It’s easy to become enthralled by the colorful breadth of K-pop due to a myriad of groups and soloists, with decades of high-caliber creativity consistently engrossing audiences. But when an artist with natural talent and magnetic industry potential properly utilizes their platform by regularly demonstrating their skills to the world, it can take that engaging feeling and mold it into something sustainable and long-term. Especially when a powerhouse performer can navigate the intricacies of pivoting from being a group member to a soloist like the instantly iconic YEEUN.
Originally debuting as a fiery rapper of fan-favorite group CLC, YEEUN became a standout performer with pristine technique, consistently finding ways to stand out in a group comprised of fellow K-pop legends. With credits (and unforgettable inclusions) on tracks like “Black Dress,” or “Helicopter” during her time as a CLC member, YEEUN dedicated her formative years to making sure that audiences were captivated by her unstoppable range. As a result, she was eventually asked to channel her skills into the bold survival program Good Girl with some of the most prominent women in South Korean hip-hop, offering her a new lease on life with electric collaborations and exceptional solo opportunities. Her next major move? A long-awaited solo era.
Having gracefully departed from CLC along with her fellow members at the end of the group’s contract (though it’s not an official disbandment), YEEUN opened a new door by embarking on a quest as a soloist through her first single album, The Beginning with a sweetly carbonated track “Cherry Coke.” And with more than 10 million views behind the single’s music video and a slick balance of pop/hip-hop inspirations dazzling the masses, YEEUN had finally found an opportunity to take control of her own destiny.
More recently through the top-tier survival program Queendom Puzzle, YEEUN has returned to explore collaborative group material amongst a plethora of accomplished women all vying for a spot in the next heavy-hitting concept group. Throughout the program, YEEUN made her mark by efficiently maintaining a level head in order to excel at each concept thrown her way, consistently winning challenges and impressively ranking within the top seven up until her placement in EL7Z UP — organically earning the respect of her peers and viewers worldwide. So at this point with so many accomplishments under her belt, it’s common knowledge that YEEUN is one of the most timeless and deserving artists in the business.
As our new digital cover star, we had the chance to break down YEEUN’s Queendom Puzzle experiences, her passion for performing, and the artistic power of adapting to any given situation.
Firstly, congratulations on your solo debut and current appearance on Queendom Puzzle! What initially sparked your interest to compete in this must-watch survival program?
YEEUN: The fact that I was able to leave a variety of wonderful performances with a lot of colleagues was what I found most attractive. In addition, with my solo debut, I had a great desire to grow to the next level through new experiences, so I decided to appear in Queendom Puzzle.
You impressed your peers with a solo performance that felt very authentic to the YEEUN that we know! That being said, what are some of the charms or skills you’d like to show throughout your Queendom Puzzle experience?
YEEUN: In my previous activities, I tried my best to do my best in the positions I played and showed various stages where I was really focused, but in this Queendom Puzzle program, I’ve consistently tried to show my versatility as an all-rounder.
Each talented woman on the Queendom Puzzle cast has such amazing skills, so this series does feel like it could become very unpredictable results in the end. Who are a few artists on the show that you were most eager to compete with, or perhaps even perform with before it wraps?
YEEUN: As I realized that Queendom Puzzle was coming to an end, I tried to work with most of the artists, and I thought it would be nice to be able to perform with Yeoreum, Yuki, Sangah, Bora, Chaerin, and Riina, who I had first been put together with for the song “SNAP” in Queendom Puzzle as individuals. At the time, there was a lot of initial awkwardness, but I’m curious to see what “SNAP” would be like now that everyone is closer than the first time.
You’ve done a lot in your career so far, yet it also feels like it’s just the beginning of YEEUN domination! What’s something that you’d like to take away from your time on the show that you can potentially apply to your future?
YEEUN: I tend to believe that with challenges comes growth. So I believe that the most memorable thing about Queendom Puzzle is that it required a mindset to not give up, even in difficult situations, and I’ve tried to solve them each one by one. Thanks to [the show] later on, I think I’ll be able to cope with these scenarios when I am in a similar situation.
Since you’ve been surrounded by several creative artists, has your time on Queendom Puzzle sparked any ideas about music or performances that you’d like to create next?
YEEUN: In the future, if I was able to present the stage through a concert or tour, I would want to create a stage that’s fun to watch. My understanding and interest in various music genres have certainly grown, and I have been thinking a lot about how to set up a stage that fans can enjoy together.
Since you’ve been a member of a successful group and debuted as a strong soloist, what would you say is your favorite thing about getting to pursue both experiences?
YEEUN: I think I’ve learned, learned, and grown in different ways through both group and solo activities. I think the best thing about that experience is that you can be flexible and be able to deal with any situation.
We’ve seen you deliver edgy perfection in music such as hip-hop, dance music, etc., but would you say there’s a side of YEEUN that fans haven’t discovered just yet?
YEEUN: I try to communicate a lot with my fans, so I’m actually like, ‘Is there anything they don’t know about me?’ Though I want to continue to show myself as the YEEUN who is steadily growing both musically and as a person.
Lastly, what can your fans still look forward to in 2023?
YEEUN: It’s still just my personal wish and plan, but I can’t wait to see my fans abroad in person. As you have been waiting for a long time, I want to get closer to you, and I want to communicate frequently by sharing my daily life and showing you different aspects through various contents. I’m looking forward to the rest of 2023 and ask for your continued support!