K-pop soloist Kang Daniel has finally kicked off 2021 after a long wait, dropping his scintillating new single ‘Paranoia’ earlier today. 

Listen. Kang Daniel is back and all might just be well with the world. The K-pop star dropped his scintillating digital single ‘Paranoia’ earlier today, marking his first musical release in 2021. 

Over the course of the track, which he described as one of his most personal releases to date, the singer maps out a fight against the monsters that live inside us. Taking us on a roller-coaster of discovering and eventually learning to co-exist with our demons, Kang paints a grim picture as he sings about the darkness “always finding” you. 

‘Paranoia’ is the first release after Kang’s acclaimed ‘Color’ trilogy, which he kicked off in 2019 with Color On Me. Last year, he followed said EP up with parts two and three, titled Cyan and Magenta respectively.

In an interview with the South Korean magazine 1st look, Kang described ‘Paranoia’ as being ‘one part of the person called Kang Daniel.’

Since going solo, Kang has been an unprecedented example of what it means to be a K-pop star in the 21st century. From daily dealings to his artistry, he remains a vocal proponent of mental health, partly because of the role the latter has played in his career. 

Shortly before leaving the temporary group Wanna One, Kang was embroiled in a legal battle with his agency over contractual rights. While he did go solo and eventually established his own agency, the added stress resulted in him taking a break from activities and focusing on his mental health.

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Kang’s acknowledgement of his mental health, as well his subsequent actions, were unprecedented. While K-pop and South Korea’s approach to mental health is rapidly changing, it is unusual for a rising star to put his career on hiatus. For Kang, however, this break was instrumental to his future. 

“Everybody runs into a wall sometimes.” he told Forbes shortly after the release of Cyan. “What gives me courage, and what I want to focus on more than what happened to me, is that I overcame my obstacles and it’s really that which gives me courage to move forward.” 

Check out ‘Paranoia’ by Kang Daniel:

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