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90s hit girl group S.E.S. armed with new songs, nostalgic code

All Headlines 22:11 December 30, 2016

By Chung Joo-won

SEOUL, Dec. 30 (Yonhap) -- Hit 90's girl group S.E.S. called their upcoming special album the cream of their career, eager to present songs that harken back to the beautiful, bygone days.

The K-pop trio, which debuted in 1997, emerged triumphant at the press conference held in eastern Seoul on Friday, as if they had time-traveled to two decades ago.

Bada (L), Eugene (C) and Shu of South Korean hit 90s girl group S.E.S. pose for photos at a press conference held at Sejong University in eastern Seoul on Dec. 30, 2016. (Yonhap)

"Since it is a new album in 20 years (since their debut), we were worried about securing good songs, being rather pressured about the comeback," said S.E.S.' Eugene at the media event.

Eugene recalled that S.M. Entertainment chief Lee Soo-man told the K-pop trio how difficult it could be for them to have lead-quality songs. Some said the first generation idol group had better go for remakes of their past hits, if they end up without high-quality songs.

Eventually the members were able to get terrific songs for the new album, thanks to Lee and producer Lee Young-jin who produced S.E.S.' songs in its heyday two decades ago.

Enlisted in the special album are new songs "My Rainbow," "Candy Lane" and "Paradise," and remakes of past hits including "Life" and "The Light."

The media event was organized by the band's management, S.M. Entertainment, to promote S.E.S.' two-day year-end concert "Remember, the Day." The event is also a precursor of the idol group's not-yet-named special album that will be released on Jan. 2.

The concert ran two evenings on Friday and Saturday, to bring a fine blend of past hits and some songs enlisted in the upcoming new album.

Eugene of South Korean hit 90s girl group S.E.S. attends the press conference held in Sejong University in eastern Seoul on Dec. 30, 2016. (Yonhap)

In the press conference, the three members exuded happiness about the past several months of preparing for their comeback in November.

S.E.S. leader Bada said their 14-year hiatus contributed to a strong sense of nostalgia for herself, as much as the fans of S.E.S. She said she simply loved the time being in the recording booth for the new album.

To her, the concept of the winter special album could not be more lucid -- memories and timeless love.

"We had our debut as very young girls, and received so much love from all generations," Bada recalled. "They loved us as if we were their daughters, nieces and friends. With the new album, we'd like to work out something so that all people can explore those nostalgic days."

The members said many will be able to sympathize with the lyrics of the new songs.

Bada of South Korean hit 90s girl group S.E.S. attends the press conference held in Sejong University in eastern Seoul on Dec. 30, 2016. (Yonhap)

Members Bada, Eugene and Shu are now all in their 30s, with the latter two married with kids.

Living two lives as an idol singer and a mother was not easy, according to Shu.

She said she felt sad about the concert being the last remaining activity for this year -- After the concert finishes on Saturday, she will have to return to being a full-time mother again.

"I was incredibly happy. Recording my songs and talking about the project (with my bandmates) made me so involved in every moment. Sometimes I realized how forgetful I was about my house chores, like having enough food in the fridge."

Shu of South Korean hit 90s girl group S.E.S. attends the press conference held in Sejong University in eastern Seoul on Dec. 30, 2016. (Yonhap)

All three members agreed that the past several months after their comeback has granted them a precious moment of re-defining S.E.S.

Eugene said only after the comeback did she realize how harmoniously the trio's voices blended.

She said, "That's when I realized, so this is S.E.S. The harmony was an incredibly strong driver of the nostalgia."

Shu also cherished the meaning of her back-to-singer moments.

She reminisced, "There are things that I couldn't see back in the past. One of them is that three of us were like jewels of three different brilliances. We shined in the most dazzling way when we were together as a trio."

Since its debut in 1997 with the LP "I'm Your Girl," S.E.S. gained fast popularity among K-pop fans until its disbandment in 2002. Along with its biggest rival Fin.K.L, which debuted in 1998, S.E.S. emerged as one of the key first generation K-pop idol groups. Contemporaries of the time include boy bands like Sechs Kies, Shinhwa and H.O.T.

jwc@yna.co.kr
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