Getting candid with K-pop boy band The Boyz about the journey, music and The Bs

We sit down for an exclusive chat with rising K-pop group The Boyz to talk about their music journey, their special relationship with The Bs.

Charmaine Tan

| July 20, 2023
The Boyz
The Boyz. Photo: IST Entertainment

Of all the groups that have been on the rise so far, The Boyz seem to be on a fast track towards K-pop’s main spotlight today with an ever-changing look and constantly evolving sense of artistry.

Since their debut in December 2017, the quality of everything from their visuals to performances has never missed a beat; they have made it a niche of theirs to create immaculately immersive concepts for their fans, The Bs — and in the next few months, that experience will be brought to fans all over the world for the second time, with their second world tour, Zeneration.

Versatility is incredibly important in the media landscape, and all 11 of The Boyz — Sangyeon, Jacob, Younghoon, Hyunjae, Juyeon, Kevin, New, Q, Ju Haknyeon, Sunwoo and Eric — have honed a somewhat invincible chameleonic ability to ace every challenge of a new music style or look.

Ahead of their Singapore stop, we sit down for an exclusive chat with the rising group to talk about just how that works, their music journey, their special relationship with The Bs and personal favourites on and off their extensive discography.

From debut until now, what about the group do you think has changed the most?

Sangyeon: As the years of experience accumulate, increased skill, determination, and a certain look in the eyes are the most changed things.

Hyunjae: I don’t think much has changed. If I had to name one thing, I would say our teamwork has become stronger and more cohesive as time goes by.

Which member do you guys think changed the most?

Jacob: Eric! He was just a little boy but now he’s all grown up.

Younghoon: It seems like it’s Kevin. His body has improved a lot because he consistently worked out.

Which has been the group’s favourite album concept so far?

Juyeon: My favourite concept was the fifth mini album Chase (2020) when we transformed into a ‘heart-stealer’ chasing love. Especially the title track The Stealer (2020) had amusing and impressive lyrics that seem to take away everything important from the other person and have everything, but in the end, it’s me that gets stolen.

What new concept do you guys want to pursue as a group next?

New: I haven’t set anything specific, but I have confidence that I can make anything work with the members, no matter what concept or album it is.

Sunwoo: I want to show you a song that embodies The Boyz’s identity of boyish.

The Boyz
The Boyz. Photo: IST Entertainment
Lyrics are an essential vehicle for communicating with your fans: what are some standout lyrics that you hold close to you? Rappers, what are your favourite lines or rap verses that you guys have written?

Sunwoo: I like the lyrics ‘You became the horizon that is parallel to me crying’ from the song Horizon (2023) in The Boyz’s recent 8th mini album, Be Awake (2023). Also, I like the rap part from the song Back All Black (2019) in our first Japanese mini-album and debut album, Tattoo (2019).

Eric: I like the lyrics ‘I hope our own season never changes’ from my rap part in Spring Snow (2020), a fan song from The Boyz’s first full-length album, Reveal (2020).

What words or phrases do you love to hear the most from The Bs?

Kevin: It’s always nice to hear that we’ve been able to do something for our fans no matter how trivial it may be. To hear a fan has gotten through a hard time listening to our songs or found strength in our lyrics is always amazing to hear.

Ju Haknyeon: I want to hear “I love you” the most, and I am already hearing it from The Bs.

What was the most memorable/special encounter that you guys have had with The Bs?

New: It’s difficult to name just one moment, but concerts stand out as the most memorable and special. The greatest happiness for me is being able to meet and sing with The Bs up close.

Hyunjae: All the moments spent with The Bs are memorable and precious, but if I had to name one, it would be concerts. Looking into each other’s eyes, presenting special events, and being moved together always remain in my memories and are precious to me.

The Boyz
The Boyz. Photo: IST Entertainment
What are your favourite bonding activities to do as a group? Or is there an activity that all of you want to try together but have not gotten a chance to?

Sangyeon: I want to challenge myself in various ways and fields. Not only music, but also acting, variety shows, and more. As an entertainer, I want to explore and apply myself in diverse areas.

Jacob: I feel like someday I would like to try and promote a concept like our song Nightmares (2021)! I would make it a beautiful scenery while keeping to one concept.

What do all of you look forward to the most when going on tour?

Younghoon: Of course, the most anticipated thing is being able to meet The Bs from different countries. I can’t wait for that time.

Juyeon: What excites me the most is being able to experience different cultures from various countries and meet diverse fans.

What’s the biggest difference between performing on music shows and at concerts?

Q: I think both are great because you can meet The Bs, but with music shows, there are limitations to what you can show, so the time you spend with The Bs is short. But concerts are different since we can share and enjoy many things with The Bs for a long time, comforting each other and making happy memories together.

Eric: I like both music shows and concerts since I get an opportunity to meet The Bs. If I were to compare, music shows have limits on what we can perform, while concerts are the true time and place where The Boyz and The Bs can make each other’s dreams come true.

Do you guys have a favourite song to perform? Why is it your favourite — is it the fan participation, the choreography or singing the song itself?

Kevin: I love performing Water (2019)! I specifically wanted to keep it in our set list because it’s a refreshing summertime song and a great jam to bounce to with the fans.

Ju Haknyeon: I like the song called Timeless (2022), which is a fan song from The Boyz’s seventh mini-album. Especially during recent tours, I was so touched by fans singing along to this song despite being in different languages. Every time I experience such fan events, I gain strength and feel so happy.

What are everyone’s personal favourite songs from The Boyz’s discography?

Hyunjae: Recently I am into Horizon (2023), a song from our eighth mini Be Awake (2023).

Sunwoo: My favourite is the title song of our sixth mini album Thrill-ing (2021), Thrill Ride (2021), which is The B’s favourite too.

Can everyone recommend a song for your fans? What songs have you guys been listening to recently?

New: I would like to recommend Choi Yu Ree’s Ocean (2022). It was a song that provided me with a lot of comfort during difficult times. I hope The Bs also listen to it and receive comfort when they’re going through tough times.

Juyeon: I recommend Beenzino’s new album, NOWITZKI (2023).

This article first appeared on Men’s Folio.


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