K-pop idol Wonho is back with a new album – and a new attitude – as he looks to make big moves in North America this year.
The singer’s new mini-album, Facade, released on June 14, with five tracks featuring a mix of slow-burning R&B and groovy dancefloor bangers. For Wonho, whose latest mini-album was released in February 2021, Facade represents not only a new musical release, but a new release of emotions for the 29-year-old player.
“I would describe it as walking into a carnival or an amusement park together and spending the whole day there,” he says on Zoom from South Korea, dressed casually in a tight-fitting navy t-shirt and a baseball cap. “You can experience a whole range of emotions at a carnival, and I tried to represent them through the album.”
Witness it: Facade opens with a come-hither Wonho inviting a girl to go “crazy” with him, in the first single of the same name, before the star goes vulnerable in the beautiful ballad “Close”, singing, “Never need another heartbreak , I don’t want to be all alone, come closer… you’re all I need. The mood easily shifts from euphoria to introspection, proving once again that Wonho is one of the most versatile and compelling voices in K-pop today.
While many K-pop idols employ a team of songwriters and producers, Wonho has kept his circle small this time around, working with producer ENAN, musician Sun Ahn and singer-songwriter Brother Su on the five tracks of Facade (all three have previously worked with Wonho on his mini-album blue letterand his first single, OBSESSION). Wonho was directly involved in every piece of Facadeparticipating in the writing, production and vocal arrangements.
“I tried to experiment with new styles and new musical techniques,” he says, “but I was also involved in the concept and overall theme of the album. From planning the direction of my outfits to the choreography and all the photo shoots, I was involved in it all.
The new album marks a new era for Wonho, having launched his solo career in August 2020 – in the midst of a global pandemic. As borders slowly open again, the Seoul-based singer says he can’t wait to see his fans in North America and outside of Asia for the first time. “I had the chance to meet my Korean fans, and even my Japanese fans, through concerts and events,” he says, “but I never had the chance to meet my overseas fans. sea and North Americans in person. I would really like to meet them as soon as possible.
A trek out of Asia would not only mark Wonho’s first tour outside the continent, but also his first solo tour, period, after leaving K-pop group Monsta X to go solo in 2019. As he reveals that “there is a tour being discussed at the moment”, the singer stresses that “nothing is set in stone”, as he wants his first tour to be as perfect as possible, in particular by developing his language skills. “If I going on tour, it would be a very fresh and new experience for me,” he says. “I would also have to speak more English and other languages while on tour, so it would definitely be a new challenge.”
On Facade, Wonho sprinkles liberally in English on all tracks, and “Close” is an all-English song. The singer is also fluent in Japanese, in addition to Korean, and has learned everything from Spanish to Thai for interviews with fans and journalists around the world. Wonho is a rare idol who has achieved success through his willingness to communicate with fans, not despite any language limitations.
Still, it all comes down to the music, and Wonho hopes Facade will resonate with both new and old fans alike. “All of my albums are different from each other, and I really want this album to speak for itself,” he says. “I get nervous a lot, but rather than keep that nervous feeling, I’m looking forward to that time when the music is finally out in the world. I can’t wait for my fans to listen to it and enjoy it, and I’m looking forward to it. can’t wait to see my fans in person soon, to discover music together.