It’s a big moment for ODD EYE CIRCLE as they reflect on their new era, new music, moving forward as a trio, and more.
Greeting everyone as a sub-unit in September of 2017, ODD EYE CIRCLE — a part of the project, ARTMS — comprising Kim Lip, JinSoul, and Choerry, has now made their long-awaited comeback with the mini-album Version Up. As this marks their first release in six years since their debut, this return of the trio garnered much anticipation and attention. The former LOONA members understand the significance of showcasing their unique identities while coming together as a cohesive unit, and they are now prepared to start a fresh journey.
“We are a one-of-a-kind group that can pull off dreamy and mysterious concepts well,” says Choerry in an exclusive interview with NYLON Manila. After working together for over six years now, the girls of ODD EYE CIRCLE are eagerly anticipating the opportunity to showcase their unseen talents. “We are happy to start this journey since it’s a chance to reveal what we haven’t shown yet,” exclaims Kim Lip, the unit’s leader.
Reflecting on the formation of ODD EYE CIRCLE, Kim Lip admits that she was initially taken aback by the unit consisting of three members. “However, I was looking forward to it because we matched each other well and had good chemistry,” she adds. Echoing those sentiments, Choerry, who describes the tracks from Version Up as just as enchanting as the members themselves, emphasizes that the appeal of ODD EYE CIRCLE lies in the combination of their unique identities and charms.
Coming back after six years, it is normal to feel the pressure of greeting and presenting new music to the audience after such a long period. With this and with the help of her fellow members, Kim Lip says that she tries to not get stressed and burdened as much as possible. “We talk about our concerns and give advice to each other. All the members rely on and support each other.”
Taking advantage of ODD EYE CIRCLE’s unique musicality, the trio is prepared to showcase new sounds and presence. Their release, led by the lively and fast-paced title track, Air Force One, perfectly captures the summer vibes, demonstrating ODD EYE CIRCLE’s distinctive take on Jersey club song.
The significance behind Air Force One can be interpreted in various ways, such as symbolizing the feeling of flying in the sky and the excitement associated with wearing new shoes, like a popular shoe brand. Opening with the instrumental track Did You Wait?, the album also features four new songs, serving as the B-sides: Je Ne Sais Quoi, Lucid, Love Me Like, and My Secret Playlist.
Je Ne Sais Quoi carries the meaning of “indescribably good” in French, perfectly encompassing ODD EYE CIRCLE’s unique style, nestled in refined beats. Following is Lucid, a captivating track that holds an air of mystery rather than being overly cheerful. It serves as a special treat for their fans who have waited for them. “It’s also the song we most want to share with everyone,” says ODD EYE CIRCLE.
Love Me Like, on the other hand, delivers a cute vibe, as the trio blends intriguing sensations rather than relying on straightforward emotions. Lastly, the album concludes with My Secret Playlist, a song that intertwines lyrics from the members’ favorite songs with its storyline. “Like how everyone probably has their own playlist, this song is filled with titles of songs we love.”
According to the members, the process of creating Version Up was smooth and efficient, as most of the songs had been written long before, and they began recording the tracks after joining their new agency, MODHAUS.
Kim Lip, who took part in writing the songs’ lyrics, says that if she is given another chance in the future, she would like to try it again. “Participating in writing lyrics for our song has a great meaning,” she says. “It’s great that through Kim Lip’s participation in writing the lyrics we could blend our originality into the song well,” exclaims JinSoul, saying that when it came to this album, the members expressed lots of attention and paid more attention to their vocals.
This release marks a new beginning for the group and aligns with the original worldview of LOONA, which was created by MODHAUS CEO, Jaden Jeong. “Jaden is the one who has been with us from the beginning, so we thought he could bring out our uniqueness well,” says Kim Lip. During the preparations and filming of the music video, JinSoul reflects on the feelings it evokes, stating, “Filming the music video brought back a lot of memories.” The members also find it entertaining for fans to discover parts from ODD EYE CIRCLE’s universe in the video.
Having debuted in a group, released music as solo artists, and now continuing their journey as a trio, JinSoul shares her experiences, explaining that working on music feels different depending on the number of members involved. She explains, “When it’s a group composed of many members, we try to create an overall picture and unite as one. However, when it’s a unit or solo, we try to highlight each individual’s characteristics more.”
JinSoul reveals that even on this album, they felt the burden of having to fill the stage with only three members after a long time without unit activities. “But we prepared while highlighting each individual’s identity as much as possible.”
THE UNIVERSE OF ODD EYE CIRCLE
Now back as a unit, the members think that due to their great chemistry and communication, they are able to pull off good results. “When recording, we understood the strength of our voices and exchanged opinions, so that we could make the most of them,” says JinSoul. When it comes to teamwork, communication plays a vital role in creating quality content and maintaining longevity. For ODD EYE CIRCLE, Kim Lip feels that they are equal in all aspects. “We always deal with everything fairly through rock-paper-scissors,” she laughingly adds.
Spending six years in the K-pop industry, Kim Lip stresses that they always keep practicing to not fall behind. Choerry agrees and adds that they do it every day to deliver better performances on stage and show that they are always and continuously improving. “I think I’ve become more mature in terms of skills compared to when I debuted and now I can learn new songs or choreography faster,” she responds.
JinSoul confesses that, as she works toward improving herself, she wants to be perfect in things that are work-related. “However, If I used to regret and blame myself for small mistakes in the past, these days I think about accepting those mistakes and working harder.”
For Choerry who brings positive energy to everyone, she enthusiastically tells NYLON Manila that she thinks she has the ability to look at everything with optimism. “Actually, opening myself up was not easy in the past, but now I feel like I’m growing up little by little as I express myself.” This is something the K-pop idol considers a good way of thinking, a way wherein she can get less stressed out.
MAKING MEMORIES WITH FANS
This August, ODD EYE CIRCLE kicked off their European tour as a unit, aptly titled Volume Up. Currently, the tour has four stops: London, Berlin, Warsaw, and Paris, continuing to meet and perform in front of their fans after the successful 2022 LOONATHEWORLD tour of LOONA.
In October 2022, Filipino Orbits were able to watch LOONA perform in Manila. However, at that time, Choerry, along with Haseul and Chuu, was unable to attend due to health issues. “I was really upset that I couldn’t perform in Manila during the tour,” says Choerry. “But memories are what we make together, right? So if we have a chance to perform in Manila next time, I hope I can show you a more wonderful performance and make good memories since there were many things I couldn’t show you!” she adds reassuringly.
Whenever given the opportunity to perform on stage with people who love and support them and their music, JinSoul says she feels touched hearing the loud cheers from the crowd. “Even though it’s challenging sometimes, I’m enduring it because it’s for the happiness we get.”
As for their message to their Filipino fans, ODD EYE CIRCLE had nothing but love for them, saying, “We want to say thanks to the fans in the Philippines and the fans who have waited for us. We will show you the best of us through many activities, so please look forward to them! We hope we can meet if we get to perform in the Philippines! Please give Version Up lots of love too. Thank you so much!”
Photos courtesy of Modhaus.
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