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[Herald Interview] ‘I was once a perfectionist but learned how to embrace my shortcomings'

Jo Yu-ri hopes to console listeners with ‘Op. 22 Y-Waltz: in Minor’

Singer Jo Yu-ri poses for photos during a recent interview in Seoul. (WakeOne Entertainment)
Singer Jo Yu-ri poses for photos during a recent interview in Seoul. (WakeOne Entertainment)

Jo Yu-ri might have made her name as a vocalist in project girl group IZ*ONE, but her more recent solo career has taken her further, to a point where she is comfortable with herself.

Jo debuted solo with the single “Glassy” in October last year and released her first EP, “Op. 22 Y-Waltz: in Major” in June.

After a four-month break, the singer returned to the stage with her second single, “Op. 22 Y-Waltz: in Minor” on Monday.

In a recent interview with a group of local reporters in Seoul ahead of the latest release, Jo said, “I strove for perfection in all the things I did. I sometimes had a hard time acknowledging my imperfections. Now I’ve learned to admit my weakness and limits.”

And her second single has been helped calm her mind.

Describing it as a “soothing presence” for herself, the singer expressed hope for consoling listeners with hopeful messages.

Jo Yu-ri poses for photos during a recent interview in Seoul. (WakeOne Entertainment)
Jo Yu-ri poses for photos during a recent interview in Seoul. (WakeOne Entertainment)

“'Op. 22 Y-Waltz: in Minor’ includes a warm message of comfort and support, saying, ‘We’re all lovely beings.’ It is to tell listeners to care for themselves first by even loving their flaws before loving someone else,” Jo said.

The three-track package’s main track is “Loveable,” a pop-rock song that works well with the singer’s warm voice. The other songs on the album are “Blank” and “Favorite Part.”

The singer came up with the album’s concept, “consolation,” after talking on the phone with a friend from her hometown, Busan.

“I was moved at her words of encouragement when she told me that 'a clumsy person is more lovable than a perfectionist,’” she explained.

Jo Yu-ri poses for photos during a recent interview in Seoul. (WakeOne Entertainment)
Jo Yu-ri poses for photos during a recent interview in Seoul. (WakeOne Entertainment)

The 21-year-old made herself known to the public as a member of the now-disbanded project group after appearing on the Mnet audition show “Produce 48” in 2018. She was known for her husky tone and well-developed technique that belied her young age. However, her unique tone once caused stress, she said.

“I couldn’t admit myself not being able to pull off dance songs with my voice, but (my friend) has been a great consolation when I had such a tough time,” Jo said. “I’ve realized that I’m a beloved singer because my voice is irreplaceable. It is my strength."

Jo took on acting as well, cast as the female lead in web drama “Mimicus,” set in an art school, which wrapped up last month. Her role in the drama series helped her improve how to carry feelings “more dynamically and skillfully” into songs, she said.

Singer Jo Yu-ri poses for photos during a recent interview in Seoul. (WakeOne Entertainment)
Singer Jo Yu-ri poses for photos during a recent interview in Seoul. (WakeOne Entertainment)

She said it felt strange to be called an actor, but she still wanted to try different roles. “If I get a chance, I want to try out playing a role of a dark and serious character in a mystery piece,” she said.

“I used to dream of being called an ‘all-rounder’ artist. My ultimate goal has become being a reliable singer and a reliable actor,” the artist said. “I’ll also try to perform as many songs as possible to listeners who love my voice much.”



By Jie Ye-eun (yeeun@heraldcorp.com)
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