ONEUS Are Hitting the Road and Riding the Hallyu Wave (Q&A)
A surprised "Oh, it's been awhile!" comes out of the mouths of ONEUS members Ravn, Seoho, Leedo, Keonhee, Hwanwoong and Xion as we arrive at their New York City hotel suite with a box of pizza.
It's been eight hours since the group landed in New York; four hours since their first press interview; and two and a half years since our last encounter on their first U.S. tour. Overall, it's been three years since they've blessed the K-pop industry with their dynamic performances, sharing aspects of traditional Korean culture through their music.
Now, the flourishing group is embarking on a month-long 14-stop tour across the States. It only feels right to to hold a small pizza party in celebration of everything, especially the end of a long day.
Below, PopCrush catches up with the members of ONEUS to talk about their Blood Moon Tour, things they've learned about themselves in the midst of the pandemic and how they consistently bring traditional Korean characteristics in their music.
It’s been awhile! How does it feel to tour again?
Keonhee: Our first tour was right at the tail-end of 2019. And we were like, “Oh my gosh, this is so great! We’re going to have so much fun, we’ll see you soon!" And then the pandemic hit and we [were] like, “Oh no! What are we going to do?” So we interacted with the fans through video calls. We’ve been anticipating this moment for a really long time and now that we finally get to meet everyone again, we’re really excited.
Besides performing and meeting your fans, what are you most looking forward to doing while on tour?
Hwanwoong: I want to hit up all the places to eat!
Keonhee: Philly cheesesteak!
You've released your first full studio album, three EPs and a singles album. What song are you most excited to perform?
Ravn: “No Diggity” is the track I want to perform best. The chemistry within the members and the hard choreo we have is going to be a really fun performance.
Hwanwoong: We actually prepared a song especially for this tour. So you may not know it but it’s going to be lit.
Because you were on Road to Kingdom, and have always brought in aspects of Korean culture through your music, if you were to base a spinoff from one of your songs, what song and concept would it be?
Ravn: I’d want to do “LUNA” because I want to create a set similar to historical dramas as there’s a lot of traditional Korean characteristics in that song. I think if we were also to do this, it would boost Korean historical dramas and so it’d be like that vice-versa synergy.
Leedo: “No Diggity." I want to give it a horror twist and make it more dark and bring out those kinds of colors. A little bit of violence, too.
In the last two and a half years, you've probably spent more time together than ever before. Are there things you've realized about yourselves?
Leedo: Actually, our teamwork improved because we spent a lot of time practicing. Other than that we like to have our own personal downtime and so we have that. It’s mostly during team practices.
Hwanwoong: I actually enjoy spending time alone and I’m a bit of a homebody. But then there was a lock-down, and during that time I was like, “Oh, actually, I’m not a homebody. I actually like going out and being active.” And so that’s what I learned.
Also, happy anniversary! Anything particular you’d like to do in your third year?
Ravn: I’m having some deep thoughts these days, so I’m thinking, “How can we become artists [whose] songs really give hope and confidence to the people who are listening?” And so we hope that through our music, we can also learn about ourselves and set our own standards, goals and have that synergy in working together. So when people listen to ONEUS’ music, they also feel confident, motivated and want to move forward.
Hwanwoong: I always want to go on a bigger stage and meet more people. So that’s the goal for me.
What’s next after tour?
Keonhee: Nothing’s set in stone yet but we’re always working for the next release and hope you guys can look forward to it. As of right now we just want to finish the tour well. I hope that everything goes smoothly; everyone stays healthy.
Anything else you’d like to say?
Leedo: I actually wanted pizza for dinner but then you brought it so I’m set.
Keonhee: I didn’t sleep at all on the flight so I’ve been awake for how many hours now? Right when I was about to sleep, they brought food out. So I had to eat. This pizza is my eighth meal.
Hwanwoong: It was [my] first time in business class. It was so good! Thank you to RBW!