Entertainment

SEVENTEEN’s Woozi on First Solo Mixtape “Ruby,” 2022 Plans


Courtesy of PLEDIS Entertainment

The distinction of “Ruby” as a project by Woozi the soloist versus SEVENTEEN’s Woozi started from the get-go. “The process itself of creating ‘Ruby’ was very different from the way I make music as a team,” Woozi says. “When it comes to creating music for SEVENTEEN, we start with discussing the overall message and then we start touching on the music with the computer. But, as a soloist, instead of starting with a computer, I started with musical instruments. I remember [for “Ruby”] I started working with a guitar first.”

Though he wanted to find his own voice, one he hadn’t quite shown before, Woozi also turned to his members during the creative process. “All the members were really curious to know what kind of music I would make and how it would sound so although it wasn’t completed, I let them hear ‘Ruby’ when it was available,” Woozi recounts. “They all said things like, ‘it’s really great. It’s really Woozi-like.’ And that was the vibe I was going for before I was making the music, so I felt relieved that members thought that way.”

As Woozi himself put it earlier, “diverse” is certainly the key word to describe “Ruby.” The track features three distinct sections and genres, which make it feel almost like a self-contained mini-movie. “Ruby” opens with an innocent classical string section, immediately evocative of those familiar opening sequences used to introduce fairytales — except this isn’t quite a fairytale and there’s nothing innocent about it, as we learn shortly after. The second half is the core of the song where the story unfolds. It continues the rock vein SEVENTEEN first introduced with the title track of their latest release, Attacca, and takes it up a notch with heavy electric guitars, booming drums, and brazen innuendoes. This section segues seamlessly into the denouement, which goes the jazz route, featuring piano keys not unlike those often used to keep film audiences engrossed during ending credits. As expected from the symbolism of the crimson hue, the lyrics are all about passion.

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Prior to the release of “Ruby,” fans decoded, with varying degrees of success, multiple teasers and hints: cryptic lip emojis hinting at the song’s lyrics, for example, and concept photos mirroring scenes from the accompanying music video, which at times felt more like a fashion film. The very last surprise, revealed just a day prior to the song’s release, was the fact that “Ruby” would be fully in English, making it the first all-English track penned and sung by Woozi. “To be honest, [writing the song in English] wasn’t easy,” Woozi says. “I thought a lot about what language would fit the song best. At first, I wasn’t thinking about English per se. But as I began writing the song, I just thought that English was very intuitive, very cool. When I thought about a language that could incorporate the color of the song fully, that was English. So although it was challenging, I thought it was very appropriate. And I got a lot of help from my colleagues, which was really great.” The song was written with long-time in-house collaborators Bumzu and Shannon, and composed and arranged by Woozi himself alongside Bumzu as well as PRISMFILTER’s Park Kitae and Building Owner.



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