Ensuring you’re one of the top-selling bands in one of the biggest music markets in the world within a year would be more than satisfying for most artists, but ENYHPEN is aiming for much bigger.
Since their official debut on the music scene in November 2020, ENHYPEN have won over international fandom who have seen how 23 K-pop hopefuls have integrated into the seven-member group they are today and maintained a close dialogue and open. Members Jungwon, Jay, Sunghoon, Jake, Heeseung, Sunoo, and Ni-ki talked about their hopes of turning their next-generation pop star stories into “music everyone can relate to” and within a year. have connected with one and global audiences.
Taking a moment to recount their first year together — that includes South Korea’s ninth best-selling album of 2021, picking up multiple Best New Artist awards and making high-profile TV appearances around the world — the guys see each other well. on their way to achieving their intended vision.
“I think we’ve accomplished a lot more in the past year than we ever imagined,” Jake says during an early morning video chat from Korea. “We received the Rookie of the Year award[s], we entered Billboard charts, we met our fans at a fan meeting and performed on American TV shows. So, I feel like all of these things make us very proud and so grateful to have accomplished them as a team.
Despite the gratitude for where their hard work has ended up so far, ENHYPEN is also clear that they are working for even greater goals and, with that, greater recognition.
“We worked really hard to perfect our perfectly timed group choreography,” Jungwon shares. “But above all, I hope that not only ENGENE, but the general public can listen to our music and see ENHYPEN as the ‘final destination for K-pop.’ [We say ‘final K-pop destination’] as it reflects our hopes that when fans think of K-pop, they automatically think of us. Our ENGENEs already love and support us a lot, but we hope that the public will also think of ENHYPEN.
This spirit continues with the latest version of ENHYPEN Dimension: Response, a deluxe repackaging of the band’s full album Dimension: Dilemma from October which sold 1.2 million copies worldwide, according to the Korean Gaon charts. It is also a moment of reflection for the septet through the first single “Blessed-Cursed”. With a sound that blends ’70s hard rock with a modern hip-hop twist from Post Malone, the track explores an all-too-common reality that fame and the fulfillment of one’s desires aren’t always all there is to it. damn.
“’Blessed-Cursed’ is about boys learning more about reality and now realizing that what they received was not quite a blessing but rather a curse,” says Heeseung. “As you know, ENHYPEN went through a survival TV show and after our debut we got the full support of the company and we grew while getting so much support. Of course, we thought it was a blessing and we don’t see it as a curse per se like in the song. But we had some struggles with it – we realized that there are certain responsibilities that come with being an artist and we’re looking for ways to show the best parts of ENHYPEN. It’s the kind of parallel with the song and in our lives.
Jake adds that “just being an artist and having an artist’s mindset is something that we always have to improve and develop on this journey – I feel like there are a lot of little milestones and kinds of issues that we go through and navigate as artists.
Overall though, the guys note their careers are ultimate blessings thanks to their fans (“The goals we’ve achieved are, above all, a reflection of the love and support from our ENGENEs,” adds Jake) even if they have had a hard time. as a team during Year 1 (“Our full studio album came out a little later than expected due to the pandemic situation and all, so we were kind of sad to have to meet ENGENE a little later than we thought” ). They are, however, determined to give back to ENGENE in 2022.
So far this has also included new Variable: Response song “Polaroid Love” which Sunoo explains tells the story of “boys who think that the special kind of moment that is in a Polaroid photo, the special kind of love that we feel through photographs, could last forever. parallels how we feel about the special moments we share with ENGENE – we hope they continue forever and ever. ki is an avid fan and taker of Polaroids.
But ENHYPEN’s biggest hope is that they can get their message out by traveling overseas this year for their fans, as well as the general public, to see what they can really do in person.
“We haven’t been able to meet our fans overseas, so any opportunity to meet them would be really great,” Sunoo noted, adding, “Although we speak different languages, we really believe we can connect. with them through our music and performances.”
Jay says, “We haven’t met many ENGENEs this year, so hopefully next year things will go well and we’ll have more chances to meet them,” Jungwon adding, “We’ve done our best. debut during the pandemic so we haven’t been able to see our fans as much, but until then we hope they all stay healthy and we also hope to see you in person.
And if the slick yet aggressive choreography of the “Blessed-Cursed” choreography is any indication, audiences around the world will no doubt also be hooked the moment they get a chance to see ENHYPEN in person.