You might recognise Soyou as the husky vocalist of K-pop girl group Sistar, but since the group disbanded last year, she has begun to adjust to her solo singing career.

The 26-year-old, whose real name is Kang Ji Hyun, told The New Paper in an e-mail interview: “I took a while to get used to saying the new solo greeting as I was so used to saying the group version of ‘I am Sistar’s Soyou.’

“Now that I am a solo artist, I have to make many decisions on my own, and I think I have got better and quicker at doing that.”

Next month, she will be performing in Singapore at HallyuPopFest 2018.

The largest K-pop festival in South-east Asia, the three-day event features 100 artists including Wanna One, NCT 127, Taeyeon and BtoB.

On the differences between going solo and being in Sistar, which was formed in 2010, Soyou said: “The pros are that there is an easier coordination of opinions and the preparation time for hair and make-up is short.

“However, the burden and pressure (of going solo) is very big, and it can be lonely.”

Admitting that she missed performing with Bora, Dasom and Hyolyn, Soyou said the former bandmates still make it a point to meet up.

As for what they do during these get-togethers, she said: “Eating delicious food while catching up with one another.”

Last December, Soyou released her first solo six-track album Part.1 RE:BORN, which peaked at No. 19 on the Gaon Music Chart.

Unlike Sistar’s electro-pop sound, her offering comprises mellow and mid-tempo songs.

“These songs are more relatable and give people a sense of comfort. When preparing for an album, I tend to be very careful about the lyrics.

“Maybe that is why for last year’s album, I heard a lot about people gaining strength and receiving consolation when they hear the songs…” she said.

Soyou is determined to explore dance tracks in her follow-up, saying: “I want to challenge (myself in) many different genres, expressing them according to how I feel, and not be limited to just one genre.”

That is why she has been collaborating with singers Sung Si Kyung, Baekhyun, Junggigo and Jeong Se Woon on a version of K-pop boy band Paran’s “First Love” on Korean variety singing programme Sugar Man 2.

On whether she would perform the song with Jeong, who will also be at HallyuPopFest, she said: “If audiences wish to listen to First Love, I (could) sing a short verse.

“I have prepared other songs, so it would be good if everyone can anticipate and look forward to it.”

Catch Soyou at HallyuPopFest 2018 in September!

HallyuPopFest 2018
Date: September 7 to 9, 2018, various times
Where: Singapore Indoor Stadium
Tickets: $148 to $498 from and Singapore Indoor Stadium box office

Image: Soyou’s Instagram
Text: Sherlyn Sim / The New Paper / August 2018
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