SEVENTEEN’s THE 8 Opens Up With Heartfelt Single “Hai Cheng”

By: Danni Perez
THE 8 Hai Cheng
Thumbnail courtesy of Pledis Entertainment

海城 (Hai Cheng),” is the latest breathtaking solo project from SEVENTEEN’s THE 8. On March 18, 11 AM KST, the song, and its accompanying music video were released simultaneously. The digital single’s title refers to THE 8’s birthplace of Haicheng in the Liaoning province of China, which was the first hint that this was going to be a sentimental track.

A Personal Touch

Leading up to the premiere of the track and its music video, two sets of concept photos and a teaser were released from SEVENTEEN’s official Twitter. With views of the sunset, waves crashing, and blurry images of THE 8 himself, it was clear that “Hai Cheng,” was going to tug on the heartstrings. 

Each concept photo featured THE 8’s stage name, the track’s title, and his birth name, Xu Minghao. Yet another hint to listeners that this track was going to be quite personal.

Getting Sentimental

With a hauntingly nostalgic piano melody supporting the track, THE 8 proves his strength as a vocalist with “Hai Cheng.” The ballad’s lyrics resemble a melancholic poem, allowing THE 8’s story to come to life.

Stripped down with the gentlest instrumentals, THE 8 lets his voice express the meaning of, “Hai Cheng,” as he sings, “Take me with you to go find her / My one and only.” His voice draws back softly and grows dynamically just before crashing down, like the ocean waves he sings about.

Three minutes and 52 seconds is all THE 8 needs to open up his heart to listeners everywhere. He is selfless, yet vulnerable, as he belts out, “To block the waves for her / How tall a tower must I become.”

THE 8 exhibited his growth as an artist as he is also credited as a writer and composer of the song. Other credited songwriters for the track include ALFa, Beomhun Lee of PRISMFILTER, and fellow SEVENTEEN member WOOZI.

Of course, CARATs—SVT’s fans—did not waste a moment to share their admiration, reactions, and own interpretations for the heartfelt track.

A Heartbreakingly Beautiful Video

A single as personal as “Hai Cheng” is deserving of an equally stunning music video, and THE 8 does not disappoint. Styled in a turtleneck, scarf, and long coat, THE 8 serves a cozy look. Both simple, yet striking, the video follows THE 8 as he wanders around beach shores and city streets. At multiple points, he is seen with a girl, who disappears frequently, alluding that he is indeed dreaming.

THE 8 is part of SVT’s performance unit and holds the position of the lead dancer within the group. He showcases his talents alongside a partner with a dance performance in “Hai Cheng.” The duo dances gracefully together creating a breathtaking visual. What cannot be said with words or expressed through the instrumentals, is displayed by their dance. From playful spins to heartwarming embraces, the pair add a whole new artistic level to the song’s video.

For such an intimate track, the music video matches with hidden details and settings. CARATs also picked up on these teasers that THE 8 has shared before. 

The overall cinematography of the “Hai Cheng” music video is filled with lens flares and romantic, longing shots. Perhaps the most gut-wrenching of all is the shot of THE 8 standing on the beach when the waves finally crash upon him and he is left alone. 

Loved By CARATs

As CARATs anticipated the release of, ”Hai Cheng,” they took to Twitter immediately to share their thoughts on the track’s intimate title.

Following the release, CARATs praised THE 8 for his work on the music video, while also remembering the simplest details about him. Their love for him does not go unnoticed as they show their support from heartfelt analyses to clever memes.

THE 8’s “Hai Cheng,” is a powerfully heartbreaking single that highlights what a skilled, creative, and expressive artist he has grown into. “Hai Cheng” is available now on Apple Music, Spotify, and other platforms

Want more SEVENTEEN? Check out our article about fellow member Vernon’s collaboration with Charli XCX, “Beg For You,” here.