ONEUS (@official_oneus) has been making waves in K-pop ever since their lively 2019 debut, designing each piece of music to inch their way toward mainstream recognition. While they once found themsevles celebrating the achievement of moving over 40,000 albums with their debut mini-album Light Us three years prior – the group has shown unimaginable growth with their well-recieved late 2021 EP Blood Moon. The recent body of work immediately surpassed an infrequent artist achievement of over 200,000 units, bracing a durable identity that alternates between retro-inspired, yet entirely fresh.
Through their unpredictable discography and determination, ONEUS regularly commits to the fascinating notion of partaking in off-the-wall ideas, often dispensing a modern spin on decades of timeless trends. Having doubled-down on their niche, the group amassed millions of followers so far – with several music videos also surpassing the 20 million view mark, pushing them into a category that creates even more excitement and hope in regards to the group’s future together.
Due to their growing reputation as a K-pop dark horse act, ONEUS has finally propeled their career to the next level and now finds themselves with the opportunity to spread their wings after a lengthy period where travel (and live music) came to an abrupt halt. Actively, the six member group is newly fortunate enough to embark on a widely successful tour across major US cities, offering them a brand new opening for inspiration, exploration, and reconnecting with their tight-knit fandom.
Although ONEUS has a lot on their plate at the moment, the group still took the time to speak to Vanity Teen about hitting new highs, and the current highlights of life on the road.
You’re just entering your third year together, and you’ve got to experience so much as a group so far! What would you say feels the most different about ONEUS three years later, and what about the group still feels the same as your debut days?
SEOHO: Except for the pop medley stage, the setlist is completely filled with our songs. In the past, we did a lot of covers for other songs, but now the stage is completely filled with our songs. However, I still feel nervous and excited when I go on stage.
Your recent track and music video “Luna” has been received extremely well, with more than 20 million views and it continues to generate a lot of love for the group! What has been your favorite memory to come out of that specific time in your career?
HWANWOONG: I remember the moment it reached number 1. I did prepare so hard for this album, but I did not expect it to be such a big hit. It’s truly an honor for me.
Your first official studio album Devil dropped last year, which moved over 120,000 units and earned you a spot at No. 2 on the Gaon Album Chart – but since then, you’ve sold over 500,000 albums worldwide with regular chart placement! What is something that you believe your fans are regularly drawn to when it comes to your discography?
XION: When we open it up, we try a lot of different and new things, but when we put them all together the flow fits well. I think it is because we express everything with the color of ONEUS. I think this was the main point that really attracted our fans.
This is a really fun time for the group because of these successes, and then you’re on tour as well! What has been the best part of getting to dive back into live music now that we’re starting to see that opportunity return?
RAVN: Due to the pandemic situation, everything was uncertain. I’m very happy to be able to give comfort, happiness, and hope through music during this difficult time for everyone around the world.
SEOHO: The best part was that I was able to meet my fans here in the US that I hadn’t met for a long time. I hope soon we can return to the pre-COVID situation and have a deeper connection like before.
LEEDO: It’s amazing to feel the support and love from the fans that we haven’t seen in a long time.
KEONHEE: It’s been a happy experience just to be able to meet and share energy on stage with the fans. It’s amazing to feel and receive the energy from the fans here In the US.
HWANWOONG: It’s amazing to meet the fans and also an honor to send out our energy to them. It’s great to feel and hear together.
XION: It was so good to be able to hear the support and love from our fans in real life.
Your US branch of the tour has brought you to a lot of different cities so far – has there been something that you’ve been able to do together that was a fun group bonding experience?
RAVN: First time going to the Empire State Building. I went up to the highest floor and the rooftop and took pictures and had a truly unforgettable time.
SEOHO: I played pinball for the first time in my life and I had so much fun.
LEEDO: There was a new phone game that I fell in love with during my tour here in the US. I played it with SEOHO and three hours passed so fast.
KEONHEE: I remember the moment when we were backstage, getting ready all together and shouting out, “Let’s do this” with a trembling heart before meeting our fans.
HWANWOONG: The fact that I actually visited the Empire State Building, which I had only seen on video and heard about only through songs, was an absolutely amazing experience.
XION: Since it’s a 1-month tour, we needed to get to the laundry done. HWANWOONG asked me to do the laundry together – and he left it all for me.
As an artist, a lot of people gain inspiration from different life experiences – so has your time on the road given you any new insights on styles you might hope to explore next?
RAVN: When we shot our music videos we went to many different locations, but I definitely want to shoot in the US. It can be a quiet town, or in the cities. Wherever it is, it will be amazing.
LEEDO: Seeing the fans full of energy, I wanted to try a song that everyone and ONEUS can simply have fun on stage. Just a song that can bring everyone even tighter.
After you wrap up your tour, you definitely deserve a little relaxation! Any idea of what ONEUS might do to celebrate the end of a successful tour?
RAVN: We will all sit together with good food, an amazing atmosphere with a great vibe, relaxing, and planning our next step together.
SEOHO: I want to celebrate by feeding each other delicious meat.
LEEDO: I think that each of us will enjoy our individual rest.
KEONHEE: I think it would be satisfying just to have good food, and congratulate each other that we finished the tour with good health without getting hurt.
HWANWOONG: I would love to have some spicy Korean food all together.
XION: I think each of us will take a rest while doing our own hobbies. And we will prepare a great album to meet our fans very soon.