KUN Discusses How Collaborative Versace Single ‘Afterglow’ Kicks Off His ‘New Chapter in Music’: Exclusive

KUN Discusses How Collaborative Versace Single ‘Afterglow’ Kicks Off His ‘New Chapter in Music’: Exclusive

After being named a global brand ambassador for Versace in May, KUN is taking the partnership to the next level with a collaborative single with the Italian luxury brand that highlights the Chinese pop star’s inspiration from the intersection of music and fashion.

Set to debut in an upcoming campaign for Versace Mercury sneakers, “Afterglow” will be released globally in full this coming Friday, June 9. Like his previous hits on Billboard‘s China TME UNI Chart including 2022’s “Hug Me” and “TITLE” from last year, KUN immersed himself in the creative process for “Afterglow” by utilizing inspirations like patterns and cuts to deliver a blend of dark synthesizers and rock-inspired vocals.

Working as a singer and actor since his teens, KUN has spent the last 10 years showcasing an evolution from a reality TV breakout and boy band member to a full-fledged solo superstar with several albums, overseas tours, and high-profile brand endorsements to his name. Currently, the C-pop star is collaborating with writers and producers in the U.S. to craft a globally focused music project with the upcoming “Afterglow” single release representing what he calls “a brand-new KUN sound.”

Read on for more from KUN on “Afterglow” and its importance in setting up what should be a major 2024 and 2025 with more music, live performances, tours and other treats for fans worldwide.

Congratulations on launching “Afterglow” alongside your global ambassadorship with Versace! Tell us more about it and how you started creating the track?

“Afterglow” is a brand-new single I produced in collaboration with Versace. I approached this song from what I learned in fashion culture — this piece truly reflects my journey as a musician and performing artist. Over the last two years, I have explored and experimented with many different genres, blending old-school with new-school elements, and incorporating my personal taste into modern music. “Afterglow” is born from all this process.

You’re known for being involved in composing your songs. In what ways did you get creatively involved with “Afterglow”?

I draw inspiration from how designers curate their clothing patterns, the sleek cut details and the attention to quality, and translate that into the song. I wanted the synth design to be unique, edgy, and dark while having vocals retaining that rock element. While writing, I imagined scenes of fashion runway — flashing strobe lights — with a more mysterious feel. The runway would be a perfect setting for this sound.

What does “Afterglow” represent for your music career?

Starting from “Afterglow,” we will hear a brand-new KUN sound. We’re starting a new chapter in music, and looking to release more songs in both Chinese and English.

Will “Afterglow” have its own music video too?

Many fans might remember our previous Art Lab live concert. Here’s some exclusive news for my Billboard friends: Art Lab 2.0 is coming soon, including a live performance of “Afterglow.”

How does fashion influence your life day to day?

Fashion always inspires me in the creative process of songwriting. I love vintage clothing just like how I love listening to classic songs, as well as cowboy hats and rough jeans when writing rock songs. Fashion design is a tedious process that involves constant fine-tuning until the final product is developed. That process provokes or intrigues; it has no creative boundary. Very much like when making music, there are endless possibilities.

I read that your Versace news went viral in China with 400 million views on Weibo in under a week and a No. 1 search topic for hours. Were you expecting such an exciting response?

I was in a song camp at that [time]. It was around 3 a.m. so I was actually in bed when my team woke me up and told me the good news. I appreciate everything my fans do for me and we support each other all the way.

You visited the U.S., Canada, and the U.K. on your KUN ONE Tour in 2019. Are there any plans for more overseas shows?

We are planning many surprises this year; more news is coming. I have been in the studio nonstop for an upcoming new project. I am also designing a new music show production that can bring sound to life on a live stage with some talented writers and producers from all over the world.

What else can we expect from you in 2024?

2024 has been my first step into building a label and company that represents the art I love so much. I’ve been aiming at creating and releasing a few global music projects from my label this year and thinking about a global tour, so I’m pushing myself to hit these deadlines. I’ve never released an official global album, and I’m putting in the work to make that a reality. The music is the focus though, so if I don’t feel it’s ready, I may wait until early 2025. I’m enjoying the process of it all.

Any other goals for this year?

Goals… meet my deadlines. [Laughs] And if I meet those deadlines, the next goal is a real one: to make sure the people who listen to the music and experience it live can feel the same way I did when I was creating it. If they tell me that they felt something, I hit my goals for 2024.

Anything else to share with readers or international fans at this time?

I’d love to work with artists from around the world. Collaboration with artists of different cultures is what I love about art, music, and fashion, so for international listeners, message me with ideas, and also message me with cities that you think would want to experience my new projects.

The post “KUN Discusses How Collaborative Versace Single ‘Afterglow’ Kicks Off His ‘New Chapter in Music’: Exclusive” by Jeff Benjamin was published on 06/05/2024 by www.billboard.com