Client: GQ Australia
“We’ve been planning to do this [album] ever since we left JYP Entertainment. It was supposed to be the end of last year, but it’s kinda difficult to get all seven members’ schedules aligned,” says Mark, the group’s eldest. Born and raised in Los Angeles, he’s been back in the States for the past year, arriving in Seoul in early March. He’s one of three foreign members (Jackson was born in Hong Kong, BamBam in Thailand). With the members each signed to different agencies, it’s only thanks to herculean diary management that they’re all in Seoul at the same time.
Their group chat is, laughs BamBam, a “hot mess. We’d been talking about it for so long, we needed to wrap it up.” Jinyoung points out they made most of their creative decisions in that chat room even before going into the studio. They operate a democracy, voting on decisions they can’t align on. But for the new record, “I think everyone was thinking very similar thoughts,” says Yugyeom, who wrote two tracks. The remaining four are split between Youngjae, Jinyoung, and Jay B, who penned the single “NANANA”, chosen for its relaxed sophistication, reminiscent of fan-favourite B-sides like “Teenager” (2017) and “Thursday” (2019).