After the hit group’s NU’EST disbandment back in March 2022, leader Kim Jonghyeon never let go of his passion for music. Now, with a new year full of possibilities ahead, Kim Jonghyeon is determined to follow his “MOTTO” and shine on the new stages he is creating for himself each and every day.
With the release of his new album Brilliant Seasons back in January of this year, Kim Jonghyeon held a very personal and touching fan concert ‘Sparkling Eternity’ with &U (his fandom pronounced andU) as well as the promotions of his lead track “MOTTO.” In an effort to grow closer to his international fans, Jonghyeon met with us to share the story behind his album and what changes he has experienced as a soloist.
Your new song “MOTTO” is a “happy-go-lucky” track bursting with energy and enthusiasm. What inspired the lyrics behind the song and what message do you want to share with fans about the theme?
Kim Jonghyeon: “Starting in 2024, I wanted to convey a positive message that while not every moment may be joyful, I hope there is abundant happiness found within those small joys. I wish you all for every minute and every second to be filled with happiness.”
Despite the song “MOTTO” being a splendidly upbeat track spewing with color and flair that is reminiscent of the idol’s familiar style, Kim Jonghyeon admittedly has a ‘baby’ amongst all the tracks he cherishes the most.
Your album Brilliant Seasons explores a variety of genres. Which song are you most proud of?
Kim Jonghyeon: “I feel most proud of the song ‘I’m so dirty, How can I love you.’ I dedicated a year to practicing and perfecting this track before its release, aiming to make it an even better piece. It’s a song that truly reflects the hard work and dedication I put into that year of preparation. I take pride in it as it vividly showcases that the effort was not in vain.”
The album Brilliant Seasons has an impressive amount of genres expressed through the various six tracks. Title track “MOTTO” is delightfully energetic whereas songs like “Intro (Tempus)” and “New Season” explore rap and trap-inspired beats. “Don’t Worry” surprised fans with its heavily rock-influenced concept while “Whatever” (네 마음대로 해) and “I’m so dirty, How can I love you” are more solemn ballads with deep thought-provoking lyrics. However, the album name seems to reflect a sense of fleeting emotions and moments in our lives that can be brilliant.
Can you tell us the meaning of the name behind your album?
Kim Jonghyeon: “For this album, I tried to express life through the metaphor of ‘seasons.’ Like you all experienced before, not every day could be filled with clear and warm spring weather. But even after storms rage or thunder and lightning strike, a brilliant rainbow always appears at the end. Like this, I wanted to convey a positive message that every experience ultimately contributes to making life brilliant.”
Is there a current song you enjoy listening to or feel inspired by? Did any of these songs contribute to your album?
Kim Jonghyeon: “I usually find inspiration not so much from other songs, but rather from my everyday life and from our beloved &Us.”
You explored a mix of pop sounds to even rap and ballads in the album medley. Which concept was the most challenging for you to try? Is there any concept you want to try in the future?
Kim Jonghyeon: “Certainly, the most challenging part was the music production. I struggled to create a song that resonates with a broader audience. I aim to showcase various concepts in the future that reflect different sides of Kim Jonghyeon!”
Kim Jonghyeon manifested these emotions beautifully and was sure to resonate his feelings with fans during his ‘Sparkling Eternity’ concert. Whether it be through his music or endearing interactions with his fans.
During your concert, ‘Sparkling Eternity,’ you had many unique moments where you interacted with fans through the Bling Bling fashion contests, photo posing time and athletic challenges and more. What was your most memorable moment on stage with them?
Kim Jonghyeon: “The most memorable moment for me was during the dress code segment, called the “Bling Bling Fashion Contest.” It was truly touching to see our fans, &Us, dressing up so perfectly in line with the ‘bling bling’ theme.”
Kim Jonghyeon is a flashy artist and he wants to shine every day alongside the power of his fans. During the concert, fans also left messages of love, hope, and inspiration which Kim Jonghyeon read aloud and it made for such a tearful moment. Many fans shared how inspired they were by the artist and, like Jonghyeon, they wish to start 2024 more brilliantly.
Do you have any new plans or personal goals for 2024? How will you plan your future as a solo artist?
Kim Jonghyeon: “My personal goal for 2024 is to read 24 books. I aim to showcase various concepts too. Please support me with love to achieve my goal!”
From start to finish, Kim Jonghyeon is quite the charming, approachable, and adorkable idol. Before coming to a close, Kim Jonghyeon wanted to make sure his fans &U know how much he loves and will continue to love them.
Do you have any message to send to your fans?
Kim Jonghyeon: “To my &Us, who always give me a life full of love! Thank you for always being by my side! 사랑해요!”
Kim Jonghyeon is continuing his promotions for ‘Brilliant Seasons’ which he prepared so earnestly through his many music show appearances and performances of “MOTTO.” Be sure to support Kim Jonghyeon by following his social media, sharing our article, and listening to his current album and his future music!
— ZAPZEE (@zapzee_net) February 7, 2024