Interview: K-pop boy group 8TURN on exploring uncharted territories in first comeback

Interview: K-pop boy group 8TURN on exploring uncharted territories in first comeback
MNH Entertainment
Daniel Anderson
July 20, 2023
In the ever-evolving constellation of K-pop, where new stars rise with each passing year, rookie boy group 8TURN is already shining bright. With the release of their debut mini-album “8TURNRISE” on Jan. 30, they became the first K-pop boy group debut of the year.
With that, however, comes a certain level of responsibility and pressure; all eyes were on the group’s eight members — Myungho, Jaeyun, Minho, Yoonsung, Haemin, Kyungmin, Yungyu and Seungheon — as they cast a luminous glow on the horizon, providing a guiding light for what the world of K-pop could look like in the new year.
With their recently released first comeback and second mini-album “UNCHARTED DRIFT,” the MNH Entertainment act are radiating with a newfound confidence. They are like celestial navigators charting a course through unexplored territories; it’s evident in new milestones for the group such as an active role in penning lyrics to the inclusion of a fan song for their fandom, TURNING.
Ahead of the release of “UNCHARTED DRIFT,” the members of 8TURN spoke with NextShark about their growth since their debut and the uncharted territories they are hoping to leave a lasting impression on.
NextShark: With this being your first comeback, what were the most important goals you kept in mind for this new release?
Yungyu: All of us put our hearts together and really tried to enjoy the stage. As the concept of this album is a fuss or a commotion during a summer night, we thought that it is important for us to first really enjoy the performance in order for those that are watching us to enjoy it as well.
How does this comeback represent the progression of your artistry since your debut?
Jaeyun: I think we all were quite awkward when we first made our debut because everything was new to us. However, we gained more experience during the promotion of the debut album and preparation of the second album. All of us found our strengths and unique colors as vocalists and ways to really highlight them. Also, I think the message conveyed in this album is more clear compared to the one in our debut album, and we have become more confident in ourselves, so I’d say that the direction that 8TURN is taking is now more distinct.
Seungheon: I think we have grown as a group overall as Yungyu participated in writing lyrics for the first track “WORLD” and all of the members have worked hard to identify their own colors and portray those onto our songs.
Yoonsung: We really tried to show a more unique and improved side of us by narrating and writing lyrics to the intro song, singing a love song for the first time and including a fan song in this album. Also, the message conveyed in the tracks has become sturdier compared to our debut album, so please be mindful of those aspects as you go through the tracks of this album!
Yoonsung via MNH Entertainment
What is the message you’re trying to convey with the album’s title?
Myungho: This album portrays the independent side of us, taking our own undetermined paths. The message that we are trying to deliver to the audience is to take responsibility for your own actions.
Yungyu: This album has been titled “UNCHARTED DRIFT” because it really captures our self-conviction and strong ambition to take our own path.
Yungyu via MNH Entertainment
What aspect of this comeback are you most excited for your fans to see?
Kyungmin: The choreography for our title track “EXCEL” is very powerful, and our facial expressions have become more relaxed yet bold, improving the overall quality of our performance. But above all, I would really want them [our fans] to focus on our clean and crisp synchronization in our dance.

Minho: As this is our first comeback, I would really appreciate it if the fans try to figure out how much we have changed and grown compared to our debut days. They will surely understand how much we have improved during a short period of time!
Minho via MNH Entertainment
Which choreos from the albums were harder or more fun to learn?
Jaeyun: I think we are at a consensus that the choreography for “EXCEL” is the most physically challenging. The difficulty is one thing, but we dance non-stop for the entire duration of the song, so I really focused on staying in shape during the preparation for this album.
Jaeyun via MNH Entertainment
Which B-sides from the new album do you recommend the most?
Haemin: I recommend the fourth track of the album, “SKETCH.” It is easy to listen to with great melody and lyrics. Also, the lyrics imply various emotions and the meaning behind it is really good.
Seungheon: I recommend the third track of this album, “WALK IT OUT,” because the song highlights the colors and the tones of all 8 members of the group.
Myungho: I recommend “ING” because it is our first fan song and I love the meaning behind the lyrics. The song sends a hopeful message, asking our fans to take the unknown road together forever with us. I really thought of our fans as I recorded this song.
Myungho via MNH Entertainment
How has your group grown since your debut? What have you learned about yourselves now that you have debut experience?
Yoonsung: During our debut, I focused on learning and getting used to the surroundings because everything was new. I was able to know what I was good at and what I lacked, and I tried to make the necessary improvements. Some of the new things that I learned are the angle I look good on camera, and the timing for the red light to come on to cameras as I perform onstage.
Kyungmin: Before the debut, I tend to focus on just dancing or just singing, one area at a time. But after the debut, I had to dance and sing at the same time while focusing on the details. It was something that was difficult to get used to during the early days of our debut. Now that I have gained enough experience practicing and actually performing onstage, I have adapted to the change.
Kyungmin via MNH Entertainment
What is something you want to accomplish as a group or as individuals, either personally or professionally?
Minho: When all of us become talented enough, I would love to see the solo stages of all the members. Also, I would love to go on a world tour to see all of our fans around the world!
Kyungmin: It is my goal to receive the grand prize at awards ceremonies like MAMA and Melon Music Awards, do our own concert and go on a world tour. Another goal would be to become a role model for other artists to base their dreams on.
Yoonsung: I want our team to become an artist and a team that constantly challenges, strives for new goals and has fun while spreading happiness to many people. I think it’s my wish and goal to present good music and performances while having fun ourselves and to make people who watch us perform feel happy!
What do you want your fandom, TURNING, to get out of this comeback in particular?
Myungho: I want them to feel happy seeing us perform and enjoying the stage with us.
Jaeyun: I want them to know that 8TURN exists because there are TURNINGs, and that they are our reason to sing and dance.
Minho: I hope that they really see how much we have grown as a group, and I want 8TURN to be more visible to more people.
Haemin: I hope that our fans see that we have grown a lot compared to how we were during our debut and that we really are trying. I wish for us to continue this enthusiastic relationship!
Haemin via MNH Entertainment
Yoonsung: I wish our fans like our new, improved version of the group, and I want them to know that we want to be with them for a very long time and move forward together!
Kyungmin: I wish for TURNINGs to make many invaluable memories with us for this comeback, and we’ll be together until the end so hold on tight while we step on this accelerator!
Yungyu: I hope this summer will be filled with great memories with 8TURN, and I wish TURNINGs enjoy every stage with us!
Seungheon: Since the goal of this comeback is to be happy and have fun, I hope our fans feel the same way as they watch us perform.
Seungheon via MNH Entertainment

 
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