[#W_INTERVIEW] 180420 WINNER Q&A for Dazed Digital

Repost from dazeddigital.com

 

A conversation with WINNER, the superstar boy band making K-pop history

Text: Taylor Glasby

WINNER’s Jinu, Yoon, Mino, and Hoony are sat, makeup- free, on the couches in of South Korean pop giant YG Entertainment’s sleek headquarters in the Hapjeong area of Seoul. The walls are black and reflective, and on the wall hangs a large clock. It’s 6.15pm; 15 minutes earlier, WINNER released their new video, “Everyday”, and album, EVERYD4Y. The former will go on to earn WINNER their first ‘all-kill’ two days later, topping all six of the country South Korea’s real-time charts. But for the moment, they’re admittedly nervous, and Yoon divulges they had no sleep the night before. “We weren’t really expecting this much attention,” Yoon says. “But we always appreciate our global fans for looking forward to our new album and comeback.”

As pop trajectories go, WINNER’s past five years have certainly been a rollercoaster. After winning (and taking their name from) WIN: Who Is Next, an idol survival TV program run by their parent agency YG, and achieving wildly enviable success in their first year, WINNER went silent, with a 12-month hiatus that saw them lose a band member. Despite this shock, they carried on. While it was always likely that their comeback would be a success – thanks, in large part, to their well-established fandom – no one predicted just how huge “Really Really” would actually be, leading WINNER to become the first boy band to break 100 million streams on South Korea’s Gaon chart.

Having made their name as an idol group with mid-tempo melancholy (songs like “empty” and “color ring”) and timeless bluesy weariness (“Baby Baby”), it was frankly surprising to see them turn to a mix of trop-house, light disco, and funk on their singles of 2017. But with Yoon’s touch on every track as a songwriter and the members contributing lyrics, the step away from their beginnings was far less jarring than one might expect, and EVERYD4Y continues their ambitions as a group whose sonic boundaries are entirely malleable.

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