yuqi yuq1 freak
(CUBE Entertainment)

YUQI: «It's good to be a Freak»

(G)I-DLE's YUQI opens up with Panorama.it after the release of her first solo album YUQ1 | exclusive video inside

K-pop is like a kaleidoscope in which being a "freak" and showing individuality are not just celebrated; they're essential. With the release of her debut solo album, 'YUQ1', (G)I-DLE's YUQI steps into the spotlight to showcase her unique identity and musical genius.

Drawing inspiration from her Chinese zodiac sign and favorite color, YUQI adorns her album cover with a striking red rabbit, a character she sees as a reflection of herself. As a modern Alice in Wonderland with fire-red hair, YUQI follows the rabbit that mirrors her journey in an album that expresses her talent and in which her personality shifts with each track, offering a glimpse into her multifaceted persona.

But what's a journey without a bit of mystery and intrigue? For YUQI, the allure of a red rabbit isn't just about symbolism—it's about embracing the unexpected. And so, she infuses elements of fun and whimsy into the music video for 'FREAK,' channeling the eerie charm of a horror movie while celebrating the liberation found in embracing one's uniqueness.

'YUQ1' is more than just an album; it's a vibrant symphony of self-expression. From the powerful vocals of the title track 'FREAK' to the soulful melodies of 'My Way,' YUQI captivates listeners with her passionate performances and undeniable talent. Her active involvement in the songwriting and composition process adds depth and authenticity to each track, offering a glimpse into her personal experiences and emotions.

Collaborations with acclaimed artists such as rapper pH-1 and singer Lexie Liu further showcase YUQI's versatility and collaborative spirit. In the music video for 'FREAK,' YUQI finds herself surrounded by characters from iconic horror movies, embracing them and forming a band with them. It's a testament to her creativity and willingness to explore new horizons.

With a whopping 500,000 pre-order sales before its April 23 release, 'YUQ1' is a testament to YUQI's tremendous popularity and influence. As the third member of (G)I-DLE to make her solo debut, YUQI continues to push the boundaries of creativity and carve out her own path in the music industry. Through 'YUQ1,' she invites listeners to join her on a journey of self-discovery and empowerment, celebrating the liberation found in embracing one's true self.

Panorama.it spoke with her.

Nice to see you Yuqi, and congratulations on YUQ1; how have you been?

I’ve been very busy with my schedule, but I've been having a great time getting ready for the new album, which has made me happy.

What inspired you to pursue a solo project and can you tell us about the creative process behind it?

I was able to release a solo album because of the perfect timing and the mutual agreement between the company and myself. This time, I had a lot of discussions with the company and reflected on my opinions from the beginning to the end. As a result, I prepare the album with joy.

The music video for "Could It Be" is visually stunning. What was the concept behind it, and how involved were you in its creation?

Through the ‘Could It Be’ music video, I really wanted to convey the message that our lives can be more beautiful and happier than we ever dreamed or imagined!

In "YUQ1" you showcase a different side of yourself compared to your group activities with (G)I-DLE. How did you approach this solo project?

With this album, I attempted to show a more genuine side of YUQI. So, I hope our fans love it.

Can you tell us more about the title track, FREAK?

The message of the album's title track, "FREAK," is to not worry if people think you're weird or unusual. It emphasizes the importance of living a confident life and valuing each person's uniqueness. We're all freaks, just like the song says!

What was your favorite part about working on your solo album YUQ1?

The greatest thing about working on my solo album was being able to do whatever I've ever wanted to do.

And how did the collaborations with pH-1 and Lexie Liu are born?

I've always wanted to work with pH-1 and Lexie Liu so much. It was an honor for me to have the opportunity to collaborate with them through my solo album!

Also, Minnie from your group - (G)I-DLE is involved in the project. How was working with her on ‘Everytime (With MINNIE ((G)I-DLE))’?

Since MINNIE is my member, it was relaxed and fun to work with her. While we were writing this song, we wanted to express our friendship in this song.

Are there any behind-the-scenes stories you can share from the making of YUQ1?

In the process of making this album, I wanted to incorporate as many elements as possible that NEVERLAND would want and love.

YUQI, what aspects of your personality do you think shine through the most in your solo work and how do you stay motivated and inspired as an artist, both individually and as part of a group?

I believe my confidence shines through the most in my solo album. As an artist, I am constantly inspired and motivated since I enjoy performing onstage and sharing my music with audiences. It brings me happiness, and I want to continue pursuing what makes me happy.

What advice would you give to aspiring artists who look up to you and your journey in the Kpop industry?

Always be proud of yourself even when you go through difficult times. Stay confident!

How do you handle pressure and criticism, both personally and professionally?

There are moments when I feel under pressure to maintain the team's reputation as a member of (G)I-DLE. I always have confidence in myself so I think I am good at handling pressure.

What do you enjoy the most about interacting with your fans? Do you have any special messages or surprises planned for your fans in the near future?

Whenever I communicate with our fans, I always put myself as a NEVERLAND. Please look forward to my fan showcase for this album, which I promise will be a lot of fun!

If you can define yourself with only one word which would it be?

I think there's no better word than 'YUQI' to define myself.

Who is YUQI now?

I consider myself a happy person.

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Marianna Baroli

Giornalista, autore

(Milano, 1986) La prima volta che ha detto «farò la giornalista» aveva solo 7 anni. Cresciuta tra i libri di Giurisprudenza, ha collaborato con il quotidiano Libero. Iperconnessa e ipersocial, è estremamente appassionata delle sfaccettature della cultura asiatica, di Giappone, dell'universo K-pop e di Hallyu wave. Dal 2020 è Honorary Reporter per il Ministero della Cultura Coreana. Si rilassa programmando viaggi, scoprendo hotel e ristoranti in giro per il mondo. Appena può salta da un parco Disney all'altro. Ha scritto un libro «La Corea dalla A alla Z», edito da Edizioni Nuova Cultura, e in collaborazione con il KOCIS (Ministero della Cultura Coreana) e l'Istituto Culturale Coreano in Italia.

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