20121004_Seoulbeats_Secret_Hyosung_PoisonAnother member of Secret will be making their solo debut this upcoming May. Their company TS Entertainment recently revealed that Hyosung will be releasing a solo album. The title track is being produced by Double Sidekick. This announcement seems to continue a trend we are seeing more often lately – the solo debut from a girl group member.

This move does seem timely. Secret’s last single “I Do I Do” was their lowest charting title track since their debut single “I Want You Back.” Some may also argue that Secret is undergoing a concept crisis. Secret is a group that seems to have successfully navigated between the cute and sexy concepts, but it appears that this constant shift in identity has turned off some fans. Their last couple of singles have been on the cuter side, but the diminishing commercial success of these singles is probably presenting a daunting question of what to do next.

Hyosung is not the first member from her group to make her mark as a soloist. Jieun, the group’s main vocalist, has found success with digital singles in the past. She was the first member to reach number 1 on the Gaon charts with “Going Crazy,” and her last solo single “False Hope” reached the top ten upon release. Sunhwa has firmly established herself in the variety and drama world – recently starring in God’s Gift – 14 Days. In the past year, Hana changed her stage name and also had solo tracks in prior Secret albums. Needless to say, Hyosung’s group members have all successfully created individual personas of some degree. So, why a solo debut for Hyosung?

20121026_seoulbeats_5girls_yang_ji_won_gna_hyosung_uee_yubinHyosung’s career prior to joining Secret had been a bit tumultuous. She competed in Mnet’s Battle Shinhwa in 2005 before being scouted for the group Five Girls. This notable group, which had Uee from After School, G.NA, Yoobin from Wonder Girls, and Jiwon from Spica, never saw their debut come to fruition. Hyosung got rediscovered a few years later where she was recruited by TS Entertainment and eventually debuted as the leader of Secret.

Although, she has been one of the more active members of Secret, Hyosung has had a turbulent past year on the K-pop scene. Along with a decline in group popularity, Hyosung received very negative press around her choice of words during a radio broadcast. Amongst accusations of belonging to a hyper-conservative and negatively viewed internet forum, Hyosung and by association Secret’s public image took a steep tumble.

However, perhaps the timing is ripe for Hyosung to make her solo debut. She is still undoubtedly a very popular member from Secret. She is still very active in variety, dramas, and endorsements. Recently, she starred in the supernatural detective drama Cheo Yong. In addition, Hyosung has been the brand ambassador for the lingerie brand Yes in the past year. This solo debut could be another step in the right direction towards shining a positive light on Hyosung’s individual image and in extension Secret’s as well.

In terms of the type of image Hyosung will likely attempt during her solo, I would go all-in wagering on a sexy concept. Although Secret has teetered between cute and sexy concepts in the past, Hyosung has expressed sentiments about being too old to pull off acting overly cute. I fully expect a bold sounding track with a brass section that will allow Hyosung’s charisma and dance ability to stand out. If her solo performance of “Crazy in Love” during Secret’s live show in Singapore last year is anything to go by, we are in for a high energy debut.

Are you excited for Hyosung’s debut? If you are, what type of title track are you hoping to see from Secret’s leader? If not, do you think another member would be better suited to helm a solo debut instead?

(Naver, ASIAE, Gaon, TS Entertainment, YouTube)