[INTERVIEW] 8TURN on Their First KCON LA Appearance and Inspirations

8TURN has made quite a splash since they debuted earlier this year with “TIC TAC,” a bombastic and intense hip-hop title track that went viral on TikTok through Seungheon’s smooth rap “How you doing / hear my growling” that enticed listeners’ ears.  

Following the theme of slick raps and incredible beats, 8TURN had their first comeback in June with their second mini album, UNCHARTED DRIFT, which explores the concept of the turmoil of a midsummer night when the boys’ unpredictable nature drives them to new adventures and aspirations. 

The group has gone to KCON Thailand and KCON Japan but recently made their first appearance at the flagship event, KCON LA 2023. Hundreds of TURNINGs and potential fans fell in love with 8TURN’s charms through the convention showcase and interacted with them through the workshops over the weekend. 

Kpopconcerts.com had the fantastic opportunity to interview 8TURN after KCON LA, diving deep into who inspires them to some lessons they learned from competition shows. 

Cr. KCONUSA’s Twitter

KPC: This marks your first KCON LA appearance. How do you feel?

Jaeyun: It was my first time going to the United States, so there was a sense of excitement about going there. Additionally, it was our first time visiting the United States as 8TURN. I didn’t have high expectations, but I was pleasantly surprised by the large number of people who came to see our performance at the convention showcase.

Yoonsung: Before we went to KCON LA, we also attended KCON events in Thailand and Japan, and they left us with such wonderful memories that I was really looking forward to KCON LA! It turned out to be even more enjoyable than I had expected, with a lot of people coming to see us and appreciating our performance, so I felt a strong desire to perform more.

KPC: How are you liking LA so far? Are you looking forward to seeing or doing anything while you’re here? Maybe going to Disneyland or Six Flags?

Kyungmin: I wanted to visit Hollywood, and because I’m a big fan of the Harry Potter series, I also really wanted to go to Universal Studios.

Yungyu: Personally, I found LA to be a truly beautiful and liberating city. I always wanted to visit Venice Beach if I were to visit LA.

KPC: A couple of the members were in competition shows. How did being a part of these shows help strengthen you and the group as a whole?

Jaeyun: I believe I’ve gained a lot from participating twice in survival programs. The most significant lesson I learned is the importance of collaboration and cooperation. Furthermore, having various learning experiences is an essential quality for a leader, so I’m very grateful for the opportunity to have appeared on the programs.

Kyungmin: I think I learned more about the competitive atmosphere which taught me how to achieve what I want. Moreover, I believe I’ve learned about the crucial aspects of collaboration and effective communication!

KPC: You mentioned in a previous interview that you paid Kris Kross homage by wearing your pants backward. Who else inspires you whether it’s musically or style-wise?

Myungho: SEVENTEEN is our role model, and we’ve watched many of their videos to learn from them. Their group synchronization is exceptional, so we dedicated considerable effort to achieving the same level of synchronization among the eight of us. I believe this is why we’ve been able to attain our current level of dance synchronization.

Minho: My musical inspirations are Baekhyun and Jungkook. Even before I dreamed of becoming a singer, I was deeply moved by the voices of these two seniors. As for fashion, I’m still on a journey to discover my own unique style.

KPC: You guys went viral for a part in “TIC TAC.” How did it feel to get so much recognition and attention?

Haemin: First and foremost, I’m grateful whenever people sing along to our songs, but sometimes, when I hear our voices on the street, it gives me goosebumps. I felt very grateful and it inspired me to strive for even better music in the future!

Seungheon: Since it was our debut song, we worked extremely hard and gave our all to introduce the group 8TURN to the public. I was very proud and thankful that I was somewhat rewarded for our hard work.

KPC: You guys recently celebrated 100 days with TURNINGs. How does it feel to celebrate 100 days with them? Did you have any plans?

Myungho: I can’t believe that 100 days have already passed. I hope to spend many more days together, reaching 500 days and even 1000 days. I want to convey how your love always makes me feel happy and strong! To celebrate our 100th day, we’ve prepared a rolling paper (handwritten card) for TURNINGs.

Seungheon: On the day we celebrated our 100th day with our fans, we unveiled our fandom name “TURNING” for the first time. I’m really grateful for all the love, and I hope to stay together forever.

KPC: Yungyu, you wrote lyrics for “WORLD.” How was the process for you, and do the members plan on composing and producing more songs in the future?

Yungyu: During the album preparation process, I was given the opportunity to write the lyrics for the intro rap verse. I remember immersing myself in the writing process for about a week! Several versions were written, and one version was chosen to be the final version of “WORLD” lyrics. Next time, I want to participate in writing lyrics for the title song!

Haemin: My goal for the future is to release a solo song, and I want to be involved in its production, including writing lyrics and composing. I want to write songs with a serene vibe, centered around lower notes.

KPC: This recent album is very focused on hip-hop and R&B sounds. How would you describe this album in one word, and what were you trying to show with this album?

Minho: Through this album, our goal was to showcase 8TURN’s distinctive style to the public. Following our first album, we made efforts to deliver performances and music that emphasized our unique musicality.

Yoonsung: One word I want to use to describe UNCHARTED DRIFT is ‘Skrrr!!!’ This album is very diverse and intense, featuring everything from intro songs and fan songs to tracks with a refreshing hip-hop vibe! Our aim was to express 8TURN’s distinctive passion and spirit, as well as to highlight each member’s individual charms through these songs.

Cr. KCONUSA’s Twitter

KPC: Message for TURNINGs?

Myungho: To our fans! Thank you for your constant love and support. Your presence gives us immense strength, and we hope to share happiness together for a long time to come. I’m very proud and happy to have TURNINGs as our fans. Stay healthy and well!

Jaeyun: Thank you so much for making 8TURN’s first visit to the United States so meaningful! I never expected to receive such love. I’m truly grateful, and thanks to all of you, my first memory of America will be a wonderful and joyful one. If the opportunity arises, we’ll return as soon as possible with great music and performances to share with you all!

Minho: We will continue to grow and showcase more of our improvements and charms in the future, so please keep supporting and loving us!

Yoonsung: To all of our fans! Thank you for your love and support for our second album. Thanks to your overwhelming support, we will work diligently in preparation for our next comeback! Stay tuned for all that.

Haemin: We feel your love and support just as strongly as you feel ours when you watch over and love us! Your ongoing support is deeply appreciated, and it gives us so much strength. Please continue to support and love you! We eagerly await the day when we can meet you in person again!!

Kyungmin: I am incredibly grateful to our fans for always supporting us when we are both on and off the stage. To me, our fans are the reason I can stand on stage, find comfort during difficult times, and share happiness during joyful moments. So, I want to tell them that we will consistently strive to present you with great performances and exceptional music!

Yungyu: To our fans who consistently support us!! I’m forever grateful, and I will work diligently to present you with many wonderful things in the future! I love you!!

Seungheon: TURNINGs! It feels like we’ve already spent more than 200 days together, and I want to express my heartfelt gratitude for always being by our side! I hope we can continue this journey together in the future. I love you!

Thank you to 8TURN, Tiffany Bae, and Helix Publicity for the interview opportunity and translations!

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