Wonho is ready for his new beginning. On Sept. 4, the Korean singer-songwriter released his debut mini-album Love Synonym (#1): Right for Me. The EP’s release comes almost a year after he left the K-pop group Monsta X following allegations regarding his past behavior.
After departing from Monsta X in October 2019, the singer-songwriter was cleared of all charges by the Seoul Metropolitan Police Agency. While he did not rejoin Monsta X, he signed with a subsidiary of the group’s label, Highline Entertainment, to pursue a career as a soloist.
Throughout the months of uncertainty, fans stuck by Wonho’s side, trending hashtags, starting petitions, and purchasing billboards all in an effort to give strength to the singer. On Aug. 14, Wonho released his first single as a solo artist, “Losing You.” With the emotional ballad, the singer-songwriter sang of the unconditional love he feels for the fans who support him.
“Losing You” and Love Synonym (#1): Right for Me represent a new chapter for Wonho. Over email, Showbiz Cheat Sheet spoke with Wonho about the success of “Losing You,” his album-making process, and what he hopes to accomplish as a soloist.
Wonho on becoming a solo artist
Showbiz Cheat Sheet: First of all, congratulations on your solo debut!
Wonho: Thank you so much! It’s very exciting for me to present this mini-album.
Showbiz Cheat Sheet: What do you enjoy the most about making music? Does it feel different now that you are a soloist?
Wonho: Of course it is a big change. Now I am responsible for everything. It’s a bit stressful but also feels good to show my own colors.
Showbiz Cheat Sheet: Your fandom name, WENEE, stands for We Are New Ending. What was your thought process behind picking your fans’ nickname?
Wonho: The fans are the reason that I am here today. I wanted to honor them and let them know how important they are to me.
The singer-songwriter’s love for his fans
Showbiz Cheat Sheet: “Losing You” reached No. 1 on the iTunes Top K-Pop Songs chart in 16 different countries and No. 20 on the iTunes Top Songs chart in the U.S. What has it been like to see fans react so positively to the song?
Wonho: It was really moving. This song has a lot of different meanings, but for us, my fans and I, it means something very special and mainly the unconditional love that we share with each other.
Showbiz Cheat Sheet: You released the English version of “Losing You” as a single first with a Korean version available on the album, allowing you to reach all of your fans around the world. What message do you hope fans take away from “Losing You”?
Wonho: Love is always a two-way street. We are here for each other no matter what.
Showbiz Cheat Sheet: “Losing You” offered just a glimpse of what to expect from your solo debut, and Love Synonym (#1): Right for Me is the completed vision. How long have you been working on Love Synonym (#1): Right for Me?
Wonho: I’ve been working on it for the past six months but some ideas are older.
The making of ‘Love Synonym (#1): Right for Me’
Showbiz Cheat Sheet: What is something you are the proudest of when it comes to Love Synonym (#1): Right for Me?
Wonho: I am proud of the fact that it feels like me. I want the fans to experience me and my different colors. It has ballads and dance songs, Korean and English, and many other things that make me who I am.
Showbiz Cheat Sheet: You were very involved in the making of your new album. How did working on this album as a solo artist compare to your past experience of making music for a group?
Wonho: It is different since it’s all me. On one hand, I get to decide a lot more, on the other hand, it’s a bit stressful to do it by myself.
Showbiz Cheat Sheet: What do you hope to accomplish with Love Synonym (#1): Right for Me? Do you have any specific goals in mind or are you just enjoying the ride?
Wonho: Both are true. My main goal is to meet as many fans as I can and do what I can to make them feel loved.
What Wonho hopes for the future
Showbiz Cheat Sheet: You have said that during your hiatus you learned more about yourself. As you continue to evolve, how has this affected your artistry? As Hoseok grows, how does Wonho also change?
Wonho: There is only one me. I am trying to be honest in everything that I do and it reflects in my music.
Showbiz Cheat Sheet: What do you hope people think when they hear the name “Wonho”? Who do you want to be to people who listen to your music?
Wonho: A true friend that is always there for them.
Showbiz Cheat Sheet: What are you enjoying the most these days? What brings you the most joy?
Wonho: I love working out and eating good food. My music that is coming out is bringing me the most joy though.
Showbiz Cheat Sheet: Signing with Highline Entertainment and releasing Love Synonym (#1): Right for Me marks a new beginning for you. What do you hope the future holds for you as a solo artist?
Wonho: I hope it holds great moments with all of my fans, and that my music can touch as many people as possible.