It’s only been about a year and a half since South Korean boy band Cravity debuted, and in that very short span of time, they have established themselves as not just ones to watch, but a name that can already be counted on to sell albums in their home country. The group has already charted four top 10 titles in the nation, with two projects shooting right to the No. 1 spot. That’s an incredible showing for an act so new, and it shows that they have become powerhouses in no time.
Not long ago, the band’s debut full-length The Awakening: Written in the Stars opened at No. 3 on the Gaon Albums chart, bringing them back toward the top and reconfirming that they are incredibly powerful, even if they’re still just getting started.
I spoke with the members of Cravity about living up to insanely high expectations and going from short EPs to a conceptual full-length.
Hugh McIntyre: Congratulations on having your first full-length album come out! How does it feel to finally have such a big project out into the world?
Allen: I think it’s really such a big deal to be able to release a full-length album because we know it’s not an easy task. It’s difficult for any artist. We’re really vulnerable and really glad to be able to have this experience. And because it’s a first album, we made sure to pay extra attention to each and every single track and to the performances and everything that comes along with it.
Jungmo: Putting out an album has been on our bucket list ever since we formed.
McIntyre: It is a big step. You guys released several short projects before this, so what was different when you started creating this full-length?
Jungmo: We have more songs!
Allen: It’s been a little more than a year since we debuted and now, we have definitely gained more experience by recording multiple EPS and promoting our songs on music programs and doing interviews such as this one. So I feel like with this album, we became much more mature. We’re able to actually put in our emotions, to express our emotions in our songs and in our performances on stage. Compared to the Hideout series we released, this is out of our comfort zones. We may be able to face the world and all the challenges that come with it with this new confidence, as if we’ve been awakened.
McIntyre: The three EPs you released were all really successful. Fans loved them. Did you feel any pressure to deliver something extra and take it to that next level, because this was your first full-length?
Jungmo: We really want to show our fans and people that we got through.
Allen: There was definitely big pressure on us because throughout each release, just to speak materialistically, all our album sales have been increasing with each release. For example, the latest release, Season 3. Hideout: Be Our Voice, has seen quite some success in terms of album sales and reaction from the general public. So with this release, we really want to live up to that expectation. We wanted to exceed what we achieved with the three Seasons [EPs]. We, our voice and my term with this first full length album and the single “Gas Pedal.”
McIntyre: I’m glad you mentioned the commercial aspect of it. I know that’s really important to most commercial artists. Your first two EPs went right to number one in Korea. Does that make you feel energized for the next one, or are you then nervous about the next one? What do those numbers make you feel?
Allen: Seeing those go to number one, like right away, I mean…it makes us feel really good about ourselves because we work really hard, so it is kind of a relief. But then at the same time it can feel really burdensome because, you know, we hope to achieve the same feeling through each release. So we always make sure to work extra hard with each release.
Taeyoung: To be honest, we were also a little bit nervous that if we came out with the next album and we couldn’t match them with our new songs. So we were a little bit nervous, but also we are really thankful for our fans.
Allen: Thanks for helping us achieve the feat.
McIntyre: It’s only been a year and a half since you debuted, but you already have three EPs and a full-length album. That schedule is really intense. Do you plan on keeping that up or do you want to slow down at all?
Jungmo: I like this!Taeyoung: Yeah, it was kind of a tough schedule, but uh, yeah, before our full-length album, we got some rest time, like three months.
Allen: We like this pace, actually, because, you know, compared to other artists from smaller companies, they might not be able to produce as many albums in a year. We’re really grateful and really blessed to be a part of such a great company that actively promotes us. I want to keep up this pace. Harder is much better. It is better to be busier than to have no work.
McIntyre: Now, “Gas Pedal”—I love it. I was just watching the video before this. Tell me a bit about the meaning behind it. The symbolism, I guess.
Taeyoung: It’s the theme of accelerate, accelerate, accelerate. The meaning is we won’t give up until we achieve our goals, until we reach the top. So it’s about all of our passions.
McIntyre: Really like it. I was reading, I think, that this is part one of the album. Is there a second part coming at some point?
Allen: Sure. I don’t know if I can disclose it, but the plan is sooner. Because it’s part one, there’s gotta be a part two.
McIntyre: Is the plan to go right into part two next, or are you going to space it out with some more EPs or something?
Allen: I think go straight into it. Yeah. And there’s something more exciting that’s going to come out before that too, so look forward to that.
McIntyre: I love how far ahead you’re planning. So, the album is just out, you’re promoting it now, the world is opening up. We hope, you know, getting a little bit better. What’s the rest of the year look like for you guys?
Allen: Yeah. With everyone getting the vaccine and stores [opening] and restrictions starting to lift, for the rest of this year, we can expect maybe a fan meeting and, um, hopefully a world tour, our first concerts offline. In-person! So we can hear our fans cheer for us and see them hold up signs and lightsticks and stuff.