Enhypen, a new boy group from Mnet’s survival show “I-Land,” is slated to make its highly anticipated debut in November. It’s only been a few weeks since the multinational seven-piece band put up its first official profile, but this sensational rookie act has already attracted the spotlight.
Initially, the high-profile show -- jointly organized by South Korean entertainment giant CJ ENM and Big Hit Entertainment, home to BTS and TXT -- had a rough start due to extremely low ratings and a series of controversies. However, backed by its undeniably powerful global fandom, Enhypen emerged as a force to be reckoned with. The group’s Twitter account racked up over 710,000 followers within two days of its launch. On Big Hit’s online fan community Weverse, Enhypen followers already outnumber TXT followers and are second in number only to BTS followers.
(Big Hit Entertainment)
Just like its predecessors, Enhypen is expected to present a world-building narrative and youth-oriented stories. “Throughout the audition, the bandmates have connected two opposite worlds as trainees and artists. The group’s name fits well into their future roles, which is to connect, discover and grow with each other,” explained Big Hit CEO Bang Si-hyuk.
With excitement building around the next K-pop superstars, we have profiled the seven musicians to get an idea of what to expect from them. Yang Jung-won
Yang finished first on “I-Land” during the final round, and his best strengths are dancing and singing. Despite his comparatively short trainee period, he succeeded in impressing the show’s judges, including Bang, with his outstanding performance.
Yang has studied taekwondo since he was very young and enjoys taking strolls in the rainy weather.
His role model is Jungkook of BTS. Park Jong-sung
The band’s Korean American member comes from Seattle and is fluent in both Korean and English. Park came to Korea at age 10 and became a trainee under Big Hit in 2017. He is currently enrolled in Hanlim Arts School, where he majors in contemporary dance.
He grabbed attention with his straightforward, ambitious personality and also sang the first verse of “Into the I-Land,” the soundtrack for the audition show.
He looks up to the singer Rain, who was also a mentor on the show.
Park finished second on the show. Park Sung-hoon
Having finished the competition in sixth place, Park honed his performance skills with activities such as figure skating, modern dance and ballet. Originally a figure skater, he is also capable of acrobatic dancing and expressing his emotions through dance. For the past two years, Park has juggled trainee life with a figure skating career.
He decided to become an idol after watching a BTS concert in Seoul. Ni-Ki
The youngest member of the group, Ni-Ki hails from Okayama, Japan. Having danced since he was very young, he has been recognized as the best dancer in the group. Producer Bang once said during a show, “I’m glad my judgment about you was not wrong,” and other judges have also praised his dancing.
He said he started learning dance at the age of 3 by imitating videos of Michael Jackson. He was even nicknamed after the US pop guru when dancing in Japan.
Ni-Ki finished fourth in the final round.Lee Hee-seung
While not an official band leader, Lee has shown a lot of leadership in the course of the program.
Called an all-rounder trainee, Lee is a talented vocalist and dancer. He’s trained with TXT members under Big Hit, and has mesmerized viewers by delivering an excellent performance in each episode. Lee’s best strengths are freestyle dancing and live performance. He finished the show fifth.
Lee said his role model is his own father. Kim Sun-woo
One of the bubbliest and most energetic members of the group, Kim has a very wide vocal range. While he doesn’t use fancy techniques, Kim’s voice is unique and pure, making him stand out from the crowd. Although he is very talented, he has had health issues and underwent surgery last year. He finished the show in eighth place. Sim Jae-yoon
Hailing from Brisbane, Australia, Sim, who goes by the stage name Jake, decided to pursue a K-pop career after watching BTS’ “DNA” in the US. Considering his short trainee period, Sim has shown significant growth in each “I-Land” episode. While he doesn’t speak perfect Korean, his vocal stability and range are highly evaluated.
One of his life goals is to collaborate with US musician Drake and make it to No. 1 on the Billboard charts.
He finished the show third.
By Hong Dam-young (email@example.com)