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Kpop Album Review: Wonder Girls Yenny Stands on Her Own

Wonder Girls' Yenny debuted as a solo singer with her first ever solo album 'Me?', under her pen name of HA:TFELT, which is formed from the words Heartfelt and Hot.

Have you listened to the album? If you are a fan of Wonder Girls and like the group's hits such as 'Tell Me' and 'So Hot', Yenny's new songs may be unfamiliar to you because all of them are not as lively as Wonder Girls' music. However, it is certain that Yenny proved how mighty she can be as a singer-song writer through the album. She took part in writing all the tracks of the album.

The title track 'Ain't Nobody' is a rock ballad music. But, it is not an ordinary rock ballad. Yenny added trap beats to the music, and it made the song fresh. Through this experimental attempt, she certainly shows what kind of music she wants to do as a singer-song writer.

Actually, the music does not have enough popular appeal to top various Kpop chart shows, but in the sense that she succeeded in differentiating herself from other Kpop singers, she can receive high praise as a musician.

'Bond' is a notable track too. She compared a bad guy who has an irresistible charm to James Bond. The music is dreamlike, while Yenny shows off her competitive singing ability and attractive voice tone. Korean rapper Beenzino, who is one of the hottest underground rappers in Korea, was featured in the song as a rapper. I hope to see Yenny performing 'Bond' on stage sooner or later because the song is suitable for dramatic stage performance.

So, let's see what Yenny talked about her first solo album.

Q. How did you start writing songs?
Yenny: Actually, I wrote songs even before I debuted as a singer. When I was 8, I wrote my first song. 'Saying I Loving You', which was included in Wonder Girls' album 'The Wonder Years - Trilogy' released in 2008, was my first song went out into the world.

Q. The name HA:TFELT sounds a little bit difficult. Were there any reasons you decided to debut under the name?
Yenny: When I made a contract with JYP Publishing as a composer, I wanted to use some different name. It includes the meaning 'heartfelt'. Park Jin Young told me that the name doesn't suit me because it's too womanly. I think it sounds pretty. There was a marked disagreement between the company and me, but I insisted that my music is different from that of Wonder Girls and I have to use new name.

Q. Even if you started writing songs long time ago, it might be not easy for you to write all the songs to be included in your first solo album.
Yenny: I wasn't sure if I had to write title track too because the title track must have popular appeal. And I had to worry about my company situation. Have you watched the movie 'The Secret Life of Walter Mitty'? After watching the movie, I went to Africa to film a TV documentary. And in Africa, I wrote the title track 'Ain't Nobody' and had confidence that I could fill the album with my songs.

Q. 4th track's 'Bond' is impressive.
Yenny: I wrote the song, thinking of Wonder Girls. I'm usually inspired by movies. I really wanted to write sexy music. There's not much Korean songs that have slow tempo and sexy feeling at the same time. Park Jin Young wanted to choose the song as a title track.

Q. I heard that the song 'Nothing Lasts Forever' has a special history.
Yenny: It is a song for Wonder Girls' fan who died of a brain tumor last year. He was only 18. At first, an organization for teenagers who have terminal illness called us. We went to meet him and I was stunned because he seems very familiar to me. He was a big fan of Wonder Girls and visited our fan signing event many times before. He was a top student, and was full of study and Wonder Girls. He said "When will you release your new album? I will be at your concert," but we knew that he had only 2 months to live and had to just say "I hope you get well soon." It was heartbreaking. I want to tell him that I will not forget about him.

Q. The songs in your solo album are gloomy. I thought Wonder Girls' Yenny is always cheerful.
Yenny: As you know, Wonder Girls have lived a turbulent life. I think I had so much in my head and it was expressed through my music.

Q. It seems that the album is rock-oriented. Do you like Rock music?
Yenny: When I was young, I usually listened to R&B soul music. However, after living through the rough times in the United States, I came to like rock music. I like Oasis, Coldplay and Muse.

Q. What did Park Jin Young talk about the album?
Yenny: He had many worries about the album. He said "Why don't you make your melodies easier and include some popular tracks in the album?" but I wasn't obedient to what he said. I had to have it my own way.


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