|Members of K-pop boy group Highlight pose for photos during an online media conference, Monday. Courtesy of Around US Entertainment|
By Dong Sun-hwa
Just like spring that always comes after winter, K-pop boy group Highlight has returned to the music scene after a long hiatus, releasing a spring-themed EP, "The Blowing." The message that its four members ― Yoon Doo-joon, Yang Yo-seob, Lee Gi-kwang and Son Dong-woon ― want to relay through the EP is clear: Highlight is still here for its fans and always will be.
Knowing that its followers waited more than three years for the quartet to complete their obligatory military service, Highlight showed its deep appreciation during Friday's online media conference. The event was held a few hours before the release of "The Blowing," which is led by the sentimental lead track "NOT THE END."
"Through the lyrics of our lead single, we tell our fans that we want to get closer to them again; we want to become something like a spring breeze that can warm them up after the winter," Lee, who participated in the song's creative process, said during the event.
Yang agreed, saying, "When I came across the lyrics, I felt that our fans might love them as they successfully delivered our message."
A long hiatus was a big challenge for all the members. Yang said he was overwhelmed by a sense of anxiety and impatience while serving in the military.
"The world was changing quickly, but the only thing I could do was to watch the changes," he said. "While gearing up for the EP, I was still quite impatient … Today, I am very thrilled to finally showcase our work, but I am also very nervous."
Lee added, "Almost 13 years have passed since my debut, but I have never been this nervous before. I could hardly sleep yesterday."
The EP has five other tracks, including "Wave," "Disconnected" and "Surf."
"We want to showcase our distinctive style this time," Lee said. "I think the harmony created by our voices makes us stands out ― we all have different tones but can still make a harmony when we sing together."
During the session, Highlight mentioned other K-pop boy bands such as SHINee and 2PM, saying they can relate themselves to the stars who have been in the same industry for more than a decade.
"Their existence brings comfort to us. I hope they continue to make a splash," Yoon said.
Son left a message for the younger K-pop stars.
"We initially belonged to the group named BEAST," he said. "But a few years later, we left BEAST's agency and established our own company. We also changed our name to Highlight. I hope our case can be a good reference for the other groups, so that they can make a similar choice like us instead of deciding to disband in the future."