boynextdoor interview hybe k-pop kpop
(KOZ Entertainment)
boynextdoor interview hybe k-pop kpop

«Knock Knock, Who's There?» This is BOYNEXTDOOR

The K-pop group under KOZ Entertainment spoke with Panoramain an exclusive interview after releasing their first EP, WHY...

With their music, it is as if BOYNEXDOOR are knocking on their friends' doors to tell the stories of their daily lives. And, literally, they are the kids next door, the ones you want as your kids' friends. Easygoing, talented, polite. SUNGHO, RIWOO, JAEHYUN, TAESAN, LEEHAN, and WOONHAK are proof that the fifth generation of K-pop is bringing the best of Korean culture and beyond produced by Hallyu Wave to the international scene. Confirmation of how perfect these very young artists are in all their facets comes when, at the presentation of their first album, WHY..., held in Seoul's scenic Yes24Hall, they come down from the stage and approach each member of the press in attendance, thanking them for attending their showcase.

WHY..., the group's first album, comes just three months after BOYNEXTDOOR's debut last May with the single WHO!!. Part of one of South Korea's most prominent agencies, HYBE Entertainment, but born under the star of KOZ ENTERTAINMENT and the watchful eye of ZICO, BOYNEXTDOOR ideally qualifies with the leaders of the new generation of K-pop. WHY... is a small album that encapsulates the feelings of teenagers and tells them without too many frills. Consisting of six tracks, three of which were part of the band's debut mini-album and centered on feelings of adoration toward a first-time discoverer, WHY... explores with its new songs the feelings one experiences after the end of a relationship. The three new songs offer a different perspective of the sextet, with honest lyrics and catchy melodies that reflect the chaos of emotions that come with falling in love for the first time. In particular, the lead single "But Sometimes" immediately captures listeners' attention with an irresistible electric guitar sound. The lyrics of the song "Frank," perfectly synchronized with every beat of the song, express the realization that sometimes the amount of love and effort invested in a relationship is not always balanced. Notably, the group's members, JAEHYUN, TAESAN, and WOONHAK, have been credited as authors and composers of all three new songs.

With their music, it is as if BOYNEXDOOR are knocking on the door of their friends to tell the stories of their daily lives. spoke with them in an exclusive interview.

Nice to meet you, boys, and thank you for being here. First of all, how are you? This is your first time talking to an Italian media.

SUNGHO – Hello everyone! This is SUNGHO from BOYNEXTDOOR. Thank you so much for all your love and support.It means the world to us! We would love to go say hi to you in Italy in person as soon as we get a chance!

RIWOO – Hi !! It's so great to speak to you for the first time. First we want to thank you with all our hearts for loving us and our music from so far away.

I want to start by talking about your new music. First EP, WHY..? Three new songs, everything is happening in a really short time since your debut. Which kind of album is it?

JAEHYUN – Our EP WHY.. portrays the raw moments of one's first heartbreak in hopes it resonates with listeners as everyone copes with heartbreak differently. BOYNEXTDOOR's musicality and color shines through this EP so we hope you like it as much as we do!

TAESAN – We actually worked on the three new tracks while we were working on our first single album WHO!. WHO! expresses the emotions of youth's first romance, and the narrative continues in WHY.., where romance comes to an end and the six boys struggle to find closure from their first love.

Can you tell us more about the name?

LEEHAN – Listeners will be able to come up with the reason behind the EP title WHY.. once they hear the three new tracks and see the complete changecompared to when we were the happiest boys on the planet in our debut single album.

WOONHAK– WHY.. asks one's significant other of the past the reason behind the confusions the relationship has caused. With that being said, we want our title of the EP WHY.. to be open to interpretations so our fans and listeners can relate to our music in their own ways.

And how do you feel being part of this huge industry that K-pop is?

SUNGHO - We are honored and fascinated to be a part of the industry where artists I've listened to and looked up to ever since I was young have paved the way. We want our music to be a source of strength and a great influence to our fans and listeners.

LEEHAN - It's amazing! As we continue to witness fans who cheer for us and listen to our music, we feel a great sense of responsibility and strong desire to become better versions of ourselves, both as individuals and as artists.

Six songs, the lead single is called But Sometimes. It's a compelling song. JAEHYUN, TAESAN, and WOONHAK, you are credited as writers and lyricists for the piece; how was working on it?

JAEHYUN - "But Sometimes" required a lot of musical inspirations, so I referenced a lot of books, drama series, and movies. More than anything, I think I've been trying to enhance my overall songwriting abilities.

TAESAN - The three of us wrote the topline and melodies when we were usually together with the team in the same room, but writing the lyrics to the track was mostly done individually.

WOONHAK - II worked on the track together with JAEHYUN, TAESAN, and our producers. At times we would spit out several melodic lines to the track on the spot and went back and forth with feedback which helped me grow so much as a songwriter.

Of all their songs in the EP which is the one you feel most attached to, and why?

SUNGHO - I've become attached a bit more to our fourth track of the EP "Crying". The track really embodies the overall emotions we wanted to put throughout this body of work, which is the pieces of sorrow left behind after a breakup. It's a sentimental track yet we sing the lines equanimously, which shows a contrasting side of emotions to our debut single album WHO!.

RIWOO - I also like "Crying". The sentiment of this track coincides with the style of music I usually listen to, so I've been listening to the track often. I also love it because I took part in choreographing my part of the track.

WOONHAK - For me, it's "But Sometimes". I not only wrote the melody for the track's chorus, but also felt I grew so much from the recording process by really taking the time to express the emotions of the track in the most relatable way possible.

Straightforward lyrics and a unique sound are two of the distinctive traits of BOYNEXTDOOR. But if you had to choose what makes you unique from your point of view, what would it be?

RIWOO - We're a group that sings about our own stories that only we can tell. We unravel our everyday selves through our music in the hopes that it resonates with our fans and listeners.

TAESAN - I love how every member of the group has a unique personality. This makes our music and the production process so diverse and colorful.

I want to take a step back and talk about your debut concept and how you have drawn doors that represent yourself. If you can add a detail to those doors right now, which would it be and why?

JAEHYUN - I want to draw our fans on my door. I know our fans are and will be influential to who I am both as a person and as an artist.

LEEHAN - It's not a detail to the door that represents me, but I would like to add a doorbell to the lobby at HYBE that plays our song "One and Only" when you press on it.

You are all very fashionable. Which is your must-have item in your closet?

SUNGHO - I think pants are important in making an entire outfit look snatched. I often wear a plain short sleeve white t-shirt, but depending on what pants I wear, the overall mood of the outfit changes entirely.

WOONHAK - I like items that really show my individuality, like glasses, hats, accessories, and perfume.

And your must-have beauty item?

RIWOO - Accessorizing is a must! It gives me the confidence to tell myself "not bad".

JAEHYUN - Eye cream, because I smile with my eyes a lot :)

On a lighter note, following your fan chant, can each of you describe

the following member only with an adjective?


LEEHAN - to SUNGHO "Passionate"/ to RIWOO "Attentive" / to JAEHYUN: "Fun" / to TAESAN: "Shy" / to WOONHAK: "Energetic"

And how each of you would describe BOYNEXTDOOR in one word?

TAESAN - Multi-talented!

LEEHAN - A palette.

Talking about ZICO, which is the most important advice he gave you?

SUNGHO - "Don't set your limitations ahead of time" really hit home. Ever since he's given me that advice, I've gotten into the habit of pushing myself and doing whatever I can to the fullest.. There's a great satisfaction to realizing my potential that I wasn't even aware of in doing so.

TAESAN - Before our debut, I once sent him a demo track that I wrote and he told me there is no need to change anything to the track. I was overwhelmed with joy.

Do you have any role models in the industry? If so, who are they, and why?

RIWOO - My role model is Bruno Mars. I can really tell he truly enjoys being on stage, which makes the crowd also enjoy his entire show. And I can't stress enough how great he is at what he does, singing, dancing, and all.

LEEHAN - I can't decide on one particular artist. I believe there is at least one great side to everyone that I'd like to learn from, whether or not they are from the industry. When it comes to music, unique characteristics of each artist are incorporated into their body of work, so I find a lot of music are fascinating in their own way.

It seems you are following a path, which is very important in the journalistic world and is based on the "five Ws". I want to ask you: what is your WHY, the reason you are here making music as BOYNEXTDOOR?

JAEHYUN - Our youth and everyday lives that become our source of inspiration, as well as our fans and listeners are the reasons why I make music as BOYNEXTDOOR.

WOONHAK - I'd say ambition. Our ambition to perfect our stage and music for many people to enjoy is what makes BOYNEXTDOOR move forward.

You have different backgrounds in music with different tastes. I'm curious: which song do you have on repeat right now?

SUNGHO - Cuco’s “Caution”


LEEHAN - Première Gymnopédie: Lent et douloureux by Erik Satie

The previous release was WHO! - a powerful world that helped to introduce you to the industry. What I would like to ask you is. WHO is BOYNEXTDOOR now?

RIWOO - BOYNEXTDOOR will always be there, right next to our fans. We'll grow and move forward together.

TAESAN - BOYNEXTDOOR is a group that will plant great memories for everyone.

WOONHAK - We want to be a group that's known for music and stages that the public can always look forward to.

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