Taeyong, the leader of boy group NCT, has announced preparations for his highly anticipated solo debut, with mini album SHALALA. SM Entertainment, Taeyong’s agency, officially announced on Monday (May 15) that the release date for his solo album had been set for June 5, marking a new milestone not only for the artist but also for the NCT collective.
A Showcase of Taeyong’s Different Characters
The excitement surrounding Taeyong’s solo venture was evident with the recent release of the EP’s trailer video on NCT’s official YouTube channel on May 15. In the 57-second visual preview, Taeyong takes on the role of an optometrist. The video opens with Taeyong in a trial frame portraying a dedicated professional tending to patients’ eyes. As the lens changes, Taeyong’s character undergoes a series of transformations, with each shift highlighting a different facet of his persona. The trailer concludes with the unveiling of the album title: SHALALA. Fans worldwide eagerly shared their reactions to the first glimpse of the artist’s solo on social media.
SHALALA holds significance as it marks the first solo album release from a member of NCT. In a carefully orchestrated rollout, Taeyong’s journey into the world of his solo music continued with the release of the trailer image on May 16.
With the release of the album just a few weeks away, fans are embarking on a musical journey alongside Taeyong. Their excitement is palpable as they delve into discussions, sharing their speculations about the album’s concept. The recently released trailer has fueled their curiosity, revealing glimpses of Taeyong in six different looks, including astronaut, fire-fighter, all-red suit, basketball player, and optometrist donning a checkered suit. Each image has sparked intrigue, leaving fans eager to uncover the story behind this diverse visual representation and how it relates to the musical genre chosen.
Eye-catching Schedule Poster
Building on the anticipation, on May 17, Taeyong revealed the schedule poster, providing fans with a roadmap of what lies ahead in the lead-up to the EP’s release. Exuding a grunge rock vibe with its black and white aesthetic and striking red font, the poster hints at a series of teasers, including teaser images, mood sampler videos, and track videos.
The schedule poster unveils an exciting lineup of upcoming teasers in groups of series. From May 18 onwards, fans will see the “CODE: COLLECTOR” series, starting with video, and followed by photography and mix-media releases. On May 23, fans can look forward to “DEFINITION OF TAEYONG,” a segment to possibly delve deeper into Taeyong’s artistic identity. Moving along, May 24 presents the “CODE: THORN” series, which will start with a video followed by two photography parts on the following days. From May 29, “CHOOSE T OR Y” series will unfold in the span of three days. As June arrives, fans can anticipate a visual feast, with glimpses from the “SHALALA” music video setting the stage for the SHALALA album and title track music video release on June 5.
Eccentric Collector: Taeyong Live Collection
In the latest teaser video titled “Mood Sampler – Collector Video”, viewers see Taeyong in an eccentric green puffer outfit, surrounded by a captivating array of artworks. Fans discovered that these artworks include personal items that hold deep significance to Taeyong, such as his nephew’s drawings, a photo of his beloved late dog, his own paintings, and even his dental x-ray photo, recently posted on his Instagram. In one striking scene, Taeyong is seen inside a box, portraying himself as a living artwork, which adds a twist to the visual narrative. This video offers a glimpse into a unique visual setting where Taeyong’s distinctive style takes center stage. Accompanied by the familiar sound of his previous SoundCloud release “GTA 2,” the teaser provides a tantalizing preview of the artistic direction and mood of his upcoming project.
Artist Taeyong: What To Expect
The upcoming album will consist of seven tracks, including the title track “SHALALA,” all written and composed by Taeyong himself. According to SM Entertainment, Taeyong has been actively involved in the album’s production from the planning phase, highlighting his significant role in shaping the debut. Beyond this solo debut, Taeyong has proven himself as a songwriter and composer to watch. With an impressive catalog of 57 official releases to his name, he has garnered credits for his contributions in writing and composing either with his groups NCT or SuperM, or solo. This new creative endeavor allows Taeyong to showcase his musical sensibilities and provide fans with an intimate glimpse into his artistry and personal experiences.
Taeyong’s solo journey naturally represents another creative evolution in his musical career. His previous releases on SoundCloud have showcased his willingness to explore different concepts and genres. From the piano-driven track “Rose,” to the soulful rock of “Blue” and the energetic drum and bass sounds of “Swimming Pool,” Taeyong has been consistently surprising his listeners. His last official solo release under the SM STATION project, “Love Theory” offered playful pop melody and colorful visuals.
The pre-order for the album is now open, providing fans with the opportunity to secure their copies. With a range of versions available — including Thorn, Collector, Archive, SMini, and Digipack — fans can choose the edition that best resonates with them, adding to the collectability aspect of the release. Get ready to embark on a musical path with Taeyong, as the SHALALA roll-out continues its unveiling up until its official release on June 5, 6PM KST.
Interested in more Taeyong? Take a look back on his SoundCloud artistry and accomplishments with EnVi here.