Korean American singer Nicole, a former member of the girl group Kara, returned Wednesday after eight years away from the K-pop limelight with
After leaving Kara in 2011, Nicole started a solo career in South Korea and Japan, releasing her first EP “First Romance” in 2014 and a Japanese album titled “Bliss” in 2016. She has mostly kept away from the public eye aside from regular uploads to her YouTube channel “Cole Time.” She was also a guest on K-pop artist Eric Nam’s Dive Studios podcast last year.
In a press conference on Tuesday, the singer reflected on her time away and shared her thoughts on her return single.
“During the break, I had some time just to myself and traveled around Europe. There, I realized why I sometimes become suddenly depressed,” she explained. “When I was young and working, I was so busy that I didn’t have time to really get to know myself.”
“And even when I was given time to rest, I felt that I should be working,” she continued. “But being in a different scenery changed my perspective on this. I learned that I can take time off for myself and that everyone goes about their lives at their own pace.”
The soloist acknowledged that she now struggles while performing, especially when it comes to remembering lyrics.
“For example,” she said, “I didn’t make minor mistakes like forgetting the lyrics before, but since I’ve been away for eight years, a lapse of concentration distracted me during the music video shooting. But my bandmates gave me advice while filming as if they were my directors, which was a big help in pulling out my charms.”
Part of Nicole’s charm while she was still in Kara were her dance skills, befitting of her role as the main dancer of the group. She brought her affinity for choreography to her new music video for “You.F.O” with parts that are meant to represent the galaxy and the Moon, as well as two fingers pointing to one another, inspired by the 1982 classic “E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial.”
Nicole also explained the title of her new track, saying, “U.F.O is an unknown object, but in this song, I also wanted to interpret it as an unknown or new feeling that you get when you encounter something for the first time.”
What won’t be a first-time encounter is the Kara reunion that Nicole teased to be in the works. Kara debuted in 2007 and are due to celebrate their 15th anniversary next March. They released hits such as “Honey” in 2008, “Step” in 2011 and “Pandora” in 2012.
“We’ve been talking about a possible reunion for months now. I think we’re getting our bearings and currently fleshing out plans about it,” Nicole shared. “Since this year marks our 15th anniversary, we do want to see our fans.”