After dropping his debut mini-album, we knew it was only a matter of time until K-Pop icon Wonho returned with another selection of unforgettable music — and as expected, he delivers.
Since the release of his first carefully arranged album, Wonho has stepped into a new light, finding a passionate, protective, and loving fanbase that only grows as his catalog expands. The singer/songwriter took the in-between time to not only create a beautiful follow-up to his numbered body of work with Love Synonym #2: Right For Us, but he also shared his passions for fashion, food, fitness — confirmation that the well-rounded artist transforming into an international star.
Wonho is a rare breed of artist that shows adaptability with every task he dedicates himself to, and that has carried over into the public’s growing adoration for the lovable, kindhearted talent that regularly helps reframe people’s expectations. Through the way he carries himself, Wonho feels grounded, self-assured, and ready to take on the world more than ever, which is only backed by the new release from the artist’s sophomore album.
His new music expands the already vast musical range of Wonho, giving him a chance to enhance his live-wire energy in tracks like “Best Shot,” but also create a new, euphoric groove on his song “Ain’t About You” featuring his first collaboration, this one with Kiiara. In Love Synonym #2, the artist feels like he has taken his past work into account, making tweaks to various styles and influences we’ve seen him tackle, but enough to show Wonho’s attention to detail and musical progression. The mini-album brings more personal touch fans actively seek on tracks like “WENEED” serving as a love letter to fans in a slower tempo, delicately sung track that could be the most stripped version we’ve seen from the evolutionary artist this early on in his career.
Someone of Wonho’s stature isn’t a common discovery due to his creative drive, so that ability to tap into his emotions and gift listeners with a look at the man behind the confidence is just one more reason Wonho is becoming a great candidate to look up to as an ideal, “modern man” artist. His music can prompt listeners to move just as much as it can encourage self-exploration, so there aren’t any scenarios where Wonho can’t find a way to present his revered art.
Now that Wonho has dropped his new body of work, we had the opportunity to speak with the versatile artist about his new music — and all of the content he brings to the table.
You dropped an unforgettable first mini-album last year, and that must have been extremely exhilarating to get such positive feedback from the world! What was your biggest takeaway from that experience when you were starting to map out Love Synonym #2: Right For Us?
As I received so much love from my fans through the previous album, I wanted to repay this love by adding even more songs with sincerity. I thought about what would be the best way to express my love and gratitude towards my fans, and the answer was my music and the stages that I present. I hope my fans can feel my precious feelings toward them.
On your first release, you were given an opportunity to explore different ideas — what concepts or emotions would you say inspired this particular comeback era?
My fans were definitely my biggest inspiration! I tried to think of how I could convey my sincere love and message to my fans, and which different sides of myself I wanted to show them. Therefore, I was really glad to be able to release a variety of music you could enjoy and feel comfortable with, and stages with great performances which will surprise you.
Now that you have had a good chance to learn more about yourself as an artist, is there one style or sound that you believe is your musical comfort zone?
I enjoy listening to songs that make me feel comfortable, but sometimes the same songs I usually listen to feel a little different, depending on the mood or situation I’m experiencing that day. So, it would be hard to pick only one sound or style, but I would like to recommend to you a song which I want to listen to now. It is “Outro : And” from this album.
When I first heard “Ain’t About You” with Kiiara it became one of my personal favorites because it feels different than what people might expect, and it’s so catchy! If you had to pick one song on the album that you think will surprise people most, what would you say, and why?
I would pick “Ain’t About You,” on which I collaborated with Kiiara. This track is a song that I was so curious and excited about how it would turn out, since it was a song that I started working on even before recording my first album. I hope you like how Kiiara’s voice and mine blend well in this track.
You bring a dose of fun energy to the release with “Best Shot,” is there a song on this album that you’re excited to get to perform for the first time?
Since there are many stages that I am excited to perform, it is difficult to select only one song. But, I’m looking forward to showing a more intense performance with a sexier image than before, through the title song “Lose.”
You’ve seriously been killing it on social media! You’re constantly a trending topic, and your content pretty much covers interests across the board. Are you enjoying that you get to share different parts of your life outside of being an artist — like food, fitness, fashion, etc.?
Definitely! I try to show a lot of natural vibes and images of myself and the real me through social media. I am also happy to be able to share with my fans about my interests, hobbies, or any moments spent in my daily life. Thank you for showing me enormous love and attention!
Your fanbase has such a sweet sense of love and devotion to you, and I know that you truly appreciate that connection — which you directly address through “WENEED.” What was the process behind that song like for you both personally and creatively?
I truly wanted to repay my fans for the love I’ve received, and I wanted to convey my sincerity by expressing my gratitude with this song. I’ve been working as if I’m writing a love letter to WENEE, so I hope they could always listen to this song whenever they want to feel close to me. I hope this song will be like a gift to my fans.
“Lose” is yet another strong track, and like “Open Mind,” you impressively recorded it in both Korean and English! What was your favorite part about getting to do a second release in two languages?
The good thing about being able to release the song in two languages is that I can deliver my sincere message to both Korean and international fans. I hope that I can reach all my fans with my love and sincerity through this opportunity. If I have the chance, I’m more than ready to work on and sing in two languages.
I respect that you take the entire listening experience into account with your work, and you’ve created another top-tier album with enough thoughtfulness behind every detail down to the brilliant outro you mentioned! When you look at all the work that went into this album, what’s a moment that you feel especially proud of?
I was grateful to be able to work on my first collaboration, and I was proud that I had completed the original English tracks well. It is also an album expressing various musical genres ranging from dark to bright colors and includes messages for my fans, so I hope you enjoy listening to this album.
I think one thing that many people including myself appreciate about you, is that you have an authenticity about you that makes people value you differently! I’ve witnessed and read about moments where you’ve left a big impact on fans, so is there anything that you would say to anyone who looks up to you?
It is said that I left an impact on my fans, but compared to the love I’ve received from them, it’s never enough when giving back the love. I am always thinking about how I can repay the tremendous love I’ve received from my fans. Since I am still an ordinary person, I always think about areas I should develop, and try to find more things I like and am interested in. So, I would like to say “trust yourself and follow your dreams.” If you’ve received support and love through your journey, I hope you can be someone who is able to repay that love to others. I am here for you as well!