FANTASY BOYS: When Fantasy Becomes Reality FANTASY BOYS: When Fantasy Becomes Reality Vanity Teen 虚荣青年 Lifestyle & new faces magazine

FANTASY BOYS: When Fantasy Becomes Reality

South Korea’s prominent use of survival programs is known to be quite an adventure for both contestants and viewers. Thankfully, as a result of the tireless work that an artist pours into these series, we’ve witnessed the conception of some of the most iconic groups in the game, with names like ZEROBASEONE, I.O.I, ENHYPEN, and TWICE, each finding their own method to change the industry for the better. Though, more recently, a high-stakes program titled Fantasy Boys joined the fray by offering a new crop of aspiring performers the chance to experience the innately competitive aspects of these survival programs while still working together to achieve their shared dream of debuting.

By the time the competition series came to its nerve-racking conclusion after months of training, the group had finally found its current 11-member lineup who would maintain the series name dubbing them as FANTASY BOYS – bringing their individual desires to fruition, all while satisfying the hopes of their persistent fans who’ve become invested in the success of this meticulously constructed boy band.

And with a concept that paints such a vivid picture of encouraging and unwavering ideals about these young men, the group is now even more determined than ever to focus their undying passion and vitality on music that’s going to forever be associated with this roster of gifted artists.

FANTASY BOYS: When Fantasy Becomes Reality FANTASY BOYS: When Fantasy Becomes Reality Vanity Teen 虚荣青年 Lifestyle & new faces magazine
Editorial Director: Aedan Juvet | Photography: POCKETDOL Studio | Cover Designer: Laramie Cheyenne | Artist Coordination: MAXPERIENCE

Now, after concluding the excessive obstacles required to get here, FANTASY BOYS has earned the chance to step out of their euphoric dream-like existence to merge with reality through their first mini-album New Tomorrow, making their aspirational ideas tangible with plenty of hypnotic pop music charm worth savoring. On their first must-have mini-album, the group astonishes courtesy of the title track “New Tomorrow,” perfectly wrapped in a delightful dose of enthusiastic ‘70s nostalgia that consolidates its member’s expertise with perfect harmonies and standout vocal-heavy moments. Even leading into its catchy chorus, the group can be infectiously heard with collective chants and various ad-lib additions, making its listeners enjoy the entire experience that comes with the purposeful pop hit.

The album’s two remaining tracks, “One Shot,” and “Shangri-La” act as solid b-side inclusions for the rookie era, with a sense of maturity and confidence that are indisputable essentials in the world of K-pop. With “Shangri-La” specifically, the EDM-fused song assembles a fresh, festival-inspired ferocity that maintains their title track’s use of delicately layered group vocals – sculpting just enough genre variation to show their contrasting stylistic potential.

FANTASY BOYS: When Fantasy Becomes Reality FANTASY BOYS: When Fantasy Becomes Reality Vanity Teen 虚荣青年 Lifestyle & new faces magazine
Editorial Director: Aedan Juvet | Photography: POCKETDOL Studio | Cover Designer: Laramie Cheyenne | Artist Coordination: MAXPERIENCE

On “One Shot,” we witness FANTASY BOYS entirely reshape their title track sound to explore the group’s tougher capabilities with a coalescence of skilled pop tones and a tenacious hip-hop beat that goes the exact opposite of artists usual pattern of ending with a soft, ballad-esque story. But it’s that exact interest in subverting audiences’ expectations from the start that makes FANTASY BOYS a rookie force to be reckoned with.

As our final digital cover star of September, FANTASY BOYS are officially ready to discuss their televised journey to stardom, becoming a complete group, and first release, New Tomorrow. (FANTASY BOYS member K-Soul was feeling under the weather at the time of the interview, so he was unable to participate.)

FANTASY BOYS: When Fantasy Becomes Reality FANTASY BOYS: When Fantasy Becomes Reality Vanity Teen 虚荣青年 Lifestyle & new faces magazine
Editorial Director: Aedan Juvet | Photography: POCKETDOL Studio | Cover Designer: Laramie Cheyenne | Artist Coordination: MAXPERIENCE

After your long journey on the FANTASY BOYS survival program, I imagine that getting to debut must feel like a dream come true! What’s the one thing you’ve been looking forward to revealing about the complete FANTASY BOYS lineup?

HONG SUNG MIN: Now that we have gathered members who can properly fulfill the fantasies of our fans, we’re ready to take on this process together so that their dreams can also come true. 

KIM WOO SEOK: Together, FANTASY BOYS wants to show you the infinite possibilities of ‘everything can be done.’  

LEE HAN BIN: We want to show you our unique team colors that you really can’t find anywhere else.

FANTASY BOYS: When Fantasy Becomes Reality FANTASY BOYS: When Fantasy Becomes Reality Vanity Teen 虚荣青年 Lifestyle & new faces magazine
Editorial Director: Aedan Juvet | Photography: POCKETDOL Studio | Cover Designer: Laramie Cheyenne | Artist Coordination: MAXPERIENCE

The program was filled with several talented artists – so you really had to bring everything to the competition just to get here! What was the biggest obstacle that you’re proud to have overcome while competing?

KAEDAN: At first [during Fantasy Boys] I didn’t have any confidence, but after the show, since I have done several stages, I have way more confidence on stage!

HIKARI: At this time, I was very bad at Korean, so I think there was a big language barrier for me.

KIM WOO SEOK: While practicing, I had a lot of concerns about my voice and key with my vocal range. In this program, I constantly challenged myself in various ways and exceeded the limits of my vocal range.

FANTASY BOYS: When Fantasy Becomes Reality FANTASY BOYS: When Fantasy Becomes Reality Vanity Teen 虚荣青年 Lifestyle & new faces magazine
Editorial Director: Aedan Juvet | Photography: POCKETDOL Studio | Cover Designer: Laramie Cheyenne | Artist Coordination: MAXPERIENCE

When the group was revealed, you already had a lot of time to get to know each other, but being in a group creates a much closer bond! What would you each say is the best part about getting to join this unique concept group?

HIKARU: That you can make more combinations than any other group, so you can show a variety of charms without ever getting bored.

LING QI: The members do not overlap in their character, and members with various personalities can gather together, so you can always show people a new feeling.

OH HYEON TAE: I think the biggest advantage of FANTASY BOYS is that we constantly practice with our brothers and make our own songs

FANTASY BOYS: When Fantasy Becomes Reality FANTASY BOYS: When Fantasy Becomes Reality Vanity Teen 虚荣青年 Lifestyle & new faces magazine
Editorial Director: Aedan Juvet | Photography: POCKETDOL Studio | Cover Designer: Laramie Cheyenne | Artist Coordination: MAXPERIENCE

Everything we’ve heard and witnessed from FANTASY BOYS so far has proven that you’re a versatile group of artists that benefit from having a lot of talent in the mix! Now that you’ve been working together as one – what are some of the benefits of being on a large roster?

KANG MIN SEO: We have many members so our team can do a lot of concepts like fresh styles and even darker concepts.

KIM GYU RAE: Apparently, the biggest advantage of our team is that we have a large number of people, so we can see the various charms and strengths of each member of the FANTASY BOYS team.

FANTASY BOYS: When Fantasy Becomes Reality FANTASY BOYS: When Fantasy Becomes Reality Vanity Teen 虚荣青年 Lifestyle & new faces magazine
Editorial Director: Aedan Juvet | Photography: POCKETDOL Studio | Cover Designer: Laramie Cheyenne | Artist Coordination: MAXPERIENCE

When it comes to music, what would you say are a few traits that feel unique to FANTASY BOYS?

HONG SUNG MIN: FANTASY BOYS’ music is trendy and very comfortable to listen to. I hope that as many people will listen to it as I have worked really hard to prepare.

KANG MIN SEO: Our lyrics show each and every member in different colors of light! 

FANTASY BOYS: When Fantasy Becomes Reality FANTASY BOYS: When Fantasy Becomes Reality Vanity Teen 虚荣青年 Lifestyle & new faces magazine
Editorial Director: Aedan Juvet | Photography: POCKETDOL Studio | Cover Designer: Laramie Cheyenne | Artist Coordination: MAXPERIENCE

If the survival show was the introduction to your story as FANTASY BOYS, this debut is only the first chapter of a long, exciting career! That being said, what’s one goal you’ve each set for yourself when starting out as a member of the group?

LEE HAN BIN: It’s about showing your fans the best condition anytime, anywhere!

OH HYEON TAE: It’s about rewarding the fans who have always liked us with a good stage and good fan service.

KIM WOO SEOK: Like the expression “chewed up the music,” it is really about becoming an artist who performs very well live.

KAEDAN: I hope I improve as an artist so more people can support me and the members!

FANTASY BOYS: When Fantasy Becomes Reality FANTASY BOYS: When Fantasy Becomes Reality Vanity Teen 虚荣青年 Lifestyle & new faces magazine
Editorial Director: Aedan Juvet | Photography: POCKETDOL Studio | Cover Designer: Laramie Cheyenne | Artist Coordination: MAXPERIENCE

When you discussed what you wanted to convey with your first album, what were some of the biggest messages or themes that resonated with the group?

KIM WOO SEOK: Colorful members come together to create a new ‘tomorrow’ Together we can accomplish great things. There are many different people living on the earth. Everyone has their own personality. Respecting each person’s color and working together can create a better tomorrow. We all respect each other and are in this together.

LING QI: Since this is our first start together, we wanted to capture our shared passion. I think that we have come together from various countries with one intention, and even though we are anxious about the beginning of anything, we are excited and shine with pleasant feelings. I wanted to express that brilliant light, and that excitement and emotion so that many people would know about the beginning of our journey.

FANTASY BOYS: When Fantasy Becomes Reality FANTASY BOYS: When Fantasy Becomes Reality Vanity Teen 虚荣青年 Lifestyle & new faces magazine
Editorial Director: Aedan Juvet | Photography: POCKETDOL Studio | Cover Designer: Laramie Cheyenne | Artist Coordination: MAXPERIENCE

Throughout the entire album, what’s something you each feel the most proud of contributing? Maybe bringing a certain tone to a song, lyric delivery, fitting a specific concept, etc.

HIKARU: I believe that the variety to my tone of voice gave me a good understanding of all of our songs.

KIM WOO SEOK: I think my voice made a huge contribution when I was recording! It made the mood of the team positive and bright [laughs]. 

FANTASY BOYS: When Fantasy Becomes Reality FANTASY BOYS: When Fantasy Becomes Reality Vanity Teen 虚荣青年 Lifestyle & new faces magazine
Editorial Director: Aedan Juvet | Photography: POCKETDOL Studio | Cover Designer: Laramie Cheyenne | Artist Coordination: MAXPERIENCE

In closing, what’s something that you hope fans and Vanity Teen readers take away from your ambitious debut album?

KAEDAN: I’d like to show the people who FANTASY BOYS really are and what we can do all together as a group!

KANG MIN SEO: I want to show people how determined FANTASY BOYS are, and how much we want to succeed together. 

FANTASY BOYS: When Fantasy Becomes Reality FANTASY BOYS: When Fantasy Becomes Reality Vanity Teen 虚荣青年 Lifestyle & new faces magazine
Editorial Director: Aedan Juvet | Photography: POCKETDOL Studio | Cover Designer: Laramie Cheyenne | Artist Coordination: MAXPERIENCE
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