Initially when singer Rain left the stage for his mandatory military service, people expected even more noticeable void in the category of male solo artists in the popular music scene. In current music industry where idol groups have taken over, solo artists struggled to defend their ground.
However in 2012, there are many signs indicating the rise of male solo artists. Following the success of Lee Seung Gi, Huh Gak, and Tablo in 2011, Seven, K.Will and John Park are making noticeable strides, together taking over various online music charts.
◆ Se7en is Back. This time with JYP
Seven made his comeback after a year and a half, with the help of JYP. His new song, “When I Can’t Sing” presents perfect harmony between JYP’s refined producing and Seven’s sweet vocal. It was enough for Seven to draw attention as he is one of many artists who represent YG entertainment, but the synergy created from his collaboration with JYP made a greater impact in current music industry.
This impact was reflected in Seven’s performance on various charts. As soon as “When I Can’t Sing” was released, the song topped most of the major online and offline music charts. He also experienced the thrill of being at the top by winning the first place on a music chart show for the first time in five years.
◆ “Ballad Prince” K.Will
K.Will also made his comeback after a year of inactivity, contributing greatly to the rise of male solo artists. K.Will, the reigning king of music charts, put all of his newly released songs at the top of music charts, proving the power of ballad singers once again.
“I Hate Myself,” which was released on January 31, instantly attracted many fans awaiting to hear more heartwarming winter ballad songs. The song topped many online music charts almost instantly after its release. K.Will is continuing his successful stride with “I Need You,” which also landed in the top tier of many music charts on and offline. “I Need You” is of medium tempo ballad genre, incorporating rock sound and house beat, and adding depth to the song with featured 30-person orchestra sound.
◆ Late Bloomer John Park
Many experts already consider John Park as the next big male solo artist. John Park was on Mnet “Superstar K2” and planned on making his debut last September, but delayed the release of his first album to improve its depth and quality.
Some were worried about John Park’s late start, since his fast gained popularity from the hype of audition program could possibly be lost as soon as the hype is over. The success of his fellow contestant on “Superstar K2” Huh Gak also overshadowed John Park.
However, John Park proved that such concerns were unnecessary and premature. His well prepared and produced debut single “Falling” is now competing against Big Bang, one of the most prominent idol groups in the industry, for the first place on many music charts.
◆ Brian Joo meets Hip Hop Godfather Tiger JK
Brian Joo, who came back to the stage after 10 months, is another male solo artist who represents the music industry. He collaborated with the Hip Hop Godfather Tiger JK. Tiger JK wrote the lyrics for and was featured in Brian’s new song “Leaving You.”
Brian and Tiger JK will have their first onstage performance together on KBS “Music Bank.” An official from Brian’s agency commented, “Fans are excited to see Brian and Tiger JK’s stage together. What made it possible for Tiger JK, who has a very high pride in his music, to appear onstage with Brian is his faith in Brian as an artist and the song.”