Article. Choi Yeonju
Photo Credit. LEE SEO YEON Instagram

From her unparalleled singing to jaw-dropping dancing, fromis_9 member LEE SEO YEON continues to receive acclaim for her talents. Her cover of “I Am You, You Are Me” has garnered more than five million views (as of February 19), opening up the doors for her to release it as her first solo track. She also received high praise, including from judge Yoon Sang, for the dance song she showcased during the third round of King of Mask Singer, and her performance during fromis_9’s recent concerts proved just how skilled she really is. “A K-pop idol is often expected to be multitalented,” LEE SEO YEON says, and, following her own beliefs, she’s always working hard to become good at talents that go beyond the usual singing and dancing to prove herself to be an all-rounder idol. 

A vocalist versed in a variety of genres
Ever since her debut days, whether singing with ease in the practice studio or performing a duet with fellow member PARK JI WON, whenever LEE SEO YEON shows up onscreen in fl▶ylist, she shows off the breadth of her vocals through a wide range of songs and styles. As the idol herself says of her cover of “I Am You, You Are Me,” the rawness of her vocals really makes the song shine, and the direction she received to sing even more delicately for the single that followed makes for a song with “a completely different feel” and one that shows off both what makes her so special and just what she’s capable of. When she chooses to perform the songs “I hate you” and “I Guess I Loved You” on Leemujin Service, even host Lee Mujin notes how he “never expected that song choice.” Yet LEE SEO YEON has shown she has an interest not only in “something moodier” but also “festival rock” and “band sounds,” and, as she revealed on Weekly Idol when she was on to cover “Alone,” she’s eager to challenge herself as a singer with the kind of songs she’s yet to show off to the world. Moreover, LEE SEO YEON takes complete control of duets like “And July” and “Don’t Come Back,” and on King of Mask Singer, she performs the four-person BLACKPINK song “PLAYING WITH FIRE” single-handedly. Other artists from YG Entertainment, BLACKPINK’s label, rounded out the judges’ panel, commenting on the particulars of the voice they’re hearing, and Cherry Bullet member BO RA is able to correctly identify the masked singer as LEE SEO YEON thanks to her distinct vocals. As the judges pointed out, “her style’s laid-back and free-flowing,” and yet “her enunciation is flawless—the way she punctuates and pauses is on point,” with “effortless consistency and strength,” making for a perfect performance. Despite the pressure the show’s competitive format places on singers, LEE SEO YEON comes across as so relaxed that she gives the impression of someone “older” and “with a lot of experience on stage.”

A dancer on the stage and off

Everyone knows LEE SEO YEON is the main dancer of the group. On Leemujin Service, she confidently acknowledges that she does “everything well,” including singing, rapping, and dancing. The dance she did as the center during fromis_9’s cover of “Choice” on Immortal Songs became the video’s most replayed clip, and her performances for the dance breaks in “Into the New World” and “Genie” are still the stuff of legends among flover, fromis_9’s fandom. When LEE SEO YEON had a dance break solo during the opening of Music Bank Global Festival 2023, fellow group member BAEK JI HEON called it her favorite part of the show. And, when the fromis_9 members talked to Weverse Magazine about their first personal concert, LOVE FROM., they “were all especially appreciative of LEE SEO YEON’s feedback,” demonstrating the immense trust the others have in her as a dancer.


And LEE SEO YEON’s dance prowess shines not just when she’s onstage, but when she’s offstage as well. She’s demonstrated an acute sense for the latest trends and how she can demonstrate her talents through them, keeping flover cheering for more with uploads of her doing dance challenges like those for “Run BTS” and “The First Snow,” and the song-and-dance challenge “Episode.” Such shrewd insight also goes a long way to explain her win during The Game Caterers random dance game—proof of how quick she is at picking up choreography and how much passion she pours into dancing to K-pop songs.

An idol as well as a producer

Ever since she debuted, LEE SEO YEON has shown a keen interest in songwriting—both music and lyrics—and true to her goal of putting out an album with music written by her and the other members, Unlock My World, the group’s first studio album, includes the songs “My Night Routine” and “Eye Contact.” She even managed to write the song “Starry night” for My Little Society, their third mini album, while in the busy period right before their comeback, spending “four days of time” writing “one song in one day.” 


According to what she says in her songwriting vlog, LEE SEO YEON made it a goal to make seven songs in around three months as a means to practice her craft, and she achieved that goal thanks to her persistence and dedication. Since that experience, she’s found that taking a few words or ideas and looking for songwriting inspiration, whether it be through reading or elsewhere, works better for her than sticking to a strict deadline. The other members “love” the unique feeling with which she decorates each of her compositions, her music filling them with emotion and helping to push them on to “do a good job” on and “carry more emotions” in their songs. LEE SEO YEON says she wrote “Starry night”—at a time when she herself was having a hard time—in an attempt to console and empathize with those who feel tired and lonely. That may explain why, for the fromis_9 members and for flover alike, the song brings to mind the personal journey of the girl group. Much in the same way she looked to memories of their first concert for inspiration when writing “Eye Contact” for Unlock My World, LEE SEO YEON’s songs always highlight that distinctive emotional touch that comes with her autobiographical approach.

A master of drawing out others’ talents

As good as she is already, LEE SEO YEON’s potential only increases further when she collaborates with others. It’s not unusual to spot her mapping out dance moves in behind-the-scenes footage of fromis_9’s choreography practices, and you can see her in video from the “#menow” recording sessions, talking things over with the producer with a full grasp of the intended direction. LEE SEO YEON brings up on Leemujin Service how much she enjoys singing harmonies, and it shows in the song she chooses. She likewise fleshes out a cover of “Time of Our Life” on it’s Live by layering her harmonies on top of the other fromis_9 members’ vocals. In a previous interview with Weverse Magazine, LEE SEO YEON explains that she aims to “think for myself about who will sing what part,” then take her intimate knowledge of the group members and create music that lets each of their unique qualities shine. Just as seen in the interactions in her second songwriting vlog with PARK JI WON and ROH JI SUN and the behind-the-scenes video for the recording of “Hush Hush,” LEE SEO YEON and the other members are open, honest, and immediate with giving their ideas and feedback during the music making and recording process. They’re not shy about saying, “let me do that again,” and singing another take in the name of a better final recording.


Especially in the lead-up to fromis_9’s own first concert, “the members were all especially appreciative of LEE SEO YEON’s feedback where she monitored all the sets—both rehearsals and actual concert performances”—and she shows her consideration for others when she notes how she “was really worried the other members might feel like I was criticizing, or just doing way too much.” Fellow members PARK JI WON, LEE CHAE YOUNG, and BAEK JI HEON go on the record on Weverse Live about how LEE SEO YEON has always been “a great listener” and that they’re “incredibly grateful” to her for taking care of so many important and challenging things and that she’s been an inspiration to them to work “even harder.” And when the group stepped out on stage for their second solo concert, the members and flover all expressed that gratitude to LEE SEO YEON directly.

An all-rounder idol
LEE SEO YEON debuted seven years ago on January 24, 2018—longer ago now than the amount of time she spent as a trainee. She’s said her early training days could be “intense,” singing for all to hear as she ran through Dream Forest in northern Seoul, putting up with the embarrassment at that time so she would be able to sing in front of even more people later on. But she doesn’t hesitate to “personally recommend to be an idol as a career choice” because she’s always possessed “a singular love for singing and dancing.” It’s that kind of passion that’s driven her to develop all the skills she needs to achieve her dreams, from singing and dancing to writing songs and working with the other members. fromis_9’s first concert included “Hush Hush,” a song she co-wrote with PARK JI WON and about which she notes that “the sense of ownership comes on stronger,” and when asked what she’s “most on the lookout for,” she responds that she aims to make sure the “performances are high quality” and that she can “ensure each of the group members’ talents are on full display,” proving once again how much love she has for the stage and for her groupmates. As LEE SEO YEON says, “a K-pop idol is often expected to be multitalented,” and not only can she sing and dance, but she works hard to cultivate her other talents as well, making her truly an all-rounder idol. And then “Eye Contact,” the song she wrote with memories of the first concert in mind, became the encore for the second concert.

For LEE SEO YEON, it’s the “time spent interacting with fans” that gives her “energy” and “the drive to make the album.” She previously made it clear in her interview with Weverse Magazine how sincere she is about wanting to give more “good songs” to, communicate with, and give everything she has to flover. And as she stood on stage, hearing the other members and flover acknowledge all her hard work, LEE SEO YEON was met with the kind of consolation that moved her to tears for the first time since her debut. Her commitment to the members of her group, to her fans, and to herself are what make her an all-rounder and keep her perpetually pushing herself into new territory and growing as a person and an artist.