2022 has been quite a year for the rising K-Pop boy group, WEi. After the conclusion of their Identity album trilogy, Daehyeon, Donghan, Yongha, Yohan, Seokhwa, and Junseo launched their Love series with their fourth EP, Love Pt. 1: First Love that set the stage for their first-ever 2022 WEI WORLD TOUR [FIRST LOVE]. The 14-city tour brought the members to countries such as Thailand, Japan, the United States, Canada, and Mexico. Having debuted in the midst of the pandemic, WEi embraced the opportunity to finally meet their diehard fans, called RUi, and returned their unwavering love and support with dazzling concerts, surprise busking events, and fan interactions.
In between their bustling tour schedules, WEi quietly booked dance studios and practiced continuously for their following promotions with their fifth EP, Love Pt. 2: Passion. While the preceding album dabbled in crushes and the “unfamiliarity of first love,” the new six-track mini-album displayed a multitude of ways to experience and profess one’s love. Like taking a moonlit stroll on a beach, the opening track “Moonlight” captures the bliss of young love and the desire to live in the moment forever. The feelings are amplified in the title track “Spray” and “Higher Ground.” Both dynamic tracks showcase passionate messages of love – the former wishing to coat the listeners with their love like graffiti on a blank canvas while the latter professes that love can overcome any obstacles. WEi’s confidence builds in the flirty, trilingual song, “ROSE.” Lined with witty lyrics such as “oh mamacita,” it uses Korean, Spanish, and English to tell the story of wooing a girl who can be as dangerous as the thorns of a rose. Rather than wait for certain times of the year to showcase your love, the following track “Special Holiday” carries the wish to make your partner feel loved as if every day was a special occasion. The album wraps up with the fan song “Umbrella” which simply states WEi’s desire to be by RUi’s side forever and help them weather any storm that may come their way.
Prior to the album’s release, the K-Pop Concerts team had the pleasure of speaking with WEi to discuss their latest EP, their reflections on their world tour, and how they find their confidence.
KPC: Congratulations on the release of your 5th mini-album Love Pt. 2: Passion! How were you feeling leading up to its release and how do you all feel now that it’s out?
YONGHA: I felt like I had to grow more than the previous album, so I practiced hard and continuously monitored my performances. I still feel like I need more improvement even during our promotion, so I’m continuing to work hard!
SEOKHWA: At first, we were worried as we were preparing the album, and there were certain hardships in practicing, but after we released our music and saw our fans reacting to it made me really happy.
KPC: Your new album expresses love through passion and confidence. Could you share what the album preparation process was like for this album?
YOHAN: Since the song and choreography is a little dark I focused on not only singing and dancing but also visual aspects.
DONGHAN: We all participated in deciding on the concept. The time we had to prepare was limited due to our world tour but we really wanted to do justice to the concept, so just like our album title, we prepared with passion.
KPC: “Spray” is a powerful track that introduced a new side of WEi to the public. How did you select the song to be your title track for this new album?
YOHAN: When we decide on the title song, we listen to various tracks together. We thought “Spray” fit well with the image we wanted to show to our fans, so we decided to go with “Spray” as the title track.
DAEHYEON: I was mesmerized by the song by its first verse. I thought the chorus was catchy, and I also liked the song’s meaning where I am a spray and I want to “spray myself” to fill my loved one.
YONGHA: We wanted to show a strong image of ourselves, and thought that “Spray” was just the right song to do so. All the members had the same thoughts (haha).
KPC: For “Special Holiday,” the song is about feeling joy and happiness through everyday moments. What makes you all happy these days?
DAEHYEON: I feel happiness pretty easily so if I keep it simple, I feel happiness from small thoughts like “I am going to get some good food after I’ve finished my schedule of the day.” I also like to make special moments by screenshotting compliments and good words from our fans posted on social media.
SEOKHWA: I wasn’t able to meet my dog Cookie due to touring, and was really happy to see Cookie again.
KPC: Among all the songs in your new album, which contained your favorite lyrical line and why?
YONGHA: There is a lyric from “Special Holiday” that goes like “I used to like things that are cold, but now like things that are hot.” At first, I wasn’t sure what the lyrics exactly meant, but after listening multiple times, I got addicted.
JUNSEO: I like the last lyric of “Special Holiday,” which goes like “I’ll definitely confess my feelings today, special holiday,” as it gives lyrical vibes.
KPC: Your album is full of confidence. How do you define “confidence” in your own words and do you have any words of advice for those who may be struggling with this?
JUNSEO: Confidence is literally a kind of pride in yourself. If the people who support us gain strength by expressing their confidence, I think that gives me confidence again. If there are people who want to find confidence, I hope you express yourself because you are cool and beautiful enough. There’s definitely someone who recognizes you and you can create synergy together.
YONGHA: In a way, I’m one of the people who usually don’t show confidence. I feel confident when I’m on stage, so if there are people like me, I think they’ll feel confident if they do what they like and want to do. I think it’s important to challenge yourself!
KPC: You embarked on your world tour prior to this release. How did you balance your time between preparing for the album and preparing for your tour?
YOHAN: Even when we were abroad for our tour, we booked a practice room and practiced non-stop.
DAEHYEON: We wanted to show our fans good performances, so we prepared for our 5th album during our tour, and continuously practiced.
KPC: During your tour, you visited Thailand, Japan, the U.S., Canada, and Mexico. What was it like to finally be able to meet your international RUi face-to-face? What were some fun differences that you noticed among fans in these regions?
JUNSEO: We were so thankful to all our fans for supporting us all over the world. It was so good to see the energy of our fans in Thailand, and in Japan, I was grateful for the warm eyes watching us. The US & Mexico also gave us great passion. Overall, I was so happy to meet RUi in each country. I want to go again.
YOHAN: Because I haven’t been able to go abroad a lot due to COVID-19, I was amazed when I first met RUi on an overseas tour. It was really touching to see our fans cheering for us at every performance. I think Junseo explained the characteristics of RUi in each country really well.
KPC: Is there any food that you got to try on tour that you wish you could introduce back in Korea?
YONGHA: When I went on tour, I only ate the most famous foods in the region, so I don’t think there’s anything I can introduce to you, but I heard that corn dishes are famous in Mexico. I want to try it next time!
DONGHAN: There was a snack during the interview in Mexico. It wasn’t spicy, but it was delicious, so I wanted to recommend it to our Korean fans. I don’t remember the name, but I’ll be sure to find it out next time!
KPC: In addition to holding concerts, you also met fans through busking events. What was that experience like?
SEOKHWA: We busked about three times during our tour in the U.S. We wanted to repay our fans with a better performance because our fans cheered for us at every busking venue, and those who weren’t our fans also came to watch it, and they responded favorably to our music, which was an opportunity to gain confidence.
YOHAN: It was our first tour, but we are thankful to everyone who welcomed us. I was so happy that a lot of people enjoyed busking with us!
YONGHA: There were a lot of changes in the schedule, but I was so thankful that the fans always came and enjoyed busking. While busking, it felt amazing to see people from all over the world with us!
KPC: You’re now two years into your career. What is the biggest achievement that you’re most proud of?
DONGHAN: I’m proud of every moment with the members. It feels like we’re working hard and growing one step at a time!
JUNSEO: I was proud of having a world tour. When I watched great seniors going abroad and communicating with their fans, I always wanted to do the same. I’m proud that WEi achieved it, and I hope we can meet more fans in the future.
KPC: As an artist that continues to evolve, what have been some of your favorite compliments that you’ve received on your work thus far?
SEOKHWA: When people who saw the performances said that we have potential and a bright future, it felt really good.
JUNSEO: Words like “you’re doing great and you will keep on doing great” are really touching when I hear them.
KPC: What are other dreams or goals you wish to accomplish outside of music?
DAEHYEON: Witnessing my members doing whatever they want to accomplish is one of my dreams.
SEOKHWA: I have many goals that are not music related, but since I still love music a lot, I would love to try performing in a musical once again.
KPC: Thank you for your time, are there any last messages you would like to send to our readers and RUi?
YOHAN: We are gaining so much energy from RUi every day. We will continue to show you only the best of us.
JUNSEO: I’m sure RUi knows how we feel about them, right? We love you~
Thank you to WEi, OUI Entertainment, and MyMusicTaste for this interview opportunity!