K-Pop Artist of the Month: Wanna One (워너원)

Hello everyone, it is a pleasure to starting writing articles for you all.

I want to write about a band who recently debuted on 7th August 2017. The band is called Wanna One (워너원).

Wanna One was formed on a survival show called Produce 101 (season 2). This program is from Mnet which follows the successful season 1, where it was all girls competing. This is a large scale project in which the public produces a boy band by choosing 11 members among 101 trainees from 54 entertainment companies. The group will perform for 2 years together under YMC Entertainment. The group will later disband after their contracts end, allowing the final line-up to return to their agencies.

Watching Produce 101 (season 2) was so much fun. I found out how much trainees work in order to achieve their dream as an idol. The K-pop industry is so competitive with so many young and new individuals with special talent in singing and dance. There was so many trainees I really enjoyed whilst watching the program. I was upset that some of trainees that I liked did not make the top 11. The current top 11 is still great and brings different personalities and skills to the group. The 11 members of Wanna One are in order of their ranking from the show are:

  • 1st – MMO Entertainment – Kang Daniel
  • 2nd – Maroo Entertainment – Park Ji Hoon
  • 3rd – Brand New Music- Lee Dae Hwi
  • 4th – Individual Trainee – Kim Jae Hwan
  • 5th – Fantangio – Ong Sung Woo
  • 6th – Brand New Music – Park Woo Jin
  • 7th – Cube Entertainment – Lai Guan Lin
  • 8th – MMO Entertainment – Yoo Ji Sung
  • 9th – Pledis Entertainment – Hwang Min Hyun
  • 10th – C9 Entertainment – Bae Jin Young
  • 11th – Ardor & Able – Ha Sung Woon

After Produce 101 (season 2) ended, the members of Wanna One have been working so hard to prepare for their debut, which was on the 7th August. They have debut with their first mini album 1×1=1 (To Be One). “Energetic” was chosen as the album’s title track via public voting, a song produced by Pentagon’s Hui (the composer of “Never”). The digital album has five (5) tracks including one intro track. Will Wanna One meet our sky-high expectations?

Image courtesy of Wanna One’s Facebook page

Track Review

Track 1 – “To be One (Intro)

The arrangement for the song was by Galactika. This was a short introduction to their album and represents what Wanna One is about as a band. This was a build up for the next song “Burn it Up”. Welcome to K-Pop, Wanna One.

Track 2 – “Burn it up (활할)”

“Burn It Up” is a powerful house track. Everything from this song screams Wanna One. The producers did a great job of imprinting the group’s unique elements into “Burn It Up”. This song has such a funky beat and you can easily dance to it. There is a part of the song that, Jaehwan sings ‘ooooooooh’, that’s my favourite part of the song. This song really represents summer and it’s a great song to listen to order to get you in the mood to party. I personally enjoy listening to this song.

Track 3 – “Energetic (에너제틱)”

“Energetic” is Wanna One’s title track of the album and the lyrics were written by Pentagon’s Hui and his follow pentagon member Wooseok. This is a dance pop track that will be the talking point for everything that is Wanna One until their next release. Having won the public vote and chosen as the album’s title track, the expectation is surreal and tremendous. During the first few seconds in, you’ll realize that “Energetic” is rather un-energetic due to the beginning piano sounds. However, suddenly there is an increase in energy. The beats really keep you anticipating and bopping while listening to it. The vocals, fortunately, are more dominant than the accompaniment. Most of the vocals are contributed by Jae Hwan, Sung Woon, Seongwoo, and Minhyun; and they did an excellent job of providing a stable performance throughout. I believe this is a great choice for a title track.

Track 4 – “Wanna Be (My Baby)”

This is the fourth song from the album. This song is a cheerful and sweet pop track, you can say that it is cute too. All the members are bright and young. This track represents their youthfulness. The producers did a great job of choosing this track for this album. This song is perfect for your chill summer. There are a couple of witty references in this song too. Try to find some and you’ll like “Wanna Be (My Baby)” even more!

Track 5 – “Always ( 자리에)” (Acoustic Ver.)

This song was first introduced to the public at the end of Produce 101 (season 2). This song is already amazing. It has been created especially for this album, only for the 11 members. This is an acoustic version and it’s the only ballad of the album. The lack of complicated instrumentals combining with all members vocals has a very meaning impact. I can feel the passion and the struggles that all 11 members went through during their time in Produce 101. The two vocals that really stood out for me will be Jaehwan’s and Min Hyun’s. The members harmonized well together which allowed for a better listening experience for fans to enjoy. This is my favourite track from this album.

Final Thoughts

I was so impressed with Wanna One’s mini album that my expectations where high for this album. They have so many fans already from the Produce 101 season so I was anticipating a lot and they did not disappoint. Overall, Wanna One’s album is fantastic effort that all members worked on together with excellent producers and my expectations for the next album is very high now. I would like them to have the opportunity to take part in composing and get more involved in the songwriting process. This would allow them to express their feelings and emotions. I would give this album a rating of rating: 8/10. I wish them all the success for the future in releasing music and other activities. I hope one day I can see them live.

Just the facts: social media edition

Here’s Wanna One’s social media accounts:

Please follow them and make them more popular. 🙂 I congratulate them on their debut, until next time, have a great month and watch out for my next article.

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