Here's Why AKMU's Lee Chanhyuk Almost Stopped Rapping
And how his military experience helped him with writing songs.
In the Korean sibling duo Akdong Musicians (AKMU), the older brother Lee Chanhyuk is known for writing and producing songs, as well as being the main rapper and lead vocalist. However, many fans have noticed that over time, with each new album the number of rap lines in AKMU's songs has decreased, while Chanhyuk challenged more and more vocal melodies.
Since his sister Lee Suhyun is already widely known for powerful opera-like singing that can't be rivaled, many people got curious why Chanhyuk would switch from his cheeky and witty rapping that went well along with Suhyun's parts to singing as well.
In the Look Me Up show on YouTube, the artist addressed the hot topic and satisfied people's curiosity by explaining that he deliberately decided to remove rap lines from the songs he writes for AKMU. Chanhyuk was getting frustrated that after many years of diligently practicing rapping, his performance wasn't still on par with the skills of other professional rappers. He wasn't satisfied with rap parts and realized they interfered with the sound of songs as well, so he had been getting rid of rap and leaning more toward creating vocal melodies for himself.
In fact, now he even wants to be called a joint main vocalist along with his sister and not a sub-vocalist.
Discussing the ways to keep a fresh sound in his music, Lee Chanhyuk also shared how serving in the military for a couple of years has affected his songwriting style. When asked why he even went to the army way ahead of his deadline, Chanhyuk responded by describing his everyday life as a K-pop idol back in 2017.
Chanhyuk had been writing and releasing songs, then having a concert, then making a new album, and back to concerts again. These expected long-term plans made the artist ponder what his life will look like in the future and how to not get swallowed by a boring routine. Eventually, he decided he needed to go through any sort of hardships. Chanhyuk said he wanted to go to an unknown place and get new inspiration, put himself in situations he couldn't control, and his best choice, apparently, was to admit himself in the army for that.
"I decided to crush myself" – Lee Chanhyuk
However, Chanhyuk was even praised by the Korean general public for his selfless act. Usually, K-pop idols try to postpone their obligatory military service until the possible age limit, to make the most out of their career. Indeed, Chanhyuk must've gotten some fresh inspiration out of his experience, later he'd even produced a song commemorating the 70th anniversary of the Marine Corps, called Song of Victory for Marines, describing his life while serving.
It's not the first time he made unique decisions for a K-pop idol. Lee Chanhyuk has earned himself quite a reputation by being very extravagant and shocking people with his performative behavior.
It seems like this artist is ready to try many new things in order to inspire himself to write even more amazing songs.