The Story

The Story is the first full-length studio album and fifth album by Kang Daniel. It was released on May 24, 2022 by KONNECT Entertainment and distributed by Sony Music Korea. The LP contains ten tracks with “Upside Down” as its lead single and “Parade” as a double title track.

The Story is the first full-length studio album and fifth album by Kang Daniel. It was released on May 24, 2022 by KONNECT Entertainment and distributed by Sony Music Korea. The LP contains ten tracks with “Upside Down” as its lead single and “Parade” as a double title track.

Track Listing

#   Title Lyrics Music Arrangement
1.  “The Story” – 3:23 Kang Daniel
Chancellor
Knave
Anthony Russo
Anthony Pavel
Jackson Morgan
Jonathan Hoskins
MZMC
Jonathan Hoskins
MZMC
2.  “Upside Down” – 3:16 Kang Daniel
Chancellor
Knave
MZMC KillaGraham
Sean Kennedy
MZMC
3.  “Loser (Feat. Dbo)” – 3:10 Kang Daniel
Chancellor
B.E.D
Dbo
Brian Lee
Chancellor
Tushar Apte
Brian Lee
4.  “Parade” – 3:03 Kang Daniel
Chancellor
Knave
Wyatt Sanders
Ben Samama
MZMC
KillaGraham
MZMC
5.  “Don’t Tell” (Feat. Jessi) – 3:04 Kang Daniel
Jessi
Han Song-yi
roze
Ahn Yeon-joo
Anthony Russo
Anthony Pavel
Jackson Morgan
Kyle Buckley
Charles Robert Nelson
MZMC
Pinkslip
inverness
MZMC
6.  “Ride 4 U” – 2:27 Kang Daniel
Joiya
YOUNG
MZMC KillaGraham
Sean Kennedy
MZMC
7.  “How We Live” (Feat. sokodomo)” – 3:13 Kang Daniel
sokodomo
Chancellor
Knave
Jackson Morgan
Landon Sears
Barry Cohen
MZMC
Gingerbread
Jonathan Hoskins
MZMC
8.  “Mad (Feat. Chancellor)” – 3:20 Kang Daniel
Chancellor
Knave
Anthony Russo
Anthony Pavel
Kaelyn Behr
MZMC
Styalz Fuego
9.  “1000x” – 3:10 Kang Daniel
Choi Ri
Anthony Russo
Anthony Pavel
Kaelyn Behr
MZMC
Styalz Fuego
10.  “Moment” – 3:21 Kang Daniel
Chancellor
Knave
Purple
Chancellor
Purple
Knave
Jang Seong-il
Purple

While the last four albums had Kang Daniel showing colors, his first full album The Story has Daniel as the storyteller recounting tales that others could have experienced: “For this album, I tried to involve themes of a story that people can relate to rather than continuing my story.” Daniel said he got a lot of inspiration from even the simplest and most casual conversations with people. He hopes the relatable album can be of comfort.[s] [s] [s] “I hope we can provide healing through stories that people can relate to. Everyone has their own lifestyle, and I wanted to incorporate that lifestyle into my songs.”[s] [s] The album has been in the planning stages since MAGENTA. Out of all the albums so far, he had the most fun working with others on it and considers these albums awards that he gave himself.[s]

The first song “The Story” tells the story of people running towards an uncertain future. This song is the biggest inspiration for the album and is the keyword.

Title track “Upside Down” is about how reality doesn’t seem to go one’s way while everyone else is seemingly living well. Daniel sings about feeling like he is the only one who is being left behind and wanting to change everything. The lyrics depict in a cute way calling to a superpower to turn time back when things aren’t going well. It was chosen as the title simply so Daniel could have fun on stage with hip and positive vibes. When reflecting on what he enjoyed performing the most in the past, he chose “2U”. Therefore, his return to promoting upbeat music was because “this feels the most like me and is my true musical colors.” When picking between “Mad” and “Upside Down” as the title track, he brought up that if he went even more into minor chords after “PARANOIA” and “Antidote”, he felt like he wouldn’t be in a good mood so that’s why he wanted to go in a more positive direction.[s] [s]

“Loser (feat. Dbo)” is a song about youth, contrasting a carefree childhood with adulthood and wanting to return to the young days. After becoming an adult, sometimes there are feelings of depression and loneliness but there is hope for spring to come. This track was kept the longest since even before MAGENTA because Daniel wanted to release it when he could better express it. Daniel could relate to the song when remembering his trainee days in Seoul before he went to bed.

“Parade” is themed around a celebration of office workers enjoying after-hours like a festival. Daniel explained, “When you work at a company or at a part-time job, your life might feel mundane. There are times like ‘Everyone is special. Everyone’s life is valuable.’ Sometimes, we forget. So, being apart from all, let’s just celebrate it.” In his Kstyle interview, Daniel stated, “I think everyone should be praised for being who they are, and I think they have the right to enjoy the moment to the fullest.” He pointed out that the song is a bit sad in the chorus since we know just having fun isn’t enough for life. This song was one of the candidates for the main title track.

“Don’t Tell (feat. Jessi)” is a Latin hip-hop song about exchanging expressions and glances without putting things into words. The song was originally supposed to be sung alone, but Daniel wanted to have a female vocalist or rapper so he asked Jessi. She was happy to do it and also gave advice when filming videos. Daniel compared the song to a fantasy game with a passionate Latin vibe.[s]

“Ride 4 U” is about standing by the people who uplift you just by being by your side. Daniel compared the song as something like a monologue by the main character before moving onto the novel’s next chapter, and it naturally connects to other songs.

“How We Live (feat. sokodomo)” delivers bright energy with the message to not think too deeply about difficulties and to live like there’s no tomorrow. Daniel said he listened to the song prior to the Rookie Cops drama, thinking that he needed to pick this song for the album because this song expresses youth. When he listens to the song, it reminds him of St. Patrick’s Day, playing beer pong in an Irish club, getting cheap cocktails, and catching up with friends and cheering each other on. He thought of sokodomo for this featuring, whom he befriended around the MAGENTA album prep time. Even after sokodomo became successful on SMTM, they had always wanted to do good music together so this song came to be.

“Mad (feat. Chancellor)” disregards haters and questions why they act like that when their own actions only hurts themselves. The chant vocals included reminded Daniel of having a football team together. Daniel told MOOD MKR that the hypothetical music video he thought of would have him as an American football player. “Mad” is one of Daniel’s favorite songs on the album and was another title track candidate. Daniel especially liked the vibe and emotion. The song points out that it isn’t justified to be hurtful just because you’re upset. Daniel adds, “These days, you can see other people’s lives through social media, but ironically, you don’t know if it’s true or false. That’s why I think the message of this song is to not judge things by appearances and don’t get too immersed.”

“1000x” thanks the ones who helped during difficult times and considers them as the people to meet again even after dying a thousand times. Coincidentally, the album was released on the 1000th day since the fandom was named DANITY, and “1000x” naturally became a fan song. The lyrics pay homage to when Iron Man’s daughter told him, “I love you 3000.” Daniel wanted to express a warm love that surpasses time if it is possible to meet over 1000 times.

The last track “Moment” is about how memories are fleeting but sticking together even if the world changes. The songwriter wrote this after breaking up during military service but thought it would suit Daniel’s album and gifted it.

Daniel’s May comeback was first announced at the end of his GRAMMYs Press Play performance.[s] The album’s teaser schedule was the most eventful of all album releases so far. Written notes and a separately-filmed trailer were teased prior to the reveal of album details. Track videos and an artist note video of Daniel discussing each of the songs were posted for the first time. The company’s planning team initially only wanted to film one minute track videos but then decided on the full versions and made the arrangements. The highlight medley was prepared as a mashup because Daniel wanted the track stories to flow. A story quiz and upside down graphics game were interactive activities new to the teasing schedule.[s] [s]

On May 24, Daniel began promotions with a press conference at the Grand InterContinental Seoul Parnas. It was a formal press conference most similar in format to his solo debut’s. Daniel later hosted a live countdown V LIVE, and KONNECT organized in-person and online fansigns. To supplement the two Korean variety show appearances, Daniel had varied international press interviews. In addition, the Platform PR team arranged for Instagram Story shout-outs from Western celebrities including NSYNC’s Lance Bass and 98 Degrees’ Jeff Timmons.[s]

KONNECT launched TikTok challenges (#upsidedown_challenge, #parade_challenge). The second “Upside Down” challenge video became Daniel’s top video on his account, achieving 30 million views and 678k likes in less than a week.

Music sites indicated “Parade” was the second title track. Before the double title could be promoted, music show promotions were cut short on June 3 due to Daniel’s herniated disc diagnosis.[s] After a break, Daniel returned to fansigns on June 11. The pre-filmed first performance of “Parade” premiered on the June 16 episode of The Kelly Clarkson Show. Daniel became the first K-Pop male solo artist to perform on the show, and the scale of the performance left viewers in awe.[s] [s] [s]

The other three music videos were made available in June to July. An unexpected animated “Upside Down” English lyric video was released on June 15.

Title track “Upside Down” won MBC Show! Music Core on June 4.[s] He also won the fan-voted SBS Inkigayo HOT STAGE for two consecutive weeks on June 5 and 12.

The Story surpassed 310,000 physical album sales within a week and earned a Hanteo 1st week sales certificate. The META and physical album versions placed at #3 and #4 on the weekly Gaon sales charts.[s] [s]

The album debuted at #8 on the Worldwide iTunes Album Chart, #98 on the European Album Chart, and #79 on the Worldwide Apple Music Album Chart for the first time.[s] [s] [s] The Story also topped the iTunes Top Album charts in Taiwan, Indonesia, Laos, Cambodia and Brunei Darussalam. It also charted among the top 10 in Hong Kong, Macau, Malaysia, Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, Vietnam, Australia, Luxembourg and Austria.[s]

The title track “Upside Down” debuted at #28 on the Worldwide iTunes Song Chart and ranked among the top 10 on iTunes Top Song charts in various regions, including Chile, Indonesia, Hong Kong, Singapore, Vietnam, and more. Other tracks from the album have also successfully entered the worldwide iTunes song chart: “Parade” at #154, “1000x” at #177, and “The Story” at #181.[s] [s] [s]

“Upside Down” landed at #2 on the weekly Gaon Digital Chart and was #1 for Downloads.[s] [s] [s]

Four music videos were prepared for The Story in addition to a comeback trailer, performance version MV, and lyric video. KONNECT released full videos on Wednesdays throughout June to July.

Daniel brought up in his countdown live that the trailer had a lot of effort put into it, taking around 18 hours to shoot. The team wanted to go through his past journey and show Daniel as a storyteller. Some homage to previous MVs was included. The trailer’s director and Daniel got along well, so they decided to work together on the “Parade” MV and The Kelly Clarkson Show performance later. In his MOOD MKR interview, Daniel revealed that shortly after filming “Ready to ride”, he filmed “Upside Down” a week later. He then filmed “How We Live”, “Parade”, and “Don’t Tell”. Five music videos were filmed within a month.[s] [s]

“Upside Down”
The title track’s music video accompanied the album release on May 24, 2022. A performance version video and English lyric video were released on June 1 and 15, respectively.

When Daniel was initially thinking about how to express the song through the MV, he had simple ideas to put things upside down with the world turned over or move to a different dimension. The MV director instead had the idea to make time upside down. For instance, when Daniel was walking on an upside down sign, below him was the universe.

Daniel originally didn’t plan to do b-boying for this album since he hadn’t done it in a while and it was easy to get injured. The MV director suggested that b-boy elements would work well to visually express being upside down. Daniel thought it was worth it as long as fans enjoyed it.[s]

The Seguin hockey jersey worn by Daniel in the MV was noticed by the Dallas Stars.[s]

“Parade”
The MV was released on June 8, 2022. The director explained the premise as Daniel playing the character of a free-spirited foreign office worker at an elite company.[s] Daniel was seen filming near Seoul subway line 2 around May 9.[s] Building scenes were filmed in Teheran-ro. Subway scenes were filmed in a stationary subway car.[s]

“How We Live (Feat. sokodomo)”
The MV was released on June 22, 2022. It was filmed at Paradise City in Incheon.

“Don’t Tell (Feat. Jessi)”
The MV was released on July 6, 2022. The MV was filmed at Paradise City at various locations including the Cimer pool for indoor scenes and Club Chroma for outdoor scenes. Ingyoo and LACHICA’s Simeez were noted as the choreographers. Other Street Woman Fighter dancers in the MV were WANT’s Moana and YGX’s Jihyo. Jessi had a TikTok from May 15 when she was on set and also reposted the MV on her Instagram.[s] [s]

Charts

Album (Peak Charts Positions)
Korea
[Gaon]
WW iTunes
[iTunes]
Sales
[Gaon]
Certifications
[Hanteo]
3 8 KOR: 323,671
Tracks (Peak Charts Positions)
Title Korea
[Gaon]
“Upside Down” #2
Tracks (Realtime Charts Debut)
Title MelOn 24Hits Genie Bugs FLO VIBE Domestic
“Upside Down” #12 #171 #1 #13
Tracks (Realtime Charts Peak)
Title MelOn 24Hits Genie Bugs VIBE VIBE Domestic
“Upside Down” #8 #41 #1 #117 #1

instiz iChart [s]

MelOn 24Hits reflects the last 24 hours real-time usage.

Album Credits / Teasers & Behind the Scenes

EXECUTIVE PRODUCTION KONNECT Entertainment
RECORDING PRODUCER Chancellor
RECORDING ENGINEER KayOne, Jung Moyeon
RECORDING STUDIO Vibe Music Studio606
MIXING ENGINEER Manny Park, Koo Jongpil (KLANG Studio)
MASTERED BY Kwon Namwoo (821 Sound Mastering)
CHOREOGRAPHY Kim Ingyoo & Kim Taehyun (We Dem Boyz), Simeez
MUSIC VIDEO PRODUCTION “Upside Down” – ETUI collective[s] directed by Woojekim
“Don’t Tell” – Sunny Lee[s]
“Parade” & ‘The Story’ Trailer – Sauce Factory directed by WASABIMAYO[s] [s] [s]
PHOTOGRAPHY Chun Youngsang[s] [s]
ALBUM ART DIRECTION Kang Hyein (Normal Logic 보통의논리)
ART WORK & DESIGN Kang Hyein, Park Solchae (Normal Logic)[s]
3D ARTWORK Kim Minseo[s]
STYLIST Kim Byungkyu
HAIR Kim Haebin
MAKEUP Lee Anna
PUBLIC RELATION Shim Jaegeol (JX UNITED)
EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR Bong Saerom
ARTIST MANAGEMENT
MANAGEMENT TEAM
NEW TALENT
Kang Gyohyeok
Han Duho, Oh Jimae, Jeong Dongyun, Park Minwoo
Kim Woonghee, Lee Heeju
A&R
ARTIST TEAM
CHOREOGRAPHER
Charles Yoon
Jo Yongjin
Kim Ingyoo
VISUAL CONTENT
CONTENT PLANNING
CONTENT PRODUCTION
Seo Youngjun
Kang Daeun
Yum Junhee, Kim Nakyung
BUSINESS & MARKETING Kim Jihyun
IP BUSINESS Kim Taewoo
MARKETING Koo Jiwoo, Kim Minju
JAPAN BUSINESS Kim Jeongim
BUSINESS SUPPORT Jung Yurianna
ACCOUNTING Kim Jungyoon, Kim Yuri
HUMAN RESOURCES Kim Jongsung

My first full album has finally been released. Although I think of my life as one that always has special things happening continuously, I always feel blessed and thankful that I get to share my stories with everyone through music as a medium. As a regular album, the production period was a time that was especially meaningful to me. I wanted to share a variety of stories about my colors found through my past 4 mini albums. Album name is The Story, stories. As it is an album released after 13 months, there were especially many people who worried together and gave me energy during this period. This production period might have been a vacation to some, a gift to others, or even a period of repetitive mundane work, but it is also a story of everything and one of the symbols of this album. This album production period will also be part of my story that really cannot be left out when I look back on my life in the future.

[…]

I also want to convey my thanks to our DANITY who always cherishes and supports me in every aspect. I am sincerely thankful 1000x for always being by my side.


Translation: @squishkdn (full)

In addition to the album credits, Daniel posted on Instagram giving his thanks.

Type Details Link
Video Trailer IG | VL | YT
Image Note #1/3 IG 1 | 2 | 3 | TWT
Image Note #2/3 IG 1 | 2 | 3 | TWT
Image Note #3/3 IG 1 | 2 | 3 | TWT / TWT
Image Digital cover TWT
Image Release plan index TWT
Video Trailer behind VL | YT
Image Concept photo #1 TWT 1 | 2 | 3
Image Trailer behind NV
Image Concept photo #2 TWT 1 | 2 | 3
Image Concept photo #3 TWT 1 | 2 | 3 | YT 1 | 2
Misc Find my story test Site | TWT
Image Track list TWT | YT 1 | 2
Video Artist Note of ‘The Story’ VL | YT
Misc Upside Down game Site | TWT
Video Highlight medley VL | YT
Video “Parade” track video VL | YT
Video “How We Live” track video VL | YT
Video “Don’t Tell” track video VL | YT
Video M/V teaser #1 VL | YT
Image “Upside Down” concept #1 TWT 1 | 2 | YT 1 | 2
Image “Upside Down” concept #2 TWT 1 | 2 | YT 1 | 2
Video M/V teaser #2 VL | YT
Video Fanchant lyrics VL | YT
Video Jacket making film VL | YT
Image Jacket behind NV 1 | 2
Image Trailer & jacket behind TWT 1 | 2 | 3
Image “Upside Down” M/V behind NV 1 | 2 | 3
Video “Upside Down” lyric video VL | YT
Video “Upside Down” M/V behind TWT
Image Promotion behind NV
Video Promotion behind (DaniTV) VL | YT
Video “Upside Down” M/V making film VL | YT
Video “Parade” M/V making film VL | YT
Video “How We Live” M/V making film VL | YT
Video “Don’t Tell” M/V making film VL | YT
DISCOGRAPHY