Kang Daniel on ‘Yellow’ Album, Future Ok-Pop Tasks and Targets – WWD

For Ok-pop singer Kang Daniel, yellow is an advanced shade. It’s additionally the title of his newest mini-album, launched earlier this month.

The 24-year-old singer is a former member of 11-member boy band Wanna One, created via the truth competitors present “Produce 101.” After the group disbanded in 2019, Daniel based his personal label, Konnect, and struck out on a solo profession. Up to now he’s launched 4 EP albums on the label, in collaboration with Sony: “Coloration on Me,” adopted by a three-part “Coloration” collection. “Yellow” is ultimate entry within the trio.

“We have now been engaged on the ‘Coloration’ collection for over a 12 months now and regardless that it marks the top of the ‘Coloration’ collection, I’m so glad I get to share it with everybody,” says Daniel, whose fan collective is named “Danity.”

In distinction to widespread associations with the colour yellow — optimism and positivity — Daniel’s album explores the darker connotations of the colour. The album is anchored by an exploration of his latest psychological well being struggles and expertise with cyberbullying. The discharge of “Yellow” was preceded by two music video releases. Within the first, “Paranoia,” Daniel battles literal and imagined demons; he stares up at a reducing ceiling in a cavernous room earlier than the video lands on a ultimate picture: the phrase “failure” etched into his bloody hand. In “Antidote,” a silhouetted crowd goals yellow cellphone screens as he performs on stage. His reflection is commonly distorted via mirrors and water; at one level, he frantically sprints via a disorienting industrial house earlier than rising onto a rooftop to blue skies.

In early 2019, the singer broke the Instagram document for the quickest acquisition of 1 million followers; just a few months later, he began a brand new account, @daniel.ok.right here, after his former company denied him possession of the account. Daniel has greater than 4.3 million followers on Instagram, the place he typically shares pictures of his cats and proclivity for streetwear. This most up-to-date runway season, he “attended” the digital exhibits for Burberry and Ami; within the vogue sphere, he’s additionally been a model mannequin for Givenchy Magnificence for a number of years.

Issues are wanting up for Daniel. On April 29, followers will have the ability to expertise Daniel’s music via a brand new medium: cellular rhythm online game “SuperStar.” (It’s much like “Dance Dance Revolution,” with out the dancing; gamers use their fingers to carry and press buttons.) It’ll be the primary “SuperStar” recreation launched for a solo artist. Earlier this 12 months, Daniel teamed with EDM producer Inverness to launch “State of Surprise,” his first American collaboration.

WWD caught up with the South Korean singer over electronic mail to debate the inspiration for his “Yellow” album, and what’s subsequent.

Kang Daniel 
Courtesy of KONNECT Leisure

WWD: What does the colour yellow characterize to you, and why was it chosen as the colour theme for the ultimate album in your Coloration collection?
Kang Daniel: “Yellow” to me, has all the time been an advanced shade. Once I consider the colour, it takes me again to once I was a child in Busan, and on the break of daybreak, you would see this yellow glow arising from the horizon. It all the time felt chilly and distant, nevertheless it additionally represented the beginning of a brand new day. These had been the feelings and emotions I needed to pursue with this album. When my staff and I first sat down and laid out the plan for the “Coloration” collection, I knew the issues I needed to speak about on this album particularly. I knew I wanted a while to develop as an artist and wanted time to assemble my ideas, which is why it’s becoming to be the ultimate chapter within the Coloration collection but additionally the start of one thing new.

WWD: When did you begin engaged on this album and what was the inspiration? How does it relate to the earlier two albums on this collection, “Cyan” and “Magenta”?
Ok.D.:
We began engaged on “Yellow” because the starting of the “Coloration” collection. I labored carefully with my lyricist, JQ, to organize for “Yellow.” I wrote lyrics on “Cyan” and “Magenta,” however the plan was all the time main as much as “Yellow,” as a result of it might be my most private work. We additionally labored carefully with our producers from the start to seek out the appropriate sort of sound for “Yellow.”

The inspiration got here from my experiences throughout a troublesome interval in my profession a few 12 months and a half in the past. There have been loads of feelings I needed to seize with this album that I felt throughout that point together with concern, anger, hopelessness however, additionally, decision and hope.

The aim of the “Coloration” collection was not solely to experiment with various kinds of music but additionally to characterize totally different elements of myself and my journey. “Cyan,” which was extra of a pop album, embodied youth and innocence, whereas “Magenta” was extra dance-based, enjoyable and edgier, which serves because the climax to the collection. “Yellow” is the battle and coming of age which required a darker extra mature vibe.

WWD: What’s your present relationship to social media? Do you search out how followers are reacting to your newest work, and has something shocked you concerning the reception of the album and up to date music movies?
Ok.D.:
I’m really fairly dangerous at social media and all the time get in bother with my pals and employees. They all the time should remind me and assist me with all the brand new capabilities. I positively attempt my finest to observe the entire reactions from followers. After we had been getting ready for “Yellow,” I used to be a little bit nervous concerning the suggestions I’d obtain from followers simply because it’s a bit darkish and extra critical. One factor that shocked me was the reactions I had with “Paranoia.” I learn feedback that followers associated to it and the music comforted them throughout troublesome occasions. It gave me the reassurance and confidence I wanted to maneuver ahead with “Yellow.”

There’s no feeling higher than to know that my music was in a position to contact somebody and provides them energy. It’s the identical feeling I had rising up listening to artists like Linkin Park.

WWD: What was your visible strategy on your newest music movies? What tales are you curious about sharing with viewers via movie?
Ok.D.:
I believe it’s all about communication. We labored with the most effective music video groups in [South] Korea, Rigend Movie, because of their robust visuals and use of symbolism of their work.

We knew the album was going to be darker than my earlier work, so it was a matter of getting the appropriate staff to have the ability to drive that narrative. From there, it’s nearly speaking the music and the story behind the music to provide them as many sources as doable to create the storyline and visuals. We wish each scene to have a objective. I believe that’s most likely crucial factor for me on this album, was to inform a real and genuine story.

WWD: You labored with EDM producer Inverness to launch “State of Surprise,” your first American collaboration, in January. Are you curious about pursuing extra collaborations with EDM artists, or shifting your sound in that route?
Ok.D.:
“State of Surprise” was an incredible expertise. The collaboration got here so naturally as a result of Inverness was my producer for “Magenta”‘s title music, “Who U Are” and “Paranoia.” Our groups had been already shut and when my different producer, MZMC, talked about that Inverness wanted a function for his music with Monstercat, we had been all on board.

I’ve all the time been a giant fan of EDM music, which was why we jumped on the probability to work with Inverness and Monstercat. I’ve additionally been very vocal about my admiration for EDM artists like Alan Walker, the Chainsmokers and Marshmello. So, sure, I’m very inquisitive about future collaborations. As for my sound, I’ve some EDM affect in my music, however assume it’s finest to go away it to the consultants.

WWD: How do you describe your private type? How does your onstage type examine?
Ok.D.: My private type is simply snug. I like sporting hats, hoodies and sneakers. It’s as a result of I grew up dancing, it’s all the time finest to be in snug garments while you dance.

Onstage, my type is clearly loads flashier, however I’m all the time working with my type staff to verify I’m snug when performing as effectively.

WWD: What are you engaged on subsequent? Do you’ve gotten plans to go on tour, or is your deal with persevering with to work on new music?
Ok.D.: I can’t go into an excessive amount of element, however we have now some thrilling issues arising this 12 months. As for touring, I’d like to go on tour. The very best a part of the job is performing in entrance of the followers. As soon as we’re ready to try this, it is going to be a high precedence. Within the meantime, I’ll proceed to work on new music and construct up my repertoire so once I can lastly meet my followers once more, I’ll have loads to point out them.

WWD: What artistic initiatives would you wish to discover that you just haven’t had a possibility to but?
Ok.D.:
That’s what I’m all the time fascinated with today. I need to proceed to do issues that problem me creatively. I’ve a love for video video games and animation and am positively inquisitive about exploring these areas sooner or later.

WWD: How have you ever loved spending your free time within the final 12 months?
Ok.D.:
I don’t assume I had loads of free time final 12 months. We launched three albums over the course of a 12 months. So outdoors of recordings, promotions and filming, I’m fairly positive I simply slept loads and performed video video games once I might.

Kang Daniel

Kang Daniel 
Courtesy of KONNECT Leisure

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