Kang Daniel‘s final journey to the U.S. happened in February 2020, simply as COVID-19 considerations have been really taking maintain worldwide and would quickly put live-music experiences on maintain for the foreseeable future. The K-pop famous person was getting ready the second EP of his solo profession—considered one of his 4 color-themed EPs he launched from 2019-2021—sharing that there was “a lot [he] ready this yr to indicate folks.” Even when a worldwide pandemic slowed journey, it didn’t have an effect on the star’s ambition.
Daniel pushed on into extra music, appearing and internet hosting these previous years whereas balancing duties as CEO of his KONNECT Leisure. Solely in 2023 was he in a position to lastly come again stateside with a present that lastly noticed his long-awaited live performance goals coming true.
“It would sound just a little foolish, however if you lose one thing you perceive how treasured it’s, proper?” Daniel says throughout some downtime after touring the Empire State Constructing in New York. “For me, it was the performances and my exhibits. I actually needed to do a tour and I actually needed to get to my followers abroad.”
After releasing his first full-length album, The Story, and touring it by way of North America, Europe and Asia on his First Parade world tour, Daniel kickstarted a brand new period with the surprise, Mad Max-esque “Prequel” trailer that showcased a cinematic story as a backdrop to the Okay-pop star’s upcoming album. Combining his music with an epic, blockbuster manufacturing is one other instance of the bold, multifaceted artist he strives to not solely be within the Okay-pop business however acknowledged as such all over the world.
“There’s an extended historical past of popular culture and such numerous performances and exhibits within the U.S.,” he explains. “All people is aware of it everywhere in the world. I wish to be acknowledged as an artist by way of my exhibits within the U.S.”
After lastly bringing his exhibits to America and past, Kang Daniel’s forthcoming album REALIEZ drops on June 19. Led by his first authentic English solo single, “Wasteland,” and its intensely eerie “Music Sequence” visible, the famous person’s ambition and objectives appear on monitor to be acknowledged by his largest viewers ever. Learn on for extra from Kang Daniel on “Wasteland,” his reflections from his world tour, his private recommendation and extra.
Congratulations on the discharge of “Wasteland” forward of your REALIEZ album. Why was this the appropriate music to start out your new period?
I feel “Wasteland” is a music that expresses the betrayal of a agency religion and the second of realizing it. The lyrics are all in English, signaling the start of a brand new narrative to extra folks and it appears that evidently folks will be extra immersed within the cinematic idea, so it was launched as a pre-release single.
That is your first music since your First Parade world tour that hit Europe, the U.Okay and U.S. Going again for a second, inform me about your mindset if you have been touring the States for the primary time as a soloist?
A very powerful thought I had was, “I need to do a present.” In my profession as an artist, a very powerful half is being on the stage as a result of that’s the place I belong, that’s the place I’ve probably the most enjoyable and I wish to share that with my followers. So, I’m very excited to have been within the US, we visited lots of cities throughout the nation and it required lots of preparation internally and for my phases as effectively. And it’s not solely in regards to the tour, however I get to discover these new cities and I get inspiration from that.
Do you want exploring the totally different cities or do it is advisable to relaxation at resorts throughout touring?
I like to discover new locations. For instance, after checking into the lodge [in New York], I simply went out on my own—went to an area restaurant and had dinner. These days, I’m actually into exercises so the health club is the place I spend most of my time. So it’s like, “Okay: discover then exercise.” Stability.
The tour facilities round your first full-length album, The Story. Earlier than formally transferring from that period to REALIEZ, how do you mirror on such a major mission?
I feel: “Lastly, I used to be in a position to publish my first full-length album.” You understand, it’s one thing we are able to maintain onto as an artist; it’s a lifetime expertise. For some artists, it would take, like, as much as 10 years, proper? However for me, since my debut, since I began gathering the music even, I actually needed to do, and simply the truth that I used to be in a position to have my very own [full-length] album in my lifetime was significant sufficient.
A title like “The Story” reaches very large. What does it imply to you and does it nonetheless maintain the identical which means as if you first titled the album?
After I needed to provide you with a title, I had lots of strain and I needed to give lots of thought to it as a result of it’s virtually like a group of various dramas, with numerous genres, like, “How am I supposed to place all the pieces into one phrase?” And by way of genres, we describe it as “numerous,” however we are able to additionally say it’s form of in every single place on the similar time. So I simply thought, “Okay, to this point the life I’ve lived, and the music I’ve listened to, and all of it comes into the phrase ‘story.’” it’s the story that I can share with my different followers and it’s simply one other story I can share with all people and I story that I can love. And that which means has stayed true even now.
There are some nice lyrics to songs you wrote for The Story. “Parade” appears like a mature and empowered mindset behind it. What’s the s sentiment behind these lyrics?
So, you talked about the phrase mindset and I simply needed to specific [myself], not in an excessively expressive method however calmly. I imply, folks may suppose I’ve a particular life simply because I’m an artist however I’m only a human being like different folks, ? So, reasonably than working so laborious to provide you with “cool lyrics,” I simply needed to be sincere with my emotions.
Folks can work all by way of the evening and if you see the dawn, , “Oh, sure, I’ve labored actually laborious,” and then you definitely return house. That’s the sensation that I needed to share.
That’s your vibe, I feel—bigger than life on stage or on digicam however humble and pleasant in individual. So, what’s the which means behind a music like “Loser” the place you’re virtually talking to your self like a essential character in a film?
After I was younger, I didn’t have lots of mates, and when you combat with considered one of your closest mates, you don’t have anybody else to play with, what I imply? You possibly can play with different mates, however they’re not the identical. Even in the event you go to the playground or play video games, one thing is lacking. So, within the music, I’m the primary character per se, and I needed to look again at it as an grownup. Childhood can be nonetheless a part of your story.
The lyrics in “How We Dwell” that includes sokodomo are actually highly effective. The place or from what expertise did that inspiration come?
Beer pong. [Laughs] So, the behind-the-scenes story is form of primarily based on conversations I had that evening over drinks had with mates You understand, in the event you’re watching folks play beer pong at an Irish bar—some persons are drunk, some are throwing up, however they’re all in the end advantageous and it’s simply their life. However I feel the story’s level is that I fell asleep whereas my mates have been consuming, however I awoke as a result of they have been so loud. I used to be like, “Hey, cease…” and so they informed me, “It’s not that dangerous, simply have your drink.” Simply belief your self; belief your scenario.
“Parade” was the identify of the world tour, and to me is like an anthem for all people, freaks, losers, all types of individuals. You say, “Depart us alone and we’ll be advantageous.” Was that the thought you needed to base the tour round?
The lyrics of “Parade” have a deep connection to my life. For me, happiness is a very powerful, and work, cash and life are all separate. However in Asia, and particularly Korea, everyone seems to be overworked—I’ve to overwork myself too typically—and it’s not such as you receives a commission additional time. There’s not likely additional time [in Korea] however there’s a lot strain. So, it’s important to end your work even when they don’t pay you further and typically I’m like, “What the heck? You understand what, it’s not that vital.” It’s my life and it’s not my life to simply work…happiness is what’s vital and reasonably than making an attempt to persuade folks by a fundamental message, I simply needed to offer them a suggestion. So how about this [“Parade” theme]? That’s why the music video is in an workplace.
You re-released the album as The Story : RETOLD with the brand new single “Nirvana.” What does that phrase imply to you?
Kurt Cobain. [Laughs] Yeah, Kurt Cobain as a result of Nirvana is considered one of my favourite rock bands. After I was engaged on the monitor, I attempted different phrases on the topline, however nothing actually labored out. And “Nirvana” actually match effectively. However as soon as I mentioned, “Okay, that is going to be the title” then I completed the remainder of the music.
What’s your favourite Nirvana music?
“Smells Like Teen Spirit.” Basic.
I suppose you’re form of asking in regards to the motivation, however I’m not likely positive. It’s not in regards to the final result that I’m searching for, however I simply benefit from the course of—it’s enjoyable. For instance, Jesse, I, her let’s collectively, , and Okay one was advisable by the group. After which I used to be like, “Okay, it’s a superb match and I needed to offer it a attempt.” So, by way of collaboration, a very powerful factor is that I must have enjoyable. Yeah. And once I’m having enjoyable, the music comes out very nice. So, I’m not seeking to have an enormous plan of “I’m gonna present this half” or “I wish to do that idea with this individual,” it’s the enjoyable through the course of and the music itself.
You’ve additionally been doing so many issues past music recently, like appearing, your first Japanese launch, and internet hosting exhibits because the MC. Was there any huge lesson you took from the alternatives?
Truly, I realized so much from these experiences, so it’s not attainable to take one phrase or lesson to explain what I realized, however I feel the primary key phrases are about range inside myself. Take, for instance, this desk, I solely used to see the highest a part of it, however now I may see the legs and the opposite elements of it. So I can apply that to my music. I used to be engaged on my new album and it was actually enjoyable. I haven’t mentioned this but, however I feel lots of people are actually going to love it.
What are you able to inform us in regards to the new album REALIEZ that we haven’t seen but by way of “Wasteland”?
The album is in regards to the technique of realizing the reality hidden in lies on the theme of a dystopian world in a cinematic type. There are a complete 5 songs, together with “Wasteland,” on this album and it’s a narrative of gaining enlightenment by way of uncovering fact from lies and a narrative in regards to the realization to face our complete self. Relying on the listener, totally different endings will be imagined, so, I’m wanting ahead to it.
Your KONNECT Leisure has grown significantly because you final visited America with a number of nice artists signed. I all the time ask Okay-pop firm CEOs if they’ve skilled plans or any reflections on their artists.
So, I don’t handle their schedules, however once they need assistance, I attempt to arrange a separate assembly with them in order that I can refer any individual they want or make sure that they’ve higher connections. I’ve been having planning conversations with totally different firms and collaborators, some which are surprising.
To wrap up, I all the time actually admire your mindset, and also you appear in a superb place proper now. Do you will have any phrases for individuals who could also be having a tricky time or tips on how to hold your self bodily, mentally and emotionally wholesome?
Oh, thanks. Emotionally, let’s say, we don’t actually know what’s behind the door till we open it. I’ve been in that place in my darkish occasions and, truly, what scares us isn’t what’s behind the door, however it’s the motion we’ve got to take to open the door, ? As a result of as soon as we open it, there’s nothing actually scary or extreme. And I actually hope it’s the identical for everyone else, however happiness is in the end most vital, and that’s what I wish to share most.