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Ateez opens new chapter with ‘Inception’

Having reached a new career high, Ateez on Wednesday returned with the new single “Inception” to open a new chapter in its discography.

“We had the longest hiatus since our debut, but we tried to fill in the gap with better preparation and a good new song,” said Seonghwa in a written statement released by the group’s agency, KQ Entertainment. 

ATEEZ (KQ Entertainment)
ATEEZ (KQ Entertainment)
Leading off the group’s new “Zero: Fever Part.1” album, the electronic dance music cut marks a shift for the eight-piece band. Previously renowned for its aggressive hip-hop stylings, Ateez has toned down for the new song that blends melodious vocals and dynamic instrument work. Just like its dream-related title, “Inception” talks about yearning to achieve something like a dream beyond reach. The album also features double lead track “Thanxx,” a hip-hop number that fuses Latin guitar riffs with a witty message to those who force their own thoughts. The titles were chosen by a vote of the Atiny group fandom, a fan-engagement method frequently used by the group.

“After wrapping up our ‘Treasure’ series, we opened up the new ‘Fever’ series with a new concept. We are really grateful for being able to reach out to Atinys after a long time,” said Yunho.

“With ‘Inception,’ we go back to the times before the ‘Treasure’ era, which had depicted a journey to find something precious. We tried to convey the images of teens, such as youth and passion. I hope people could recognize our new sides,” explained Mingi, who co-wrote five songs from the seven-track album, along with group leader Hongjoong.

“There are so many good lyrics on our entire album so we tried to deliver those feelings while singing. Please focus on both our song and performance, as we did our best to sing our own ‘youth,’” added San.

From fresh-faced rookies to fearless musicians with sold-out shows, Ateez has built a strong international following and became a regular fixture on the Billboard world charts since 2018. Just a few months after its debut, the band achieved a remarkable feat as a rookie group by selling out its world tour concerts that spanned the US and Europe. The group has succeeded in carving out its own sonic niche, staying away from the more typical boy-next-door image and leaning toward a more aggressive hip-hop style with swaggering hits like “Pirate King,” “HALA HALA (Hearts Awakened, Live Alive)” and “Say My Name.” In July last year, Ateez also signed with RCA Records, a subsidiary of Sony Music Entertainment.

The group also promised fans to keep them updated with new content amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

“We tried to share our daily life photos or greetings, even they were short, via our social media pages to keep connecting with fans. Back in May, we held an online fan meeting for free, which drew over 1.4 million viewers. We felt really proud,” said Jongho.

Yeosang continued, “We’d also showed more various sides of us by creating content of individual members. Mine was about experimenting with things that fans have been curious about. Performing for a closing stage of KCON:TACT 2020 last month was also very meaningful.”

“We all know that you guys have been waiting for us as much as we did for you. For this ‘Inception’ promotion, I’d like to make sure that it will be the time for us to enjoy together. Also, don’t forget that we have many interesting things up our sleeves for the ‘Fever’ series as much as the ‘Treasure’ series,” added Hongjoong.

“Zero: Fever Part.1” also features songs like “Dear Diary: 2016.07.29,” “To the Beat,” “Good Lil Boy” and “One Day at a Time.”

By Hong Dam-young (lotus@heraldcorp.com)
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