It isn’t every day that a breathy, natural vibrato rings through the air, captivating everybody around. Kim Woosung, a Korean-American soloist and lead singer-electric guitarist of quartet band The Rose, is hence a welcome anomaly in the music world. The 28-year-old singer has honed his innate skills over a musical career spanning nearly 4 years, where he has gained immense support from Black Roses (The Rose’s fandom), overcome numerous obstacles, and enhanced the musical spectrum of the Korean music industry with his artistic sensibilities.
“I’m just expressing myself the way I want to and everybody should have that choice too.”
Coming back with a new single, ‘LAZY’ on 24th June 2021 that marks his fresh solo start after the falling-out with J&Star Company, Woosung paints a cozy tale of accepting the laziness within us and overcoming it. The song, released on 24th June 2021, also comes after the heartwarming ‘Black Rose’ track that eased the concerns of Black Roses for the band, ‘Don’t be afraid…Don’t worry about us’, and the solo OST ‘You Make Me Back’ for hit K-Drama, Itaewon Class. With lyrics that ring with relatability, a smooth tranquil melody, a chic bassline, a chill rap verse by Reddy, and the euphony of Woosung’s vocals, the summer anthem ‘LAZY’ has all its listeners pleased and wishing for more!
“Having a Cheap Monday/ I don’t want to do anything/Honestly, I’m so very/ Lazy, No way, no way/Lazy, Okay, okay.” – sings Woosung in LAZY.
The comeback of Woosung had us at KHIGH, excited to connect with the multifaceted performer. In an interview with Woosung, we weaved through his thoughts, memories, wishes, and love for The Rose and Black Roses worldwide.
KHIGH: Your solo career with the mini-album ‘WOLF’ adheres to a different side of the musical spectrum than THE ROSE’s music. Do you ever find yourself befuddled by this dichotomy of your creative process as ‘The Rose’ and as a ‘soloist’?
Woosung: No, not at all. I always knew how to differentiate what we wanted as ‘The Rose’ and what I wanted as a soloist. As THE ROSE, we are always going to be writing songs with the members and we will never make a decision without every member agreeing 100%. As WOOSUNG, I just want to show people who I am.
KHIGH: Your last single, ‘Black Rose’ with all of THE ROSE members before they enlisted in the military, resonated with your fans even deeper than any of your other tracks so far. What do you attribute this sincere love from your fans for the song to?
Woosung: The song ‘Black Rose’ was a promise to our fans. A promise to come back, a promise to not forget, a promise to the connection we have.
KHIGH: Your latest solo release, ‘LAZY’ had fans excited since the very first hint dropped and Hajoon proclaimed that he couldn’t wait for the release too. Can you tell us what inspired you to work on this and what kept you motivated through this project?
Woosung: We made a promise to our fans and we had to keep it. Nothing inspires me more than seeing the listeners’ true love for music. I am honored to be able to contribute even a little to their life and give happiness, sadness, or any other emotions that they are feeling with my music.
KHIGH: Right when the MV teaser was released showing that the track ‘LAZY’ will feature veteran Korean Rapper REDDY, everybody was curious to know how did this collaboration come about? Can you spill the beans now, please?
Woosung: I came across Reddy’s Instagram story of The Rose’s song. We naturally started to comment on each other’s posts and then one day decided to hang out. During the first time meeting Reddy, we were at his studio listening to some of his unreleased music and I had a perfect song that would sound amazing with the style and tone of his rapping, which was ‘Lazy.’ He loved the track and was down to put a verse on it.
KHIGH: Since your rap verse in ‘Beautiful Girl’, many Black Roses have been looking forward to more of your rap-infused singing. So, can we expect your upcoming releases to feature a short rap verse too?
Woosung: Hahahahaha nope. I am not a rapper and never will be. So, I don’t think you will be hearing rapping from me anytime soon.
Even though we might not hear him rapping in the future, let’s re-live the singer-rapper moments of ‘Beautiful Girl’:
KHIGH: Your breathy vocal inflections carry a healing ability. However, do you think this soft quality restricts you from trying out a certain genre or style? Also, is there a genre that you want to explore in the future?
Woosung: My next album is going to have very unique and distinct sounds with each song. I am always trying out new styles and exploring. Also, so far I haven’t had any troubles with singing different genres.
KHIGH: As much as fans love your original songs, the love they have for the song covers performed on stage or online, is no less too. Can we expect more song covers (with Woolfy in the frame of course) in the future? Which song cover holds a special significance to you?
Woosung: For me, the urge to cover songs always comes very randomly, it’s never too planned. If I can relate to the song and want to show it in my own emotions I will cover the song. So definitely I will do more covers in the future, just don’t really know when exactly that would be. I think ‘Breakeven’ would be the most special song that we have covered as The Rose. It was our first cover song that we practiced as a band, and also it was what brought us together.
KHIGH: Your fashion statement is heralded by many as challenging the established beauty standards. Is this a goal you consciously strive for or is it a fortuitous result of just being yourself?
Woosung: I don’t really have a specific goal that I am trying to achieve by wearing a certain type of makeup or painting my nails. I’m just expressing myself the way I want to and everybody should have that choice too.
KHIGH: Can you recall a memorable moment from your previous concerts? What do you think will be the first thing you would like to do when you can finally perform?
Woosung: Every moment I first step on stage is the most memorable and is what I miss the most. The sounds, smell, the lights, everything just stays with you no matter how much time passes. I miss touring, as soon as everything seems to be safe and back to normal, I would love to start going all over the world to meet the people who are listening to my music.
KHIGH: The cute videos of your household’s new member, Woolfy, and the humorous-sweet ones with your brother have fans fawning over the time you had spent back home recently. Can you tell us any heartening moments of late that always make you smile?
Woosung: I think my brother going through puberty is the funniest thing ever. It makes me laugh every time. I am so glad I can be a part of this period in his life. Woolfy is great, my mom and brother love him so much. Woolfy really brought more joy to our family, we would just watch him play with his toy for hours and bond.
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KHIGH: Your fandom has grown rapidly all around the world. Are you aware of the Indian Black Roses and their devoted support for THE ROSE and you? Would you like to visit and meet them in India sometime in the near future?
Woosung: Of course!! I have never been to India, but as soon as I get the chance I will be there 😁 Thank you for the love and support, fans in India ❤️
KHIGH: Lastly, is there a message you would like to give to your music listeners?
Woosung: Be Lazy!
“Nothing inspires me more than seeing the listeners’ true love for music.”
Now that Kim Woosung, also known as Sammy, has established his own independent label, Woolfpack, and has embarked on the journey of fulfilling his promise to his fans, we can’t wait to see what future solo endeavors of this Korean-American singer-songwriter, and composer, will bring! The re-assembling of all The Rose’s members after the other three members’ military service ends, also is something we can’t help but look forward to because The Rose’s music, is something you just have to hear, to understand the captivating charm of.