Evolution in Harmony: EPEX Explore Love and Growth in “Prelude of Love Chapter 2. Growing Pains.”

EPEX (이펙스) is an eight-member boy group under C9 Entertainment, consisting of WISH, KEUM, MU, A-MIN, BAEKSEUNG, AYDEN, YEWANG, and JEFF. The meaning of their group name is meant to signify that they are a “gathering of eight youths reaching eight different apexes.” It represents the eight members forming a collective, powerful team. They debuted on June 8th, 2021, with their first EP, “BIPOLAR Pt.1:  Prelude of Anxiety”. 

Since their debut, EPEX has been making waves in the K-pop industry with their unique sound, electrifying performances, and powerful lyrics. Their latest comeback, “Prelude of Love Chapter 2. Growing Pains”, has solidified their position as rising stars in the K-pop world. 

The mini-album details the process of a breakup. Track by track, the album takes you through the different stages of emotions that one goes through during their first heartbreak. “Prelude of Love Chapter 2. Growing Pains” serves as a direct continuation of the story being told in their previous releases: “BIPOLAR Pt. 2 Prelude of Love” and “Prelude of Love Chapter 1. Puppy Love”. The mini-album includes four new tracks, with the title track called “여우가 시집가는 날 (Sunshower)”, which tells the story of a boy who is going through a painful breakup for the first time. The aforementioned song is an up-tempo Pop-Dance track featuring funky guitar beats, a fresh brass sound, and energetic vocals. 

EPEX open up about their latest release, "Prelude of Love Chapter 2. Growing Pains". / Image © C9 Entertainment
EPEX open up about their latest release, “Prelude of Love Chapter 2. Growing Pains”. / Image © C9 Entertainment

According to official data released by the Hanteo chart, the group’s fifth mini-album, “Prelude of Love Chapter 2. Growing Pains,” recorded over 54,000 copies sold on the first day of release, becoming their best-selling album in first-day sales. The album later sold a total of 106,711 units, breaking the group’s personal record as their best-selling album in first-week sales. The record was previously held by their fourth mini-album, ‘Prelude of Love Chapter 1. Puppy Love,’ which had around 100,000 first-week sales. 

But what makes EPEX stand out from other K-pop groups? In a recent interview with View of the Arts, the members shared their thoughts on their latest comeback, their music, and their growth as a group. 

In regards to their title track, “Sunshower”, WISH had this to say: “Our new title track, ‘Sunshower’, tells the story of a boy’s broken heart through a very fresh and bubbly melody. So, it matches the song’s title, which carries the contrasting meaning of ‘raining while the sun is shining’. We tried to express such contrast by acting like we’re numb, just like the heartbroken boy would act like he’s not hurt from his heartbreak”. 

When asked to define themselves in one word, Jeff said, “For me, these days… I keep thinking of the word ‘butterfly’. I think I wish to be free like a butterfly”, with Keum adding that ‘personally, I think I can describe our group as ‘growing pains’, just like our new album. We’re all growing as we face various challenges and experiences, so I think we fit into the word ‘growing pains’”. Baekseung, on the other hand, sees “EPEX” as their perfect descriptor since the name represents eight boys coming together to create eight peaks. 

In terms of how the album fits into the “Prelude of Love” series, the members explained that the “Prelude of Anxiety” series represents the anxiety experienced in adolescence, while the “Prelude of Love” series talks about the complex emotions that come with young love. 

EPEX open up about their latest release, "Prelude of Love Chapter 2. Growing Pains". / Image © C9 Entertainment
EPEX open up about their latest release, “Prelude of Love Chapter 2. Growing Pains”. / Image © C9 Entertainment

Despite their success, the group faced several struggles while preparing for this album. AYDEN explained that, in addition to learning their own song’s choreography, they had to cover additional content, which required a high level of memorisation. Moreover, blending the contrasting lyrics and melody of the title track was also a challenge.

While discussing the album, the members were able to name their favourite tracks – Jeff chose “Skyline,” while Ayden, Wish, Baeksung, and Mu chose the title track, “Sunshower”. Keum’s favourite is “Goodbye, My First Love”, while Yewang chose “My Darling.” 

EPEX’s unique approach to their music lies in blending their experiences and stories, creating a relatable and encouraging experience for their listeners. Their authentic portrayal of their emotions and experiences deeply resonates with their audience, making them one of the most promising K-Pop groups in recent years. 

In conclusion, EPEX has quickly become a force to be reckoned with in the K-Pop industry, as they are able to showcase authenticity, unity, and growth through their music. Their latest mini album, “Prelude of Love Chapter 2. Growing Pains”, is a testament to their ability to connect with their listeners and create music that is both relatable and comforting. As they continue to explore various themes and emotions, EPEX’s unique colours will undoubtedly continue to shine.

Written and interviewed by Marianna Baroli

View of the Arts is a British online publication that chiefly deals with films, music, and art, with an emphasis on the Asian entertainment industry. We are hoping our audience will grow with us as we begin to explore new platforms such as K-pop / K-music, and Asian music in general, and continue to dive into the talented and ever-growing scene of film, music, and arts, worldwide.

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