YELLOW

Digital / PARANOIA / Misunderstood / Antidote / Save U

YELLOW is the fourth extended play and third mini album by Kang Daniel. It was released on April 13, 2021 by KONNECT Entertainment and distributed by Sony Music Korea. The EP contains five tracks with “Antidote” as its lead single. “PARANOIA” was pre-released in February and included in the EP. This album completes the COLOR album trilogy project aimed to show his colors as an artist.

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YELLOW is the fourth extended play and third mini album by Kang Daniel. It was released on April 13, 2021 by KONNECT Entertainment and distributed by Sony Music Korea. The EP contains five tracks with “Antidote” as its lead single. “PARANOIA” was pre-released in February and included in the EP. This album completes the COLOR album trilogy project aimed to show his colors as an artist.

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Development and Writing

Yellow is a cold and distant color to Daniel but also represents the start of a new day, much like the yellow sky at the break of dawn. When his team laid out the plan for the color album series project, Daniel knew the things he wanted to talk about on this album in particular but needed some time to develop as an artist and gather his thoughts. He said this was why this album is “fitting to be the final chapter in the Color series but also the beginning of something new.” He wanted his previous albums to lead up to YELLOW as his most personal work.[s] The pre-released single “PARANOIA” was a trailer for this series’ final EP, a diary-like album with his honest story.[s]

Daniel explained in his online showcase that the message “not everything is as it appears” was the start of the album planning. It represents the duality of what’s happening and what lies beneath. All five songs reflect Daniel’s thoughts, emotions, and feelings like a mirror. He intended to make songs that reflect on his past and present self. Rather than focusing on the darker themes, Daniel hopes that the messages can be relatable. He delved into each song in his showcase and interviews.[s]

Daniel told HYPEBAE, “The album starts off on a high note with ‘Digital’, where I felt angry and motivated. Then [it] goes into songs like ‘PARANOIA’ and ‘Misunderstood’, that are more self-reflective and questioning. ‘Antidote’, I felt like was my rock bottom, where I was just searching for an answer. The album ends with ‘Save U’, which is a song I wrote for myself looking back at that time.” He disclosed why the album cover features a diamond, “Depending on how much pressure is put on it, it becomes a diamond or stays a lump of coal. It’s about the pressures put on me and where I am right now because of those pressures.”[s]

“Digital” has an upbeat rhythm in the retro genre. In contrast, the lyrics are about repeated pain that slowly devastates a person. In his Dazed interview, Daniel talks about the impact of relentless words, “I wanted to express what it felt like to explode. In my mind, at the beginning, it was like, ‘Say what you want to say’. As a celebrity, it’s your job to read the public’s feedback. Good feedback is very helpful but it’s really hard to ignore the bad comments. Reading those, I was getting more and more annoyed. It makes you go crazy!”[s]

Daniel said the message in “PARANOIA” is the most intense. There’s something that hurts him, but it turns out it was himself. He said he poured his heart and soul into this song and the music video the most. He realized the moment when a person falls apart the greatest is when its due to your own self.

“Misunderstood” is about the struggles of being misunderstood due to baseless rumors and gossip. Daniel thinks the vocal tone in this song was closest to his speaking voice. Daniel thought the song was heavy at first but after recording did not find it so bad. The featured artist was suggested by A&R, and the song is also the head of A&R’s favorite track.[s]

“Antidote” describes the stress and pressure people experience when confined to an extreme situation and they plead to recover and for negative feelings to end. Daniel commented that it was uncommon for a later track in the album to be the title track. For the vocal line to stand out in “Antidote”, he used a minimum soundscape and added some new color that he has not shown before to give a modern feel and portray his thoughts and emotions in the lyrics. He thinks the emotions in this song are very dynamic. He purposely bit his molars while recording in some parts as if there’s explosive anger at his situation pent up inside. He intended for his vocals to sound sharp. In addition, he wanted the outro to sound bright and liberating dance-wise and sound-wise. Daniel told HYPEBAE, “In ‘Antidote’, although the song is very emotional and dark, I felt like the act of searching for a resolution or ‘antidote’ meant that even though it was one of the darkest periods in my life, I always held out hope.”[s] When asked in his press conference what was his antidote, Daniel expressed his gratitude for the people who helped him during his hard times.[s]

“Save U” is the only song in the EP that conveys a message of hope. It was originally written as a message to his past self but also serves as a comforting song dedicated to DANITY. This is the last song in Daniel’s color series, so he did not want to end it on a depressive note. Daniel said he thinks people live in a cruel and competitive world where they can fall into despair. He wanted to give courage to those who are struggling and tell them it’s okay. Wonstein’s inclusion was a suggestion from his team. Due to the pandemic, they didn’t work with other artists face-to-face and sent the track back-and-forth.[s]

After working on the trilogy, Daniel realized, “I’m able to work on more types of music than I had expected. There were a lot of songs that made me wonder, ‘Will I be able to pull this off?’ But those songs worked for me. And there were songs that I felt confident about but didn’t turn out the way I thought it’d be, from my point at least. So I think with the release of YELLOW, I became a little bit more mature.”

Daniel said the one word that would describe the album is memories. During the planning phase, Daniel said he wanted to turn some of his experiences into songs as a meaningful challenge. All of that has become a good memory. He told NME, “YELLOW is my most personal album because I wrote each song based on a difficult period in my career. Although it was difficult at the time, it has allowed me to really have a good look at myself and what was going on around me. It helped shape me into the person I am today, and I am thankful to everyone that helped me overcome those times. That is what this album is: the emotions and discoveries I made.”[s]

Promotional Activities and Awards

On April 13, Daniel began promotions with an online press conference before the album’s release. At 8pm, KONNECT streamed a free fan showcase on its YouTube channel for the very first time. Another change to previous music promotions was that Daniel appeared on various western media outlets and YouTube channels, including Access Hollywood, Buzzfeed, ELLE, and Cosmopolitan. KONNECT released a music video commentary, album unboxing, and DaniTV episode featuring his instructor persona Kang Sa. KONNECT held various online fansigns in addition to photocard and Polaroid giveaway events.

“Antidote” swept all five music shows that aired that week: The Show on April 20, Show Champion on April 21, Music Bank on April 23, Show! Music Core on April 24, and Inkigayo on April 25. This marked Daniel’s first time winning Inkigayo since his solo debut.[s]

Commercial Performance

YELLOW surpassed 310,000 physical album sales within a week and earned a Hanteo sales certificate. According to Hanteo Chart, this marks his fourth album in Hanteo’s top 10 cumulative first-week sales by a soloist. Daniel also achieved a Gaon quadruple crown for the first time by topping the digital, album, download, and BGM weekly charts.[s] [s]

The album also topped the iTunes Top Album charts in at least seven regions, including Hong Kong, Chile, Macau, Indonesia, Malaysia, Thailand, and Vietnam upon release.[s] It also made the top 10 in other countries. The album itself debuted at #5 on the Worldwide iTunes Album charts.[s]

“Antidote” is Daniel’s first #1 single on the Gaon Digital Chart. In Gaon’s 2021 Half-Year Digital Chart, “Antidote” and “PARANOIA” landed at #2 and 3, respectively. He is one of just two acts (the other artist being IU) that managed to place more than once inside the top 10 on the digital sales list.[s]

Music Video

Daniel said they worked with Rigend Film for this album due to strong visuals and use of symbolism. They wanted every scene to have a purpose. Daniel told WWD, “I think that is probably the most important thing for me on this album, was to tell a genuine and authentic story.”[s]

There are some scenes that continue from “PARANOIA”. “PARANOIA” was about a struggle with an alter ego. In “Antidote” one faces that alter ego and then try to break from it but falls down during that process. The team tried to visually express the escalation of the conflict. Both “PARANOIA” and “Antidote” have eyes as the keyword. “PARANOIA” expressed how people perceived him and his inner self, while the eye is on the floor for “Antidote”. Daniel wanted to leave things up to the viewer’s interpretation.

“Antidote” had many dance scenes, and they had to finish the shoot in one day. The most difficult scene to film was when people were holding up mobile phones while he was dancing in the center. It was a little past 10pm then, so filming became physically demanding. Daniel also experienced challenges on the rooftop scene. The sunlight reflecting on the mirror was being shone on him in every direction and there were production lights facing him. His neck was sunburnt and he couldn’t open his eyes afterwards. People had vertigo as well.

As for the dance itself, a lot of dance directors worked on the choreography. Because “Antidote” is not a common mainstream genre and the lyrics have meaning that needed to be explained, the chorus was the most difficult to choreograph. The choreography includes modern dance elements, which was a first for his title tracks.

Daniel gave his commentary on the music video. He wanted to make it simple and modern so the choreography could be seen. In the first scene, he was expressing broken things and is surrounded by broken yellow mannequins. There are parts that connect to “PARANOIA” where he touches his hands or eyes are shown. The overhead shot of the blue main set was deliberate to show the eye. At the rap part, he is looking at his inner self. The set becomes darker and after the fabric lifts to transition to the rooftop scene, Daniel thinks to himself in the M/V, “Oh, it wasn’t anything,” and enjoys the spacious sky.[s]

Track Listing

Best viewed on PC. To see the full tables on mobile, swipe left and right.

#   Title Lyrics Music Arrangement  
1.  “Digital” – 3:04 Kang Daniel
JQ
Su-rin
Cha Yu-bin
Anthony Russo
Jonathan Hoskins
MZMC
Jonathan Hoskins
2.  “PARANOIA” – 3:15 Kang Daniel
JQ
Mola
Cha Yu-bin
Anthony Russo
Anthony Pavel
Max Levin
Kyle Scherrer
MZMC
Chancellor
inverness
max & kyle
MZMC
3.  “Misunderstood” – 3:24 Kang Daniel
JQ
Kim Hye-ji
Nam Hye-ju
Han Song-yi
Omega Sapien
Jackson Morgan
Landon Sears
Kaelyn Behr
MZMC
Styalz Fuego
4.  “Antidote” – 3:39 Kang Daniel
JQ
Lee Yeon-ji
J14
Anthony Pavel
Jonathan Hoskins
MZMC
Jonathan Hoskins
5.  “Save U” – 3:38 Kang Daniel
JQ
Lee Yeon-ji
Su-rin
Lee Seon-yu
Wonstein
Anthony Russo
Anthony Pavel
Jonathan Hoskins
Jamil “Digi” Chammas
MZMC
Jonathan Hoskins
Jamil “Digi” Chammas

Charts

Album (Peak Charts Positions)
Korea
[Gaon]
WW iTunes
[iTunes]
Sales
[Gaon]
Certifications
[Gaon]
1 5 KOR: 320,129
Tracks (Peak Charts Positions)
Title Korea
[Gaon] [2]
Kpop Hot 100
[Billboard] [2]
US World
[Billboard]
“PARANOIA”** #2 #39 #5
“Antidote” #1 #56 #21
Tracks (Realtime Charts Debut)
Title MelOn Genie Bugs FLO Soribada
“PARANOIA”** #2 #5 #1
“Antidote”  — #9 #3 #1

instiz iChart

**Pre-released track “PARANOIA” realtime debut is from February 16.
“Antidote” debuted at #1 in both the daily and weekly Genie chart. Kang Daniel’s first song to do so.

Album Credits / Teasers & Behind the Scenes

EXECUTIVE PRODUCTION KONNECT Entertainment
RECORDING PRODUCER Chancellor, Noday
RECORDING STUDIO U Productions Studio A, THE HUB, Fluent
MIXING ENGINEER Yoon Wonkwon (Studio DDeepKICK), David Yungin Kim (Chalice Recording Studio), Denis Kosiak, Koo Jongpil (KLANG Studio)
MASTERED BY Kwon Namwoo (821 Sound Mastering)
CHOREOGRAPHY Kim Ingyoo, Kim Taehyun
MUSIC VIDEO PRODUCTION Rigend Film
PHOTOGRAPHY Kim Heejune
PUBLIC RELATION Shim Jaegeol (JX UNITED)
EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR Bong Saerom
ARTIST MANAGEMENT Kang Gyohyeok, Han Duho, Jeong Dongyun
A&R Charles Yoon, Jo Yongjin
CONTENTS PLANNING Seo Youngjun, Jung Dawoon
PUBLIC COMMUNICATION Tak Jinyoung, Gu Gahyun
BUSINESS DIVISION DIRECTOR Alex Hong
CONTENTS DISTRIBUTION Jang Eunhye
CONTENTS BUSINESS Kim Jihyun, Kim Taewoo
MANAGEMENT SUPPORT Jung Yurianna, Ma A Reum
STYLIST Lee Sungsik
HAIR Kim Haebin
MAKEUP Lee Anna

Finally, the last chapter of the color series YELLOW is finally released.

I personally always think I’m still lacking, but thanks to many people who help me around and DANITY’s cheering, I could complete the color series’ last project.
YELLOW is an album that has special meaning to me.
When I made this color series, I hoped I could become more mature and show continual improvement in both music and as a person.
When I look back at the time I worked on the album, it was a process where I worked hard and stayed overnight, concerned over the work. But I’m satisfied with the result of my hardwork. YELLOW is really an album that I am especially fond of. To my KONNECT family who always makes a good album alongside me, I love you all.

And to my special producers who always worked with me! Anthony Russo, Anthony Pavel, inverness, MZMC!!! Thank you for all support, luv u guys.
Jonathan Hoskins, Max Levin, Kyle Scherrer, Jackson Morgan, Landon Sears, Kaelyn Behr, Jamil “Digi” Chammas!!
Thank you for all amazing music, can’t wait to work with you guys again.

And to the people who always help me and express all the interesting stories, Surin-nim, Cha Yubin-nim, Mola, Kim Hyeji-nim, Nam Hyeju-nim, Han Songyi-nim, Lee Yeonji-nim, J14-nim, Lee Seonyu-nim, I sincerely thank you very much.

To Omega Sapien and Wonstein who came out with work that has its different special uniqueness, it’s thanks to you all that I can make good tracks. I will surely treat you to a meal after this.

And to music technicians Yoon Wonkwon-nim, Koo Jongpil-nim, and Kwon Namwoo who are always concerned about my music completeness and elevate it to another level, I really love you all. To Dennis Kosiak and David Yungin Kim whom I worked with for the first time, it was an honor to get your mixing, and I hope to work with you guys soon.

To Rigend Film who filmed awesome MVs for me, congrats to the director for your marriage. Wishing I can have fun working with you all again. To Heejune-hyung who took pictures for me, I really thank you very much. Please take care of me in the future too, hehe. Please stay healthy always.

To Haebin-noona and Anna-noona who always followed my busy schedule, I’m not good at expressing it but I really cherish both of you a lot. You are all working hard. Please work with me too in the future. And to Sungsik-hyung whom I love a lot!!! Please continue having fun working with me. Again, please take care of me in the future.

Special thanks to
KONNECT A&R Charles and Yongjin-hyung, you have been working hard.
Soulmate Ingyoo and Vata!!! I really thank you and love you a lot.
Yoo Production Brian CEO, Chancellor-hyung, Noday-hyung, and Kyungwon!!! I really receive a lot of help from you all. I learn a lot of things from you hyungs. I feel so grateful every time.
KONNECT Youngjun-ssi and 키노피오 manager who had a hard time designing my album, thank you and thank you again. I will prepare a better prize than popcorn next time, hehe.

And to our DANITY who work hard and run together with me, it’s all because of DANITY that the color series project could proceed smoothly. Without DANITY cheering for me, I don’t think the color series in my mind could be completed. It’s all thanks to you. I’m feeling so grateful and grateful.
There is nothing that can make me more excited and happy than bringing new songs in front of the people who love my music and stages. Please give love to the YELLOW which I worked really hard preparing.
Please take care of me in the future too!

This is happiness

 Translation: @KaWeN40865733 

Type Details Link
Image Coming soon IG | TWT | WB
Image Album cover art IG | TWT | WB | YT
Image Release plan TWT | WB
Video Comeback trailer IG | VL | WB | YT
Image Concept photo #1 IG 1 | 2 | 3 | TWT 1 | 2 | 3
WB | YT 1 | 2 | 3
Melon SITE
Image Track list TWT | WB | YT
Video Highlight medley IG | WB | VL | YT
Image Highlight medley behind IG 1 | 2
Image Concept photo #2 IG 1 | 2 | 3 | NV | TWT 1 | 2 | 3
WB | YT 1 | 2 | 3
Video M/V teaser #1 IG | VL | YT
Image Lyrics poster IG | TWT | WB | YT
Video M/V teaser 2 IG | VL | WB | YT
Video Fanchant lyrics VL | YT
Video YELLOW‘ showcase VL | YT
Video Album unboxing VL | YT
Video Special performance behind IG
Video M/V commentary VL | YT
Image Jacket behind
M/V behind
NV
NV
Video Jacket making film VL | YT
Video M/V making film VL | YT
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