This weekend, I decided to spend some quality time watching WayV on YouTube to get to know the individual members better. I know them by face and I’m quite familiar with a few, but I wanted to get in there and really get a feel for them all as individuals and for their group dynamic. During one of the early episodes of their first reality show, WinWin and Ten are trying to pick a song to choreograph a modern dance piece to and they decide pretty easily that they want to evoke a sad feeling. Ten looks at WinWin and asks what story they want to tell. They sit in silence for a few beats before Ten laments that there are so many sad stories and its too hard to choose.
There’s something about a sad story or a sad song that really tugs at my heart. I love them. Maybe it’s the Dashboard Confessional, emo remnants of my youth, but hearing or seeing someone express heavy emotions in a cathartic way really does it for me. I almost always have to stop what I’m doing and pay close attention. It’s like everything they put into this art deserves recognition in a way that other emotions might not garner from me.
Late in 2019 – very late, so it’s still new – the solo R&B singer, Golden, put out a song called Hate Everything and it is exactly what I’m talking about. Not only is it the perfect regretful breakup song – well-written vocals over heart-rending, simple music – knowing a little about Golden’s background makes it just the tiniest bit more painful. Golden is someone I’ve been paying attention to for a while, somewhat out of anticipation for his amazing talent and just a little bit out of pity, and I think it’s important that folks understand just how much struggle and disappointment has gone into creating the foundation for his burgeoning career.
Golden, formerly known as G.Soul, started out as a trainee for JYP. He has the dubious honor of being the person with the record for time spent in this role at this agency. You thought Jinho of Pentagon had it bad at SM? Nope, G.Soul was a trainee for 15 years before making his debut in 2015. Can you imagine how much that would hurt? 15 years of watching trainees be chosen for things you want. 15 years of never being good enough. Before debut, he did gain a reputation and some notable recognition in Korea and in the US as being “R. Kelly’s protege,” but this little fact wigs me out a bit knowing just how disgusting R. Kelly is. However, I’m choosing not to assign the sins of the mentor to the mentee. During his time at JYP, G.Soul released a couple of EPs and a couple of singles, doing pretty well on the charts and with features, but you know, JYP is notorious for having a LOT of control over what his artists put out so I’m not entirely sure how much of that early stuff is exactly what he wanted to be doing.
In 2017, G.Soul, when his contract ended, signed with our boy Jay Park’s second label H1ghr Music. On this label, he’s put out an EP and some songs, done some features, etc, but something wasn’t sticking, he still hasn’t seen the recognition that many of his new colleagues have seen. In 2019 he rebranded himself as Golden, shedding some of that history and starting kind of fresh. He’s working his butt off promoting Hate Everything, putting out a ton of different concepts for the song alongside the official MV and heck, he even made it to Stephanie’s top 50 fav songs playlist for the year. That says a lot since she professes to hate R&B…
Hate Everything, Golden