The Korea Herald


Rookie group Boynextdoor hopes to mature with fans

Hybe sub-label boy band makes comeback with first EP "Why.."

By Choi Ji-won

Published : Sept. 5, 2023 - 17:41

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Boynextdoor poses for picture during a press showcase event for its first EP Boynextdoor poses for picture during a press showcase event for its first EP "Why.." held in Seoul on Monday. (KOZ Entertainment)

Rookie group Boynextdoor hopes to flourish and grow with its fans, upon the release of its first EP "Why.." on Monday.

"Whatever music we do, we hope to sing to empathize. That's why we aspire to attempt all possible genres through which we could voice different emotions. We hope to become a group that matures with our fans," Jaehyun said at a press conference on Monday.

The next step of Boynextdoor's odyssey of growth began with the new album, "Why..," which marked the group's comeback in just three months since its debut with its first single "Who!" in May.

"Why.." is a six-track package consisting of three songs from the first single -- "But I Like You," "Serenade" and "One and Only" -- and three newly unveiled songs, "But Sometimes," "Crying" and "ABCDLove."

According to member Woonhak, their swift return was possible as the six songs had all been completed when they debuted.

"For us, all the songs were a part of the same album from the start. If you listen to them in one piece, there's a single story threading through the various emotions in love and breakup," Woonhak said.

"Why.." continues the story of a boy's first love, which was irst unraveled in the band's debut single, this time, on the aftermath of a first breakup. Just as with the previous single, the bandmates emphasized expressing themselves naturally through their music.

Leading the album is "But Sometimes," which Riwoo explained as "a relatable song for those around our age who have experienced first love."

"It's natural for boys our age to react immaturely to a breakup, and we delved into those unrefined emotions. Those raw pieces of adolescent passion turned into Boynextdoor's colors in the song," Jaehyun added.

A concept picture of Boynextdoor's first EP A concept picture of Boynextdoor's first EP "Why.." (KOZ Entertainment)

The boys conveyed their heartaches through frank lyrics. This was more possible as Jaehyun, Taesan and Woonhak took part penning the lyrics, as well as in the composition. The three members are credited as composers and lyricists on all three new songs.

"We used the daily language and gestures of the members in the lyrics. We hope it sounds like talking to a friend," Woonhak said.

Zico, the executive producer of the band and its label KOZ Entertainment, took the helm the production of "Why.." and wrote the lyrics to "But Sometimes" with the members.

"This was our first time writing with producer Zico. He taught us to look at the big picture. I still tend to think only about what I can show in my own part, but he advised me to grasp the overall flow of the song and see how my part could play along in it," Jaehyun recalled.

Along with the title track "But Sometimes," the sextet performed "ABCDLove" during Monday's event.

Boysnextdoor made a loud debut in May as the first idol group produced by Zico -- a rapper, producer and idol group member himself. The band's debut also made headlines as a new boy band from a sub-label of Hybe, the company housing the K-pop powerhouse BTS.

The members said the past three months have gifted them with growth, lessons and gratitude.

"I'm the most introverted among the six members. At first, it was difficult to stand in front of the camera. Now I've become much more comfortable with it. Standing on the stage excites me the most," Riwoo said, looking back.

Sungho, the band's leader, said their teamwork has improved. "We've gained a deeper understanding of our team's identity. Not just when shooting music videos, but even when we shoot a picture, we get along better."

A concept picture for Boynextdoor's first EP A concept picture for Boynextdoor's first EP "Why.." (KOZ Entertainment)

The year has seen a slew of new boy bands rush to debut and make comebacks, with the nation's biggest K-pop powerhouse SM Entertainment's new band Riize making its debut on Monday.

Asked how they feel about the competition, the boys said they hoped to thrive in it.

"Today is a day of festivity and we look forward to experiencing diverse music," Jaehyun said, to which Taesan added, "We hope the groups can encourage each other to improve and have fun together."

The six boys hoped to get closer with fans this time.

"I still remember the moment when we placed our eyes on our fans in the audience during our first music show shooting. It was such an incredible, shimmering moment. ... I was so nervous then that I couldn't express myself properly to them. I'll try my best to show my heart to them this time," said Leehan.

Sungho said, "We didn't expect so much attention with our debut. We're always thinking about how we can return all the love through our performances. We'll try to make more opportunities to meet and communicate with our fans this time."