By Shim Sun-ah
SEOUL, Sept. 4 (Yonhap) -- Young K, a member of K-pop rock band Day6, on Monday unveiled his first full-length album, expressing the yearnings for music and stage he had felt during his time away to serve in the military.
"Letters with Notes" is the first release from the singer since he completed his nearly two-year mandatory military service in April.
"I fortunately had a few opportunities to perform during the service, which reminded me how much I loved singing and shouting in front of my fans," the singer said during a group media interview conducted in Seoul on Tuesday.
Even before his enlistment, he could not hold in-person concerts for a long time because of the pandemic-related restrictions, according to him.
So, he wrote the album's first track, trying to imagine the moments when he would return to the stage after being discharged from the military and reunite with his fans. It appears to set the tone for the entire album, which he described as one that literally "feels like a bunch of letters with notes."
He said he had been sketching out the songs in his mind while he was in the military although the recording began after the discharge.
Leading the 11-track LP is the No. 2 track, which is a lyrical rock-ballad song with a title that roughly translates as "This Is All I Have."
"This song depicts the sadness of one who is struggling to hold onto a love that is fading away," he said of the main track.
However, love is not the theme that permeates the entire album. For instance, in the prerelease track, "Let It Be Summer," the singer compares summer to his passion and youth. In "Dreamer," he expresses his determination to continue pursuing his dreams even in a world that may seem dismal.
The LP also marks Young K's comeback after a two-year hiatus since his solo debut with "Eternal" in 2021. Through the new project, he explored the diverse spectrum of musical styles within him as an artist.
"While working on this album, I kept asking myself what my unique style was. I felt like I didn't have enough of my own musical colors at first, but as I continued to work, I was able to touch on a variety of colors inside me."
He believes his experiences from solo projects will prove to be useful for the band's music because they allowed him to take on challenges he may not have tried otherwise.
While working as a vocalist, rapper and bassist in the four-piece band, Young K is also recognized as a prolific lyricist and composer.
He has credits for the band's hit singles such as "You Were Beautiful" and "Time of Our Life," both as lyricist and composer.
"Even if I write good songs, if there aren't many people listening to them, those songs become non-existent to them, so I feel very fortunate that they are even listening," said the artist with an eight-year career.
The band with JYP Entertainment is currently taking a hiatus from group activities due to the mandatory military service of all members. The team has been widely expected to return to the music scene within this year when Wonpil, the last member serving in the military, is discharged in November.
Young K said the band "will be back" sometime, although he cannot say for sure when it will be.
"Since we're all growing as artists, I'm looking forward to seeing what we can create together when we return."
The 29-year-old artist said he is taking extra special care of his health these days in order to stay active as a singer for a long time.
"I want to sing and perform on stage for a long time and hope to be an artist whose next step is always anticipated."
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