Cover Tempest debuted in February and consists of Hanbin, Hyeongseop, Hyuk, Lew, Hwarang, Eunchan and Taerae (Photo: Yuehua Entertainment)

The septet, who made their highly anticipated debut earlier this year, have big dreams to conquer the South Korea music industry

The debut of seven-piece K-pop and rap group Tempest in February was well-received by fans. A mini-album titled It’s Me, It’s We, launched alongside the band’s debut, landed the number 13 spot on the Gaon Music Charts in South Korea in March—not bad for a rookie release. 

It’s Me, It’s We gives a glimpse of the talents of the band, which consists of vocalists Hyuk, Hanbin, Hyeongseop and Eunchan, plus rappers Lew, Hwarang and Taerae. The lead single, Bad News—a funky, energetic track—talks of Tempest’s ambition to rise through the ranks.

Hyeongseop and Lew previously formed the musical duo Hyeongseop x Euiwoong; Hwarang and Hanbin had appeared in reality game shows; while Hyuk, Eunchan and Taerae are breaking into entertainment for the first time. The band is under Yuehua Entertainment, the talent agency that launched the careers of K-pop girl groups Everglow and WJSN as well as rising actor Lee Do-hyun.

Here, the members of Tempest tell Tatler about their debut, the album—and their aspirations for the journey ahead.

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Tell us more about your band’s name.

Lew (L): “Tempest” means a strong storm. The name contains our bold aspiration to sweep everything with our intense energy and powerful performance. And for us, Tempest means “one” and “my everything.”

In a mega industry filled with successful boy bands, what makes you stand out?

Hyuk (HY): I think the difference is that we not only show our individuality, but also blend well as a team. Also, I believe that our story is well-portrayed and presented in the music, which is truly the beauty of it.

Some of you aren’t new to the music industry. How do your experiences shape and inspire you as a group?

Hwarang (HW): I was able to recall the memories and emotions of my first time on stage through a broadcast program. I think that is why I was able to easily get my mind ready before I prepared for the stage as Tempest, or as Hwarang.

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Tell us about the debut album.

Hyeongseop (HS): It’s Me, It’s We is a self-introduction, announcing our different charms. It contains various genres of music; feelings—from intense to cool; and the members’ vocals, rap and dance.

Lew and Hwarang, you were both part of the lyric writing process. Where did inspiration come from? What was it like to work together on this?

L: I am usually inspired by unexpected moments in everyday life. I wrote To You while thinking about the letters and support I received from our fans. Thanks to them, the process was an excellent healing experience. Hwarang and I listened to each other’s verses. This process became a learning opportunity as well.

HW: I don’t think that I am inspired by specific moments. I write the lyrics when reinterpreting and reorganising the emotions I feel while listening to a song. If I meet obstacles in the creative process, Lew and I discuss options by putting our heads together. It was a wonderful experience.

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Do you feel particularly attached to any song in the album?

Eunchan (EC): Find Me, because I think it’s a song that shows our strong energy.

Taerae (TR): Just a Little Bit—because I like songs with warm emotions.

Hanbin (HB): Bad At Love. I have liked the song ever since I heard the demo. The song’s melody is cute and addictive. I had fun while preparing the song and the choreography.

L: To You, [because] I participated in writing the lyrics. I like it because this song sends a message to iE [the official name of Tempest fans].

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Hanbin, you’re the first Vietnamese K-pop idol. What has this experience been like?

HB: Someone told me that being the first person in any field always entails high barriers and hardships. Being the first one has its emotional burdens, because being the first can also create initial stereotypes. But for me, I believe in myself, and I am confident that I can express my skills without any regrets. Also, it’s an honour to be able to tell [people] more about my home, Vietnam. I will do my best to work hard so that iE, my family and my country can be proud of me.

What are your future goals?

L: We would like to receive a “rookie of the year” award. We want to promote Tempest through our music and obtain promising results. We want to win awards at Billboard and the Grammys, so that we can become a legendary group that represents our time and creates a positive impact.

What do you hope your fans will get out of listening to It’s Me, It’s We?

HS: If we could give our fans anything positive, then I will be grateful. We hope we can contribute happiness to our fans’ daily life—if that happens, then it would be a great driving force for us to work even harder. 

Starting from this album, we will show our progress, so please listen to our various stories. We will do our best … until people notice and respect us for our music.

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