KEY - I Wanna Be (feat. Soyeon)



KEY debuted last year with his first solo album, and now right before we see him get pulled into his mandatory military service, KEY is dropping the repackage of that album. As a Shawol this is obviously not the easiest MV to review, but I think it would be a disservice not to give KEY at least that with how much he’s given to me.

The Song

Personally I could have done without the instrumental hook for this track, but apart from that, almost all of this song had me fighting back tears. Even from the start we get some backing vocals from Soyeon saying “shiny” (obviously a play with SHINee) and “bling bling” which may or may not have purposely been a reference to Jonghyun. It was something so small and yet so impactful as a fan of the group that I felt my heart stop when she said it.

This is such a bright and energetic track, and I’m so glad that KEY decided this is what he wanted to give us before leaving for military service. It’s so.. well, KEY. It’s exactly what I would have wanted in terms of message, tone, and positivity. Even though he only just had his solo debut pretty recently, I can’t help but feel like I’m gonna miss the hell out of him for the next few years.

Alright, sentimental nonsense aside, we have to talk about the harmonies going on here. I personally can’t believe that’s Soyeon’s voice for the chorus, but I also don’t know who it is and I’ve seen people saying that it is. If that’s the case, holy crap she needs to sing like that more. It sounded incredible especially coupled up with KEY’s vocals. I’m really glad that she got to have more parts of the song than just a quick rap, too.

Speaking of the rap - it was a lot less disruptive than I was expecting. Typically for songs that feature rappers, we get some kind of awkward transition and out of place verse to slot them in. Instead, Soyeon sort of rode the beat for this one and did less of her typically strong rap, opting for more of a melodic half-singing, half-rapping verse that managed to feel like it meshed without issue. I’ve praised Soyeon almost every time that I talk about her, but I have to do it again. I don’t know that there is another female rapper on the scene that has her prowess and natural ability to just adapt.

All in all, this song is great as a sendoff to KEY. It’s not my personal favorite track of his by any means, and I don’t think that it’s anything to write home about - but if you’re a SHINee fan this will easily strike you right in your feels. I likely won’t be playing it often due to it having such an emotional connection for me, but I think it’s a solid track with an undeniably sticky chorus.

The Video

Alright, let me just throw this out at you guys because I might just be going crazy here, but did the light green that he wore throughout the video remind anybody else of SHINee’s very first album? Just me? It felt like it was on purpose, but I’m probably just reading too much into things.

Anywho, this video was absolutely popping with all kinds of bright and deep colors. It matched the lively and upbeat nature of this song perfectly and I really wouldn’t have expected anything less out of KEY. Speaking of not expecting less, holy crap does that choreography look like it’s tiring. It’s a good thing he dropped this before he went into military so that he won’t have to promote this, because it seriously looks like it would be brutal on his body.

Obviously KEY looked great, though I’m still not a fan of this return to the rise of the mullet thing we’ve been experiencing. Like if we could just everybody to stop doing that, that’d be great. Apart from that, Soyeon looked absolutely amazing, too. Like I cannot imagine how that girl keeps upping her visual game, but she’s doing it here effortlessly. I will say, though, that I wish that whoever the director was matched her outfit a bit more with the video like they did for KEY. It was a great outfit, don’t get me wrong, but decking her out in all black when the rest of the video was so vivid was an odd choice to me.

All in all, the video was solid. There’s so much love and effort put into this video that it seriously jumps out at you when you watch, and I couldn’t help but feel energized just watching KEY putting his all into giving his fans just one more gift before he goes.


What else can I say as a Shawol other than I’m really going to miss KEY? He’s such a jubilant and bright force in K-pop, and even if he wasn’t as active as most modern groups tend to be, I feel like his presence was absolutely unique and it’s going to be odd without him. If you’re a fan at all of SHINee, or if you enjoy upbeat tracks that get you pumped, I don’t think you’ll want to miss “I Wanna Be.”