[HKP EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW] Meet ADORA: From Famed Producer To Shining Soloist
Emerging soloist, ADORA, shares the creative process behind her debut track, the reasons for her career-changing decision, her gratitude for fans, and more in this exclusive interview with Hellokpop!
Park Soohyun, otherwise known as ADORA, has already established a reputation in the K-Pop industry as one of its brightest artists early into her career. The 24-year-old contributed her production and songwriting talents to the works of the world-renowned artist, BTS, in addition to tracks from groups including TXT and GFRIEND.
During her time with Big Hit Music as an in-house producer and lyricist, ADORA gained fans of her own right, who were captivated by her sweet vocal additions and production style in some of their most loved K-Pop tracks. Now, ADORA embarks on a new beginning as a soloist under the company AURA Entertainment, in what may come as a surprising but anticipated move to many.
The artist established her roots in the music industry during her youth, quickly entering the K-Pop trainee system. After a successful audition during HYBE Labels’ (previously Big Hit Entertainment) program, Next New Creator, ADORA was recruited to join the agency’s production staff.
After around five years as a composer, ADORA made her grand solo debut on November 5, 2021, with the single, “Make U Dance”. Featuring Eunha of VIVIZ, “Make U Dance” is an upbeat alt-pop earworm. It makes for a riveting listen with its unexpected, experimental melodies coupled with the angelic vocal tones of ADORA and Eunha.
While her debut track is trendy and fun, ADORA’s single also boasts the polished production and musicality of an artist with experience well beyond her years. Perhaps this can also be a sentiment of her new beginnings as a soloist now, as ADORA tackles reconciling her established discography with her own emerging identity as an individual artist.
In an exclusive interview with Hellokpop, ADORA shares her admirable journey leading up to her solo debut, as well as her thoughts on this new era of her life and career.
An Endless Pursuit: ADORA’s Beginnings
Hellokpop (HKP): Hello, ADORA! Firstly, congratulations on your debut! Can you introduce yourself to Hellokpop readers?
ADORA: Thank you for the congratulations! Hello, Hellokpop readers! I’m greeting you for the first time with a song called, “Make U Dance”. I am ADORA. Nice to meet you!
HKP: For newer fans, when and how did you first start music?
ADORA: I had a lot of interest in music since I was very little. I watched music shows every week and developed a dream of being a singer. Back then, I had more interest in dance or performance rather than composition or music itself. Eventually, I wanted to sing, and as I sang I began to want a song of my own. So, I naturally gained an interest in songwriting!
Before working as a composer, I was a trainee for about six (calendar) years. And then I was chosen as a composer in an opportunity I’m thankful for, so I was active as a composer for about five years. Now, here I am prepping to open a new chapter again and move forward!
HKP: How does it feel to make your debut as a solo artist?
ADORA: I have all kinds of emotions crossing over. I think it’s unbelievable and joyful, but also I’m scared and very worried. I had more of the joy during preparations, but after release, I’ve got my own disappointments, and maybe because of that I haven’t been able to monitor very much because I’m nervous (laughs).
People have sent me warm encouragements and cheers like I never imagined, so I’ve been extremely grateful every single day!
HKP: At what point in your producing career did you decide you wanted to pursue a solo debut? What led you to make this decision?
ADORA: I always had the desire to sing somewhere deep inside. But it was such a joyful and thankful opportunity to be able to work in a good environment, so I focused more on my work back then. At some point, I had some health issues and ended up getting an operation.
I thought about a lot of things while taking a break from work, and one of the things I decided back then was to try singing my own songs.
HKP: How did you meet your current company, and how did you decide this was the new home for you?
ADORA: This is a company I’ve started with someone who encouraged and helped me to take that light decision I made during rest and make it into reality. The fact that they always have faith in me and listen to what I have to say, and that we can talk out any problems without becoming emotional were the biggest reasons for my decision!
HKP: You have gained an admirable fanbase throughout your career so far. Many fans have been eagerly awaiting your debut and sharing their excitement with you on Twitter and Instagram. How does it feel to receive such a positive response to your new journey?
ADORA: I am so incredibly thankful. I’ve received lots of messages that were packing caring, genuine feelings, and I wondered if I am someone who deserves to receive these things.
To be honest, I always had the worry that more people than not would look unfavorably upon me. The career I’ve had might look really decorated, but they are things I’d never have achieved on my own. There was a company that recognized my unrefined potential and gave me a chance, there were seniors and colleagues who forged the path before me, and there were amazing artists that I was fortunate enough to add my name with.
So, I know very well how the attention that comes from my prior career is like a mirage that can disappear easily. And how much I need to do better to not lose that attention I am grateful for!
On Music Inspiration And The Creative Process Of “Make U Dance”
HKP: What was the creation process like for your debut project? As this is your first official release to show your identity as an artist, was it difficult to decide which track to include?
ADORA: To be honest, I think people who know the songs I’ve worked on before might have been a bit confused after listening to ADORA’s debut song (laughs). I’ve had my name on a lot of refreshing tracks that remind you of summer nights, so to speak, but the song I came out with is a cruel fairy tale with Halloween vibes…!
Actually, this was the first song of this kind I’ve done. Most of the current melody is just what I came up with on the same day I received the demo track, and compared to all the difficulties “Make U Dance” had coming out into the world, I think the creative process actually wasn’t too difficult!
HKP: How did you decide on the artist to collaborate with you on your debut track?
ADORA: The process of researching and contacting the featured artist wasn’t easy, either. I had a few false starts, and I was telling an acquaintance about these problems, and that person just off-handedly mentioned that Eunha would be a good fit.
And I bit on that right away like, “Wow, that’s exactly it…” (laughs). So I got in contact with her and we got to work together!
HKP: Who are your current musical inspirations?
ADORA: So many artists and their music are my teachers right now. The song that struck me the most recently is Billie Eilish’s, “Happier Than Ever”. I loved the lyrics and the song’s progression and the intense vocals towards the end, too. I was dozing off in the car on a rainy day when I heard it by chance, and I remember getting up as soon as I heard it to look it up!
HKP: What would you like your identity as a solo artist to be?
ADORA: I want to be an artist who never stays put but always moves on, even little by little. I may not know where that leads, but even if I have to backtrack later, I want to be a person and an artist who doesn’t give up and knows how to learn within that!
“…finding your dream is naturally a really hard thing.”
HKP: Many fans are inspired by your work from songwriting, producing, and singing. What advice would you give to fans pursuing a career in music?
ADORA: First of all, thank you so much, heheh. I don’t think I could dare to give any musical advice. To give you a small sweet tip! I hope people who want to start or have just started music won’t trap themselves into some kind of frame!
Of course, you need a lot of study and experimentation to become specialized, but there are certain fresh ideas that can arise because you are new. Don’t be too tough on the unrefined things that are inside of you, and if you collect and record as much of it as you can, maybe one day you will be thanking me…? (laughs).
HKP: Do you have any advice for those struggling to figure out their dream?
ADORA: First, I hope you will recognize that finding your dream is naturally a really hard thing. Hoping that you won’t beat yourself up thinking that everyone else is doing it but you’re falling behind!
When I was tired and having a tough time while working as a composer, I remember having this thought. That someone out there might be wishing to be in my place, making music. Even when I had something, I couldn’t feel satisfaction or joy, and I was depressed instead.
Around that time, I was cleaning my room and I found a list I made as a kid, “Things That Future Me Has Achieved”. I was shocked. I had achieved 19 of the 20 things I’d written down on there. The really amazing thing was, one of the list items was for little kid me to compose a song for BTS! When I discovered that I asked myself, “I achieved what I wanted, so why did I think I wasn’t happy?”
The answer I found for myself was, I had been thinking of happiness as some kind of incredibly special, ultimate thing; and secondly, that I was thinking of achieving my dreams as a kind of ending. I never consciously decided to think that way, but when I looked back, I did. When in reality, I’m someone who can be happy with just a bite of a tasty dessert. I realized the part of me that sensed happiness had been dulled.
I think desperation makes us make foolish decisions, and obsession only leaves emptiness in the end. When we become people who can be nourished from small joys a bit more meaningfully, then I think finding our dreams will come naturally too! Even today, it looks like I’ve just had one of my dreams come true!
Looking Ahead: ADORA’s Goals For The Future
HKP: What are your goals for the future and what would you like to show fans next?
ADORA: Musically and otherwise, I want to show more diverse sides of me! And I want to see them for a long time. It’d be a lie if I said I have no desire for commercial success, but I don’t want to be someone who’s chased by numbers! I’d say the next thing I want to show you is a better myself, hehe!
HKP: Can you please send a message of love to your global fans?
ADORA: Hello! Thank you for the warm encouragements you’re sending me! I feel like I’m receiving undeserved attention despite not having shown you very much. I’m having such grateful days because of that!
My feelings are too great to be contained in the words ‘thank you’. I won’t let this feeling go and keep working hard! Thank you (heart).
Our warmest thanks to ADORA and AURA Entertainment for their time and this interview.
All photos in this feature were provided by AURA Entertainment. This interview was conducted in Korean, translated by Hellokpop’s Jung Bae.
Video Source: Dingo Music | AURA Entertainment
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