Singer-songwriter, rapper, dancer, and producer Cho Seungyoun has always been an act to watch. In 2014, he debuted as the main rapper of the boy band UNIQ. In 2018, he took on the moniker WOODZ, and along with that name change came the transition from rap to primarily vocals. Taking an alternative R&B route, he released a few moderately successful solo singles, including “Different” and “Pool.” In 2019, the singer became a member of the short-lived project group X1. He has now released his highly anticipated first EP, EQUAL, containing seven self-written and produced tracks.
The title track “Love Me Harder” has an incredibly addictive whistle-and-bass hook throughout. In addition to the groovy style he’s adopted, his fresh and airy vocals are nothing less than impressive. The story-packed music video will have you on the edge of your seat. To start, we witness WOODZ going through a less-than-amicable breakup, along with a mullet-sporting, evil alter ego watching from the sidelines. Before you know it, the confrontation begins and it doesn’t stop there, as we see him becoming entangled in a counterfeit money ring. Meanwhile, in-between storylines, the choreography is just as fun to watch.
EQUAL kicks off with the dark-but-inspirational “Lift Up.” A deep and distorted voice introduces the track: “I’m getting lifted from the bottom // How about the next step // Yeah I’m ready for the crown.” The dramatic R&B track is all about perseverance, and his emotional vocals convey his determination to a T.
“Accident” continues the same dramatics and alternative R&B style. He ruminates on a broken relationship and we feel his pain. The high note over the bridge has us all taken aback, before the final lyrical twist-of-the-knife. Switching up his earlier sentiment, he laments, “Tell me honestly // Baby I just want to know who you are // Yeah it is not accident // It’s your fault.”
The catchy “Noid” is too relatable: “What do you mean? I’m annoyed // Please leave me alone and I don’t belong // You’re so boring.” We’ll be blasting this track through our headphones at full volume with the door closed, thank you.
Chill out with the soothing “Waikiki” before turning up with the trap/hip-hop, party-fueled anthem “Buck.” Both songs feature rappers Colde and Punchnello, respectively. The album closes out with the sentimental ballad “Memories,” and we do love that he included a slower song, to further showcase his sharp songwriting and vocal talents.
With his debut EP, WOODZ is proving that he’s an extremely versatile artist that has remained under the radar for a little too long. However many name changes, alter-egos or styles he decides to present to the world, we’ll be following closely.
Listen to WOODZ’s EQUAL EP now:
Featured Image: Yuehua Entertainment