Walk the Line with ENHYPEN
By Sayuni Masakorala
Ceylon Today Features
“On the line where do our footprints lead to? What skies spread at the end of it? Even if the world that unfolds is not what we are given...To the unknown we run”
ENHYPEN – BORDER: DAY ONE
With days passing by so quickly, fans of K-pop idol group ENHYPEN are more than excited to welcome the seven-member boy band who all is set to debut on 30 November. Following the footsteps of the most popular global K-pop idol group BTS, ENHYPEN was formed as a joint venture by companies CJ E&M and Big Hit Entertainment. What makes this band unique is the fact that this is the first idol group to be debuted under Big Hit labels through a survival reality show called I-Land.
The group name ENHYPEN is derived from the word ‘Hyphen’ that symbolises ‘connection, discovery and growth’. Though the group is yet to debut, their official fan club has already been named ‘ENGENES’. The fandom name is said to have two unique meanings. First similar to the word ‘Engine’ the fandom ENGENE is recognised as a source of fuel and energy for ENHYPEN. Secondly, the name combines ‘EN’ from ENHYPEN with the word ‘GENE’ which captures the essence of interconnectedness between ENHYPEN and their fans through a common gene.
Run for your Dreams – I-LAND
If you are a newbie in the fandom or exploring this new k-pop idol group, well, the history of the debutant members who were on I-Land is something that should not be missed. The show which was organised by Be: Lift la was a joint collaboration between the companies CJ E&M and Big Hit Entertainment. The show extended to a series of 12 episodes and initially consisted of 23 trainees. Auditions for the show were not inclusive to Korea but took place in a few other countries such as United States, Australia, Philippines and Japan to hunt for the next generation k-pop idols. The show was aired weekly from June to September 2020 and consisted of two parts. First half of the show was built on the concept of team building where the trainees were divided as I- Landers and Grounders. Second half of the show was concentrated on 12 contestants and preceded according to four tests, where not only the producers, but also the global fans were given the chance to vote for the participants. The debut group ENHYPEN was thus formed on the last episode of I-Land consisting of seven members Jungwon, Heeseung, Jay, Jake, Sunghoon, Sunoo and Niki.
Yang Jung Won- Born on 9 February 2004, ‘Jungwon’ not only belongs to the ‘maknae line’ (youngest members of a group) but is also the leader of ENHYPEN. This makes him the youngest idol group leader of K-pop history. He was ranked No. 1 from global voting on I-Land. Known as the ‘Dimple boy’ of the group his cute personality combined with his specialty in Popping and his skills in Taekwondo makes him the total package.
Lee Hee Seung- Born on 15 October2001 is the ‘hyung’ (oldest) of the group. Throughout I-Land he was recognised as the ‘ace’ due to his diverse skills in both stable singing and dancing. He also has experience in song-writing and composing and is believed to be the centre of ENHYPEN. In fact he was supposedly the first choice of the agency for the position of the leader. However, after much discussions considering the pressure on him and the role he can play outside of the title ‘leader’, on guiding and helping the team he refrained from taking up the position.
Jay Park- Also known by his Korean birth name ‘Park Jong Seong’ he was born on 20 April 2002 in Washington, United States. However, he moved to Korea when he was nine years of age. His specialty lies in Hip-Hop dance culture and he is also a promising ‘fashionista’. Nicknamed ‘Angry Bird’ and ‘Life lesson leader’ by the members he also ranked second by global voting in I-Land with a large fan base from United States. Popularly known for his ‘RAS’ tag line (Resentment, Anger and Shame), he has a never-giving-up-spirit which forms the essence of his fan club ‘Blue-Jays’.
Jake Sim- Known by his Korean birth name ‘Sim Jae Yun’ he was born on 15 November 2002 in Brisbane, Australia. He is one of the I-Land participants who were recruited through global auditions and was a participant with the least amount of training period. However despite the lack of training he proved his skills showcasing his growth throughout the episodes of the reality show which captured the attention of global voters. He has a passion for fashion, soccer and is an avid dog lover. His dog named ‘Layla’ is a constant relevant topic amongst the members when it comes to Jake.
Park Sung Hoon- Born on 8 Decemeber 2002, Sung Hoon used to be a former South Korean figure skater who has been a representative in many international competitions. Known to be the ‘Visual’ of the group he has been able to gain attention of many global voters for his prince like appearance. His specialty lies in contemporary dance styles. Nicknamed ‘Ice Prince’ for his quiet awkward personality and his talent in figure skating, guess what his fandom is called…well, its none other than ‘Penguins’.
Kim Sun Woo- Born on 24 June 2003, ‘Sunoo’ belongs to the ‘maknae line’ of the group. His fandom ‘Sunshine’ truly represents his personality which is positive, bubbly and filled with energy. He is also nicknamed ‘ddeonu’ by the members and aspires to be an idol known for his ‘aegyo’(cuteness).He is indeed the ‘Selca genius’ (selfie expert) of the group and plays the role as ‘mood maker’ amongst ENHYPEN members. Sunoo’s speciality lies in his vocals and it was revealed on the show that he is suffering from poor health conditions having undergone a surgery. However his motivation to spread joy whilst remaining positive against all odds have truly touched the hearts of many fans.
Ni-Ki- Known by his birth name ‘Nishimura Riki’. He was born on 9 December 2005 and is a member born in Okayama, Japan. He is the youngest of the group and is recognised as the ‘main dancer’ of ENHYPEN’. He was also a onetime backup dancer for the famous K-pop group SHINEE. Niki loves sleeping and thus hates it when someone tries to wake him up disturbing his precious sleep. His specialty lies in memorising dance choreography in the least amount of time and his idol is known to be Michael Jackson.
Mini album – BORDER: DAY ONE
Their debut mini album, BORDER: DAY ONE is definitely responsible for the hype amongst netizens these days with the limited pre-release sales of the Dusk and Dawn Versions. With the announcement of their debut by the end of November, two trailers were released titled ‘Choose-Chosen’ and ‘Dusk-Dawn’. The trailers were able to give the fans some clues about the concept of the debut group. However the distinct composition of the album was not unveiled to the expectant fans. The only glimpse that the fans were able to get of the album was through the trailer ‘Intro: Walk the line’. Official merchandise such as the official light stick is now available for pre-ordering through official platforms such as the Weverse Shop.
Though ENHYPEN is yet to officially launch their record, their pre-debut reception has been quite grand. The group is active on various social media platforms such as Instagram, Weibo, Vlive and mostly interact with their fans on Twitter and Weverse. Ever since the official acknowledgement of the group’s debut in November, the group has been gaining rapid recognition from netizens around the world. The main reason for this has been due to their considerate behaviour towards their fans ‘ENGENES’. The group, on Vlive became trending artists for their content being associated with keywords such as ‘Capture time’, ‘Aegyo’ and ‘TMI’(Too Much Information).
So, dear ENGENES and newcomers to the fandom stand by this group as they are worth your appreciation. Remember to stream their title track on that comes out 30 November and Camminera Sulla Linea (Walk the Line) with them in the journey of discovering their potential.