The Starship Entertainment K-pop boyband CRAVITY (@cravity_official) is back with their first EP of the year, and seventh release in total, giving fans a proper return to their upbeat, unified sound that’s now blended with a few all-inclusive subgenre twists. In this new, charismatic chapter of the group’s current era, MASTER:PIECE plays into CRAVITY’s desire to establish the perfect moment and takes listeners on a journey that satisfies every creative impulse they can muster.
Through their focus track, “Groovy” in particular, CRAVITY’s nine members pivot into a funky disco-inspired style that feels like a solid fit for their consistent and adaptive artistry – with regular doses of more authentic, current pop characteristics. Still, it’s actually the music video for “Groovy” that properly lays out their fuller vision by giving the group several natural pockets to create smooth choreography that further complements the sprightly, rhythmic single.
As you go further into CRAVITY’s current artistic endeavor, the EP beautifully unfolds into an even larger narrative with everything from ‘80s synthpop to a gentle sincerity that comes with the group’s pensive productions – leaving listeners with an immensely satisfying experience by any means necessary. So with MASTER:PIECE and an energetic new music video for “Groovy”, out now, we’re getting CRAVITY to break it all down along with a little insight into some of their favorite tracks (so far).
This marks your first comeback in 2023, but at this point in your careers, you are no strangers to the creative process by any means either! Now that you have several releases under your belt and exited your ‘rookie’ era, what types of challenges does CRAVITY hope to conquer as more settled or comfortable artists?
SEONGMIN: As we’re slowly overcoming the pandemic, I would like to meet more fans in various parts of the world and get more opportunities to perform in front of our global LUVITYs. I also wish for us to conquer more diverse genres of music in the future.
ALLEN: I really hope CRAVITY would be a contender within the major 4th generation boy groups. I wish other artists would see us and consider us as their rivals as well, now that we officially exited our rookie era.
TAEYOUNG: I think we all have experienced and learned a lot from being a part of this industry. From now on, I hope all nine of us can participate more in the album-making process.
After taking your time to prepare for this unique EP, what would you say feels like the heart and soul of this era, either in sound or thematically speaking?
HYEONGJUN: This album is our message for LUVITYs that everyone can become the main character of their own lives, which is also a strong theme of this EP. I want all our listeners to acknowledge this message. Be confident and fighting!
Considering it’s titled MASTER:PIECE, there are obviously some big swings being made – so what other qualities does the EP contain that might make this feel like the ultimate CRAVITY album to LUVITY?
JUNGMO: CRAVITY’s visuals!
WONJIN: This EP will prove that CRAVITY and LUVITY are the missing puzzle pieces for each other.
WOOBIN: “Light the way” is a meaningful song dedicated to LUVITY, and you can listen to it in track 6 of this EP.
TAEYOUNG: Indeed, a masterpiece.
The track “Groovy” blends a little bit of the ‘70s funk sounds with a recognizable CRAVITY spin that fans are surely going to adore for years to come. What was probably the most difficult and rewarding aspect of pivoting to this very specific genre?
ALLEN: I think this sound… it might be the ‘70s funk sound, but I feel like these days, this kind of sound is starting to come back. Actually, it’s been around for quite a few years now. So I didn’t feel any difficulties pivoting to this specific genre because it felt so natural. Instead, I would say that I feel more like we’re doing something trendy.
“Fly” takes things a decade forward into some ’80s-sounding influences that might be one of the most unique CRAVITY b-sides so far. When it comes to tackling thematic music that’s outside of your comfort zone, which members are probably the most reliable or helpful to the group or other members?
SEONGMIN: There are times when more than one member sings the same part within a song. Before recording my part, I listen to how it’s sung by other members and also ask the vocal director how I should sing it. So rather than getting help from a specific member, things like this help me get out of my comfort zone.
HYEONGJUN: I don’t really listen to pop that much, but I got more comfortable with this genre thanks to ALLEN and TAEYOUNG. Same for hip-hop!
The EP’s more assertive uptempo tracks like “Get Lifted” and “Baddie” feel a little more connected to some of the sounds of your previous eras. If you each had to pick one CRAVITY song that you think goes a little harder than the rest – what would you choose, and why?
SEONGMIN: I choose “Mammoth”. The part where we go ‘Mammoth!’ hits really hard.
HYEONGJUN: Me too!
JUNGMO: I think “Jumper”. This song is super exhilarating that I just start dancing furiously, so I get drained out by the end of the song.
MINHEE: “Baddie” from our newest EP begins with a powerful ‘Hey’, so I choose this song.
SERIM: I personally think “Gas Pedal”.
TAEYOUNG: It’s “Top of the Chain” for me.
ALLEN: I think “POW!” goes really hard. I feel like “POW!” and “Get Lifted” have the same energy because both are sort of rock and electric guitar-based tracks, and they’re both hip-hop based as well. There’s nothing that goes harder than powerful chants like ‘pow pow pow pow’ and ‘Go against gravity, I get lifted’.
WOOBIN: I think “Break all the Rules” goes hard because this well-made song doesn’t have a single break in it. From the beginning to the middle and even until the dance break at the end, this song goes hard non-stop.
WONJIN: I pick “Blackout”. WOOBIN’s crazy high notes are on another level.
It’s also become an unspoken CRAVITY tradition to end your albums with an unforgettable moment that feels both reflective and heartfelt including some of your earliest work like “Star”, “Breathing”, or more recently, “Light the way”. With that in mind, when you reflect on the new EP, what’s one thing about this process that you’ll cherish for years to come?
ALLEN: I think one thing I would reflect on with this EP that I’ll cherish for years is the importance of being together with my members – just being in the moment and not worrying about what is to come or what has already come because you never know when this is gonna be over. But you know, CRAVITY will be together forever with LUVITY, right?
TAEYOUNG: There’s one thing I learned through this album. During the past three years as CRAVITY, my passion didn’t die out, but it didn’t feel as hot as before because I got used to this feeling, like I was in a rut. This album is meaningful because it reignited the fire in me that I’d gotten numb to, and all of us just went for it. I felt the heated passion of CRAVITY.