How time flies, they say. In the blink of an eye, we are a few months away from 2022. Yet, thanks to Einstein’s Special Theory of Relativity, a decade might feel like a fleeting moment for some while every passing second feels like an eternity for others. The past five years must have been rough for fans of K-pop group 2PM as members of the South Korean boy band took a break to fulfil their compulsory military duties amongst other pursuits. Memory-rich repositories of the boy band’s glory days were confined to songs, fan memorabilia, music videos or fan-cam videos — each a place of solace for fans as they held on dearly for hopes of a reunion. Then came the fateful day on 28 June 2021 as the boy band conducted an online press conference to announce their comeback marked by their seventh studio set ‘MUST’.
We caught up with our October 2021 cover stars JUN. K and CHANSUNG as they shared their thoughts about reuniting after five years, as well as a special trivia.
Congratulations on the reunion! How does it feel to see 2PM back together after a 5-Year hiatus?
JUN. K: First of all, I am really grateful that we are able to keep the promise with our fans and I am really happy that the six of us can be together again.
CHANSUNG: I feel amazed. I am really happy that our efforts to keep the promise with our fans gave us a good result.
What was the motivation for the comeback and what do you think 2PM has achieved with the comeback?
JUN. K: [Our fan base] HOTTEST is the biggest motivation for me. They make us become us. I hope that I can return their love as much as they gave us.
CHANSUNG: It is to return the love from our fans, to thank them for always staying beside us and waiting for us with good results.
Can you share the new vision of 2PM that fans can look forward to?
JUN. K: I want to give them the image of a guy who is really sexy and sweet — the warm-hearted one that no one can replace.
CHANSUNG: I am still not sure. I think the new vision of us might be something that comes with the right time after giving it some time.
What were some of the difficulties that you faced when working on ‘MUST’?
JUN. K: Since there are social issues surrounding “sexy” images these days, I try to pay attention and be aware of those issues while working on the tracks and writing the lyrics. Rather than talking about something sexy, expressing our team’s appeal is the most difficult part for me while working on the album.
CHANSUNG: I think I tried to fill up the emptiness of going to military service. I felt like some emotions have changed… so I tried to bring back those emotions I had before again.
What are some of the inspirations you had when recording the songs?
JUN. K: I considered a lot about how we can show each of our members’ charm throughout the album. After coming up with different words or sentences, we matched them into a paragraph before working on the tracks.
CHANSUNG: Normally, I would get inspiration from lyrics. I tried to find my own way to express the lyrics, working on melody, and so on. Mostly, I would focus on the overall feeling and try to find something that matches with those.
Is there a message that you would like to convey to fans around the world with the latest album ‘MUST’?
JUN. K: Because of you, there is us. I am always thankful that you have waited for us.
CHANSUNG: ‘MUST’ is an album that emphasises the variety of our charm.
What are each of your personal favourite songs from the album ‘MUST’?
JUN. K: I would go for ‘Make it’.
CHANSUNG: ‘Moon & Back’.
Now that all of you are in your thirties, is your latest studio album ‘MUST’ a reflection of your new-found maturity?
JUN. K: Of course it is.
CHANSUNG: I think so. As I mentioned before, it is the coolest part of us at the right time.
What are some of the inspirations you had when recording the songs?
JUN. K: I considered a lot about how we can show each of our members’ charm throughout the album. And after coming up with words or sentences, we matched them together into a paragraph and then, we started working on the tracks.
CHANSUNG: Normally, I would gain inspiration from lyrics. I tried to find my way to express the lyrics, working on the melody, and et cetera. Mostly, I would focus and consider the overalls first and then try to find something that matches those.
Gucci Wool cable-knit sweater, cotton shirt, cotton canvas monogram shorts, 25H in stainless steel with 18k yellow gold plated multi-layered case and brass dial, leather boots
JUN. K Trivia
Military training is definitely a tough period to go through. Can you share your biggest experience and lessons you gained from military training that you will cherish?
JUN. K: We have to learn how to be sincerely thankful. I think I did not know how to return the love that was given to me properly before. I got to learn how to be more thoughtful and be more kind in a way.
What qualities about CHANSUNG do you admire most?
JUN. K: He is very mature but also cute and considerate.
I read you are a fan of shoes. Can you share how many pairs of shoes you own in your collection?
JUN. K: I am not really into shoes a lot these days… I mostly wear the ones that I always wear. Before, I loved to collect the colorful ones, but now it’s mostly all black. I am kind of into Gucci Sneakers, Marni Sneakers these days.
What is your favourite drink?
JUN. K: Iced Americano.
Where are your favourite spots you would recommend to your Malaysian fans to experience the local fashion scene when the pandemic is over?
JUN. K: There are a lot of places and department stores these days. Places with fashion zones like Apgujeong, Sinsa-dong Garosu-gil, or Cheongdam-dong are really nice. So, I want to recommend these places.
Givenchy Nylon and down-feather puffer jacket, cotton vest, wool pants; Stylist’s own Nylon and leather belt
Military training is definitely a tough period to go through. Can you share your biggest experience and lesson you gained from military training that you will cherish?
CHANSUNG: I learned that there are types of people out there in the world, and I am just a unique one among them. I got to meet types of people in the military and got to spot that they all have their own pattern. Then, I got to realise the fact I never realized before that I am just a unique one among those uniques.
CHANSUNG, do you feel that your other bandmates look out for you the most since you are the youngest of 2PM?
CHANSUNG: Rather than because I am the youngest… I think as one of the members they just treat me the best they can.
What qualities about JUN. K do you admire most?
CHANSUNG: Even though he is the oldest one of us, I like how he treats other members as a brother and a friend. He always treats us like that, always. The good things, even though it changes the shape sometimes, but it is always a good thing.
You enjoy listening to music in general. Can you share who are your three favourite singers or bands you are listening to at the moment?
CHANSUNG: Park Hyo Shin, Naul, and Maxwell. They are my all-time muses.
What is your favourite food?
CHANSUNG: This is the most difficult question. I don’t think I have the ‘most’ favourite one. It is just if it’s delicious, it’s good. Maybe I can say I like them all.
Where is the best place in South Korea you would recommend your Malaysian fans to experience Korean culture when the pandemic is over?
CHANSUNG: Hmm… Korea’s gourmet scene. When the pandemic ends, just come to Seoul, the city that never sleeps. There is almost everything here!!!
Photograph: Yoo Young Jun; Styling: Park Sung Bae; Sittings Editor: Choi Sung Min; Grooming: Kim Do Hyeon/yangyangsalon; Hair: Yang Hyoung Shim/yangyangsalon; Production: Jeannie Ang