Sunday, 2 June 2013

The Rise Of SM Solo Artist Henry: Was It A Surprise?

Henry Lau, who has been part of Super Junior-M, has recently released an MV teaser of his next single, “Trap,” as SM Entertainment’s newest solo artist.

While SM tried to keep their new solo artist’s debut a surprise, many fans of Henry have already guessed that the Canadian-born singer would be the next solo artist, judging from the mystery teaser photos that SM released.
Actually, this is not the first time that Henry was introduced as a mysterious soloist. Henry first appeared in Super Junior’s music video “Don’t Don” as the “mystery violinist” in September of 2007. Henry was able to showcase his talent with instruments, which not only includes the violin but also the piano.

Later that year, SM announced that Henry would be part of a Super Junior sub-unit called Super Junior-M. At the time, there was much controversy surrounding Henry’s position in Super Junior, as fans were infuriated at the possibility that Henry may become the fourteenth member of Super Junior or that Henry may replace some of the original members.

The controversy around Henry started fan campaigns such as “Only 13” and “13elieve.” SM later had to assure fans by announcing that the new subgroup members would not be added to the main group, Super Junior.

Despite fans’ previous dissatisfaction, Henry, as part of Super Junior-M, has been showcasing his many different talents while promoting in China and Taiwan. His cute image, foreign language skills, and musical talent caught the attention of overseas fans, and his popularity began to rise as he promoted the group’s newest albums. Henry’s resemblance to Justin Bieber has also been a featured characteristic.

Throughout the years, a hint of Henry’s future solo career could be seen in his many solo, self-composed songs in Super Junior-M’s albums. The songs he wrote for Super Junior-M’s albums included “Off My Mind,” “Go,” and “It’s You.” He has since been composing and producing music with a music production team called Noize Bank.

More recently, Henry has started receiving more attention and spotlight as part of Younique Unit with “Maxstep” in 2012. The project group was formed with Super Junior’s Eunhyuk, SHINee’s Taemin, EXO’s Kai and Luhan, and Girls’ Generation’s Hyoyeon.

Lately, Henry has also become more active in Korea with solo activities on his own, including participation in variety shows such as “Strong Heart” and “Master Chef Korea Celebrity” as well as acting in a movie called “Final Recipe.”

Now, Henry is the newest male solo artist from SM for the first time in 13 years, and many are wondering why SM chose to debut Henry solo at this time.

One possible reason could be that like any other Super Junior or Super Junior-M member, Henry needs more solo activities now that many members have also started pursuing individual paths. Some Super Junior members are serving in the army, while others have been kept busy as radio DJs and variety show MCs. By releasing albums as a solo artist, Henry would be able to showcase his individual personality apart from the other members.

Another reason could simply be that Henry is extremely talented in many respects. Not only can he reach a global audience with his skills in languages, he is also flawless in singing, dancing, and instrument-playing. He embodies many of the much-needed characteristics of a solo artist, which is that he can do everything himself. His well-rounded talent has left many fans exclaiming, “What can’t Henry do?”

In addition, Henry has unfortunately never been able to be completely accepted and recognized as a Super Junior member. Perhaps SM hopes that Henry, now as a solo artist, will be able to receive more love and recognition from fans.

Whatever the reason, Henry’s fans are certainly excited to see him in the well-deserved spotlight, as everyone awaits for the release of his full music video, “Trap," which features Super Junior's Kyuhyun and SHINee's Taemin!

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