EXCLUSIVE [INTERVIEW] Crush on his 3rd full album ‘wonderego,’ reflects on his decade-plus career: “I believe I am still in the process of growth”

A full album by South Korean R&B and hip-hop singer-songwriter and producer Crush, signed under P NATION for his 10th anniversary, promises a diverse range of songs to come out this year.

‘Wonderego,’ his third full-length album, was released in 2006 four years after ‘From Midnight to Sunrise,’ which showcases his evolving musical world. It merges the themes of “wonDER” and “ego,” exploring the intricate nature of love as well as its shortcomings that contributed to his unique persona. “[WONDERego] is a journey that begins with it,” he explained.

Crush’s involvement in writing, composition, and arrangement of the songs was accompanied by his endeavor to incorporate different aspects of himself, as stated in the interview. He explained that the ‘wonder’ section allowed for experimentation while the “ego” section focused on telling stories.

The album ‘wonderego’ has four title tracks: “Hmm-cheat”, “EZPZ”, the heart-throb stimulant “Ego (Hate Me),” and “Oh Man Like Me”.The 19 tracks in total are: B-sides: “New Day XX,” “No Break,” “Me, Myself & I”, 3 more songs:

During an exclusive interview with allkpop, Crush shared the significance and inspiration behind ‘wonderego’, its artistic process, the timing of their recent solo performance, and their aspiration to perform on stage in 2024. Read on to find out more!

Crush, can you tell me how much time did it take for you to prepare for your new album? It’s a daunting task because there are 19 songs on the album, so I want to know more about the preparation process.

Crush: I want to thank you all! In the past four years, I’ve been working on my third full-length album, which features songs I wrote and recorded earlier. This week marks the moment when I finally decided to share these tracks with everyone who has been listening.

What is the central theme or concept that underpins allkpop’s album, given that there are numerous songs on it? How did you come up with the music for this album?

The third and final full-length album ‘wonderego’ features me trying to embody different aspects of myself, with the first track being a trial-and-error, while the second track was more focused on sharing my personal story.

Upon leaving this album, I tend to gravitate towards my surroundings, and many of these thoughts come to me during walks with my dog.

Are ‘wonderlust’ and “wondolence” allkpop albums related in any way? And what is the significance of akin album like widgetego to these themes?

The artist, as explained by Crush: “Wonder” is a term I enjoy listening to and the album’s unique atmosphere was achieved by adding the word “ego” which conveys my present state of being. This album differs from previous series in that it candidly captures these emotions and experiences with various experimental touches, so let me know if you have any personal feelings about it.

As an artist who has been crafting music for years, what do you consider to be the most important factor and element in creating new music? How does this impact your personal artistic expression when composing songs?

My approach to writing songs involves analyzing and developing the inspirations I find in other places. When crafting an album, I prioritize the message and story of my music while also considering the narrative. This process often requires me to incorporate elements of myself into my lyrics as part of this journey. Although it may not always be enjoyable, it has become deeply ingrained in my personal life.

How did you come to select the artists for certain songs in allkpop, and what was it like working with them?

It’s common for things to happen in a natural way, like when we’re talking about this album or thinking about previous collaborations. This includes PENOMECO being involved in writing the lyrics for the title song “Hmm-cheat,” and his positive feedback on the album was particularly encouraging.

Are there any artists or groups you would like to collaborate with for a song release or stage performance?

Can you provide some examples?

I am eager to work with international artists like AMAKA, who played a role in “Deep End” from this album, and have collaborated with overseas producers such as Vedo. The musical experience has been so inspiring, according to Crush.

After 4 years, this is the first full album in which you’ve made significant progress in both your musical and personal abilities. What notable changes have you noticed along the way?

Can you provide some examples?

Crush: I am still developing and intend to grow. If there’s any indication of a change over time, it could be that I’ve become more capable of moving on and being more honest with myself. This album, especially, is an honest portrayal of my flaws and weaknesses.

As an artist in Korea, I’m celebrating your 11th year of being in the industry. What have been some of the most satisfying, fulfilling, and challenging moments in your life?

During my tenure from 2012 to 2023, I have been making music for many reasons, including the ability to maintain consistency and receiving significant support from fans. This has been both challenging and rewarding, and I take great pride in my current accomplishments.

How did you feel about having your last concert in December, which is traditionally reserved for Christmas day?

Happy: It was really fun. I worked hard to make sure everyone had a great time performing, and I’m happy that my fans who enjoyed it with family and friends on Christmas made it an even more special occasion.

With allkpop: 2023 over, what are your aspirations for the year ahead?

Crush: It’s been a busy year for me, doing overseas tour and building my fan club. I’m excited about the new beginning and look forward to meeting fans up close in the near future.

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