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September 2020 (Arlo Parks)
Feature

Two albums in, and Cravity are unstoppable

Serim, Allen, Jungmo, Woobin, Wonjin, Minhee, Hyeongjun, Taeyoung and Seongmin field some questions about band life so far, and their new record.
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Published: 10:01 pm, September 03, 2020Words: Abigail Firth.
Two albums in, and Cravity are unstoppable

When Cravity made their debut earlier this year, they became one of the first to do it virtually. A world on lockdown meant the nine boys couldn't step out for the first time to hoards of cheering fans; instead, those fans were behind screens and putting all of their efforts into granting their idols a successful start.

So not all was lost – if anything it was a huge gain. Their debut album 'Season 1 Hideout: Remember Who We Are' hit number one on Gaon's album chart, making them the best selling rookie group of 2020. They've since snatched a New Artist gong at Korea's Soribada Awards, and simply couldn't wait to make a comeback.

Already proving their unstoppable nature, we asked the boys – Serim, Allen, Jungmo, Woobin, Wonjin, Minhee, Hyeongjun, Taeyoung and Seongmin (phew) – some questions about their new album 'Season 2 Hideout: The New Day We Step Into', their lives since debut, and the future of Cravity.

Hi boys! First of all, what can you tell us about your new album?

Our new album talks about the experiences and emotions we face after stepping into the new world back when we made our debut. It's an album we worked really hard on in order to show more of a mature side to us as people and artists. We want to show our fans, Luvity, that we're constantly improving and striving for the best at all times. The title track 'Flame' is a powerful track that reflects our passion to test our limits, and to embrace freedom. Through this album, listeners will be able to see the improved teamwork of us who've matured since our debut album. We hope our fans like our new, a bit dreamy concept that we've tried out.

What are each of your favourite tracks on it?
Serim:
I would say '호흡 (Breathing)' because I usually enjoy listening to sentimental, moody songs. I'd recommend you to listen to it right before you fall asleep!
Allen:
My favourite track on the album is "Ohh Ahh" because it's a funky groovy track that makes me excited and want to dance.
Jungmo:
My favourite one is 'Believer'. It talks about faith and belief that we have for each other, which reminds me of the relationship between Cravity and Luvity.
Woobin:
It would be 'Realize'. The lyrics are very sad, and I think people can empathize and relate it to it well. It is a powerful, emotional ballad with a combination of bass, drum, and piano sound. I think it also expresses the story of Cravity as well.
Wonjin:
'Sunrise', I love it because it suits perfectly with the summer.
Minhee:
I would recommend '호흡 (Breathing)'. It is an emotional ballad and the whole mood of this track feels awesome. It's a song that I would like to play for Luvity along with our title 'Flame'.
Hyeongjun:
My personal pick would be '호흡 (Breathing)'. It is very emotional, and the vocals, our voices are very soothing.
Taeyoung:
I love all of the songs, but if I had to pick out one, I'd say 'Believer'. The melody is already so good from the beginning, and all of our voices sound so great in it.
Seongmin:
It is '호흡 (Breathing)'. I really like listening to calm, tranquil ballad songs, and it just fits perfect with my taste.

Why did you decide to come back so soon?
The biggest reason was that we really wanted to come back to our fans as fast as we could. While doing a promotional activity for our debut album, we also prepared and worked very hard on this album too. Since it was our first comeback, we were all eager to meet Luvity with better music. Honestly, we all spent very busy days because the preparation period was quite short. But we were all so excited to meet Luvity that we prepared in joy.

Serim and Allen - you had a hand in writing 'Believer' and 'Realize', can you tell us a little about what you were thinking about when writing those songs?
Serim:
I wrote it thinking about Luvity! Especially for 'Realize', reminiscing about the time before I met our fans and how I feel now with them beside us inspired me a lot in writing the lyrics. It is similar in a way that the main character in this song feels lonely and empty at first, meets someone whom he/she can rely on and becomes the ones giving strength to each other.
Allen:
When I wrote the lyrics for 'Believer' I thought of the trust between us and our fans, and that I would devote all of me for Luvity in order to pay back the tremendous amount of love and support we receive from them. I also had them in mind when I wrote the lyrics for 'Realize' After realising each other's existence, Cravity together with Luvity would face and endure the realities of this world and our story would be just like those in the novels.

Are any of the others interested in helping with songwriting in the future?
Jungmo:
I learned a little bit about songwriting, and I hope to try out in the future.
Woobin:
I'm slowly learning about it, and I do try to write songs these days. I hope that one day, I could make a song that we could all sing together.
Wonjin:
If I get the chance, I would like to make one that contains my own message to the fans.
Minhee:
I do have interest in it, but I know that it is not easy. I haven't tried it yet, but I want to participate in it if I get the chance someday.
Hyeongjun:
I'm interested in songwriting, especially in writing the lyrics, I want to express my emotions through the lyrics.
Taeyoung:
I'm the person who likes trying out different things, so I would definitely want to participate in songwriting in the future.
Seongmin:
As a person who likes to express emotions through writing, I would love to try out for making lyrics.

It's only been a couple of months since your debut, but how do you feel like you've grown or changed since then?
Serim:
I feel like the colour of Cravity has become more distinct, and that we've all matured and improved our skills through this album.
Allen:
I feel like I'm more adapted to the new environment, this "new world" that we stepped into after debuting. Throughout our debut promotions, I learned a lot about myself and how to interact with others on and off-screen. I definitely feel like I've matured and made some improvements in my skills as well.
Jungmo:
I felt that difference when we first did the stage for the music TV shows.
Woobin:
The first and second promotions feel different for sure. I think you can look forward to seeing us with great improvements!
Wonjin:
I think we've definitely grown a lot compared to our debut album doing a lot of researching and practising. Our constant ambitions to show better also helped. We'll continue working hard!
Minhee:
It seems that all of us have improved noticeably on our vocal and dance skills.
Hyeongjun:
I felt like I wasn't good enough when I made my debut, so I practised even harder from then. Now, I can confidently say that I can show you a better side of myself this time.
Taeyoung:
We've experienced so many things at once and in just a few months. I still feel that we are far from being perfect, but I do think we all have grown up.
Seongmin:
There are some parts that I've gotten accustomed to, and all of the past experiences are helping me greatly.

What was it like to debut during the pandemic? It must have been a pretty different experience to how other groups have debuted!

There was one time where we got a chance to perform in front of an audience. We still feel and think that it would be a dream to perform in front of our fans offline, and we are desperate to do so. It feels sad because we feel like we are missing each other more and more as time goes by. But, at the same time, we are always trying our best thinking about the love and support that our fans are giving us despite this pandemic situation. We hope to meet our fans once this pandemic gets settled down.

Because your debut went so well (congratulations on the number one!), were you nervous about following it up?

While preparing for our second album, we each had different feelings and emotions but one thing was the same for all. We all enjoyed the whole process of making this album. For the debut album, it was more like being nervous all the time, while for this album we tried to enjoy the tension by focusing more. The whole journey and the processes were precious, and it could not have been done without love and support from our Luvity.

Was there anyone who inspired you to become an idol?
Serim:
I dreamed of becoming an idol while watching BTS.
Allen:
SHINee's Taemin inspired me to start dancing. I was mesmerised by his smooth moves and beautiful lines that I started copying his dances. To this day he is my biggest role-model, and I would love to meet him one day.
Jungmo:
Yes, it was BTS.
Woobin:
TVXQ inspired me to become an idol.
Wonjin:
I think I got inspired by all the senior K-pop idols, and the genre of K-pop itself made me dream of being an idol.
Minhee:
MONSTA X. My first impression was like "wow, they are so cool" and I think that was an inspiration for me.
Hyeongjun:
For me, it was EXO. They made me dream of becoming an idol during my school days.
Taeyoung:
The stage. Showing the performance and getting all the cheers and applause from the audience was a great happiness.
Seongmin:
I remember watching a music program on TV when I was young. I was curious about the artist on the stage, and I think inspiration just came to me naturally as I grew up watching them.

Are there any artists you really look up to now?
Serim:
V of BTS.
Allen:
I really look up to Ateez. Their stage presence and performances are on the other level. You can really feel their energy even just watching it through a video, and it makes me just as energetic as they are.
Jungmo:
V of BTS. I'm a fan of him, and I try to learn a lot of expressions such as facial expressions by looking at V on stage.
Woobin:
Lauv.
Wonjin:
Jimin of BTS! I want to be an artist like Jimin, who shows a powerful side on stage.
Minhee:
As Kihyun [Monsta X] showed us, I want to be a kind, generous, and cool artist to my juniors.
Hyeongjun:
It's Joohoney [Monsta X]. I fell in love with you because your stage presence was so wonderful. And he's a great artist as well.
Taeyoung:
Minhyuk of Monsta X.
Seongmin:
Moonbin of Astro!

The first album was titled 'Remember Who We Are' – how would you like to be remembered?

Serim:
I want to be remembered as a leader of Cravity who is good at performing.
Allen:
I'd like to be remembered as an artist whose music is genuine, and as a performer who commands his stage with ease and charisma.
Jungmo:
Legend rookie.
Woobin:
All-around vocalist.
Wonjin:
There's a lyric from the first album that says "Get nervous, Boom" Like that, I want to remember you as a rookie who makes everyone nervous.
Minhee:
An energetic rookie.
Hyeongjun:
A growing man.
Taeyoung:
I want to be remembered as the 'first'! I want to do things that no one else has ever done.
Seongmin:
I hope I can be remembered as a person full of bright energy.

What have been some of your proudest moments since debut?
Serim:
I was most proud when we won the Rookie of the Year award.
Allen:
Being nominated for 1st place on music shows, and winning the best new artist award at the Soribada Awards has been some of my proudest moments since debuting.
Jungmo:
When we met Luvity on Soribada, that time I was proud.
Woobin:
When we sing on stage and our fans like it.
Wonjin:
When we finished our first album. Looking back on the past performances, I was very proud.
Minhee:
When we won the Rookie of the Year award, I feel most proud and memorable.
Hyeongjun:
When we won the Rookie of the Year award, I felt most proud and happy. I was very grateful to Luvity because I thought it was an achievement made together.
Taeyoung:
I was proud when I felt that I'm giving hope and strength to someone.
Seongmin:
When we won the Rookie of the Year award.

If you weren't an idol, what would you be doing instead?
Serim:
Maybe I'd be working on sports or fashion.
A
llen: If I weren't an idol I think I'd be a dancer/choreographer for an idol.
Jungmo:
Cabin crew?
Woobin:
I would have become a cook or a composer.
Wonjin:
If I were not an idol, I would have run a cafe.
Minhee:
If it weren't for idols, I would have worked as a model.
Hyeongjun:
I think I'd just be an ordinary student.
Taeyoung:
I would have learned how to make clothes or became an idol badminton player.
Seongmin:
I think I'd have a job related to art.

What have you been getting up to outside of preparing for your comeback?

We tried to communicate with our fans a lot. That was our number one priority besides preparing for a comeback. Each member shared their daily lives on SNS [social media] in their own way, or communicated with fans in real time through V LIVE. Other than that, we exercised or shared our leisure time with each other.

You guys are often described as Monsta X's little brother group, do you feel any pressure to achieve the same success as your seniors?

We are happy to debut as a junior group of Monsta X. We are always grateful to follow the path that our seniors took first. We are working hard and doing our best to be their proud juniors. We really want to be a great group that seniors can be proud of.

We're from the UK (hi!), when's the world tour coming?! We want to see you!

Thank you so much! When the pandemic subsides, it's only a matter of when and where before we get to meet our Luvities in the UK! Of course, as much as we want to meet our fans in England, we can't wait to meet our fans all over the world. The world tour is the dream of all of our members, we will try to show our growth until then.

What can we look forward to in the future from Cravity?

We will continue to try out new concepts and cross boundaries testing our limits... so please keep your eyes out for us, and you won't regret it! Please look forward to Cravity's upcoming songs and performances.

Much of your group's concept is based on how strong you are together - do you have any messages of motivation for your fans during this tough time?
Serim:
Luvity! We can't meet in person right now, but let's wait a little longer! And I want you to be healthy all the time. Always take care of your health. I miss you.
Allen:
Luvity!! I hope you guys are doing well. Please remember that we are always with you and that we would get through these hard times together. There's a beautiful rainbow waiting for us at the end of the storm. Please take care and stay healthy!!
Jungmo:
Let's believe in each other. Cravity and Luvity.
Woobin:
At times like this, we have to go through this together and overcome it. Everyone, be a little more careful and cheer up. Fighting!
Wonjin:
Luvity. We're apart, but we're always together. Don't forget that. Please wait and be healthy. I love you.
Minhee:
It's a shame we can't meet you in person, but we Cravity will wait until we can see each other! Please wear a mask.
Hyeongjun:
I want to share my hardships and pains with the Luvity and give comfort and encouragement to each other. I want to communicate through music as well as SNS. I hope many of you can cheer up by listening to our song.
Taeyoung:
As the saying goes, "We are strong when we are together," I hope that Luvity and Cravity will get together and overcome difficult times! I love you~💜
Seongmin:
As time goes by, I'm sure this moment will pass, so let's get through it together!

Cravity's album 'Season 2 Hideout: The New Day We Step Into' is out now.

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