Exclusive Interview: LEE CHAE YEON’s Artistic Evolution And Her Latest Mini-Album ‘SHOWDOWN’

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Get to know the talented soloist LEE CHAE YEON in this exclusive interview.

LEE CHAE YEON is a celebrated singer and lyricist under WM Entertainment, widely known for her dynamic presence in the K-pop industry. Initially gaining our attention as a member of the project girl group IZ*ONE, she has long captivated audiences long before that with her powerful performances and undeniable talent. After the group’s disbandment, LEE CHAE YEON embarked on her solo career, making a striking debut with her first mini-album, ‘Hush Rush,’ released on October 12, 2022. Her journey from a group member to a solo artist has been marked by resilience and artistic growth, establishing her as a prominent figure in the music scene.

In April 2023, LEE CHAE YEON’s influence soared to new heights with the release of “KNOCK,” the title track of her second mini-album. The song went viral, and she actively engaged in various dance challenges with fellow artists from groups like VANNER, SEVENTEEN, ITZY, ONEUS, AB6IX, TEMPEST, Kep1er, and EPEX. Her fanbase, affectionately named CHAERISH, was coined on her birthday, January 11, 2023, symbolizing the deep bond between LEE CHAE YEON and those who cherish her. With the recent release of her third mini-album, ‘SHOWDOWN,’ on July 3rd, she continues to mesmerize fans with her evolving artistry.

Ahead of the release of her third mini album, ‘SHOWDOWN,’ Hellokpop had the pleasure of speaking with LEE CHAE YEON to delve deeper into her latest work and gain insight into her creative process, future aspirations, and more.

Hellokpop: Congratulations on your upcoming third mini album, ‘SHOWDOWN!’ What do you hope fans feel or take away from this album?

LEE CHAE YEON: I want to make my fans feel proud that I’m back with a deeper voice and performances that won’t disappoint. So, I hope fans think the album was worth the wait.

HKP: ‘SHOWDOWN’ sounds like a powerful theme. What does this concept mean to you personally, and how does it relate to the album as a whole?

LEE CHAE YEON: ‘SHOWDOWN’ refers to a decisive battle in a sports match. I think it’s the perfect word to describe the concept of this album, which expresses the conflict and clash between different sides of my inner self in my own style and mood.

Also, this album is the first one to come out in 10 months, and I have a lot of affection and meaning attached to it because I was heavily involved in various aspects such as lyric writing, choreography, and planning.

HKP: “KNOCK” from your second mini album, “Over The Moon,” became a viral sensation. How has the success of “KNOCK” influenced your approach to creating the title track for ‘SHOWDOWN?’

LEE CHAE YEON: After “KNOCK,” I think I’ve found my color and direction. Following this style, I wanted to show more fresh and diverse things, and all these efforts, when added up together, make this title track, “Don’t.”

HKP: Could you share some details about the title track of ‘SHOWDOWN?’ What can fans look forward to in terms of music style and choreography?

LEE CHAE YEON: The title track, “Don’t,” is a 2-step dance genre song that incorporates the sounds of a phone ringtone and vibration, making it familiar yet providing a new stimulus. It talks about the duality of a breakup. I hope you enjoy the choreography that expresses the fluctuating emotions described in the lyrics. In particular, I came up with the idea for the dance move that cuts the phone line, so please pay special attention to that part.

HKP: Without giving too much away, can you tease any spoilers or details about the storyline or visual elements of the music video for the title track?

LEE CHAE YEON: This music video focuses on the performance and visual aspects rather than the story. You can see how much I tried to put more great performances into the video and show diverse scenes.  The lyrics mention someone named Charlie, and the music video showcases me calling Charlie, rejecting Charlie’s call, and overall delivering a cool performance.

HKP: What is your favorite song from ‘SHOWDOWN’ and why?

LEE CHAE YEON: The title song, “Don’t,” is my favorite song from this album. It holds a special place in my heart because it is the one I put the most effort and attention into. I love this song because of its strong, addictive quality, which makes it enjoyable to listen to repeatedly without getting tired of it.

HKP: If you were to describe your music and artistry to those hearing your songs for the first time, how would you describe it?

LEE CHAE YEON: Honestly, I don’t think I have a special or unique voice color compared to others, but I believe I have a voice that is clean and pleasant to listen to. I think I am more of a singer who specializes in music that is not only for listening but also for watching. I want my songs to naturally make people curious about my performances and want to look them up after listening to my songs.

HKP: When you’re not busy with music, what’s your favorite way to unwind or have fun?

LEE CHAE YEON: I enjoy going to exhibitions or eating delicious food with close friends. I also like spending the whole day in bed by myself.

HKP: Looking ahead, what are your goals and aspirations as an artist beyond “SHOWDOWN”?

LEE CHAE YEON: I want to be the kind of artist who makes you excited and look forward to each new album release, and I hope to continue doing this for a long time.

HKP: Finally, please leave a message to your fans around the world reading this.

LEE CHAE YEON: It’s so hard to express in words my passion and the emotions in my heart. I am so thankful for all the interest that you’ve shown in my music and performances. Thank you so much. Moving forward, I will continue to be an artist who gives my best in every situation and moment. Please continue to show lots of love for “Don’t.” Thank you!

Connect with LEE CHAE YEON on Instagram (official), Instagram (personal), X, TikTok, and YouTube.

Listen to her discography on Spotify or Apple Music.

* Special thanks to LEE CHAE YEON and WM Entertainment for this exclusive interview.

Image and Video Credits: WM Entertainment

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