers to the singer-songwriter's ex-girlfriend. The musician, best known for hits including "Yanghwa BRDG" (2014) and "Eat" (2015), said the number is based on his true romance story that revolved around encounter, ennui and breakup.

"But I avoided being excessively genuine because I didn't want the song to be my own story," he said. "I hope it can be a narrative for many people. Through the track, some listeners might recall their encounters in May, while others think of the separations."

The singer-songwriter, who debuted with the single "Click Me" in 2011, has a melancholy and groovy voice that maximizes the sentimentalism of his tracks. His lyrics are also well recognized for their realism, which often evoke the listeners' sympathy.
Zion. T had a media interview Wednesday at a cafe in Hapjeong-dong, western Seoul. Courtesy of The Black Label
Zion. T had a media interview Wednesday at a cafe in Hapjeong-dong, western Seoul. Courtesy of The Black Label

Then, what message does he want to convey this time?

Zion. T, 30, said it is embedded in the lyrics, which read: "Love doesn't come with ease. You shouldn't say it easily."

"Love is something valuable that people shouldn't play around," he said. "They should be prudent not only when starting a new relationship, but also when parting from each other. These are my messages."

Dubbing his fresh music "typical," Zion. T said he did not expect it to reign atop music streaming charts.

"The number is not 'musically adventurous,' but may sound quite familiar to the listeners," he said. "It would be great if many people are fond of it, but if they are not, please look forward to my upcoming release."

But the song has been conquering several charts including Genie, Bugs and Olleh, as of Thursday morning, defying his expectations.

The singer-songwriter also hinted at his future activity during the interview.

"Through 'May,' I wished to shed my existing images ― whether they are funky or sweet ― and kick off a new journey next year," he said. "There will be some changes in the way my character is expressed in the music. I might also try various genres."


Singer-songwriter Zion. T, whose real name is Kim Hae-sol, has returned with
Singer-songwriter Zion. T, whose real name is Kim Hae-sol, has returned with "May." Courtesy of The Black Label

By Dong Sun-hwa

It is November, but singer-songwriter Zion. T is still living in May.

Zion. T returned Wednesday with the mawkish ballad "May," ending a year-long hiatus. But why is he releasing a track titled "May" at the doorstep of winter? He gave the answer and, of course, it was related to love ― more exactly, a former love.

"I had other options for the title such as 'November Night' or 'Autumn Night,' but wanted to be sincere ― I met 'her' in May," Zion. T said during an interview with The Korea Times Wednesday at a cafe in Hapjeong-dong, western Seoul.

"Her" refers to the singer-songwriter's ex-girlfriend. The musician, best known for hits including "Yanghwa BRDG" (2014) and "Eat" (2015), said the number is based on his true romance story that revolved around encounter, ennui and breakup.

"But I avoided being excessively genuine because I didn't want the song to be my own story," he said. "I hope it can be a narrative for many people. Through the track, some listeners might recall their encounters in May, while others think of the separations."

The singer-songwriter, who debuted with the single "Click Me" in 2011, has a melancholy and groovy voice that maximizes the sentimentalism of his tracks. His lyrics are also well recognized for their realism, which often evoke the listeners' sympathy.
Zion. T had a media interview Wednesday at a cafe in Hapjeong-dong, western Seoul. Courtesy of The Black Label
Zion. T had a media interview Wednesday at a cafe in Hapjeong-dong, western Seoul. Courtesy of The Black Label

Then, what message does he want to convey this time?

Zion. T, 30, said it is embedded in the lyrics, which read: "Love doesn't come with ease. You shouldn't say it easily."

"Love is something valuable that people shouldn't play around," he said. "They should be prudent not only when starting a new relationship, but also when parting from each other. These are my messages."

Dubbing his fresh music "typical," Zion. T said he did not expect it to reign atop music streaming charts.

"The number is not 'musically adventurous,' but may sound quite familiar to the listeners," he said. "It would be great if many people are fond of it, but if they are not, please look forward to my upcoming release."

But the song has been conquering several charts including Genie, Bugs and Olleh, as of Thursday morning, defying his expectations.

The singer-songwriter also hinted at his future activity during the interview.

"Through 'May,' I wished to shed my existing images ― whether they are funky or sweet ― and kick off a new journey next year," he said. "There will be some changes in the way my character is expressed in the music. I might also try various genres."


Dong Sun-hwa sunhwadong@koreatimes.co.kr


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