In the cut-throat world of K-pop, a six-month hiatus could easily derail an up-and-coming young singer.
This was not the case for K-pop idol Kang Daniel.
The 22-year-old singer’s debut solo album, Colour On Me, released last month after close to half a year with no releases and activities, exceeded 450,000 pre-orders and broke the record for first-week sales for a solo artist in South Korea.
“I didn’t have any expectations of the results (for the album) because I was not active for a while. We had to crunch production time on the album so I could meet my fans sooner,” he told The Straits Times in an e-mail interview.
“With this short production time, I reckon there is still room to improve. The amazing results the album had was a collaborative achievement of my fans instead of just me as an individual,” he adds.
Kang – who won the popular idol reality competition Produce 101 in 2017 – was forced to go on a break as a result of legal disputes with his former management at the beginning of the year.
He also made headlines early this month for his relationship with girl group Twice’s Jihyo, in an industry where romance is often taboo for artists.
I think the stage is much bigger when you’re an individual artist instead of being a member of a group. I have to do more to fill the stage up. I’m also looking forward to penning songs that are filled with only my voice and my colours – my style, my personality.
KANG DANIEL, who was part of boy band Wanna One, which disbanded earlier this year
But he has continued with his album promotions and fan meeting tour, including the Singapore leg, slated to be held on Friday.
It will be his first solo fan meeting here, following in the footsteps of his former boy-band mates Ong Seong-woo and Lai Kuan Lin from Wanna One, which disbanded earlier this year.
Wanna One was a boy band formed by the top 11 contestants from Produce 101’s second season.
Kang says: “I think the stage is much bigger when you’re an individual artist instead of being a member of a group. I have to do more to fill the stage up.
“I’m also looking forward to penning songs that are filled with only my voice and my colours – my style, my personality.”
KANG DANIEL FAN MEETING ‘COLOUR ON ME’ IN SINGAPORE
WHERE: Singapore Indoor Stadium, 2 Stadium Walk
WHEN: Friday, 8pm
ADMISSION: $98 to $298 from Sports Hub Tix (call 3158-7888 or go to www.sportshub.com.sg)
Kang, who wrote the lyrics for some of the songs on his album, says he took inspiration from the animation series he watches and hopes that the album is a reflection of various facets of himself.
While he was known best as a rapper during his Wanna One days, he hopes to experiment with different genres, not unlike Michael Jackson, the singer he professes to admire the most.
Kang says of his solo album: “The most important thing for me was to express my wholehearted gratitude to my fans through songs.”
And he is looking forward to seeing them in Singapore.
In a rare move for celebrities, he has made it known that he will not take the VIP passageway when he arrives in Singapore tonight, in an effort to meet more fans. He is scheduled to arrive at Terminal 4 of Changi Airport at 11.50pm.
Kang, who previously visited Singapore for Wanna One’s activities, says the country is a place of comfort for him.
He says the Singapore Sling “is my favourite companion”, adding that he used to drink it while reviewing his performance and organising his thoughts.
So, is he planning to do something special on his trip here this time? He says: “I really want to go to an amusement park.”