Behind The Music: YENA’s Journey to “GOOD MORNING,” Unique Sound, And More

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Discover the Unshakeable Confidence and Authenticity of YENA in this Exclusive Interview.

YENA, a soloist under Yuehua Entertainment, stands out as a versatile singer-songwriter and rapper in the vibrant K-pop industry. Rising to prominence as a former member of the celebrated project girl group IZ*ONE, YENA embarked on her solo journey with the debut of her mini album ˣ‿ˣ (SMiLEY) on January 17, 2022. Following this impactful debut, YENA continued to captivate audiences with subsequent releases, including the second mini album, Smartphone, on August 3, 2022, and the singles Love War on January 16, 2023, and Hate XX on June 27, 2023.

Renowned for her versatility, YENA consistently pushes the boundaries of musical expression throughout her illustrious career. With each new project, she fearlessly explores diverse genres while infusing her work with honest and introspective narratives that resonate deeply with her audience.

YENA recently returned with her third mini album, GOOD MORNING. Going beyond mere musical exploration, this album delves into honest and autobiographical storytelling, offering fans a poignant glimpse into the artist’s personal journey. YENA approaches her music with unwavering confidence and authenticity, reflecting her global appeal that transcends borders to capture the hearts of listeners in Korea and Japan.

From the inspiration behind her music to her aspirations for the future, YENA provides a candid look into her artistic journey and the evolution of her sound in this exclusive interview. Get to know her below.

Hellokpop: Congratulations on your third mini-album, GOOD MORNING. How would you describe the overall vibe or concept of this album?

YENA: The concept clearly and brightly displays my positive and vibrant energy.

HKP: What message or feeling do you hope fans take away after listening to ‘GOOD MORNING?’

YENA: Like the overall meaning of the lyrics of “GOOD MORNING,” leave yesterday’s worries and worries behind, the sun will rise tomorrow, so let’s say good morning together! I hope you (fans) get that feeling.

HKP: How involved were you in the creative process of this mini-album, from concept development to song selection and production?

YENA: First of all, I think a lot of opinions were focused on conveying the message through lyrics. I was more cautious and attached to this album, so I participated a lot in many ways.

HKP: With this album, what aspects of your musical artistry did you intentionally want to evolve or showcase differently?

YENA: It shows my unique atmosphere and color, as well as new performances and styling. I think we tried to make changes so that it could be seen better visually.

HKP: How do you think this album differs from your previous works in terms of its musical style or lyrical themes?

YENA: I tried to include a lot of autobiographical stories. I think I honestly expressed my feelings and thoughts through the songs included in this album.

HKP: Are there any memorable or impactful moments from the making of GOOD MORNING that stand out to you?

YENA: When recording the title track, “GOOD MORNING,” in the studio, I thought it would be great if many people sang along to make the chorus part more dynamic and full of fighting spirit. My turn to record came after TEMPEST, so I asked them to sing the chorus part, and they willingly did. I remember the moment when we all recorded the chorus together.

HKP: Can you share some spoilers about the story or concept of the music video for the title track?

YENA: I made an effort to present situations that everyone can relate to in a fun way. It’s the story of Yena, a warrior who defeats villains in her nightmares and welcomes tomorrow’s good morning.

HKP: Fans often look for connections between an artist’s personal experiences and their music. Are there any personal experiences or emotions that heavily influenced this album’s creation?

YENA: I worked on this while looking back on the many and diverse memories and emotions that I felt in my life.

HKP: As an artist, how do you navigate the balance between maintaining your signature style and experimenting with new sounds or genres in GOOD MORNING?

YENA: I often think about myself as a person. Even while monitoring, I tend to study and take a lot of interest in whether I am cool, pretty, or attractive. So, whenever I work on an album, I always feel excited and thrilled.

HKP: How have you personally grown or evolved since your last release, and how does that reflect in this album?

YENA: With each album release, there is a lot of feedback going back and forth, and I tend to make efforts to create a better album by accepting that feedback. For this album in particular, I worked even harder because I wanted to express honest and autobiographical stories.

HKP: Are there any specific elements or concepts you would like to showcase through live performances?

YENA: Since many songs are in the rock genre, if I ever have a concert in the future, I really want to create a stage with a band.

HKP: The third mini-album marks a milestone in your career. Looking back, how do you feel you have evolved as an artist since your debut, and what lessons have you learned along the way?

YENA: Every album is incredibly precious and valuable to me. Each time I release an album, I often discover new aspects to learn and find new facets of myself. At those moments, I feel like I’m growing. I want to continue engaging in activities I love steadily and happily in the future.

HKP: As you unveil this new chapter in your musical journey, please leave a message for your fans reading this.

YENA: I’m so grateful for always having your support, for listening to my songs, empathizing, and enjoying them. Thanks to my biggest source of motivation and energy, my fans, I feel like I can always engage in activities happily and gratefully. Let’s continue being happy together in the future!

Listen to YENA’s discography on Spotify or Apple Music.

Connect with her on Instagram, X, TikTok, and YouTube.

*Special thanks to YENA and Yuehua Entertainment for this exclusive interview.

Images and Video Credits: Yuehua Entertainment