K-Pop group ONEUS successfully completed their 1st World Tour Reach for Us last month. The tour, which began in Korea last fall, brought Seoho, Leedo, Keonhee, Hwanwoong, and Xion across fourteen cities in the United States and Latin America for a jammed-packed, month-long tour circuit.
Shortly after their Pasadena concert, Kpopconcerts.com had the pleasure of sitting down with ONEUS for a quick interview to reflect on their U.S. tour experience as well as their goals for 2023.
KPC: Welcome back to L.A. and congrats on completing the last of your U.S. concerts. How does it feel to be back in the City of Angels?
Keonhee: When we arrived in L.A., the weather was so amazing! We felt instantly happy. Yesterday’s L.A. concert was filled with passionate fans and it was amazing to share our stage with them. At the same time, it was also our last stage in the States so we just have only good memories as we leave for Latin America tomorrow.
KPC: How were you feeling before you went on tour and how are you all doing now, over midway through?
Seoho: At the beginning of the tour, we felt like the tour was going to be much longer than we had expected and we were worried, but now that we look back on it, it is going by so quickly! We’re looking forward to finishing the final half of the tour.
KPC: What are the most fun and the most challenging parts of touring?
Hwanwoong: Whenever we come to the States, one thing we’re amazed at is, even though we have a language barrier, the fans all sing in Korean together during the stages. Whenever we hear that it really gives us an electrifying, energetic feeling. There is one hurdle that we would like to overcome during this tour. There are songs and choreography that really push us to the limits, so we had to practice very hard to ensure a perfect performance. We also have to be very careful to maintain our health throughout the length of this long tour, but as we continue to gain experience, we are learning our own ways to manage this.
KPC: What factors do you take into consideration when deciding what songs to include on tour?
Seoho: When we are creating the setlist, of course, we want the fans to have fun, but we also want fans to really be able to immerse themselves in the show, so we focus a lot on the overall flow of the concert. So sometimes we start off with a stronger performance, follow it up with a slower or more chill performance, and then end with a stronger performance. Yes, I think the biggest factor that we take into consideration is the overall flow of the show.
KPC: On top of adding special stages, you even took the opportunity to leave the stage and get closer to your fans. Tell us what that experience was like for you all!
Hwanwoong: We were very excited as we prepared the special stages for fans attending this tour. We were very happy that the fans seemed to be enjoying the performances with us. I think that being able to perform up close to fans and seeing their reactions is one of the greatest moments that you could have as a singer. There are some moments of freedom when we can interact directly with fans and even take selfies or videos with them, and those moments are very special to us. I’m happy that it seems like the fans had a good time.
KPC: How does it feel when fans communicate their love and support for you all through special fan projects at concerts (ex. The surprise fan banners and even the “Butterfly Project” in Madison)?
Keonhee: The first thought that I had when I saw the banners was that the fans took the time to translate their message into our native language so that we could immediately understand it. We are there to put on a show for the fans, and their only job is to enjoy the show, but the fact that they took the time to do that event for us was very touching. Sometimes I even feel jealous because I wish that we could’ve done as much for our fans, or even more. We can feel how much our fans truly love us and it makes us want to try even harder and create great music for them.
KPC: Next you’re headed to Latin America! Your Latin To Moons want to know what you have prepared.
Xion: We prepared a lot of special stages for this whole tour and we tried very hard to make sure there were many opportunities to interact with our fans. I hope they enjoy the show.
KPC: What is the first thing you want to do once you return to Korea?
Leedo: I want to visit my family!
Seoho: During our tour, there’s not a particular place where I can practice my singing. As soon as I get back, I’m going to go straight to the studio and try to practice more songs.
KPC: No vacation?!
Seoho: (in English) Maybe, no vacation (laughs). I feel like it’s going to be a very busy time as soon as we get back. Please look forward to it~.
Xion: There’s a musical that I really enjoy watching. But that musical will end soon, so as soon as I get back I’ll go watch the musical!
KPC: How do you all stay grounded and take care of yourselves during your busy schedules?
Keonhee: When we’re really busy, of course, we don’t have much leisure time. But, when we’re not actively promoting, sometimes we’ll have a few free hours after practices. We try not to waste this free time. I might go to watch a movie or go eat some good food. Nowadays, I’ve been trying to change my mindset from “I’m bored” to “I have free time.” I think it’s important to use my free time for myself in order to maintain a work-life balance.
KPC: What’s next for ONEUS? What are some personal goals that you all would like to accomplish in 2023?
Keonhee: As a team, we started off the year with a tour. We feel that we received so much love from our fans and performed a lot of different stages in different countries in different cities, and we feel very blessed by it! With all the love that we’ve received, as soon as we get back to Korea we’re going to start working on a new album and start that album with more color of ONEUS this time so that we can give back the love to the fans. At the moment we don’t have an exact date of when we’re going to release it or an exact date of what we’re going to do for this year, but we will always be working hard to improve ourselves for our fans. So please look forward to our comeback.
Hwanwoong: One of my goals this year is to make music that is so great that our junior groups and other artists will want to make covers of our music. We, too, looked up to many of our senior artists and improved by watching them. So now, we would like to be a great group that other rookies and trainees can look up to.
Thank you to ONEUS and RBW Entertainment for this interview opportunity and to Aiden and Nahri L. for the translations.