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At the beginning of this year, 8TURN joined the list of never-ending new K-pop groups, all trying to make their mark on their listeners. Coming out of the gate swinging with their debut, “TIC TAC,” they’ve already shown versatility. The group has now given the world a passionate rock-driven track about excelling in all your goals, within an album that expands on that same idea. For 8TURN, passion makes the race all the more worth it.

The week prior to the release of their second mini album UNCHARTED DRIFT and the title track “EXCEL,” the members were diligently preparing. Through the madness, they spoke to Pop Crave about their new comeback, their dreams for the group, and their group identity. Keep reading for the full interview!

Congratulations on your first comeback! I know that’s probably very exciting, right? 

8TURN: *group cheers*

Have you all noticed any differences in preparing for your first comeback versus preparing for your debut?

MINHO: Yes! Because this is our first comeback, we wanted to show a better side of us compared to our debut, so we practiced hard for this.

It seems like from “TIC TAC” to “EXCEL,” your concept keeps getting a bit more high tension. Do you all want to keep up this hype level and try to keep going high-energy with your concept, or would you ever want to try a more chill concept?

YUNGYU: From this new album, we have a B-side track called “SKETCH” that also has choreography. You can say it’s more of a chill song, and we were thinking it would be so much fun to perform such a chill track, which made us think that maybe it would be fun to promote a more easy listening vibe title track as well.

MYUNGHO: Because this is only our second album, we have a lot more genres and styles we can challenge ourselves with from now on.

Speaking of, YUNGYU, you participated in writing on your new track titled “WORLD”! How was it putting your songwriting abilities to work on your second album?

YUNGYU: I’ve always been interested in songwriting and writing lyrics, and I practiced a lot and put a lot of effort into it – because of this effort, thankfully I got the opportunity to include my lyrics into one of our songs in the new album. I think this could be a stepping stone to participating more on our album and in the creative process.

Do the rest of the members have the desire to participate in the making of their songs in the future?

HAEMIN: Of course! 

JAEYUN: I think we all have this burning desire to be able to participate in the production. Not only does Yungyu write lyrics, Seungheon also does, and Kyungmin’s learning to produce music and make beats at the moment. Other members have also been currently working on their own songwriting, not professionally but by themselves writing lyrics, and they’ve made some amazing stuff. So, I think in the future, you’ll for sure – definitely – be able to see 8TURN with our original, self-made albums. 

MINHO: Woah! Awesome… 

YOONSUNG: You will be!  

I bet your fans would love to hear or see whatever you all are working on, as I’m sure it’s going to be really important to you guys in the future. “EXCEL” has the message that hopes to inspire listeners toward their goals. What are some of your goals as a group?

MINHO: This year, I think we can all agree that we’d like to receive the Rookie of the Year award. I think that’d be really great. 

JAEYUN: In the long term, our goal would be to promote healthily in good conditions, and to show off better performances for each album. Improving as artists is definitely a long term goal for all of us. 

So, what are your favorite songs lately? Are there any specific artists you’ve been inspired by recently? 

SEUNGHEON: Such a hard [question]…so many!

YOONSUNG: I’m sure you know the new song, “Super” by SEVENTEEN [gestures choreo]. I think the choreography is just amazing. It’s very grand, and it’s something that’s left a mark on the history of K-pop. I think that’s how much it means choreography and music wise. We were inspired to do choreography like that someday as well. 

Styling is a big part of portraying your groups’ identity. Could you share any of your favorite looks that you’re sporting in “EXCEL”? I know we haven’t seen them yet, but maybe you could give a little hint as to what your favorite is. 

JAEYUN: For me, this album’s concept is about getting out of school and starting a riot in the middle of the school day. We wear a school look; it can be seen in the teaser that we released, but it’s not a typical school uniform. We put a little twist of 8TURN, and we added our own style to it. That’s definitely one of my favorites from EXCEL’s styling. 

That was a huge impression that you all made on me. Especially in “TIC TAC,” you all had a lot of dynamic styling, so I’m looking forward to seeing the styling for this comeback!

MYUNGHO: Yes, please look forward to it! 

Will do! Have you all had any really memorable moments with your fans so far?

YUNGYU: During the first week after our debut, we got to hold a mini fanmeeting with a small group of fans. That was the first time we got to communicate with our fans. We tried to talk as much as possible in a short amount of time. I think that’s when I realized that there were a lot of fans that really like us, to be out there and try to talk and spend time with us.

MYUNGHO: Our debut showcase, which was our first time to see an audience in front of us. It was an unbelievable experience and the most memorable moment of our careers so far. 

I bet that it felt so crazy to see an audience after preparing to debut for so long. What do you all like to do in your free time, either with the members or with other friends?

YOONSUNG: I think it’s different for all of us. Personally, I like to go shopping. I love going to stores around the streets and finding accessories, clothes shopping, things like that. 

HAEMIN: I’m pretty opposite to what Yoonsung likes to do. I like to stay at home by myself, and sometimes I like to go to a park and listen to music while getting some alone time. 

Speaking of traveling, if you all visit the US or LA in the future, is there anything here that you’d like to visit in particular? [It was announced after this interview took place that the group will be attending the upcoming annual KCON Convention in Los Angeles in August – check out more information HERE].

HAEMIN: Knowing the members, I think we’d all fit in in a free-spirited city like LA – somewhere with a beach, we can take a walk and be free. I think we’d really enjoy that vibe of LA once we visit there.

I’m in LA, and I think you guys would fit the vibe!

KYUNGMIN: We will come soon!

Do you all have anything specific that you all would like to tell TURNING? 

KYUNGMIN: After wrapping up our first mini album’s schedules, we were thinking, “We were great but we were so close to getting better.” We were so close but we felt like we didn’t show everything we’ve got, so that’s why we prepared extra hard for this new album, to really show everything we have and everything we’ve worked for. We really hope you all look forward to it. 

8TURN’s latest project, UNCHARTED DRIFT, is out now.

Written by Lily Dabbs.