On embracing her emotions


Talent: Seola @seola_s

Photos: Starship Entertainment @officialstarship

Quiet individuals are often content in their own inner world, a secret sanctum few others can truly ever access. Some may catch glimpses of it, fleeting vestiges witnessed only from particular vantage points, yet never fully able to grasp its totality. Such is the case for WJSN’s Seola.

Throughout her extensive eight-year career, the K-pop artist has traversed a diverse array of experiences, providing glimpses into the persona of the reticent idol with each new endeavor. As a singer, her ethereal voice harmonizes seamlessly within her 10-piece ensemble. As an actress, she embodies new identities across multiple leading roles. And as a songstress, she  skillfully molds melodies that resonate deeply for her fellow artists and listeners alike.

After undergoing that journey, Seola is now prepared to step into the world and extend an invitation into hers. Her debut album, Inside Out, showcases three self-composed tracks that exude grace, tenderness, and introspection. Her creation alchemizes the shards of Seola into a singularity for all to see.

Timid Magazine: Congrats on your solo debut! I love the title “Inside Out.” Is that a reference to the animated movie? What inspired your solo album?

Seola: I deeply enjoyed the animation Inside Out. In that movie, various characters representing different emotions come out, right? I think there are similarities in my album, meaning that there are various emotions present. With this album, I wanted to naturally incorporate thoughts and emotions that come to me in my daily life and capture aspects that people can listen to and empathize with.

TM: You have eight years of experience with your group, but what is it about your solo that challenged you the most?

S: It felt like everything was a challenge. The process of bringing out what I had imagined and wanted to do in my work itself was a challenge. Also, singing a song alone that was originally performed by all 10 members of WJSN was another challenging aspect. In reality, I tend to be afraid of challenges, but while preparing for my solo this time, I realized that overcoming fear is necessary for personal growth.

TM: What support or advice did you get from your fellow members while working on your solo?  

S: During the music video shoot, our group members came to support me in person and gave me a lot of words of encouragement. They supported me in a comfortable and affectionate way, making sure I didn't feel pressured since they know me better than anyone else. The WJSN members, just by being there, are a source of support. Truly.

TM: You have written songs for WJSN before, and this time, you wrote songs for yourself. Can you walk me through how that felt? How and why did you write and choose the songs you did?

S: When I first thought about making music and started without much planning, I believed it was just about expressing everything the way I felt. However, the more I did it, the more I realized that music creation involves some level of structure and attention to detail. So, I feel like there's still a lot more for me to learn. But what makes music production truly appealing is the ability to express the messages and thoughts I want in various ways and the feeling of satisfying my own thirst through it.

TM: What lyric from the album do you love the most?

S: The lyrics of the focus track “Without U” include the line “the film's over with a black & white ending the curtain will close,” and this part was something I pondered over for a long time. Personally, I like lyrics that naturally evoke imagination, and I think I found something that resonates with me in that aspect.

TM: You have tried a lot of concepts and sounds during your time in WJSN. Can you describe your musicality?

S: I consider one of my talents to be the ability to understand various concepts and express them as naturally as possible. Even with WJSN, I believed it was important to naturally showcase a unique atmosphere that only I possess within the group. As I continue my career, I aspire to become someone who can convey positive energy and atmosphere even more effectively.

TM: How has your love of music and expression changed over the years?

S: It seems like I've become more open-minded. In the past, I used to narrow down my thoughts with ideas like "this has to be done this way" or "this doesn't fit here." But lately, I've been making an effort to broaden my perspective and express myself in a more diverse and open manner.

TM: Much of the album has to do with exploring your inner world and dealing with loneliness. What advice might you have for others feeling lonely or misunderstood?

S: In the second track “Let's Talk,” I wanted to address the idea that everyone can experience loneliness, and at times, that loneliness can be painful or overwhelming. However, I believe that because of that loneliness, it can serve as a catalyst for people to move towards others and seek love. Ultimately, I wanted to convey the message that even a single emotion can lead to diverse connections.

TM: What do you wish more people knew or understood about you?

S: I often hear that my first impression may seem a bit reserved. While it might come across as being a bit distant or reserved at first, some people surprisingly find the expressions and actions that come from that aspect to be cute. I appreciate those who see it in a positive light. I hope people continue to be curious about me in the future!

TM: What did you learn about yourself through creating your album?

S: I've learned to regulate my strength. It could be in terms of physical stamina or mental effort, but I've come to realize the importance of flexibly adjusting and moving in a way that suits myself. If I pushed forward without considering the balance, I felt like I was being pushed back. Also, since what I do is not just an individual effort but a collaborative process with the staff working together and contributing, I need to be mindful that I shouldn't crumble under pressure. In all aspects, it feels like I've learned some ways to manage and adjust during this time.

TM: Any personal goals for the new year?

S: I want to take good care of both my physical and mental health so that I can engage in more activities and be more active! On a more personal note, I also have a private goal of becoming more proficient at driving.