Zhang Liyin made her first live appearance since announcing her new management agency on Weibo. Today is her debut anniversary; it has been 11 years since she debuted on September 9, 2006, with the single “Timeless”. As a gift for fans, the company arranged for Liyin to hold a brief live streaming session with fans to celebrate the special day.
When we meet Liyin for the live stream, we see her doing some vocal exercises in the recording studio of her new company. The live stream is managed by a staff member who holds the phone, while Liyin speaks directly into the camera. It seems there was some preparation done for this live stream session because later in the live stream, we see Liyin refer to some notes written down in a notebook on a table.
Liyin explained that she is a bit tight for time as she will be testing vocals and doing recordings today, but has reserved some time for this live stream. The plan for the live stream was to run through Liyin’s career history until now, as a set-up for what’s to come as an artist in her new company.
Liyin started her introduction for “Timeless” by saying she was very young when she debuted with that single; she was only 16-years-old. When producers assigned her to sing “Timeless” and “Y (Why…)”, she had thought they were quite difficult, but because she was so young, she was a bit overly enthusiastic and agreed to everything.
The one thing she did have issues with was the way she was styled during the “Timeless” and “Y (Why…)” promotion periods. Liyin was not happy with the way they styled her during 2006 and 2007. She looked far too old for her age and had wished she could wear girlier fashions, like her female labelmates. She ended up writing a letter to Lee Sooman to request for a more feminine style, but never did find out what his reaction was to her request. However, during the live stream, Liyin advised younger fans to follow the orders of their seniors.
Liyin also remembered the unique makeup she had applied to her eyes during TVXQ’s “O: The 2nd Asia Tour”. We find out that the makeup she has on during the introductory clip of her “TRI-ANGLE” vocals was modified by her personally. The makeup artist had originally applied the eyeliner a little lighter, but because it was trendy to have “fox-like” eyes at the time, she quickly added more eyeliner so her inner eye corners were a little sharper. During the live stream, Liyin remarked that her eyes during that video clip now remind her of the eyes her dog has.
Liyin then introduced the I Will album by holding up a copy of the Asian special edition of the album and saying that she particularly likes this physical version of the album because it is packaged very nicely. She commented on several aspects of the album, including the music videos for the two A-side singles, “I Will” and “The Left Shore of Happiness”, as well as the different reasons as to why certain songs were produced.
Something that has never been mentioned before was the fact that former labelmate Choi Siwon was actually very enthusiastic about filming a third music video series for Liyin at the time. After filming the “I Will” videos in Shanghai, Siwon mentioned to her that he would be happy to give his time to film more music videos for her. During the live stream, Liyin mentioned that due to this, she considers Siwon particularly cute and is very grateful for his support.
On the topic of songs from the I Will album, Liyin gave a shout-out to SM Entertainment producer Yoo Young-jin during the live stream. He produced the song “One More Try” to her, and Liyin recommended fans to take a listen to the songs he has produced for albums for her former labelmates, like TVXQ and Super Junior.
The song “After” received a rare mention during Liyin’s live stream session today as well. We find out that the song was given to her because album producers knew that she was a big fan of Christina Aguilera. As we know – and as Liyin demonstrates during the live stream, by singing a short clip of the song – the singing style in “After” is similar to Christina Aguilera’s singing style.
Liyin then went through the rest of the discography fairly quickly – “Moving On”, “Breath”, “Agape”, and “Not Alone” – mentioning only the main points of the each single.
In the next segment, Liyin read letters from fans who wrote in for her debut anniversary. She also gave a shout-out to a fan who will get married in November. Knowing so many of her fans are getting married and having kids, it made Liyin want to get married too, but she added that her “lover” is her music, so she will work hard in producing good music for us.
The live stream then ends with Liyin giving the viewers a tour of the recording studio. Through the live stream, she promised that the next time we see her, we will see a completely new ‘Zhang Liyin’ – a side that we have never seen before. She seemed genuinely enthusiastic about what has been planned for her in the future, so we can only hope that new promotions are as exciting as she suggests!