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[INTERVIEW] YG's TREASURE begins journey to find own color

YG Entertainment's new boy band TREASURE debuted on Aug. 7 with its album
YG Entertainment's new boy band TREASURE debuted on Aug. 7 with its album "THE FIRST STEP: CHAPTER ONE." Courtesy of YG Entertainment

By Dong Sun-hwa

YG Entertainment ― one of the "Big 3" music powerhouses in Korea along with SM and JYP ― has at last opened its treasure chest.

It debuted boy band TREASURE on Aug. 7, about four years after the launch of K-pop heavyweight BLACKPINK in 2016. The 12-piece act dropped its first album "THE FIRST STEP: CHAPTER ONE," fronted by powerful electronic dance track "BOY," and has been sweeping global music charts. As of Monday afternoon, the music video of "BOY" had racked up more than 14 million views on YouTube.

During its first media interview on Monday morning, the members kept on their toes, but nevertheless answered all questions enthusiastically.

"I think TREASURE does not have its own color yet," leader Choi Hyun-suk said at the headquarters of YGX, a subsidiary of YG, in Mapo-gu, Seoul. "We gradually should color ourselves and I am curious what we would look like in coming days. We want to showcase the better version of us."

Choi, who answered the most questions, is one of the band's two leaders. He said he was "mother" for the other members, while another leader Jihoon was "father."

"While we were idol trainees, we were divided into two groups for training as we have a lot of members," Jihoon said. "Choi and I were the unofficial leaders of each group, who took care of the others. I think our company saw this and decided to tap us as the actual leaders."

TREASURE has 12 members, four of whom are from Japan. Courtesy of YG Entertainment
TREASURE has 12 members, four of whom are from Japan. Courtesy of YG Entertainment
TREASURE members ― Bang Ye-dam, Haruto, Doyoung, Choi Hyun-suk, Jihoon, So Jung-hwan, Park Jung-woo, Yoshi, Junkyu, Mashiho, Yoon Jae-hyuk and Asahi ― were singled out through YG's survival show "YG Jewel Box" (2018-2019). Among them, Haruto, Yoshi, Mashiho and Asahi hail from Japan.

The rookie band is quite distinctive from YG's other acts like BIGBANG, WINNER and iKON, which consist of 4-6 members and released sentimental debut singles flavored with hip-hop.

TREASURE rather shares more common ground with other popular K-pop boy bands in terms of the number of members and polished choreography. Asked about the rationale behind such deviation, Choi said the members wanted to try something fresh for synergy.

"We have long thought about the ways to meet the public's expectation on us," he said. "Therefore we decided to add something new to YG's original style ― which values hipness and sympathy ― so as to create synergy."

The newcomers also revealed they were more thankful than pressured to debut as "juniors" of YG's globally successful bands like BLACKPINK.

"Many 'senior' groups have thankfully paved the way," Bang Ye-dam said. "We appreciate them and will strive to write our own history."

Choi added, "With our members' unique voices and strong teamwork, I believe TREASURE will be able to disclose a lot of things as time goes by."


YG Entertainment's new boy band TREASURE debuted on Aug. 7 with its album
YG Entertainment's new boy band TREASURE debuted on Aug. 7 with its album "THE FIRST STEP: CHAPTER ONE." Courtesy of YG Entertainment

By Dong Sun-hwa

YG Entertainment ― one of the "Big 3" music powerhouses in Korea along with SM and JYP ― has at last opened its treasure chest.

It debuted boy band TREASURE on Aug. 7, about four years after the launch of K-pop heavyweight BLACKPINK in 2016. The 12-piece act dropped its first album "THE FIRST STEP: CHAPTER ONE," fronted by powerful electronic dance track "BOY," and has been sweeping global music charts. As of Monday afternoon, the music video of "BOY" had racked up more than 14 million views on YouTube.

During its first media interview on Monday morning, the members kept on their toes, but nevertheless answered all questions enthusiastically.

"I think TREASURE does not have its own color yet," leader Choi Hyun-suk said at the headquarters of YGX, a subsidiary of YG, in Mapo-gu, Seoul. "We gradually should color ourselves and I am curious what we would look like in coming days. We want to showcase the better version of us."

Choi, who answered the most questions, is one of the band's two leaders. He said he was "mother" for the other members, while another leader Jihoon was "father."

"While we were idol trainees, we were divided into two groups for training as we have a lot of members," Jihoon said. "Choi and I were the unofficial leaders of each group, who took care of the others. I think our company saw this and decided to tap us as the actual leaders."

TREASURE has 12 members, four of whom are from Japan. Courtesy of YG Entertainment
TREASURE has 12 members, four of whom are from Japan. Courtesy of YG Entertainment
TREASURE members ― Bang Ye-dam, Haruto, Doyoung, Choi Hyun-suk, Jihoon, So Jung-hwan, Park Jung-woo, Yoshi, Junkyu, Mashiho, Yoon Jae-hyuk and Asahi ― were singled out through YG's survival show "YG Jewel Box" (2018-2019). Among them, Haruto, Yoshi, Mashiho and Asahi hail from Japan.

The rookie band is quite distinctive from YG's other acts like BIGBANG, WINNER and iKON, which consist of 4-6 members and released sentimental debut singles flavored with hip-hop.

TREASURE rather shares more common ground with other popular K-pop boy bands in terms of the number of members and polished choreography. Asked about the rationale behind such deviation, Choi said the members wanted to try something fresh for synergy.

"We have long thought about the ways to meet the public's expectation on us," he said. "Therefore we decided to add something new to YG's original style ― which values hipness and sympathy ― so as to create synergy."

The newcomers also revealed they were more thankful than pressured to debut as "juniors" of YG's globally successful bands like BLACKPINK.

"Many 'senior' groups have thankfully paved the way," Bang Ye-dam said. "We appreciate them and will strive to write our own history."

Choi added, "With our members' unique voices and strong teamwork, I believe TREASURE will be able to disclose a lot of things as time goes by."


Dong Sun-hwa sunhwadong@koreatimes.co.kr

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