That an increasing number of idols are being granted songwriting duties has been one of the industry’s major changes, but it also should be said that K-Pop has never been solely about the music. It’s bigger than that – a vortex of visuals and larger-than-life personalities. ATEEZ’s playful, candid dynamic has, in part, expeditiously propelled them through the mass of newcomers. It’s their job to be charming, but they’re also perpetually curious and considerate, emanating luminous bursts of confidence, flickers of vulnerability, and, often, a genuine sweetness.
They’re also mercilessly funny. Ask for random ATEEZ facts and they’ll throw each other under the bus. “Hong Joong is a very nice leader but when we practise, he’s like a tiger mom. Or even something scarier,” blurts Min Gi immediately, making Hong Joong splutter into his tea. “But I love him.”