Singer YANG YO SEOP is back, for the joy of Lights around the world. The member of Highlight has released his first solo full album, Chocolate Box, full of incredible songs. Among the promotions, he took some time to talk to KoreaIN about the creative process of his first solo release since his military discharge, the experience on King of Mask Singer, and more. Check the full interview below.
KoreaIN: Chocolate Box is your first solo album. What made you decide that now was the time to release a full album?
YANG YO SEOP: Actually, it was not like it was time to release a full album, but this is my first solo album after I was discharged from the military, and there were many stories I wanted to tell you. I also wanted to make an album that felt like a gift for everyone, so I prepared myself a lot to bring you this full album.
KoreaIN: Please tell us a little about the creative process behind Chocolate Box.
YANG YO SEOP: I’m not exaggerating when I say that we have worked on the creative process for a long time. I started to work on the songs right after my discharge, so I guess it’s an album that I worked on for almost a year. Since I had the opportunity to work with great songwriters and lyricists, it was a very fun process.
KoreaIN: What inspires you to make music lately?
YANG YO SEOP: Actually, I think that more than getting inspiration from something or a specific person it’s important to have an open mind to have inspiration constantly. Just like, this time, I was inspired by a dried flower that could have been ignored to write the song “Dry Flower”, I try to always keep my mind open because I never know what could come to me as an inspiration.
Even before its release, Chocolate Box has gone viral on Korean SNS. The reason was that the album came with two different polaroid photocards per unit of a total of 105. Some fans said it would be hard to get all versions, but others liked it since it means more pictures of YO SEOP to collect.
The meaning behind such a specific number is not hard to understand, it’s YO SEOP‘s birthday date, January (therefore, 1) 5. When put together, they make the 105. For fans, this amount of pictures is not something new. In 2018, YO SEOP also made 105 polaroid photocards for his mini-album White.
KoreaIN: Your newest album has once again gone viral for having 105 different polaroids. After releasing White in 2018, you said you didn’t think of repeating it. What made you decide to gift fans with 105 new polaroids and what do you think about the repercussion that it reached?
YANG YO SEOP: Of course I still feel like the last time. I wanted to give different polaroids and photocards to many people. And I was also thinking if fans would like this type of event when I release albums. So I prepared many pictures this time, please look forward to it!
KoreaIN: After your military discharge, you were in King of Mask Singer and had eight wins in a row, becoming the most successful contestant of the show. How did the love you received affected your solo release?
YANG YO SEOP: First, I think it was a good opportunity to have my name, which could have been forgotten during my enlistment, be remembered again through the show. This is a very hard show and I was able to be on the king’s throne for a long time. I thought a lot about how to sing for the audience and was very worried about it. I think I became more mature after this opportunity.
KoreaIN: For you, what’s the biggest difference between Highlight’s main vocalist and solo singer YANG YO SEOP?
YANG YO SEOP: I think it’s very similar. The goals I want to achieve with my solo album and the goals I have as Highlight’s main vocalist are not too different from one another. For the people who support me, I want to show a good side, and as a part of Highlight, I want faithfully to play my part. Looking from this side, I think that my feeling is the same both in my solo career and as Highlight’s vocalist.
KoreaIN: Eating chocolate can bring good feelings. What do you hope people feel while listening to Chocolate Box?
YANG YO SEOP: In the past, I used to think my songs should bring only happiness to people. As I lived, I thought about many things. Sometimes I get sick, sometimes I get very happy, sometimes I get nervous. So I think it would be good if you could feel all the many emotions embedded in Chocolate Box. Of course, my biggest wish is that, in the end, you find comfort.
The concept behind Chocolate Box is that a box of chocolate hides different flavors that one can only find by tasting them. The idea is also on the versions of the album: white chocolate, milk chocolate, and dark chocolate.
Talking about it, KoreaIN asked YO SEOP his favorite type of chocolate. After thinking for a while, he said: “My favorite kind of chocolate is… Milk chocolate! I like it a lot. Like the three different versions of the album, I think the milk version is the one that better matches my emotions.“
KoreaIN: You have many Brazilian fans that support you as a member of Highlight and as a soloist since your debut in 2009 and the concert in Brazil in 2011. What message would you like to leave to those fans that have loved you for so long and from so far?
YANG YO SEOP: The day of the concert is still fresh in my mind. I had a concert in Brazil with the members and we talk a lot about it. The fun moments we had together are very clear and vivid in my memories. When the world goes back to normal and we end this situation, we want to meet our Brazilian Highlight fans as fast as possible. I hope we can visit you soon! Please, just wait for a little more!
Lastly, YO SEOP asked fans to listen to his song with love and that he always sees the love that Brazilian fans send through social media. He also thanked the support and sending his own love to Brazil, wishing all to be always healthy and happy.
Chocolate Box is available on all streaming platforms and the MV for the title-track Brain on Highlight‘s official YouTube channel. YO SEOP also sent a special message to Brazilian fans via KoreaIN. Check the video below:
By Paula Bastos Araripe
English version by Greyce Oliveira
Pictures: Around Us Entertainment
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