When there’s love, there’s eventually the first heartbreak, as BOYNEXTDOOR opens up about it all in their latest comeback.
True to their name, when BOYNEXTDOOR made their anticipated debut last May with their single album WHO!, the K-pop boy group did so by focusing on a core experience of many Gen Z, the first love. Aspiring to bring music and lyrics that will resonate with everyone, BOYNEXTDOOR, who are composed of members SUNGHO, RIWOO, JAEHYUN, TAESAN, LEEHAN, and WOONHAK, shared the emotional rollercoaster of young love. Three months later, these boys next door make their return with their first-ever comeback. And this time, after going through the stages of young love, the sextet nursed a broken heart with their first EP, WHY..
BUT SOMETIMES… HEARTBREAK
Capturing the tumultuous emotions of love and heartbreak, the group speaks to the feeling of the moment through illustrative lyrics and production of that oh-so-relatable first broken heart. Like with their debut, the boys had their hands full with the making of the EP, with JAEHYUN, TAESAN, and WOONHAK once again credited as composers and lyricists for all three new tracks.
It all makes for a body of work that radiates youthful energy and a relatable message of the heartache, confusion, and eventual acceptance of breakups. There’s the emotional Crying with the relatable lyric, Crying like a baby, spunky comeback single But Sometimes, and the wholesome ABCDLOVE. Always expect BOYNEXTDOOR to keep it real with their music.
Needless to say, it’s a big moment for the group and a significant chapter in their young but promising careers. Following the release of their first EP, we got a chance to speak with BOYNEXTDOOR as they opened up about their new music, dealing with heartbreak, and more. Read on below for the full interview.
Since your debut in May, how has your experience as K-pop idols been so far?
LEEHAN: Our debut didn’t feel real until we faced our fans cheering for us for the first time. I will never forget it. Ever since then, every moment spent with our fans both on and off stage has been a blast. I am truly grateful for every second.
JAEHYUN: I’ve been filled with gratitude every day of my life since May, receiving so much love and support from our fans that I never could imagine I’d get. We are BOYNEXTDOOR because our fans are there for us, and we will do everything in our power to grow and better ourselves as both individuals and artists to try to reciprocate our fans’ support.
What lessons did you learn from your debut that you’re applying for your first comeback of your career?
SUNGHO: I wanted to find various ways to connect with more fans on stage. When we were working on this EP and mapping out the performances, we took a great amount of time to make sure we would be able to interact with the audience more and enjoy the stage together.
TAESAN: One of our biggest strengths as a group is that each of us is a strong character. So incorporating these unique personalities into the music, choreography, and stage is something we take a lot of time and effort into. For our first ever comeback, I want to let more people know who I am as an artist, who BOYNEXTDOOR are, and what we are capable of. I’m confident our music and performances will do exactly that.
RIWOO: I am usually an introverted person, but our first few months as BOYNEXTDOOR helped me become more comfortable with having cameras around. I definitely improved at finding the cameras around the stage so I think those who watch our performances will also see our growth as performers. I still do feel most comfortable though when I am just dancing.
To JAEHYUN, TAESAN, and WOONHAK, what was it like getting to work on the new tracks for the 1st EP?
JAEHYUN: More than anything, I was able to learn a lot about the songwriting processes by working alongside experienced, talented producers and songwriters. I put a lot of time and effort into improving my overall songwriting skills. When we were working on the lead single with ZICO, for instance, I learned from being a part of his writing processes how to visualize the big picture and how to think about how the small pieces fit into the whole body of work.
TAESAN: It’s always fun to be able to pour our thoughts and emotions into our own music. By participating in the writing process ourselves, our true color as BOYNEXTDOOR is embedded in our music.
WOONHAK: During the songwriting process, I try my best to incorporate our members’ personalities and habits in the track. I think this makes our music more unique, makes it feel more like it’s coming from a casual talk with a close friend, so our fans and listeners can really relate to it.
When listeners press play on WHY.., what are you hoping they take away from the 1st EP?
RIWOO: We make music in hopes of sharing relatable anecdotes and emotions from our lives, so we hope our first EP WHY.. resonates with those who are listening to our music.
LEEHAN: Please listen to our music and feel whatever feeling that comes naturally to you! What I love about music is everyone interprets it in their own way, so I hope the listeners will be able to do so.
Which song from the 1st EP are you most excited for fans to hear?
WOONHAK: I would suggest listening to all the tracks in the EP in order, including the first three tracks from our debut single album WHO!. WHY.. is a sequel to our debut single album and talks about what happens after your ‘first love’ comes to an end. So we worked on our debut single album and this EP at the same time. I think listening to the tracks in order will provide the experience closest to what we intended, something close to that of making it through your first love.
What advice would you give to other young people out there on how they can get over a heartbreak?
JAEHYUN: I think we all run into some sort of a heartbreak at some point in life and we take away life lessons from the experience. When you face a heartbreak along the way, I hope you can overcome it with the belief that there is someone who is rooting for you. I will always be that person.
WOONHAK: I would say, ‘Don’t just run away from something that hurt you.’ I feel like it will only get worse if we avoid it. We need to take them in as growing pains and endure. The experiences will make us stronger before we know it!
Your debut wasn’t too long ago, so do you feel that you’ve found your identity as artists or is that something you’re still figuring out?
SUNGHO: I think I’m continuing to find new sides of myself. One of the most important promises to myself that I live by is to never set a limit on myself. In that sense, I always try to bring out new aspects of myself and I don’t intend on ever stopping in seeking new possibilities for myself.
LEEHAN: Right now, I am a new bud on a tree. I don’t know what I’ll grow into 🙂 But one thing I know for certain is that my dreams are coming true and our fans are always around to support us. I am going to be forever grateful and I’m so excited for everything.
In between your schedules and comeback promotions, what do you like to do in your free time to rest and relax?
RIWOO: After a full day of work, looking at all the words of support and love from our fans has become the biggest source of energy for me.
WOONHAK: I like working on improving myself whenever I have free time. So I’d write songs, read books about fields that I’m interested in, or try to look for my own style in fashion. I’m always working on figuring out who I am as a person!
What else are you hoping to achieve as a group before 2023 ends?
JAEHYUN: We won a ‘Best New Artist’ award for the first time ever recently, and we were all overwhelmed with happiness. We’d like to be recognized as the best new artist at more award shows before 2023 ends, and earn the recognition for our music!
TAESAN: My life motto is that there is no end to learning, so I’m always just striving to learn from everything that comes our way, and I’ll continue to do the same.
When people think of “BOYNEXTDOOR”, what image or idea do you want people to have in mind?
SUNGHO: Our goal is to make music that reminds our listeners of their own memories and youth.
LEEHAN: A group that always enjoys the stage, and a group that always performs to its fullest!
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