The fourth-generation K-pop powerhouse is back to dominate the charts and everyone’s hearts.
Three years have already passed since ENHYPEN, now a powerhouse in the K-pop realm, made its remarkable entrance into the industry, and it seemed to happen in just the blink of an eye. It’s fate that intertwined the paths of these seven multifaceted individuals. And those assets ultimately led to the band’s meteoric rise, not only captivating audiences with their charismatic performances but also reigning supreme over charts and ENGENEs’ hearts.
Within just three years, JUNGWON, HEESEUNG, JAY, JAKE, SUNGHOON, SUNOO, and NI-KI have already etched their names in history as a group that filled stadiums and arenas, sold millions of copies with their albums, and has multiple No.1s to their name. Yet, amidst all these historic achievements, the members remain grounded and deeply committed to using their influence for good. “I hope we’ll be remembered as good human beings,” ENHYPEN’s leader, JUNGWON, tells NYLON Manila.
THE SWEET, SWEET VENOM
In addition to their goals, the seven-piece group always strives to bring out the best in themselves with each comeback. “There could be more expectations from people, but our goal is and will always be releasing an album that’s different from the others,” ENHYPEN said during the media showcase for ORANGE BLOOD, held a day prior to the album release. Instead of viewing public expectations as a pressure, the members embrace them as an energizing force to reach even greater heights.
Their fifth mini-album, ORANGE BLOOD, marks a continuation of ENHYPEN’s captivating storyline, initially unveiled in DARK BLOOD, which delves into themes of sacrifice, love, and the profound connection they share with their fans. While the album’s narrative led them to another realization that nothing lasts forever, ENHYPEN hopes to leave behind an indelible mark: to be remembered as a group that has a “significant force in the history of music and a symbol of an era in itself.”
“I would give up heaven if I had to, just to get another taste of your sweet venom,” sing the members on the bridge and chorus. With a captivating funk-pop rhythm, the record’s title track, Sweet Venom, delves into the boys’ unwavering devotion despite the intoxicating poison coursing through their veins. This sentiment is expressed in the three versions of the song: Korean, where notably, JAY is credited as one of the lyricists, English, and the band’s collaboration with Bella Poarch. The album offers an array of diverse B-side tracks, ranging from the R&B grooves of Mortal and Blind to the pop ballad Still Monster and the soft pop charm of Orange Flower (You Complete Me).
ORANGE BLOOD came after the successfully concluded shows in the US, as part of their second world tour aptly named, FATE. Speaking of the tour, the septet is set to return to the Philippines on February 3 at the New Clark City Stadium, making history as the first musical act to hold a concert at the venue. Coincidentally, FATE in the Philippines will mark exactly a year since their three-day MANIFESTO show in Manila, which also commenced on the same day. With their immense popularity in the country, the members are brimming with excitement to share this unforgettable experience with their Filipino fans. “We truly appreciate all the love we’re receiving from our ENGENEs in the Philippines,” shares NI-KI.
In commemoration of their triumphant return, NYLON Manila had the pleasure of speaking with the members for an exclusive interview, where they opened up about working on the album, the immense support they receive from ENGENEs, and their aspirations to establish a timeless legacy in the scene.
First and foremost, congratulations on your comeback! Could you please tell us your experience working on the album in general and do you have any behind-the-scenes stories from filming the videos? Also, considering that you also sort of acted in the concept trailers for your previous album, were there any fresh insights into acting or lessons you were able to learn from your last comeback that you were able to apply to the preparations for this album?
SUNOO: The overall album preparation process went very smoothly. While shooting the concept trailer, I felt a bit awkward at first since it was my first time properly acting, but our director Yu Kwang Goeng really helped us out a lot. As for the Sweet Venom music video, I recall it being quite hot as we had to wear thick layers of clothes in the middle of summer. Nevertheless, our outfits complemented the mood of the music video, and I’m happy with how it turned out. The video was filmed in the style of a “mannequin challenge,” which was a fresh experience for us.
SUNGHOON: I completely immersed myself in the storyline of this concept trailer, and it was enjoyable to delve into acting and even take on some action scenes.
JAY, you’re credited as one of the songwriters for the title track “Sweet Venom.” What was it like to be able to engage in the artistic aspects of creating music?
JAY: Seeing my name in the credits is a great honor, and it’s something I’ve been looking forward to for a long time. I consider it a starting point, and I’m committed to putting in even more effort to get even more deeply involved in the album-making process.
The BLOOD series is about you being determined to make sacrifices, and this applies to you as an idol. You’ve gone through a lot just to be where you are right now. With that, what are you willing to let go off for you to live the life you want and know you deserve?
JAKE: I truly believe in the saying, “Hard work will pay off.” As with many roles, being an artist comes with its challenges as well. But I believe that overcoming these difficulties is the key to success, so I strive to push myself harder to become better as both an artist and a human being. I consider myself fortunate and grateful to have someone to rely on during tough times — our fans, ENGENEs.
During the BYS press conference in Manila last December, JUNGWON said it’s ENGENEs that propelled ENHYPEN this far. Your love for your fans is also evident in this album, ORANGE BLOOD. How would you define ENGENEs? What else, besides the support that ENGENEs are giving you, do you believe keeps you moving forward every day?
JUNGWON: Performing on stage is what we do, so having people who love us unconditionally even when we’re not performing is something we’re immensely thankful for. The mere presence of ENGENEs gives us strength and motivates us to keep moving forward.
You embarked on a tour just around two years after making your debut. At first, did all of these happenings and accomplishments, along with the attention you’ve been receiving, overwhelm you so much? What does it feel like to be in such a spotlight as one of the top-performing groups in the K-pop scene right now?
HEESEUNG: I’ve never felt overwhelmed by the attention we receive. Rather, I cherish each and every moment spent with our fans and just really appreciate their support. I’ll keep pushing myself to make the most of our time with ENGENEs.
How do you overcome the pressure of being an idol, and what kind of mindset and attitude do you have right now as you go forward knowing that there will be ups and downs that you will be facing in the future?
NI-KI: When going through tough times, I tend to reflect on the happy memories from the past. I made so many incredible memories during the FATE world tour so far, and I think I’m going to dwell on these memories whenever I need a boost.
What kind of artist, that you’re working on yourself right now, do you want people to know about, to show to the world as you continue to pursue this journey? What do you want people to remember about you, let’s say maybe in about 10 or 20 years?
JUNGWON: I aspire for ENHYPEN to be an artist who spreads positive influence. However, most importantly, I hope we’ll be remembered as good human beings.
SUNGHOON: A legend.
JAY: My hope is that ENHYPEN will be remembered as a significant force in the history of music and a symbol of an era in itself.
ENHYPEN has a huge fanbase in the Philippines; you sold out all three days of your MANIFESTO shows here, and you’re set to perform at the New Clark City Stadium as the first-ever K-pop act to do so. How was your experience with the Manila crowd and do you have any messages for your Filipino fans?
NI-KI: We truly appreciate all the love we’re receiving from our ENGENEs in the Philippines. We’ll do our best to deliver the best performances during our upcoming concert in New Clark City. I hope you’re looking forward to it!
We heard that the members had been listening to songs by Filipino artists like Raining in Manila, Give Me Your Forever, and more — and your fans in the Philippines have been going crazy about it. How did you found out about these songs?
JAKE: I’m always fascinated by songs from different countries sung in various languages. I got to know these songs through ENGENEs’ recommendations, so thank you ENGENEs for suggesting these songs to me. I love them!
HEESEUNG: I stumbled upon these songs while listening to music one day, and I looked them up later because I really liked them. It makes me happy to see that ENGENEs and I share a similar taste in music!
If you have the time to do so, is there any place in the Philippines that you’ve heard about that you want to visit?
SUNOO: I would love to visit Boracay Island for a relaxing getaway at its beautiful beach!
Photos courtesy of BELIFT LAB
Continue Reading: ENHYPEN Is Here To Stay, And You Better Believe It