Way Back Home (Shaun song)

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"Way Back Home"
Single by Shaun
from the album Take
ReleasedJune 27, 2018 (2018-06-27)
FormatDigital download, streaming
  • Ji Hye Lee
  • Shaun
Music video
"Way Back Home" on YouTube

"Way Back Home" is a song by South Korean musician Shaun. The song was released as the lead single for his debut solo extended play (EP) Take on June 27, 2018.

Background and composition[edit]

Shaun is a DJ and producer as well as keyboardist for the South Korean indie rock band The Koxx.[2] He released his debut solo EP Take on June 27, 2018, with "Way Back Home" as the lead single.

Shaun stated that he originally wrote the melody for "Way Back Home" in 2015 as part of a song for JYJ's Kim Jae-joong. However, the melody was returned because it sounded similar to a separate, well-known Japanese song. According to Shaun, he still liked the melody so in 2018 he was able remake the song in five hours.[3][4] The song was composed by Shaun and Ji Hye Lee,[5] and it was described by Billboard as being a "tropical-house dance track".[2]


"Way Back Home" grew in popularity first in the Korean dance community through social media posts and fans sharing videos of Shaun's live performances at clubs and festivals.[2] Specifically, the song was posted on a prominent Facebook page for music recommendations.[6] The song and its videos eventually went viral, and the song appeared on digital trending charts.[2] "Way Back Home" gradually gained playtime as the background music of cafes and TV shows as well as earned some celebrity promotion.[7]

The song went on to achieve a "grand slam" on the morning of July 17, 2018, by attaining the number one position on all three major Korean music services: MelOn, Genie, and Olleh Music.[2][8] However, because Shaun was a relatively lesser-known artist, the song's rise on the charts sparked allegations of "sajaegi", or chart manipulation,[2][3][8] with some drawing comparisons to Nilo, who has previously also been accused of chart manipulation.[6] Later that day, DCTOM Entertainment released a statement denying any chart manipulation, claiming instead to have used "viral marketing".[2][6] The CEO of DCTOM Entertainment similarly denied any unlawful action.[9] Shaun himself also denied any cheating,[8] and he isolated himself from others and experienced serious psychological anxiety as a result of the accusations.[10] Shaun responded on July 22, stating that he hoped the truth would be uncovered and apologizing for hurting his fans.[8]

Meanwhile on July 18, Park Jin-young of JYP Entertainment stated that he would request an investigation from South Korea's Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism and the Fair Trade Commission.[8][11] The next day, DCTOM Entertainment requested a police investigation into the issue.[11] Shaun has also filed charges against some people for spreading rumors.[8]

An investigation by DCTOM Entertainment themselves found no evidence of chart manipulation, but rather that the song steadily climbed the charts as a result of people gaining interest in it.[12] However, the investigation by the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism is still ongoing as of August 2018.[13] Although a private company has been hired to analyze the charts data, the Ministry announced on August 29 that it may take over a month to receive all of the data and then more time to actually analyze it.[13]


Chart (2018–19) Peak
Hungary (Rádiós Top 40)[14] 18
Malaysia (RIM)[15] 13
New Zealand Hot Singles (RMNZ)[16] 24
Singapore (RIAS)[17] 7
South Korea (Gaon)[18] 1
South Korea (Kpop Hot 100)[19] 1


  1. ^ Take - EP by SHAUN, iTunes Store, June 27, 2018, retrieved November 21, 2018
  2. ^ a b c d e f g "K-Pop Singer SHAUN's 'Way Back Home' Tops BTS and BLACKPINK on Charts". Billboard. July 20, 2018. Retrieved November 25, 2018.
  3. ^ a b Park, S. (October 23, 2018). "Shaun Shares Thoughts On Chart Manipulation Controversy And Describes Creative Process For 'Way Back Home'". Soompi. Retrieved November 22, 2018.
  4. ^ yckim124 (October 23, 2018). "Shaun shares thoughts about beating TWICE and Black Pink on the music charts + sajaegi controversy". allkpop. Retrieved November 22, 2018.
  5. ^ "Take - Shaun". AllMusic. Retrieved December 1, 2018.
  6. ^ a b c Sung, Ji-eun (July 18, 2018). "Singer accused of manipulating the charts". Korea JoongAng Daily. Retrieved November 25, 2018.
  7. ^ Shin, Y. (July 16, 2018). "Shaun's Agency Denies Accusations of Digital Chart Manipulation". Soompi. Retrieved November 22, 2018.
  8. ^ a b c d e f Yoon, Min-sik (July 22, 2018). "Overnight sensation or cheater? K-pop charts disputed". The Korea Herald. Retrieved November 22, 2018.
  9. ^ Kim, L. (July 20, 2018). "CEO Of Shaun's Agency Directly Addresses Digital Chart Manipulation Controversy". Soompi. Retrieved November 22, 2018.
  10. ^ 황지영 (July 18, 2018). "[단독] 숀, 인터뷰 전면 취소…측근 "심리적 불안 호소"". Nate News (네이트뉴스) (in Korean). Retrieved November 22, 2018.
  11. ^ a b Dong, Sun-hwa (July 21, 2018). "Is JYP referring to SHAUN in alleged music chart manipulation?". The Korea Times. Retrieved November 25, 2018.
  12. ^ Jeong, Ju-won (August 15, 2018). "Agency says Shaun did not fix music charts". Korea JoongAng Daily. Retrieved November 26, 2018.
  13. ^ a b 이정수 (August 29, 2018). "[단독]문체부, '닐로·숀 사재기 의혹' 분석업체 선정…결과까진 상당시일 걸릴 수도". Seoul Shinmun (서울신문) (in Korean). Retrieved November 26, 2018.
  14. ^ "Archívum – Slágerlisták – MAHASZ" (in Hungarian). Rádiós Top 40 játszási lista. Magyar Hanglemezkiadók Szövetsége. Retrieved September 19, 2019.
  15. ^ "Top 20 Most Streamed International & Domestic Singles in Malaysia" (PDF). Recording Industry Association of Malaysia. Retrieved January 16, 2019.
  16. ^ "NZ Hot Singles Chart". Recorded Music NZ. January 7, 2019. Retrieved January 4, 2019.
  17. ^ "Singapore Top 30 Digital Streaming Chart – Week 2" (PDF). Recording Industry Association (Singapore). Archived from the original (PDF) on January 21, 2019.
  18. ^ "Digital Chart – Week 29 of 2018" (in Korean). Gaon Music Chart. Retrieved November 22, 2018.
  19. ^ "Kpop Hot 100 (week of July 28, 2018 – August 4)". Billboard Korea. Retrieved November 22, 2018.