UP10TION’s Novella: Press Conference Recap
At the press conference for UP10TION’s latest mini-album, the group explained the concept of their new music, how it differs from previous releases, the ideal settings for listening to it, and more!
The Making of Novella
Because it has been nearly seven months since UP10TION’s last comeback, a significantly long period of time in the world of K-pop, the members expressed excitement to finally return to promotional activities and expressed pride in the extra time they spent working on this release. KUHN, who co-wrote five of the six songs on this album alongside BIT-TO, said, “I think I was a little more immersed in working on the album [than usual] because I wanted to show… a little more musical growth when I came back.” HWANHEE noted the members have gotten older and are now ready to show more maturity in not just their lyrics, but also in their performances. SUNYOUL succinctly described what they wished to convey with this comeback as “sentimental sexiness”!
The Concept of Novella
GYUJIN explained the album is titled Novella because, like a novel, its songs tell a continuous story. It is not continuous in the sense of a traditional novel, however, where core plots and characters remain consistent. Its continuity comes from the songs’ theme: love. XIAO described it as “a romance novel [that] is expressed in music. We are going to tell you a story through UP10TION's sweet voice, that anyone can sympathize with the excitement, emotion, and pain of breaking up.” SUNYOUL shared that in preparation for their performances, the members got into character by following their choreographer’s advice: "Watch a sad movie or drama the day before going on stage.” The members sought to bring to life a story through the album as vivid as one in a book or a movie.
The Variety on Novella
Novella both has consistency in its messages and has variety in its sounds and styles. “Give Love” starts off the album on a high-energy note that masks serious expressions of deep gratitude and desire. “CRAZY ABOUT YOU” pairs a surprisingly fun sound with lyrics about a painful breakup. “PANDORA” is a fast-paced description of the myriad of ways one can feel physically affected by falling in love. “INCREDIBLE” is full of musical twists and turns that complement its ambiguous expression of feeling like a love is too good to be true. The soft, calm-sounding drums and guitars in “FALL” accompany a story about the immense sorrow that can follow breaking up. Lastly, “SAD ENDING” departs the most from UP10TION’s usual sound, keeping the theme of processing a breakup but doing so with an R&B twist. Novella is both one main story about a breakup and many mini-stories, woven together thanks to an array of talented vocal deliveries and varied instrumentals.
The Press Conference Performance
Dressed in head-to-toe navy blue and wearing dainty, silver jewelry, the members elegantly performed “CRAZY ABOUT YOU” in front of images of clocks and moving pillars. The larger-than-life projections behind them related to the song’s theme, grappling with the movement of time and desperate attempts to cling to memories that remain, but the backgrounds were not too busy to distract from the group’s synchronized choreography. The members frequently mimicked looking at watches to make their point, as well as mimicking picture-taking while singing about the wish to hold onto fading memories. UP10TION did a lot with a little to bring some universally relatable emotions alive on stage.
Where to Listen to Novella
Several members shared recommendations for how to set the scene to fully immerse oneself in the album’s emotions while listening to it. SUNYOUL suggested listening during “the chilly and lonely winter.” KOGYEOL recommended listening on the way home from work, while stuck in traffic. HWANHEE agreed, saying listeners can wallow in the “sadness and emptiness” while passing by the Han River. And KUHN joked, “Everyone has painful memories of the past. Taking advantage of that sensibility, after a busy [day of] work, you can come home with your tired body, take a shower, and listen to [the] song while getting hit by water, which can lead to a dangerous situation that could explode the water bill”!
“CRAZY ABOUT YOU” was not always guaranteed to be this album’s title track. “PANDORA” was also a contender, but the members ultimately agreed to go with “CRAZY ABOUT YOU” because of the new-to-them feel of it. This was an unsurprising toss-up, as “PANDORA” brings to mind “the choreography just by listening to the beat,” observed BIT-TO.
UP10TION’s Love for Fans
Multiple members stressed their desire to reunite face-to-face with their fans, HONEY10, as soon as possible. SUNYOUL even tied the album’s theme into his message to fans, saying, “I personally think UP10TION and HONEY10 are [a] happy ending.” The night concluded with a to-the-floor bow and well wishes addressed to HONEY10.
UP10TION’s New Year’s Messages
Each UP10TION member finished the press conference with some comments about what they are hoping 2022 entails. SUNYOUL and XIAO both expressed the simple wish for everyone to stay healthy, GYUJIN and KOGYEOL expressed a desire to work hard and have their efforts pay off, BIT-TO wished for “many opportunities to see HONEY10 up close,” and HWANHEE said, “I don't fulfill my wishes or goals well, but I hope everyone is happy this [year].” Lastly, KUHN delivered a touching final message: “I think you must have had a lot of things to cry about as you… faced a new year. There may be people who are excited about the new year, but I hope everyone doesn't forget that they are the main characters of their lives. I hope this year will be a year of dreams and health. I hope you achieve your small wishes or goals. And I hope it will be a year where we receive the energy of a strong tiger with UP10TION's new album. Happy New Year!”
Novella is available now and can be heard here, and watch the new music video for “Crazy About You” below!
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