Woodz (Cho Seungyoun) has had a remarkable career since his 2014 debut with multinational group Uniq. The artist, who is known for his all-round abilities, has stepped into many roles–from production and songwriting to rap, vocals, and dance–and excelled at them. His career has seen a similar level of variety, from performing as a rapper under different titles and writing and producing songs for artists in China and Korea, to standing out in and surviving reality competitions. Through industry challenges, he has managed to cultivate a dedicated fanbase, drawn to his charms. With the support of Moodz, Woodz swept the 2022 Seoulbeats March Madness polls, earning him a dedicated career retrospective.
Woodz solo career has been followed with interest by Seoulbeats’ writers. We’ve noticed his performance ability in the ill-fated Produce X 101, his musical talent in our Beats of the Week segment, and he even charmed his way onto one of our writer’s Valentine’s Day chocolate list after his appearance on I Live with My Mom.
Woodz isn’t only appealing because of his skills as an individual, but also his ability to work with others. He has not only been part of two boy groups, but also founded and formed part of musical collectives, and sports a long list of famous collaborators. His ability to work with other artists is part of what makes him so unique and prolific. Perhaps his time as a rising football star in his teen years laid the groundwork for Woodz’ ability to make strong affirming professional connections.
He is playfully referred to as “everyone’s friend“, and the monikor is well-earned. He is one of the founding members of the musical collective M.O.L.A that features artists like Jamie Park (who formerly promoted under her birth name, Park Jimin), and Seventeen’s Vernon. Following Woodz’ run in Show Me The Money 5, he befriended Flowsik and co-founded a production crew. He has friendships across the industry and even across a number of different countries.
Duality is not a strong enough word to describe Woodz; he has also shown a remarkable level of adaptability and creativity in his releases. His collaborations, OSTs, and songwriting credits reveal his range of ability. His memorable concepts like the combination of the Earth and Cosmic alter egos in the “Love Me Harder” release stand out. For an artist that experiments as much as Woodz has, he nonetheless has consistent creative themes.
Playing with musical form and genre seems to come to him easily, but listeners can still expect songs addressing familiar themes of love, identity, and his artistic journey. Some of his best reviewed work shows attempts to subvert genre expectations. Seoulbeats writer Xiao Qing wrote,
“<Woodz> takes non-formulaic comeback approaches to reflect his unique musical flair amid over-exhausted trends.”
Even his most commercial offerings have something different about them. Whether it is a cinematic MV or a clever take on a trend, Woodz knows how to set himself apart. Lyrical themes like the push-and-pull of a new relationship, toxic love stories, and swaggering anthems to his own ambition are given new life by his novel approach.
His experimental approach and consistent hardwork cannot be ignored. When an artist is able to explore genres as varied as jazz, R&B, country, and rock while regularly paying homage to the hip-hop legends, that is a notable achievement. Woodz’ later work is more sensuous and mature compared to when he was promoting as Luizy, and his foray into the wild side is a joy to witness.
With all that has been said about Woodz’ skills in the studio, his performance ability matches his behind-the-scenes energy. His charisma and command of the stage can be felt in his solo and group efforts. His technical prowess allows him to navigate fresh, youthful, and refreshing concepts along with sexy mature ones. His strength is in his confidence, so suave smooth songs suit him particularly well, but his hard work means he really embodies the spirit of an all-round MVP.
Perhaps it’s because he has shown so many sides of his jewel-like talent, or because he has continually reinvented his artistry with multiple debuts, that it feels like Woodz still has so much potential. Many fans have followed him for more than seven years, and his impressive credits are certainly not to be scoffed at. Despite his formidable experience, there is a sense that Woodz has much more to show the world, and we can’t wait to see what he has in store.
(YouTube. Images via Yuehua Entertainment, Singles.)