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If one is in search of a new K-pop group to obsess over, then look no further. “The gathering of eight youths reaches eight different apexes” is the meaning behind the powerful new group’s name, EPEX. This talented and unified group of performers made their debut just last year on June 8, 2021, with their first EP titled Bipolar Pt.1 Prelude of Anxiety. Now, just a year and a half later, EPEX is building momentum toward massive success with the group’s infectious melodies, atmospheric visuals, and entertaining choreography.

Just last month, EPEX released their latest EP, Prelude of Love Chapter 1. ‘Puppy Love,’ which is their fourth EP overall. The four-track project intricately follows the story of a boy falling deeply in love for the first time. Inspired by the Korean folk tale titled The Story of Chunhyang, EPEX is able to beautifully depict themes of love, which includes the intense feelings of a first love that is never changing and always present across time and space.

Pop Crave chatted with all eight members of EPEX about their new EP, Prelude of Love Chapter 1. ‘Puppy Love,’ their title track, “Hymn to Love,” and their excitement to see fans in concert soon. Keep reading for the full interview!

Courtesy of C9 Entertainment

Hi EPEX, congratulations on the release of your new EP! In just one sentence, how would you describe the vibe of Prelude of Love Chapter 1. ‘Puppy Love’?

WISH: Prelude of Love Chapter 1. ‘Puppy Love’ is an album that unravels the story of the ‘Prelude of Love’ series in earnest. We can describe this album with this sentence: “Everyone’s first love is the same.” The main characters of Chunhyangjeon, toy soldiers, ballerinas, and 21st-century boys like us are all the same in that the fundamental nature of first love does not change regardless of time or region, but only the way of expressing such emotion differs.

“Hymn to Love” is an amazing title track! What does the song personally mean to you, and what do you hope fans take away from it?

A-MIN: “Hymn to Love” is the song that best expresses the theme of this album. The album is about the unchanging nature of first love, even if the times or regions change. We wanted to show a fresher and stronger expression of love that is still clumsy, so we adopted lyrics from ‘Love Song’ from the classic Korean novel ‘Chunhyangjeon.’ This album shows the process of a boy falling in love for the first time in track order, so we think fans will be able to feel that emotion better if they listen to the album in order.

The music video for “Hymn to Love” is so much fun. What’s your favorite scene you got to shoot for that music video?

BAEKSEUNG: This music video had a lot of individual scenes, and I piled sand on the set and filmed the scene. At that time, I was curious about how it would come out as I filmed in front of a green screen. After watching the music video, I really liked it, so I want to pick it as my favorite scene.

Out of all your music videos, what’s your favorite outfit you’ve gotten to wear?

KEUM: Personally, I like the uniforms the most! If we wear uniforms on the stage or in music videos, I feel like we can show our unity better.

Do you personally have a favorite track from Prelude of Love Chapter 1. ‘Puppy Love,’ and why is it your favorite?

JEFF: Among the songs on this album, I like “The Vow” the most. It’s a genre I personally like. In addition, I want to recommend it because I want to share the lyrics with my fans!

Which music artists are currently inspiring you right now, and is there anyone you’d love to collaborate with in the future?

MU: I dreamed of becoming a singer by watching BTS’s stages. I thought it was great to give hope and happiness to so many people through music. It is my goal and dream to collaborate with BTS in the future.

Courtesy of C9 Entertainment

Out of all the songs you’ve released so far, which track has the hardest choreography to learn?

KEUM: We don’t think there was any particularly difficult choreography! Every time we learn a choreography, our teacher taught us well to really understand, so we thought it wasn’t difficult other than it being physically challenging sometimes. However, it was often hard to study how to better convey the message of the song through facial expressions and live performances.

What are some things you do to relax after a hard day of being a superstar?

YEWANG: It’s good to get enough sleep or take a break without doing anything, but no matter how busy we are, we feel we’re on a break if we do our hobbies in between schedules. I feel completely relaxed whenever I draw or watch my favorite animation.

You have such a close connection to your fanbase. What is one of your favorite moments you’ve had while interacting with fans?

AYDEN: It’s always good to communicate with ZENITH! But especially during our comeback or promotions, we believe both us and our fans are more active in communicating with each other. Apart from that, exchanging anecdotes or reading messages that fans sent us through the communication application always cheers us up.

Is there any exciting news about touring that you can share with fans?

WISH: Starting with our first concert in November, we are going on tour in various countries overseas. It was unfortunate that there were not many opportunities to meet our fans in person due to COVID-19. Now that we have more chances other than concerts to meet our fans, we look forward to meeting them in person. We hope to see you soon, ZENITH!

EPEX’s new EP, Prelude of Love Chapter 1. ‘Puppy Love,’ is out now.