There is so much that could be said about Wonho (legal name Lee Hoseok), where do we even begin. The K-pop idol has certainly had everyone talking the last year, from his solo debut to making the cover of Men’s Health Korea. He even was listed on Forbes‘ list of “K-pop Artists That Could Break America.” And when you take a deep dive into who Wonho is, you aren’t surprised by all the buzz surrounding him. From his music to his genuine kindness, and everything in between, it’s hard not to fall for the 28-year-old.
Now, Wonho is back with the second part of his Love Synonym series, Love Synonym #2: Right for Us. The album showcases all the best parts of Wonho, and sees him exploring new styles we haven’t seen the singer/songwriter/producer try before. It takes a deeper look at one’s inner struggles, and all-in-all, it’s a solid album. We here at THP got the amazing opportunity to ask Wonho a few questions about his comeback and more! Read below to see what he had to say in this THP Exclusive!
You took everyone by storm with your debut last year, and even Forbes named you as one of the “K-pop Artists That Could Break America.” How does it feel receiving such praises from not only WENEE, but the public and overseas audiences?
I feel grateful and honored. Getting all that positive feedback always motivates me to work harder. I feel excited and proud!
Since you debuted as a solo artist, are there any difficulties you have run into that you didn’t expect while recording an album? Have you learned anything new that you weren’t able to learn before? Has your approach to your music changed?
Well, the process of finding my own colors that suit my album and my musicality wasn’t an easy process, but it made me think more deeply about my music. As I participate in lots of the creative processes, thinking about which messages to deliver and thinking about how the fans would react to my music became my habits.
You are heavily involved with the production of your music, and it has always come out to be high quality and very groovy! Could you go over your creative process with us? Where do you draw your inspiration from? Any rituals you like to follow when writing your music?
Since there are always plenty of songs I work on while thinking about WENEE, and adding the message I want to give to them on each track, I can say my fans are my biggest inspiration. Although there seem to be no special rituals I follow when writing lyrics or composing, I think I mainly work on music while thinking of my fans in a comfortable mood and mind, in a place where I feel comfortable.
You’ve played around with a lot of different genres and languages in your songs, such as English and Spanish. Do you feel you have a signature style when it comes to music? Are you looking to explore more genres and languages you haven’t before?
In the future, I’d like to try the disco, retro, and future genres. I am also continuing to learn English. For the signature style, I really don’t think I have my own signature style, but rather I try to understand what my fans would want and what I really want to show.
This album clearly goes more in-depth with your emotions and facing certain struggles, and you have always been known for being open with these emotions. Was exploring these feelings difficult at all for the album?
I don’t think it was that difficult to express my feelings and emotions. I just tried my best to show my sincere emotion and studied myself how to portray that feeling into my lyrics and melody. This goes the same for the performances, I practiced my moves very hard so that I could show better performances for my fans and audience.
This second part of your album features your first official collab with Kiiara. What was it like working with her? Is there anyone else you’d love to work with domestically or internationally?
I’m happy that I collaborated with her. She has such a unique voice. I think the sound of our duet from ‘Ain’t About You’ is awesome. For a future collaboration, I don’t have a particular artist in my mind, but I am open to great opportunities. I would love to collaborate with many other great artists both domestically and internationally.
You also make your love for your fans clear in songs like ‘Losing You’ and ‘WENEED.’ What do you hope they take away from the album?
I want WENEEs to get the message that I am always with them and we will always be with each other, so there is no need to worry.
The bond between you and WENEE is incredibly strong, and it seems like you draw strength from each other. Did you ever expect to be able to positively influence so many people on such a grand scale? Has this changed your approach to life and how you show yourself to your fans?
WENEE always surprise me because they give me more love than I ever expected. I feel that my life has changed positively thanks to them.
From watching the ‘Lose’ music video, a lot of fans (and us) were impressed with the water scene! How was filming this scene? Were there any scenes in particular you enjoyed filming? Any messages from the video you hoped fans would take away from watching?
I enjoyed every scene in the ‘Lose’ music video. Speaking of the water scene, while I’m used to filming in water, I remember that it was a little difficult because it was the first time for some of the dancers. I was extremely worried that they might get injured, but I was satisfied with the results. I wanted to show our fans an upgraded performance, and I am thankful that my fans like it a lot.
You have always been known to design and style your own outfits for performances in the past and are seen as a fashion icon by many fans in the industry. Did you have any hand in styling for this album’s concepts or music videos? Will we see more of this in the future?
If I have a chance, I want to launch my own fashion brand and show it to my fans. But, for the album promotions, such as shooting music videos and concept photos, my stylist is usually helping me out with styling.
By the way, congratulations on your Men’s Health cover! How was that experience?
It was an honor for me to be able to cover Men’s Health Korea’s 15th-anniversary issue. Now I feel that working out is more than just a hobby, and it has become a part of my life. It would be nice to have more opportunities like this in the future.
Last question and kind of a fun one. Your album series is called Love Synonym – what is love to you?
WENEE is the love to me. They support me unconditionally. They make me constantly want to give them better times and make me want to be a better person. I will be a person who always tries hard not to lose WENEE with an open mind.
Wonho never fails to make us love him even more. His love for WENEE is something that we don’t see in many artists, and it’s beautiful. With him already taking 2021 by storm, we can’t wait to see what else Wonho has up his sleeve. Whatever it is, we’re ready for it!
If you haven’t check out Wonho’s latest album, (which by the way, you’re seriously missing out) make sure you do so below!
So, tell us, are you a fan of Wonho? Do you have a favorite song from the album? Let us know in the comments below, or tweet us @TheHoneyPOP!
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Featured Image Source: Highline Entertainment | Emily Defoor