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Hyolyn hopes to shake off burden from ‘Summer Queen’ title with new EP ‘iCE’

Hyolyn performs on stage during a press showcase event for her third EP “iCE,” held in Hannam-dong, Yongsan-gu, central Seoul, Monday. (Bridge Entertainment)
Hyolyn performs on stage during a press showcase event for her third EP “iCE,” held in Hannam-dong, Yongsan-gu, central Seoul, Monday. (Bridge Entertainment)
K-pop singer Hyolyn, known as the “summer queen” in the local music scene for her powerful vocals and summery hit songs, has returned to the stage with her third EP, titled “iCE,” hoping to introduce a wide spectrum of her musical style and color.

“iCE” marks the artist’s return after nearly a two-year hiatus since her second EP “Say My Name” was released that August. The musician also participated in producing the new album, as well as writing lyrics and composing all six tracks.

“I am so nervous. Since it is my first showcase event as a solo artist, I’m filled with emotion,” Hyolyn said in a media event held in Yongsan-gu, central Seoul, on Monday, ahead of the album’s 6 p.m. online release.

The artist kicked off Monday’s event with an opening stage where she performed “Over You,” the first track featured in the new album. “I started the day with the song because I wanted to give a greeting in my way,” she said, adding that it was one of the songs that she had considered making the title song.

Leading the six-track album is “No Thanks,” featuring her powerful vocals. It is a hip-hop dance song that sings about confidence, having an icy attitude toward her admirers, but also shows a softer side of herself. The four other songs are “Body Talk,” “Ah yeah,” “Layin’ Low” and “Waka Boom.” 

Hyolyn poses for photos during a press showcase event for her third EP “iCE,” held in Hannam-dong, Yongsan-gu, central Seoul, Monday. (Bridge Entertainment)
Hyolyn poses for photos during a press showcase event for her third EP “iCE,” held in Hannam-dong, Yongsan-gu, central Seoul, Monday. (Bridge Entertainment)
The artist came up with the keyword “ice” for the new release after brainstorming what people want and need the most during the summer season, she explained. She wanted to come up with new music that people can enjoy, just like how one relaxes while sipping on iced drinks, she said.

Hyolyn added that ice was an apt representation of her own personality, too. Just like how ice melts easily, unlike the firm image she has onstage, she describes herself as a tender when stepping down from all the glitz and glamour.

Hyolyn debuted as a quarter of girl group Sistar in 2010 with the single “Push Push.” The now-disbanded group produced numerous hits like “So Cool” and “Touch My Body” and was given the title “summer queens” thanks to the popular summer tunes.

The artist went solo with the album titled “Love & Hate” in 2013. While the nickname “summer queen” still follows her after all these years, she said she does not want the title to confine her musical style and color.

“If I say I don’t feel pressured by the title, that would be a lie,” she said. “The modifier was for the four members as a group, but since I perform alone nowadays, I’m worried what if I tarnish the good image. ... I would like to show Hyolyn’s own interpretation of summer to the listeners.”

By Jie Ye-eun (yeeun@heraldcorp.com)
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