[CELEB] Lee Su Jeong ponders 'What's in a name?'
Lee Su Jeong of now-disbanded girl group Lovelyz is starting a new chapter in her music career. The singer released her first solo EP "My Name" with the lead track "Walking Through the Moon" on April 26. It made it into the top 5 on the iTunes Top 100 K-pop Albums charts in Australia, Malaysia, Vietnam, the United States, Canada and Thailand, signaling a steady start to her solo career.
Lee's solo debut comes eight years after she debuted as a member of girl group Lovelyz, which was active from 2014 until late 2021. Formerly known by the stage name BabySoul when she was in Lovelyz, Lee decided to switch back to her real name after the group disbanded in November last year.
"I've been thinking about this since my trainee days; The music I want to do is not a certain genre, but something that makes you think 'This is Lee Su Jeong,'" the singer said during a press interview on April 20. "Although I liked Lovelyz' music too, there were limitations in terms of showing myself because we had to show what the team was about. For this solo EP, I was able to do everything I wanted to do without limitations. I think the most unique characteristic about me — the timbre of my voice — shows really well on this EP. I'm hoping this becomes a genre of my own."
When it comes to her identity as a solo artist, Lee says she thought hard about who she is and what her name means to her.
"I got to spend a lot of time focusing on myself, like who I really am and what I like," she said. "Then I realized I didn't have an answer. Without realizing it, I think until now, I've been trying to live as 'BabySoul of Lovelyz' rather than as myself. So above all else, I wanted to find out about me. That's why I initially decided to use my real name, but I discovered a lot of things about myself in the process."
The title of the EP reflects the journey she's been through.
"After that time of pondering, I felt like I was reclaiming my name, which is how I ended up with the title 'My Name,'" she said. "I wrote the lyrics for all the tracks except one. I was able to show the powerful, energetic side of myself that I wasn't able to show in Lovelyz. Some people ask me if [changing my name] feels like a waste, since I spent such a long time as BabySoul. But I feel like I was born again and can really feel comfortable being myself."
To meet her fans as her newborn self, Lee will hold 16 runs of live performances at the West Bridge Live Hall in Mapo District, western Seoul, from May 5 to 29. She will fully focus on the live performances and not appear on any music shows on television.
"I'll be meeting fans at the concert hall and autograph events," she said. "To prepare for the 16 live performances, I've been practicing a lot and switching up the set list for each run. I've thought about how each run can entertain fans in different ways. You'll be able to hear songs on my new EP, as well as Lovelyz' songs reinterpreted in my own style and many covers of other artists."
Lee expressed her ambitions to take more creative initiative in the future.
"I'm always writing lyrics in my free time," she said. "I write down whatever inspiration I find in my everyday life. I take notes on my phone while exercising and what not. Whenever I complete one song, I send it to my agency. There aren't any on the new EP this time, but I'm also composing songs on the piano. So far I've sent three to my agency, and I was told two of them are pretty good!"
The singer called her time in Lovelyz a "once-in-a-lifetime experience." During its time together, the group released a series of hits including "Good Night Like Yesterday" (2014), "Candy Jelly Love" (2014), "Ah-Choo" (2015) and "When We Were Us (Beautiful Days)" (2019). It also starred on Mnet's hit survival show "Queendom" in 2019 as one of the six high-profile female K-pop acts competing against each other.
"I feel like the more time passes, the more I will remember what a precious time it was," she said. "The members and I still keep in touch. They've sent me so much support for my solo launch. We're always discussing reunions and if we could perform again as a team someday. Although the other members are now under different agencies, we are hoping we will be able to do something together in the future."
Lee Su Jeong
Date of birth: July 6, 1992
Zodiac sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Gwangju, South Jeolla
Debut: November 2014 as a member of girl group Lovelyz
Agency: Woollim Entertainment
Lee Su Jeong debuted in 2014 as a member of girl group Lovelyz, best known for hits "Good Night Like Yesterday" (2014), "Candy Jelly Love" (2014)" and "Ah-Choo" (2015), as well as its appearance on the hit Mnet survival show "Queendom" (2019). After the group disbanded last November, Lee changed her stage name from BabySoul back to her real name. She released her first solo EP "My Name" on April 26 and is set to have 16 solo concerts in May.
This information was confirmed by Woollim Entertainmenton April 22, 2022.
BY HALEY YANG [email@example.com]