It has been more than a year since Wanna One have gone their separate ways. However, there’s no denying their impact on the K-Pop industry despite being a temporary group.
In honor of the group’s third debut anniversary, let’s check out what the boys have been working on these days.
The group’s leader made his musical debut as the male lead Kang Moo Young in the “The Days”. The musical ran from February 22 to May 6, 2019. When tickets went on sale on January 8, 2019, tickets for all five days Jisung would be performing sold out within five minutes.
On February 20, 2019, Jisung made his debut as a solo artist. He released his first EP “Aside” a month later with his debut single “In the Rain”. In April 2019, he released his second EP “Dear Diary” with title track “I’ll Be There”.
After wrapping up a two-day fan meeting in Seoul, Jisung went on an Asian fan meeting tour with stops in Macau, Taiwan, Tokyo, Osaka, and Bangkok.
Though Jisung hasn’t had much opportunity to appear in variety shows due to his busy schedule, his solo appearance on “Weekly Idol” showcased his variety skills. Honestly, it looked like they were just four hosts goofing off rather than three hosts and one guest. We look forward to seeing Jisung in more variety shows in the future.
Jisung released the epilogue for Dear Diary on May 14, 2019 as a parting gift to his fans as he enlisted as an active-duty soldier in fulfillment of his mandatory military service on the same day. Jisung then released the digital single “Winter, Flower” as a gift to his fans on May 19, 2019.
A bit of trivia for our Wannable hearts: Jisung’s last phone call before he entered the military was with Ha Sungwoon. (We love old men supporting each other. Please note that I say this with all the love I have.)
During his enlistment, Jisung was cast in the military musical “Return: The Promise of the Day” along with FTISLAND’s Hongki, Infinite’s Sungyeol, EXO’s Xiumin and D.O., and actor Kim Min Suk. He is expected to be discharged from the military on December 13, 2020.
Our favorite self-proclaimed tita has been on a roll. Sungwoon graduated from college at Dong-ah Institute of Media and Arts, and then he released his first solo album “My Moment” with the title track “Bird” in February 2019. Sungwoon wrote and composed all five tracks in the album and served as the executive producer. Hanteo reported that 45,600 copies of the album were sold on the first day of release, making My Moment the third-highest first-day sales for an album. He then went on to release his second EP “BXXX” with lead single “Blue” in July 2019. He then released his third EP Twilight Zone with title track “Get Ready” on June 8, 2020.
Sungwoon also held fan meetings in Seoul, Tokyo, Osaka, Taipei, Bangkok, Hong Kong, Macau, and Jakarta. He also got to sing the Korean national anthem at the 17th KTMF 2019, an annual K-Pop festival held by the Korea Daily at the Hollywood Bowl in Los Angeles. Sungwoon was part of the Good Friends in Manila concert which took place in October 2019.
He has also showcased his variety and hosting skills as he participated in several music and variety shows. One of his more notable appearances is Sky Drama’s variety show “We Play”, which has allowed Sungwoon to rank first in the top 10 most popular entertainers in the non-drama TV field.
Sungwoon also participated in UNICEF Korea Committee’s “Safe Water, Save Lives!” campaign, as it coincided with World Water Day and Sungwoon’s birthday, March 22. He has also participated in an online donation concert by MBC TV and World Vision to comfort people suffering from COVID-19.
He is also the face of Benefit Cosmetics Korea’s Love & Summer campaign, following the success of their first collaboration in 2019.
Recently, Sungwoon features in good friend VIXX’s Ravi’s latest song “Paradise”.
Meanwhile, Hotshot has yet to promote as a group while the members embark on solo ventures or fulfill their mandatory military service.
Minhyun has returned to promote with the rest of NU’EST. On March 15, 2019 Minhyun participated in “A Song For You” which was released in honor of the group’s seventh debut anniversary. Minhyun released a digital solo single “Universe” as the pre-release single from the group’s first comeback since 2016. It also served as Minhyun’s version of events to accompany NU’EST W’s narrative.
The group then released “Happily Ever After” with title track “Bet Bet”. The song is the final part of the “Three-part Knight Series” that began with “Q is” in 2016. It topped the album chart, digital download chart, and BGM chart after its release. On October 21, 2019 the group released their seventh EP The Table with the lead single “Love Me”, which was the group’s first EP after the knights trilogy ended. The single went on to win in all five major music broadcast shows, which also marked the group’s first win since debut on Show! Music Core and Inkigayo. In May 2020, NU’EST released their latest EP “The Nocturne” with lead single “I’m in Trouble”.
NU’EST also embarked on their Segno tour in 2019. The tour stops included Seoul, Bangkok, Hong Kong, Jakarta, Singapore, Manila, Kuala Lumpur, and Taipei.
Minhyun has also shown off his acting chops. He was cast as Count Axel Von Fersen in the 2019 staging of “Marie Antoinette”. Running from August 24 to November 17, 2019, it ended up being the musical with the largest number of returning audience among all the musicals for 2019. On June 26, it was revealed that Minhyun was cast in the lead role of Go Eun Taek in the upcoming JTBC drama “Live On”, which is slated to air later in the year.
Minhyun has also covered a lot of songs, with the latest one being “Miss You 3000” from the popular Taiwanese drama “Someday or One Day”. On August 1, he revealed a special music video teaser for his rendition of the song. The full music video will be uploaded on August 9, which is also his birthday. He will be both singing and acting in it, so fans can look forward to that.
Ong Seongwu has embarked on a prolific solo career post-Wanna One. He immediately landed the lead role for JTBC drama “At Eighteen”, where he played the loner high school senior Choi Junwoo opposite the charming Kim Hyanggi. His acting stint in this coming-of-age drama earned Seongwu a number of awards as a rookie actor, including the Hallyu Star and the Male Rookie Award at the 2019 Korean Drama Awards, the 2019 StarHub Most Promising Actor Award, and the Rookie of the Year Award at the 2019 Asia Artist Awards.
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Aside from that, Seongwu has released his first mini album, Layers. He displayed his prowess both as a singer and an actor in the title track “Gravity”, with his expressive vocals blending well with the song’s cinematic music video. The album also included his first single, “We Belong”, for which he participated in lyric-writing. Before that, Seongwu also released the summery single “Heart Sign” for his Pepsi CF. He also sang “Our Story”, an OST for “At Eighteen”, and collaborated with Baek Jiyoung in the ballad “Didn’t Say Anything”.
Given his wit and charms, Seongwu has also starred in a number of variety shows. First off, he became one of the MCs of “Music Core” with NCT’s Mark and Gugudan’s Mina. He also appeared in the second season of “Traveller” with actors Ahn Jaehong and Kang Haneul. The show featured the trio’s exciting backpacking trip to Argentina. Here, Seongwu showcased another one of his many talents─photography.
In early 2020, Seongwu went on his first fan-meeting tour, “Eternity.” This tour included the Philippines, but it had to be canceled because of the ongoing pandemic. While we still can’t expect him to be on our shores soon, we will surely see more of Seongwu on screen.
Seongwu is set for a big screen debut in the musical film “Life Is Beautiful” with veteran actors Yum Jung Ah of “SKY Castle” and Ryu Seung Ryong of “Miracle in Cell No. 7”. Filming has wrapped up, and we’re only just waiting for the premiere date. Another thing Welos are keeping an eye out on is the upcoming drama “The Number Of Times A Friend Becomes A Lover”, where Seongwu plays the photographer Lee Soo who will be caught up in an unrequited love with his friend of 10 years. The drama is set to premiere in September. Bring it on, Actor Ong!
Among all 11 members of Wanna One, Jaehwan was the only one without an agency prior to making it to the group. He then decided to stay with Swing Entertainment, who was managing the group back then. He then made his debut as a solo artist on May 20, 2019. He released his first EP “Another” with the title track “Begin Again”, a song given to him as a gift by legendary singer Lim Chang Jung. He achieved his first music show win as a soloist on the May 29, 2019 episode of SBS MTV’s “The Show”. Jaehwan then released his second EP “Moment” on December 12, 2019. The title track “The Time I Need” allows Jaehwan to show off his improved dancing skills and a different side to him compared to his debut track. He also released the digital single “Goodbye” on January 28, 2020.
Wasting no time, Jaehwan went on an Asia-wide fan meeting called MIN:D. Although Manila wasn’t included in his tour, Filipino WIN:D still got to see him in Good Friends in Manila last October. Following his successful fan meeting tour and album releases, Jaehwan held his first solo concert “Illusion” on December 14 and 15, 2019.
He has also collaborated with other artists, whether for singing or songwriting purposes. He has collaborated with soloist Stella Jang for the song “Vacance in September” and MC Mong and Penomeco for “Cold”. Former Wanna One group mate AB6IX’s Park Woojin features in Jaehwan’s song “Paradise”. Jaehwan also composed and wrote lyrics for all the other songs in both his albums, and he also participated in composing and writing lyrics for former group mate Park Jihoon’s “Strange”.
Jaehwan has also showcased his variety skills by appearing in “My Music Teacher, Mingalabar”, “Law of the Jungle”, “Wednesday Music Playlist” , “Telegna”, and “Weplay”, to name a few. He is also currently in “Boys’ Mind Camp” with fellow soloist and good friend Jeong Sewoon and UP10TION’s Kim Wooseok and Lee Jinhyuk.
Last January, Jaehwan was in the country for both filming “Law of the Jungle in Palawan” and to help clean up Manila Bay with MOMOLAND’s Nancy.
WIN:D Twitter is also talking about a possible album announcement soon, so brace yourselves for that.
The Nation’s Center Kang Daniel is now his own company’s CEO. Emerging victorious from a grueling dispute with his former agency, he established Konnect Entertainment, which now handles his colorful solo career.
He was the last Wanna One member to debut but also clearly the most anticipated as his first EP Color On Me immediately shot up the charts upon release, garnering the highest first-day and first-week sales for a solo artist. Its title track “What Are You Up To” also brought Daniel his first music show win. This was followed by a fan-meeting tour which luckily reached Filipino Danity. Daniel then made his first comeback with two digital singles, “Touchin'” and “Adulthood”, that earned him another music show trophy.
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After collaborating on “Kangaroo” during his Wanna One days, Daniel worked with Zico once again on “Refresh” for Pepsi and Starship Entertainment’s project. This track was co-produced by Steve Aoki. Daniel also released his first drama OST, “Something” for the SBS romantic comedy, “Backstreet Rookie”. Early this year, Daniel released “Cyan”, the first of a trilogy of albums. Its lead track “2U” won him yet more awards, proving his immense popularity.
His musical success is coupled with even more accomplishment. He has steadily topped the Korean Corporate Reputation Research Institute’s “Male Model Brand Power Ranking” and “Individual Boy Group Members Brand Power Ranking.” As proof of his marketing influence, Daniel has collaborated with and endorsed a number of luxury brands, including Givenchy Beauty, Chanel, Louis Vuitton, Cartier, and Calvin Klein. He was also named in Forbes Korea’s annual list of 2030 Power Leaders in entertainment as one of the rising stars in his field and ranked fourth in the magazine’s 2019 Korea Power Celebrity List. He also snatched a Guinness record for gaining a million followers in 11.5 hours as soon as he opened his Instagram account.
Daniel is currently promoting “Who U Are” from his latest EP “Magenta”, a follow up to “Cyan”. With a third album already in the horizon for this series, Danitys can surely look forward to more content from our Nielmoyed.
Our favorite wink boy Park Jihoon stepped away from his Wanna One fame by establishing a new solo adventure with a good balance of his passion for singing and acting. He debuted with “L.O.V.E” from his first mini album, “O’Clock”, which peaked at number 2 on Gaon Chart. While he is often seen as a bubbly youth from his cute jeojang days, “L.O.V.E” showed a more serious, more manly vibe from Jihoon. He also participated in writing the lyrics for “Young 20”, a song produced by fellow former Wanna One, Lee Daehwi. In the same year, he garnered the Asia Star Award for Singers from the Asia Model Awards as well as the New K-Wave Icon Award and the Bonsang from the Soribada Best K-Music Awards.
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Always known for being a good actor since he was a child, Jihoon landed a role in the historical drama, “Flower Crew: Joseon Marriage Agency”. He plays the quirky Go Youngsoo, who is in charge of clients’ fashion and beauty. The series earned an average rating of 3.278% nationally, with its first episode rating the highest at 4.278%.
He also embarked on a solo fan-meeting tour called “First Edition”, which allowed him to meet his fans from six Asian cities, and Filipino MAYs were able to join in the fun.
Jihoon then turned back to singing after his drama. Keeping up with his mysterious image, he followed up with “360” from his second EP with the same name. Much like his first album, Jihoon worked with a former Wanna One bandmate─this time with Kim Jaehwan, who took part in producing “Strange.”
A year after his debut, Jihoon released yet another album, “The W”, with “Wing” as its title song. He maintains the sexy look but in a more colorful music video set under the open sky in the middle of a desert.
Now, Jihoon is mostly busy with the filming of his new webtoon-based drama, “Love Revolution”. Early on, fans have seen behind-the-scenes photos of Jihoon sporting an adorable bowl cut hairstyle as he plays the innocent high school student, Gong Juyoung. He stars with Lee Ruby and The Boyz’s Younghoon. MAYs are surely looking forward to this new drama that will undoubtedly save 2020!
Park Woojin and Lee Daehwi
It wasn’t surprising that Park Woojin and Lee Daehwi were going to debut under the same boy group with Brand New Music. Now known as AB6IX, the group debuted May 22, 2019 with EP “B:Complete” with title track “Breathe”. This album contains seven tracks, and all members of the group contributed to the album. The group then released their first full-length album called “6ixense” and title track “Blind for Love”. AB6IX then released their first digital EP “5NALLY” on February 13, 2020, containing solo songs from each member of the group. Most recently, the group has just released their second EP “VIVID” with the title track “The Answer” on June 29.
On September 24, 2019, AB6IX collaborated with Lizzo on a remix of her song “Truth Hurts”, which was originally released in 2017.
AB6IX held their Asia-wide fan meeting tour “1st ABNEW” with stops at Seoul, Tokyo, Singapore, Taipei, Hong Kong, and Bangkok. They then announced their first worldwide tour “6ixense” which would have had stops in Asia, America, and Europe, if not for the COVID-19 outbreak.
Known as a songwriter, Daehwi has contributed to most, if not all of AB6IX’s songs in all of their albums. He wrote songs for his former Wanna One group mates such as Yoon Jisung’s “Slow” and Park Jihoon’s “Young 20”. He also wrote IZ*ONE’s “Airplane” and Produce X 101’s “Dream For You”. Daehwi has also branched out into hosting as he is the “M Countdown” host alongside model Han Hyun Min. He has also dabbled in acting when he starred in the web drama “Mon Chouchou Global House”.
As for Woojin, he has participated in writing all of his rap parts in all of AB6IX’s songs. He also collaborated with American rapper A Boogie wit da Hoodie and released a Korean version of “Look Back at It”. He has also appeared in variety shows such as “Law of the Jungle in Thailand”.
Bae Jinyoung debuted as a soloist on April 26, 2019 with his self-composed single album, “Hard To Say Goodbye”. He also held a solo fan meeting tour “I’m Young” with stops in Seoul, Manila, Osaka, Tokyo, Singapore, Bangkok, Hong Kong, and Taiwan.
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Jinyoung’s group CIX was first introduced as C9Boyz back in February 2019. Ahead of debut, the group broadcast the reality show “Hello CIX” on June 4, 2019 through V Live. The show consisted of 10 episodes showcasing their various charms and road to debut. The group then released their EP “Hello Chapter 1: Hello, Stranger” and lead single “Movie Star” on July 23, 2019. They held their debut showcase on July 24, 2019, with tickets reportedly selling out within 30 seconds. Six days after their debut showcase, CIX got their first music show win on SBS MTV’s “The Show”, earning them the title of one the fastest winning K-Pop acts. On November 19, 2019, the group released their second EP “Hello Chapter 2: Hello, Strange Place” with the lead single “Numb”. The song tackles social issues among youth in South Korea, such as poor mental health, bullying, and the obsession with test results among students.
CIX made their Japanese debut on October 23, 2019 with a Japanese version of “Hello Chapter 1: Hello, Stranger”. The Japanese album features an additional Japanese track called “My New World”. On November 10, 2019, CIX held their Japanese debut showcase at Line Cube Shibuya, and at Zepp Namba on November 17, 2019. CIX released their first Japanese single “Revival” on April 1.
CIX was supposed to hold their first fan meeting tour, “Hello, FIX” with stops in North America, Taiwan, Thailand, and South Korea, but the tour was cancelled due to COVID-19.
The group was also supposed to come back with their third EP “Hello Chapter 3: Hello, Strange Time”, but Jinyoung’s injury has led to the postponement of the album’s release. We wish Jinyoung a speedy recovery!
After Wanna One’s disbandment, Cube Entertainment announced that Lai Guanlin will be focusing on solo activities in China before debuting with another boy group.
On 20 February 2019, it was revealed that Guanlin was going to participate in a duo with his ultimate bias Pentagon’s Wooseok. The unit released their debut EP “9801” with the title song “I’m A Star” Guanlin then held his first fan meeting “Good Feeling” with stops in Seoul, Bangkok, Singapore, Taiwan, and Hong Kong.
Guanlin became an in-demand endorser, as he has become the face of several brands such as Dr.Jart+, MGTV International APP, Chinese Social Assistance Foundation, and Green Carpet Action (Marie Claire x China Green Foundation). He has endorsed Nongfu Spring, TBJ, L’Oréal, Downy, KM Pharmaceutical (XYLIS), Perfect Diary, VIVLAS Lipstick, Wolong Nuts, and Elleair.
In January 2019, Guanlin was cast as the male lead in the Chinese drama “A Little Thing Called First Love”. Most recently, Guanlin was cast in youth drama “Don’t Think About Interrupting My Studies” as the main lead, Lin Xiao Ran. The drama will be airing in 2021.
Unfortunately, Guanlin is in the middle of a contract dispute with Cube Entertainment. In the meantime, he will be focusing on his activities in China. He also promises to “return with even better work in the future.”
As much as we miss seeing Wanna One together, it’s good to see that they are all doing relatively well in their respective paths. Maybe we can get a mini-reunion project down the road? Only time can tell.
Happy third debut anniversary, Wanna One!
Mindy Dela Cruz contributed to this article.