Ten months after leaving K-pop group Monsta X amid a controversy, Wonho is finally ready to tell his story, with the release of his first debut single, “Losing You”.
Released on Friday, the highly anticipated track is the 27-year-old’s big comeback after splitting ways with Monsta X last October amid allegations of misconduct and alleged marijuana use before his time with the group (cannabis is still illegal in Korea, and most of Asia). The singer was officially cleared of all charges in March, and announced new management and a solo deal just weeks later.
“Losing You” officially begins the new Wonho era, and arrives as K-pop continues to demonstrate its influence on these shores as well. Performed entirely in English, the piano-directed all-encompassing ballad shows Wonho̵7;s delicate falsetto, as he sings in defense of a beloved love, despite all the expense. “Baby I would go to war for you / Build an army if you need me / Cause because losing me is better than losing you.”
The singer co-wrote the track with a team of A-list singers, including Corey Sanders and Jon Mcguire (Callum Scott “You Are the Reason”) and Neil Ormandy, who co-wrote James Arthur’s worldwide hit, “Say You Won ‘t Get Away “British singer and producer Nick Gale, better known as Digital Farm Animals, has poisoned the production for the song, a slow R&B teaser that is sure to grab listeners’ hearts with its repertoire of inflated and some of the most personal texts Wonho has written to date.
While the song is undoubtedly a love song, the singer says it was also inspired by his fans, who never left his side after his well-publicized departure from the band. “This is a love song, but I would also say it is [about] the love and appreciation I have for my fans too, “he tells Rolling Stone. “I’m here today because of them, and the thought of losing them was the hardest thing I could think of.”
“For me,” he continues, “‘Your loss has to do with the connection between people and the self-denial of loving someone so much that you will become one with them and they become even more important to you than yourself.”
“Losing You” is the only bachelor from Wonho’s upcoming mini album, Part. 1 Synonym of love # 1: Right for me, due on September 4th. The singer says to expect a mix of uptempo songs and ballads from the album, citing artists like Korean singer and actor Rain, and Usher, as artists he respects. Expect Wonho to take an ongoing role in both songwriting and production. “I chose my favorite styles and included both languages, Korean and English, in one EP,” he explains. “I feel like this EP is reflecting my colors and sending my personal message out there to my fans.”
Wonho says he started working on his solo project six months ago and was eager to eventually set new music for fans. “I wanted to share with my fans the feeling and the feeling of what I was going through,” he says, about his time away from attention. “I want to send a message that I am here for them, as if they were here for me. “Together, we can overcome everything.”
It’s a message that’s seemingly reflecting on his struggles over the past year, a year from which Wonho says he has learned “many lessons” from. The main lesson: “Even if it is dark, the light will come soon,” he says. “All you have to do is keep going.”