Yoon Ji-sung becomes first Wanna One member to go solo with ‘Aside’

February 20, 2019

 Fresh out of the sensational boy band Wanna One, Yoon Ji-sung released an EP titled “Aside” on Wednesday, becoming the first member to launch a solo career since the group disbanded earlier this year.

Yoon’s first solo EP hit the K-pop scene after the 11-piece band Wanna One ended its journey of one and a half years since debuting on “Produce 101,” the talent competition show broadcast by the cable music channel Mnet.

“Aside” is a record consisting of six ballads, a rare choice of genre given that Wanna One hit the forefront of the K-pop scene with their powerful dance performances.

The title refers to the theatrical jargon for a monologue that is meant to be heard only by the audience and not the other characters. The record is fronted by pop ballad “In the Rain.”

As if to recall fans’ sigh of distress after the disbanding of Wanna One, the lead track is a sentimental story of the unexpected departure of a loved one. Its lyrics convey a sense of sorrow of the one who departs and the vow to wait of the one left behind.

Yoon Ji-sung, a member of disbanded K-pop boy band Wanna One, showcases his first solo EP, "Aside," in a media event on Feb. 20, 2019. (Yonhap)
Yoon Ji-sung, a member of the disbanded K-pop boy band Wanna One, poses for photos in a media showcase for his first solo EP, "Aside," in a media event on Feb. 20, 2019. (Yonhap)

Yoon Ji-sung, a member of disbanded K-pop boy band Wanna One, showcases his first solo EP, “Aside,” in a media event on Feb. 20, 2019. (Yonhap)

“It has very saddening lyrics. It will strike a chord with anyone who has broken up,” Yoon said in a media showcase, adding that the song also brought tears to his eyes during recording.

The six tracks of “Aside” include “Clover” and “Comma,” a song composed by and given to him by another Wanna One member, Lee Dae-hwi. The lyrics of “Comma” were written by Yoon himself — his first experience with songwriting.

All six tracks are mellow, sentimental ballads — Yoon’s favorite genre — and delve into different aspects of melancholy love.

But his solo music career will not be confined to ballads as he is also willing to record dance music, he added.

“I am nervous and under pressure as (my performance) will set the tone for the other members to come after me,” he said on being the first Wanna One member to launch a solo career.

However, he said he is also thrilled to bring his own individuality to the K-pop scene.

“While in Wanna One, I was forced to fit myself into the team’s concept. But this time, I am bringing out my personality as it is,” he noted.

“But it would be a lie if I say I don’t feel the void left by the other members,” he said. “One big difference is that I have to eat alone, having previously eaten with the 11-piece team,” he joked.

But he added that he is “thrilled” to be singing full-length songs by himself.

Yoon’s release comes ahead of a temporary departure from the music scene for his 17-month mandatory military service, which starts this spring.

“I am sad to have to leave, but I will show up (to the public) before joining the military. … And after finishing, I will also come back on the scene with a lot of good activities,” he said.

In March, before his enlistment, he will launch a new career by appearing in the local musical “The Days.”

Yoon’s embarkation on a solo career is likely to be followed by Kang Daniel, the pivotal member of Wanna One, who plans to hit the K-pop scene with his first album in April.