Crate Digging is a recurring feature that takes a deep dive into music history to turn up several albums all music fans should know. In this edition, the members of K-pop group ATEEZ talk through 10 of their favorite pop albums that stay on repeat.
Cowboys, boxers, outlaws atop motorcycles, messy thieves, and, of course, pirates — throw it all into a blender, add a bass line, and you’ve got the music video for “BOUNCY,” the most recent single from K-pop group ATEEZ. It’s absolute chaos, and it only works because of the chemistry between the band’s eight members: HONGJOONG (the team’s captain), SEONGHWA, YUNHO, YEOSANG, SAN, MINGI, WOOYOUNG, and JONGHO.
“BOUNCY” is the lead single off the group’s new mini-album, THE WORLD EP2: OUTLAW, which has propelled the group to notching their first No. 1 on Billboard’s Top Album Sales chart, along with their first Top 10 in the UK. For some context, the only other male K-pop act to accomplish that second feat happens to be BTS.
Part of this project’s success stems from the fact that ATEEZ have never been afraid of being genre fluid, and this EP in particular managed to stick the landing from a group that points to records from SZA, Bruno Mars, and Charlie Puth as inspiration points in their general process. “I remember the atmosphere was pretty fun when I was working on the ‘BOUNCY’ lyrics — I’d have back and forth talks with the EDENARY [songwriting and production] team, and we’d toss various words at each other to see what could work,” HONGJOONG tells Consequence.
“When we were working on ‘Outlaw,’ there was a lot of thought put into what direction we should take the track — do we emphasize a more addictive sound, or do we pull through on the technical skills for more details?” adds MINGI. “I think we reached a good middle that pulled both aspects.”
For JONGHO, who is responsible for the highest notes in the group’s music, this album provided time to experiment a bit. “My favorite memories are probably the ones in the recording booth. I found it really fun using my voice in different ways,” he shares.
ATEEZ’s steady global growth has been hard-earned, especially considering the fact that the eight-member act is under the umbrella of a smaller Seoul-based company called KQ Entertainment. The bandmates — who are heavily involved in the writing and production of their own music — take things to the next level with their truly remarkable skills as dancers, demanding attention through a powerful performance style that feels riskier and more unconventional than that of many of their peers.
ATEEZ visibly have fun on stage, and, according to the band, it’s because their fans (known as ATINY) are always top of mind. “The ‘BOUNCY’ choreography is really fun, and I’m looking forward to seeing many ATINY try it,” says YEOSANG. “There’s also excitement in seeing ATINY be happy when they watch our performances!”
SEONGHWA, known mainly as a vocalist in the group, stepped outside of his comfort zone with this project to play around with a verse that falls more line with rap, a responsibility previously only left to HONGJOONG and MINGI. ” I tried something new this time, and it was a bit of a challenge,” he recalls. “I hope a lot of ATINY like it.”
After a stretch at home in South Korea, ATEEZ will be heading back out on the road for a new leg of their world tour (tickets can be secured here). “ATEEZ is going on a tour to Asia and Latin America, so I’m very excited,” says WOOYOUNG. “I’m looking forward to meeting the fans,” confirms SAN.
“I’m just hoping ATINY will love and enjoy the new music,” says YUNHO. “As long as they’re happy, there is nothing more I can hope for.”
Watch ATEEZ’s music video for “BOUNCY” below, and read on for the members’ picks for 10 of their favorite pop albums that continue to inspire them.