In October 2016, it was announced that WINNER’s activities would be postponed indefinitely due to Nam Taehyun’s worsening mental health issues. Then, in a shocking, unexpected twist, YG Entertainment announced his departure in November, but assured fans that the group will soldier on as a 4-member group.
After a hiatus of more than 1 year, WINNER has finally made their comeback with the single album “Fate Number For“. This also marks their first music release without former member Nam Taehyun.
In a recent interview in conjunction with their comeback, the members revealed their thoughts about Taehyun’s departure for the first time.
Leader Kang Seung Yoon explained, “Nam Taehyun couldn’t continue with us due to health reasons. It’s true that it was a hard time for us. Rather than thinking lightly of it, we were worried about our fans, since we had lots of fans who supported him. Also, he had been doing a good job as the main vocalist, so we were also concerned about that.”
However, he exclaimed that didn’t want fans to wait, and so, chose to continue working on new music. He said, “We can’t spend all of our time worrying, and we decided that we shouldn’t make our fans wait anymore, so we got right into working on music for a comeback. We worked hard to improve our individual skills so that fans wouldn’t feel like there’s an empty spot. We had no choice but to become better.”
With Taehyun’s departure, Jinwoo got more vocal parts – as evident in “Really Really”. The 25 year old singer tried his best to improve on his vocals and even received lessons for it.
“I got more vocal parts after Nam Taehyun left, so I thought hard about how I could do a good job in them. I focused mostly on (improving) my vocals. I received lessons when I wasn’t working, and I recorded the song multiple times. I just kept practicing and practicing.”
Seungyoon also acknowledged the feelings of fans but explained that the change from 5 to 4 members was inevitable. He wrapped up the interview nicely, saying, “Now we’re 4, so we have to accept that. I think in our fans’ hearts, it will forever be the 5 of us. I don’t want to erase the 5-member WINNER, but please support us as 4 members as well.”
We will continue to cheer for you, WINNER! Also, don’t forget to check out their latest double title tracks “Really Really” and “Fool”.