Throughout 2022 (so far), the growth of K-pop has continued its trend of altering the music industry in both innovative and exhilarating ways. We’ve seen groups and soloists landing new positions on global music charts, collaborations with universally known artists, and the ability to impact youth with positivity that’s reinforced by unimaginable creativity. That said, it’s very clear that this is merely the tip of the iceberg for the expansion of K-pop.
Now, mid-way into 2022, a new rookie boy band by the name of TNX (@official.tnx) becomes the first group under the label P NATION (led by the legendary PSY), aiming to shake things up and partake in that next stage of music. In their debut mini-album WAY UP, the impassioned group manages to bring the heat with a sense of good-hearted fun that ultimately results in a unique starting point – led by the title track “MOVE” which fearlessly carves out a space for them in a competitive industry. Aside from their current status as ‘rookies’, TNX’s perfectly pronounced experience can also be witnessed through their own official YouTube content, spotlighting head-turning performance qualities in the form of shocking vocals and choreography.
With TNX revealing impressive conviction from the jump, we selected the youthful group as our first-ever ‘rookie’ digital cover stars – offering us an unfiltered look into the life of the superstar P NATION unit. From the member’s own ideal selfies to their candid answers on the ups and downs of young artists, TNX is more than comfortable with being themselves.
You’re actually our first K-Pop group to be featured as our cover artist upon debut and a part of that is because prior to releasing music, you’ve already impressed many on Loud, through your online series, and the anticipation of being a P Nation group! How has music changed your life in the past year?
Kyung Jun: First of all, we are very honored to be featured as a cover artists for Vanity Teen Magazine indeed! If it wasn’t for music, we wouldn’t be able to come together as a group, which as one is TNX. So music definitely means a lot to all of us.
A big part of this change comes with the leadership of PSY, who is already quite a visionary mastermind as-is! What would you say are some of the benefits of being signed to a company led by someone who understands what it means to be a musician?
Kyung Jun: PSY opened the path for K-pop internationally, so I think that is the one of most beneficial advantages for us TNX. And he truly understands us and supports us so we can be a true musicians like him.
You performed up to three songs a week on Loud and went through some truly rigorous training to prove yourselves, which I would imagine somewhat enhances the reward of debuting to some degree! Now that you’re on the other end of that – how much did the program prepare you for the transition you were about to face?
Sung Jun: We believe that the various experiences gained through the survival program will be of great help to us in our future activities. At the time, it was really hard physically to prepare for three new stages every week, but I’m sure I’ve grown more along the way.
When I first watched The New Six, I was moved by how open you were about your concerns and aspirations, but ultimately, the pure talent that the six of you bring to “rookie” music. Did you come into this process expecting to be so candid, or was that something that started to feel more natural as your group bonded?
Sung Jun: When I was a trainee, I just practiced hard, imagining a brilliant future. But after I made my debut, my mindset definitely changed. In anticipation of this process that would certainly not be easy, I put my heart into it and worked harder with each practice.
With your first release, you really go hard and don’t stray away from a powerful introduction. What songs on the album would you say felt like the most natural fit for you, and which songs probably faced the most obstacles before delivering their final versions?
Jun Hyeok: ‘MOVE because I think it fits as well, as it was difficult to ‘get out of the way’. In fact, I think I recorded all the songs hard until the final version came out, and I think I recorded them more carefully as it was my first album.
Kyung Jun: One of the most favorite songs on our debut album is ‘WE ON’ because it is mostly filled with verses that I could easily record without any trouble. And the song that I faced the most obstacles during recording was ‘180sec’, especially the high note.
Hwi: ‘MOVE’ – the tone that comes out of singing hard seems to fit well with the song. For the other part, ‘Your Favorite Melody’. I think because it’s a song I wrote myself, so when I was recording, the thought of ‘I think I could do better than this’ kept floating around in my head, and I kept getting greedy and couldn’t be easily satisfied.
Tae Hun: Also ‘Your Favorite Melody’ I think my voice tone fits well with the mood of the song! ‘out of the way’ because, at the time of recording, it was difficult to find the tone of the mood that fit the song and sing it.
Hyun Soo: ‘Burst Up’, at the time of recording, I had finished recording quickly, and the part I personally sang was stuck in my head. I’d then say ‘Your Favorite Melody’, as I sang the second verse and refrain, and it was a little hard because it was slightly higher than my pitch.
Sung Jun: ‘Your Favorite Melody’ seems to be a song that fit my tone appropriately! With ‘MOVE’ it was the first song in the genre I had ever recorded, and I had a little trouble getting into that intense feeling.
If you each could contribute one change to the current landscape of music during your careers (whether short-term or long-term) what would you hope to offer?
Hwi: Since I am a person who writes songs myself, I hope that this will be an environment where I can have more active and creative music production activities!
Seeing your reactions to the messages you each received from your family offered such a sincere and heartfelt moment – and you could really tell how much that support has encouraged you to pursue your dreams. What has been the best piece of advice your parents have offered you on this uncharted journey?
Hyun Soo: I remember my dad saying when I was a trainee, ‘Do whatever you want to do, no matter what you decide, Mom and Dad will just work hard to be a force behind you.’
Seeing you in the studio gave me an even greater respect for you, and I think it could have that effect on a lot of people because you are so meticulous when it comes to recording and delivery. How would you say you’ve honed those skills over the course of your pre-debut routines?
Jun Hyeok: It’s a style where I want to pursue perfection in the process of making something, so I’ve been practicing and recording songs steadily until I’m satisfied with what I’m listening to. I think this habit of being a trainee helped me a lot when I was working on this debut album.
We also asked you to include a selfie for our behind-the-scenes-themed cover and wanted to know, what would you each choose as your captions for these photos?
Tae Hun: Love you THX 🔥❣️
Kyung Jun: TNX 많이 사랑해 주세요✋❤️ Thank you so much for all the support😘
Hyun Soo: THX 우리 평생봐❤️
Jun Hyeok: ‘TNX❤️THX’, will love you forever⭐️
Hwi: THX…the love…❤️
Sung Jun: 나는 우리 THX만 바라봐…❤️
Considering that you’re the first group under P Nation, what impact do you hope to leave for future groups inspired to follow in your footsteps?
Tae Hun: As the first boy group in P Nation, I personally want to write the history of the new phase of K-pop, and I want these paths we currently walk to be a reference point for the next generation to grow.