'K Soul': Profiling Girls' Generation's leader and vocalist Taeyeon's magnificent journey in showbiz so far

Updated on Aug 27, 2021 09:48 PM IST  |  210.2K
   
Girls' Generation's Taeyeon poses for the concept photo of 'Weekend'
Girls' Generation's Taeyeon poses for the concept photo of 'Weekend' (Pic credit - SM Entertainment)
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If we were to compare Girls' Generation's Taeyeon to an animal, we would say she resembles a lioness - tough, fierce and protective of her kin! Girls' Generation's vocalist and front-woman Taeyeon has always struck us as that person! Kim Taeyeon, also known as Taeyeon is a K-pop idol, vocalist and an artist. She debuted as a member of Girls' Generation on August 5, 2007, with the single 'Into the New World' from their eponymous Korean album. SNSD went on to become one of the best-selling artists in South Korea and one of the most popular K-pop girl groups worldwide. 

Besides that, Taeyeon has participated in various other SM Entertainment projects including SM Town, SM The Ballad and Girls' Generation's sub-units: Girls' Generation-TaeTiSo (composed of Taeyeon, Tiffany and Seohyun) and Girls' Generation-Oh!GG (composed of Taeyeon, Sunny, Hyoyeon, Yuri and Yoona).

But to understand Taeyeon's musical journey, we must understand her roots first. From a young age, Taeyeon harboured the desire to become a singer, as she believed she was only talented at singing! During her second year in middle school, Taeyeon accompanied her father to SM Academy (a former music institution and auxiliary affiliation of SM Entertainment), to pursue vocal lessons. Taeyeon's school principal took note of her musical talent and encouraged her father to allow her to pursue a career in singing. Soon she was travelling to Seoul every Sunday to receive her vocal lessons from The One (Jeong Soon Won is a singer and vocal coach).

The One described Taeyeon as a 'dedicated student who wanted to reach the top with her own talents'. It is fascinating to know that a lot of important people recognised Taeyeon's potential at an early age and nurtured her talent in that direction. Post her training and debut with Girls' Generation, both The One and the president of SM Academy (where she trained) described her as one of their most sincere and memorable students. 

In 2015, almost a decade after SNSD's debut, Taeyeon made her solo singing debut on M Countdown, with the song 'I', and also released an EP of the same name. Over the years, Taeyeon has worked on some amazing solo music including singles, full albums, mini-albums and K-drama OSTs, for which she also earned the title 'OST Queen'! Taeyeon has released 2 Korean studio albums, one special album, 4 Korean mini-albums, 5 Korean digital singles, 2 Japanese mini-albums, 2 Japanese digital singles and countless K-drama OSTs and collaborations!

So what makes Taeyeon so special? Why is the article titled 'K-Soul'? Taeyeon's musical evolution has been understated, yet undeniable as well.  Since debuting as a solo artist, Taeyeon's musical styles have varied. Her 2015 debut single 'I' identifies itself as a  pop-rock sound. In 2016, her second single 'Rain' incorporates elements of jazz and R&B; while 'Why' infuses various elements including EDM, R&B and tropical house beats. 

Taeyeon has been widely regarded as a 'talented vocalist' for her soulful vocals. Several artists including BTS, Lovelyz's Jiae and Cosmic Girls' Luda cited her as an inspiration. J.Y. Park of JYP Entertainment commented that Taeyeon has the 'ability to tell a story through her singing'. However, it was Vibe's Yoon Min Soo's beautiful praise for Taeyeon that deserves the cake here. Min Soo described that one can feel all sorts of emotions from the ballads Taeyeon sings and that can be described as 'K-Soul', referring to her Korean roots and masterful versatility at singing. 

We described Taeyeon as a lioness in our first paragraph, and true to the description she is indeed one! Her straightforward personality is quite contradictory to her soothing and soulful vocals, almost as if a different Taeyeon resides in her. But don't be mistaken, Taeyeon's vocals are like water: soft in form and texture, but crushing and impactful when unleashed. Taeyeon's artistry defines her as an honest, sincere and passionate artist and that is also reflective of her solo work, which can be rightfully characterised as 'K-Soul'!

We are happy to share some of our favourite Taeyeon songs, that you must add to your playlist now. 

1. 'I' - 'I'

2. 'Weekend' - 'Weekend'

3. 'Dear Me' - 'Purpose'

4. '11:11' - 'My Voice'

5. 'Starlight '(feat Dean)' - 'Why'

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ALSO READ: PHOTOS: 8 times Girls' Generation members proved that they are eternal visual goddesses

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