Since their debut in October 2023, K-pop quintet POW has aptly leaned on “Creating Culture Everyday” as a guiding principle. Equipped with a multicultural background, heart-sweeping melodies and unmatched youthful charm, Jungbin, Yorch, Hyunbin, Dongyeon and Hong are clear about their goal. “POW’s slogan, ‘Creating Culture Everyday,’ signifies our ambition to foster a cultural movement around POW in diverse fields such as fashion and music,” explains Jungbin, the group’s leader and vocalist.

Despite their tight schedule, the five-piece act — GRID Entertainment’s first boy band — spared time to answer EnVi’s questions over email. Ahead, the quintet discusses their career as newfangled K-pop stars, keeping wellness in check and their goals beyond “creating culture every day.”

Achievements and Proudest Moment So Far

Although they’re yet to celebrate their first anniversary as a group, POW has already stepped into the limelight with a versatile music project. Combining catchy tunes, romance-fueled lyrics, and a distinctive image that hasn’t gone unnoticed by fashion enthusiasts, POW has quickly gained traction with tracks such as “Favorite,” “Dazzling” and “Valentine.” 

The group has also made strides toward international recognition with performances and appearances outside Korea. As Jungbin shares, in 2023 the quintet and their music were well received in other Asian countries including Thailand and the Philippines. “We felt a deep connection with our fans worldwide, transcending language barriers,” he shares.

Reflecting on their journey, POW seems to have found a profound sense of accomplishment in their special connection with fans. “Meeting our fans in person has been our greatest achievement, made possible by the growing support we’ve received outside Korea,” says Thailand-born Yorch, whose previous solo ventures make him a celebrity in his own right. 

Hyunbin, one of the band’s vocalists, echoes the sentiment. “Walking alongside so many dedicated POWERs [POW’s fandom name] is my proudest accomplishment,” he says. 

The youngest of the 20-somethings bunch, Hong, remarks how “incredibly rewarding” it is to hear from fans who became supporters after seeing POW perform live. “Knowing that our hard work is recognized by many people brings me immense joy.” 

Photos courtesy of GRID Entertainment.

On Wellness and Essentials

Though it is certainly paying off, hard work demands POW to keep their health in check and to pay close attention to wellness. As they tell EnVi, each member has found his preferred wellness routine and essentials.

Jungbin, for example, prioritizes exercise and hydration. “Working out helps me release stress and I love how it makes me feel healthy,” he explains. The singer also remarks on the importance of maintaining his health in order to give “his best” to fans. “I’ve been consistent with taking probiotics and multivitamins since our debut,” he says. 

Yorch, Hyunbin and Dongyeon, on the other hand, recognize the importance of resting and clocking in enough hours of sleep. “My main routine revolves around getting a full night’s sleep,” writes Hyunbin. “It’s crucial for recharging my energy. Taking health supplements and exercising come after prioritizing sleep.” Yorch, who also shares he’s been “hitting the gym hard,” agrees. “I firmly believe in the power of relaxation,” he states. “As they say in Korea, ‘Sleep is the ultimate cure-all.’

Making holistic well-being a priority, Hong is more concerned about his eating habits and skincare. As the singer tells EnVi, he’s replacing snacks with proper meals and has refocused his attention on maintaining his energy levels. Hong also reveals that — and we quote — he swears by mask packs to keep his skin in top condition.

Before moving on to the next topic, Dongyeon lets us into his ultimate wellness purchase. “Investing in a massaging machine for my calves has been a game-changer for me, especially since I often wear shorts on stage and need to manage leg bloating.” We’re adding one to our shopping cart as we type this!

Photos courtesy of GRID Entertainment.

The Making of Valentine

In an industry that thrives in creativity and sustained artistic growth, a healthy body and mind are just the foundation. Like many artists, POW dedicates time and effort to refine their craft and to ensure they deliver their best quality work. Of course, the preparation behind their latest single, “Valentine,” was no different.

Yorch talks EnVi through the process. “Closely with our label, we delved deeply to get into the nitty-gritty of the concept. [‘Valentine’ was] about embracing a bolder side of masculinity than we showed in our Favorite EP. Hitting the gym was part of the deal too — getting those physiques in line with the vibe we wanted to bring.”

For Hong and Hyubin, the song brought the enriching opportunity to expand their vocal performance. “This song gave me the chance to rap for the first time,” says Hong. “It’s more of a sing-rap style, but still, the pressure was on.” Meanwhile, Hyunbin had the chance to sing the chorus from beginning to end. “I spent some time perfecting it to make sure it stuck with listeners,” he writes. “I remember spending hours singing the line ‘Darling, be my Valentine’ until we nailed the recording with valuable input from the A&R team and our vocal instructor.”

But not everything was about physical and vocal preparation. Capturing the message of the song — a sweet love confession — and expressing it convincingly was key. “We put in the hours to bring out this more mature, masculine vibe compared to our last EP. You know that line in the lyrics, ‘I only have fluttering words to tell you’? I recall binging romance films to nail down what those words mean in real life,” says Jungbin. “I found much inspiration in the heart-fluttering lines from the Japanese film My Tomorrow, Your Yesterday.”

Much like their leader, the rest of POW diligently dived into movies and TV series for inspiration. For instance, Hong immersed himself in the web drama series A-Teen, and Yorch took notes from the animated film Your Name. Hyungbin went a step forward. “I was determined to captivate hearts with our ‘Valentine’ performance,” he says. “So I studied performances by talented artists and watched numerous films, particularly focusing on actors like Timothée Chalamet for inspiration.” 

As Dongyeon puts it, the exercise brought realizations and a deeper understanding of what love can represent. “About Time [starring Rachel McAdams and Domhnall Gleeson] got me thinking deeply about the intricacies of love. It made me realize that love comes in various forms and colors.”

Photo courtesy of GRID Entertainment.

As it turns out, delivering an enticing performance also entails carefully curating styling choices that match the track’s concept — “youthful and infatuated energy of young boys expressing their love,” in Jungbin’s words. Outfits, hairstyles, makeup, and even color palettes served a purpose. Hyunbin explains, “Each of us had a distinct personal direction.” 

Yorch, who is well acquainted with fashion — he’s previously sat front row at Peter Do’s debut show at the helm of Helmut Lang — further elaborates how fashion and beauty contributed to crafting an appealing visual universe for “Valentine.” “From stripes and denim to vibrant kitsch colors and leather accents, each of our outfits had a standout feature,” he says. “We also made bold choices with our hair colors. Hyunbin opted for a sleek black tone while Hong and I went for a blonde look.”

Goals and Future

Over the past few years, the Asia Pacific (APAC) region has become a cultural hub, birthing multi-hyphenated celebrities who stand out as musicians, performers, and even brand representatives. Specifically, stars hailing from Korea, Thailand and the Philippines have become go-to fashion ambassadors and front-row favorites during Fashion Week. Considering POW’s multicultural DNA, charming image, and growing popularity, they seem to have everything it takes to emerge as APAC icons. 

We ask if the group has any aspirations to venture into fashion or release cross-language music. “We strive to maintain the essence of POW while embodying different brand identities,” says Hong, who has already attended Fashion Week events prior to his debut. 

Regarding music, Hyunbin explains, “While we haven’t translated any of our songs into another language yet, we’ve received incredibly positive feedback whenever we’ve covered well-known songs from the countries we visit.” ICYMI, the quintet often shares candid music and dance covers on their YouTube channel, showcasing their ability to take on any genre and language. “Music transcends language barriers, but we’re also eager for more opportunities to connect with our fans on a deeper level by singing in their native language on stage.”

Yorch leaves the door open for future surprises. “Our song ‘Slow Dancing’ features many lines in English, and it’s possible that we might release a track entirely in English in the future. Keep an eye out!”

With their sights set on honing their skills and continuing to grow as artists, Jungbin, Yorch, Hyunbin, Dongyeon, and Hong harbor individual goals for what’s left of 2024. POW’s leader Jungbin, aims to reprise the guitar lessons he left during his trainee days. “After our debut, I felt like there’s so much more I could have done if I kept playing guitar, so I want to start playing guitar again this year,” he writes. 

Hong and Dongyeon share similar ambitions. “Fans really enjoyed seeing me play the piano during the ‘Valentine’ shoot, so this year, I want to take piano lessons and hopefully get to sing while playing it on stage,” says Hong. Dongyeon, often recognized for his dancing skills and memorable performances — he’s previously wowed the likes of PSY in the survival show LOUD —  wants to dab into choreography creation for his team. 

By contrast, Yorch and Hyunbin are focused on the bigger picture, wishing for growth and more recognition for POW. “It’s a dream of mine to see our songs climbing the charts and hear them play on the streets,” says Hyunbin. 

If their dedication and commitment to their craft is any indicator, the day POW resonates with a larger audience and dominates music charts may not be too far ahead. 

Graphic courtesy of Rebeca Gomes.

Keep up with POW’s latest news and releases on Instagram, TikTok and YouTube. Stream their music on Spotify, Apple Music, and other platforms.

Interested in more music exclusives? Check out EnVi’s interview with BM here.