Kang Daniel is, undoubtedly, one of the biggest names in K-Pop.

Making his debut as one of the stars of popular boy group Wanna One, Kang Daniel has amassed intense popularity across the globe – a result of his incredible charisma and youthful, yet sophisticated artistry.

Last year he dropped his first solo EP, COLOR ON ME, released under his own self-created entertainment company, KONNECT ENTERTAINMENT. His second EP CYAN – the first of his COLORS trilogy project – was released on March 24 and debuted at No. 8 on Billboard’s Next Big Sound chart in April.

Armed with powerful performances, as well as experimental hip-hop and dance music, and star-studded collaborations, his latest release, MAGENTA, highlights Kang as a matured performer and artist.

In an Australian exclusive, Anastasia Giggins had the opportunity to speak to Kang Daniel, where he spoke about the evolving process of growing, the importance of collaboration, and his plans for the rest of 2020.

Firstly, how are you? Towards the end of last year, you took a short hiatus; since then you have spoken about how you are finding your way, day by day – is this an ongoing process? How do you manage this? 

Yes, I am doing well. I tried to stay active after the CYAN album by participating in various online concerts and variety shows on TV. I also went straight into working on my next album, MAGENTA.

When you are going through difficult times, what gives you the strength and motivation to push forward?

As an artist, my fanbase ‘DANITY’ is my biggest driving force and motivation. They always give me the courage to go one step further so I’m never afraid of taking chances to develop as an artist.

As Kang Daniel, I like to play games and watch movies as a way to recharge, and my hobbies are also a source of inspiration for me.

What have been some of the proudest or most memorable moments since your debut?

To be honest, I’m never truly satisfied because I always feel like I can do better. There are moments that were okay, but I still find joy, pride, and satisfaction from the process of growing and evolving as a person and as an artist. I want to make sure I can always bring something new to the table and will continue to work hard to create great moments!

You participated in writing lyrics throughout most of your latest EP, MAGENTA. What does your creative process look like? 

As I mentioned earlier, I get inspiration from random moments while I do things that I enjoy during my off time, such as watching movies, playing games, and reading. I also take a lot of notes throughout the day about my thoughts, and how I’m feeling.

When I sit down with producers or I’m in the studio listening to the instrumental, the songs I like will usually strike some sort of chord with me emotionally that will bring me back to certain moments in my life that lend inspiration to my lyrics. This process is very fun for me and I plan to improve my craft by learning more about song-writing and continuing to write songs even during my off time.

You collaborated with a lot of artists on this album, too, including features from Simon Dominic, Jamie, Yumdda and DVWN. What did this process look like?

It was such an honor to work with artists who I admire. It was really a dream come true for me. If it weren’t for their help I don’t think MAGENTA would be what it turned out to be. Everyone on this album has a very distinct sound, and it was great collaborating with such great artists to create a unique album. I want to say thank you again to all of the artists for featuring and I look forward to collaborating again in the future! 

What other concepts or genres would you like to try in the future? 

I listen to a lot of different music genres and find inspiration from it all. It is hard to pinpoint a specific genre that I want to try on my next album because I don’t like to restrict myself creatively. I do feel like I’m at a point in my career where I can experiment with different sounds and styles but I think it’s too early to commit to a specific genre. Trends also come, go, and come back, so I want to make sure that I am moved by a particular sound and then we can take it from there.

Oh, but I am into future bass music these days if you want to know what I’m listening to now!

What can we expect from you in the future? What are your plans for the rest of 2020, going into 2021? 

After wrapping up our MAGENTA activities, I will slowly look back on the lessons from the two mini albums I released this year and start preparing to paint the last circle of my COLOR series.

In addition to preparing for the album, I will try to communicate with my fans through various content and platforms, so stay tuned! I have a lot more to show you in 2020.

Do you have a message for your fans?

Thank you so much for always supporting and listening to my music. MAGENTA is the second album of my colour series and I wanted to provide the listeners with energetic music for the summer. I will continue to work hard and develop my craft so please be on the lookout for me! Everybody please be safe and stay healthy!

You can follow Kang Daniel on Instagram and YouTube.