Over the past eight years, Baekhyun of EXO has been recognized as one of the most talented vocalists in the scene, but it wasn’t until he dropped his first solo album that his solo prowess fully bloomed for the world to hear.
“I’ve been asking my company about my solo debut since the end of last year. It took me longer than I’d thought as I couldn’t decide on a lead track,” said EXO’s lead vocalist at his showcase for his first solo EP “City Lights” in Seoul on Wednesday. The event was hosted by his bandmate Chen who also made a solo debut in April.
Baekhyun’s six-track EP is fronted by lead track “UN Village,” a groovy R&B number that highlights Baekhyun’s airy and velvety vocal styling. Lyrically, it’s about whispering love to one’s romantic partner while enjoying the moonlight from a posh residential area in Seoul. The singer went on to explain that he had been smitten by the song right upon listening to it, although his agency had turned down his choice at first.
“When we decide on the band’s lead track, it usually takes us only 10 seconds, and that was the case for ‘UN Village’ as well. I got captured by it in less than 10 sec, so I talked my company into it, that I should do this song,” he said.
“I rarely re-record the song, but I did it two or three times to project my own vibe into it,” he continued, adding that he’s been interested in R&B for a long time, as he’d thought the genre would maximize his groovy gestures and performances.
Elaborating on his thoughts on the solo debut, Baekhyun shared that he got to gain respect to all soloists out there in the process of preparing the album.
“It took me about eight months preparing for it, and I realized that singing a whole song all by myself was much harder than it seemed. I mean it. I truly respect other soloists for that,” he said.
The event also saw Baekhyun showcasing the single for the first time. Draped in black outfits and with silver hair, the singer delivered the sleek tune to a mic stand, which positioned him more as a vocalist than a performer.
During the session’s Q&A session, the singer was asked about his thoughts on EXO’s impressive feats as well as the band’s future, given that a couple of his bandmates — Xiumin and DO — have temporarily left the scene to serve their mandatory military service.
Crediting the group’s “EXO-Ls” fandom for the band’s immense success on the charts, Baekhyun said he’s been thinking over how to reciprocate fans’ support, the reason he launched his own YouTube channel.
He went on to comment on the band’s strong bond, saying, “I just think our friendship will continue in the future, wishing each other’s happiness. We wouldn’t have reached here if it were not for that. I just hope we could maintain that solidness that doesn’t get impacted by some members’ absence.”
“For a long-term plan, I want to be remembered. I want people to know that singer Baekhyun had existed in their lives,” he added.
The EP also features “Stay Up,” “Betcha,” “Ice Queen,” “Diamond” and “Psycho.”
“City Lights” was released as a part of the “EXO Month” project, EXO’s monthlong promotion that kicked off with DO’s solo release early this month. July will also see Sehun and Chanyeol drop their
collaboration EP “What a Life” and the band’s fifth solo concert in Seoul.
Source: The Korea Herald, SM Entertainment