[INTERVIEW] ‘something’s different’ BTOB, “already predicted the 90s retro wave”

We have truly felt that ‘something’s different’ energy from male group BTOB.

Born in years 1990 till 1995, although it consists of young members, stories shared by this group with an average age of 20.5, are totally unbelievable.

From their album title that would remind people of the ‘play’ buttons on cassette tapes, and even to their 90s New Jack Swing-genre title song, “WOW” too.

Through their recent release of their latest mini album, “Press Play’, the boys have daringly put on an sensible side of themselves. We were given the chance to meet up with them in one of Seoul’s NonHyunDong cafe.

(Hyunshik) “This title song ‘WOW’ uses the New Jack Swing style which was famous in the 90s, while adding some trendy elements. With the fusion of a familiar rhythm and exceptional (?) lyrics, it becomes fun and exciting, as well as addictive.”

(IlHoon) “Although “red lipstick’, ‘black stockings”, ‘bright red roses’ and other more words, attract attention, listen at it the first time will seemingly allow memories to sink in and (listeners to) like it”

During Mnet ‘MCountdown’ which was broadcast on the 14th, BTOB had revealed their comeback stage for “WOW”. As the beat and their vocals match, BTOB’s ‘WOW’ and choreography receive comments, saying that it reminds listeners of the 90s popular Deux’s performance, and hence, is gaining attention from the public.

BTOB’s latest song, ‘WOW’ is released during the 90s retro wave, which is brought about by movie ‘건축학개론’, tvN Drama ‘Reply 1997′ and more. Initially, one would think that they are joining the 90s retro craze, but BTOB were actually the ones who predicted the retro boom first.

(Eunkwang) “In fact, while we were preparing for our promotion, we didn’t have the chance to watch movies or dramas. We never know that the 90s wave is becoming popular and we just prepared the album as it is. We knew that ‘건축학개론’ and ‘Reply 1997′ are gaining attention when we have already put in efforts in our comeback preparations. Although we started this retro attempt and felt that it will be a success, as soon we know about the ’90s retro wave’, we had thoughts like, ‘so we’re at a right timing for riding this wave’, and has further boosted our confidence level.”

(MinHyuk) “Prior to the completion of the song, we heard it uses the 90s style, so we did had doubts. However, as work progressed, and slowly, the song was completed, we listened to it, and we love it a lot. A music trend might well turn the tables for us, and since it seems to have matched the timing well, so we felt good.”

‘Fathers’ (born in 70s or 80s)’s retro was 세시봉 [name of a group]. And mine, is H.O.T,’ this was what lead character Sung SiWon (Jung Eunji) said in the first episode of ‘Reply 1997′, which also describes the different retro wave each generation have.

So, the 7 members of BTOB who were born in the 90s, what 90s memories do they have?

When asked what was their ‘games in their memories’ they played when they were younger, BTOB members answered,  ’무궁화 꽃이 피었습니다’ (online game), ‘딱지치기’ (flipping paper envelopes), ‘Top Spinning’ and other more familiar names were quickly raised. With these not surprising answers, the BTOB members answered, “It seems like we are more emotionally in the inside than our peers,” causing laughter during the interview.

When asked, ‘The 90s songs I listen to’,

(Hyunshik) “It’s Sechs Kies’ Couple. The melody was easy to remember and without any reason, I could hummed to it. I can even remember my close friends, all those good memories”

(IlHoon) ‘I really like Duex’ ‘Come back to me’. Although I have watched the music video and performance stage, till now too, I could still remember that charming and handsome performance. At that time, ‘Come Back To Me’ seems to have popularize the New Jack Swing style.”

(Sungjae) ‘I love all the songs from Kim DongRyul in the 90s. The lyrics and melody, most of his songs are trendy. Especially 2001′s release og ‘Should I say I love you again’, the lyrics are still in my heart. As the song starts, I would sing to it”

(Changseob) “As for me, I think Yada’s ‘Jinon’ is the best. That’s the first song I sing while holding the mic in the karaoke. I was young then but I like Yada more than popular singers H.O.T, Yoo SeungJun then.”

(Eunkwang) “I really like GOD’s ‘To Mother’. I wasn’t paying much attention initially, but because of this song, I’ve started to anticipate them. It was a song with sad lyrics dedicated to mothers.”

(Peniel) “Since I was born in America, I don’t really have a song that I listened to during my younger times. I listened more to my elder sister’s favorite N’Sync, Backstreet Boys’ songs”

(MinHyuk) “I think Seo Taiji and the Boys’ ‘I know’ is the best during the 90s. Although I listened to it later, it was a 90s song that impacted heavily (on the music industry)”

In last March’s Premier Launch, entertainment agency, Cube Entertainment’s President, Hong SeungSong confidently introduced BTOB as ‘a group that has all talents and are able to master every genre of music”, as they are talented idols that have the ability to sing, dance, and to play in a band, composing, writing lyrics, producing and more musical competency.”

(Hyunshik) “Although we weren’t able to show nothing but an idol’s look, we don’t have any regrets. Right now, we think of it as a time to expose our names further. In the future, slowly, we will want to show members’ talents one by one. Not only we would want to appeal to the 10s, but also a larger group of audience.”



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