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“Youth”: Doyoung shared his thoughts on his solo album preparation process 8 years after debut

Doyoung, who is preparing to release his solo album “Youth” after 8 years since debut, shared his thoughts on the album preparation process.

“Youth” is an album that metaphorically captures various emotions emerging within the waves of youth, where Doyoung can sing about the most honest moments of his youth. It contains a total of 10 songs sung solely by Doyoung, conveying sincere comfort and messages of gratitude.

Regarding the decision to include a relatively large number of 10 songs in his first solo album, Doyoung explained, “Albums nowadays are categorized into mini and full albums. Over the years of releasing albums, I’ve struggled with deciding the appropriate number of songs for mini or full albums (depending on the situation), sometimes including good songs and sometimes feeling regretful about it.”

He continued, “As I’m starting out, I wanted to include only good songs, whether it’s a mini or full album, so I decided to eliminate the distinction and start with the mindset of releasing albums like 1st, 2nd, and 3rd without categorizing into mini or full albums. The 1st album has 10 songs because there were truly many good songs. For the 2nd album, whether it’s 7 songs or a few more, I want to create an environment where it doesn’t seem odd. My intention was to fill it with good songs.”

What does “Youth” mean? Doyoung explained, “The word ‘youth’ is not used much compared to waves or other friends. ‘Youth’ is something that appears briefly and then disappears, not popular or well-known.” He further elaborated, “Usually, when carving stones to create cliffs or landscapes, waves and the sea also play a part, but amidst them lies the ‘formal’. Based on the premise that there’s ‘youth’, I titled it thinking that beautiful results can be produced from events in youth that may not be in everyone’s memory but are in mine.”

When asked about what conviction led him to decide on releasing a solo album after 8 years, Doyoung responded, “I think that’s exactly it. I also thought it was something I had postponed because I didn’t have full confidence in releasing a solo album.” He explained, “I believe that singing well is something I must do myself, and if I were to release a solo album, I should rely solely on music without depending on other things. So, I waited for this album with that mindset. If I hadn’t had the time of doing music with my NCT members, I don’t think I could have imagined this at all. I thought about not becoming an artist who compromises.”

Doyoung felt assured of his conviction through a gradual and natural process. He reflected, “I think it naturally came about slowly. Last year was a significant turning point. As I spent the year, I sang many songs and found ways not to get tired. Therefore, I think I’m someone who is ready to show my music as a solo artist in any situation. It wasn’t easy preparing alone. Through last year’s album releases and relentless preparations, I began to think about going solo.”

When did he feel determined that he could sing? Doyoung said, “I thought I was confident about singing, but it disappeared as I prepared for the album. It was really difficult because I was singing challenging songs. I became confident that I would grow through the process.”

Furthermore, Doyoung mentioned, “There were times when I felt a burden and worry when I had to cover Taeil‘s parts while he was unwell, but I felt that I grew through those experiences. Others may not have noticed, but I felt it myself. Those aspects accumulated, and I can be certain that the recording process also contributed to that. So, I prepared with that mindset.”

Doyoung not only named the album “Youth” but also participated in the production of the tracks “Beginning” and “From Little Wave”. This marks the first time he has been credited since debut. Doyoung, who solely wrote the lyrics for “Beginning”, unfolded his sincere feelings as a solo artist, dedicating himself to realizing countless dreams. He also contributed to the composition, collaborating with composer Seo Dong-hwan to express his profound emotions.

How much of Doyoung’s touch extends into his solo album? Doyoung replied, “Almost entirely?” and added, “I started talking with composers I wanted to work with, discussing the album’s direction, the songs I wanted to sing, and the music genres I wanted to include.” He mentioned, “I was also concerned about the promotion schedule and whether it would be released on a certain day. Therefore, I’m grateful because even though a solo album can’t incorporate 100% of the artist’s opinion from the company’s perspective, they listened to me a lot and managed to package it well. I’m very thankful to the company, SM Entertainment.”

This album features the participation of notable musicians such as NCT’s Mark, Girls’ Generation’s Taeyeon, KENZIE, LUCY’s Jo Won-sang, Seo Dong-hwan, Kangta, Lee Joo-hyung (MonoTree), and Gureum, enhancing Doyoung’s vocals and emotions. Particularly, the song “Time Machine”, in which Taeyeon and Mark participated, is a medium-tempo pop ballad depicting the different emotions of lovers facing separation, with acoustic guitar sounds harmonizing gently with Doyoung, Taeyeon, and Mark’s vocals.

Was the participation of Mark and Taeyeon also Doyoung’s choice? Doyoung explained, “For Taeyeon and Mark, I had a clear vision. I wanted to create enjoyable music by putting male and female artists with tones that I like into one song.” He added, “Both Taeyeon and I have vocal tones similar to those who have sung many songs. I wanted to include vocals with different tones, and I enjoy listening to Mark sing. So, I expressed my desire to work with Mark, and I requested Taeyeon for ‘What Do You Think?'”

Doyoung expressed, “Taeyeon and I have vocal tones that are similar to vocalists who have sung many songs, tones that have sung many songs. I wanted to include vocals with a different tone, and I like listening to Mark sing. So I wanted to work with Mark, and I asked Taeyeon to sing ‘What are you doing?’


Author Nat.O
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