KNK, a South Korean idol group, first saw the light of day in 2016 when they debuted on the domestic market. They relatively quickly made a name for themselves with their mature and serious looks, music and gentlemen attires. In 2017, a huge crowd welcomed their performance at the Feel Korea concert in London and even then, KNK showed potential to stand the test of time as long as they kept their future performances at the same level.

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KNK – Sunrise European Tour, London 2019 – Photo © Narine Chalabi (All Rights Reserved) 

After the departure of You-jin, an immense vocal talent, the group welcomed Dong-won, a rapper who added his own charm to KNK; the group now consists of him, Ji-hun, In-song, Seo-ham, and Hee-jun. After successful performances in the US, KNK are now about to embark on their 1st European Tour called Sunrise, which will include 6 cities: Berlin, Warsaw, London, Lisbon, Madrid and Paris.

Ahead of KNK’s European Tour Sunrise, we caught up with the group and chatted about K-pop, their newest release KNK S/S Collection and life in general.

Music Video © KNK & 220 Entertainment 

2016 was the year you officially debuted. Prior to your debut, you obviously trained to enter music industry, but was it your dream to become a part of a boy group?

Ji-hun: Yes. I wanted to become a ballad singer when I was a student, but afterwards I became determined to be a dancer as well as a singer. 

In-seong: Yes. I am so happy to make my dream come true. 

Seoham: Yes. As I started practicing as a trainee, I really wanted to debut as a singer, so I practiced hard to achieve my dream.

Dong-won: As you know, I became a new member of KNK in 2019. I always had a dream in my heart of becoming a singer, since I was a student, but I didn’t have any chance to do it, so I was in fact preparing to become an actor. Fortunately, thanks to KNK members who called me to be a part of the group, I was able to make my debut as a singer. 

Hee-jun: Actually, I wanted to be a football player. 

Your most recent album [KNK S/S COLLECTION] was just released. What was the creative process behind it and – as your lyrics are in Korean – would you mind telling our readers which themes your songs represent the most?

Ji-hun: This time, we tried for new sounds – compared to our previous songs – and we will keep working hard to make good songs in the future.  

In-seong: For our new album, we tried for a dynamic and exciting concept which is reflected in the music. When you listen to it, it’s like being in a fashion show.

Seoham: Visually, it’s a new concept that we hadn’t tried before: KNK members as fashion models. The lyrics, however, tell the story of a man in love. 

Hee-jun: Also, we wanted to express love and melancholy through the colours used in the music video – like the feelings you have when someone leaves.

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KNK – Sunrise European Tour, London 2019 – Photo © Narine Chalabi (All Rights Reserved) 

What were your feelings when preparing for this video (SUNSET)?

Ji-hun: In my case, when we were preparing the video for SUNSET, I just wanted to show it to our fans as soon as possible.

In-seong: I remember that although the group dance scene was very hard this time, the on-site atmosphere was really good.

Seoham: The shoot itself was very difficult because there are several scenes that include all of us dancing at the same time, but the shooting session was different from the ones we had done in the past, so it was a lot of fun.

Dong-won: The shooting of my personal scenes took longer than expected, so it was very burdensome at first, but I think I did well. I am getting used to the hard choreographies by now.

Hee-jun: It was exciting because we were able to show different styles of KNK.

Your image comes across as a very mature one, including your music. Are there any other concepts, or certain music, you would like to try out with your future releases?

Ji-hun: I love songs that feature dancing and complex choreographies; however, given the chance, I would like to sing lyrical and moody songs.

In-seong: Vampire concept!

Seoham: I would like to keep exploring trendy music styles like SUNSET since it features a new concept for KNK. Summer-like songs would be great as well!

Dong-won: If I must choose, I want to try hip-hop. Even though I’m not confident enough about my skills just yet, it would be great to try! Also, bright and refreshing music!

Hee-jun: More than trying new concepts or styles, I would like to keep promoting KNK and become the world’s favourite artists!

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KNK – Sunrise European Tour, London 2019 – Photo © Narine Chalabi (All Rights Reserved) 

Is there music you like, which never fails to make you feel good? Who really inspires you as an artist?

Ji-hun: I’ve been listening to Night That Reminds of You by 20 Years of Age a lot lately.

In-seong: Since I’m a singer, I was inspired by VIXX and TVXQ.

Seoham: KARD is the best! Listening to their music gives me energy!

Dong-won: I really like rapper PH-1! He is famous not only as a rapper but as a singer as well. I’ve been listening to him a lot these days.

Hee-jun: I would say that one of the artists who inspires me the most is Coldplay.

What’s the hardest thing about being in a group? As there are five members, there are also five different personalities. How do you make it work as a team?

Ji-hun: Probably, the hardest thing about being in a group like KNK is the choreographies. As we mentioned before, they are very complex and physically demanding. Luckily, since we have very similar personalities, we can get along and overcome the tough moments.

In-seong: I think the most important aspect to consider in order to make a group like KNK work is the understanding of each other’s points of views and personalities.

Seoham: Personally I think there are no difficult moments because being together with all the other members is fun and because we support each other every single day. So, everything works just fine!

Dong-won: Since I am the new member in the group it seems natural to feel lost at times, especially among members who already have quite an impressive teamwork skill. Fortunately, the guys took good care of me as a new member, so I think I was able to get used to KNK’s pace quickly.

Hee-jun: [Referring to Dong-won’s previous answer] I think it’s because we have the same dream as KNK members. 

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KNK – Sunrise European Tour, London 2019 – Photo © Narine Chalabi (All Rights Reserved) 

When you are not working, what do you do to get away from it all and relax?

Ji-hun: I really like watching YouTube videos when I have some spare time. I can just spend my day with something to eat and YouTube!!!

In-seong: I usually go fishing. I like games, too!

Seoham: Rather than going out, I prefer to stay at home and have a good rest. There, I enjoy eating delicious food.

Dong-won: My favourite hobby is fishing! Since In-seong also likes it, as he mentioned previously, we go fishing together. In fact, it is not only a hobby, but a way to heal and relax.

Hee-jun: If I’m not sleeping during my free time, I try to do some activities to keep my body active. Just like football or working out.

Which would be your dream collaboration, if you could choose any singer or a group?

Ji-hun: I would love to collaborate with 20 Years of Age and sing a track like Night That Reminds of You. 

In-seong: A duet with Jooheon of MONSTA X!

Seoham: KARD!!

Dong-won: I would like to collaborate with PH-1, that’s why he is on my playlist nowadays! 

Hee-jun: It would be great to work with Coldplay and Camilla Cabello. I really like them!

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KNK – Photo © KNK & 220 Entertainment  

K-Pop is huge nowadays, and with various groups (BTS, EXO, BlackPink etc.) pushing through into the foreign markets, how do you feel about your own career abroad? 

Ji-hun: I’m so excited about the positioning of K-pop in foreign markets nowadays. Just like BTS, EXO and BlackPink, we want to keep working hard in order to become a popular group everywhere.

In-seong: Me too, I’m so excited. Having the opportunity to meet our Tinkerbells [KNK fandom name] when touring abroad is a great experience. We really want to meet all of our fans in Europe during the next tour.

Seoham: I’ve always wanted to visit different countries. My dream is to have as many concerts as possible and meet more fans all over the world.

Dong-won: I’m so grateful to the fans who are welcoming us from all around the world. We’re always excited when we go on tour overseas. I would like to go to even more cities and meet our fans.

Hee-jun: Since our senior colleagues [referring to more experienced K-pop acts] paved the way for us, we’ll do our best to meet fans expectations wherever we can go!

What’s next for you as a group? 

Ji-hun: We will keep working hard to strengthen our music style. Personally, I would like to improve my singing skills in order to become a popular singer not only in Korea, but around the world!

Seoham: What’s ahead of us is an active promotion of our most recent single SUNSET. Also, we are preparing for our upcoming European tour which will start very soon. Right after that, we should start working on our next album.

Dong-won: What’s next for KNK? We will stick together as a group making songs that our fans will love. Many more concerts and why not – perhaps we’ll get the 1st place on one of the Korean music shows.

I want to be with the other KNK members and do the music that our fans want. Also, I would love to win the first place on music shows and want to have concerts often!

In-seong: 1st place!

Hee-jun: I want to let everyone know about KNK and I hope people get impressed by our music.

Music Video © KNK & 220 EntertainmentStone Music Entertainment

Written and interviewed by Maggie Gogler

Edited by Sanja Struna

All photos / videos © KNK / 220 Entertainment / Stone Music Entertainment

 

Join the conversation! 1 Comment

  1. Fighting! KNK ❤️

    Reply

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About View of the Arts

We are enthusiasts of the arts, passionate about cinema, theatre, and literature. Maggie is a freelance film producer, production manager and she also works with children. Sanja is a freelance translator, occasional writer and a perpetual dreamer. Film is her first and longest-lasting love. Roxy is an Arts Journalist, who writes for several magazines and websites.

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In Conversation with, K-pop, Music

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