On Sept. 4, K-pop star Wonho made his official solo debut with a mini-album, the eight-song Love Synonym #1: Right for Me, that finally made good on the singer-songwriter’s long-standing promise to fans. The former member of Monsta X has had his supporters anxiously awaiting a solo project for the majority of 2020, and after teasing the project with the sweeping ballad “Losing You,” Love Synonym has had both longtime fans celebrating and casual listeners discovering Wonho’s intoxicating approach to pop.
With the release of his first project under his own name, discover more about Wonho, who answers Billboard’s 20 questions about his early experiences with music, going solo, his message to fans and more.
1. What’s the first piece of music that you bought for yourself, and what was the medium?
When I was a kid, I bought Kanye West’s album an actual CD “Through The Wire” from a local market (bazaar).
2. What was the first concert you saw?
The first concert I saw was Justin Bieber’s concert!
3. Who made you realize you could be an artist full-time?
I always dreamed about being an artist. I think that the feedback from the people I trained with and fans was when it hit me.
4. What’s at the top of your professional bucket list?
On top of my professional bucket list is to be an artist that will be remembered for the positivity I shared with people.
5. How did your hometown/city shape who you are?
My hometown is, first off, my mom. The time we spent together really shaped me and its interconnects with where I am from.
6. What’s the last song you listened to?
Ariana Grande and Justin Bieber, “Stuck With U.”
7. If you could see any artist in concert, dead or alive, who would it be?
It would have be Michael Jackson’s. I would love to see his performance live if he was alive.
8. What’s the craziest thing you’ve seen happen in the crowd of one of your shows?
The craziest thing for me is happening in every show while I have eye contact with my fans. It’s something that is hard to explain but that is giving me my purpose.
9. How has the pandemic affected the way you’ve created music in 2020?
I got to make music remotely with people from all over the world. It really showed me that music can travel through even if you can’t.
10. How different is the process between creating music as part of a group and as a solo artist?
I think the biggest difference is that I have to sing, dance, and do everything on my own. Although there is a lot more responsibility and pressure than before, I am very happy to share my own vision.
11. Why did you choose “Losing You” as the song to introduce yourself as a solo artist?
I wanted to deliver a message of gratitude and love to my fans, who’ve waited for me through the pre-released track “Losing You.” I hope that my sincerity will reach them through the track.
12. What can fans expect from your debut solo project?
The fans should expect to hear my own colors, the many sides of me. This album is all me.
13. What would you say to the fans who have been passionately awaiting your solo material?
It is never enough to say “Thank you.” I know that my fans have waited for me for so long time. Now, I strongly feel that it is the time where I have to pay back the love I got.
14. How do you plan to spend the day that your first solo project is released?
Mostly promoting it!
15. What’s your karaoke go-to?
It might sound weird, but this question was one of the hardest one to answer ever. (Haha) Because, I [have] actually never been in karaoke place before! But it’s on my list!
16. What movie, or song, always makes you cry?
The movie Your Name. I really felt emotional and empathetic during it.
17. What’s the last new hobby you picked up, or the hobby you want to pick up next?
I love surfing! I cannot wait to find a great place to surf after this situation settles down.
18. What food could you eat every single day?
I can eat beef patties every single day!
19. What’s one thing that even your most devoted fans don’t know about you?
I watch Netflix very often these days and it has become one of my favorite things to do other than working out.
20. If you were not a musician, what would you be?
If I hadn’t become a musician, well, maybe I’d be a Taekwondo player, run a fruit shop, or become an actor.