ENTERTAINMENT

CIX goes political in “Hello, Strange Place,” raises voice for teenagers

By Yim Hyun-su
  • Published : Nov 19, 2019 - 16:41
  • Updated : Nov 19, 2019 - 16:41

CIX is striking a political tone with the boy band’s second EP, “Hello Chapter 2: Hello, Strange Place,” set for release Tuesday.

Having debuted in July, the five-piece act appears to be fairly comfortable in highlighting social issues facing teenagers in South Korea in their music, such as studying too hard, school violence and neglect on the part of adults.

(C9 Entertainment)

Speaking at a press showcase, Yonghee said, “The album talks about many of the issues affecting our generation with a message that we should stay hopeful instead of giving up.”

In terms of stage performance, Hyunsuk said the group focused on team performance this time, as he recommended fans check out the overall flow of their choreography.

The new five-track album features the lead single “Numb,” a hip-hop based track that is a message intended to cheer up teenagers who feel silenced and numb, complemented with a powerful performance on stage.

The record packs a punch on production as well, as the act worked with a number of high-profile writers and producers, including MZMC who previously worked with BTS, EXO and NCT, as well as international choreography team JustJerk.

To deliver home the youth-oriented message, the group did something special apart from deciding to sport a school uniform on stage.

In the days running up to the album’s release, the group released a multiple-part short film focusing on social issues affecting students on their YouTube channel, with the epilogue coming on Dec. 4.

“The topics we covered in our story film were heavy. But we want to continue to highlight the issues like this that many people around our age experience though the level of seriousness might be different each case,” BX said.

Featuring hard-hitting themes like suicide and death, the series is free and available to watch on YouTube, but comes with an age restriction.

(C9 Entertainment)

The group debuted with “Hello Chapter 1: Hello, Stranger” in July, enjoying mild commercial success in selling over 70,000 copies here.

The album was released in Japan in October, keeping the group busy and leaving them with precious little time to work on the new album.

And understandably, the bandmates now like to just relax on their days off.

“On our days off, we don’t really go anywhere and just stay in and order takeaway food together,” Jinyoung said. “I don’t think we have had that many days off.”

He added, “As the end-of-year season approaches with high-profile shows ahead, we’ve often talked to motivate each other and be more determined.”

For the time being though, the group is showing no sign of stopping soon. BX said though it’s not been confirmed yet, there could be a repackaged album for the group’s second EP. Jinyoung also said the band was recently told by the label that tracks are already being collected for the next record.

“Hello Chapter 2: Hello, Strange Place” is set for release at 6 p.m. on Nov. 19.

By Yim Hyun-su (hyunsu@heraldcorp.com)