Besides excelling as the leader and member of A-list Korean pop girl group Girls Generation, she has also made a name for herself as a solo artist. A huge feat indeed – considering how difficult it is for solo acts to attain success in Korea’s music industry. Acknowledged by the public as a skilful singer, she was recently ranked first in a Girl Group Band Reputation survey. Kim Taeyeon embarked on her solo endeavour last October with her first EP, I and has now returned to the scene with a refreshing new sound, with her second mini album, Why.
Prior to her solo debut, she was better known for her heart-tugging vocals and adlibs in emotional ballads. However, with her solo releases, she has been changing the game as she taps on other musical styles (EDM, jazz, hip hop, trap); proving her versatility as an artist. Why consists of seven tracks and include featuring by rising singer-songwriter, Dean as well as fellow groupmate, Hyoyeon.
Ahead of the album release, Starlight was chosen as the pre-release track and it received good responses from the public. Nothing could have gone wrong with the hit combo – Taeyeon’s soothing vocals with Dean’s honey-like soulful voice. In contrast to her first solo track, I, Taeyeon decided to go into a completely different musical direction by taking on Why, a track heavily influence by EDM beats and R&B groove. In it, Taeyeon showed an edgier sound, with the fun and upbeat song, coupled with the addictive chorus. Not to mention, the music videos of both tracks are absolutely aesthetically pleasing!
With the exception of Up & Down, which felt slightly lacking to me as the transition to Hyoyeon’s rap sounded a bit out of place, the rest of the tracks completes the album well. My favourite track off the album would be Hands on Me. I completely enjoyed the piece. From the piano backtrack and clapping beats influenced by hip hop trap beats to her soulful vocals, it was stellar.
Courtesy of Universal Music Singapore, we have the lady herself, Taeyeon, to promote her new EP in a video interview!
On her collaboration with rising singer-songwriter Dean, the 27-year-old singer shared, “When I first received the song Starlight, I thought it will be great working together with Dean. Besides me, my company staff likewise thought that our voices suited each other very well, thus recommending it”.
Her favourite track off the album is Fashion, an upbeat song with an addictive hook. She shared, “During the recording of that song, I was really in my best condition. As I was able to quickly produce the best results in a short period of time, it was a song I was very pleased with”.
Earlier this month, Taeyeon, kick-started her nationwide solo concert, Butterfly Kiss in Seoul and is set to continue the series next month in Busan. Performing to a 6000-strong crowd might be overwhelming. As such, while performing the concert opening song Up & Down with her member, Hyoyeon, she shared that she was able to perform well with overflowing confidence.
Be it Girls Generation leader Kim Taeyeon, or female soloist, Taeyeon, she has shown remarkable advancements in the industry and have always been taking chances as she explores other musical styles. Breaking the stereotype of an idol, she shines as an artist in the music scene.