By Hong Dam-young (email@example.com)
In the highly competitive K-pop scene, it’s hard for rookies to rise above the crowd and make a splash. Despite the global lockdown during the ongoing pandemic era, EPEX is off to a good start. Hailed as a super-rookie band, the eight-piece group under C9 Entertainment released its first EP, “Bipolar Pt. 1: Prelude of Anxiety,” June 8 and achieved the highest first-week sales for a debut album among newcomers this year: a total of 33,353 copies sold on the Hanteo chart.
EPEX (C9 Entertainment)With its name meaning “the gathering of eight youths reaches eight different apexes,” EPEX consists of Keum, Wish, Mu, A-Min, Baek Seung, Ayden, Yewang and Jeff. Except for the eldest member, Wish, all the bandmates are teenagers who’ve been juggling training and school for years. “When I was a trainee, I couldn’t picture myself as an idol, couldn’t imagine it honestly. Each day was full of uncertainty. Mu and I used to go home together after practice, worrying about whether we would be able to make our debut or not. And I’m really glad that we’ve made it this far together,” said Wish during a recent interview with The Korea Herald in Seoul. Looking back on his pre-debut days, Mu chimed in and said, “After we’ve finally made our debut after all those doubts and worries, I wanted to go further. It’s as if we’ve entered a different dimension. It was eye-opening.” As teenagers, the bandmates have a naturally endearing and effervescent energy. But their music offers something different, something special that attracts fans. Anchored in the hip-hop genre, “Bipolar Pt. 1: Prelude of Anxiety” deals with the worries of the younger generation, such as angst about falling prey to society’s expectations. Although the band identifies itself as a dance group, the five-track EP spans various genres such as electro-trap, Latin and R&B. Opener “Go Big” expresses the band’s desire to reach the apex, while lead track “Lock Down” and “Cyanide” touch upon the negative effects of social media and the way rumors become “facts.” “No Questions” and “Sling Shot” bring the generational theme to a higher level, questioning the narrator’s life path and the line between freedom and suppression. The musicians shared that they’d drawn on their own experiences and thoughts in the creative process, making the songs more relatable. They’d had long conversations with the lyricists when making the album, they explained, wanting to convey the millennial-oriented message. “All five songs reflect our own stories, an outcome of our actual daily conversations and contemplations. The song I relate to most is ‘No Questions,’ which encourages youth to go their own way rather than following what our elders tell us to do. I once told our lyricist that I wanted to follow my own dream without caring what others thought of me,” said Baek Seung. Wish, whose favorite track from the album is also “No Question,” added that the song’s message was one that had inspired him throughout his teenage years. As the band’s name suggests, EPEX is brimming with ambition. At the same time, the musicians are putting in an equal effort to foster tight relationships within the group. They said they enjoyed discussing various issues, and that talking helped them understand each other despite their different backgrounds and personalities. Keum, leader of the group, said he’d recently been contemplating EPEX’s career path both musically and in terms of concepts. Surprisingly, the young musicians all have different musical tastes. Keum said he’d been listening to Jung Seung-hwan’s “The Snowman” recently, while Yewang is a ballad lover. “It’s funny that we are a dance group, but when I’m all by myself, I crave ballads,” he said. A-Min said his favorite track was IU’s “Secret Garden,” and Ayden expressed his passion for hip-hop. The rookies also went on to talk about the history of K-pop, sharing the monumental moments they would like to relive. “We are more than thankful for giving us such love. Our next goal is to win first place on music programs and return with new music that can capture listeners’ ears and hearts. Please look forward to our next step,” said Wish.
BTS / Courtesy of Big Hit Music K-pop sensation BTS has won Group of the Year and Best K-pop at the MTV Video Music Awards, with the winners still to be announced for three other categories the septet has been nominated for. BTS was nominated for a total of seven ...
Members of K-pop boy group ATEEZ pose during an online media conference, Monday. Courtesy of KQ Entertainment By Dong Sun-hwa One big attribute distinguishing K-pop boy group ATEEZ from its rivals is the way it picks a song to promote when releasing a new album. Normally, it is the singers ...
Visitors look around the pop-up store Sept. 8. (Park Jun-hee/The Korea Herald) Orange and yellow boxes of cookies named after BTS’ megahit song “Butter” are displayed on a rack. (Park Jun-hee/The Korea Herald) A BTS-themed seed stick is displayed on a rack. (Park Jun-hee/The Korea Herald)As the prolonged COVID-19 ...
This file photo shows the main view of the In the SOOP pop-up store. (Hybe)The amount of time K-pop entertainment giants get to greet fans has been ebbing as the coronavirus pandemic persists. But now, agency labels are reaching out to offline pop-up stores in and out of the country ...
(Credit: Big Hit Music)BTS is holding a digital concert on Oct. 24, the band announced Wednesday. Titled “BTS Permission to Dance on Stage,” the show will broadcast live. It has been about a year since the group’s previous concert, “BTS Map of the Soul ON:E,” which was livestreamed across the ...
K-drama Lost: Jeon Do-yeon, Ryu Jun-yeol star in well-acted but morbid drama centred around depression and social alienationPeople look to entertainment for many things, but chief among them is escapism. TV drama in particular invites us to shake off the stresses of our day and lose ourselves in the vicarious pleasure of seeing the downtrodden triumph and the lovelorn embraced on our screens. But not every show ...
Escape from Mogadishu movie review: Korean diplomats in peril in Somalia-set action thriller by The Battleship Island director Ryoo Seung-wan3/5 stars Most movie-goers may be unfamiliar with the plight of Somalia and its people, beyond the North African nation providing the hostile setting for such “Americans in peril” narratives as Black Hawk Down and Captain Phillips. Ryoo Seung-wan’s new white-knuckle thriller Escape from Mogadishu does little to expand on ...
5 times Blackpink's Lisa outdid bandmates Jennie, Rosé and Jisoo, from breaking YouTube records with her debut solo single Lalisa to ranking as ‘most popular female K-pop idol'While Blackpink has broken many records together as a group – like the time their 2020 single How You Like That won the Guinness World Record for “Most Viewed YouTube Video in 24 hours” – right now, the spotlight is on one member. Lalisa Manoban, better known as Lisa, released ...
Most popular Spotify K-pop playlist ‘K-pop Daebak' celebrates 7-year milestone and over 5 billion minutes streamedWhile Blackpink has broken many records together as a group – like the time their 2020 single How You Like That won the Guinness World Record for “Most Viewed YouTube Video in 24 hours” – right now, the spotlight is on one member. Lalisa Manoban, better known as Lisa, released ...
Toronto 2021: Netflix K-drama Hellbound – in Train to Busan director Yeon Sang-ho's thrilling new series, cult and demons incite the massesWhile Blackpink has broken many records together as a group – like the time their 2020 single How You Like That won the Guinness World Record for “Most Viewed YouTube Video in 24 hours” – right now, the spotlight is on one member. Lalisa Manoban, better known as Lisa, released ...
G-Dragon's OTT art and decor collection: Kaws plushies, a George Condo painting and a Man Ray chess set are just a few of the pieces filling the K-pop idol's museum-like home …
Asian-American pop history, sequels to K-pop Confidential and Jessica Jung's Shine: five K-pop books to look out for
Alarm bells – well, apps – are ringing in near-future Seoul, with love in the air and a telltale throbbing in the trouser pocket. Yes, Love Alarm is back for ... Read more »
This article is part of STYLE’s Inside Luxury column. The value in luxury brands lies in the ability to tell stories. The best luxury brands are excellent at this. In ... Read more »
This article is part of Style’s Luxury Column When Exo’s Kai, one of the most successful K-pop stars of all time, recently debuted his eponymous solo EP, Gucci sent him ... Read more »
And now for something completely different; different to many of the ominous familial dramas and romantic sagas emerging from South Korea, anyway. Mad for Each Other (Netflix, series one now ... Read more »
This article contains spoilers. They say you can’t teach an old dog new tricks, and that adage holds true for Yoo Dong-man (Cha Tae-hyun), the bulldog investigator who finds himself ... Read more »
3/5 stars A journalist and self-styled “urban detective” is drawn into a bizarre murder case connected to a huge pharmaceutical scandal in The Cursed: Dead Man’s Prey, a spin-off feature ... Read more »
In the world of K-pop, a black credit card signifies a celebrity’s larger-than-life bank account and immense yearly spending. Only millionaire K-idols can get their hands on these coveted status ... Read more »
“As we are writing this, we are sorry to inform you that we may not be able to order as many copies as we had expected,” reads a tweet posted ... Read more »
Romance is in the sea breeze in Hometown Cha-Cha-Cha, the latest Korean drama streaming globally on Netflix. This opposites-attract romcom set in a quaint seaside town stars Shin Min-a and ... Read more »
K-pop fans were left shocked when six-member girl group GFriend announced in May that they were going their separate ways. But band break-ups are actually fairly common in the South ... Read more »
The Cyberspace Administration of China issued a notice on August 27 saying it will implement 10 measures to improve fan culture, including the scrapping of ranking entertainers and halting paid ... Read more »
It’s been a heavy week in showbiz, with shocking deaths rocking the world of entertainment, from K-pop to Bollywood. Here are four celebrities we’re sorry to have lost this week. ... Read more »
Angelina Jolie, who is notoriously private and isn’t fond of social media, has finally created an Instagram account. Her first post was a nod to her humanitarian work. She shared ... Read more »
Jahan, Chiwoo, Dann, Arthur, Ivan, Mujin and Louis don’t sound like the typical names of South Korean pop singers. But the stage names of the members of K-pop group Kingdom ... Read more »
Twitter’s song of summer 2021 is officially BTS’ Butter, the American social media platform announced on September 1. Between the end of May and the middle of August, the BTS ... Read more »
“We said, ‘if we are allowed to sing in English, we must’.” So says Benny Andersson of Swedish pop group Abba in This Is Pop, a new Netflix documentary that ... Read more »
It’s not news that the Korean zombie apocalypse hit Train to Busan (2016) by director Yeon Sang-ho will soon have an American remake by Hollywood’s New Line Cinema. It was ... Read more »
In June K-pop group A.C.E released their latest album, Siren:Dawn, and the single Higher, for which they tapped into tales of romance and mermaids for inspiration. “We want to show ... Read more »
The transition from YouTuber to music industry darling is not an easy one, but South Korean singer Seori has successfully done it. The 24-year-old (born Baek So-hyun) released her first ... Read more »
When WayV’s Ten and YangYang began working on what would become their August duet Low Low, they thought it would be really different. Forget about the cheery feel of what ... Read more »
As a teenager in 2009, South Korean singer Minzy debuted as one-quarter of what would become the hugely influential K-pop girl group 2NE1. Five years after parting ways with the ... Read more »
(ATTN: UPDATES with BTS songs earning platinum in last 4 paras) SEOUL, Aug. 24 (Yonhap) — K-pop sensation BTS’ mega-hit “Butter” placed eighth on this week’s Billboard main singles chart, ... Read more »
NCT 127’s new album will hit the shelves on Sept. 17. Courtesy of SM Entertainment By Lee Gyu-lee K-pop boy group NCT 127 will be releasing its third full-length album ... Read more »
SEOUL, Aug. 24 (Yonhap) — K-pop sensation BTS’ mega-hit “Butter” placed eighth on this week’s Billboard main singles chart, staying in the top 10 for 13 consecutive weeks. The summery ... Read more »
A poster for “Hallyu Con 2021 Live from London” / Courtesy of Korean Cultural Center UK (KCCUK) By Dong Sun-hwa Korean Cultural Center UK (KCCUK) is poised to present an ... Read more »
SEOUL, Aug. 23 (Yonhap) — Joy of girl group Red Velvet and R&B singer-songwriter Crush are officially a pair, their management agencies said Monday. “The two were colleagues but recently ... Read more »
SEOUL, Aug. 23 (Yonhap) — K-pop album sales have grown further as new fans of the genre have snatched up old albums in addition to new ones, industry sources said ... Read more »
Singer Jung Yun-ho, a member of K-pop duo TVXQ, will release a children’s book. Courtesy of SM Entertainment By Lee Gyu-lee Jung Yun-ho, better known as U-Know Yunho of K-pop ... Read more »
(Credit: KQ Entertainment/Sony Music)San, Yoonho and Jongho of Ateez participated in Pentatonix’s newest song that was unveiled on Friday. The three bandmates were the featured artists in the American a ... Read more »
Stray Kids / Courtesy of JYP Entertainment South Korean boy band Stray Kids is giving a glimpse of its new music video. The K-pop group shared a preview Thursday of ... Read more »
SEOUL, Aug. 20 (Yonhap) — K-pop sensation BTS’ planned world tour, which has been put off for more than a year due to the protracted COVID-19 pandemic, has been officially ... Read more »
(Credit: Starship Entertainment)Cravity put out its first studio album on Thursday and held an online showcase. “It was on my bucket list as a singer to release a full album,” ... Read more »
K-pop girl group TWICE’s Jeongyeon will halt future group act due to her health condition. Courtesy of JYP Entertainment By Lee Gyu-lee Jeongyeon, a member of K-pop girl group TWICE, ... Read more »
From left, Seungyoon, Mino, Jinwoo and Seunghoon of K-pop boy group WINNER / Courtesy of YG Entertainment By Dong Sun-hwa K-pop boy group WINNER renewed its contract with YG Entertainment ... Read more »
South Korean music producer Pdogg is one of the highest earning individuals in South Korea in 2021 so far, a financial report revealed this week. Pdogg (whose legal name is ... Read more »
K-pop quintet Tomorrow X Together (TXT) / Courtesy of Big Hit Music By Dong Sun-hwa K-pop boy group Tomorrow X Together (TXT) is going strong on the music charts, with ... Read more »
(Credit: YG Entertainment)The bandmates of Winner all agreed to renew their contracts with label YG Entertainment, announced the company on Wednesday. They signed the contracts together for another five years, ... Read more »
(ATTN: ADDS Japan’s streaming chart updates in last 2 paras) SEOUL, Aug. 18 (Yonhap) — South Korean superband BTS has landed at No. 19 on this week’s Billboard 200 chart ... Read more »
SEOUL, Aug. 18 (Yonhap) — Disgraced former K-pop superstar Park Yoo-chun has been embroiled in a dispute over a double contract with his new agency. The singer and actor, who ... Read more »
SEOUL, Aug. 18 (Yonhap) — South Korean superband BTS has landed at No. 19 on this week’s Billboard 200 chart with its latest Japanese compilation album. “BTS, the Best” came ... Read more »