I’ve written a bit in the past, in particular about the boys at Planetarium whom I love with all of my heart, that not everyone doing music in Korea is an idol. There is an incredibly rich music scene in almost every genre that has nothing to do with the big business of entertainment that we are largely exposed to internationally. But that doesn’t mean that these musicians aren’t influenced or impacted by the deep pockets and heartbreaking competition that is Kpop. an almost unfathomable number of boys and girls enter into an almost countless number of agencies as trainees. Sixty, seventy, one hundred groups debut each year and most never make it. The numbers are crushing.
None of this, however, means that the men and women from these disbanded groups want to, or do, stop making music. Sometimes they go on survival shows to get that second or third chance, sometimes they go back to their agencies or new agencies to become trainees again, and many of them head off on their own to become solo artists…whether as an independent artist or on a label. Often, when they head off on their own, they no longer own the image or name that was carefully crafted for them so they start from the ground up and build a new life for themselves…often a much more authentic life. They take off that idol mantel and craft a new persona.
The Wonder Boyz debuted in 2012 on ent102 with a single track, Open the Door, and put out a single, Tarzan, the following year. That’s it. They disbanded in 2014 and each went their own ways as solo artists taking very different paths. K (aka Teaehyun) is now on CHITWN and performs under the name Owol, whom I’ve been listening to for several years without knowing his history. Young Boy took on the moniker Roscoe and is now part of the DPR family and Bak Chi Gi is now an independent artist known as Young Ca$$. The final member, Master One, was initially signed to DPR under the name V-Hawk, but has since gone his own way. He’s been fairly prolific as a solo artist and has also been trying his hand at directing and editing, having worked on Tokki’s Bugs Bunny Flow. He also served as a feature on Vixx’s Niel’s solo album oNIELy.
V-Hawk recently dropped the single Rubber Ball featuring Donutman and I am super pleased to say that it’s creeping it’s way up my favs list for 2019. It’s nothing hugely dramatic, there aren’t any singular moments that stand out or take my breath away, but there’s just something almost soothing about it. It’s rhythmic to the point of almost hypnotic. I’m fairly hearts and starts about it.
Plus, I love Donutman’s voice so that’s a major bonus.
Rubber Ball, V-Hawk (ft. Donutman)