After their ‘Hideout’ trilogy, the future looks bright for K-poppers CRAVITY

As they wrap up their ‘Hideout’ series, we caught up with the group to chat about their new record, inspirations (hint: they LOVE Monsta X), their journey so far, and what the future holds.

As they wrap up their ‘Hideout’ series, we caught up with the group – that’s Serim, Allen, Jungmo, Woobin, Wonjin, Minhee, Hyeongjun, Taeyoung, and Seongmin BTW – to chat about their new record, inspirations (hint: they LOVE Monsta X), their journey so far, and what the future holds.

By: Abigail Firth.

Hot off the heels of a wildly successful debut year, K-pop superstar rookie group CRAVITY kicked off 2021 with a fiery new album, ‘Hideout: Be Our Voice’. It’s the last in a trilogy of releases, each one stronger than the last, introducing the nine members to the world.

This time around, they’re showing off a more mature side in lead single ‘My Turn’, a striking representation of how quickly they’ve grown, both personally and as a group, in the year since debut.

Rattling out three albums in under a year is no easy feat, but the hard work and determination of CRAVITY is obvious. Developing their own songwriting skills, alongside certified hitmaker Ryan S Jhun (the man behind smashes like SHINee’s ‘Married to the Music’, EXO’s ‘Love Me Right’, Red Velvet’s ‘Dumb Dumb’, and NCT 127’s ‘Kick It’, among many many others), and pushing themselves to create ever-perfect stage shows, the boys have quite literally not stopped working since emerging as CRAVITY last April.

As they wrap up their ‘Hideout’ series, we caught up with the group – that’s Serim, Allen, Jungmo, Woobin, Wonjin, Minhee, Hyeongjun, Taeyoung, and Seongmin BTW – to chat about their new record, inspirations (hint: they LOVE Monsta X), their journey so far, and what the future holds.

Hi boys! Your new album ‘Hideout: Be Our Voice’ is out now, and it has a more mature concept than your previous ones, what can you tell us about it?
Our new album talks about the importance of being called by a name because one’s existence is only recognised after being called by a name. Through this album, we want listeners to feel that their existence is important and valued. We want to be that voice to call on our fan’s name, and we thank our fans for calling us, bringing in into existence the name CRAVITY.
Woobin: The title track ‘My Turn’ has a very different vibe when compared to the last two. You’ll be able to see a new and hip side of CRAVITY.
Seongmin: We’ve put the concept of ‘racing’ into the album. It’s a very powerful, addictive album.
Jungmo: Through this album, we wanted to say that ‘we are together, we’ve become one’.
Hyeongjun: We’ve tried to put in sincere stories of CRAVITY. The times that we’ve been running together, difficulties that we had to face and overcome, so all those processes and emotions that we’ve felt are expressed in various ways. I think listeners could also be fully absorbed into our stories.

Could you describe the album in three words?
Confident, Consoling, and Companionship.
Taeyoung: Mature, Start, Step.
Minhee: Love, Hope, and Friendship.
Woobin: Voice, We, Turn.
Wonjin: Confidence, Race, Appearance.
Serim: CRAVITY, Hip-hop, Start/take off.
Seongmin: Intense, Passion, Race.
Jungmo: Cool, Amazing, Great.
Hyeongjun: Name, Passion, Start.

What message do you hope fans take away from this album?
I hope our fans may be able to understand the value of their existence, that they know by existing in this world they are being a huge source of strength for someone out there even without them knowing.
Minhee: We want them to know that we are still running hard to get closer to LUVITY.
Woobin: A power of voice. So many messages can be revealed through the sincerity in your voice.
Wonjin: I hope you could live your daily life with confidence, and I hope we could be a source of that confidence. Believe in yourself cus you can do everything! And of course, I hope you could give us your support and love with confidence too.
Serim: It’s an album where our voice and LUVITY’s voice can unite into one to move forward.
Hyeongjun: We are thankful that we’ve been given the name of CRAVITY, and now I want to paint the time that I’ve been spending with LUVITY.

As we get to see more sides to Cravity with each release, which album do you think represents each of you best so far?
This third album represents us very well. At first, there were some members who were not confident about the album, but in conclusion, all members seem to be showing their capabilities through this one.
Serim: ‘Be Our Voice’ is my pick! Because the genres of the title song and the B-side songs are the genres that I am most confident in.
Seongmin: Every album represents us well, but I think this album contains the most recent images of us and our goals, so I think it’s this album.
Jungmo: I think all albums express us well, and they are all different, so it’s hard to choose.

Serim and Allen, you wrote on this record again! Did you write your own verses? Which songs were you responsible for?
I wrote my own rap parts for ‘Call My Name’, ‘Mammoth’, and ‘Moonlight’. In ‘Give Me Your Love’, I wrote for the entire song along with Wonjin and singer-songwriter Jooyoung. I’ve written my own verses before but writing for the other members made ‘Give Me Your Love’ very special to me because the members expressed really well my intentions behind the lyrics when we recorded the song. I’m really thankful to them and want to tell them they did a good job.
Serim: I wrote the lyrics for ‘Call My Name’, ‘Mammoth’, and ‘Moonlight’. Especially when I wrote the rap part for ‘Mammoth’, I wrote it with the feeling that I’m the mammoth, I’m the strongest in the world, nothing can stop me at all, and I don’t care what people think.

You’ve both really upped your game this album – it’s quite rap-heavy! – were those different styles something you’d wanted to explore before?
I’ve definitely wanted to show off more of my rapping in our albums, and I’m super glad that I was able to through this one. With the different genres of these songs, I was able to play around with different flows and tones that best match the atmosphere of each song. I feel like my rapping and lyric-writing has improved a little bit through this album.
Serim: I’ve wanted to try a rather dreamy and sentimental style. I’ll definitely try it someday.

Are there any rappers whose style you’d admired or wanted to emulate?
I really admire our company senior Joohoney’s rap style. His piercing voice and strong delivery is something I wish to emulate. He is also very charismatic when rapping.
Serim: Joohoney of Monsta X is also a rapper I admire.

Wonjin, you joined them as a songwriter too! How was that experience for you?
It was a very precious experience for me. I was able to feel a lot of emotions while writing the lyrics, and I was able to learn how to express a story with lyrics for a song, not just writing.

Which members do you think fit this concept best?
I think Taeyoung definitely slayed this season. He really knows how to enjoy himself and vibes really well with the kind of music on this album.
Taeyoung: I think it’s Allen and me!
Minhee: I think Taeyoung. The concept of this album suits him so well.
Woobin: I’d say it’s Taeyoung!
Wonjin: I think it’s Allen. The songs in the album are generally hip, and his ‘American vibe’ really stands out here.
Serim: I think it’s Taeyoung. It’s because he goes very well with hip songs.
Seongmin: Allen! He’s got powerful rapping and dancing.
Jungmo: Wonjin, he is cool, and his facial expressions are great.
Hyeongjun: I think Taeyoung made it chic and cool.

You’ve also worked with Ryan S Jhun on this album, what was that like? He’s written some pretty legendary songs!
It was such an honour working with Ryan S Jhun. First off, I would really like to thank him for making us such dope songs. He was really cool and chill with us while we recorded for ‘Bad Habits’, he joked around a lot in order to make us more comfortable while recording. I believe that’s one of the reasons why our album is doing well this time around due to his contributions.
Taeyoung: Ryan was really tough, and I really enjoyed recording with him. Thank you for giving us good songs, luv ya.
Wonjin: Yeah, he’s written some legendary songs, so we were really stoked to work with him! When we were at the studio together, I could feel his charisma, aura, and like strong energy. Every single piece of advice he gave us was deep, and I loved working with him so much. He’s definitely legit.

I’ve heard ‘Bad Habits’ is a rap line song, can we expect separate unit releases from Cravity in the future?
We hope that in the near future, we get an opportunity to use one of our side tracks to do the unit stages. You can definitely expect it!
Wonjin: Yes, it can definitely happen in the future. It would be a nice way to show you our performances as separate units if we could get a chance to do it one day. Since we’re working so hard in many different ways right now, please keep looking forward to it!
Serim: If we have a chance, we’d like to drop something as units. I think CRAVITY will be able to show great chemistry as units as well as a group.
Seongmin: We have always wished to challenge ourselves and try new things, so it would be great to show you our stages as units in the future. Please keep an eye out for us!

Having debuted during lockdown, has it been possible to meet any other groups or idols you’re fans of or look up to?
After debuting, we promoted on music programs quite often, and at times we would promote at the same time as some of my favourite idols, so we’d see them passing by in the hallways at the broadcasting stations. For me, it definitely is a dream come true to promote alongside my favourite idols. It really makes my heart flutter even just by seeing them pass by.
Taeyoung: When we were trainees we covered many songs of Seventeen! So personally, I was looking forward to watching their stages someday, and then it happened. We happened to see the stage of ‘Left & Right’ at the Korea music show, finally!!
Serim: I’ve met a couple of artists at the broadcasting station who I usually respect. But I don’t think I’ve been able to meet a lot of people because of the bad situation.
Seongmin: Not far from now, we had a chance to stand on stage with our senior group, MONSTA X. At that time, I could learn a lot from watching their passion and performance very closely, and it was indescribably good.

You’ve released three albums pretty quickly since debut, what has the journey been like for each of you so far?
Releasing three albums really helped me understand my role as an idol and musician. I feel like I’ve matured a lot, not just as an artist but as a person as well, so the past nine months have been a really good learning experience for me.
Minhee: I think I still have a long way to go, so I’m going to try harder.
Woobin: Although we’ve been busy, I’m so proud that the time is never in vain, and I’m thankful to the members.
Jungmo: It was fun, and I can’t believe it!
Hyeongjun: Time seems to have flown by really fast. I think a lot of good things have happened since I experienced that much.

Reflecting on 2020, what were your highlights?
I would say our debut moment is the first highlight of my memories! Many things happened after we debuted as CRAVITY, and I really enjoyed our online fan meeting concert the most!
Minhee: For me, every moment was special and something I’m thankful for!
Jungmo: These days, it’s hard to meet our fans, but we were so glad that we could meet LUVITY through video call fan sign events last time.
Hyeongjun: I remember the time when we won first place on a music program. I could hardly believe that we made it, and it was such a precious moment of gratitude that I could never forget.

CRAVITY’s album ‘Season 3. Hideout: Be Our Voice’ is out now.

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