K-pop sensation ATEEZ finally hit Singapore’s shores over the weekend, and we caught up with the 8-member group ahead of the Asian and Latin American leg of their ‘THE FELLOWSHIP: BREAK THE WALL’ world tour. Having debuted barely six years ago, the group has achieved a lot in that short amount of time with their signature style of music and performances. It’s no wonder they’ve been dubbed the “Global Performance Idols” and “4th Generation Leaders” in the Korean media. Ahead they talk about their inspirations and aspirations as a group, and what they hope to show their fans, ATINYS, in their career going forward.

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You are currently on tour. How are things so far?

San: First off, our skills have significantly improved, especially in terms of stage performance. Above all, it’s been a time of understanding how we receive love from our fans, the ATINY, and how that love is expressed.

Hongjoong: And also, we always miss our world tour stages. That’s why we choose this season, which is very tight. Our last tour was last year and after 3 to 4 months, we started preparing for the next tour. That’s why we can catch up with the schedule and hold many concerts.

All of your songs feature impressive choreography. Which was the hardest to learn and which is your favourite?

San: “Illusion?”

Hongjoong: If we get down to it, at debut, it was “Treasure”.

Yeosang: “Treasure” was difficult indeed.

Hongjoong: The collaboration in the “Treasure” choreography was really…

San: Crazy.

Wooyoung: It took a lot of time.

Wooyoung: Favourite choreography?

Wooyoung: I choose “Bouncy”.

Yunho: I choose “Say My Name”.

Mingi: I really enjoy “Wave”, where we can have fun matching the choreography in between, and I also like “Illusion”.

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The next question is for Hongjoong. What inspires you when you’re composing and writing lyrics?

Hongjoong: I get inspiration from movies or dramas, but these days, I get inspiration from my members, fans’ letters. I don’t wanna get inspiration from other art as I take my artwork very seriously. So I just take inspiration from my members and communicate that.

This question is for Mingi. How do you adjust the rap parts? How do you match them with the music?

Mingi: First of all, I’ll try to make the song as a whole not deviate from the genre. As for me personally, I think about the parts of the song that I’m continuously fitting into. Those parts that can make an impact, when they come out, I think I should be the one to deliver them, to make the song more interesting. I tend to create with a lot of thought about the parts that can bring beat-changes. I also bring in ad-lib, while ensuring the song doesn’t get dull overall. I tend to put a lot of thought into parts where I can make some kind of variation or modulation. And for the song as a whole, I tried hard so the flow wouldn’t be interrupted or the song wouldn’t feel dragged out, while also keeping it natural.

What other music genres would you like to try, and what sides would you like to show ATINY?

Yunho: As ATEEZ has so far made concept-based performances in line with our story, I’d like to do more refreshing music like “Wave”.

Seonghwa: Also, a sweet ballad for the fans would be nice. Personally, I’d like to try rock music.

Mingi: Alternatively, I think rock or pop could be appealing.

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How do you wish to communicate with the fans through your music? And what are your aspirations in terms of awards?

Hongjoong: I think these days the music trend is really changing so fast. So we always like to consider our ATINY’S music tastes, too, and also what genre will fit ATEEZ. When we prepare to release an album, we think about so many things. Our desires as to what we want to do seem to change from time to time. 

San: Awards?

Wooyoung: Billboard Awards, or Grammys.

Hongjoong: Because there are many awards around the world, we wanna achieve all the awards. In Korea, too, and worldwide.