1/N released their latest album ‘HARD TO SAY IT’S OVER’ in December and I absolutely fell in love with it. We reviewed it here. That’s why I thought it’d be nice to shoot my shot and see if they were up for an interview. Luckily they were! The members Choi Hoon, So Soonwoo, Kim Yehyun, Shin Sung-kyu and Kim Myungsu were kind enough to answer some questions.
The band 1/N (pronounced one over n) met at Dongguk University in 2010. The guys played together and had fun but they didn’t become 1/N until 2014. Their first official single ‘Fever’ was released in 2017 and since then they’ve released countless singles and a couple of EPs. Growth in their music is inevitable.
“Our music is constantly changing, just like we are changing. It’s hard to put a specific term on it or put it in a box of ‘genre’. We leave that to people who listen to our music. Our main goal is to make wholesome songs. We research and listen for good sounds and good vibes.”
According to the band there’s no rules when it comes to making music. “Sometimes lyrics come first, other times it’s the melody. Most of the time Sung-kyu and Hoon will write a rough sketch of the song first and then every member works on it together.”
HARD TO SAY IT’S OVER
“For this album we really wanted to give the listeners the feeling that they were listening to a full concert. We made our tracklist as we do our setlist, we want to make sure that the music is enjoyed to its fullest extent.”
Of course, this year’s plans for 1/N were completely swallowed by COVID-19. “We were planning to do a lot of concerts, but most were cancelled. There was no other choice but to focus on making and developing music. We worked our hardest on and we are really happy with the result.” The members do hope that they’ll be able to see fans face to face in 2021. However, they did hold an online concert ‘2020 OVRN’ on 26 December. You can watch the full concert here.
I myself particularly enjoyed the first track ‘Intro’ of ‘HARD TO SAY IT’S OVER’. “The opening started with the lyrics and atmosphere of ‘HERO’. Most kids when they fall in love with cartoons, they pretend to be the main character and play games where they end up victorious. The protagonist of this song also used his imagination to become the hero who saves the world while looking at the rising sun. To express that ‘heroic heart’ as good as I could the band used strings and bigger-than-life samples.”
Collaborations with fans
There is a special video that was created for track number six ‘We, night’. There are fans who shared some of their unforgettable moments for the rest of the world to see. “It was the video director of Sugar Records, Ock Eddie who suggested the idea. The song ‘We, Night’ is all about memories that will forever remain with you. The lyrics and the general theme of the video seemed to go hand in hand so we thought it’d be very meaningful to be able to do this together. Maybe if the right song comes along, we can do it again.”
On the album ‘HARD TO SAY IT’S OVER’ there is only one special collaboration. The pianist Kim Chanyoung is featured on ‘Untitled’. “We met him quite incidentally. Our mixing engineer introduced him to us and we thought it would be fun to collaborate with other artists.”
When asked what their favorite song of the album was both Hoon and Yehyun said ‘Untitled’ while Soonwoo mentioned ‘HERO’ despite its many headaches, he loves the result. Sung Kyu’s favorite is ‘Thorns in me’.
Better days in 2021
With the fact that New Year’s Eve was coming up I checked if they had any goals for 2021. “Since we don’t really know how long COVID is going to last, we really want to do more online streaming. We just really want to meet our fans.”
“There is one lyric that we want the listeners to think about once in a while. It’s from the song ‘Untitled’. “On a better day, in a better time, let us meet then.” Sometimes we don’t get to choose the situations we’re going through, all we can do is choose how we face it. Bad things will inevitably happen, however, I hope you’ll never lose yourself to them. As we endure, know that we’ll meet again on a better day, in a better time. Be safe, thank you for your support and take good care of yourself.”