DAY6’s Wonpil recently made his solo debut with the release of his first album, Pilmography. A play on the word “filmography” and the “P” from his own name, Pilmography aims to embody his life through storytelling and cinematography. The album consists of 10 beautifully crafted tracks and provides an accompanying music video for the title track “Voiceless.”
During the time leading up to the release, Wonpil released an ensemble of concept photos to build fan’s anticipation. Dressed in an elegant, vintage ensemble while engaging in romanticized activities like planting the piano or reading, Wonpil hopes to share a glimpse of his perspective and worldly viewpoints through his artistry.
The title track, “Voiceless,” kicks off the album with a powerful ballad infused with a light, airy melody and emotionally heavy lyrics. Describing the devastating realization and decision of letting someone go for the sake of long term happiness, he belts, “Asking you to forgive my selfishness/ is something I could never/ say to you Instead, I look at you/ with the coldest eyes.” Knowing himself too well, he recognizes the only way he can realistically separate himself from his loved one boils down to pushing them away.
A cinematic music video amplifies the emotions and desperation as Wonpil exhausts all options, inevitably losing touch with reality to love a mystical mermaid. Throughout the journey of trying to figure out a way for their relationship to exist, he becomes blinded to his surroundings. Hyper focused, he lacks the ability to sense the room around him flooding and becoming filled with water. Once entirely immersed under water, Wonpil sees and reunites with his beloved mermaid. The emotions remain short lived. Once the water drains, so does the presence of his beloved. Feeling melancholy and left with only a memory, he takes a literal sudden leap of faith into a puddle where he transports to an underwater world, meeting his mermaid yet again. Although ecstatic about the chance to spend time together, he comes to the realization that being from two completely different worlds inescapably inhibits their ability to live a happy life together.
Transitioning into “Sincerity,” a delicate piano fills the atmosphere to set a melancholy scene for the introductory lyrics, “Your eyes are cold without regret/ With my chapped lips/ You’re telling me to let go/ You were barely holding my hand.” The track illustrates the gut wrenching situation of wanting to hold on and make it work with someone that has already moved on. The song dances back and forth between the soft melodic piano and bittersweet synthesizers to embody the array of emotions experienced.
Showcasing his ability to produce a variety of genres, Wonpil sings of falling in love in the jazzy track, “A writer in a love story.” The concept of falling in love has the tendency to create a hazy, rose colored view of the world. Overtaken by fond emotions he sings, “I stopped when I first saw you/ I felt like I was going to stop breathing/ Like fate, not coincidence/ I think that’s when it started.” The relationship with the person he sings of feels like a dream or fairytale, as he references classic fairytale moments such as losing a shoe and taking a bite out of a poison apple. The decision to include the moments of conflict from these old tales aims to show his determination to fight and overcome any obstacles in order to make his relationship work.
Continuing on with the theme of fulfilling love, “Walk with me” explains the ways love can romanticize even the most mundane moments of life. With a soft acoustic track he shares, “Everything that was just normal/ With only you, the night becomes special to me/ Stars that embroidered the night sky/ Seems to shine more today,” Wonpil gushes about innocent love and the sweet emotions that allow him to glorify everyday.
In “Stranded,” Wonpil expresses the emotion of feeling lost, as if stranded on a deserted island. Bringing back a more upbeat tempo combined with bright background vocals and synths, the track embodies the feeling of going through a lively, transformational period. Struggling everyday to see the light, he finally experiences hope and happiness after meeting his love. He professes, “You appeared like a miracle one day/ You smiled at me and gave me your hand/ Tears of relief flowed down on my cheeks/ After despair, It was a relief,” to emphasize the emotional impact this person contributed to his life.
With a soothing and comforting melody full of flutes and horns, “Someday, spring will come,” offers hope to those trying to find their way out of a dark period. The chorus, “Let’s laugh and hold hands and hang in there/ You will be happy, all the painful wounds/ Forget and erase everything/ Someday, spring will come,” emphasizes the necessity to support those around you and give consistent love.
Taking an emotional turn from hopeful to sorrowful, “Pieces” explains being filled with only frustrating emotions left behind by a relationship that unwillingly unraveled. Full of sorrow he sings, “Even if it’s overflowing, there’s too much / Tracing memories, painful memories / It’s full, I want to empty it quickly,” expressing the desire to get rid of all memories made together, regardless of good or bad, in order to lessen the pain. The well timed bass guitar and the use of his lower register brings out the emotional rawness and desperation.
Up next, “Last goodbye” offers a beautiful piano and soft vocals to describe that sometimes love means letting go. Wonpil’s decision to strip down the piece allows for fans to focus on the his airy, light vocals and the powerful emotion behind the lyrics, “So that I don’t miss you anymore/ Even if I miss you/ I’ll still live my life with patience/ After saying our last goodbye alone/ I’ll say this to you one last time/ ‘I loved you’.”
Going off of the idea of moving on and looking towards the future, “Unpainted Canvas,” feels bittersweet as Wonpil shares his optimism for a brighter beginning ahead. A smooth and sweet electric guitar gives the track a sorrowful, yet uplifting feel as he expresses, “If you keep drawing / You’ll be able to draw / If you draw without stopping / You’ll be drawn someday.”
Rounding out the album, “A journey” provides cheerful, high-spirited synthesizers and zestful drums to amplify the message of approaching life and it’s uncertainties unafraid. The chorus sings, “I hope that I’ll have a lot of hope/ And only a few despairs/ Cold laughter or tears of joy/ I don’t know if I’ll be able to taste it/ Anyway, wish me luck,” to confess that life will inevitably bring hardship, but he hopes to face it head on and come out on the other side happy and with a smile on his face. The album comes to a calming end with Wonpil softly singing “I will go now,” signifying his courageous leap into the unknown future.
Pilmography consists of an array of sentiments and intimate moments that listen like an autobiography, each song acting as a chapter in his story. His ability to convey a variety of emotions through his vocals, instrumentals, and lyrics proves his ability to thrive as a solo artist. Looking forward toward the future, we can only begin to imagine the beautiful stories Wonpil will craft up next.
Make sure to stream Pilmography on all platforms and check out the “Voiceless” music video linked below!