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‘Psy’s boy band’ TNX makes debut with EP ‘Way Up’

Rookie boy band TNX poses for pictures during its debut media showcase held in Seoul on May 17. (P Nation)
Rookie boy band TNX poses for pictures during its debut media showcase held in Seoul on May 17. (P Nation)
TNX, the first boy band of P Nation, headed by “Gangnam Style” hitmaker Psy, made their long-awaited debut on Tuesday with its first EP “Way Up.”

The six-member act – comprised of members TaeHun, KyungJun, HyunSoo, JunHyeok, Hwi and SungJun -- conducted its debut media showcase in Seoul a few hours ahead of the album’s release at 6 p.m. that day.

“It feels unreal to be standing here on this stage … as much as we’ve dreamt about this moment, we’ve worked hard for it. We’ll be doing our best every moment, so look out for us,” the act’s leader TaeHun said during the Tuesday’s event.

TNX, which stands for “The New Six,” aims to bring a fresh new wave to the K-pop scene with novel and diverse music. Carefully handpicked and produced by veteran performer-producer Psy, the rookie band has stood in the spotlight even ahead of their debut.

Anticipation was even higher as the group was formed through the SBS’ idol survival show “Loud,” which aired between June to September 2021. The six boys were among the final winners from the competition of some 75 K-pop hopefuls vying for spots with labels P Nation and JYP Entertainment.

TNX’s debut EP “Way Up” is a five-track package fronted by the title track “Move.”

“Our first album embodies our powerful energy and overflowing talent. We hope you take a careful listen to all the tracks,” member SungJun said.

The lead single, “Move,” was jointly produced by composer Yoo Gun-hyung -- the mastermind behind Psy’s numerous hits including the global sensation “Gangnam Style,” “New Face” and “I Luv It” -- and P Nation’s musician Penomeco. 


Rookie boy band TNX performs
Rookie boy band TNX performs "Move," fronting its debut EP "Way Up," during the media showcase held in Seoul on May 17. (P Nation)

Some of the members took part in the production of the album, including Hwi, who penned two songs on the debut package. Hwi composed and arranged the first track on his own, “We On,” and teamed up with members KyungJun and JunHyeok in penning the song’s lyrics. The last track, “Your Favorite Melody,” is a song the 17-year-old Hwi had written even ahead of his debut.

“I composed the last track before taking part in ‘Loud,’ in April 2021. I’d written the song, not knowing whether it’d be able to see the light of day, but just hoping that it could become a small comfort to people if it does,” Hwi said. “It’s an honor to have my songs included on the team’s debut album.”

Also included on the album are sidetracks “Burst Up” and “180sec,” the latter of which the members performed live during “Loud.”

P Nation was founded in 2018 by Psy, and has now become home to numerous talented artists and performers including HyunA, Dawn, Jessi and Heize. TNX members seemed confident about their days to come.

“We are all strong in different aspects, and I’m sure people will be charmed by every one of us, not to mention by our chemistry. As artists of P Nation, our stage presence will also be something to take note of,” SangJun said.

The senior artists of P Nation, including the label chief Psy, were fully supportive of the six rookies, giving words of advice and encouragement ahead of their debut.

“Psy really boosted us with confidence when he told us that we’re doing well and all we need to do is just to be ourselves on the stage,” SangJun said.

Going through some eight months of training as a group following “Loud,” the boys said they underwent many changes.

“All the members have grown and improved in different aspects since ‘Loud.’ I personally used to be very shy before, but I think I’m much less so now,” KyungJun said.

HyunSoo added, “We’ve all advanced in terms of our skills and our visuals, and Hwi has shown an exceptional improvement in his dancing compared to when he first attempted it during ‘Loud.’”

Embarking on their journey together, the six-piece act stated they had no set role models nor goals as a K-pop idol group, but just hoped to pursue their own path to the top.

“As it’s our debut that all the members have been hoping for and working toward for a long time, we’re happy and thrilled. Yet at the same time, we feel anxious and nervous from the pressure to do well,” JunHyeok said. “Our goal is to just strive endlessly, aiming to reach the pinnacle.”


By Choi Ji-won (jwc@heraldcorp.com)
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