N.CUS fans, or CU:KEY, were ecstatic when they learned that N.CUS would be returning this summer with their second single album, Unripe Love. Initially set to be released on July 23, the album was pushed back to August 14 due to the Tokyo Olympics. Now, members Hwan, Seokjin, Sungsub, Hojin, Euntaek, IF, W.D., and Hyeomin are back and ready to show their fans what they’ve been working on.
Debuting in 2019 under Kyuri Entertainment, N.CUS burst on the scene with the hard-hitting song, “Super Luv.” The members also created vlogs to give fansa peek inside their work lives during the promotions of their debut. In addition, the members also have videos showcasing their busking skills and song and dance covers on their YouTube channel.
Shortly before the release of their new song, “Get Out,” N.CUS took time out of their busy schedule to sit down with Aewen Radio to discuss their new E.P., how they’ve grown as a group, and what they’re binging on TikTok.
How did each member start their music career?
Hwan: I used to be a tennis player, but I quit and started dreaming of becoming a singer at 19 because I got into music when I was in high school.
Seokjin: I used to go to the same middle school with Day6’s Wonpil, who’s now an artist with JYP Entertainment. His performance inspired me to dream of becoming a singer.
Sungsub: When I was in high school, I would cover BTS’s songs and dance. I was deeply moved by their storytelling and the hidden meanings behind their work. I thought to myself, “I also want to become a singer who conveys lots of emotions and touches the hearts of his listeners.
Hojin: Watching SHINee’s performance made me interested in idols and made me dream of becoming a singer. Ever since the 9th grade, I’ve always wanted to become a singer.
Euntaek: I’ve always liked to sing since I was young. After I got casted on the street by chance when I was in middle school, I started dreaming of becoming a singer and started music.
IF: I loved music throughout my adolescent years, so I joined a band. I started music in the band and got into my stride when I started dreaming of becoming an idol.
W.D.: I loved being on the stage since I was young and always wanted to become an idol.
Hyeonmin: Since I was young, I was always fascinated by various artists. I used to dream of becoming an athlete, but I started music, seeing how music makes people happy, and I also wanted to make many people happy through my music.
Let’s talk about your newest album, Unripe Love. Can you describe the concept of it?
N.CUS: The concept of our latest album, Unripe Love, is fruitage. Like fruits grow after flowers fall, a new love after past relationships is represented by unripe fruit in our music. Our title track, “Get Out,” uses a powerful and fierce sound to express a man’s desire for freedom and new love while he moves on from his past relationship.
How long did it take to decide on the songs for Unripe Love?
N.CUS: We think it took about two months. We put in lots of effort for the fans that waited for so long. We carefully put it together and worked hard to make better sounds, so we hope everyone will love it.
How would you compare your debut album to your latest comeback, Unripe Love?
N.CUS: This album is about new and free love, while our debut album was about passionate and ardent love. The genre has changed a bit, as well. I guess we also changed the way we interpret songs or our overall vibe.
The biggest difference would be how much we have matured and grown during the break, both as an artist and as a person. As every one of us has grown and matured, we will show the new N.CUS. We ask for your interest and support.
Did any member write lyrics for this album or have plans to write for future projects?
Sungsub: I always try to participate in the making of all of our albums. I participated by writing lyrics for the Shining Star album, but unfortunately, I did not get an opportunity to write lyrics for Unripe Love. I will do my best to make great songs in the future.
Hwan: Yes! I would love to write lyrics myself if there’s an opportunity. Not just that, but I also want to write a song myself for our fans so that I could sing to them. I always want to approach everyone with good music and performances.
How have the members changed or grown as a group with this comeback?
N.CUS: While we were getting ready for the comeback, we went through hardships, not just due to COVID but also due to various changes made at our agency, as well. During that time, all of the members had an opportunity to improve their (musical) skills and attitude. Being desperate to perform, we did our best to make a better album. As much as we’ve grown and worked hard, we think we will be able to put up a more relaxed and smooth performance. The only thing left to do now is show everyone our great performances. Please check us out and enjoy.
The choreography for “Super Luv” was very upbeat and complicated. How long does it take for members to learn choreography?
Hojin: I’d first like to thank you for taking notice of our choreography. I think it usually takes about a week for us to learn choreography and another month to practice as a group.
Euntaek: We were very quick to learn the choreography for this album, so I think it took us about two days. It took us longer to practice as a group.
Hyeonmin: Normally, it takes us a week to learn and a bit longer to practice together. But for this album, we learned the choreography within two days, and we practiced nonstop after that.
I can’t stop listening to your song “Come with Me.” It’s so catchy! Do you have a favorite N.CUS song?
Hwan: My favorite song is “Midnight” from the new album because I think the fans would like its soft melody, and I like the genre, too.
Seokjin: I like “Take Me To Her” from the first album. I like the happy and rhythmical melody.
Sungsub: My favorite is “Midnight” from the new album because I like how lyrics go well with the song, and I find the melody sentimental and beautiful.
Hojin: I like “Take Me To Her” from the first album. Listening to this song brightens my day, and I’d like to share this positive energy with the fans.
Euntaek: My favorite song is “Take Me To Her” because I believe this song has the power to cheer people up and brighten their day.
IF: As for me, I like “Midnight” from the new album. You’d be able to tell that the story of “Shining Star” is followed by this song when you listen to them back-to-back. I like it because that feels more meaningful to me.
W.D.: My favorite is “Shining Star.” Whenever I listen to it, it reminds me of our fans, and it makes me feel like I’m with them.
Hyeonmin: I like all of our songs, but I especially like “Take Me To Her” from the first album because I feel happy and refreshed just by listening to it.
Fans love the busking videos on your YouTube channel. Will they see more in the future when you are safely able to?
N.CUS: Of course! When the pandemic situation improves, we would love to perform in front of many people. We hope we’ll be able to meet our fans in close proximity one day.
What music are you listening to when you aren’t creating your own music?
Sechan: I love music so much that I don’t discriminate against any genre. Each musical genre has its own charm, so I listen to all genres. My favorite artist is G-Dragon from Big Bang, and I respect him. I would love to be a great artist like him one day.
Seokjin:It’s not like I’m picky with genres or I dislike a particular genre, but I like music with some tempo for groove. My favorite artist is the world-renowned BTS. We hope to become a globally known K-Pop artist like them one day.
We know you are active on Tiktok. What do you like watching on there?
Hwan: I mainly watch other idols’ dance challenges.
Seokjin: I often watch other artists singing with fellow artists when they release a new single.
Sungsub: I’m not on Tik Tok too much, but I usually watch other idols’ video clips.
Hojin: I watch actors’ and singers’ facial expressions. I also watch a lot of dance video clips.
Euntaek: I usually check out other artists’ challenges or their performances.
IF: I watch other artists’ challenges or see how others do a challenge that we need to do.
W.D.: I enjoy watching other artists’ video clips.
Hyeonmin: I watch a lot of other artists’ challenges or other various video clips that are new or funny.
If you weren’t musicians, what type of job would you have?
Hwan: If I weren’t a musician, I would be a cook who can make great foods that move and heal people’s hearts.
Seokjin: Since I majored in vocal studies, I’d be a vocal teacher.
Sungsub: I want to teach children math. That was my childhood dream, other than being a singer.
Hojin: If I weren’t a musician, I’d be an athlete and make South Korea proud, like the Korean Olympians do right now.
Euntaek: If I weren’t a musician, I’d like to be a doctor. Since I was young, I always wanted to help the sick. But for now, as a musician, I’d like my music to cheer up and inspire many people.
IF: I guess I wanted to be a musician so badly that I never dreamed of anything else.
W.D.: I’m very interested in coffee, so I guess I would try to be a barista.
Hyeonmin: I’d like to work in sports, which I always was interested in as a child.
What would you like to say to CU:KEY?
Hwan: As much time as we took for the new album, I promise that we’ll put on great performances. We’ll work hard to keep on bringing great and various music in the future. Please keep watching us!>
W.D.: Because this album is being released after a long two-year break, we practiced a lot and worked very hard. Since we worked this hard, we promise we will put on great performances.
Describe N.CUS in three words.
W.D.: Charming-dol, Communicative-dol, CU:KEY
Euntaek: CU:KEY, Fan, Baragi
Listen to N.CUS’ newest album, Unripe Love and check out their video for Get Out. Also, make sure you follow the group on social media!