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Former GFriend member Yerin makes solo debut with 'Aria'

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Singer-actress Yerin poses during a press conference in central Seoul, Wednesday. Courtesy of Sublime
Singer-actress Yerin poses during a press conference in central Seoul, Wednesday. Courtesy of Sublime

By Dong Sun-hwa

K-pop act GFriend was famed for its powerful vocal delivery and precise choreography. But its former member, Yerin, who dropped her first solo EP, "Aria," Wednesday, has opted to showcase something different as a soloist.

"I feel like I am starting everything over," the 25-year-old, who also has been forging an acting career, said during a press conference at the World K-pop Center in central Seoul. "When I was part of GFriend, I tried to engage in synchronized choreography, but as a soloist, I focused more on crafting dance moves that best visualize the lyrics of my track using different gestures."

As she said, when the singer performed "Aria" ― the lead single of her first solo release ― in front of reporters, she used her velvety voice more and displayed soft and slow dance moves in an attempt to maximize the song's spring vibe. Clad in a red-and-white floral dress, she took the stage confidently and with a beaming smile.

The singer then explained that "Aria" ― a dance track with a synth sound ― reveals her determination to paint her world with her own color without being bothered by the judgment of others.

"I think yellow, a color symbolic of brightness and liveliness, best defines who I am," she said, adding that song lyrics speak for her.

"In the song, I sing about my desire to get out of the box," she said. "In hindsight, I was hemmed in by my own walls, believing that I always have to show my bright side only and smile in front of people to win their hearts. But now, I do not believe this is the right way."

The teaser for Yerin's first solo EP,
The teaser for Yerin's first solo EP, "Aria" / Courtesy of Sublime

The singer said GFriend members ― Eunha, SinB, Umji, Yuju and Sowon ― gave her more support than advice.

After debuting with the mini-album, "Season of Glass" in 2015, GFriend put out a string of hits, such as, "Me gustas tu" (2015) and "Mago," (2020) until all six members terminated their contracts with their record label, Source Music, in 2021. After leaving their company, Eunha, SinB and Umji formed a new trio named, "VIVIZ," while Yuju made her solo debut under Konnect Entertainment, a company founded by K-pop star Kang Daniel. Sowon and Yerin joined IOK Company and Sublime, respectively.

"My friends were anxious at first because now I have to perform solo on stage," she said. "It would be a lie if I were not pressured at all and I felt like I still had a long way to go. But that actually spurred me to practice harder. I think this time, I will be able to exhibit my unexplored side."

According to Yerin, she played a key role in producing her EP.

"I chose all the tracks for the EP and gave feedback on almost all aspects," she said.

Aside from "Aria," the mini-album also offers four other tracks: "Intro: Bloom," "Believer," Lalala" and "Time." Among them, Yerin recommended people to listen to "Time."

"I fell under its spell immediately after listening to it," she said. "It was the first song that I recorded. It is a sentimental ballad that can bring people solace."

Dong Sun-hwa

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