Ateez says new studio album serves as indicator of future path

December 1, 2023

In celebration of the fifth year since its debut, Ateez has returned to the music scene with its second full-length album, titled “The World Ep. Fin: Will.”

The album, which includes a variety of unit and solo songs, serves as a compass pointing toward the path the group will walk in the future, the K-pop octet said during a press conference to mark the release on Friday.

“This album shows how Ateez will move forward after its fifth anniversary as the group tried its hand at unit songs and various genres that have not been tried before,” team leader Hongjoong said during the event at a hotel in southern Seoul.

K-pop boy group Ateez poses for a photo during a press conference to promote its second studio album, "The World Ep. Fin: Will," on Dec. 1, 2023. (PHOTO NOT FOR SALE) (Yonhap)
K-pop boy group Ateez poses for a photo during a press conference to promote its second studio album, “The World Ep. Fin: Will,” on Dec. 1, 2023. (PHOTO NOT FOR SALE) (Yonhap)

“We tried to put a lot of our four years of know-how into the preparation process,” Seonghwa added.

It marks the band’s first studio album in four years since “Treasure Ep. Fin: All to Action” in October 2019.

The second studio album’s lead track, “Crazy Form,” is a cheerful dancehall genre song based on Afrobeat rhythm that the group has never done before.

Introducing the song as “highly addictive,” Yeosang said, “It’s a song that well captures the irreplaceable charm of Ateez.”

Another highlight of the track is its choreography that makes Ateez stand out, Wooyoung pointed out.

The arrival of the new album comes as the group’s global recognition is rising rapidly.

Debuting in 2018 with KQ Entertainment, a minor K-pop agency, Ateez has been known for its intense stage performances as well as unique music style and narratives of its “Treasure,” “Fever” and “The World” album series.

In June this year, the group’s ninth EP, “The World Ep. 2: Outlaw,” sold over 1.52 million copies in the debut week. It then soared to No. 2 on the Billboard 200 and No. 10 on the British Official Albums Chart Top 100, marking the band’s highest-ranking entry yet on both charts.

The group recently returned from a world tour that attracted about 400,000 international fans for about a year.

“We did not work on this album with Billboard rankings or our career in mind,” Hongjoong said. “We wanted to leave a mark on our fans and the public with our musicality. We’d like to be recognized for the completeness of the songs or the overall cohesiveness of the album.”

Asked about the group’s weaker domestic fandom compared to its global following, he answered, “We also have thought a lot about the issue and about what we could do to increase our domestic recognition, but the conclusion we reached in the end remained the same.”

Since Ateez is a group that has proven itself from the beginning on stage, he said, “I believe if we continue to show you good songs and performances, domestic recognition will naturally follow.”