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[Herald Interview] Ryu Sujeong explores feelings in 1st LP 'Archives of Emotions'

Different from her days as a member of Lovelyz, Ryu Sujeong hopes to show her 'true self'

April 20, 2023 - 08:41 By Hong Yoo
K-pop singer Ryu Sujeong (House of Dreams)

As Ryu Sujeong enters her late 20s, she continues her journey as a solo artist, deeply reflecting on the feelings she felt along the way, transforming them into songs.

Ryu's songs, written as if they were her diary, fill her first full-length album “Archives of Emotions,” which was released on Thursday.

“The tracks from my previous albums are more hopeful and mellow, filled with pretty words. But these recent ones embrace more realistic concerns that I’ve been having," Ryu said of her new album during an interview with The Korea Herald.

"In this album, I tried to be honest about my feelings, even about my depressed feelings. Through this album, one can actually see that I have somewhat matured.”

“Archives of Emotions” comprises 13 tracks, led by double titular tracks “Grabby Girl” and “Love or Hate.”

“In the title track ‘Grabby Girl,’ I wrote about my primal desire of wanting to have everything from money, and love to honor. But because the lyrics are greedy, I tried to make the melody a bit softer because we never fully disclose our greed to others but tend to hide it,” Ryu explained.

“The other title track, ‘Love or Hate,’ is my favorite song in this album as I tried to talk about some difficulties I had in a relationship for a long time.”

Her other favorite song is “Daydreaming,” in which she expressed what it means to find happiness in the small things.

There is also the sidetrack “Drown…” with which Ryu hopes to console those feeling depressed or those going through hard times.

“There are times when no words can help us overcome depression. I tried to express the feeling as drowning underwater. I think a lot of people can relate to this song when they feel like life is hard,” the singer-songwriter said.

Ryu took part in composing and writing the lyrics of all tracks in this album, along with two other composers, Jaw and Dolly.

“Dolly is a well-known fan of Lovelyz. We met when I did an acoustic cover of his band’s (Nobrain) song. We shared some musical inspirations and said we should develop such ideas into music. Jaw is a composer that my label employees recommended. We have similar taste in music,” said Ryu.

Ryu made her debut as a member of the K-pop girl group Lovelyz in 2014.

As her exclusive contract with Woolim Entertainment expired, Ryu decided to embark on a career as a soloist and later established her own independent label, House of Dreams.

“It really was a big decision for me because I am the kind of person who pursues stability. But everything progressed well and now I am able to express what I want through music-- be myself, Ryu Sujeong,” the artist said.

“I’ve been in the music scene for a long time now and I think it’s time for me to show my genuine and natural self.”

Ryu also took part in the styling for her music videos and album photos because she wanted to show what she looks like in daily life.

For that, she wore almost no makeup during her album photo shoot and wore simple outfits such as jeans and a white T-shirt.

“As a member of Lovelyz, there is no concept that I haven’t tried. That’s why I tried to show a more natural version of myself through this album. Back then, I tried my best to portray the color of Lovelyz as a member of the group,” said Ryu.

Her relationship with Lovelyz members remains strong as she continues to ask them for feedback on her music and share one another’s concerns.

“Yein and Jisoo gave me a lot of feedback for this album. They were really supportive and encouraging, saying that there is no doubt I will do great,” the artist noted.

But what’s important for Ryu is to enjoy creating music. She hopes she will learn to not obsess over the results, but to enjoy the process.

“Even 10 years from now, I hope to be working as a singer who makes music continuously, and a singer who makes songs about many ideas,” she added.

Next month, Ryu is holding her first-ever solo concert in Seoul for two days.

“I really want to do it well. I am practicing a lot and putting a lot of effort into preparing for the concert as I know that my live vocals and the instrumentals are the most important things when it comes to a concert. There will be special guests as well,” she said.

“I hope to release another album in the second half of this year and hold more concerts so I can meet my fans more often.”