In the competitive world of K-pop boy bands, it’s often hard for a new group to make their mark. But straight out the door, TOMORROW X TOGETHER landed their March debut EP The Dream Chapter: STAR on the Billboard 200 albums chart, where it debuted at No. 140. The album also topped the World Albums chart, and its release preceded a sold-out Star in U.S.showcase tour this month, proving that the quintet, also known as TXT, had already accumulated a sizable following in the States.
The first new group formed under Big Hit Entertainment since the Korean company launched BTS in 2013, TXT is a youth-oriented act that’s all about pursuing their dreams as a team, as referenced in their first album’s title. It features five young men, Soobin, Yeonjun, Beomgyu, Taehyun, and Hueningkai; Yeonjun, born in September 1999, is the eldest of the act and not yet 20-years-old.
“The Dream Chapter: STAR is a story about growing up from childhood to youth,” says Taehyun in a brief interview, conducted predominantly in English, while in New York City for their show at Playstation Theater on May 9. “We wanted to tell a story about how we are together under one dream. [Becoming] a star is a dream to us.” The five-track EP was fronted by single “Crown,” which TXT’s youngest member Hueningkai describes as a “trendy synth-pop song about growing pains.” Less than three months since its release, its music video on YouTube is nearing 70 million views. A second single “Cat & Dog” was released a few weeks after the album dropped initially on March 4, and was later released in English.
Though things are going smoothly for TXT and there are relatively few growing pains in their career so far — although their NYC show did have some delays after doors opened later than expected — the group’s members are very much aware of their place in the industry as rookies with a lot of attention thanks to being under the same label as BTS. “It’s a great honor to be mentioned with them,” say Soobin. “We learned a lot of things from them.” “I’m just so happy because we’re the second group of Big Hit label,” adds Taehyun. As the new kids at Big Hit, TOMORROW X TOGETHER admit to still having some pre-performance jitters whenever they go on stage, but Soobin says that they diligently practice until right before they go on stage, and Beomgyu adds that they always hype themselves up with a cheer of "Fighting!," which in Korea is used as a term reflecting determination.
For each of the five, becoming a star, as Taehyun says, is a longtime goal. For him, he began dreaming about pursuing a career in the spotlight about ten years ago, when he watched SHINee’s 2008 debut single “Replay.” “It made me want to be a singer,” he reflects. For Yeonjun, a middle school festival made it apparent that he would like to become a performer. “When I first danced on the stage, I can’t forget that feeling. It felt really good. I was so happy.”
Although they’re on the path to stardom and it could, and will likely, be filled with pressures, each of TXT’s members make sure to enjoy their hobbies when they have a bit of free time. “I love to listen to songs and play instruments,” says Hueningkai, who plays guitar, piano, and drums. Beomgyu is similarly inclined. “I like to play guitar and write songs,” he says. For Yeonjun and Taehyun, they opt to hang with friends when they have a bit of spare time; the former is into watching movies while chilling, whereas the latter says that he loves to play soccer with his friends. Soobin, on the other hand, spends his free time reading and writing in his diary. “A daily diary,” he reveals.
As they spend more days together and with their growing fanbase, the future looks bright for TOMORROW X TOGETHER, and they hope that they continue to make an impact as their career progresses. “I want people to think that we all shine in our own ways, and we’re even brighter together,” says Hueningkai.
TOMORROW X TOGETHER's final show in the U.S. will take place tomorrow night, May 24, at Los Angeles' The Novo. They'll be back Stateside the first weekend of July, and will appear at KCON New York.