We never know what to expect from TRENDZ, a seven-member K-pop boyband who prides themselves on leading the trends of Generation Z. Since their debut in January 2022, the group has had two single albums and two EPs released in a little under two years. The passionate members, Havit, Leon, Yoonwoo, Hankook, ra.L, Eunil, and Yechan’s hard work earned them the 2022 Focus Award at the Asia Artist Awards. Now, the idols are showing us a different side with their new album STILL ON MY WAY, released on September 6 and co-written by the members to showcase their bubbling youth and endless ambitions.
The members joined the Zoom roundtable all smiles and warm energy, despite their long schedule and it being 10 p.m. Korea Standard Time. All decked out in white monochromatic fits, the idols’ youthful energy never faded even when facing technical difficulties with sound. At one point, the language barrier felt non-existent, with Havit making explanatory gestures for all of his member’s answers in the corner. Their endless finger hearts and smiles were reminiscent of what their album is all about: the passion and energy of youth. Join EnVi as we dive into TRENDZ’s comeback, world tour, and their upcoming debut anniversary.
Trainee to TRENDZ
The journey of an idol isn’t an easy one: a continuous cycle of practice, evaluations, trying, and failing. “We, who were once strangers, came together driven by a shared dream,” Eunil recounted. The members born throughout 1999-2005 spent most of their youth with each other as trainees. Members like Yechan became trainees in eighth grade and others, like Havit, trained for more than five years. Their long training period came with difficult obstacles and, at times, insurmountable pressure.
Previously known as “Inter Boys,” TRENDZ had lots of eyes on them as the first K-pop group coming from Interpark, a famous Korean online shopping mall. They slowly became known to the public with their dance covers of Stray Kids’ “Back Door” and SuperM’s “Tiger inside.” Now, with their two-year anniversary looming, the members can’t believe how much has changed.
“I believe our group has matured significantly since our debut,” Yoonwoo said. The group’s performance quality has come a long way since their dance covers. Their improved teamwork and strong chemistry over the years has given FRIENDZ, their fandom, fierce choreography in “VAGABOND” and sexy moves in “NEW DAYZ.” Yoonwoo said fans can expect a “mature and polished” performance from the members for this comeback.
ra.L has come a long way from his trainee days in terms of mileage. “When I was younger, I got to go abroad on a family trip only once. Now, as an idol, I find myself boarding planes quite frequently, which is something I never expected.” It seems he can’t get enough of his group’s global activities. The members traveled to Kazakhstan, Indonesia, and Japan to perform for various events such as Indonesia Comic Con Pop Asia. Promoting overseas and meeting FRIENDZ from all over the world is all brand new and exciting for the members.
The amount of love they have received still surprises Yechan. “During my trainee days, I never anticipated the amount of love and support we would receive from our fans after our debut,” he said. The members describe their fans as their constant source of energy, keeping them motivated through the roughest of times. “It made me realize that I had chosen the right career path,” Yechan added.
Yoonwoo even recounted a grand gesture that left him speechless in Indonesia. “After the show was over, as we were leaving the venue, a large crowd of fans at the department store approached us. It happened to be not long after my birthday, and to my surprise, the fans started singing a birthday song to celebrate with me.”
Despite all of their hardships, the members wouldn’t have it any other way. “Our collective pursuit of a common goal is a wonderful journey, and it represents the very essence of ‘my way’ that we’re pursuing,” Eunil said.
Chasing Youth Their Way
STILL ON MY WAY is TRENDZ’s third single album. Co-written by the members themselves, the songs show a youthful and refreshing image. The project consists of three songs: “ven conmigo,” “MY WAY,” and “O.Y. E.” It is almost auto-biographical, conveying the message of seven young boys pursuing their dreams and overcoming obstacles together. “In this album, we aimed to convey a sense of freedom and hopefulness that comes with youth,” Havit summarized. “MY WAY,” in particular, offers a completely new sound from their previous tracks, with a brighter tone and addictive pop bassline. Additionally, TRENDZ are showing fans a new concept with a boyish sensibility and colorful styling in their music video.
However, their tracks not only explore the happy times of being young, but the difficulties too. “We tried to convey the message that, despite the pain, our youthful spirit will help us triumph over any difficulties,” ra. L said. Creating the album was no easy feat itself, presenting the group with a new set of challenges.
According to ra.L, “During our hiatus, we had to work on the album while we were abroad in Indonesia, Kazakhstan, and Japan.” During their travels, the members tried to fit in time to write song lyrics together. Although members like ra.L are no strangers to songwriting, this album proved to be a tricky one to write for. They wanted to create an easy-to-listen song, while balancing all of the emotions they wanted to convey. “The intro had to capture a dreamy atmosphere, the pre-chorus needed to build and layer emotions, and the chorus had to be powerful to showcase our strength in dynamic performances,” Eunil explained.
For Yechan, one of the rappers of the group, it was his first time singing on a track. “I was mostly responsible for the rap verses, so transitioning to a vocalist’s role with different gestures was a bit challenging.” However, despite these challenges, the result is one the members are proud of.
“MY WAY” is a pop summer anthem featuring delicate vocals and a poppy beat. The fast tempo chorus takes the song to another level with a trendy, retro feel and danceable rhythm. The music video opens up in a bright, hazy room with all the members chilling about. They excitedly gather around to read the results of their film festival submission, only to see they are rejected. Despite the bad news, the members carry on filming happy memories of themselves. The chorus picks up and we see them running against the summer horizon in a grocery cart. With the beautiful sky and sea as their backdrop, the members continue to make happy memories. The song has us wanting to shout along with TRENDZ, “Still on my way!”
All Around the World
With their September comeback, TRENDZ are making plans for an upcoming world tour. The members explained that this tour is a chance for them to grow as artists, as well as show everyone what TRENDZ are all about: their killer performances. Their global tour is expansive with stops in over 20 countries spanning Asia, America, Europe, and Africa. Including stops in countries like Morocco to The Netherlands, TRENDZ’s tour has the members excited to see FRIENDZ from all over the world.
When asked where they were most excited to go, Eunil happily responded, “I’m a massive Spider-Man fan, and since there’s an iconic scene set in Times Square, I’ve always dreamed of visiting New York.” Besides their excitement to see new cities and meet FRIENDZ, the members expressed their enthusiasm to show their fans what they have been practicing. “TRENDZ’s live stage presence is something to behold, and witnessing it will definitely be a pleasant surprise,” ra.L boasted.
Hankook promptly named “VAGABOND” as the song he is most excited to perform. “It perfectly showcases our strong performance skills. The song’s intense intro, with a member being thrown in the air, adds to the excitement, and I’m really looking forward to performing it.”
As if preparing for their comeback isn’t enough, the members are already thinking about what’s next. Leon is excited to explore a new concept. “Perhaps a sexy concept, or even delve into the hip-hop genre,” he said, with the members nodding along in agreement. As for Havit, he dreams of joining his childhood favorite variety show Running Man. “I believe it’s a show where our group members could truly showcase our unique charms. If the chance ever arises, it’s a small dream of mine for us to appear on that show,” he expressed with a wide smile.
Taken from the members’ song itself, whatever your dream is, “ven conmigo” and let’s go for it.
Interested in more K-pop group interviews? Check out our exclusive interview with tripleS here!