Rookie boy band Xikers is throwing its hat into the ring on Thursday with its debut EP, "House of Tricky: Doorbell Ringing."
A 10-piece band debuting with KQ Entertainment, Xikers has garnered huge excitement ahead of its official kick-off as the brother group of Ateez, KQ's first boy band that has made it into the topmost tiers of the highly competitive K-pop hierarchy.
Thanks to the spotlight shared by Ateez, Xikers has already been on some big stages, including KCON 2023 in Thailand and 1theK's "Countdown Dance" video, even ahead of its debut.
Now, ready officially to embark on its own journey, the 10 members held a press conference at SBS Prism Tower in Sangam-dong, Seoul, on Wednesday.
Minjae, the act's leader, said, "We've waited so long for this debut that it didn't really hit us until now, but holding this debut showcase right now, it's sinking in slowly. It's an honor to be standing here as Xikers and to show our performances. Xikers is just beginning."
Xikers, which combines the letter "x" with "hikers," refers to the group's identity as boys traveling time and space in search of coordinates, according to the agency.
The group consists of nine Korean members -- Minjae, Junmin, Sumin, Jinsik, Hyunwoo, Junghoon, Seeun, Yujun and Yechan -- and one Thai member, Hunter.
Beginning Xikers' story is "House of Tricky: Doorbell Ringing," a seven-track EP fronted by two title songs, "Tricky House" and "Rockstar." The band performed the two songs live for the first time in front of the press on Wednesday.
Along with main producer Eden, Ateez member Hongjoong played a big part in the album's making as the composer and lyricist of all seven tracks. Xikers' rappers, Minjae, Sumin and Yechan, contributed to writing the lyrics for the two titular tracks and B-side track "Xikey."
"Hongjoong sent us detailed directions for each song's vibe and how it should sound, along with the guide versions, and they helped a lot when we worked on the lyrics," Minjae said, adding, "Not only Hongjoong, but all the Ateez members gave us a lot of feedback and advice. They're like a huge pillar for us."
Yechan said the two title songs each portray different charms of the group. "'Tricky House' shows our cheeky sides, while 'Rockstar' overflows with our youthful energy."
"Tricky House" is a moombahton dance song infused with Bollywood style music, with the lyrics singing about a story that unfolds after the boys enter a haunted house.
"We tell a story inspired from the Korean folklore character, dokkaebi, through Bollywood sounds. It's a mysterious yet whimsical song," Seeun introduced.
About the second title track, "Rockstar," Sumin explained it is "a song of a rhythmical and bouncy melody that brings out each of the 10 members' unique charms."
Along with the title tracks, the album also includes: "The Tricky's Secret," "Doorbell Ringing," "Dynamic," "Xikey" and "Oh My Gosh."
Xikers is among the many male groups to debut this year, including those from Seventeen's agency, Pledis Entertainment, Astro's agency, Fantagio and Enhypen's agency, Belift Lab.
Xikers claims to excel among the rookie bands with their exceptional potential.
"Just like our team name implies, we are boys who will travel through an endless space and time in search of coordinates, and we believe such boundless potential and possibility is what differentiates us. We hope to spread good energy through our performances," Minjae said.
On their goals with debut, Seeun said, "We'll work hard to win the rookie of the year award," while Yechan added, "Hopefully, we could be recognized as opening a new generation. We'll make a sensation to leave a big impact."
The boys aspired to grow into a group like Ateez.
"We were able to improve thanks to (Ateez members) who gave us much advice and feedback," Junmin said, adding, "We hope to become a team like Ateez that might help and inspire younger groups."
Xikers' debut EP, "House of Tricky: Doorbell Ringing," will be out at 6 p.m. on Thursday.