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(Yonhap Interview) Nine Muses' Gyeongree says her first solo single offers turning point for 7-year music career

All Headlines 09:00 July 14, 2018

SEOUL, July 14 (Yonhap) -- Gyeongree, one of the longest-running members of the K-pop female act Nine Muses, set out on a fresh music career path with the release of her first solo single "Blue Moon" earlier in July.

Debuting initially as a nine-member band in 2010, Nine Muses have seen their lineup constantly change over the years and now stands as a five-member act. Member Hyemi is the only one of the girl group's initial nine-person lineup who is still with the quintet.

Gyeongree joined the group in January 2012 and has since figured prominently for her vocal power and good looks. But the group's continuous shakeups and the seven years she has spent in the hectic K-pop scene put her in a bit of a mental slump.

"Whenever the team had signs of taking off, one or two of the members left the team. I had an especially hard time in 2015 when we were doing the EP 'Drama,'" Gyeongree said in an interview with Yonhap News on Thursday.

"I told myself 'This album really did well. We would be far better off if we take this chance and release one more.' But I couldn't intervene (to make some members stay) because they have their own separate lives."

She herself has also been offered contracts with other talent management agencies, but she renewed her contract with her current agency Star Empire Entertainment in February out of a desire to stick with Nine Muses. The girl band is currently preparing to release a new record sometime in July or August.

"This year, I turned 29 in Korean age. I wanted so much to drop my own solo album before turning 30," Gyeongree said. "Some agencies suggested I launch an acting career, but right now, I have no interest in acting. I like singing and performing as a member of Nine Muses."

Indeed, the release of her first single "Blue Moon" on July 5, her birthday, offered a turning point for her seven-year music career.

"I had been in a slump. I was afraid about whether I should continue to be onstage," Gyeongree noted. "I came out of the slump as I prepared for this solo record," she said, adding that it gave her confidence in her vocal color and ability to overwhelm the audience.

Her first single "Blue Moon" is a fast-beat song with experimental elements in its stage performance -- such as male dancers in high heels and makeup.

"I was hesitant about whether I can take the risk and whether it would be acceptable to the public. But all in all, the stage performance turned out splendidly, and I am very grateful about that."

Asked what she will be doing 10 years from now, Gyeongree said: "I will be nearing 40. I will either have completely left the K-pop scene or still be in the scene. In fact, I want to lead a life of variety. It would be really fun to get qualified as a barista and open a cafe. I am very curious about what will happen to me going forward."

This image of Nine Muses' Gyeongree was provided by Star Empire Entertainment. (Yonhap)
This image of Nine Muses' Gyeongree was provided by Star Empire Entertainment. (Yonhap)

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