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Could It Be YUQI’s Solo Debut?

By Naomi Rodriguez | 1 May, 2024

YUQI has always been active in creating her own songs like “Bonnie and Clyde.” Last year for (G)I-DLE’s world tour, YUQI teased new music. She performed her solo track “Could It Be,” which is a soft, percussive song that is carried by a catchy beat. It is paired with lyrics of longing and affection for someone. She surprised Nevies (a nickname for (G)I-DLE’s full fandom name, Neverland) with an official music video of “Could It Be” in early April–and now she is officially releasing her first solo album, YUQ1. “FREAK” is the album's official title track.

This 7-track album has received over 500,000 preorders, in the ranks with other soloists such as Nayeon (TWICE) and Jisoo (BLACKPINK). On its first day out, over 200,000 copies of YUQ1 were old. This support further proves the love everyone has for each of the members within (G)I-DLE.  Despite it being such a short album, YUQI experimented with multiple genres like acoustic pop, punchy rap beats, groovy disco dance tracks, and even pop ballads. One thing about YUQI is she always makes sure to showcase different sides of herself through her songs and concepts. She is incredibly adaptable and experimental with her unique deep voice that she is known for; and she even took part in lyric-writing and composing for most of the songs on the album!

FREAK” is a fun take on horror; it’s a cute and fun version. She paired the announcement with light-hearted yet dark teasers, which speaks to the release of her music video. We see YUQI attached to a red stuffed bunny. As it progresses, we begin to see classic depictions of horror references like Jigsaw, Scream, and the twins from The Shining. Instead of fleeing, she forms strong bonds with each of them at her home, and they eventually become her own band. At the end of the video, she gives a shoutout "to all the Freaks in the world.” By humanizing classic horror characters, YUQI gives us the chance to celebrate being different even if it means we’re ‘freaks.’ Along with that, we see a call for continuation–could it be that she's going to pair this music video with another track on her album?

My personal favorite on the album is “Drink It Up” featuring rapper pH-1. The instrumental is a mellow dance track which allows for the push and pull we hear in the lyrics. “I’ll drink it up, make it alright / cause we don’t have time until the sunrise” starting off the chorus makes you understand this chase she’s feeling. pH-1 also has a unique tone, and is an incredible composer as well, that I think elevates the emotions of the track differently than if it was just YUQI.

Another collaboration on the album includes “Everytime” featuring MINNIE, her groupmate. “Everytime” is a soft pop ballad that highlights the importance and beauty of friendship in hard times. From the tough years (G)I-DLE had since a member’s departure and group hiatus, Neverland’s  are able to find comfort in this beautiful track knowing that the members are there for each other. MINNIE was also the MC for YUQI’s showcase, which many people found so cute to see them collaborate and have MINNIE continuously support her on her solo activities. 

To see YUQI embrace this pop punk aesthetic for this solo while experimenting with multiple genres is something fun to see from a member from (G)I-DLE. With this direction, there will be extraordinary performances coming from YUQI like her performance on It’s Live! Be sure to check out her latest debut here.


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