For WINNER, Nam Taehyun is a member that they miss

Group WINNER are finally back after a long hiatus. Their new single album “FATE NUMBER FOR” which contains double title tracks “REALLY REALLY” and “FOOL” was released on April 4th at 4PM. It has been 1 year and 2 months since their last mini album “EXIT:E“, which was released last February.

It is unusual for relatively new idol groups to have hiatuses that last longer than an year as they do not want to get forgotten by fans and the public alike. Because of this, WINNER’s comeback is gaining much attention. Although it is a comeback that took a long time, it is gaining attention for a different reason as well.

WINNER debuted as a 5-membered group; however, during the indefinite hiatus of group activities, member Nam Taehyun left the group last November. WINNER reorganized themselves as 4 without adding new members. Their decision to release their songs on April 4th at 4PM is due to this as well. After the new digital chart system was established, most artists release their music at noon or 6PM but WINNER emphasized the number 4 and released their single album at 4PM.

Kang Seungyoon, ‘We are now a 4-membered group but we think it is very unfortunate how Nam Taehyun left. We wanted to stay together as 5 but due to health complications among other complications, we became 4. Truthfully, I was very worried at the time about how to fill in Taehyun’s empty spot. The effect on the vocal line and the fact that we knew that many of our fans loved Taehyun a lot, I worried about realistic things like fans leaving the fandorn. But I think I worked that much harder to fill up that empty spot. If you listen to the song, you’ll see that Jinwoo-hyung worked hard to show his abilities as a vocalist and I paid a lot of attention to the organisation of the song. I think that rather than feeling the empty spot, the feeling that WINNER got renewed is stronger.”

It cannot be helped but for idol group members leaving to be seen as a negative issue. It is heartbreaking for fans who loved the group with the original number of members and it is unfavorable for the group as the members work to establish their distinct color. A member leaving is already very difficult for many people but with Nam Taehyun’s leave, negative rumors followed.

On this, leader Kang Seungyoon honestly stated, “It is true that Taehyun left the group due to health complications. He found activities difficult due to his health and after discussing it with the company, he left the group. We find his leave very unfortunate and saddening and we are sorry that we were not able to take care of him more.”

Although Nam Taehyun is no longer in WINNER, all five of them struggled together through difficult times as trainees, achieved their dream to debut, performed onstage together, and experienced all the ups and downs together for years. Because of this WINNER misses Nam Taehyun. The motif of the lyrics for “FOOL” was drawn from the longing for Nam Taehyun.

Kang Seungyoon, “When I was first started writing the song ‘FOOL’, I wanted to make a song that was opposite of ‘REALLY REALLY’. I may have been inspired to write lyrics of longing while missing Nam Taehyun. ‘FOOL’ actually does contain those emotions. I did start writing the song with the motif of missing Taehyun. Even though the rest of the lyrics are about love between two lovers, I personally think I tried including that longing into the song.”

It couldn’t be helped but for Kang Seungyoon and Kim Jinwoo to be burdened with Nam Taehyun’s leave as he was the main vocalist. Especially for Kim Jinwoo, he honestly talked about being burdened as he said, “I do take singing classes”.

Kim Jinwoo, “I am taking singing classes. But instead of a strict class, when I find a song I like, I take that song to the recording studio and while recording it, I learn how to improve my singing. I needed this kind of practice. I think I was too dependent on my members until our last album. So, to become a person who can quickly lessen my members’ burdens, I’m taking singing lessons and improving myself.”

We asked what kind of musical direction 4-membered WINNER will take from now on. They did not stubbornly insist that they will only release albums filled with their self-compositions. They also did not express their wish to only sing lyrical songs or stick to flashy dance tracks. They talked about being open to singing songs that are produced by other composers. In other words, they are interested in maturing as a group called WINNER that is open to a variety of possibilities.

Kang Seungyoon, “If the song is fresh and shows us in a cool light, we might keep doing dance tracks. If we decide that we want to sing lyrical songs again, we’ll sing those kinds of songs. We want to be open to all possible directions.”

Original Article: HERE | Translation Credits: christina / chrissy96_