K-Pop Group ONF on New Album, Connecting With Fans and Coming to America

WrapWomen LA Blog: The up-and-coming boy band has their sights set on the Billboard Top 100

(From top left clockwise): MK, E-Tion, Wyatt, J-Us, Hyojin and U

In case you haven’t heard, there’s a phenomenon sweeping the nation and everyone’s talking about it. No, it’s not coronavirus. It’s K-Pop, and it’s extremely contagious. As soon as you start listening to the catchy lyrics and beats, you won’t be able to stop. And don’t even get me started on the incredible synchronized dance routines and fashion. Side effects include uncontrollable dancing, the inability to stop smiling and an infatuation with Korean culture. Where do I sign up?

One of the hottest up and coming boy bands to hit the K-Pop scene is ONF. Comprised of six members, Hyojin, E-Tion, J-Us, Wyatt, MK, and U, the group just released “Summer Pop-Up Album [POPPING]” which explores the various themes and feeling of said season. 

During a recent interview, ONF took WrapWomen behind the scenes of the new album, opened up about connecting with fans during COVID and what it means to bring their music to America. 

Tell us about the “Summer Pop-Up Album [POPPING]” and what fans can expect with the new song “POPPING.”
E-Tion: This album has a variety of summer-appropriate songs that befits the title, “Summer Pop-Up Album.” You can choose a song to listen to that suits your mood and various situations in summer — rainy days, hot, and so on.

J-Us: The title song “POPPING” is impressive with an addictive melody. You’ll feel refreshing energy with ONF’s cool voice. I hope you enjoy this summer while listening to ONF’s “POPPING!”

U: As the theme of this album is “summer,” you can enjoy a variety of summer songs! It’s filled with ONF’s distinct color, so please look forward to it! 

What are the themes and emotions you’re exploring in upcoming music?
Hyojin: I want to make an album filled with dreamy and sensitive voices. I really want to try the concept one day.

Wyatt: I want to convey the feelings we are facing now that we can well portray in our song. I can’t define these emotions, but I want to deliver how we feel in our daily lives in our songs and the messages we discover.

MK: Like this “Summer Pop-up Album,” I think it’ll be fun to express the emotions that each season brings us.

Tell us more about the title song “POPPING,” what we can expect while listening to it?
Hyojin: If you listen to our new song “POPPING”, you will immediately feel the bright and refreshing energy that goes well with summer. But if you listen carefully to the lyrics, you’ll be able to feel other emotions as well.

E-Tion: I think the highlight is the cool summer breeze-like-flute sound you will hear. This song will relieve you from the heat for a while you’re listening.

U: It’s a refreshing and exciting song but I think the emotional rise in the latter part is the catch of this song.

Did the pandemic influence your music in any way?
J-Us: First of all, I think we’ve been able to put out a lot of music that gives more hope and energy to our fans since the pandemic. And we’ve had more opportunities to meet our fans online instead of in person. It’s good that we can meet fans from countries we’ve not been to online, but now we wish to go and meet them in person, even more, when this situation is over as soon as possible.

Wyatt: I’ve become more responsible for the stage. Since it’s hard to communicate with the fans up close in person, I’ve been thinking a lot about how we can deliver the emotions that are felt through a live stage to our fans just by our stage.

MK: I’ve come to cherish and grew more desperate about music. I think more about how I can express my feelings better through music since we can’t meet in person. Even though we can’t perform on stage in person, we prepare a lot and work harder to deliver the message of the song to our fans as best as we can.

What message do you hope people take from your music?Hyojin: We want to speak a message that can only come from ONF. We can’t put our message simply in one word, but I think sometimes it can be of hope or comforting at other times. I hope our songs will be relatable and give strength to many people.  

E-Tion: I want to give positive energy. I want our music to give hope and comfort people all over the world during this difficult time.

Wyatt: I hope our songs will blend in the lives of the people when they’re happy or sad and in any situation as they listen to our songs. We want to be a part of the lives of those who listen to our songs.  

What do you think are the advantages and strengths of ONF? 
J-Us: I think our strength is pulling off any genre and expressing ourselves in our unique color. Each member plays his role well, and since we’ve been together for a long time, I think we have good teamwork.

MK: Our strength is that each vocalist has a unique voice, but our voices harmonize very well together. The advantage is a pleasant energy that is created when we’re together and it gives strength to each other even when we’re nervous. All the energy is put together and creates better synergy on the stage.

U: Like the lyrics in “Ugly Dance,” our strength is that we believe in our path and we do our own music. And we’re growing step by step. Devoting ourselves with perseverance to not give up at any given moment is also our strength.

What impact would you like to make on the U.S. music scene?
Hyojin: I hope someday our song will receive lots of love in the US and be on the Billboard charts.

J-Us: I hope more fans in America will listen to us and love our songs.  I hope that ONF can enter the Billboard chart as well. Someday, I want to appear on a TV show to perform in front of many people!

MK: When things get better, I want to tour in America. If we’re given the opportunity, I’d love to perform at an American Music Festival. I will be so happy to be on the same stage with many pop artists.

If you had to make a five-song playlist for a new ONF listener, what songs do you recommend they listen to?
E-Tion: “POPPING,” “Beautiful Beautiful,” “On-You,” “Thermometer,” “Summer Shape”

Wyatt: “Complete,” “Cactus,” “THE DREAMER,” “Trip Advisor,” “BEAUTIFUL BEAUTIFUL”

U: “Ugly Dance,” “New World,” “Dry Ice,” “Summer End,” “Geppeto”

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