The Korea Herald


[Herald Interview] Baekho starts digital single project with 'Elevator' remake

By Choi Ji-won

Published : Aug. 31, 2023 - 08:57

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Singer Baekho's new digital single, Singer Baekho's new digital single, "Elevator" (Pledis Entertainment)

Baekho on Thursday unveiled a new single, "Elevator," marking the start to a new musical journey.

“Elevator” is a remake of the eponymous 1995 hit by singer-producer J.Y. Park. With its risque lyrics singing about making love in the elevator and spicy performances with female dancers onstage, the song became an instant sensation back in its day.

In opening up a new chapter of his career, Baekho picked this song same in age with him.

"The feeling I had when I first heard the original was unprecedented. And there hasn't been any other song like this one since then. It was that unconventional, and as a player (performer), I admired such attempt," Baekho said during an interview conducted on Tuesday, explaining why he chose for the remake.

The 28-year-old's reinterpretation of the 1995 song deviates slightly from the original sound, with the song's energy being more explosive and a more subtle erotic spark.

"In the original song, a man and woman are alone in the lift. But, from my experience, a lift was always packed with people. So I revised the lyrics to illustrate a situation where a couple gets drawn to each other inside a crammed lift," the singer said.

The mostly rapping vocals were also replaced in part with singing style to reflect Baekho's style.

He didn't take part in the song's arrangement this time. Bumzu -- a singer-songwriter also affiliated to Pledis Entertainment and famous as the producer of group Seventeen's songs -- took the helm of Baekho's new single production.

"Elevator" marked Baekho's return in 10 months since he dropped his first solo EP "Absolute Zero" last year, coming out solo for the first time in a decade since his debut as boy band Nu'est member in 2012. With the album, the singer-songwriter landed into the top 10 ranks on iTunes album chart in 10 countries, making a smooth start as a solo musician.

Singer Baekho's new digital single, Singer Baekho's new digital single, "Elevator" (Pledis Entertainment)

With his new single, the artist also ventures forth on a new journey, "The baed time," which is a digital single project "embodying Baekho's brave challenge that he had longed to achieve as an artist," the label described in a statement about the project.

The name combines "bad" and "bed" to portray the two contrasting aspects of himself Baekho hopes to show through the project. He could become the bad guy at times, revving up with powerful and sensuous music, while going soft at others, cooing warm words of comfort to cuddle on the bed after a long day.

Not much is planned in detail for this project, Baekho said Tuesday. He jumped into it not with a set goal but with the initiative to release songs more often.

"Some might expect me to address serious topics and concerns through this project, but I also have many different emotions as I live, and I want to show that," he said.

He also faced the pressure of conveying something substantial through this project. It took some time for him to break out of the box.

"I've had moments where I had to stop making songs midway. I found myself trying to write too deep and big. I was honed in on the fact that people will want to see something serious from me. I realized that's not me. I'm just who I am and I didn't have to try to prove myself differently," he said.

Baekho seemed immersed in finding the happiness of now. A life as a solo K-pop singer innately carries the risk of unstable future, and now in his 12th year in music career, Baekho said he was just beginning to find his own means to maintain the balance of work and life.

"There is the uncertainty but I'm trying my best to hide them. I'm also afraid, but there is also the fun to this job. Whatever choice I make, it will always be two sides of a coin," he said, adding, "I'm learning more about my own happiness these days and filling up my basket of what makes me happy with time."

One of his latest hobbies is tending his pet horses at a special horse farm in his hometown of Jeju. The horse farm shelters abandoned horses and Baekho has been doing volunteer works there.

"Just being there itself heals me. I especially enjoy listening to the horses grazing. I recently began sponsoring one of the horses too," he explained.

Singer Baekho's new digital single, Singer Baekho's new digital single, "Elevator" (Pledis Entertainment)

"The baed time" is also a part of such discovery for Baekho. According to the singer, his ultimate goal is to sing on the stage for a long time. With the project, he hopes to touch upon the various palette of colors inside him as a musician and tap into the ears of more listeners.

"To do that, I have to do well. The more my songs thrive, the more opportunity they would yield for me," Baekho said, adding, "I just enjoy doing music and performing. I want to try different genres and stay active for a long time. I want to show various aspects, share myself as I am now," he said, adding, "'The baed time' is a process of finding where I could click with the public on the way."

While he doesn't have any plans for a concert in the near future, Baekho will be starring on the local TV music shows for a week to promote his new song and unveiling various variety show contents.

In closing the interview, he said he hopes to melt into the public's ordinary hours with his music.

"I feel the best when people say they heard my song sometime in their daily lives. I'm a pop musician, so I wish my music could lie dwell with people in their everyday lives."