In a recent interview, Lee Hi revealed her concerns about her future as an artist and that YG Entertainment CEO Yang Hyun Suk told her she does not have enough aegyo.
Lee Hi, who recently made a comeback with Akdong Musician‘s Suhyun as HI SUHYUN, swept several major music charts after releasing the track “I’m Different” on November 11th.
“I’m Different” is Lee Hi’s first single in two years, and she talks about her time away from the stage in an interview with Newsen:
“I’ve taken time off for two years, but I’ve had a lot of thoughts and worries. Every day, I think about what is the right path for me to take as a singer. There are many paths I want to take, and many genres of music that I like. For example, I really like hip hop music. Because there are so many things that interest me, the genre I take on in the future may be hip hop, or even jazz.”
She revealed that she has gotten many requests to do collaborations with other singers. “I want to do it all. It’s really fun to see how different I can be when I try new kinds of music.” For the time being, she has determined that as a mainstream singer, it is important for her to continue making the kind of music that her audiences want to hear. The overwhelming response from fans for “I’m Different” may have been a strong influence in making this decision.
In the interview, she was asked, “The title of your new track is ‘I’m Different.’ What about you makes you different from other artists?” To this, Lee Hi commented that “these questions always make me nervous,” and answered, “I’ve thought about this question many times, and I think that there isn’t really a huge difference among artists. It’s really about working hard to do the music that we’re good at and that shows our individual color.”
She also talked about her relationship with Yang Hyun Suk, and how he pays particular attention to her growth over other artists.
“He puts in a lot of time for producing my album,” she admitted. “Overall, I think he puts a lot of restrictions on anything related to me.” Lee Hi had previously mentioned in another interview that Yang Hyun Suk does not allow her to date, although he allows this for YG Entertainment’s other young artists. In regards to her music and the recent collaboration requests, Lee Hi said that she would have to pass them by Yang Hyun Suk, as almost all decisions made at YG Entertainment first go through the CEO.
She then shared that “Yang Hyun Suk told me once that I don’t have enough aegyo. Unlike me, Suhyun has a lot of aegyo. Because I have a low voice, it’s difficult for me to show the kind of aegyo that Suhyun has.” With recent activities as HI SUHYUN, she believes that “without realizing it, I think that my aegyo has really improved lately.”
With this, Suhyun piped in, “Lee Hi unnie is always in a better mood at night, when it’s after 10 p.m. She starts smiling more, and then when it’s after midnight, she often turns on music and dances. At first I wondered why she was like that, but now I dance around with her.”
When asked about her life at YG Entertainment, Lee Hi answered, “I still feel like the maknae at YG Entertainment. Suhyun thinks I’m cute. She says I’m like a rabbit, and I think it’s because I’m so short.” Lee Hi, who will be 20-years old in Korea next year, admits that many people think of her as if she is still 16. “I want to continue being the maknae though,” she laughed, “I think it was more comfortable being the maknae.”
Although she debuted before Akdong Musician and other rookie artists such as Winner and upcoming boy group iKON, she has found it difficult to give advice to them, as they are far more experienced in survival programs.
To close the interview, Lee Hi shared her thoughts about herself as an artist. Although she has reached fame and popularity, she said that she is still grateful when people consider her an artist, and that she will continue to work hard to improve herself. “I think the most important thing is to make music that I love. Whatever I do, I have to always be aware of and enjoy what I do, and always work hard to develop my talent. It’s important not to be swayed or distracted by what’s going on now, and instead focus on what I need to do for the future.”
After promoting for HI SUHYUN until the end of the year, Lee Hi plans to focus on her solo career in 2015.