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Meet New K-Pop Band Focused on Confidence, Friendship & Fans – Billboard

The first seconds of an artist’s debut single can be some of the most important of their career. It’s the chance to hook a new audience and introduce themselves musically.

BLANK2Y‘s debut single “Thumbs Up!” opens with a racing, electrifying production before the beat drops and listeners hear: “Welcome to the BLANK.” The viewer enters BLANK2Y’s musical world, which they describe as created from confidence, friendship and love for their fans.

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As South Korea’s music scene becomes increasingly competitive to enter year over year – with 2022 already delivering several superstar acts – BLANK2Y, a new K-pop boy band that launched in May — is establishing itself with a solid musical worldview it hopes will be important to ensuring its long-term success.

In November of 2021, Keystone Entertainment, founded by CEO Sam Choy, was preparing a nine-member boy band for the following year, and was asking fans to follow the journey to their debut. The newly established music label posted on Twitter for the first time on Nov. 15 and included a promise: “We will have the rookies of the year!”

Confident statements like that have been a critical element in creating the new boy band.

Keystone began to reveal hints about the group on Twitter, including that the members of the forthcoming act would include past contestants on popular K-pop competition shows and TV appearances. All this fueled additional interest in the group as each show had audiences and fanbases created from them.

In the ensuing months, Keystone and CEO Choi slowly revealed the members of what would become BLANK2Y. On Dec. 20, 2021, youngbin was the first member revealed, with fans of I-Land pleased to see the contestant get a fresh start with a new group. Days later, on Christmas, the second member was revealed as louisfollowed by a New Year’s Day announcement of third member, Dong-hyuk.

With excitement already brewing from a range of different K-pop fans, BLANK2Y began 2022 with more good news, revealing the six other members by the end of February.

Soon, BLANK2Y was complete after revealing siwoo (who competed on wild idol), Mikey (a Japanese native who competed on the singing competition show Produce 101 Japan), Sung Junas well as OR, Sodam and D.K..

The mix of already beloved singers and fresh faces was a strong starting point. By the time BLANK2Y officially hit the scene on May 24, 2022, with their debut EP titled K2Y I: CONFIDENCE [Thumbs Up]a sea of ​​new fans were excited to hear what they had to say.

As made clear from the album title and BLANK2Y’s debut strategy, “confidence” is vital for this group. “I think our main concept and charm is related to the theme of our first album, which is confidence!” Sungjun tells billboard korea.

But BLANK2Y also wants to spread the message of “confidence” to all listeners. “We hope everyone can gain confidence in themselves through our album, that’s BLANK2Y’s main goal,” DK says.

“Thumbs Up” is BLANK2Y’s debut single and has confidence baked inside it. The band describes the song as “an upbeat trap track with synth sounds and an inspirational message.” The rising intensity, empowering lyrics, plus both Korean and English versions of the song, make “Thumbs Up” a universal anthem for confidence.

“BLANK2Y” is a compound word for “blank,” meaning “blank space,” and “key” meaning “key and clue,” explains DK. “It contains the meaning of ‘the key to open an empty space’ — a musical medium that soothes the emptiness in the hearts of the people and evokes latent passions to connect and build special relationships.”

While confidence is the key word BLANK2Y is looking to spread, the group also notes a special relationship between the nine members themselves. “We are also each other’s best friends,” Sodam says. “That really brings out the best, genuine teamwork.” Ella adds U: “I thought it would be impossible for nine people to get together, become a team and strive for the same goal, but we clicked right away, and now we are closer than I thought we would be.”

No doubt the genuine trust among the BLANK2Y members is why the group has a system where there is no set “leader” of the group. Instead, the position rotates. “Members take turns every month being the leader,” says Sodam. “Having that kind of role and responsibility taught me a lot.” Adds DK: “we really talk everything out and truly respect each other’s opinions, so it’s easier to solve conflicts or any misunderstandings.”

One thing that is genuinely not a misunderstanding is their excitement and affection for their ever-growing fanbase, named K2YWE and pronounced “Kiwi.” BLANK2Y calls K2YWE the “tenth member” of the group. “Because we consider our fans, K2YWE, as our 10th member, we are more than confident that our fan engagement is special,” says DK. “That’s most important to us.”

While “Thumbs Up” is just the start for BLANK2Y, billboard korea Dove deeper into the standout rookie group, including their musical inspirations, first-year goals and messages to their fans.

billboard korea: What are your favorite tracks on the album other than “Thumbs Up”?

OR: Our fan song, “Constellation,” is my personal favorite.

Dong-hyuk: “Constellation” is my favorite, too. The lyrics are beautiful and heartwarming.

Louis: I love all our tracks, but “Touch,” which is a bright track, is what I would recommend because it goes well with the summer breeze and vibes.

D.K.: We also have other tracks that are enjoyable so I hope everyone gets a chance to listen to it!

Who are your musical inspirations or motivations? Or what’s on your playlist?

Siwoo: Our role model is The Boyz. I really want to do a collaboration with Juyeon from The Boyz.

Youngbin: I would be really honored to collaborate with The Boyz or Baekhyun, both of whom we respect so much. I have been listening to Baekhyun, BO, Dean and Colde a lot lately.

Dong-hyuk: I’ve been listening to Etham’s “12:45.”

OR: Personally, I think I get most inspired by performances by NCT’s Taeyong and BTS’ Jungkook.

Mikey: AAA’s “Lil Infinity” music video stirred something inside of me, and that’s when I decided to pursue music.

Louis: My musical inspiration comes from our fans.

What do you guys want to achieve through your music?

Sungjun: I’ve experienced what it feels like to be healed through music and I think it would be amazing if people could find comfort and healing through our music. That’s the kind of music I want to make.

Sodam: We want our music to be relatable to people from all around the world.

BLANK2Y filmed a reality TV series while preparing for your debut. What was the filming process? Any behind-the-scenes moments you want to share?

Sungjun: Before the shoot, I was a bit worried about how we could make the most interesting content for the audience and our fans. But when it actually started, it was so much more fun than I had anticipated, and it was a good way to learn how to be more familiar with the camera. It was fun to see my face on screen and I got to study what camera angle worked best for me!

OR: During one of our outdoor shoots, we decided to grill meat for dinner, but it was so cold outside that the meat froze within like three minutes and we couldn’t eat.

What are you most proud of accomplishing as BLANK2Y so far?

Youngbin: We are proud to have become the ambassador for COEX [a mall in Gangnam] and Jeju even before our official debut. I think being an ambassador for something is really special, and we are super grateful for all these amazing opportunities.

Looking ahead, what do you have planned for the rest of 2022?

Dong-hyuk: Our goal for this year is to win the “Best Rookie” award, so we are going to try our best to promote as much as we can for the rest of the year. We will try our best to showcase the most amazing performances and continue to release good music.

What are you guys most confident in?

Louis: We are most confident in our onstage performances and our ability to express a diverse range of emotions through our music and performances.

D.K.: We are most confident in our onstage performances, but also are confident that our love for our fans is absolutely exceptional.

What do you guys hope your fans would take away from this album? what other messages do you want to share wish them?

Mikey: We love you K2YWE and thank you so so much for always being the best energizer and support.

Sodam: Thank you so much for being the best! We are grateful for your love and will try our best to never let you guys down! I love you!

Dong-hyuk: K2YWE, please stay safe and healthy and let’s always be each other’s best supporters and comfort. Thank you and I love you, K2YWE!

BLANK2Y: We want our fans to know that our love for them is super special and that we are progressing every day!

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