20 Questions With Seventeen: On Creating Their New Album & K-Pop ‘Being Loved Worldwide’ in 2020

Courtesy of PLEDIS Entertainment


On Monday (Oct. 19), K-pop group Seventeen returned with ; [Semicolon], a new six-song album that arrives hot on the heels of this year’s Heng:garæ EP. Preceded by the single “HOME;RUN,” the new release continues the 13-member group’s prolific run, following last year’s studio album An Ode as well as vocal members Joshua and DK guesting on Pink Sweat$’s “17” remix.

To commemorate their new release, the members of Seventeen answered Billboard’s questions about creating in a pandemic, K-pop’s huge year and what their most dedicated fans, Carats, should look for in their latest project.

1. What's the first piece of music that you bought for yourself, and what was the medium?

WONWOO: I think it was Seventeen's very first album.

VERNON: Frank Ocean, Blonde (on vinyl).

2. What was the first concert you saw?

HOSHI: It was a SHINee concert.

3. Who made you realize you could be an artist full-time?

JUN: Jam Hsiao. I've followed his career for many years since his debut. I've learned a lot by watching his growth from his early days into the incredible artist he is today.

WOOZI: Myself – regardless of odds, my younger self worked hard and continued to make progress over the years. I came to realize that it was me who made it work.

4. What's at the top of your professional bucket list?

DINO: To achieve big success with each and every Seventeen album.

5. How did your hometown/city shape who you are?

MINGYU: I don't specifically know how it may have affected me, but I'm pretty sure I'm somehow unknowingly influenced by it.

6. What's the last song you listened to?

JEONGHAN: "Holy" by Justin Bieber.

THE8: "HOME;RUN" by Seventeen.

7. If you could see any artist in concert, dead or alive, who would it be?

S.COUPS: Ariana Grande, Dan + Shay, and Lauv.

JOSHUA: It would definitely be Tupac.

8. What's the craziest thing you've seen happen in the crowd of one of your shows?

JUN: Crowd-surfing.

WONWOO: Energy emitted through the eyes of the audience completely differs as the song we sing on stage changes. It's incredibly interesting.

9. How has the pandemic affected the way you've created music in 2020?

WOOZI: Our voices and lyrics of encouragement were expressed more sincerely in our music.

10. What was your reaction to the success of your Heng:garæ EP?

VERNON: It was unbelievable when we first achieved the "million-seller" title with our last album Heng:garæ. I had mixed emotions, knowing that we were loved by so many of our Carats. I also realized that we'd matured over time and come a long way.

11. How would you describe the evolution of your production over the course of the group's career?

HOSHI: Now I can communicate more effectively and fluidly with the staff regarding any improvements needed from the last album.

12. How has the group bonded during what's been a wild 2020?

SEUNGKWAN: Prior to returning with our album Heng:garæ, all of us spent a whole day relaxing and chilling together. It was such a happy moment that I'd love to enjoy again in the future.

13. How did Joshua and DK end up on a remix of Pink Sweat$'s "17," and what was that experience like?

JOSHUA: It was such an honor to collaborate with an amazing artist like Pink Sweat$. DK's cover of "Honesty" was an important turning point for this collaboration. Thanks to our amazing Carats and their support, the video was able to garner a lot of attention, which led Pink to come across the cover and reach out to us. We made great memories and had a lot of fun during the collaborative process. It was especially memorable for me, because this was my first time recording with another artist.

DK: Given that I'm a big fan of Pink Sweat$'s music, it's such a great pleasure to be able to work on a track together. We got to converse with Pink about many different subjects through video chat. We shared many thoughts with each other. I feel that I've gotten to really know him and that he's a truly great person. Even more so after our conversation, I hope our song will be able to deliver happiness and cheerful vibes all around to our listeners.

14. What can fans expect from Seventeen's new album?

S.COUPS: Through this special album, we hope to demonstrate Seventeen as a group that has no limits and can't be described in just a few words. I hope the audience will be able to feel the limitless potential of the group and know that we are always up for a challenge. We think this album possesses a vibe like no other and still gives feeling like Seventeen despite incorporating many new aspects we are showcasing for the first time. As always, Seventeen has prepared creative and energetic performances, so we hope you'll enjoy it.

15. It's been a massive year for the global expansion of K-pop. How does it feel to see so many K-pop songs, albums and artists setting records?

MINGYU: These phenomena made me realize that K-pop is being loved worldwide, and that the power of music is truly insurmountable. It makes me very happy that people are able to communicate with one another through music, regardless of genres.

16. What's your karaoke go-to?

SEUNGKWAN: "Goodbye" by Park Hyo Shin.

17. What movie, or song, always makes you cry?

THE8: About Time (film).

18. If you were not a musician, what would you be?

DINO:  A school teacher or dance instructor.

19. What's one piece of advice you would give to your younger self?

DK: Try to learn as many instruments as you can. It will help you throughout your career in the future.

20. What's your message to fans who have been supporting Seventeen -- and waiting for this new album to arrive? 

JEONGHAN: Thank you so much for always being there for us. As always, we'll work hard to make sure we can create an album that lives up to the expectations of our fans.

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