[Interview] Kim Jonghyeon unveils the creative journey of his latest mini-album, ‘Brilliant Seasons’

The artist shares how he crafts melodies, reflects on his growth and recalls his time in Singapore

Photo Credit: Evermore Entertainment

We had the privilege of catching up with singer and actor, Kim Jonghyeon, to unravel the essence of his latest masterpiece (which is also his second mini-album as a solo artist) titled ‘Brilliant Seasons‘.

In case you find him familiar, most might remember Kim Jonghyeon as the former NU’EST member, who went by the name – JR. He has since made his solo debut under Evermore Entertainment with his first mini-album, ‘MERIDIEM‘, on 8 November 2022 and has taken on acting roles in K-Dramas such as Sound Candy.

Read on as we discover how he has evolved as a solo artist, his future plans, and even shares his thoughts about Singapore!

Congrats on the release of your second mini-album, ‘Brilliant Seasons’, in January! What was the creative process like and how was it different from your first album?

Kim Jonghyeon: I really wanted to showcase a better album compared to my first one, highlighting my growth and development. Consequently, I found myself contemplating a lot during the creative process. That’s why the production for the second album took a bit longer than the first one. Songs like “New Season” and “Whatever” have a higher proportion of my personal thoughts and artistic style, making it more challenging but also more rewarding for me. Overall, it turned out to be an album that reflects my identity and a sense of accomplishment.

Photo Credit: Evermore Entertainment

What was the most rewarding part about releasing this album?

Kim Jonghyeon: The most rewarding part is definitely when our fans, the &Us, enjoy and support the album I worked so hard on. Thanks to them, the title track “MOTTO” even reached the top spot on Bugs! (a real-time music chart in South Korea). I’m truly grateful for their support!

What song has been your most replayed song in your own personal playlist, is there any story or meaning behind that song you chose?

Kim Jonghyeon: Honestly, these days, the song I listen to the most is the one I’m practicing for my vocal lessons. I’m still working hard on it, so I feel a bit shy about specifying the song. I’ll continue practicing, and when the time comes, I’ll make sure to share it with our &Us in a splendid way!

How would you describe your music style?

Kim Jonghyeon: It’s a bit challenging to describe it in just one word. Every time I work on an album, my goal is to create something that resonates with more people. Instead of sticking to a specific genre as my identity, I tend to focus on using a variety of genre sounds to effectively convey the message I want to express. For example, in the self-composed track “New Season” from this album, I aimed to create lyrics that could be felt from the perspective of everyone, not just as an artist named ‘Kim Jonghyeon.’ To convey this, I incorporated the sound of hip-hop as a genre and utilized an intuitive yet trendy dance performance.

Photo Credit: Evermore Entertainment

You’re a man of many talents, you not only sing, you’ve also acted in a K-Drama (Sound Candy 소리사탕) last year, what goals or aspirations do you have next for your career?

Kim Jonghyeon: As a solo artist, “Kim Jonghyeon,” I’ve showcased a variety of music genres, and similarly, my goal as an actor is to grow by taking on diverse roles in different genres. There are endless roles and experiences I haven’t tried yet, so I plan to continue challenging myself and evolving. I appreciate your continued support on this journey!

The last time you were in Singapore was in 2012, tell us your favourite memory of the city-state back then.

Kim Jonghyeon: It’s been quite a while since then! Honestly, my memories of Singapore are filled with everything being wonderful. At that time, I hadn’t travelled abroad much, so everything I saw and experienced was fascinating, and all the food was marvelous. I remember thinking, “I want to come back for a trip, not just work.” Even now, looking back, I’d love to perform in Singapore and explore the city as a tourist!

Photo Credit: Evermore Entertainment

Any message for your Singaporean fans?

Kim Jonghyeon: Thank you so much to our beloved &Us in Singapore for the constant love and support! I’ll prepare a great stage and come to see you all soon. Let’s create many wonderful memories together! Love you, &U!

Be sure to check out Kim Jonghyeon’s title track, MOTTO, from his second mini-album – ‘Brilliant Seasons’ below.

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