YG Entertainment will launch rapper ONE, its first male solo singer in 14 years.The agency has been releasing teaser photos of the rapper who will officially make his solo debut on July 11.
ONE originally debuted as a member of the duo 1PUNCH in 2015 with "Produce 101" contestant Kim Samuel. 1PUNCH disbanded and ONE joined YG Entertainment.
He appeared on the TV show "Show Me the Money" season 4 and 5.
ONE is the first YG Entertainment artist to make a comeback in the second half of the year. The agency is excited as he is its first male solo artist in 14 years after Se7en made his debut in 2003. He trained for two years under YG Entertainment.
"It would be not easy to predict the direction of ONE's new music, when considering his image so far. The music will defy everyone's prediction," said the agency, according to the YG blog.
He finished shooting his music video in April and has been diligently preparing for his solo debut.
To date, YG artists who have released music this year are Akdong Musician, Sechs Kies, WINNER, Psy, iKON, G-Dragon and Black Pink.
But the agency revealed that ONE became a candidate to replace Nam Tae Hyun in boy band WINNER.
Nam Tae Hyun left WINNER in November last year due to mental health issues.
"By the time when the news of Nam Tae Hyun leaving WINNER was released in October last year, YG's head producer Yang Hyun Suk and WINNER members had rounds of meetings about how to deal with the crisis and fill the vacancy of Nam Tae Hyun," a YG insider said.
WINNER's hiatus was taking too long and in a worst-case scenario, the boy band had to disband. They considered ONE to replace Nam Tae Hyun.
Eventually, Yang Hyun Suk decided to maintain WINNER as a four-member band and not add any member since ONE is a rapper and not a vocalist.
"The most conclusive reason why ONE did not join WINNER was because ONE had long been preparing for his solo debut and his debut songs to be released on July 11 were already completed by then," the YG insider added.