|On June 20, ATEEZ won the golden trophy at the Korean music program “M Countdown.” They got enough fan votes to best the other contenders after performing “Wave,” their newest tropical-pop single / Photo by: NewsInStar via Wikimedia Commons|
On June 20, ATEEZ won the golden trophy at the Korean music program “M Countdown.” They got enough fan votes to best the other contenders after performing “Wave,” their newest tropical-pop single, this was according to a report by Natalie Morin of Refinery 29, an American digital media and entertainment website. Winning in the music show was not just about the trophy. It also meant that ATEEZ stood out heads and shoulders above the other emerging groups.
Since many groups spend years in the trainee pre-debut process, ATEEZ’s victory can only mean that their hard work has finally paid off. Within the group, the members worked behind the scenes for years before making their debut. For example, Hongjoong started focusing on music in high school, becoming KQ Entertainment’s first and only trainee for six months until other ATEEZ members joined him later.
The Humble Beginnings of ATEEZ
ATEEZ, short for “A TEEnager Z,” is the first K-pop group to debut under KQ Entertainment. It consists of eight members who are between the ages of 19 and 21, wrote Emlyn Travis of Vice, a current affairs channel. The members are Hoongjoong, Mingi, Wooyoung, San, Yeosang, Yunho, Jongho, and Seonghwa. ATEEZ debuted in October 2018 with the singles “Pirate King” and “Treasure.” The group quickly gained a strong following as they incorporated “scorching trap beats” and an unyielding stage presence, as well as their work ethic and sheer determination to make their dreams come true.
Their road to success was further bolstered by hard-hitting tracks “Say My Name” and “HALA HALA,” revolutionizing what being a “rookie” K-pop group really means. In just one year, ATEEZ completed a world tour, signed with RCA Records in July, and debuted three EPs that reached the top 12 of the Billboard World Albums chart. Before these achievements, ATEEZ spent each day training and dreaming of the day they would debut. Since then, each of their perceptions of what it means to be a successful K-pop idol has changed as their dreams unfolded right before their eyes.
As a trainee, Wooyoung never expected that the group would quickly receive love and support from their fans. But his group garnered more than 11 million views for their “Wonderland” music video in five days. He reflected, “I thought it would probably take a while for us to get fans because I know how hard it is to be successful in this business.” He hoped to grow as a top idol in a few years, specifically an artist who is talented and humble.
Yeosong stated that he wanted to be a role model for other aspiring artists. When he was a trainee, he thought it was all about performing on stage, singing, and dancing. But then he realized there is more to acting cute and sending hearts out to fans.
|n just one year, ATEEZ completed a world tour, signed with RCA Records in July, and debuted three EPs that reached the top 12 of the Billboard World Albums chart / Photo by: Smallbones via Wikimedia Commons|
They're Just Your Average 20-Year-Olds
Their latest album, “TREASURE EP.FIN: All To Action,” culminates the “swashbuckling, treasure hunting storyline” that they have been building up over their last three EPs. This is typical ATEEZ: passionate, ambitious, and ready to embark on a new adventure.
As the group explores genres like trap, EDM, and R&B, “All to Action” proves that ATEEZ can take any song and make it sound unique. Lead single “Wonderland” involves fierce choreography, intense rapping, and growls. On the other hand, “Mist” is an R&B track that sweeps listeners of their feet with its superb vocals. However, the secret gem of “All to Action” is “Sunrise,” an uplifting pop track that is partly composed by Hoongjoong to inspire listeners to reach out to the sunrise even as they face the darkest moments of their lives.
“All to Action” is also filled with allusions to other songs such as “Precious (Overture)”, which is a reprise of “Treasure.” Their choreography from “Wonderland” contains multiple dance moves from other tracks like “Illusion” and “HALA HALA.”
Despite their hectic schedule, Seonghwa wished listeners could see their personal side. He said, “Despite our charismatic performances and how we look on stage, off-stage and behind the scenes, we’re very shy. Just normal, average, twenty-year-olds.” The rest of the group agreed with Seonghwa.
Speaking of which, what do the members of ATEEZ like to do offstage? Yunho said he likes playing video games and sleeping in the dorm. Video games are the common denominator of the group, revealing that they love playing “Pro Evolution Soccer” and “League of Legends.” Mingi noted that San’s skill in gaming is on par with that of professionals.
New Dreams, New Concert
With their treasure hunting days coming to a close, they are now working toward a new dream in the K-pop industry. Mingi said that apart from looking at whether the group succeeded or not, he wants ATEEZ to be a group that continues to explore unknown territory and challenges themselves in music.
ATEEZ will also hold a European tour next year, said Elizabeth Aubrey of NME (National Music Express), a British music journalism website. The group’s “The Fellowship: Map the Treasure Tour” will be held at London’s The SSE Arena, Wembley on March 20, 2020. They will also be performing in Madrid, Paris, Amsterdam, Berlin, Warsaw, and Moscow in March as part of ATEEZ’s world tour
ATEEZ’s hard work and dedication have paid off with their recent win on TV. But hard work doesn’t end there as K-pop is a competitive industry. While the road to success is endless, ATEEZ will keep improving their craft and inspiring their listeners.
|With their treasure hunting days coming to a close, they are now working toward a new dream in the K-pop industry / Photo by: Travis Wise via Flickr|