'You should be confident': Mamamoo's Solar embraces diversity in self-composed EP

Concept photo for Solar's second EP ″Colours.″ [RBW]

Colours and Colors — all shades are welcome in Solar’s inclusive EP.

Colours is the British spelling of colors — but to Solar, it also means more than that.

“It has the word ‘ours’ in the spelling — and I used it as the title of my album as a way of respecting all the different colors we each have in ourselves,” Mamamoo’s Solar said during a group interview at RBW's headquarters in eastern Seoul ahead of the release of her album “Colours” on Tuesday.

“Colours,” coming two years after her solo EP “Face” (2022), is an album that “best represents Solar, for the time being.”

Fittingly, Solar was heavily involved in the EP's production. The Mamamoo member took part in five of the six tracks, including lead track “But I” and “Blues.” She is also the sole lyricist and composer of tracks “Colors,” “Empty” and “Easy Peasy,” leaving “Honey Honey” as the sole track for which she is not credited.

The themes of diversity and inclusivity were top of Solar's mind throughout the process. The song “Colors,” for instance, “tells you to match with many colors — white, black or pink — and that you should be confident about yourself,” she said. “Colors” was one of two finalists for the lead track, and while it ultimately lost out to “But I,” it still lends the album its name. “I wanted the title of the album to be more inclusive,” Solar said.

Concept photo for Solar's second EP ″Colours.″ [RBW]

Because the entire EP is so colorful, Solar found it hard to define by one single shade.

"Rainbow, perhaps, defines my album," Solar said, adding that she assigned a separate color to each of the six tracks.

“Colors,” which is glittering and glamorous, was given the color name “glam silver.” Lead track “But I,” which is about getting over breakups, achieving revenge and living a new life was titled “reborn beige.” “Empty,” the lonely and sentimental song, was assigned “midnight blue.”

‘“Honey Honey” has a “bubble gum pink”-like cute score, and the popping and trendy “Easy Peasy” — a “Gen Z song,” according to Solar — is “tangerine orange.” The deep, dark and moody “blues” is partial to “ebony black.”

Concept photo for Solar's second EP ″Colours.″ [RBW]

“But I” is a fusion between rock and R&B, featuring a live band and no choreography — all of which are firsts for Solar.

“Many fans have been telling me that they wanted me to sing rock songs. I myself, too, prefer the 'beat'em up' powerful style of vocals,” Solar said, explaining that such powerful songs feel “thrilling.”

“It's much easier, in terms of stamina, because I'm singing alongside the band without dancing with the choreographers. But, then again, with set choreography, you just have to execute well — but with a band, you have to improvise on stage,” she said.

Concept photo for ″But I,″ the lead track of Solar's second EP ″Colours.″ [RBW]

Filling the album with one genre of music, however, was not her goal.

She humbly describes herself as someone who does not excel in a particular category of music but is instead “average in a lot of areas.”

“I was very stressed about this before. I thought to myself, 'Why can't I do well on one thing?'” the singer recalled. “But I realized that, in itself, is my color.”

Her EP consequently features rock, R&B, folk music, blues, house and more.

“There are not a lot of singers who can do all sorts of genres, so maybe that can be my own weapon,” Solar said. “I just wanted to show that I'm capable of pulling off all sorts of different kinds of songs.”

Solar’s goal for 2024 is to communicate more with her fans, via her album and subsequent performances. She hopes, as well, to celebrate Mamamoo's 10-year anniversary.

“We four members are so busy with our different activities so it’s really not easy to find time together,” Solar said.

“So I am both sorry and thankful to our fans: thankful because we wouldn’t have been here without our fans’ support throughout our career, but also sorry because we weren’t able to give them back the love.”

Realistically, Solar hopes to shoot a fun and meaningful video with the four members of Mamamoo. A more unrealistic goal — a big ‘if we can’ — is to release a 10-year anniversary album.

“Mamamoo basically was everything in my life. I think a new album celebrating our anniversary will make it that much more meaningful.”

Concept photo for ″But I,″ the lead track of Solar's second EP ″Colours.″ [RBW]

Speaking of her own album, however, Solar remains humble.

“I just hope people listen to my album a lot,” the artist said. “I’m a singer myself, and it’s most rewarding when people listen and relate to the songs I release — and that’s not an easy achievement nowadays.”

“People only listen to the songs they like and they rarely listen to B-side tracks,” she continued. “But [‘Colors’] is an album that is more fun when you listen to all the included songs.”