ENHYPEN, the name of the latest K-pop group intent on taking over the globe, is a play on a part of language that brings two things together. “It symbolizes our unity as seven individuals connected with a hyphen,” says member SUNOO. “This connection plays a pivotal role in strengthening our camaraderie as we grow together.”
And grow, they have. Since emerging as the top-seven competitors of the elimination-style music show I-Land in 2020, wherein they were announced as a group on the season finale, ENHYPEN has been steadily climbing higher on charts with each release across Korea, Japan, the United States, and beyond thanks to their loyal fans, ENGENEs. Phillipina American vocalist and influencer Bella Poarch, who is featured on a special English-language version of ENHYPEN’s new single “Sweet Venom,” recently caught up with the group while on the road for “FATE,” the second of back-to-back world tours for JUNGWON, HEESEUNG, JAY, JAKE, SUNG- HOON, SUNOO, AND NI-KI, who show that they are still in it to win it.
BELLA POARCH: What’s your favorite thing so far about touring for “FATE”?
NI-KI: Each place we visit has its unique vibe and culture. But despite these differences, the shared love for our music and the support we receive motivate us to keep pushing forward.
SUNGHOON: It’s truly awe-inspiring to perform in front of ENGENEs in different corners of the world. Seeing them having fun at our shows adds an even greater level of happiness to the whole experience.
BP: You guys have such a special relationship with ENGENEs; they are truly some of the kindest fans. Do you have any memorable stories with them?
SUNGHOON: During the U.S. leg of the “FATE” tour, we had a segment where we randomly caught ENGENEs on camera and had them dance to our song. Since it’s quite rare for us to see ENGENEs dancing in person, this segment became a memorable and special moment for all of us.
BP: Do you have a favorite city you’ve performed in to date?
JUNGWON: While every city we perform in is special, at the L.A. stadium show we closed with a stunning fireworks display, and I feel like it went perfectly with the vibe of L.A. It was truly an unforgettable experience, even more so because it was our U.S. stadium debut.
BP: Your latest album, ORANGE BLOOD, is just out. What’s your favorite track from it?
JAKE: ORANGE BLOOD is really a “no skip” album, but if I had to choose one, I’d go with “Orange Flower (You Complete Me).”
JUNGWON: My favorite is “Orange Flower (You Complete Me).”
JAY: Personally, I like “Sweet Venom.” It’s very different from our previous lead singles and the fact that I contributed to the Korean lyrics makes it even more special.
HEESEUNG: “Sweet Venom” because I’m personally into this funk/pop genre. Also, you can listen to this song in both Korean and English, so hopefully more listeners will be able to connect to it and enjoy it.
SUNGHOON: “Sweet Venom” is my top pick because it allows us to show a different side of ourselves that ENGENEs have yet to witness.
SUNOO: I’m on board with SUNGHOON—“Sweet Venom.”
NI-KI: I choose “Sweet Venom” too. Its choreography and the song itself is very fresh, making it very exciting to perform.
BP: ENGENEs also love ENHYPEN’s look. How would you describe your individual styles?
JUNGWON: I usually opt for comfortable and easygoing looks, but lately, I’ve been experimenting with more formal and edgy styles as well.
HEESEUNG: I enjoy playing around with pieces that have different vibes and I pay particular attention to the quality of the fabric.
JAY: My style is quite versatile, but I’m particularly drawn to clothes with a lot of sophisticated details.
JAKE: Similar to JAY, I’m open to a wide range of styles. Recently, I’ve been working on mixing and matching different looks to define my signature style.
SUNGHOON: I prefer neat and well-defined outfits, which is why I enjoy wearing matching sets to achieve a classic aesthetic.
SUNOO: My go-to is effortless yet trendy attire, often paired with accessories like bags.
NI-KI: Street and vintage styles are my favorites and I like to blend elements from both to craft looks that are unique to me.
BP: What do you love about being an artist?
NI-KI: That our music has the power to transcend borders, allowing people from around the world to enjoy it together. Whenever I come across ENGENEs sharing how our music provides comfort and strength, it fuels my motivation to work even harder.
JAKE: Being able to communicate and share our thoughts through music with our fans is the best part of being an artist. It’s a beautiful, reciprocal relationship where our music resonates with ENGENEs and their responses make it all the more meaningful.
BP: How do you see your music evolving and what do you hope to achieve in the future?
JAY: We’re all about growing as a team and sharing the highs and lows together. We’re taking it step by step to discover what makes ENHYPEN special.
JUNGWON: Our main goal is to keep pushing boundaries as artists and share with our fans the journey of our growth. We’ve explored various musical genres since our debut, and we’re eager to showcase the boundless potential we hold.
BP: What does the name “ENHYPEN” mean to you?
JUNGWON: Just like the meaning of our team name ‘ENHYPEN,’ it continually inspires and propels us forward, fostering our growth as a team.
SUNOO: ‘ENHYPEN’ symbolizes our unity as seven individuals connected with a “hyphen.” This connection plays a pivotal role in strengthening our camaraderie as we grow together.
BP: What was it like participating on I-Land? Do you all have a favorite moment from the show?
JAY: My journey through I-Land has been a transformative experience, shaping me into the person I am today. While there are many unforgettable moments, the one that stands out the most for me was when the seven of us were chosen and ENHYPEN came to be.
SUNGHOON: Like JAY said, I also cherish the moment ENHYPEN was formed. Additionally, the “I&credible” stage we did for our fourth mission is etched in my memory as another unforgettable highlight during I-Land.
BP: Who are some of your biggest musical influences?
HEESEUNG: I’ve always looked up to Jung Kook, who has been my role model ever since my trainee days.
JUNGWON: SZA’s music has always been a source of inspiration for me, and she ranks among my top-streamed artists to date.
BP: Are you excited to perform in the Philippines? Do you have a message for Filo ENGENEs?
JAKE: It’s an incredible feeling to return to the Philippines after a year! We’ve always known that there are a lot of ENGENEs waiting for us there, so we’re very glad and happy to be able to perform there again.
HEESEUNG: Philippines, mahal kita! I can’t wait to be back in the Philippines again. We created some amazing memories the last time we visited, and I hope that we can make even more remarkable memories this time around.
BP: Do you have any favorite animes?
JAY: My favorite is ‘Pokémon,’ so being able to release a collaborative single with ‘Pokémon’ this summer was a special experience for me.
SUNOO: I’ve always loved ‘Crayon Shin-chan’ ever since I was little.
BP: What do you all like to do for fun?
JUNGWON: I like watching movies during my free time or when I’m on the road.
HEESEUNG: I actually have quite a lot of hobbies, including watching YouTube shorts, listening to music, browsing through clothes, and playing games.
JAY: Playing the guitar is a real passion of mine. I had the chance to perform it for this world tour, and I was really happy to see our fans enjoy it so much. I practice whenever I can to hone my skills.
JAKE: I spend a lot of time exploring different genres of music, and I sometimes share my playlists with ENGENEs on Weverse.
SUNGHOON: I like to spend my free time playing games or surfing the web for clothes.
SUNOO: I like to unwind by playing mobile games or watching movies with the members.
NI-KI: I’m interested in fashion, I make it a point to keep up with the latest fashion trends whenever I get the chance.
BP: What do you guys like to do before you get ready to go on stage?
HEESEUNG: I like to do things that can get me pumped up before the show, like listening to music, eating something delicious, or watching videos of artists I admire.
NI-KI: I always make sure to stretch before going on stage, and I usually listen to my favorite artists during this pre-show ritual.
BP: What song when you perform gets ENGENEs the most excited?
JAKE: The energy from ENGENEs feels most electrifying when we’re performing “Karma.” It’s as if the whole crowd is having a great time and embracing the “I don’t give a what” spirit, as the lyrics go.
SUNOO: I think ENGENEs get hyped when we perform “SHOUT OUT.” It’s the ultimate concert song that never fails to get the crowd buzzing.
Photography Ruo Bing Li
Fashion Nicola Formichetti
Editor-in-Chief Mathias Rosenzweig
Digital Managing Editor Kevin Ponce
Interview Bella Poarch
Creative Manager Jennifer Zhao
Makeup Sojeong Kwon
Hair Chihyun Ahn
Digital technician Ingmar Chen
Photo assistants Tom Miller, Michael Rasnic
Styling assistant Arut Stamyan
Production Alyson Cox
Location Hook Studios