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RIIZE’s Seunghan excluded from official ‘Siren’ music platform debut amid indefinite hiatus: Fans fume over erasure

An April 1 South Korean media report revealed that SM Entertainment boy group RIIZE would be officially releasing the full version of their song Siren. The said music platform debut dropped on April 3 as planned. Originally released as a titillating preview for the group’s anticipated September 2023 debut, the song was previously only available as a 1-minute ‘Performance Video’ on YouTube.

Fans are happy about Seunghan being erased from RIIZE's latest music release.
Fans are happy about Seunghan being erased from RIIZE’s latest music release.

The group’s fans, collectively known as BRIIZE, banded together online on several occasions, demanding for it to be released on other music platforms, including Spotify. The South Korean entertainment company managing the band finally heeded their appeals by delivering a longer edition of the song, with a duration of 2 minutes, as requested. However, the happy news was short-lived.

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As soon as the fans gave the track a listen, they found something amiss, which soured up their experience even more.

The full version of RIIZE’s Siren without Seunghan:

RIIZE’s Siren finally drops online: Seunghan officially excluded

Even though the overwhelming demands for the full version of Siren were met, BRIIZE quickly noticed Seunghan‘s erasure from the song.

Seunghan is the 20-year-old member of the group, who was compelled to “indefinitely” halt all activities with the band members shortly after their debut in September 2023.

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Supposed controversial pictures from his private past went viral on the internet, months before the group’s official debut. Subsequently, an official statement from SM Entertainment dropped in November, stating: “Seunghan sincerely regrets disappointing the team, the members and fans with the issues surrounding his private life that have been spreading across online communities.”

“He has expressed his wishes to halt group activities because of the mental burden and a sense of responsibility for the team. We agreed that it would be difficult to continue under the current circumstances and decided to indefinitely stop his group activities,” concluded the statement.

On April 3, Siren released as a precursor single for the boy group’s upcoming anticipated comeback. Despite Seunghan’s supposed “temporary” hiatus at the time, group activities have continued with only six members – Shotaro, Eunseok, Sungchan, Wonbin, Sohee, and Anton – well into the new year. RIIZE members are celebrated for their significantly well-synchronised performances. They shot to high-rising popularity soon after their debut, all thanks to their hard-hitting, groovy concepts that instantly charmed the masses.

Due to the cemented Seunghan controversy, some fans initially even attempted to kick off a boycott campaign until he was brought back. However, with Siren’s release excluding his presence, fans are experiencing a dismal K-pop deja vu. The 20-year-old idol isn’t the first to have been dealt with this kind of treatment.

Pre-debut RIIZE Siren performance:

Accursed K-pop deja vu strikes

In 2019, Wonho also went on a hiatus from Monsta X group activities, until the situation was further congealed in fact by his official departure from the band. Although he was cleared of all alleged drug charges from his past that incited this twist of fate, he never returned as a member of the group. Ultimately, he debuted as a soloist in 2020.

During his initial hiatus period, Wonho’s contributions to the group were gradually scraped off. Older songs of the band were similarly re-recorded without him, and his inclusion in group pictures was disingenuously edited out as well.

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On being cleared, he finally got candid about the cursed period and explained it, using an all-too-familiar jargon. “I didn’t want to see Monsta X break apart because of me. I thought the group could be saved if I left the group as soon as possible,” he told the South Korean news site Dispatch.

What was the Seunghan controversy about?

A private video featuring Seunghan smoking cigarettes while conversing with other K-pop idols circulated online. This clip’s online emergence was the final nail in the coffin that sealed his hiatus.

The clip shows a minor Seunghan smoking cigarettes on Japanese streets. Prior to that, an X (formerly Twitter) account addressed his alleged “bad personality.” The now-deleted post went viral at the time with over two million views. Buried under several controversies, the artist’s bad days began when pre-debut pictures of him kissing a girl at a hotel leaked online, leaving fans unamused.

Though already shaken up, more bad news awaited the fandom. In October 2023, a KakaoTalk screenshot from fan discussions dedicated to the band member captured an anonymous tip, once again painting him in a bad light. The tipster disclosed that Seunghan would secretly go live with his alleged girlfriend even after his debut.

Silently staying put, Seunghan finally made headlines on March 29 again, but not for any twisted reasons this time. A buzz-worthy conversation spread like fire online when pictures of Seunghan showed him standing in front of billboards dedicated to him.

Fans had left numerous Post-it messages, wishing him well. The photo revealed that he took some time to read each of these messages from his fans. While that development led to a sentimental outpour in the online community, his exclusion from the latest group delivery has left BRIIZE furious.

Fan reactions to Seunghan’s exclusion from Siren:

Some internet users recalled how several entertainment companies sought Seunghan, yet he chose to train and debut with SM Entertainment, only for the agency to look the other way now.

Despite SM’s initial claims of taking legal action against offenders leaking misleading information or circulating fabricated visuals, the company seems to have moved on from this narrative now.

With their actions demonstrating a different outlook, heartbroken fans couldn’t help but voice their anguish on social media.

“I still can’t believe SM separated Seunghan and eunseok, especially after they went through so much together and clearly have such a strong bond,” wrote someone on X.

Another user tweeted in reference to Seunghan’s original performance in Siren, “No matter how much sm tries they can NEVER erase seunghan’s impact he brought to that song. no one can ever bring justice to his parts like him.” A different fan chimed in, “Seunghan’s iconic part will always remain iconic. siren will always be a seven members performance.”

More heartfelt messages like “it’s hard but we will wait for you seunghan we miss you we love you we need you” poured in.” On the other side, some fans took up arms, “Nah but i’m really curious, the hell is stopping the company to actually update us about seunghan? whatever that update is, why are they choosing radio silence? cuz it’s honestly so freaking weird.”

His return to the group is still mired in secrecy.


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