At the top of this month, the K-pop scene saw one of its recent breakout stars take a hiatus from the industry. SHAUN, the 29-year-old singer-songwriter who broke out last summer with the release of his addictive R&B-dance single “Way Back Home,” enlisted in South Korea’s armed forces to fulfill his duty in the country’s mandatory draft service.
While the timing may not have been ideal for SHAUN (neé Kim Yunho) as he began extending his international reach with a “Way Back Home” remix featuring Sam Feldt and Conor Maynard and his tight song-production skills on full display via this year’s An-Nyeong EP, the singer has additional plans to keep his newfound fanbase happy during his time away.
In an interview ahead of his enlistment, SHAUN shared with Billboard that he has new music recorded, complete with set release dates, that listeners can look forward to in the coming months. “I am making sure that the music I’ve been making before the service will be released while I am away,” he says .”I, also, will be looking forward to the release dates while I am serving. It’s going to be great, so be ready.”
SHAUN adds that he’s looking to continue the path he began with his remix of “Way Back Home” bringing in a new producer and singers. “I’d like to create music with different artists from the different world with different colors,” he adds, citing hopes to work with the likes of Lauv, Bazzi, PREP, and London’s hip-hop/jazz fusion star Tom Misch. “Unfortunately, I won’t be able to do much for a while due to the given situation, but later when I am done with the service, I’d love to get connected with different musicians in the world for collaborations.”
Plus, after nearly a decade after his initial foray on the scene as keyboardist in the critically adored Korean indie-rock outfit The Koxx, SHAUN says his music has led him to self-discovery and he plans to keep learning who he is through his art.
“I consider myself having a narrow vision, not knowing truly about myself,” he says when asked for any additional messages. “This excites me to learn new things though. After completing one song after another, I find more and more about myself. That’s why it’s fun making music. My music is the best representation of myself, like a tattoo or a mirror that I can reflect myself to. Through music, I get to figure out what I’m thinking and what kind of life I am living in. Music for me is an honest place to be. I’d like to continue making music not only to have people to hear them but also for them to understand what I am feeling. I always want my emotions to be felt by the listeners.”
SHAUN leaves his international fans a special, handwritten letter that they can hold on to while he’s serving. Read it exclusively on Billboard: