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(G)I-dle returns as five-member group after one-year hiatus

All News 19:06 March 14, 2022

By Shim Sun-ah

SEOUL, March 14 (Yonhap) -- K-pop girl group (G)I-dle returned to the music scene as a five-piece group Monday after a nearly one-year hiatus and the departure of a member over a bullying scandal.

The band dropped its first full-length album "I Never Die," composed of nine tracks, at 6 p.m.

"I was looking forward to coming back to the stage after a long time," Shuhua, a Taiwanese member of the group, said during a media showcase held online ahead of the record's release. "We'd like to show you great performances as we worked hard on it."

K-pop girl group (G)I-dle poses for the camera during a media showcase streamed live from Seoul on March 14, 2022 in this photo provided by Cube Entertainment. (PHOTO NOT FOR SALE) (Yonhap)

Soyeon, the band leader who notably worked on nearly all the new album's songs, including the lead single "Tomboy," "Don't Stop Me," "Villain Dies" and "My Bag," said she prepared the album with the mindset of a new group facing its debut, as her group was returning after a long break.

"I kept trying to think what image we should have in the future as we are now an established group with five members," she said, adding she intended to demonstrate the fighting spirit and determination of the band in the title of the new album.

Debuting in May 2018 as a six-member group, (G)I-dle has released many popular songs such as "Latata" (2018), "Senorita" (2019), "Oh My God" (2020) and "Dumdi Dumdi" (2020) and its biggest hit "Hwaa" (2021).

But the band had released no album since its fourth EP, "I Burn," came out in January 2021. In August that year, member Soojin departed from the group, about six months after being accused of bullying classmates in her school days, a claim that both the singer and Cube denied. The band was rearranged into a quintet and the member's contract with the agency expired earlier this month.

K-pop girl group (G)I-dle poses for the camera during a media showcase streamed live from Seoul on March 14, 2022, in this photo provided by Cube Entertainment. (PHOTO NOT FOR SALE) (Yonhap)

When asked how the members spent their time during the hiatus, Minnie, a Thai vocalist, said all three foreign members, including her, went back to their home countries, to rest and engage in activities in their local music scenes. The two others are Shuhua and Yuqi, who is Chinese.

Soyeon and Miyeon, both South Korean, focused on their individual activities as an actor, a radio DJ, an emcee of a television music program, a mentor of a TV idol competition show and an individual singer, according to Minnie.

"I was so proud of them because they did great jobs," Minnie said.

The main track "Tomboy," for which Soyeon was listed as lyricist, composer and arranger, contains a message that nobody can make "me" follow any standards through direct lyrics like "I'm not a doll" and "Just me (G)I-dle."

Minnie and Yuqi also participated in the production for the new album. The former wrote and composed "Already" and "Escape" and the latter wrote and composed "Polaroid" and "Liar."

When asked what kind of reaction the group is seeking, after the album's possible success, Yuqi said, "We want people to say, 'Wow, (G)I-dle is back!' and 'I knew (G)I-dle will do a good job'," most of all.

This photo provided by Cube Entertainment on March 14, 2022, shows a promotional poster for K-pop girl group (G)I-dle's first full-length album titled "I Never Die." (PHOTO NOT FOR SALE) (Yonhap)

sshim@yna.co.kr
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