Since his debut in 2012, EXO’s main rapper and vocalist Chanyeol has proved to be a jack of all trades when it comes to music. Whether it be playing an instrument, composing or producing a song, writing lyrics, or simply performing, his love and admiration for music always shine through. From his group activities, Chanyeol quickly gained recognition worldwide for his inimitable vocals and rap skills. Beyond his EXO discography, his self-composed solo projects and covers have further established him in the music scene.

Chanyeol’s love for music first bloomed during his childhood years, when he was inspired to learn numerous instruments and even form his own band. Now nearly 10 years into his career, Chanyeol continues to be enthralled with the art as he explores cross-genres and sounds. Fans have the privilege to bear witness to this journey as he dedicates himself to his craft and continues to master skills. 

Fans can’t help but boast about his impeccable talent with every song he creates or covers, as his participation in every project is truly special. Chanyeol knows what he is capable of, and this confidence exudes into his work and makes him the true definition of an artist. 

To celebrate Chanyeol’s birthday, EnVi highlights 9 of Chanyeol’s solo tracks, OSTs and collaborations included, which demonstrate his artistry as a multi-hyphenated idol. 


The SM STATION track “Tomorrow” is a minimal acoustic pop song that was gifted to fans after Chanyeol’s mandatory enlistment. Co-written by the EXO member, the lyrics express his concerns and anxieties about the future. Though heavy in theme, Chanyeol’s vocals pacify the worries as he takes listeners on a journey of self-exploration where he finds hope for the future, or ‘tomorrow.’ The music video maintains this sentiment that tomorrow may hold something promising. Viewers witness the idol walk the city of Seoul where he eventually finds himself in an abandoned building when a light, a sign of hope, shines on him as the video comes to a close.


A lighthearted love song, “Yours” explores the vulnerability of taking the risk to open up and give yourself to someone. This collaborative piece between Raiden and Chanyeol is a retro, synth-pop masterpiece that brings talents of several genres together. R&B singer Lee Hi and rapper CHANGMO add their own distinctive sounds to the much-anticipated track. The lyrics play as sweet banter between Chanyeol and Lee Hi as they go back and forth singing, “Love me, don’t hurt me / Just kiss me, don’t burn me / And I’ll be yours, I’ll be yours.” Chanyeol’s dreamy tone pairs well with Lee Hi’s airy vocals while Changmo’s verse adds texture to the mix. This star-studded collaboration gifts a feel-good track that feels like a breath of fresh air with its bright sound.


Known for his more colorful tracks, “Nothin’” explores a darker side of Chanyeol’s sound as he blends alt-rock guitar riffs atop a slow trap beat. Taking part in the writing and composition of the track, his vocalist approach to the track steers it more into a more underground K-R&B atmosphere. The lyrics focus on the courage to live your life without caring about what others think or say. With lyrics, “I don’t do what you want to / Yeah, I do what I want to,” Chanyeol lets it be known that no one is bringing him down and that he is taking back ownership of his life.

“Stay With Me”

Originally released in 2016 for the hit K-drama Guardian: The Great and Lonely God, this original soundtrack reigns as one of the most popular OSTs with nearly 407 million views. “Stay With Me” has made a great impact on the K-drama OST scene and is a timeless classic, as it continues to tug at the heartstrings of listeners. The track is dreamy as Punch’s light vocals glide across the instrumentals to melt into beautiful harmony with Chaneyol’s raspy, deep vocal tone. A tale of desperation from yearning for one’s lover to stay with them, this song provokes a range of emotions. Recognizing this pairing as an OST match made in heaven, the duo came together in reunion for the track, “Go Away Go Away” for K-drama Dr. Romantic 2 (2020).


Despite having released several projects and collaborative pieces prior, “SSFW” marked Chanyeol’s first official release as a soloist. This track is nothing less than sweet as he sings of a love that only grows as the four seasons pass—a timeless love. The track complements Chanyeol’s melodic vocals and rap with its groovy pop influences and electric guitar bits. As his first official solo project, the track puts his unique vocals on full display. Though a bit raspy in texture, Chanyeol’s voice maintains a soothing softness. He made sure to go the extra mile for his soloist debut, as he released “SSFW” not only in Korean but in Chinese and Japanese as well.

“Freal Luv”

For their album Identity, Far East Movement brought DJ marshmello, pop-R&B singer Tinashe and Chanyeol together for the hit 2016 track, “Freal Luv.” This EDM club banger blends international sounds together with Tinashe’s sultry tone and rhythmic flow of Far East Movement and Chanyeol’s rap verses. The EXO member not only featured as a rapper but even took part in both composition and songwriting for this collaborative piece—his verse incorporating both English and Korean. This song is nothing less than addictive as DJ marshmello produced a bass-heavy, psychedelic trance for listeners to jam along to. The track still holds presence even after its release six years ago. It went viral after Chanyeol recently performed it at an event in Los Angeles, peaking at #5 on the K-hip-hop charts

“Minimal Warm”

No stranger to the K-drama scene, Chanyeol released his first solo OST “Minimal Warm” in 2020. This warmhearted track puts listeners in the position of the main protagonist, Ji Chanyeol, of the popular webtoon She’s My Type♡ written by Rose Ong. Chanyeol is known as a more reserved figure, and the lyrics reflect his calm nature as he learns to convey his adoration for his lover. His gentle vocals display timidity, but his voice’s grittiness adds warmth akin to butterflies in one’s stomach. Some Yeolmae, Chanyeol fans, even compared the comfort of Chanyeol’s vocals to a hug.

“Break Your Box”

Starring in the hit film The Box (2021), Chanyeol participated in several songs in the movie’s soundtrack. “Break Your Box” is an inspiring rock track that acts as the theme song for the film. The song is written from the perspective of Chanyeol’s character, Jihoon, and describes his journey of conquering his fears to reach his dreams. Though written for his role, the song’s theme and lyrics hold a universal and evergreen message of encouragement. Chanyeol shows his range as a vocalist as the official soundtrack includes several genres with covers and original content such as Raining and Without You.


First introduced during their “EXO PLANET #4: The ElyXiOn” tour, “Hand” is a heartfelt piece written by Chanyeol that expresses gratitude for his members and fans, EXO-Ls. Chanyeol treats his lyrics like a journal entry that encompasses his emotions about the past and his feelings about the future. The song is filled with conviction as he bares his fears and anger that stained his spirit, “My dreams came true earlier than I expected / And the despair found me earlier, too.” Most importantly, the song conveys his deep-felt gratitude for his members’ support, “There I fill with loneliness, collapsed / And eight hands reach out to me / When I’m worn out, I hold tightly on to eight hands.” Chanyeol pours his heart into each line as he learns how to overcome these bouts of darkness with the help and love of those around him.

With Chanyeol’s recent discharge from the military, fans are highly anticipating the next release from the artist. Whether it be new content on his YouTube channel, his SoundCloud, a little tease on his Instagram, or an official solo album, the possibilities are endless with Chanyeol. Having shared that he had several songs in the vault, there is no telling what the future holds in store for Chanyeol’s fans.

Be sure to keep up with Chanyeol and his future releases by following him on his official Instagram account and YouTube channel.

As well check out his discography on Spotify and Apple Music!

Want to read more about EXO? Read all about Chen’s third mini-album, Last Scene, here!