WINNER’s Seungyoon says 1st full solo album is ‘memoir’ of music career

March 29, 2021

Seungyoon, the leader of K-pop boy band WINNER who came into the spotlight though a TV audition show more than 10 years ago, said his upcoming solo studio album is a “memoir” of his musical journey over the past decade.

Once a teenaged contender on the popular reality show “Superstar K2″ (2010), Seungyoon has grown up to be a key member of WINNER, writing and producing songs for the four-piece act.

After years of focusing on the group’s activities, the singer is set to drop his much-awaited solo studio album “Page” at 6 p.m. Monday. The 12-track album, entirely written by the singer, features collaborations with a number of star musicians like singer-songwriter Yoon Jong-shin, rapper Simon Dominic and WINNER member Mino.

This photo, provided by YG Entertainment, shows Seungyoon of K-pop boy band WINNER. (PHOTO NOT FOR SALE) (Yonhap)
This photo, provided by YG Entertainment, shows Seungyoon of K-pop boy band WINNER. (PHOTO NOT FOR SALE) (Yonhap)
This photo, provided by YG Entertainment, shows a screenshot of the music video for Seungyoon's new song "Iyah." (PHOTO NOT FOR SALE) (Yonhap)

This photo, provided by YG Entertainment, shows Seungyoon of K-pop boy band WINNER. (PHOTO NOT FOR SALE) (Yonhap)

“Since it’s my first (solo) studio album in my 10 years of doing music, I thought the theme of the album shouldn’t be simply love. My biggest focus was to tell my own story in a genuine way,” Seungyoon said in a livestream press conference Monday.

“The track list is literally a summary of what I felt over the past 10 years. It’s like a memoir of the past decade.”

To tell his story through his music, Seungyoon said he delved into his feelings for the main track “Iyah,” which in Korean translates to “to a kid” and is also a colloquial expression for “ouch.”

“The idea came from how my mom still treats me as a kid. I was inspired by how I’m still a small kid to her, while I often feel so pressured by a lot of things, thinking that I should be a grownup,” he said, adding he focused on the message rather than experimenting with new musical elements for the track.

“Probably it’s not only me (who thinks like this). A lot of people try to take responsibility for everything and take all the burden, I wanted to share a message of comfort with those people,” the singer said, explaining how he added in a group singing segment to the song to emphasize this sentiment of comfort.

The singer also took a trip down memory lane for the album, bringing in visual elements of his past into the music video for “Iyah.”

“It’s a really special music video. I talked a lot with the director, who asked me how I felt at certain stages of my life … for the scene where I’m standing in front of an empty concert hall, we attempted to make it look like the venue at Kyunghee University.”

The singer, who was a contender on the audition program “Superstar K2,” had made his final performance at the Grand Peace Palace, a landmark performing arts venue at the university in Seoul. He finished fourth after Huh Gak, John Park and Jang Jae-in.

He also reconnected with veteran singer-songwriter Yoon Jong-shin, who was his mentor on the reality show. The last and 12th track of the album “Page” is a special version of “Iyah” in collaboration with Yoon.

“Yoon was abroad at that time for a project and sent in his part. There was an unexpected line where he says, ‘You grew up well’ and wow, that one line was really touching. It became the last lyric that wraps up the album.”

When asked about what “Page” means to him, the singer gave a straightforward answer.

“It’s Kang Seung-yoon,” he said, mentioning his full name. “Of all the songs I made and sang so far, it’s an album that represents myself the most. I want to say that my name Kang Seung-yoon itself defines the album.”

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