Veteran K-pop act Solid returns with new record after 21 years

March 23, 2018
Members of '90s boy band Solid poses for photos at a media showcase on March 21, 2018, at the Understage in central Seoul. (Yonhap)

Members of ’90s boy band Solid poses for photos at a media showcase on March 21, 2018, at the Understage in central Seoul. (Yonhap)

SEOUL, March 21 (Yonhap) — Popular ’90s R&B trio Solid returned with a brand new album on Wednesday, seeking to reclaim its past glory after remaining dormant for 21 years.

The group held a media showcase for its new self-produced album, “Into the Light,” at the Understage in central Seoul, performing several new songs along with a remixed version of the group’s 1996 smash hit “Soul Mates.” The record was to be released online at midnight the same day.

After debuting in 1993, Solid soared to instant fame, selling over 4 million albums and churning out back-to-back hits, including “Holding on to Tonight,” “My Friend” and “You’re My First and Last,” considered some of the most popular tunes from K-pop’s ’90s era.

The band, comprising childhood buddies from the United States, left the public spotlight after releasing their fourth album in 1997. The singers, all in their mid-40s now, didn’t expect the hiatus to be this long.

“Back then, we basically lived in the recording studio. It was a time when computers weren’t used to make music. We wanted to recharge after living like that for four years,” lead singer Kim Jo-han said.

Rapper Lee Joon said he returned to the U.S. to keep a promise to his parents, who approved his singing career on one condition — that he finish college. He started a real estate business in the U.S. during his break from Solid.

“I promised my parents before debuting that I would finish college. I returned to the U.S. to keep that promise. Time flew by fast after I started my own business, got married and had children,” said Lee.

The band’s new album holds nine tracks, including three remixes of past hits. “Into the Light,” “1996″ and “Daystar,” along with three others, are brand new songs written and produced by member Jae Chong.

“In the 1990s, we were often praised for being ahead of our time. I thought it would be meaningless to do music from the past,” Chong said. “We wanted to try something new and contribute to the advancement of the Korean music scene.”

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