One year ago, the idol survival show Boys Planet saw contestants KEITA, PARK HANBIN, LEE JEONGHYEON, YOO SEUNGEON, JI YUNSEO, MUN JUNGHYUN, and PARK JIHOO shine through their performances. Despite not making it to the final group lineup, they won the hearts of the show’s dedicated audience. After Boys Planet concluded, Jellyfish Entertainment gathered the seven under the group EVNNE (pronounced “even”), short for “Evening’s Newest Étoiles.” The newly debuted stars first flaunted their feisty, boyish charm in the mini-album Target: ME and Baltimore club lead single “TROUBLE” on September 19, 2023. 

It didn’t take long for EVNNE to resume their stellar trajectory. In January 22, the septet kicked off their 2024 with their second mini-album, Un: SEEN, and lead single “UGLY.” Similar to their debut, this release was followed by an online roundtable interview. The members’ smiles never faltered as they greeted everyone in the Zoom call enthusiastically and shared their thoughts. More confident than ever, EVNNE revealed their success recipe for a boy group on the rise, details about the making of Un: SEEN, and thoughts on embracing the “ugly” sides of themselves.

Unveiling Un: SEEN 

Just as 2024 turned a new page, so did EVNNE. The starkest difference in Un: SEEN, compared to Target: ME, would be its visual identity. This time, EVNNE opted for dark-toned collared shirts and monochrome punk-inspired fits, complete with tattoos and piercings. The music video for “UGLY” also portrayed the septet fighting their inner demons and setting a diner on fire. At first glance, one might assume this comeback is “darker” than their debut. But the members argued that rather than “dark,” Un: SEEN is an era that showcases their emotional growth. “We’ve transitioned from being immature, boyish troublemakers to individuals who have experienced pain,” JI YUNSEO explained. Indeed, “UGLY” narrates EVNNE’s bold decision to become their true selves instead of lamenting over the sides of them that some people wouldn’t accept. “I’m showing up / Even if I’m not perfect, I love it,” they sing against hard-hitting, bouncy beats.

“UGLY” is followed by four B-sides, all demonstrating EVNNE’s ability to express their passion and vulnerability. “SYRUP,” which has lyrics written by KEITA, LEE JEONGHYEON, and JI YUNSEO, is a percussion-heavy track with multilayered vocals and an electronic synth solo. It’s also maknae (youngest member) PARK JIHOO’s B-side of choice for a music video: “I love this track and its dreamy vibe, so I think there will be a lot of elements to the song that the viewers would enjoy.” Next is the lighthearted “K.O. (Keep On),” which draws influences from future bass. Lyrically, it portrays their undying perseverance in becoming a better version of themselves — contrasting the typical use of the song’s title in a boxing match. For this reason, both PARK HANBIN and MUN JUNGHYUN chose it as the perfect soundtrack to a movie about their lives.

After reaching the mini-album’s midpoint, EVNNE veer into experimental music territory with “Chase.” While the other songs keep their tempos consistent, “Chase” actively switches from laid-back, vocal-dominated verses to brisk rap lines. Closing the album is “Festa,” a cheerful track likening the best moments in your life to a festival. KEITA, who had been producing music before his debut in EVNNE, provided the track’s melody and rap lines. These tracks reveal how the septet wishes to be remembered: a versatile boy group with powerful stage performances.

Gas Up, Maximum

With just three months between the release of Target: ME and Un: SEEN, EVNNE did not have much time to cool down. Nevertheless, amidst their hectic schedule, they always manage to sneak in their hobbies and interests. PARK HANBIN, for instance, would spend his free time reading books and essays. YOO SEUNGEON and PARK JIHOO would go biking by the Han River and play basketball respectively. Lastly, aside from playing sports-themed video games, LEE JEONGHYEON de-stresses by watching K-pop videos. “I would admire performance videos of other senior artists after watching them together with [JI] YUNSEO, and talk about things that we want to take on from them,” he explained.

EVNNE find it important to feel inspired by their surroundings. Their senior artists’ performances are not only rewarding to watch, but also act as a good learning source. For JI YUNSEO, watching their performances particularly helps inform his exploration of Un: SEEN’s “rascal” concept — something he does before going on stage. They also draw inspiration from their fandom, ENNVE (pronounced “and-veuh”). Their first fan-meeting event last November in Korea and Japan remains special in their hearts. Throughout the show, fans held up their lightsticks to illuminate the venue. “As the lights dimmed, I gazed at the audience and witnessed a sea of our fans, resembling stars in the night sky. It is truly something that I will never forget,” YOO SEUNGEON recalled fondly. Fans also prepared a surprise event, where they raised encouraging banners in the middle of the group’s performance. These events prompted KEITA to relive the good memories in the lyrics of “Festa.” 

Photo courtesy of Jellyfish Entertainment.

1 Life 2 Live or What?

In the K-pop scene, project groups are nothing new, but discussions on how well the members would come together prevail. EVNNE are no different; Ηailing from various companies as trainees, each member has his own, unique predebut experience. Prior to joining Boys Planet, some members had become hopefuls in other idol survival shows. Their differences, however, never once broke their bond as a group. In fact, the septet embraces their diverse background, and is grateful to have met through the program. “Our experience on Boys Planet provided valuable insights into practicing and creating a stage together as a group. This shared experience has allowed us to prepare for performances under the same mindset,” said YOO SEUNGEON. He also noted that, if anything, the members have more similarities than differences. From sharing the same hobbies to the same perspective, the EVNNE members felt they would still click even if they hadn’t met through Boys Planet. 

Having been together for more than four months, is there anything new they’ve learned about themselves? JI YUNSEO found that their strength lies in their synergy. “The vocalists skillfully contribute to the group’s mood with tones that harmonize seamlessly with the overall vibe, which in turn complements the rap verses in our music,” he mused. PARK HANBIN agreed, adding that their creative involvement helped them learn about their potential. On a more personal level, the members shared each other’s “unseen” side. “[PARK] JIHOO is a big basketball fan, but I believe our fans are yet to see him play basketball. I think they will be surprised to see how well he plays,” said MUN JUNGHYUN. KEITA, who typically handles the group’s rap lines, was surprised by YOO SEUNGEON’s rapping skills. After all, the latter is usually in charge of the songs’ more vocally challenging parts.

Photo courtesy of Jellyfish Entertainment.

Appropriately titled Un: SEEN, this release sees EVNNE evolve internally and externally, and they will continue doing so. For starters, the septet already has plans to continue releasing music (including covers) and show more of their unseen sides. “We share the belief that we are capable of exploring and excelling in various genres without being confined to a specific style. So I’m certain that we will be able to pull off any musical genres,” PARK JIHOO said. The group also aims high, and things are currently looking good for them. “[Our biggest dream] would be winning first place on a music show!” YOO SEUNGEON said. His wish came true a few days after the roundtable session as EVNNE took home not just one, but two music show trophies, from Show Champion and Music Bank. On January 29, the boy group also announced their first series of fan-concert “2024 EVNNE FAN-CONCERT [SQUAD:R],” beginning in Seoul on March 2-3. Brimming with passion for the stage, the seven stars are just getting started.

Be sure to check out Un: SEEN on your favorite music streaming platforms. EVNNE are also on Instagram, TikTok, X, and YouTube!

Just recently, K-pop boy group P1Harmony also made their first comeback of 2024. Read all about their first full album, 때깔 (Killin’ It), here.