BLANK2Y: Meet the new K-Pop Boy Band focusing on ‘trust,’ friendship and fans

The first few seconds of an artist’s debut single can be some of the most important in their career. It’s the chance to capture a new audience and present yourself musically.

BLANK2Y‘s debut single “Thumbs Up!” opens with a racing, electrifying production before the beat drops and listeners hear, “Welcome to the BLANK.” The viewer enters BLANK2Y’s musical world, which they describe as created out of self-confidence, friendship and love for their fans.

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Like south Korea‘s music scene is becoming more and more competitive for entry year after year – with 2022 already delivering several superstars – BLANK2Y, a new K-pop boy band, which launched in May — is establishing itself with a solid musical worldview that it hopes will be important to ensuring its long-term success.

In November 2021, Keystone Entertainment, founded by CEO Sam Choi, prepared a nine-member boy band for the following year and asked fans to follow the journey to their debut. The newly established music label posted on Twitter for the first time in November. 15 and included a promise: “We want rookies of the year!”

Confident statements like that have been a critical element in the creation of the new boy band.

Keystone began revealing hints about the group on Twitter, including that the members of the upcoming act would include former contestants on popular K-pop competition shows and television appearances. All of this gave rise to further interest in the group as each show had audiences and fan bases created from them.

In the months that followed, Keystone and CEO Choi slowly revealed the members of what would become BLANK2Y. On Dec. 20, 2021, Youngbin was the first member revealed, with fans of Ashore happy to see the contestant get a fresh start with a new group. Days later, at Christmas, the second member was revealed as Louisfollowed by a New Year’s announcement about the third member, Donghyuk.

With excitement already building from a variety of K-pop fans, BLANK2Y began 2022 with more good news, revealing the other six members at the end of February.

Soon BLANK2Y was complete after revealing Siwoo (which competed on Wild Idol), Mikey (a native Japanese who competed in the singing competition show Produce 101 Japan), Sungjunas well as U, Soda and DK.

The mix of already loved singers and fresh faces was a strong starting point. As BLANK2Y officially hit the scene on May 24, 2022 with their debut EP titled K2Y I: TRUST [Thumbs Up]a sea of ​​new fans were eager to hear what they had to say.

As indicated by the album title and BLANK2Y’s debut strategy, “trust” is essential for this group. “I think our main concept and charm is related to the theme of our first album, which is confidence!” Sungjun narrates Billboard Korea.

But BLANK2Y also wants to spread the message of “trust” to all listeners. “We hope that everyone can gain confidence through our album, that’s BLANK2Y’s main goal,” says DK.

“Thumbs Up” is BLANK2Y’s debut single and has confidence baked into it. The band describes the song as “an upbeat trap track with synth sounds and an inspirational message.” The rising intensity, empowering lyrics plus both Korean and English versions of the song make “Thumbs Up” a universal anthem for confidence.

“BLANK2Y” is a compound word for “blank” meaning “blank space” and “nøgle” meaning “key and clue,” explains DK. “It contains the meaning of ‘the key to open an empty space’ – a musical medium that soothes the emptiness in people’s hearts and evokes latent passions to connect and build special relationships.”

Although trust is the key word that BLANK2Y seeks to spread, the group also notes a special relationship between the nine members themselves. “We’re also each other’s best friends,” says Sodam. “It really brings out the best, true teamwork.” Adds U: “I thought it would be impossible for nine people to come together, become a team and strive for the same goal, but we clicked immediately and now we are closer than I thought we would be. “

No doubt the genuine trust among the BLANK2Y members is why the group has a system where there is no fixed “leader” of the group. Instead, the position rotates. “The members rotate every month to be leaders,” says Sodam. “Having that kind of role and responsibility taught me a lot.” Adds DK: “we really talk everything out and really respect each other’s opinions, so it’s easier to resolve conflicts or any misunderstandings.”

One thing that really isn’t a misunderstanding is their excitement and devotion to their ever-growing fan base, which is called K2YWE, pronounced “Kiwi.” BLANK2Y calls K2YWE the “tenth member” of the group. “Because we consider our fans, K2YWE, as our 10th member, we are more than sure that our fan engagement is special,” says DK. “That’s most important to us.”

While “Thumbs Up” is just the start for BLANK2Y, Billboard Korea delve deeper into the stellar rookie group, including their musical inspirations, first-year goals and messages to their fans.

Billboard Korea: What are your favorite tracks on the album other than “Thumbs Up”?

U: Our fan song, “Constellation,” is my personal favorite.

Donghyuk: “Constellation” is also my favorite. The lyrics are beautiful and heartwarming.

Louis: I love all our tracks, but “Touch”, which is a bright track, is the one I would recommend because it goes well with the summer breeze and vibes.

DK: We also have other tracks that are entertaining so I hope everyone gets a chance to listen to that!

Who are your musical inspirations or motivations? Or what’s on your playlist?

Siwoo: Our role model is The Boyz. I really want to do a collaboration with Juyeon from The Boyz.

Youngbin: I would be really honored to collaborate with The Boyz or Baekhyun, who we both respect so much. I’ve been listening to Baekhyun, BO, Dean and Colde a lot lately.

Donghyuk: I’ve been listening to Etham’s “12:45.”

U: Personally, I think I get the most inspiration from performances by NCT’s Taeyong and BTS’s Jungkook.

Mikey: AAA’s “Lil Infinity” music video touched something in me and that’s when I decided to pursue music.

Louis: My musical inspiration comes from our fans.

What would you like to achieve through your music?

Sungjun: I have experienced what it feels like to be healed through music and I think it would be great if people could find comfort and healing through our music. That’s the kind of music I want to make.

soda: We want our music to be relatable to people from all over the world.

BLANK2Y filmed a reality TV series while you were preparing for your debut. What was the filming process like? Do you have any behind-the-scenes moments you want to share?

Sungjun: Before filming, I was a little worried about how we could make the most interesting content for the audience and our fans. But when it actually started, it was so much more fun than I expected, and it was a great way to learn to get more comfortable with the camera. It was fun to see my face on the screen and I got to study which camera angle worked best for me!

U: During one of our outdoor shoots, we decided to grill meat for dinner, but it was so cold outside that the meat froze within three minutes and we couldn’t eat.

What are you most proud of achieving as BLANK2Y so far?

Youngbin: We are proud to have become an ambassador for COEX [a mall in Gangnam] and Jeju even before our official debut. I think it’s really special to be an ambassador for something and we’re super grateful for all these amazing opportunities.

Looking ahead, what do you have planned for the rest of 2022?

Donghyuk: Our goal for this year is to win the “Best Newcomer” award, so we will do our best to promote as much as we can for the rest of the year. We will do our best to showcase the most amazing performances and continue to release great music.

What are you most sure of?

Louis: We are most confident in our performances on stage and our ability to express a wide range of emotions through our music and performances.

DK: We are most confident in our performance on stage, but we are also confident that our love for our fans is absolutely exceptional.

What do you hope your fans will take away from this album? What else messages you want to share want them?

Mikey: We love you K2YWE and thank you so much for always being the best energizer and support.

soda: Thank you so much for being the best! We are grateful for your love and will do our best to never let you down! I love you!

Donghyuk: K2YWE, please be safe and healthy and let us always be each other’s best support and comfort. Thanks and I love you, K2YWE!

BLANK2Y: We want our fans to know that our love for them is super special and that we are making progress every day!

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