[YOUR PLAYLIST] P1Harmony members finally get to hear fans loud and clear — and they're loving it

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[YOUR PLAYLIST] P1Harmony members finally get to hear fans loud and clear — and they're loving it

If you were to make your life into a movie, what song would be playing in each scene? Everyone has a story, and the same is true for K-pop stars. In “Your Playlist,” K-pop artists share what the soundtrack would be for different moments in their life with the Korea JoongAng Daily.
P1Harmony is back to shout who they are, and it’s resonating.
P1Harmony's fourth EP “Harmony : Zero In” (2022) [FNC ENTERTAINMENT]

P1Harmony's fourth EP “Harmony : Zero In” (2022) [FNC ENTERTAINMENT]

The boy band dropped its fourth EP “Harmony : Zero In” on July 20. In its lead track “Doom Du Doom,” an upbeat hip-hop number, P1Harmony cheerfully proclaims to the world, “This is my rhythm / this is my song / It's how I sing it.” 
The group of six — Keeho, Theo, Jiung, Intak, Soul, and Jongseob — debuted in October 2020 and is seeing its career-high album sales with its latest EP, surpassing 100,000 copies in the first week after its release. It also holds special meaning for the members, as this is their first music after social distancing regulations were mostly lifted in April.
“Now that our fans are able to shout out loud, hearing them for the first time during this comeback showcase made us feel a surge of emotions,” said Intak. 
“Finally, we can get close with fans and spend more time,” Jiung said. “That means we got busier, but we’re also having more fun.”
P1Harmony sat down with the Korea JoongAng Daily on July 30 at the JoongAng Ilbo building in western Seoul. The six members shared their stories and songs that kept them company throughout their K-pop journey.
Dreaming K-pop

Soul, who is half-Korean and half-Japanese, revealed that his love for K-pop runs in the family. His dreams were sparked by his Japanese mother when he was growing up in Japan.
“One day after school, my mom showed me music videos for B.A.P’s ‘Warrior’ and Teen Top’s ‘Supa Luv,’” he said. “She was a big fan of the two boy bands. K-pop was already very popular in Japan and among my peers, so I knew about it, but that was the moment I started wanting to be a K-pop star myself.
Concept image for P1Harmony's "Harmony : Zero In" [FNC ENTERTAINMENT]

Concept image for P1Harmony's "Harmony : Zero In" [FNC ENTERTAINMENT]

The group’s youngest member Jongseob says he was also influenced by his parents — his father, a contemporary dancer, and his mother, a jazz dancer. 
“By watching my parents, I became familiar with stage performances from a young age,” he said. “So I’ve always been interested. But my dreams of being on stage really started when I saw B.A.P’s videos like ‘No Mercy.' Then I got a great opportunity to compete on an audition show and won.”
The winner of the sixth and last season of SBS’s audition show “Kpop Star” (2016-17), Jongseob became known to the public at the age of 11 as a rap prodigy.  
“Even then, I didn’t think I was going to be a K-pop idol,” he added. “The training opportunity just came naturally.”
In Keeho’s case, he did not have as much exposure to K-pop in his childhood since he was born and raised in Canada, “before K-pop got big like it is now.” But he always had dreams of becoming a singer.
“I just hadn’t thought about doing it in Korea, since I barely spoke Korean at the time,” Keeho said. “Then one day, I heard my sister listen to Dean’s ‘Bonnie & Clyde.’ I thought, ‘oh this is catchy’ and couldn’t stop humming along. I didn’t even understand the [Korean] lyrics back then; I just vibed to it. That song made me start thinking it would be so cool to have a music career in Korea.”  
When dreams come true

P1Harmony performs its latest lead track “Doom Du Doom” during its comeback showcase for "Harmony : Zero In" on July 20. [NEWS1]

P1Harmony performs its latest lead track “Doom Du Doom” during its comeback showcase for "Harmony : Zero In" on July 20. [NEWS1]

After years of training, their dream debut “came out of nowhere,” the members said in unison.  
“One of the directors at our agency called all six of us to come to the company gym, out of all places,” Keeho said. “He said, ‘Boys, you guys are a team from now on. Get to know each other.’”
“And then we randomly put our arms around each other’s shoulders,” Jongseob said. “It was literally my first day at the agency, and I had just met the other members. I was confused like ‘what is this’ but did it nonetheless.”
Keeho says he can only remember pure happiness at that moment — specifically the melody “because I’m happy” from Pharrell Williams’ “Happy” playing in his head.
“I’m naturally a positive person,” he said. “I started training in Korea thinking even if I don’t make it to debut, I will have no regrets. I was satisfied having a great experience and being able to say that I gave it my all. And now they’re even going to let me debut! So good! I was so thankful, you know!”
P1Harmony around the time of its debut in 2020 [FNC ENTERTAINMENT]

P1Harmony around the time of its debut in 2020 [FNC ENTERTAINMENT]

Soon afterward, the agency’s CEO notified them of the group name P1Harmony and the meaning behind it: a combination of plus, one and harmony, signifying the group’s potential to create various harmonies together. Before the name and meaning grew on them, the members confessed it initially raised eyebrows.  
“It sounded like the name of a choir,” said Jongseob.
“I don’t think any of us liked it from the beginning,” Jiung chimed in, while Intak laughed, “Why are all of you being so honest?”  
“Maybe we expected a shorter name," said Keeho. “The CEO told us it’s natural to take time for the name to grow on us, and he was right. Introducing ourselves as P1Harmony and grasping the meaning behind it got us attached to the name. It suits us perfectly.”
CNBlue's debut EP "Bluetory" (2010) [FNC ENTERTAINMENT]

CNBlue's debut EP "Bluetory" (2010) [FNC ENTERTAINMENT]

As dreams were becoming reality, it really sank in for Jiung when he met Jung Yong-hwa, the lead vocalist of rock band CNBlue, which is under the same agency as P1Harmony.  
“I always sang CNBlue’s ‘Loner’ at noraebang [singing room],” he said. “Then I got to meet Jung at the company and was excited to tell him that ‘Loner’ was my go-to song. It was surreal that I was talking to the singer of my favorite song, and it settled in that I was really becoming part of the K-pop scene.”
Ups and downs

In the competitive world of K-pop trainees and singers, the young members have had their fair share of ups and downs. As diverse as the members’ styles and talents are, they each deal with slumps in different ways.  
“Personally, whenever I’m going through a hard time, I’m just like ‘Eh, what the heck!’" said Intak. “I have to do this anyway, so let’s get it done and enjoy it — that’s always my mindset, which is why I love Big Bang’s ‘Fxxk It.’ I listen to upbeat, carefree songs in those moments.”
Meanwhile, Keeho and Jongseob are more on the ‘let it be’ side of thinking.  
“Rather than trying to get out of my gloomy emotions, I actually like to put on a sentimental song, close my eyes and fully process those feelings,” Jongseob said.  
Ariana Grande's album "Sweetener" (2018) [REPUBLIC RECORDS]

Ariana Grande's album "Sweetener" (2018) [REPUBLIC RECORDS]

Naturally, their go-to playlist when they’re feeling down is full of soothing songs to indulge in: “Falling Slowly” from the original soundtrack of “Once” for Jongseb, and Ariana Grande’s “Better Off” and Billie Eilish’s “Listen Before I Go” for Keeho.  
“I have this specific memory on a rainy night,” said Keeho. “I was alone in our group dormitory, feeling tired. I put on ‘Better Off’ before going to sleep, and it really felt like the melody was embracing me. The latter is a sad song, and you know how when you feel sad, you want to feel sadder?”
But when they’re going through troubles as a team, the members come together to share both the good and bad moments — especially for celebrations, turning on songs like Big Bang’s “We Like To Party.”
“Since our trainee days, whether we have ups or downs, we always call a meeting and talk to each other a lot,” said Jiung, “Whenever something goes well or we come up with a good idea, we would say ‘That’s it!’ It became our little inside joke, and that’s how the song ‘That’s It’ from our debut EP came to be.”
P1Harmony poses during an interview with the Korea JoongAng Daily. [JEON TAE-GYU]

P1Harmony poses during an interview with the Korea JoongAng Daily. [JEON TAE-GYU]

The P1ece to the puzzle

To P1Harmony, its fandom P1ece is more than just an audience at its shows, but people who create the show with the band. Members say their first global tour earlier this year, which saw P1Harmony perform in Seoul and eight cities in the United States, made it clearer than ever.  
“What I realized during this tour is, with just us, there’s a limit,” said Soul. “Our fans are the ones who create the atmosphere and lift up the energy. They take us to the next level.”
“I feel like our fans were just born full of gusto,” Jiung added. “They enjoy the concerts with us [...] It’s a very passionate fandom.”
P1Harmony's third EP "Disharmony : Find Out" (2022) [FNC ENTERTAINMENT]

P1Harmony's third EP "Disharmony : Find Out" (2022) [FNC ENTERTAINMENT]

For P1ece, Jiung dedicated “Yes Man,” a track on P1Harmony’s latest EP that goes, “Anything you want / I'll be your yes man [...] 'Cause I’m on your side, you’re on my side, we have dream teamwork.” 
Theo chose “Peacemaker,” another song by the group, which sings “I will be there / Let’s go together / to a world with no sadness / that we’ve dreamed of.”
Theo also has an idea about why international fans in particular have been sending P1Harmony lots of love, as seen during its global tour, which sold out all of its runs in less than half an hour.
“I think part of it is because us members try to communicate and perform a lot in English, and English-speaking fans appreciate that,” he said. “I mean, wouldn’t anyone like it if their favorite singer sings in their language? Since Keeho grew up abroad, he plays a big role in understanding that ‘international vibe’ and suggests to us what foreign fans would like to see from us.”
The group actively uploads cover videos of English-language pop songs on its official YouTube channel as well, which are met with enthusiastic reviews.  
The future ahead

Thinking about the future, the group always goes back to where it started from — its debut track “Siren,” a dramatic number in which P1Harmony sings it hasn’t shown “half of the half” of what it has to offer.  
P1Harmony's first EP "Disharmony : Stand Out" (2020) [FNC ENTERTAINMENT]

P1Harmony's first EP "Disharmony : Stand Out" (2020) [FNC ENTERTAINMENT]

“'Siren’ is a majestic song with a heroic vibe and this attitude of ‘We’re here, and we’re here to save the world,’” Keeho said. “It really demonstrates our ambition and what we’re going to keep showing in the future. And as for our latest song ‘Doom Du Doom,’ it’s a new start for our ‘Harmony’ EP series. We’re going to show how we create our harmonies, containing our unique colors.”
Most of all, P1Harmony aspires to be an artist that gives energy to anyone who sees it perform.
“Whether they see us in-person on stage, through the internet, or just listen to our music, I hope they feel something resonate within them,” Jongseob said. “Everyone interprets music in their own way. I want our listeners to also find their own meaning in our songs.”
“As much as they give me strength, I want us to be a source of energy for P1ece too,” said Theo. “Having good and bad times, that’s life for everyone. Let’s be each other’s shoulders to lean on, and make a lot of great memories."
P1Harmony's Playlist  

Concept image for P1Harmony's "Harmony : Zero In" [FNC ENTERTAINMENT]

Concept image for P1Harmony's "Harmony : Zero In" [FNC ENTERTAINMENT]

01. P1Harmony – Doom Du Doom  
02. B.A.P – No Mercy
03. Gaho – Start Over  
04. iKON – Sinosijak
05. Big Bang – We Like To Party  
06. B.A.P – Crash
07. Cherry Filter – Flying Duck
08. Jekyll & Hyde the Musical – This Is The Moment
09. Big Bang – Fxxk It
10. P1Harmony – Yes Man
11. iKON – Bling Bling
12. Teen Top – Supa Luv  
13. B.A.P – Warrior
14. Pharrell Williams – Happy
15. Big Bang – Sober
16. P1Harmony – That’s It
17. Sunwoojunga – Run With Me
18. P1Harmony – Peacemaker
19. P1Harmony – Follow Me  
20. Zico – Artist
21. The Internet – Under Control
22. CNBlue – Loner
23. Dean - Bonnie & Clyde
24. Glen Hansard and Markéta Irglová - Falling Slowly
25. Ariana Grande - Better Off
26. Billie Eilish - Listen Before I Go
27. Kehlani - everything  
28. Jason Mraz – I’m Yours
29. P1Harmony - Siren

BY HALEY YANG [yang.hyunjoo@joongang.co.kr]
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