RIIZE: Pursuing Bold New Heights RIIZE: Pursuing Bold New Heights Vanity Teen 虚荣青年 Lifestyle & new faces magazine

RIIZE: Pursuing Bold New Heights

There have been several prominent K-pop debuts in 2023, but SM Entertainment’s fresh, fifth-gen boy band RIIZE (@riize_official) is certainly putting in the work to become a long-term staple in the modern music scene. Because as of now, the uniquely balanced group has already displayed its undeniable, distinguished potential to audiences through the debut track “Get A Guitar” – a funk-tinted groovy pop hit that’s earned them more than 30 million views, and even more impressively, over a million albums sold. 

On the group’s second official release titled “Talk Saxy,” RIIZE further commits to their rich instrumental adoration and pristine reputation with an electrifying brassy production that’s acquired them an additional 20 million views for its music video so far. But considering the SM group is boldly paving its own way with exceptional pop music and the ability to generate a rapidly evolving social media presence, it’s clear that we’ll be witnessing the industry influence of RIIZE for years to come.

Now that the current six-member lineup has proudly unveiled their English version of “Get A Guitar,” along with their follow-up track “Talk Saxy,” we had the opportunity to speak with the engaging K-pop group about social media, award-wins, milestones, music, and more. 

RIIZE: Pursuing Bold New Heights RIIZE: Pursuing Bold New Heights Vanity Teen 虚荣青年 Lifestyle & new faces magazine
RIIZE: SM Entertainment

Congratulations on the recent release of your funk-fueled single “Talk Saxy,” which plays up a nice, confident concept for RIIZE! With that in mind, what’s something that each of you felt the most confident about bringing to this particular track?

SHOTARO: Different from the fresh image of our debut song “Get A Guitar,” we showcased a powerful performance in “Talk Saxy.” We believed that BRIIZE would love to see us perform “Talk Saxy” on stage, just like they did with “Siren.” Also, “Talk Saxy” reflects RIIZE’s own unique vibe!

WONBIN: With “Talk Saxy,” we were able to show a different charm than our previous song. It felt like an outfit that fits us well, as it is a song for a powerful performance. Because of those reasons, I think we were able to show facial expressions and gestures well on stage with “Talk Saxy.”

Conversely, was there anything that you were particularly nervous about executing with this ambitious song and choreography?

SOHEE: Since we came back with a different concept for “Talk Saxy” from “Get A Guitar” and “Memories,” I was worried about digesting the new concept, but we were able to adapt quickly.

ANTON: At first, I was personally nervous about my role in the choreography for the second chorus. I was told to envision breaking a wall, but it was quite difficult at first. Fortunately, on a day when Bada Lee, one of the choreographers for “Talk Saxy” came to organize our performance, she ended up helping me a lot with learning my part.

The music video has already garnered an impressive 20 million views so far and fans are very vocal about their love for it! After getting to see the final result, what’s one thing about the video that were you most excited to share with your passionate supporters?

EUNSEOK: When sharing the outcomes of our efforts with fans, the love they give us motivates me to work even harder. Showing our continued growth to the fans in the future is both meaningful and joyful for me.

SUNGCHAN: We made an effort to show something different, a slightly more mature and new side of us, compared to our debut song “Get A Guitar” for [our fandom] BRIIZE.

This marks the first comeback since your electrifying debut! As you get further into your careers, what are a few core sounds or themes that you want listeners to associate with RIIZE for the long haul?

SHOTARO: It wasn’t something we specifically intended, but because the song “Get A Guitar” represents the instrument guitar, and “Talk Saxy” represents the saxophone, fans have mentioned that the core sound or theme of RIIZE is “instrumental sounds” [laughs]. RIIZE showcases various emotions through our unique genre, ‘Emotional Pop’ so please look forward to our next song, what kind of feeling it will have, and whether different instruments will be used…

SUNGCHAN: Because we don’t have much experience yet, and we haven’t released many songs, I think those are the aspects that we need to create and develop in the future. All the members will be able to freely showcase their talents soon, so please look forward to the musical colors we will show in the future.

You also just dropped “Get a Guitar (English Version)” which adds another impressive layer to a powerful hit song! Now that you’ve recorded various versions of it – what do you believe makes it so universally adored?

SOHEE: I think it’s because of the lyrics that everyone can easily relate to, along with the special choreography and addictive melody.

WONBIN: I think these days people prefer songs that are easy to listen to and comfortable. The easy-listening charm of “Get A Guitar” much like music you can enjoy while driving, probably contributed to its appeal.

TikTok has definitely played a big role in fans’ discovery of RIIZE with your inclination for your use of catchy productions and smooth choreography. That being said, who would you each say is the most natural at TikTok and/or content creation?

EUNSEOK: I think Anton is well aware of those trends and expresses them with wit!

ANTON: To be completely honest, before debuting I wasn’t the most active person on social media. I wouldn’t say I didn’t participate in social media, but as far as trends and popular content goes I think there was a lot I did not know about. But after debuting, I’ve been having lots of fun interacting with fans through social media, especially through TikTok. Watching our fans create content based around us is so entertaining, and leaving comments has also been something I enjoy doing these days.

Lastly, considering that you’ve already surpassed a massive total of 30 million streams on Spotify as a rookie group, do you have any other major milestones you’re currently manifesting?

SHOTARO: With our first single album “Get A Guitar,” we achieved million-seller status, and received the ‘NEXT LEADER’ award at the 2023 THE FACT MUSIC AWARDS, and the ‘FAVORITE NEW ARTIST’ award at the 2023 MAMA AWARDS. We believe that these achievements were possible thanks to the love and support from our fans. In the future, we want to work even harder to become a group that can set even bigger records with BRIIZE.

SUNGCHAN: Fortunately, we achieved the million-seller record with our first single album, and on various music charts, our debut song “Get A Guitar” achieved the highest rank among groups that debuted this year, so we gained a lot of attention. We consider these records as achievements made together with our fans’ support, and we hope to achieve even greater success in the future.

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