Starship Entertainment's Korean-Chinese girl group WJSN performs during a press showcase at YES24 Live Hall in Gwangjin, eastern Seoul, Wednesday. / Yonhap
Yeonjung of WJSN
By Kim Jae-heun
Yeonjung, one of the singers picked for CJ E&M's blockbuster project girl group I.O.I, returned to her original agency Starship Entertainment to join Korean-Chinese girl group WJSN, also known as Cosmic Girls, which released its second mini-album "The Secret," at YES24 Live Hall in Gwangjin, eastern Seoul, Wednesday.
Now the group consists of 13 members, three of which are Chinese. Riding on the popularity of Yeonjung, Starship seeks to successfully promote WJSN like MBK Entertainment did with singer Chaeyeon in its girl group DIA and Jellyfish Entertainment with Sejung in the recently debuted Gugudan.
Yeonjung has been highly praised for her vocal skills during the 2016 reality show "Produce 101" on Mnet that auditioned 101 trainees from 46 entertainment companies. Yeonjung is one of the top 11 members who made it to debut as I.O.I, or Ideal of Idol, in May. The group project runs until next January and Yeonjung will be active in both groups until then.
"After Yeonjung joined the group we became more energetic," said WJSN leader Exy during the press conference. "I've known Yeonjung since we were trainees and she has always been bright. Also our fans' expectations for the band rose higher as Yeonjung joined us, which motivates us to work even harder."
Another member Dawon, who has been the main vocalist of the group, said Yeonjung's joining would not affect her position as they have different voice colors.
"Chaeyeon and Sejung have debuted in DIA and Gugudan, respectively, and achieved good results in their agency groups. I get motivation from them and for me, joining WJSN makes synergy in that both the group and I get to perform a variety of music as well as performances," said Yeonjung to a press question asking whether other I.O.I members' debut in their original agencies would have affected her own in WJSN.
WJSN appeared in the K-pop industry with their first mini-album "Would You Like?" this February. However, it failed to receive much recognition amid many returning popular girl groups like Ace of Angels (AOA) sub-unit AOA Cream, Rainbow and Mamamoo.
Yeonjung's popularity proved its power as the agency revealed the girl group's new lead single "Secret" ranked third on Olleh Music chart, as well as entering the top 10 in major online music charts like Mnet as of Wednesday at midnight.
The new album consists of seven tracks including a Chinese version of the title track, "Secret." Hit-song makers E.ONE and Shinsadong Tiger produced the medium-tempo dance title based on a shuffle rhythm, which sings of a girl's shyness and her desire to hide her heart for her crush. The song's intro begins with an orgel sound and mixes with slap bass and a synthetic electronic guitar in the verse part. Other songs include "BeBe," "Would You Kiss Me?," "Prince," "ROBOT," and "Good Night."
"Our title song is about a girl's crush on a boy and her wish to hide her feeling. The story is quite sad but since we are a girl group, we decided to adopt a bright concept and sing it as it is our own experience in school. We tried to dress up lively and sing brightly since it is summer and added fantasy elements in our music video as well," said Exy.