“TOUCHIN'” is a song by South Korean singer Kang Daniel. It was released on November 25, 2019 by KONNECT Entertainment and distributed by Sony Music Korea. The song was released as a digital single that included a second track co-written by Kang Daniel titled “Adulthood”.

“TOUCHIN'” is a song by South Korean singer Kang Daniel. It was released on November 25, 2019 by KONNECT Entertainment and distributed by Sony Music Korea. The song was released as a digital single that included a second track co-written by Kang Daniel titled “Adulthood”.

Track Listing

#   Title Lyrics Music Arrangement
1.  “TOUCHIN’” – 3:06 JQ
Shin Sae Rom (makeumine works)
Kang Eun Yoo
Laurent Wilthien
Jean-Noel Wilthien
Matthieu Tosi
Nick McKerl
Logan Lee Turner
Ryan S. Jhun
Royale Avenue
Ryan S. Jhun
2.  “Adulthood” – 3:05 Dvwn (다운)
Kang Daniel
Dvwn (다운)


On November 13, 2019, KONNECT Entertainment posted a teaser image on social media and announced Kang Daniel would be releasing a digital single on the 25th at 6 PM KST. [s] The single is said to be his first step towards a broad musical spectrum, which would later lead to the start of a color concept album trilogy with CYAN as the first album.

“TOUCHIN'” is the lyrical interpretation of a magnetic first meeting between a movie’s two main characters. It has an ’80s to ’90s pop sound that combines various genres, including EDM, rock, and dance, which are tied together to give a rich sound. The strong bass sound in the chorus stands out. The second track “Adulthood” expresses thoughts about becoming an adult but not wanting to grow up yet. The lyrics go between the ideal free-spirited adult self and the tired lonely adult self of reality. The song has a cheerful melody and soft synthesizer, which is completed by Kang Daniel’s unique and soothing vocals.[s]

Promotional Activities

Kang Daniel debuted his single ahead of its release at his ‘Color on Seoul’ fan meeting held on November 23-24. On November 25, “TOUCHIN'” was released on all music portals at 6 PM. The music video was also released at the same time on the official YouTube and V LIVE channels.

On November 26, Kang Daniel performed “TOUCHIN'” live for the first time at the 2019 Asian Artist Awards held in Hanoi, Vietnam and continued November 30 at the 2019 MelOn Music Awards held in Seoul. This would mark the first time Daniel was able to perform at a televised music award show ever since his dispute with former agency LM Entertainment had prevented him from being invited.

Daniel was also able to promote on weekly music shows for the first time since promotions with Wanna One. He performed on KBS2 Music Bank on November 29, SBS Inkigayo on December 1, and SBS MTV The Show on December 3. Song “TOUCHIN'” won a trophy that week on SBS MTV The Show with a total of 6,195 points.

In his winner speech Daniel thanked his fans, “Firstly thank you so much to our DANITY. I feel warmth in winter through DANITY. I’ll work hard to be an artist who brings good stages and good music in the future too. Thank you so much. I hope everyone will always be healthy! Please be healthy always~”[s]

After the show, Daniel further expressed his gratitude, “I’m so happy I can greet everyone like this after so long. I’ve always wanted to stand on the stage again, so to be able to do that I feel so good. In the future too I will show you a good side of me. Thank you.”[s]

Sudden Halt of Activities due to Health Concerns

Immediately after the win on SBS MTV The Show was televised, fans of the groups competing for the trophy that week as well as haters questioned the validity of Kang Daniel’s win, citing the streaming points from the other groups were better and with Daniel not having physical sales to add to the points, his win was impossible. However, instead of only demanding the music show for feedback, many jumped on the opportunity to insult Kang Daniel and his fans.

That evening Kang Daniel posted a set of alarming posts on his official fancafe that had fans worried for his health. The next day, KONNECT Entertainment released a statement that Daniel would be taking a break from activities to focus on recovering, as the singer had been experiencing poor health due to a weak immune system as well as psychological anxiety. The agency went on to say, “Though Kang Daniel did his best to stay grounded and not falter in a constantly changing environment despite his state, he recently expressed more severe symptoms of anxiety. Thus, we reached the conclusion that sufficient rest and stability is of the highest priority for the artist’s health and safety.”[soompi]

On December 4, SBS MTV’s The Show and Gaon Chart clarified the data that led to Kang Daniel’s win on December 3.

According to Gaon Chart, Daniel’s score was four times higher than the runner up’s. A source from The Show clarified they used untouched Gaon digital scores. Gaon said they do not aggregate chart rankings from specific music companies such as Melon. Their index is calculated from download and streams from 12 music platforms. Streams and downloads are weighted differently.[soompi]

The data collected by Gaon Chart from November 23-29 showed that Kang Daniel’s “TOUCHIN’” had 48,728,828 digital points on Gaon, while AOA’s “Come See Me” had 10,877,791 and ASTRO’s “Blue Flame” had 6,941,875. In addition, Gaon also provided The Show with YouTube data. They shared that the YouTube score for “TOUCHIN’” was 2,024,601, and “Come See Me” had a score of 2,718,739 while “Blue Flame” had 3,773,435. Daniel was the clear winner based on the metrics.

Music Video

Following the ‘80s and ‘90s pop sound of the song, the concept for the “TOUCHIN’” music video is also a homage to the ‘80s, especially Hong Kong noir films and Michael Jackson’s “Billie Jean”—which MTV ranked as one of the 100 Greatest Music Videos Ever Made—and “Smooth Criminal”. Both music videos were released as short films in 1983 and 1988 respectively.

The storyline shows the color version of Kang Daniel sitting in his living room and watching a VHS tape of a black-and-white film on a vintage TV. The VHS tape has the film’s title in the hanja characters 陀 (ta): cliff, 離 (chi): depart, and 人 (in): person. Some fans interpreted this as “This person is departing from a cliff or leaving a crisis behind”, perhaps in reference to Kang Daniel coming to a settlement with his former agency LM Entertainment on September 27 after months of legal dispute.

TRIVIA: The brand of the old TV used in the music video is RCA, which is a major American electronics company and pioneer in the introduction and development of both black-and-white and especially color television. Nowadays various RCA trademarks are owned by Sony Music and Technicolor.

The majority of the music video is the black-and-white film itself with Kang Daniel playing the hero helping a woman that seems to be in danger. The film starts with the introduction of the woman as the co-conspirator, the villain, a cat named Kong2, and Kang Daniel. The name of the cat is a word play of the cat’s real name 콩이 (Kong-ie) since 이 sounds like “two” in Korean.

The scene with the cat and a visible hand wearing a metal glove could also be a reference to the Canadian animation series Inspector Gadget and its main character’s arch enemy Dr. Claw. The series began airing in 1983, which is the same year “Billie Jean” was released.

Some fans also pointed out the similarities with Hong Kong noir films. The scene where Kang Daniel is seen playing mahjong could be a reference to the movie God of Gamblers from 1989 starring Chow Yun-fat and Andy Lau. Daniel previously stated he is a big fan of Hong Kong films.

Alternate shots show Kang Daniel dancing in two different locations—the first one being in a warehouse and the second one at the top of a high-rise building. It is in this final scene when Daniel is seen wearing a white tux, dark bowtie, and white fedora hat. The white tux and fedora are reminiscent of Michael Jackson’s iconic style and the noir film era.

The music video ends with the color version of Kang Daniel watching the film’s ending and then opening a door and walking into a room with dark cyan walls.

Moon Theory

Although it wasn’t confirmed to be a direct reference, fans now know that the room with dark cyan walls was a hint to Kang Daniel’s mini album CYAN, which includes both “TOUCHIN’” and “Adulthood”.

CYAN was digitally released on March 24, and the physical album has two versions: Sun and Moon. March 24, 2020 happened to be the start of a new moon in the lunar calendar. In astrology, the new moon signifies the start of new beginnings and possibilities. “TOUCHIN’” was a pre-release single as part of the album CYAN, which Kang Daniel confirmed is the start of a color concept album trilogy.

Following this moon phases theory, the moon phase when “TOUCHIN’” was released on November 25 was a waning crescent. In the music video, the female lead is wearing an earring in the shape of a waning crescent with a star, and the motif in the moon album version of CYAN is also a waning crescent moon.

It is believed that the moon is meant to represent DANITY (Daniel’s fandom name) while the sun/star would be Kang Daniel, as fans have always made references to Daniel being like sunshine to his fans due to his bright smile and personality.

In reference to this, back on November 3 user michareveuse had shared on Twitter her excitement after a fancafe post she made titled “Love you my sunshine” was replied by Kang Daniel with “…love you too my moonlight”.


Tracks (Peak Chart Positions)
Title Korea
Billboard Korea
[Kpop Hot 100]
Tracks (Realtime Debut)
Title MelOn Genie Bugs Naver Soribada Flo
“TOUCHIN’” #46 #18 #9 #7 #35
“Adulthood” #83 #33 #12 #13 #75

Album Credits / Teasers & Behind the Scenes