Welcome to Fan Chant, a weekly column for K-pop fans, stans, and newbies alike. Each week, I’ll be rolling out interviews, lists, and all kinds of content to keep you in the loop on the latest and greatest from our friends in Seoul and beyond. Also, make sure to subscribe to my companion newsletter!
It’s been a busy past week for STAY, as Stray Kids dropped their latest mini-album, MAXIDENT, and plenty of content has been rolling out around the eight-piece act. This, of course, includes our own interview with the group — in case you missed it, I sat down with Stray Kids recently to chat about the album, their ongoing world tour, and how they’ve been filling their time lately. You can find the full interview here!
This is the second time I’ve had the joy of speaking with Stray Kids (watch our earlier chat here), and something I love about getting to connect with them about their work is how much of a hand they have in their music from start to finish. They can call out specific moments when they made decisions about concepts, recall being in the studio together making tweaks, and enjoy discussing the process that leads to a final product. This isn’t always the case in K-pop, and it’s something for which I definitely have a soft spot.
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In the editing process of a video interview, there are some things that naturally end up cut, and I was thinking about how much STAY would have probably loved to see HAN get out of his chair to get a closer look when my cat interrupted the call (legend behavior!) or hear Seungmin compliment Bang Chan as he translated words and phrases from his fellow members for me between answers. There was also a point where HAN was pretending to box, throwing a punch between each question.
But today, I wanted to talk a little bit more about MAXIDENT, and would love to hear which tracks listeners are enjoying most. Beyond “CASE 143,” I’ve found myself replaying “Give Me Your TMI” most; it gives off early 2000s DCOM vibes, like Zenon: Girl of the 21st Century called and asked for a new theme song — not that anyone could ever replace Proto Zoa.
I really like “CHILL,” too, much like I.N, who called it out as his favorite during our chat — but “TASTE” and “3RACHA” are the other two that have found their way into heavy rotation. “TASTE” suits Lee Know, Hyunjin, and Felix’s energy so incredibly well — fingers crossed for this one being worked into future set lists. The same goes for “3RACHA,” especially because it’s just so fun to see such a sweet trio offstage get so fiery in the studio.
Drop your favorites off MAXIDENT on your social media channel of choice, and enjoy the full convo here!
There Goes CRAVITY
As promised, my full chat with CRAVITY has arrived! This incredibly sweet nine-piece from Starship Entertainment is really out here hustling, and we had a nice chat about their new mini-album and team dynamic. Find the whole interview here.
The Return of The Rose
While not a K-pop act, I know there’s lots of listener crossover with K-rock band The Rose, who made their return as a full group last week. HEAL is an album that lives up to its name and offers the four-piece band time to reconnect following military service for three of its members. Watch this space in the coming days — we have more from The Rose coming soon.
Song Rec of the Week:
“ILLELLA” is simply an absolute slay from the queens at MAMAMOO. That key change at the end? Euphoric. Welcome back, queens.