DJ and Kpop star Shaun ‘went into hiding’ over ‘chart rigging’ claims

Shaun’s hugely popular single Way Back Home saw him chart higher than global superstars BTS (Picture: Warner Music)

DJ and K-Pop producer and star Shaun has recalled the ‘scary time’ in his career when his success in the charts in his home country saw him targeted by allegations of ‘chart rigging’.

His 2018 track Way Back Home became an unexpected hit and topped the MelOn, Genie and Olleh Music charts in Korea. The track even went viral as his live performances of the single created a buzz on social media. The song was so popular it even charted ahead of global superstars BTS and BLACKPINK, no mean feat for any artist.

However when he should have been enjoying the success (which still has him stumped to his day) the singer and his team were dogged by accusations that he had ‘manipulated’ the charts on music streaming services to get a hit.

The allegations were proven false but Shaun says the period affected him a lot, although he ‘learned lessons’ from the controversy.

He told ‘The attention and exposure I got at the time was not the most positive, and it was definitely a scary time. I was hiding because I was going through an experience I wasn’t comfortable with.

‘After time has passed by I don’t think about what happened in the past. I question myself and say, “Why didn’t I talk about it straight out and dealt with it directly?” But I have learned my lesson throughout those experiences, how to deal with it and manage it properly.’

The musician and songwriter, 31, is moving forward with his music which has been a part of his life for over 10 years, first as part of the band The Koxx then as a soloist in 2015.

Shaun is back with two singles – BLUE featuring Wonstein and written by rapper Mad Clown, and Closed Ending – and each track details different ways of dealing with a break-up (the songs aren’t based on his own experiences, he tells us.)


The DJ, producer, singer and songwriter ‘learned lessons’ from the controversy (Picture: Warner Music)

‘I’ve worked on them since I got out of military service. There’s a distinctive contrast between them but they focus on the keyword break up,’ the Traveller singer, real name Kim Yunho, said.

‘I wanted to think about how to make different things about the same subject. In BLUE the couple are fighting and then after the fight they think about how to sort the situation. In Closed Ending I participated in the lyrics process with other people but it has a tone and manner different to BLUE.’

The pop star, who has worked regularly with K-Pop powerhouse SM Entertainment – home of EXO and Red Velvet – and artists such as Sunmi and Younha, completed his mandatory military service in November 2020, saying he was ‘lucky’ and ‘relieved’ to have had a largely positive experience that allowed him to continue being creative.

‘I was very lucky about that, being around such great people,’ Shaun recalled.

‘They really wanted me to continue doing music so they allowed me to bring my own instruments and allowed me to record myself, and made a creative environment for me to be continuously working on music, even when I was serving. I definitely appreciate that.

‘It was a relief that it wasn’t a difficult time and it was actually very special.’

BLUE and Closed Ending are out now.

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