Im Nayeon on Her Solo EP, Twice, and What Makes Her Delighted

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In the music online video for her debut one “POP!” Im Nayeon dances atop a sign that flashes her identify in major, daring letters. It glows an incandescent shade of sky blue, a signature color for the 26-calendar year-old world-wide celebrity who for the previous seven decades has executed as a member of Two times, the maximum-selling Korean lady team of the past 10 years. With her self-titled solo EP, Nayeon is strutting out on her own and (re)introducing herself to the entire world.

The eponymous album tends to make a assertion. IM NAYEON is a playful double entendre (the two her delivery name and a wink to “I’m Nayeon”) that conveys the singer’s very own dedication to confirm herself as her have artist outside of Twice. As the group’s eldest member, or unnie, Nayeon has often been known for her vibrant vocal vary and cheerful disposition, adapting to just about every Twice strategy with self-assured simplicity. She loves to snicker and tries not to consider herself, or anything else, as well significantly. She smiles with her total encounter, her entrance enamel peeking out. It is why her enthusiasts get in touch with her “여워,” an abbreviated edition of the Korean word for “cute.”

In that sense, “POP!” is a excellent match. It’s a bubbly and brassy bop, bursting with an enticingly joyful vitality. Amid the existing stream of sad bed room pop and moody lowercase feelings, it feels almost radical. But IM NAYEON has even additional to offer.

The album is a prismatic manifestation of the singer, from the shiny synths of “No Problem” (a collaboration with her JYP Enjoyment labelmate Felix) to the R&B softness of “Sunset” to the uncomplicated groove of the self-penned “All or Absolutely nothing,” in which she confesses “even though I know myself ideal / I however do not know just about anything.” IM NAYEON is her endeavor to know herself superior, penned in-concerning sleepless evenings in foreign towns (substantially of the songwriting was done through the North American leg of TWICE’s offered-out planet tour before this 12 months) and a packed promotional plan. She pushed herself to her artistic boundaries, stepping out of the familiar comfort of her team, to embrace the obstacle of earning anything of her own—not as Nayeon of Twice but as Im Nayeon, the Seoul-born star who’s waited 12 decades for this second. Alongside the way, she even rediscovered her enjoy of music.

Right here, Nayeon talks to ELLE.com from her label’s headquarters in Seoul about her debut album, separating her celeb from herself, and what drives her to keep creating.

Beforehand, you have stated that you were nervous to release your own audio. At what place did you know you had been completely ready?

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When I was originally planning the album, I was anxious. But when I began truly getting ready for it [during the first half of this year], I found it genuinely remarkable. Due to the fact it was a new experience for me. And I experienced folks subsequent to me who served me and supported me each and every action of the way. So I felt really grateful and prepared.

MANJI / JYP Enjoyment

Are there any themes, moods, or emotions that you felt were being vital to express on your debut album?

Since I have proven a selection of concepts as a member of Twice, I desired this solo album to demonstrate a newer side of me—the sides that have by no means been explored just before. So the moods and illustrations or photos that I get to showcase on this album experience fresh and new. But at the exact same time they match my temperament.

Even the album title, IM NAYEON, feels like a reintroduction.

Which is proper!

But at the same time, there is a whole lot of sky blue, your signature Two times coloration, in the album thought shots and packaging.

Of training course! That’s the colour that represents me, and it is the colour I like the greatest. There would be no NAYEON without having 2 times.

Then how would you define oneself exterior of Twice?

I think about this issue a large amount. I just can’t outline myself in a solitary term. These days, it is unattainable to hide oneself simply because you exhibit oneself to the fans and to the public a lot. So I feel that the points I communicate to my lovers, and what the enthusiasts see in me as Im Nayeon, is how I outline myself. There is no variance amongst TWICE’s Nayeon and Im Nayeon.

I’m curious how you equilibrium that. Can you develop any type of separation for oneself?

It’s very very important for my psychological and bodily overall health to have specified onstage and offstage time. But these times, my program is extremely fast paced! So it’s been hard to discover a peaceful second in my existence recently. I test to uncover any time in concerning performing to consider a rest and recover myself to put together myself for the subsequent agenda.

What do you do during this therapeutic time?

Simply because I go to broadcast studios a whole lot, I satisfy a good deal of folks. That’s my task. So I check out to obtain a quiet, peaceful and really organic area when I have the time. I find healing in my lifestyle when I seem at greeneries, like trees and grass. Nature and contemporary air convey me a whole lot of peace.

What is a single thing, outdoors of music and your admirers, that tends to make you satisfied?

I have in no way definitely provided considerably imagined to what can make me joyful or what joy actually usually means. I obtain contentment from my daily, regular daily life. Every single time I chuckle out loud. Or when I’m talking and taking in delectable food stuff with people I really like. That is what I assume contentment is. It’s a cozy emotion.

You’re normally Nayeon, onstage and offstage. Did you at any time take into account getting a phase title when you had been a trainee?

In advance of I debuted, I preferred to be identified as Nayeon since that’s my name, and I’m happy of it. But just after I debuted, there have been times when it was tricky to distinguish concerning my general public everyday living as a celeb and my life as Nayeon. It was difficult, but I understood that I really do not know how to be everyone other than Nayeon. And the followers give me the ideal nicknames. They get in touch with me “여워,” which is a way of declaring cutesy. I like it a great deal!

im nayeon

JYP Entertainment

2 times has released about 30 singles and accompanying initiatives considering that 2015. You’ve got been chaotic! And now you might be releasing your to start with solo album. What keeps you heading, creatively?

When I’m functioning nonstop, I want to acquire a rest. And when I take a rest, I want to operate once more for the reason that I pass up doing the job. So when I’m functioning consistently, I would choose to have regular small breaks, relatively than extended breaks. I enjoy performing. And my driving drive is 50 p.c 2 times customers and 50 % At the time [the fans], since I know that enthusiasts are ready for our albums and our live shows. That keeps me going. And the customers and I all have equivalent energies and drives. So we’re all happy to preserve heading since we know the enthusiasts are waiting around for us.

Would you say you’re a intention-oriented man or woman?

I do not set distinct targets. I’m a additional fluid human being who goes with the flow. I reside in the current. I check out not to worry about the upcoming. It really is my purely natural vibe. I really don’t drive it. I occasionally want to established demanding objectives for myself, but I’m not very effective at it!

I’m confident the album-building system is a lot unique as a solo artist than it is as a member of 2 times. How did you problem by yourself with making this album?

The electricity is quite various! The most significant issue is that I don’t try to fill the gap of the other eight users, but fairly I think of it as completely distinctive do the job. The problem is thinking of it with a fully distinct way of thinking. When I’m planning for an album, there are situations when I have to make a selection, and there are situations when I have to give up on sure matters. With the members, there are eight other customers who have the same views as me and who want the similar items as me. So when I’m doubting myself, I have them to back again me up. But when I’m operating by myself, I feel extra force to be dependable for my have decisions. I have to be genuinely positive of myself, and that can be a challenge!

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“POP!” is a entertaining summer time single. What did you feel when you 1st heard the demo?

When I initial listened to it, a whole lot of persons all-around me thought it matched my vibe genuinely nicely and that it was a genre I would feel assured in. But really, I doubted myself at first. I really questioned regardless of whether I could pull it off. The tune is seriously energetic and good and shiny, so I had to re-report specified areas a ton for the reason that it was challenging to maintain the substantial rigidity and vitality of the music. So I was a minimal apprehensive at initially! But now when I hear it, I consider, “This is Im Nayeon.”

You wrote two tracks on this album, “All or Nothing” and “Love Countdown” with rapper and singer Wonstein. What was that practical experience like? Naturally, you’ve penned for 2 times, but it had to experience unique writing your have songs for your extremely individual album.

I continue to assume I have a lengthy way to go to learn my songwriting skills. I genuinely needed these songs to be excellent due to the fact they have been heading to be on my debut album, so I did really feel a little bit of stress to do nicely. I was also composing although on tour, which manufactured it a little bit extra challenging. But I assumed of it as an additional new problem, a further opening in my lifestyle. I tried to match the track vibe as a lot as achievable when also expressing myself.

You debuted in Two times 7 several years back, and you were being a trainee at JYP for 5 a long time ahead of that. How has your connection to audio improved in that time, if at all?

In my trainee yrs, I was in a position to practice and sing a wide variety of songs. I listened to every thing. But right after my debut, I was genuinely chaotic and Twice grew to become my existence. I was constrained in the new music variations I could sing. So now that I have a lot more time in my career, I’d like to discover extra genres and broader depths of songs. In my album-building approach, I favored the recording element the most since it was the 1st time I recorded an whole track by myself. I received to fill the song with my voice. I researched how I could sing it and interpret the tunes for myself. It manufactured me notice how much I appreciate singing and songs in that feeling. In advance of, it was a mechanical approach. And now I get to examine a range of variations in my possess voice. By means of this album, I found a new appreciate for tunes.

This interview has been edited and condensed for clarity.

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