K-pop boy band ENHYPEN officially debuts, talks about album, goals as rookie group of 2020

ENHYPEN performing 'Given-Taken' (BELIFT LAB)

New K-pop boy band ENHYPEN made their official debut today, Nov. 30, with the release of their album “Border: Day One.”

Jungwon, Heeseung, Jay, Jake, Sunghoon, Sunoo and Ni-ki comprise ENHYPEN, one of the most anticipated K-pop rookies of 2020 and the first group produced by BELIFT LAB, a joint venture between Big Hit Entertainment and CJ ENM.

“Border: Day One” contains the main track “Given-Taken” along with five other songs: “Intro : Walk the Line”, “Let Me In (20 CUBE)”, “10 Months”, “Flicker” and “‘Outro : Cross the Line”.

Manila Bulletin covered ENHYPEN’s online media showcase on YouTube on Nov. 30 where the members talked about their debut, album, goals and advice they got from their senior artists BTS and Seventeen.

“ENHYPEN is sort of inspired by the symbol hyphen. It’s seven boys of different backgrounds, discovering each other and growing together,” said leader Jungwon.

Even before their debut, ENHYPEN have already amassed millions of followers on their social media channels on the Weverse app (3.13 million followers), YouTube, Twitter, Instagram and Tiktok. Their debut album had also garnered 300,000 pre-orders.

“When we did our first live streaming, I remember I was really nervous. But the fans sent us their hearts and messages of appreciation and support and it really helped us,” said Sunghoon.

Ni-ki said, “So many people are watching us, so many people are cheering us on. When I think about that, that makes me want to try even harder.”

About the main track “Given-Taken,” Sunghoon said it’s a song “with dark but powerful energies (belonging) to the pop-hip hop genre.”

ENHYPEN performing 'Let Me In (20 CUBE)' (BELIFT LAB)

“We are really happy right now but at the same time worried. This compass of emotions is expressed in the song. We’ll take a bold step towards the world,” said Sunoo.

Jungwon said when it was confirmed that seven of them will debut as ENHYPEN, “producer Bang , gave us a short message of congratulations and a piece of advice. He said an idol group cannot exist without the fans. So we came this far only because our fans supported us. We will really work hard so we can return the love to our fans.”

ENHYPEN also got advice from BTS and Seventeen, two groups under Big Hit labels. According to Jay, BTS came to the “I-Land” TV show set and listened to their concerns.

“I was so grateful. BTS members told us to love ourselves more and be more confident. They also said there will be tough moments along the way but we should overcome those moments. And that will become the driving force to help us grow. We are not going to forget their advice and work hard in happy and tough moments,” said Jay.

Sunoo said they also met members of Seventeen and they showed them their versions of “Pretty U” and “Hit.”

While they didn’t have the time to practice, Sunoo said, Seventeen “they gave us a lot of positive comments. They gave us feedback on each detail of the choreography. And they told us that facial expressions are as important as the moves.”

When asked about their goals, Jake said, “We want to debut with good music and performance and return the love of our fans. Our other goal is to win the new artist award.”

“We really talked about how we want to meet our fans on stage and we’re so thankful that we could be part of the Big Hit labels’ 2021 New Year’s Eve Live. We will work hard to put on a good performance,” said Heeseung.

ENHYPEN answering questions (BELIFT LAB)

According to Sunghoon, “We feel very proud and happy when people call us the global fan-made group. We will be more responsible and work hard to return the love of our fans.”

“As we work as fourth generation idols, I want to be called a new phenomenon of fourth generation idols. There are many artists who came before us and we learned a lot by watching them,” said Jake.

When asked if they feel pressured being the first artist under the joint venture of Big Hit and CJ ENM, Jay said, “I still can’t believe that we are debuting today. I’m still nervous. We couldn’t have made this far without the support of our fans. There’s a little bit of pressure, of course, but we could cheer up thinking of our fans who support us, our ENGENE.”

Regarding ENHYPEN’s strengths that set them apart from other groups, Jungwon said, “I think ENHYPEN’s biggest strength is music that is and performance in that it’s based on our stories. Our title track ‘Given-Taken’ was inspired and made possible by this time we spent together on ‘I-Land,’ surviving through the program and creating this team.”

“I think our strength is the chemistry between all seven members. All seven of us are very unique and we have very unique visuals,” said Sunghoon.

On the influence of BTS on the group, Jay said, “I think all of us watched BTS, their music, their performance, and as we developed our own dreams of becoming idols and artists, we also had the chance to do a cover of a BTS song on the program. We learned not only the music and performance of BTS but sort of the mindset.”

Because of the pandemic, ENHYPEN cannot meet fans personally but when asked what they want to do first in the future, Sunoo said, “We always talked about how nice it would be to meet our fans in person. We are communicating with our fans right now through various channels like social media but it would be nice (if there are) fan meetings, concerts or fan signs.”