The singer released “Yellow,” the final mini-album in his “Color” series, earlier this month.
For K-pop singer Kang Daniel, yellow is a complicated color. It’s also the title of his latest mini-album, released earlier this month.
The 24-year-old singer is a former member of 11-member boy band Wanna One, created through the reality competition show “Produce 101.” After the group disbanded in 2019, Daniel founded his own label, Konnect, and struck out on a solo career. So far he’s released four EP albums on the label, in collaboration with Sony: “Color on Me,” followed by a three-part “Color” series. “Yellow” is final entry in the trio.
“We have been working on the ‘Color’ series for over a year now and even though it marks the end of the ‘Color’ series, I’m so happy I get to share it with everyone,” says Daniel, whose fan collective is known as “Danity.”
In contrast to common associations with the color yellow — optimism and positivity — Daniel’s album explores the darker connotations of the color. The album is anchored by an exploration of his recent mental health struggles and experience with cyberbullying. The release of “Yellow” was preceded by two music video releases. In the first, “Paranoia,” Daniel battles literal and imagined demons; he stares up at a lowering ceiling in a cavernous room before the video lands on a final image: the word “failure” etched into his bloody hand. In “Antidote,” a silhouetted crowd aims yellow phone screens as he performs on stage. His reflection is often distorted through mirrors and water; at one point, he frantically sprints through a disorienting industrial space before emerging onto a rooftop to blue skies.
In early 2019, the singer broke the Instagram record for the quickest acquisition of 1 million followers; a few months later, he started a new account, @daniel.k.here, after his former agency denied him ownership of the account. Daniel has more than 4.3 million followers on Instagram, where he often shares photos of his cats and proclivity for streetwear. This most recent runway season, he “attended” the virtual shows for Burberry and Ami; in the fashion sphere, he’s also been a brand model for Givenchy Beauty for several years.
Things are looking up for Daniel. On April 29, fans will be able to experience Daniel’s music through a new medium: mobile rhythm video game “SuperStar.” (It’s similar to “Dance Dance Revolution,” without the dancing; players use their hands to hold and press buttons.) It’ll be the first “SuperStar” game released for a solo artist. Earlier this year, Daniel teamed with EDM producer Inverness to release “State of Wonder,” his first American collaboration.
WWD caught up with the South Korean singer over email to discuss the inspiration for his “Yellow” album, and what’s next.