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PSY's first boy group TNX makes much-anticipated debut with EP 'Way Up'

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Members of K-pop boy group TNX pose during a media event in Seoul, Tuesday. Courtesy of P Nation
Members of K-pop boy group TNX pose during a media event in Seoul, Tuesday. Courtesy of P Nation

Lead single 'Move' created by 'Gangnam Style' composer

By Dong Sun-hwa

Will rookie boy group TNX follow in the footsteps of PSY ― the CEO of its record label P Nation ― and etch their name in K-pop history?

The six-piece act, which is the first boy group launched by "Gangnam Style" (2012) star PSY, made its debut, Tuesday, with its first mini-album, "Way Up" amid high expectations. It consists of six winners from SBS' survival show, "Loud" (2021), who were handpicked by PSY after winning multiple rounds of the competition.

In the program, PSY appeared as a judge along with Park Jin-young, the founder and producer of K-pop powerhouse JYP Entertainment.

Asked how TNX is distinctive from other K-pop newcomers, member Sungjun said all members are armed with a burning passion for performance.

"Since we are part of P Nation, home to some of the most celebrated performers in the K-pop scene like Jessi and HyunA, our passion for performances is peerless," he said during a press conference at the Blue Square Mastercard Hall in central Seoul, Tuesday. "Each one of us has our own distinctive character, but we can still make good harmony as a team as well."

All six members revealed that it was a dream-come-true for them to make their debut.

"We have been looking forward to our debut for so long, so we are more than happy now," Junhyeok said. "But at the same time, we feel pressured because we want to make a splash."

Frontman Taehun added, "Everything is still unbelievable ... We poured a lot of effort into making our debut and we will continue to do so in the future."

TNX is the short form of "The New Six." Group member Hwi said that he was thankful to have this name.

K-pop act TNX / Courtesy of P Nation
K-pop act TNX / Courtesy of P Nation
"The other candidates for our group name mostly began with the letter 'P,' as our company name is P Nation," he said. "'Pigeon' and 'Phoenix' were among the candidates, so when I heard that 'TNX' would be our name, I was so grateful (to our company officials)."

"Way Up" is fronted by the lead single, "Move," a track with a touch of orchestral instrumentation and hip beats.

"The song was composed by singer-songwriter Penomeco and Yoo Gun-hyung, who is credited on a string of hit such as PSY's 'Gangnam Style,' and HyunA's 'I'm Not Cool' (2021)," Junhyeok explained. "It can be characterized by an addictive chorus and outspoken lyrics."

Taehun elaborated, "In the case of our music video, we attempted to visualize our courage and spirit of challenge by fighting against masked forces that symbolize absurdities."

Sungjun said, "Through our first EP, we want to reveal our determination that we are willing to showcase fresh and diverse music to people. The mini-album is also brimming with our powerful energy and overflowing talent."

Hui participated in the creative process of two tunes, the hip-hop track "We On" and the sentimental "A Little Song."

"It is a huge honor to include my self-written songs on our debut album," he said. "In the case of 'A Little Song,' I wrote it before appearing on 'Loud,' without knowing that it will make it on to my debut album. I wanted to send a message of hope to people through this piece."

"Way Up" was released at 6 p.m., Tuesday (KST).

Dong Sun-hwa

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