Kim Ryeo-wook (born June 21, 1987), better known by the mononym Ryeowook, is a South Korean singer, songwriter and musical actor. He is best known as a member of the Super Junior boy group and its subgroups, Super Junior-KRY and Super Junior-M. Along with four other Super Junior members, he is one of the first Korean artists to appear on Chinese postage stamps. He began a solo career in 2016 with the first EP Le Petit Prince.
Ryeowook was discovered through the CMB Youth ChinChin festival in 2004 and signed a contract with SM Entertainment soon after, impressing the judges with his singing talent. Trained in the fields of song, dance and theater, Ryeowook put special efforts in his vocal training and musical composition. He plays the piano skillfully and he accompanies the other members during their solo scenes during their concerts.
Before Kyuhyun was added in 2006, Ryeowook was the last to join Super Junior several weeks before their 2005 debut. After only getting two months of training, Ryeowook’s late addition was supposed to replace a former SM intern who was due make his debut. as a member of Super Junior 05 as the first generation of Super Junior.
2006–09: Debut with Super Junior, KRY and Super Junior-M
Ryeowook made his debut as part of the 12-member project group Super Junior 05 on November 6, 2005 on the SBS Popular Songs music program, performing their first single, “Twins (Knock Out)”. Their debut album SuperJunior05 (Twins) was released a month later on December 5, 2005 and debuted at number three on the MIAK K-pop monthly album charts.
In March 2006, SM Entertainment began recruiting new members for the next generation Super Junior. However, the plans changed and the company declared a halt in training future generations of Super Junior. Following the addition of the thirteenth member Kyuhyun, the group dropped the suffix “05” and officially became credited as Super Junior. The reworked group’s debut CD single “U” was released on June 7, 2006, which was their most successful single until the release of “Sorry, Sorry” in March 2009. In the fall of 2007, the band released their second album, Don’t Don, which became Super Junior’s best-selling album and the second-best-selling album of the year in Korea.
In late 2006, Ryeowook, along with fellow Super Junior members Kyuhyun and Yesung, formed a subgroup called Super Junior KRY, a group specializing in R&B ballads. The trio debuted on November 5, 2006 on KBS ‘Music Bank with the performance called “The One I Love” of Hyena. Ryeowook made his acting debut in 2007, in Attack on the Pin-Up Boys, a high school mystery comedy / film, in which he played the eccentric vice president of the student council. He was nominated for Best Supporting Actor and Best Comedic Performance at the Korean Movie Awards.
In April 2008, he was put in the seven-member Super Junior-M subgroup, a Mandopop subgroup of Super Junior for the Chinese music industry. They made their Chinese debut at the 8th Annual Music Chart Awards, along with the release of their first music video, “U”, on April 8, 2008. This was followed by the release of the first language studio album. Chinese, Me in some provinces of China on April 23 and May 2 in Taiwan.
In November 2012, Super Junior KRY organized a concert tour in Japan, Super Junior KRY Special Winter Concert. They announced that they would be releasing their first single six years after their debut. The Promise You teaser was released on November 21, 2012, followed by the single on January 23, 2013. It debuted at number two on Oricon’s Daily Singles Chart.
2009-2018: solo activities
The first Ryeowook composition to be officially released was “Love U More”, in version C. Sorry, Sorry. He co-wrote the lyrics with fellow Super Junior] Sungmin. Ryeowook is also credited for the musical arrangement in the album’s liner notes.
Ryeowook featured in K.Will’s 2009 song “Dropping the Tears”. He is also the first member of Super Junior to perform a solo track included in their album, “One Fine Spring Day” released in Bonamana.
Ryeowook made his musical theater debut in Temptation of Wolves alongside ZE: A’s Park Hyung-sik and Lim Jeong-hee. It took place from July 14 to October 30, 2011 at COEX Artium.
On June 16 and 23, following in the footsteps of band members Yesung and Kyuhyun, Ryeowook joined KBS’s Immortal Songs 2 with Sunggyu of Infinite, where the singers perform their own versions of songs from music legends and the winners are selected by vote. He took first place in the August 11 episode where singers Lee Sang-woo and Lee Sang-eun were invited. It recorded its last episode on August 16, which aired on August 25.
On September 28, 2014, Ryeowook left for Japan to perform in “The Goddess Looks (여신님 보고 계셔)” at the Setagaya Public Theater in Tokyo. It performed from September 30 to October 7 with a total of five performances. He played the role of Ryu Sun-ho, a teenage North Korean soldier who suffered from PTSD and was abandoned on an uninhabited island after an unexpected storm with three other North Korean soldiers and two South Korean soldiers. His role as Ryu won him critical acclaim.
On January 8, 2015, it was revealed that Ryeowook had been cast for the musical Agatha in the lead role of Raymond because of his petite figure. In 2015-2016, Ryeowook starred in the play “The Curious Incident of the Dog at Night” starring autistic Christopher, his most difficult role to date.
On September 9, 2018, Ryeowook was selected to be a guest at the concert of world famous soprano, Jo Sumi. Proving once again that he is one of the most skilled lead singers in k-pop, Jo Sumi cited Ryeowook’s exceptional vocal skills and professionalism as the main reasons for his selection.
Ryeowook’s career has gone beyond singing and animating, as he garnered praise for his position as MC on the Super Idol Chart Show. Shortly after, he took on another variety show on Enter K. In 2018, after his release from the military, he hosted KBS’s “A Song For You”.
2016-present: solo debut
Ryeowook made his solo debut in 2016.
The title of Ryeowook’s first solo album is Le Petit Prince. The release of The Little Prince was not only planned as Ryeowook’s first official solo album since its debut 11 years ago, but also because it is the first release under Ryeowook’s own label. Super Junior, Label SJ, created by SM Entertainment in 2015 when the group was released. 10th anniversary. The title track bearing the same name as the album is a ballad inspired by French author Antoine de Saint-Exupéry from the novel Le Petit Prince. The title song “The Little Prince” is a ballad and a conversation between a man suffering from love and The Little Prince.
In addition to solo promotions and Ryeowook’s album release, he held his first solo concert in SMTOWN’s The Agit series titled “Ever Lasting Star – RyeoWook” from February 19 to February 21 at SMTOWN’s Coex Artium in Samseong-dong, Seoul.
On February 24, 2012, Ryeowook graduated from Inha University with a major in theater and film.
Ryeowook enlisted for military service on October 11, 2016 and was dismissed from his post on July 10, 2018.
On September 29, 2020, Ryeowook confirmed he was in a relationship with Kim Sun-young, also known as Ari, a former member of the Tahiti girl group. Super Junior’s label, Label SJ, released an official statement confirming the relationship on the same day.
Art and voice
Ryeowook has a wide vocal range and a lyrical tenor timbre. He is also known for his frequent use of fakes.
With his second EP, Drunk on Love, Young Post noticed a variety of interpolated genres and styles: from a pop ballad style; Jazz ; R&B; and more than one style reminiscent of lounge music.