‘Reverse driving’ Then, ‘roads paralyzed’… High Key “Would you like to make more charts-long songs?” [Interview]

High key. From the left, Riina, Seoi, Hwiseo, and Yell.
High key. From the left, Riina, Seoi, Hwiseo, and Yell.

[Edaily Starin Reporter Kim Hyun-sik] “I want to solidify our identity as a ‘team that presents good music.’”

These are the words of the members of girl group High Key (H1-KEY (Seoi, Riina, Hwiseo, Yell) who are taking on a new challenge in the new year. They will present their new song ‘Thinkin’ About You’ on the 19th. It is a new song released about 5 months after the release of the 2nd mini album ‘Seoul Dreaming’, and it is the song that opens the ambitious music project ‘H1-KEYnote’.

In an interview with Edaily at KG Tower in Jung-gu, Seoul on the 15th, when preparations for the comeback were in full swing, Hi-Key expressed his excitement about the comeback activities, saying, “This time, I want to touch the hearts of listeners with a song that emphasizes my voice.”

‘Thinkin’ About You’, a song released with excitement by Hi-Key, is a pop ballad song with a warm feel that combines acoustic guitar sounds with minimal drums and bass. Riina said, “It’s a style of song that Hi-Key has never tried before,” and added, “We’ve focused on presenting music and performances that bring comfort and empathy, but this time, we wanted to give strength to our voices.”

Afterwards, Whiseo added, “This is also the first time we have released a song that goes well with winter.” Seo-i said, “I think it is also meaningful that we are releasing a new song a year after releasing ‘Roses Blooming Between Buildings’ (hereinafter referred to as ‘Gunsa Pyeongjang’).” Yell said, “Idol groups have no choice but to choose songs with a fast tempo as their promotional songs for performance, and I am happy that through the ‘High Key Note’ project, we have the opportunity to promote with songs that well capture each member’s voice and personality.”


“I’ve mainly rapped so far, so it was my first time taking on the bass part and trying out harmony. “I want to let many people know my voice.” (Yel), “I tried to show the soul of a pop artist to match the mood of the song. At the same time, I tried to make my own voice stand out.” (Hwiseo)

“I’ve often heard that my voice goes well with acoustic music. “I am a fan of pop ballad-style songs, and while working on them, I felt that they matched my voice well, so I have high expectations for the response.” (Seoi), “As it is a good opportunity to express my voice, I focus on incorporating my own emotions into the songs.” “(Rina)

The characteristic feature of the lyrics is that it depicts the speaker expressing his longing for his ex-lover but never shedding tears. Whiseo said, “I hope you will also pay attention to the fact that I did not want to lose sight of the inner health and solidity that Hi-Key pursues.”

Another important point to appreciate is that this is the first song with English lyrics released since debut. Riina smiled and said, “There are a lot of singers releasing English songs these days,” and “Haiki is also trying new things with this song as an opportunity to try to expand its global fandom.” She went on to add, “In the future, I want to consistently deliver music that emphasizes musicality through the ‘High Key Note’ project.”

Hi-Key emerged as a sensation in the K-pop girl group world by achieving a ‘reversal’ on the music charts with their first single title song ‘Gunsapijang’ released in January of last year, two years after their debut. Building on her momentum, she released a mini-album in August, featuring ‘SEOUL’ and ‘Don’t Turn Off the Light’ as double title songs, and her activities became even more exciting.

As a result, they won their first music show trophy since their debut, and traveled around the country and performed on various event stages amidst pouring in love calls. Although there was a gap of six months before releasing a new song, the days were so busy that there was literally no time to rest. The members looked back and said, “It was a good year in which we were able to inform many people about the existence of Hi-Key and achieve proud results.”


This year, momentum is good from the start. Hi-Key recently held a fan event in Taipei and experienced its strong local popularity. Whiseo said, “According to an agency official, when we held the event, so many people gathered that the surrounding roads were paralyzed, and MDs sold at the pop-up store were sold out. “It was a surprising experience,” he said. “It was my first time holding a fan event overseas, and I was touched by the warm welcome.” Li Na said, “I heard that Taipei is the number one country in streaming on Spotify. “I would like to thank those who have listened to our music,” she said.

Meanwhile, in Korea, they rented a Chinese restaurant and held a fan event to commemorate their second anniversary. Seo-yi smiled and said, “When we released ‘Geonsapijang,’ many people said that the abbreviation of the song sounded like the name of a Chinese dish,” and added, “For the 2nd anniversary, we held an event appropriate for that response and had a fun time communicating with fans, and also served a course meal. “I gave it to you,” he said.

“I also took time to read letters containing fans’ stories, and a fan in his 20s wrote that not only he but his mother, who is in her 50s, also listens to High Key songs whenever they are having a hard time. “After reading that letter, I decided to make good music that brings comfort to all generations.” (Seoi)

At the end of the interview, Heiki revealed that they all had time to celebrate the New Year by eating rice cake soup that Hwiseo himself made and reaffirm their determination for activities. At the same time, the four members agreed, “Our goal is to produce two more long-running songs on the charts within this year, following ‘Geonsapijang’.” In addition, the members said, “Our long-term goal is to hold a solo concert and a world tour,” and added, “We will continue to strive to show differentiated musicality and charm, so we hope you will show your support and interest so that we can continue to achieve success.”

Hyunsik Kim (ssik@edaily.co.kr)

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