The Seven-member boy band TEMPEST offers listeners one of the most energetic debuts of 2022 (so far), bringing a little bit of a throwback nostalgia to K-pop’s next-gen youth. Even with a debut track titled “Bad News”, the charismatic chorus and presence of an addictive introductory beat in no fashion equates to any misfortune for this successful showcase of rookie talent.
Where several artists might not discover opportunities for growth and exploration until years later, the members of TEMPEST have quickly tackled the option for members to contribute flare on choreography, or lyrics to their own tracks, including on their all-important work, “Bad News”. Along with the song’s catchy qualities, the members approach their combined careers with gratitude and a desire to put their best foot forward – suggesting that TEMPEST is a modern group with an ability to display respect for classic traditions (artistically and the way in which they carry themselves).
As a brief teaser of the results to come, the group already found themselves making waves with its first-week sales earning the group a spot at No. 2 on Gaon’s Album Chart, surrounded by talent including SUPER JUNIOR and TREASURE, both considered K-pop titans in their own right. Being just one month into their unforgettable debut and still so fresh into the world of pop music, we were excited to gain insight into the group’s first heavy-hitter mini-album It’s ME, It’s WE, and more details on the seven members that make the group feel so cohesive from their first official moments.
You’ve finally debuted, and one might assume that comes with a plethora of emotions! What are some of the more prominent ones you’re experiencing at the moment?
LEW: There were so many emotions as I finally debuted as I had dreamt of. I think the biggest emotion I felt was gratitude. I think I am most grateful to the members, company staff, and teachers who have worked hard with me, colleagues and acquaintances who have cheered me on, my parents and family who have supported and worked harder than anyone else by my side, and lastly to our iE who waited for a long time and showed generous genuine love and interest for us. I will always continue to remember this gratitude for everyone and do my best with a humble attitude.
Now that TEMPEST has been fully realized, what would you describe as the trademark sound you hope to establish early on?
HWARANG: I want to actually make songs with the line ‘It’s we TEMPEST’ in them (in reference to trademark rather than a trademark sound). It’s a phrase that best represents us, and I thought it would fit well rhythmically too.
Obviously, when it comes to debuting, you do your fair share of training and studying to really develop yourselves! What would you say is something that gives TEMPEST a unique edge?
HYUK: I think above all else, the moments when all the members are together are the most special and precious. Training and studying were possible because all seven members were together, and I think it’s this process that makes us so special and unique.
Your first official single is really spectacular and high-energy! Being your first work as a group, would you say that the track felt like it came together quickly, or was it difficult to get that desired end result?
HYEONGSEOP: We’ve had a lot of difficulties getting to this moment now. It’s hard for seven different people to become one. There have been many conflicts in the process of respecting and matching each other’s differences, such as values, habits, and biological rhythms. However, each time, we were able to resolve the problem through conversations and grow as individuals. I think this was possible because everyone had an unchanging love for their dream of becoming singers. Rather, as much as our teamwork has come together, the individuality and overflowing energy of seven different people combining work as a strength.
I always like to take a chance to offer new artists the chance to introduce themselves a little more thoroughly as well – so I’ll jump into some personality questions for a few of you to chime in on! If some of you had to pick one person in the group that intimidated you, who would you choose, and how has that changed if it all?
TAERAE: HYEONGSEOP! At first, it was difficult to get to know each other because there were no overlapping hobbies, but over time, we played jokes on each other and became very close.
When you had become more aware of the group’s final roster and had a chance to fully interact as a unit – who would you say was probably someone who attempted to establish opportunities for the group in terms of bonding?
EUNCHAN: The leader LEW actively led the talk time between us. We always spent a lot of time gathering and talking together after practice, and that’s what we do even now. Perhaps because we spent a lot of time together like that, we were able to form a lot of bonds.
Now that you’ve had time to work in the studio together quite often, who would you say is likely the quickest learner (either vocally or through choreography)?
HWARANG: HYUK is the fastest at learning. I’m the main dancer, but I think he’s the fastest member to familiarize himself with the dance and shorten the time to master it.
On the other hand, being tedious has its perks because you can really take time to perfect something over time too! Who is probably the most meticulous when it comes to their contributions to TEMPEST?
TAERAE: There’s no one… I’m joking! I actually think LEW, the leader, is the most cautious person.
If you were each going to tell us what you believe you add to TEMPEST, what would you want people to know about yourselves?
LEW: I want to be a great leader who can create a team that shines anytime, anywhere, even from afar.
HYUK: As the voice of TEMPEST, I want to show our uniqueness as a group and become a vocalist who can be remembered by the public and the fans.
TAERAE: One of my nicknames is TAERAE Vision, and similar to this name, I want to be a person who has good vision (foresight) and will be with you for a long time.
HYEONGSEOP: I want to always show improvement. I hope that we will become a group that gives dreams and hopes to many people through music, stages, or various ways. For us to be a group remembered in the hearts of the public for a very long time.
HWARANG: As the center of TEMPEST, I want to be HWARANG, who no matter the storm that hits us can stand with the members to endure and overcome it together. I want to show the image of TEMPEST that is always together.
HANBIN: I’m the type to always try to bring good and positive energy. I want to make sure I don’t forget this and keep this vibe and energy with our team to deliver the same good vibes and messages to our fans.
EUNCHAN: I want to be a person who always grows. I see myself changing day by day, but I want to go beyond growing just as an individual, but together with TEMPEST as a team and continue to show us developing and improving.
It feels like there are a lot of groups debuting now that are fairly young, and I appreciate that you’re all at an age (late ‘90s to early ’00s) where you’ve had time to really choose how you want to pursue your passions! What would probably be the best advice you could offer anyone who hopes to embark on the trainee excursion?
HANBIN: You’re a trainee, so of course just practice hard! No need to worry about anything else. Sometimes things don’t go well, but I would think to myself, “I did my best, so I have no regrets.” My job is to practice, to do my best, to do what I can, and not to regret doing it. No matter what the future holds, we did our best. Go for it!