Teen Top Talks About Competing with Super Junior and 2PM, Naked Scene in MV, and More at “Exito” Showcase
6-member boy group Teen Top is back with new mini album “Exito.” This marks a year since their last album “Teen Top Class,” which was released on August 2013. The title track is Teen Top’s first collaborative effort with producers Rado and Choi Kyu Sung, better known as Black Eyed Pilseung, who have produced this year’s hits SISTAR‘s “Touch My Body” and Park Bo Ram‘s “Got Prettier.”
Soompi attended Teen Top’s “Exito” showcase as press, where the boys touched upon various topics like competition with senior groups, maturing since the world tour, monitoring fans’ reactions, as well as perform the title track “Missing” as well as “Love Is…”
Enjoy reading below!
Q: Niel, how have you been? Feels like this is the first time we’ve met up since “Law of the Jungle.”
Niel: Yes, I’ve been well.
MC: Looks like you’ve gotten taller as well!
Niel: Yes, there were a lot of changes during our time apart.
Q: Idols usually have their faces on their album covers but Teen Top didn’t this time. There’s some words on the cover and I’m curious what it means.
L.Joe: Exito is Spanish for “success.” We’ve wanted to show that we’ve improved a lot during our European tours the past year and the fact that we’re making a comeback after a while.
Q: It’s been a year since your comeback. Leader C.A.P, what kind of changes were there for Teen Top the past year?
C.A.P: We’ve gained more experience through our world tours and are more relaxed when performing on stage. We’ve worked hard [on this album] to show a new side to ourselves. You might notice that we are more manly.
Q: On your album’s title, there’s the phrase “20’s Love One.” This is the first album where all the members are in their twenties so I’m curious what kind of love stories are included. Niel, please brag about your album.
Niel: This album has a different feel than previous albums. If previous songs were fast and upbeat, then “Missing” is a medium tempo and emotional. The title track is about a man who longs for a woman, the pain of breaking up, so it’s a good song for the fall.
Q: The last song is written by L.Joe. What was your inspiration?
L.Joe: Rather than inspiration, I’ve wanted to write a song to the fans since a year ago. I’ve thought that writing an emotional song would be good and came up with the melody for “Love U.”
Q: What stands out in the album credits is that you’re working with Black Eyed Pilseung. They’re currently in the spotlight for their hit songs. This has been the first time working with them, but how was the teamwork?
Changjo: This is the first time working with them, but they were so kind so we had no problems working together. They gave us three songs including the title track but all are different. We worked really hard thinking about how the public will respond to the song.
Q: The song was released last week on music programs, and you must have monitored the fans’ reactions. How were their reactions?
Changjo: We’ve pre-filmed the performance in the early morning, but were able to be energized because the fans came. The fans told us that the song really matches the season of fall and that we’ve matured a lot. It’s a song for the fall.
Q: I could tell Teen Top worked really hard for their new album because they kept releasing new material for “Exito” during the Chuseok holidays. There are lyrics in the song that says how “it’s not easy” (note: direct translation of title track from Korean is “It’s not easy.”) Many things aren’t easy, but what was the most “not easy” when working on this album?
Chunji: Since all the members are in their twenties now, it was really hard picking songs to put in the album. It’s also due to the fact that we’re making a comeback after a year as well. We’ve thought a lot about how we can show a new side to ourselves and with what kind of song. That was probably the hardest thing for us.
Q: Is there anything else that’s hard- even in your everyday life? Love isn’t easy, living isn’t easy, etc.
Chunji: Since I’m so small, it’s hard to find stuff that fits like clothes and sunglasses.
Q: Ricky, what’s the key choreography move for the title track?
Ricky: We placed more “heavy” and sexy moves in the choreography this time around. It’s pretty easy to learn. Do you want to try learning? (teaches the MC)
(Click on the next page to read more on naked filming scene, awkward moments, image change and mentions of senior groups!)
Q: We can’t ignore the music video, which was filmed in Hungary. C.A.P and L.Joe’s acting was pretty impressive. Wasn’t it awkward? And C.A.P also had to film a half naked scene- wasn’t it hard dieting for it?
C.A.P: I didn’t work out or take special care of my body for the scene. I just didn’t eat the night before because I can’t have my stomach stick out. I don’t need to have muscles for the scene, but my stomach can’t stick out. I didn’t have many acting scenes with L.Joe. That’s probably why filming our scenes was a bit awkward and I didn’t want to work together (joke). I had a meeting with the director before to talk about the acting portion and he said that he was jealous that I got to act with a foreign lady.
Q: Thinking about it, Teen Top did a lot of acting in music videos. How do you feel about the acting, L.Joe?
L.Joe: I’ve acted with Chunji and Changjo as well. I’ve never lost my concentration when acting with them. However, when I filmed with C.A.P, it was hard to concentrate. When the camera was on me, he would try to talk and distract me since he’s not shown on camera. Next time it would be great having less acting scenes with C.A.P (joking).
Q: Lots of groups are coming back now like Super Junior and 2PM. Do you have any burdens competing with senior groups?
Ricky: When we first made our debut, we were nicknamed “baby beastly men.” 2PM seniors were nicknamed beastly men at the time. For the fact that people are saying we’re competing with 2pm is an honor and that we’ll be able to perform on the same stage is very meaningful.
Q: What did you learn during your world tour? If you can make a comparison with before the world tour Teen Top and one after. Also, what was most memorable during the tour?
Niel: We’ve learned to enjoy the stage freely. The concert stage is a bit different from a music program stage in the fact that we can better communicate with the fans. If we have to compare ourselves before and after the tour, we were considered young before the tour but now we’ve matured and are more cool and manly. What’s memorable is that during the South American leg of the tour, a couple was passionately making out in the middle of the second floor while we were performing an emotional song.
Q: You have now established your own color, so why did you feel that you had to do an image change at this time? Also, you’ve got to work with three producers- Bang Shi Hyuk, Brave Brothers, and Black Eyed Pilseung. Which one you’ve had the best teamwork with, and what’s the reason for picking “Missing” as the title track?
C.A.P: The concept this time around is a bit different. We’ve done a lot of upbeat and happy songs in the past, but we’ve changed the concept this time because we’re now in our twenties and also wanted to show something different. We plan to show more different sides to ourselves in the future as well. As for the producers..
Niel: We can’t exactly say who we liked the best because we picked their songs because we liked the songs.
All of the producers were good to us when we were working together. Brave Brothers is passionate and kind, even though he might look scary. He’s very nice and we had a fun time recording the track. Black Eyed Pilseung joked a lot and was very comfortable.
Q: You’re known for your synchronized dance moves. Do you have any burdens about being labeled as “synchronized dancers,” and since you’re now adults, what do you want to do with the other members?
C.A.P: Every time we release an album, we’ve always look forward to the public’s response. To be honest, I don’t have any burdens regarding that. The choreography this time is more simple, but it’s not considered as unsynchronized.
Niel: I want to drink with my members.
Changjo: We haven’t had many times to talk deeply but would be nice to get together for drinks and talk.
Ricky: I’ve watched a lot of movies since I became an adult. I’m happy that I can watch rated R movies whenever I want, and would like to watch adult movies with the rest of the group.