Cover Kang Daniel tells Tatler about his first full-length album 'The Story' (Photo: Konnect Entertainment)

The South Korean entertainer just released his first full-length album—with heartfelt stories that he hopes fans can resonate with

South Korean singer, actor and entrepreneur Kang Daniel recently released his first full-length album, The Story, on May 24. The album marks the 25-year-old’s return to music after almost a year. In the ten-track album, he dives into the role of a storyteller, exploring different emotions and perspectives.

Earlier in 2022, Kang made his TV debut in the Korean drama Rookie Cops.

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He had risen to fame in 2017 when he became the first-place winner of the second season of Produce 101, a survival reality show. In the same year, he became a member of the K-pop group Wanna One—a role he held until its disbandment in 2019. He subsequently became a soloist and also established Konnect Entertainment, an entertainment company. 

That year, Kang released his first solo EP Color on Me. This was followed by the releases of Cyan and Magenta in 2020, and Yellow in 2021—all three are under the Color trilogy. The EPs were a commercial success, topping South Korea’s Gaon Album Chart.

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How do you feel about making your comeback after more than a year?

I feel so excited and proud that I was able to successfully release my first full-length album in 13 months. My album recording process had kept me busy—I had to take care of my throat, and think about the lyrics most of the time. 

I had the debut album, which I’d been preparing for a long time; and three albums released under the Color trilogy. I thought that now is a great time to open up these stories as a full-length album. The right timing just came naturally.

Tell us about The Story

In this album, ten different stories are connected via an overarching story. I got a lot of inspiration from the people around me. I took the time to talk to people and through this process, I feel that I was able to receive a lot of inspiration from even the simplest and most casual conversations with people.

I’d like to say that I brought something that people can relate to through this album. I hope the stories can be of comfort, and touch people in the heart sincerely. From this album, you’ll see Kang Daniel as a storyteller. You can expect a Kang Daniel full of confidence and energy—so please look forward to it.

This album means a lot to me, so it would be such a wonderful experience if I could enjoy it with my fans.

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“I hope the stories can be of comfort, and touch people in the heart sincerely”
Kang Daniel

What has your solo career been like, compared to your days of performing as part of a group?

There is definitely pressure that comes from thinking about performing on—and filling—the stage by myself. In time, I felt that I’d learned how to overcome the feelings of pressure, and learned to enjoy the stage well.

You made your Korean drama debut this year. What was that like?

In the beginning, I had butterflies in my stomach, but in time I was able to adapt to the environment and become more immersed and absorbed in my character.

I feel that there is not much difference between acting and singing—but acting took more effort compared to singing, because it was a new experience for me.

How do you feel about where you are today in your career? 

I’ve only lived only about a quarter of my life, so I think it's too early to judge myself. But I want to live without regret in every moment, and I hope to focus on—and appreciate—each moment.

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