Lee Chan-hyuk says death is the beginning of his new musical life through first solo album ‘Error’

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Lee Chan-hyuk says death is the beginning of his new musical life through first solo album ‘Error’

Lee Chan-hyuk poses during a press conference for his first solo album, “Error,” at YG Entertainment in Mapo-gu, western Seoul, on Monday. (YG Entertainment)

As the phrase goes, every end is the beginning of something new. For sing Lee Chan-hyuk, it took eight years as a part of sibling duo AKMU to finalize the pieces of his solo identity and put together his first solo album, “Error,” which dropped Monday evening.

Though there are many terms that can signal a new start, the word that surrounds the whole album is “death.” The Lee Chan-hyuk that people are aware of has disappeared, and a new Lee Chan-hyuk has arrived, said the singer, adding that he has shaken off his AKMU identity for the time being.

As he walked down memory lane talking about how he put things together for his first solo project, the singer said everything started with “Bench,” a track on AKMU’s “Next Episode” album.

The song is about how he would be happy living on a bench even if everything he has vanishes because he holds “love” and “freedom” in his heart, which he described as the two most crucial elements in life.

“But I questioned myself afterward. I said that the two facets are the most fundamental in life, but will I be genuinely happy, and will I be able to endure the criticism if I suddenly die?” the singer said during Monday’s press conference held at YG Entertainment in Mapo-gu, western Seoul.

“The fact that I questioned my previous beliefs was somewhat contradictory, so I used the word error as the album’s name to show that my thoughts were wrong. The 11 tracks that make up the album are like a series of stories that connects my new creeds,” he added.

Lee Chan-hyuk poses during a press conference for his first solo album, “Error,” at YG Entertainment in Mapo-gu, western Seoul, on Monday. (YG Entertainment)

Lee Chan-hyuk poses during a press conference for his first solo album, “Error,” at YG Entertainment in Mapo-gu, western Seoul, on Monday. (YG Entertainment)

“Doing well on music charts is not my top priority, but I have high hopes about how my music will impact people, especially those who like my album. Perhaps something that I truly want to do is convey a message to society,” the singer said as he walked a group of reporters through his new album.

Lee called himself a person who thinks death is essential, speaking about why he came up with the theme.

“There could be a person who has never been in love before, but there’s nobody who never dies. Around 80 percent of the songs that make up (Korea’s) music scene are love songs, and if people find it bizarre listening to music about death, I think more songs that cover that topic should be out,” the versatile musician said, saying that he wants to be on the frontier of releasing songs about death.

“If death is a topic that should be sad, then songs that express sadness should be out. Vice versa, if death is something that could be happy, I believe that we need more songs that talk about how it could be joyful,” he added.

“Eyewitness Accident” and “Siren,” the first two tracks on the album, show how the old Lee Chan-hyuk is dead or gone. The third track, “Panorama,” is the album’s lead song and is where the new Lee Chan-hyuk comes to life. He described the song as the “most essential” track in the beginning of his album.

“I needed a track to show how I bid farewell to my old character and welcome the new side of me. It’s also a song that shows that the life that the old me had lived wasn’t honest,” he said.

The album’s other tracks — “Time! Stop!” “If I can’t go see you right now,” “Goodbye, Stay,” “What the,” “Missed Call,” “Castle in my dream,” “A Day” and “Funeral hope” — challenge listeners to think about what they would do if they one had just one day left.

The ninth song, “Castle in my dream,” has a special place in Lee’s musical archive.

“As corny as it sounds, celebrities always say they will never forget where they came from and how everything all began. Now that I’m in my seventh year as a singer, I’m starting to think I’m forcing myself into that idea.”

“But things have changed (since I debuted). I’ve realized I wanted to be the king, although I’ve tried to be humble. The words to the song talk about how I want to build my own castle, host parties there and invite people to come over. Maybe that’s the life I’m dreaming of at this point,” he said.

Lee Chan-hyuk poses during a press conference for his first solo album, “Error,” at YG Entertainment in Mapo-gu, western Seoul, on Monday. (YG Entertainment)

Lee Chan-hyuk poses during a press conference for his first solo album, “Error,” at YG Entertainment in Mapo-gu, western Seoul, on Monday. (YG Entertainment)

Although Lee is enjoying his creative control as a soloist, the singer promised he would return to AKMU when the time comes.

“The musical traits that Su-hyun and I carry have become more solid over the years, and making music as AKMU means finding a song that suits the two of us. But I don’t think people should worry about not being able to hear our songs because we will be putting them out one day,” he said at the end of the event.

Lee Chan-hyuk’s first solo album “Error” hit music platforms on Monday at 6 p.m.

By Park Jun-hee ([email protected])


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