Thumbs Up for BLANK2Y
If you are into the K-pop wormhole on Twitter, you might have been exposed for months to messages about a new male group who would be born under Keystone Media. A great strategy that drops a lot of attention on the ones now going by the name of BLANK2Y. Their first mini-album, K2Y I: CONFIDENCE [Thumbs Up], is the first part of the K2Y series. Composed to be a trilogy, the K2Y series will unravel various sides of every human. The first part represents “CONFIDENCE” and presents BLANK2Y’s confident beginning that they hope will cheer up everyone who is exhausted and stressed from the global pandemic brought by COVID-19. K2Y I: CONFIDENCE [Thumbs Up] consists of five tracks with the title “Thumbs Up” in Korean and English. BLANK2Y is a boy group of nine members: DK, LOUIS, DONGHYUK, U, SIWOO, MIKEY, YOUNGBIN, SUNGJUN, and SODAM. The group’s name combines ‘BLANK’ and ‘KEY’, which means “a key to open a blank space”. The name was created with the wish to become a musical medium that soothes the blank hearts of people living in modern times and brings back the fire in their inner passion.
Panorama.it had the chance to talk with them in an exclusive interview for the Italian public.
Congratulations on your debut. How do you feel?
Sungjun - I’m very glad and happy that we’ve been able to fulfill our dreams of debuting and also for being able to meet K2YWE, our fans who’ve been very supportive and encouraging throughout!
Let’s start by introducing yourselves to the Italian public.
DK - Go up! Hello, we are BLANK2Y! Our name BLANK2Y is a combination of the words “blank” and “key” and means “a key to open an empty space.” As BLANK2Y, we aspire to become a musical medium that soothes the emptiness within the tired hearts of today’s listeners as well as encourage them to realize the full potential of their passions to form connections and relationships.
Let's start with your debut song, Thumbs Up. This will be a very special song for you. Can you talk about it?
MIKEY - Our title track “Thumbs Up” is a powerful trap track and an added synth sound that makes an exciting beat! It conveys the message that we are all the best. Please take a moment to listen to it as you won’t regret it!
And then there is a mini-album. The first one as BLANK2Y, K2Y I: Confidence [Thumbs Up]. How was working on it?
U - All the songs were so good that I really wanted to do well. However, as a foreigner, I encountered some difficulty with pronunciation while recording. Nevertheless, thanks to the help of all the members, I was able to successfully finish the recording.
In your mini album, there is a very powerful word: confidence. What are you confident about?
LOUIS - I have confidence in myself, and I sincerely hope that many people can also gain confidence in themselves just as I have.
You all come from different experiences. How was working as a group?
Siwoo - I’d always practiced alone as a trainee, so I remember feeling very lonely. There wasn’t anybody else or a team I could share feedback with, and I longed for a sense of belonging. Now, I’m very happy to have become a part of BLANK2Y and to have met wonderful members who are all striving toward a shared goal.
Sungjun - Ever since living together with my members, I’ve been able to forget memories of feeling lonely when I’d lived alone. Every moment has been very fun as our dorm is always brimming with activity and liveliness!
This is a question for each one of you: who was the member that caught your eye first?
Sungjun - I remember Youngbin’s first impression being very fierce because of his well-defined facial features. His small face was very memorable too. After getting a chance to talk to him, I realized his personality wasn’t as fierce as his impression had been. He’s always so kind and smiles often, and it brought us closer very quickly!
U - For me, it was Youngbin. When I had seen him for the first time, his hair had been really long. After he had it styled at the hair salon, I was astonished at the fact that someone could be so handsome.
DK - Youngbin caught my eyes first. Personally, I think he is the epitome of a celebrity.
Youngbin - I have to say LOUIS. I can’t forget his aura and vibe the first time we met.
Donghyuk - It’s LOUIS! We used the same waiting room before when we were both in different groups. Seeing him again as a member of the same group, I was amazed that we’d met again and looked forward to performing with him.
Siwoo - Before I joined our company, the fact that Youngbin was in this company really compelled me to join here. When I watched I-LAND, I was very impressed by Youngbin and wanted to be in the same group as him. So, the moment I heard he was in Keystone Entertainment, I thought this was my chance.
Sodam - I was kind of intimidated by LOUIS at first because of his strong impression. Now that we’ve become closer, I know what a kind and delightful person he is.
MIKEY - At first, I got the impression that Sodam and I wouldn’t really be compatible because he seemed somewhat stiff and cold. After spending time with him though, I learned that he was actually a very shy person, and that’s why his actions came off as a bit cold. He would approach me by asking “what are you doing?” or “what do you want to eat?” which I found to be cute.
LOUIS - It’s Youngbin. He had really long hair the first time we met. He naturally has a very small face, but the long hair made it seem even smaller. This made me keep looking at him in amazement.
You have been appointed as honorary ambassadors for the Jeju Special Self-Governing Province Tourism Association. How does it feel?
Donghyuk - Before I joined BLANK2Y, I had a chance to visit Jeju Island by myself. During my visit, I had the chance to see very beautiful sceneries that I would have otherwise been unable to enjoy had I not been traveling alone. I fell in love with Jeju Island and its charms ever since. As an ambassador, I hope to show and tell other people about Jeju Island’s unique charms as much as I can.
Back to your music: do you have any role models in the industry?
Sodam - My role model is senior Baekhyun! I’ve always liked him, and I wish to resemble his voice tone.
If you could describe BLANK2Y in one word, which would it be?
Youngbin - I choose “teamwork” since the nine of us are all very close-knit.
Is there something you really wish to achieve as BLANK2Y?
U - Firstly, I’d like for us to win the Rookie of the Year Award. I’d also like for us to win the number one spot on the Billboard charts. As we continue to be loved and receive support from our fans, ultimately I wish that BLANK2Y can become role models for other groups one day.
DK - My main goal is to succeed. Besides that though, I want BLANK2Y to be able to remain by the sides of K2YWE for a long time and happily perform for them.