The group’s ultimate goal, according to its producer, S.M. Entertainment founder Lee Soo-man, is for the West and the East to become one and create what he calls a “culture universe.”
Naturally, the group is focusing on the US market, with their debut record release due Friday, swiftly followed by a performance outside the Capitol Records Tower in Hollywood the next day.
Despite the hectic schedule, the newly formed group held a press conference in Seoul on Wednesday to address some of the biggest questions about their music and the group’s seven carefully chosen members.
Here are some of the questions and answers, with comments that were shared by the seven members and Baekhyun having spoken the most as the leader of the group during the event.
Q: What does it feel like making your debut in the US?
Taemin: It’s like a dream for me to go to the US. I debuted in 2008 and we used to go to Asia like Japan, China or other Chinese speaking countries mostly. But when we went to America sometimes, I found it very interesting and dreamlike to see people in the West enjoy our music and culture. And we are debuting in the market which is like a dream come true.
We’ve been described as the “avengers” as a group and we want to show you great shows and performances and hope to have a great outcome. But you know this is our first attempt and I just hope this is an opportunity for us to grow as well.
Q: SuperM is holding a debut showcase in the US on Oct. 5.
Baekhuyn: Our showcase takes place in Hollywood and for fans who can’t make it, including South Korean fans, we will be streaming the event live on SM Town’s YouTube channel. It would be better if fans could come to see us in person but I’m sure there are a lot of people who can’t.
Q: There have been concerns about putting members from different groups in one group.
Baekhyun: We never had any problems. We have collaborated with each other before as SM Town. And we are just happy to work with our friends and colleagues as this united team. Every member is very talented and that’s why our practice sessions have gone well and it’s been smooth sailing.
Q: Did Lee Soo-man share his insight with you?
Baekhyun: He told us it would be good to have a lot of action in the music video (for the lead track “Jopping”) such as Kung Fu moves for instance. He gave us a lot of advice.
Taemin: He made sure to share all the details with us, when he met the head of Capitol for instance. Even before SuperM was formed, he spoke with the members on many occasions. Our opinion and Lee’s opinion were considered mutually.
Q: How was your first impression of the older members?
Ten: To be honest, I respected all the members who debuted before me. I’ve always wanted to work with them and I’m just happy to have this opportunity. I first thought Kai was a little intimidating but it turns out he was the most caring out of the group.
Q: Was every track in the EP sung by all seven members together?
Taemin: There are five tracks including the title track “Jopping.” Some songs all seven members sang together while other songs were sung as units. Each track was designed to highlight each member’s character.
Q: The title track is called “Jopping” (track one)
Mark: “Jopping” is a new compound word coming from ‘jumping’ and ‘popping.’ We wanted to get the party vibes going. The song is quite powerful and a great track to perform to.”
Q: Tell us about “I Can’t Stand The Rain.” (track two)
Kai: There are lots of Eastern elements in the song in terms of instruments for instance. When you hear it, you’ll understand the song mixes Asian instruments with a contemporary pop sound as well as nice beats. We have a great performance ready (for the song).
Taemin: This is the only other track apart from “Jopping” that all seven members sung together. I think it will be “Jopping” and this song that we will all be performing together on stage. I personally think this track epitomizes Lee Soo-man’s vision of East meets West. As we come from Asia, I think it would create synergy if we bring an “Oriental” sound to the Western audience.
Q: Tell us about “2 Fast.” (track three)
Taemin: It’s a unit song sung by Baekhyun, Lucas, me and Mark. Lucas loves this song.
Lucas: It’s a great song. I think everyone’s going to love it when they listen to it.
Mark: I think the track turned out even better because “2 Fast” wasn’t sung by all seven members. Though we emphasize performances as a group, this track I think shows different sides of us in terms of atmosphere.
Q: What about “Super Car”? (track four)
Baekhyun: “Super Car” was recorded by Taemin, Ten, Taeyong Mark and me. I personally love this track. It’s still good to listen to. But when I first heard it, I thought we could do so much with this song on stage. I think it will keep you going when you hear it and you will find it easy to sing along.
Q: How about “No Manners”? (track five)
Taeyong: The song talks about how breaking up doesn’t always happen on good terms, but on bad terms sometimes. And that sometimes you got to be cold-hearted and pull the plug on the relationship. This was sung by me, Taemin, Kai and Ten.
Q: Any new plans for EXO?
Bakehyun: I know it’s not going to be easy, but we’ll be juggling between EXO and SuperM. We have plans to return with new work before the end of this year. We are going to do our best both as EXO and SuperM, so hope you can support us.
Kai: We don’t have much time left before the end of the year but EXO will be back sometime this year. We want to do our best in both groups.
By Yim Hyun-su (email@example.com)