In a recent interview with Dazed magazine, the veteran K-pop idol shared his love for all things retro, from media franchises like Star Trek to late British musician David Bowie, and how they have inspired ‘Bad Love’, which released late last month.
“I’ve always been fascinated by the whole old-school sound,” said Key. “I don’t necessarily follow trends, but the world happens to also be going back in time and revisiting those ’70s, ’80s and ’90s trends.”
The mini-album’s title track ‘Bad Love’ featured a ’80s-inspired synth-pop sound, alongside an accompanying retrofuturistic music video that incorporated themes from space travel and science fiction.
“I’ve always wanted to try what I call ‘retro space’. So it’s ’70s and ’80s science fiction movies, like Star Trek, and you can see I was wearing, like a David Bowie suit, which I’d wanted to combine together,” Key explained.
Later, he also reflected on how he as evolved since making his debut in the K-pop scene as a member of SHINee in 2008. “You know what’s funny, I’m not that different from [18-year-old Key],” the idol told Dazed.
“I’m still myself, but my imagination and the way in which I approach each concept and schedule is now very broad, and I’m more open-minded, which allows me to be more creative in my work,” he added.
In a glowing five-star review, NME’s Abby Webster praised Key’s ‘Bad Love’ mini-album for its “nostalgic aesthetic that captures Space Age anxieties about technology and the ever-expanding unknown”.