[SHOWCASE] Kyuhyun to 'Restart' music career with genre-bending EP

Kyuhyun from boy band Super Junior returned with his new EP ″Restart″ on Tuesday [ANTENNA]

A new agency, and now a new album: Kyuhyun’s latest EP is both a reboot and a “Restart” of his solo music career.

“My previous lead tracks were mostly sentimental ballad types of songs. Now that I’ve made myself home at the new agency […] my new album features a pop score, a track featuring rock vibes and other styles of song that I usually don’t go for,” Kyuhyun of boy band Super Junior said during a press showcase for his latest EP, “Restart,” in central Seoul on Tuesday.

“Restart,” which is Kyuhyun’s first EP in almost two years, marks the singer's return as a solo act after stints as a TV personality, actor in musical shows and member of Super Junior. It is also the first album the artist has released after leaving SM Entertainment and joining Antenna last August.

“I’ve been meaning to reduce my own input in this album,” Kyuhyun said. “If I was to continually offer my input, I knew I’d just end up with the same kind of album every time.”

Kyuhyun shared that the album's lead track, “The Story Behind,” was not his first choice for the lead track — he preferred “Was It Love,” a sentimental ballad score more akin to his signature style of music.

“This actually caused some friction with CEO [Yoo Hee-yul], because he wanted me to go with ‘The Story Behind,’” Kyuhyun said.

“'The Story Behind’ is a song with concepts that I haven’t tried in the past, and because I wanted to show something brand new, I decided to go for it at the end.”

“The Story Behind” is a modern rock song that features Kyuhyun's sentimental vocals in a more refreshing manner.

The EP also features “Thanks To You,” which Kyuhyun sang with Yesung and Ryeowook of Super Junior's subunit Super Junior K.R.Y.

Nevertheless, Kyuhyun said that while “Restart” largely caters to the likings of the general public, he did chose to deviate from recent trends in parts.

“Recent songs rarely go over three minutes, but mine goes over four minutes. It’s way too old-fashioned,” Kyuhyun said with a smile.

“I thought of boldly cutting off the second half of the song, but I’ve decided to focus more on the musicality of the song instead of just following the recent trend.”

“I have bright prospects about [my future],” Kyuhyun added. “I’m not going to say it’s bright because I moved to a new agency — but where SM Entertainment, which I love for its ‘pink blood’ nature, has its strengths in hip, trendy dance music, Antenna, as someone who listens to ballad songs for 364 days in a year, I think better takes care of sentimental solo music.”

"I listen to carol songs on the remaining day of the year," he said with a smile.

“I’ll be doing music that I want to do, going down the line, but I plan on also doing music that the listeners enjoy,” Kyuhyun said.

“It’s so repetitive if I just do ballad songs over and over again. I plan on expanding my music genres even more in the future.”

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