We speak to K-Pop band WEi to find out more about the release of the Korean boyband’s sophomore album IDENTITY : Challenge and more.
Amidst the Covid-19 pandemic, six intrepid and spirited individuals banded together and made their debut in October 2020 with the song Twilight from their first EP titled IDENTITY : First Sight. Known as WEi (pronounced as We-I), the group consists of Jang Dae Hyeon, Kim Dong Han, Yoo Yong Ha, Kim Yo Han, Kang Seok Hwa and Kim Jun Seo, all of whom have origins in music reality shows.
As WEi, the boys were awarded APAN Choice New K-Pop Icon for their breakout album, as well as nominated for Rookie of the Year at the Seoul Music Awards 2021. In the following interview, members of the K-Pop band WEi share about the development of the band and their latest album IDENTITY : Challenge.
Please tell us about your new album Identity: Challenge.
This comeback features a powerful album that shows WEi’s willingness to rise up to challenges and overcome any hardships and obstacles. It also captures WEi’s abundant aspirations. The album comprises five tracks: All Or Nothing (Prod. Jang Dae Hyeon), Breathing, Dancing In The Dark, Diffuser, and Winter, Flower. The songs were inspired by overseas pop and songs from senior artists.
How would you describe the concept for this album, and what do you want to show fans through the album?
Dae Hyeon: If we showed diversity through our inner selves in our debut album, this album will be able to show fans WEi’s confidence and more masculine side through the concept of taking on new challenges; WEi’s attitude of moving forward without being scared and WEi’s ability to pull off more sexy and powerful concepts.
Dong Han: WEi’s intensity!
Yong Ha: I want to show that WEi can really pull off many different colours.
Yo Han: Our intense performance!
Seok Hwa: WEi’s aspirations, personalities, confidence, and challenges.
Jun Seo: WEi’s visuals.
Please describe the title track of this album.
This is a hybrid trap song that uses oriental scales, with a harmonious blend of dynamic rap and vocals. The lyrics express WEi’s confidence and rise to challenges.
What inspired the band’s name WEi, and what does it mean; and why do you call your fans RUi?
The name WEi means that each member with a different personality becomes one through music. The fandom name RUi is a name that the fans created themselves. There is a star called RU and WE, and RU is the 16th star and WE the 17th. RUi gave us a pretty name meaning that they will lead and light up our way.
How did the group meet and develop into a band?
Dae Hyeon: WEi is composed of members who respect and fit well with each other.
Dong Han: Each member worked hard individually and we were able to become one group with good timing.
Yong Ha: Everyone was working hard individually and we became a group under our company. We could blend together in such a short period of time because every member has a bright personality and is not hard to approach.
Yo Han: We met in the company and became a group. My specialty is Taekwondo and I like to watch dramas.
Seok Hwa: It felt like we were fated to be a team; everyone accepted each other and got to know each other naturally.
Jun Seo: I met our members at the company. Amazingly, every member is very nice and we got along very quickly. We are like a family now.
How do you think you’ve grown/improved as a group/individual, and what did you do differently in the new album?
Dae Hyeon: I think we had no choice but to grow because the visual elements and overall singing, rapping, and dancing were more difficult.
Dong Han: Our singing and dancing have improved a lot.
Yong Ha: Overall, we have improved a lot, but I would like to pick our strong performance among the areas in which we improved.
Yo Han: Improvement in stamina and performance.
Seok Hwa: I think everything in terms of vocal and performance has improved.
Jun Seo: It’s good because I am more relaxed when I dance. I’ll show you more improvements in the next album too.
Throughout history, many music groups have come to represent/stand up for a cause. What impact do you wish to make on the world with the band/your music?
Dae Hyeon: I want to be in a popular group that will provide strength, healing and motivation to others, be it through our songs or performances.
Dong Han: I want to be a part of a group that can give back lots of love for a long time.
Yong Ha: I want to show a lot of empathy and instill confidence into fans. YO HAN: Giving hope and happiness to fans around the world.
Seok Hwa: We want to meet more fans from all over the world, and we want to communicate more with fans. So I thought it would be a good opportunity to do an interview here!
Jun Seo: I want to be part of a group that can promote Korea like a national ambassador!! They told me to dream big! Hahaha.
What would you like to say to your audience in Malaysia?
Dae Hyeon: Thank you so much for your support. I hope the situation gets better so that we can visit Malaysia and meet Malaysian RUi as soon as possible.
Dong Han: I wish that you’re healthy and happy, always.
Yong Ha: I love Malaysian RUi a lot and hope that we can meet soon and make a lot of good memories!
Yo Han: Thank you so much for loving WEi even in these difficult times.
Seok Hwa: RUi from all around the world! Let’s overcome all of our hardships, and meet and communicate while enjoying our performance on stage.
Jun Seo: Malaysian RUi who support us, thank you so much!
There you have it, straight from the members of K-Pop band WEi; check out one of their latest hits below.