Photo: Courtesy of Artist
The world of K-Pop is always changing and evolving, and CRAVITY is the latest group to illustrate the universal appeal of the worldwide phenomenon. Originally debuting in the midst of the ongoing COVID pandemic, the affectionately-dubbed "Super Rookies" found themselves in an unprecedented situation, having to make a name for themselves in a genre built around extraordinary live shows and human connection, all while the world shut down around them. In spite of the odds, the group's debut, Hideout: Remember Who We Are, climbed to the top of the U.S. iTunes K-Pop chart, cementing their place as super rookies ready to take the world by storm.
And hardly a year following their noteworthy debut, CRAVITY is back to make good on the early promise that came with topping with the iTunes chart and being Starship Entertainment's first new boy band in five years (following in the footsteps of their seniors, Monsta X). The Awakening: Written in the Stars arrives as the group's first full-length debut album and serves as a marked maturation for each of the members. Consisting of eight tracks that transcend genres, from explosive hip-hop to euphoric electronic-laden pop, CRAVITY fearlessly brings their ambitious vision to life.
We had the chance to catch up with the boys behind CRAVITY via e-mail ahead of the release of their full-length debut album, which is out now, to check-in and see how they're doing before they become a household name.
Ones to Watch: What does CRAVITY mean?
Serim: It's a combination of the word "Creativity" and "Gravity" and it has special meaning behind it–we (CRAVITY) will gravitate the audience into our unique universe with our charms.
What's one fun fact about every member of CRAVITY?
Allen: Apparently I sleep talk in three languages? English, Korean, and Chinese.
Hyeongjun: I always wear contact lenses whether it's a day off or not.
Seongmin: I enjoy eating jellies and candies these days.
Serim: I always clear my throat before I sing or rap.
Minhee: I don’t like eggplant.
Jungmo: Allen sleep talks in three different languages and these days, he likes to shop online.
Woobin: I bite my nails, I am always looking for a new song, and beatboxing is one of the things that I enjoy doing these days.
Wonjin: These days, I play the game called Animal Crossing, but I’m too lazy to pull weeds on my island. I need some help haha ☺
Taeyoung: Many fans say I look like a cat! BUT I am actually allergic to cats ~
And what are everyone's roles?
Allen: I lead the group during dance practices and make sure everyone is looking sharp by the time we release new music or prepare for a performance.
Hyeongjun: I'm in charge of passion! HJ = Passion!
Seongmin: I am the "Maknae" of the group and as the youngest member, I get along with my brothers (members) and I'm like the vitamin for the group!
Serim: The strongest and photographer for the members.
Minhee: Everyone is different, so it’s fun
Jungmo: I'm in a vocal position in CRAVITY, so sometimes I upload vocal cover videos.
Woobin: I’m the main vocal of the group.
Wonjin: I like to make some jokes to keep our team's mood up. It looks so easy, but it is actually very hard.
Taeyoung: My role is to hype up our members!
Serim, do the boys ever make being the group leader a difficult job or are they all pretty well-behaved?
Serim: I think it’s really comfortable because the members listen to me well and follow me well.
Were there any particular challenges that arose from debuting in the midst of a pandemic?
Allen: There were definitely moments where I was up on stage tired and worn out, not being able to perform at my best due to not having a live audience, but I still try my best to not let that show through the camera lens.
Hyeongjun: I think the biggest challenge is not being able to meet the fans.
Seongmin: I wanted to perform in front of the fans, but I’m sad that I can’t.
Minhee: It’s still very difficult that I can’t show our stages directly to the fans.
Serim: I’m in charge of passion. Expectations about meeting our fans are growing, but I’m sad that we can’t at the moment.
Jungmo: Before our debut, we imagined performing on stage in front of our fans and around the world, but these days we are just performing in front of cameras so it's really sad. We really miss you guys!
Woobin: I want you to understand what CRAVITY is trying to say. We really miss you and want to see you guys in person.
Wonjin: The fact that we can't see our fans. We had a fairly long break in between our new album and the last one, but it felt as if it was a year. In addition, when we perform on stage without our fans, it's hard for us to be energetic.
Taeyoung: That we can’t meet our fans face to-face… that is a big, sad problem.
With your debut reaching number 1 on the US iTunes K-pop chart, how does it feel going forward with future projects?
Wonjin: I'm so excited because there is only one way for us which is to go up.
What do you hope people take away from your first official album?
Hyeongjun: We prepared a lot for the performance so please look forward to our performance and be sure to look out for our music video too!
Woobin: We tried to incorporate various genres and sounds into this album, so we hope you can find your taste in it!
Can you speak on the title of your full-length debut album, The Awakening: Written in the Stars?
Seongmin: It’s focused on the keyword "Awakening," a challenge towards a new goal. Also, please look forward to seeing how CRAVITY's message will be written in the future!
Jungmo: It's our first full-length album, and it means that we are all awakened and got more mature after coming out from our hideout.
Why do you think K-Pop has become such a worldwide phenomenon?
Allen: I believe K-Pop truly has something magical going on. Its power to connect people from all around the world is unbelievable. Social media definitely plays a big part in making K-Pop into such a world phenomenon, but I firmly believe that music is a universal language and that no matter where you're from or what language you speak, the emotions portrayed by a piece of music will always be well communicated.
Are there any other groups or artists you would love to collaborate with?
Allen: It'd be nice for us to collaborate with Steve Aoki. His collaboration, "Play It Cool" with our company senior Monsta X really suited their vibe and sound, so I feel like if he ever got to produce for us, he would be able to create something that would really suit our image and our sound.
Hyeongjun: It's still the same for me, I want to collaborate with MONSTA X.
Seongmin: I’d love to collaborate with Charlie Puth.
Serim: I've always liked Ateez sunbaenim's performances and would like to have a collaboration opportunity with them.
Minhee: Anyone is good, it would be an honor for us to have an opportunity to collaborate with other artists.
Jungmo: I want to collaborate with Jooyoung sunbaenim because our new album has a lot of cool tracks written by Jooyoung sunbaenim and his crew! Also, I want to learn his vocal style.
Woobin: Lauv, and Kihyun from our senior group MONSTA X.
Wonjin: I want to collaborate with The Kid Laroi. I knew him through a song called "Stay." I fell in love with his vocal skills and style and he is so young. I want to be his friend.
Taeyoung: I'm still waiting for the opportunity to collab with The Chainsmokers.
You've yet to perform for your fans in a large-scale setting. How do you feel about the possibility of performing for your fans on tour?
Taeyoung: I'm really excited to meet LUVITYs around the world and perform on stage while listening to their voices. It would be an unforgettable experience in my life.
Is there anything you all like to do when not working on music?
Allen: We all enjoy playing board games together. A few of us also like to work out or play sports such as soccer, baseball, badminton, and basketball.
Hyeongjun: I'm into watching tv series on Netflix.
Seongmin: First of all, I’m looking forward to meeting many fans, and I’m looking forward to learning about the culture of various countries. I also enjoy reading books.
Serim: Watching movies!
Minhee: I'm currently looking for one!
Jungmo: I like watching horror movies because I am interested in ghost haha.
Woobin: Cooking? I love to cook!
Wonjin: I like baseball or basketball, but these days because of COVID-19, I'm sad I can't play.
Taeyoung: I like to play badminton and watch memes~
If you could say one thing to all your fans, what would it be?
Allen: Don't go anywhere and stay right where you are. We will come find you once the pandemic subsides.
Hyeongjun: Let's not stop here, LUVITY! Fighting!
Seongmin: Let’s always be healthy until we meet each other.
Serim: LUVITY~~ I miss you and I love you.
Minhee: LUVITY! Always be happy!
Jungmo: We really prepared this album hard, so we hope you like it. We always love you guys.
Woobin: Please look forward to our new album! Love ya!
Wonjin: Please love our new album and stay healthy. I miss you guys so so much.
Taeyoung: I just want to say I really care about our fans and I love you so much!
What's next for CRAVITY?
Allen: They say the sky's the limit but we're going to be up by satellites.
Seongmin: It's my goal to finish our album promotions well and I hope to meet our fans as soon as possible.
Minhee: There’s still a long way to go and I’m pretty sure that there will be more opportunities for us to be on stage in the near future, so I think we should all work harder to move forward.