It’s easy to assume that performing has become a piece of cake for Kwon Eun Bi, given that she led the popular K-pop girl group IZ*ONE during its more than two-year run. But despite the experience, the singer admitted she still found it tough when she debuted as a soloist in August 2021.
“I was very nervous. It was also my first time doing a three-minute song by myself so it was very hard,” Kwon told ABS-CBN News ahead of last week’s release of her second extended play (EP) “Colors.”
But Kwon said she is now more confident to stand on stage by herself to promote her new six-track release, fronted by the single “Glitch.”
“I have more confidence this time around,” the 26-year-old artist said. “I’m feeling less pressure and my goal for this comeback is to have fun.”
Having confidence is also a key message in “Glitch,” where Kwon tells listeners that one can be attractive regardless of their perceived imperfections. In the first verse, for instance, she sings, “Though I look like I'm broken, it's alright.”
“The message I wanted to say is [that] I might look like I’m not stable and I’m flawed, but this is me and I’m still charming despite everything,” Kwon said in the interview.
“After receiving the song, I thought to myself, ‘This song is for me!’” she added.
Musically, “Glitch” takes elements from a variety of electronic genres such as UK garage and future bass, pairing them with Kwon’s fluid vocals – powerful one moment, light and feathery the next – for an exciting three-minute experience.
The style is a far cry from Kwon’s debut single “Door,” which had a jazzy swing sound. But it’s in line with the intent of “Colors” to show that the singer is capable of tackling different genres.
The performance for “Glitch” is similarly refreshing, incorporating tutting, voguing and waacking – dance styles that emphasize on arm and hand movements – into its choreography.
Kwon said her comeback preparations were also challenging because she had to simultaneously prepare for “Midnight Sun,” a musical where she stars alongside other K-pop idols like SHINee’s Onew, Pentagon’s Jinho, Golden Child’s Y, Ha Sung Woon and Apink’s Namjoo.
“I’ve always wanted to do musicals,” she said.
“Preparing for both a musical and my comeback is a bit hard but I did my best… I had shorter time to practice for both,” she added.
Kwon also did an underwater shoot for the EP, resulting in the concept photos showing her wearing a white gown and flower crown while submerged.
“I also drank a lot of water while doing the shoot but even though it was hard for me even to open my eyes, the photos came out so well so I’m very satisfied with it,” she recounted.
Kwon shared that she is still in contact with the other members of IZ*ONE, even letting them hear her new song before its release.
“When they first listened to the song, they gave me supporting messages and said it was cool and that it fit me very well,” she said.
With the 12-member act, Kwon was known as a reliable leader. But now, as a soloist, she said, “I want to be remembered as someone who does various genres well and someone who shines brightly on stage.”
More K-pop interviews from ABS-CBN News