Four-member K-pop groups often become a force to be reckoned with after the massive success of acts like 2NE1, BLACKPINK, and Mamamoo, but now the four-member creation labeled LUMINOUS (@lmn5_official) is the newest group to pursue a similar journey. In a short period of time, the group has already put on triumphant displays of dazzling content (from original music to vocal and dance covers) establishing that they’re already taking the necessary steps to further blossom.
When they dashed onto the scene with their hip-hop-charged track “Run” there was already a general interest that piqued mainstream listeners – only to learn that the group’s precision has been put through the same trials as K-pop superstars BTS with a shared vocal trainer. As they continued to create in their own space, it eventually led to the group’s second single “All Eyes Down”, which now created bold new confidence that LUMINOUS appropriately tapped into.
With their new sound painting the group as an ambitious collection of youthful talent, we had the wonderful privilege of speaking to its members Steven, Woobin, Suil, and Youngbin about their unique debut experiences – and what to expect from LUMINOUS as a whole.
First of all, I’m so happy to be talking to the four of you! When I came across your debut, I could really see your passion for music and it immediately made me root for you! After getting to train so extensively, what has it been like to finally debut?
LUMINOUS: It still doesn’t feel real at times! It’s both fascinating and exciting. Though, at the same time, we also feel this sense of responsibility and pressure to show up professionally and to give our audiences good music and performance.
I hear that you’ve worked with some really top-notch vocal trainers and creatives, so that also must make your debut feel extra special as rookie artists! What has been the best advice you’ve been given so far?
LUMINOUS: When it comes to working with our CEO, it’s always an honor and we feel that there are so many things to learn from her. She always says “Let’s see each other for a long time” and each time we’re facing difficulties, this saying always comes to our mind.
You’re now back with your second mini-album, so there has to be a little more comfort now that the first release nerves are out of the way. What would you say is probably the biggest area of growth for Luminous on Self n Ego?
LUMINOUS: We believe that there are so many things that we’ve thought, felt, and experienced after we debuted, to the point that it’s incomparable ones we’ve had before our debut. I think that the biggest growth we’ve had is that we’ve each grown as a person. As for the musical aspect, there is a difference in how we interpret and express a song, and we’re also maturing in other areas as well. The feel that we get when we get immersed in the song for recording and performing is different, and we feel more satisfaction when we’re on stage. We’re LUMINOUS, who continue to grow in all aspects!
I adore your energy as a group, and you seem so enthusiastic about everything you do together which is so endearing – what would you say is something you’ve been most grateful for since gaining your fellow Luminous members?
LUMINOUS: It was hard at first but when we look back now, we understand and fill in each other’s shortcomings, and that’s how we became closer. Now we respect and understand each other to the point that we can know what the other thinks just by seeing their eyes, so we’re thankful! Also, I think that our humane parts are part of the process that makes LUMINOUS’ own colour unique, and this process is interesting.
When I listened to “All eyes down” I appreciated the mixture of talent and confidence that you each exhibited! How long did it take you to get complete satisfaction with this fine-tuned track?
LUMINOUS: We think that there’s still a long way for us to be satisfied. We’ve set the sound for this song for about two months and actually, the instrument sound was changed even during the vocal recording process. As for the choreography, we made it carefully by doing a collaboration with various teams but the main one was Just Jerk. During the practice, we do monitoring every day and check the details until we’re satisfied. Even now, we’re still working hard for the stage performances. Will we ever be 100% satisfied? I think we’re all too perfectionist for that. We don’t know what ‘being satisfied’ is!
It also feels like a really great step to maturity and expertise very early on – so I feel like this will be a huge hit with your fans and new listeners! When it comes to making music together, how similar (or different) are your own individual styles?
LUMINOUS: When it comes to making music together, each member has their own style. So we think a lot about how to bring these differences together while keep showing uniqueness. As for LUMINOUS’s music, we think philosophically so that what we make can show our own colour, has a message, is relatable to the music, and also is suitable with the current trend. It’s really hard but as it’s work that we’ve worked hard on, we feel a great sense of accomplishment.
When you entered this new era, what were some of your collective or individual goals for Self n Ego?
LUMINOUS: Our goal is to do a world tour, as it’s something that we’ve always dreamed of. We’d like to go to various countries around the world, show LUMINOUS’ own stage, and make happy memories.
Youngbin: For this time around, I want to be able to comfort more people than when we did with our 1st mini album.
Suil: I really want to show our fans a new side of me.
Steven: Through this album, I’d like to meet many fans, and if possible I’d want to go on a world tour.
Woobin: I want our songs to get into charts on various music streaming sites.
You’ve been able to also work on some fun choreography videos that show some of your love for dance as well – are there any songs that you haven’t covered that you think would be fun to work on as a group?
LUMINOUS: Instead of a song that we can cover as a group, we’d like to cover Justin Bieber’s “STAY”. We’d like to cover it with our own vocal colours.
Looking at some of the artists in similar styles/genre brackets that you’re in, who would you say are artistic influences for each of you?
Youngbin: Mine’s EXO member Baekhyun.
Suil: Mine’s THE BOYZ, Juyeon.
Steven: For me it’s IU.
Woobin: WINNER’s Kang Seungyoon.
Finally, if you were going to send a message to your fans right now – what would you want to share with them?
LUMINOUS: Thank you for your interest and love towards LUMINOUS. We really want to enjoy the stage together with you once the situation gets better! Hope everyone is healthy and let’s make happy memories together with LUMINOUS! LUMINOUS will grow even further so please look forward to us!