Nicole of KARA to return after 8 years with single 'YOU.F.O'
In mint condition with rainbow-printed heels and hair dyed crimson red, time has been kind to Nicole from girl group KARA, who is making her return to the K-pop scene after eight years.
“Nicole is back!” she told the local press at Crest72 in Jung District, central Seoul, on Tuesday.
The artist is set to release her new digital single “YOU.F.O” at 12 p.m. on July 27.
“I’ve been wanting to release new music in Korea but haven't been able to find the right time,” she said. “I am so glad that I finally get to meet my fans in Korea.”
After she left her girl group KARA in 2011, Nicole started her solo career in Korea and Japan, releasing her first solo EP “First Romance” in 2014 and her first Japanese studio album “Bliss” in 2016.
She has since taken some time off, staying mostly off-screen apart from appearing on her YouTube channel “Cole Time." She began preparing for her single late last year.
“During the break, I had some time just to myself and traveled around Europe,” she said. “There, I realized why I sometimes become suddenly depressed. When I was young and working, I was so busy that I didn’t have time to really get to know myself. And even when I was given time to rest, I felt that I should be working. But being in a different scenery changed my perspective on this. I learned that I can take time off for myself and that everyone goes about their lives at their own pace.”
She said that being back in the K-pop world is an absolute joy, but she is still adjusting with the help of people around her, including her fellow KARA members.
“When filming the music video for the new song, some of the members visited the set and gave me their thoughts and directions,” she said. “Thanks to them, I think I was able to show off my charms more.”
Nicole said that the fact that she had taken so much time off really hit her when she kept forgetting the lyrics while on the set of the music video.
“I wasn’t like that back then!” she said with a laugh. “It threw me off a little, but other than that, I had a great time.”
“YOU.F.O” is an upbeat dance song whose title contains two meanings: “U.F.O” and the phrase “You will find our galaxy.”
“A U.F.O is an unknown object, but in this song, I also wanted to interpret it as an unknown or new feeling that you get when you encounter something for the first time,” said the artist.
Nicole said that she was inspired to partake in the lyrics of the song because she experienced this fluttery feeling when she first heard “YOU.F.O.”
“I wanted to write down that excitement that I felt when I first heard this song,” said Nicole.
Having been a main dancer in KARA, Nicole was excited about the choreography. She pointed out the parts that depicted the galaxy and the moon, as well as the key dance move including pointing two fingers toward each other, which was inspired by the 1982 movie “E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial."
“Like in the movie, the two fingers meeting signifies meeting for the first time,” she said.
Lastly, the artist hinted that KARA’s comeback is on its way and will hopefully be able to return within this year, which marks the group’s 15th anniversary.
“We’ve been working on it for several months now and have made a lot of progress,” she said.
Nicole debuted as part of the second-generation girl group KARA in 2007 which celebrated its 15th anniversary this March. The group has released hit songs such as "Honey" (2008), "Mr." (2009), "STEP" (2011) and "Pandora" (2012). Its current group members are Gyuri, Seungyeon, Nicole, Jiyoung and Youngji.
BY LEE JIAN [email@example.com]