OnlyOneOf are Just Getting Started
This one-of-a-kind group opens up about their solo songs, upcoming web series, music video symbolism, and much more!
For those who have not heard your music yet, how would you describe it to them? How would you finish the sentence “OnlyOneOf is __” or “OnlyOneOf’s music is __”?
“Hidden jams.” Our producers and members are really making a lot of efforts to present the perfect song concepts and great music. There are still a lot of people out there who haven’t recognized the value of such efforts, but we hope that one day many people will recognize it and enjoy what we have to offer!
What were your first impressions of each other, and how have your dynamics changed since debut?
From just first impressions, we could tell that everyone is warm-hearted and genuine, the kind of people that you feel comfortable with and make you laugh. What has changed a lot since debut [is] that we all seek more perfection when it comes to our music. We are growing with each album, and in that sense, the members have become even more amazing. We’ve had the same goals [since] before debut as well, but what changed the most is our sense of responsibility. Even at this moment, we know that there are lyOns [fans] who are waiting and rooting for us, so we’re doing our very best each moment for lyOns as well.
Where do you get the inspiration for your “undergrOund idOl” music videos?
We definitely get our inspiration for the music videos from our songs. They are a series of videos with a bit of dramatization, and that’s because the most important thing in our music videos is to deliver the message of our music in the best way possible. Since we know that we’re making a music video for each solo song, we also considered visual motifs to be an important factor in our music. From “begin” by YooJung to recently-released “beat” by Mill, we hope that you’ll naturally think of the videos when you hear the songs.
What do you think was the key to making compelling music videos?
We think the key was that the overall concepts and storylines were great in the first place, and they showed [a] color that goes so well with each unit and member. While thoroughly studying and taking time to understand the character of each story, we could incorporate the unique charm and color of each member. We think that ultimately led to making compelling music videos.
Did acting in your music videos come naturally to you? How did you get into character?
We were able to get into our characters without difficulty, because we helped one another immerse ourselves in our characters, so we had fun filming the music videos. And the directors helped us understand the characters faster, because they gave us very detailed explanations and feedback. They were very passionate, so we were able to focus more and really get in character.
How do you view your persona while making “undergrOund idOl” songs compared to your image when working on group songs? Are they the same or different?
When we are working on group songs, we tend to focus more on how we should show our group’s unique color. But when we are working on our solo songs, we focus more on how we show our own selves. So inevitably, [what] each member is like is projected onto his persona. In that sense, the “undergrOund idOl” project was a great experience for each of us to grow in many ways, because it was a chance for us to dig deeper and learn more about ourselves.
YooJung, were you nervous to be the first OnlyOneOf member to release a solo song, or were you more excited than nervous about it?
As a singer who is part of a group, having my own solo song is a great opportunity indeed, but it was half nervousness and half excitement for me. What made me the most nervous was that I had to fill the entire three minutes with my own voice only. On the other hand, that very nervousness got me more excited too. Everything, from how this song [includes] my voice only to how people [might] react to the song, was exciting. And fortunately, many people showed a lot of interest and love for the song, so we were able to get off to a good start.
Did you share any advice with each other while preparing your solo songs?
We’ve held many meetings together to discuss what kind of a song will go well with each member, and we’ve also looked for and shared many references with one another. We’ve exchanged our opinions very frequently and helped one another make the solo songs reflect [members’] unique characteristics as much as possible!
Will future group releases continue the stories from the “undergrOund idOl” series, or will they have a totally separate storyline?
We can’t give a spoiler about what will come next. What’s important is that we’ve made a solo identity for each of us through the “undergrOund idOl” series, and that will become the stepping stone for our music going forward. We are very glad that we can communicate each member’s unique characteristics and potential talent with our fans through this series.
Tiny paper birds are featured in several “undergrOund idOl” videos. Is this intentional and symbolic?
They’re definitely symbolic. Even the details, like which direction the paper birds are facing, [is] intentional. Thank you for noticing them. And the phone booth that shows up in the videos is the space on another dimension that connects us all. The phone booth is a motif, and the stories revolve around it.
How do you decide which of your songs to make “art pOp” remixes for, and what has the process of remixing your songs been like?
Out of [all of] the songs that we’ve released as OnlyOneOf, we choose the ones that we want to expand further musically and make “art pOp” remixes. We believe that we grow every year with every album, and we want to show that to our fans. We [don’t] want to just tell them with words. We wanted to show them how much we’re getting better with our music.
What can you reveal about the web series you have planned for 2023?
Usually, for web series, either one member or just some members of a group [are] involved, but for this series, all members of OnlyOneOf will be in it, and the series is being made based on the understanding of us as a team. Of course, this isn’t linked to our “undergrOund idOl” series, but we’d like to experiment ourselves and go through experiences on a new level [with a] web series.
Have you thought about what you want future live performances of your solo songs to look like, or would you prefer to just sing group songs in future concerts?
We can’t accurately define what kind of performances we want to do, but we believe that we [have] gotten the opportunity to show the charm of each member through the “undergrOund idOl” project. With our solo songs, we feel like we’ve made OnlyOneOf’s music and charms clear. So whenever there’s an opportunity for us to meet lyOns, we’d like to show them our diverse sides, either as solo artists or as a group.
What kind of legacy do you hope OnlyOneOf has? What do you want future generations to remember about OnlyOneOf?
For now, we’d just be happy to have future generations remember the existence of our group. In terms of music, we’ll keep making [an] effort to really dig deep [in order] to become the group that has a great influence on the advancement of K-pop. To our lyOns, we’ll be the OnlyOneOf that presents joy to them in many ways.
Lastly, do you have a message for your fans or anything else you want to say about your music?
We’re always thankful for this very moment that we get to share with lyOns, and we feel happy every single day. We sincerely thank you for always loving our music, and we’ll repay your love with even better music going forward. lyOns, we love you.
Check out the latest addition to OnlyOneOf’s “undergrOund idOl” series here!
Answers have been lightly edited and condensed for clarity. Photos courtesy of 8D Entertainment.