Just like a diamond, Kang Daniel experienced lots of pressure and adversity. But instead of being crushed by his hardships, he endured it and got stronger.
In his mini album YELLOW, it’s the first time we hear Kang Daniel speak openly about his struggles. With his lovable smile, bright personality, and fun songs it was hard to imagine he hid so much pain. It’s evident this final chapter of his COLOR series is much darker than anything we’ve seen him do before.
Kang Daniel’s color series takes listeners on a journey of many emotions. From lively CYAN to steamy MAGENTA and now its climatic close with YELLOW.
When we think of the color yellow many of us associate it with happiness. But in an interview with WWD, he described the color as cold and distant, but it also reminded him of a new day. With this mini album he gave the color a different meaning.
From malicious words spoken to him, to depression, and hopelessness, Kang Daniel lays it all out like an open book in YELLOW.
“So critical enemies invisible, give me more battleground digital.”
The mini album starts with the song “Digital”.
In his online showcase the song “Digital” is described as a retro synth-pop song. It is a song about the lies that spread online and trying to rise up from it. Daniel said, “The lyrics are about the repeated pain that slowly devastates a person.”
I think how the track starts really captures listeners’ attention. We hear heavy breathing and echos from Daniel laughing manically in the background. In this song he perfectly captures the trauma and frustration of having lies and hurtful things said about him online.
I’m glad he openly called out malicious commenters in this track. He doesn’t diss them or curse them out, instead he plainly lays out the effects their actions caused.
On February 16, “Paranoia” was released. It was the first song the public heard from the YELLOW mini album. It definitely gave us listeners a glimpse of how different this album would be. The song “Paranoia” is about fighting inner darkness. It conveys the feeling of being trapped and suffocating due to fear, depression, anxiety, and (or) hopelessness.
The music video blends metaphors with reality to convey the message of the song. Every set, prop, and even the dancers serve a purpose in the video. I enjoy the choreography and how the dancers play a prominent role. They represent the darkness that is trying to pull Daniel down.
It’s a deep music video with lots of symbolism and I think it was well done.
“Misunderstood” continues with the dark sound and message from the first two tracks. It’s described as a futuristic alternative pop song. Daniel explains the song is about “the struggles of being misunderstood due to baseless rumors and gossip.”
To me this song (lyrically) is a combination of “Digital” and “Paranoia”. He mentions the pain of all the hurtful things people have said about him (“Digital”) and fighting the inner turmoil in his mind (“Paranoia”).
My favorite moment in the song is when the base drops in the chorus and Daniel sings, “Oh no here I go again…”. The collaboration with Omega Sapien was spot on. I think his verse fits perfectly in the song and I enjoyed it.
“Antidote” is a turning point in the mini album. The song combines rock elements with alternative R&B. I love how Daniel sings about actively trying to find a way out of his pain. He’s searching for an antidote that can wipe his slate clean and free him from the endless darkness.
I like how the color yellow is incorporated in his music video. We see the color in various scenes:
In the beginning of the video when he is dancing and and there’s yellow broken mannequin parts.
The scenes when he looks like he’s in pain and he’s confined in a small space.
Also when he’s performing and all we see on the screens is the color yellow.
While we do see scenes of Daniel feeling tormented we also see scenes of him trying to run away. Towards the end of the video he finally breaks out from wherever he was and onto a rooftop. There’s a blue fabric that flows above him. The sky is blue, and we see him with his dancers dancing on top of a mirror.
From my interpretation, in the music video yellow represents the coldness and pain he experiences but the color blue represents freedom and hope.
There’s a lot more details in his videos for “Paranoia” and “Antidote”. Both videos are connected. So if you haven’t watched them yet, I highly suggest watching both of them.
The song “Antidote” itself is a masterpiece. I really enjoy hearing the echos in the chorus. Daniel’s vocals are strong. The various elements added to the song work perfectly together.
“You’re stronger than you think you know.”
“Save U” is the resolution of this mini album and it’s a great ending to his COLOR series. He worked with the artist Wonstein and this was another wonderful collaboration. Wonstein has a great voice and I’m glad he agreed to participate in this track. I also enjoy listening to the choir in the background, it definitely ends the mini album on a much lighter, hopeful note.
In his online showcase Daniel explained the song perfectly. He said, “This is the last song of the COLOR series and the last track of the YELLOW album. I didn’t want to end it on a depressive note.
“As for the song ‘Antidote’ I wanted the last part, the outro to sound bright and liberating…With the addition of the track ‘Save U’ the color of this album has been finally defined. It is the only hopeful song in this new album. It is also a song dedicated to DANITY.
“Well in my opinion we live in this cruel and competitive world where we fall into despair. To those who are struggling I wanted to give courage. I wanted to tell them that it’s okay. I wanted to sing a comforting song.”
You can watch his complete online showcase HERE, he talks more in depth about the album.
Personally, I think this is a perfect song to dedicate to anyone you support and love. You can sing this song to yourself or others. I think it’s extremely important to be part of a community that will lift you up and help you – especially when you’re going through a rough time.
DANITY (Kang Daniel’s fans) have been a strong pillar in his musical journey. I think DANITY are extremely lucky to support such a kind and humble guy. But I also think he’s lucky to have such strong supportive people who stand by him.
I know when Kang Daniel performs “Save U” live, in an in-person concert, and DANITY sings the song back to him, it’ll be such a magical moment. I can’t wait when that happens.
YELLOW is an album that speaks honestly about internal pain. Despite feeling trapped and hopeless Kang Daniel actively searched for a way out. No matter the obstacles he faced, he kept fighting, and made it out of that darkness. Now he looks back and he can confidently say that everything will be okay.
I’ve mentioned this multiple times but I have so much respect for Kang Daniel. He’s an example of someone who went through hell but kept moving forward. He never gave up.
Now he openly talks about the struggles and pain he had. This conversation, especially from someone who is well-known, can serve as an inspiration to others who are struggling. I like how he doesn’t sugar-coat his struggles. But he also doesn’t paint himself like an indestructible hero. He’s honest and humble. No one is perfect and he doesn’t try to be perfect, he simply wants to be honest and I deeply admire that about Daniel.
All in all, this was a great mini album. If you haven’t heard it yet, I highly recommend you do. To anyone who is struggling, just know there’s hope. I think you can find some comfort in Kang Daniel’s music – not only in his YELLOW album but also in any of his previous songs too.
Congratulations to Daniel and everyone who worked with him on this amazing comeback. From the producers, directors, choreographers, dancers, artists, etc, thank you for helping his vision come to life.
I wish Daniel all the best in his future activities. I’ll continue supporting him and I’m proud of the artist he’s become.
I talk more about KPOP on my channel YouTube.com/elimariereacts
I do not own any of the pictures of Kang Daniel on this post (they are from KONNECT Entertainment).