When we initially met P1Harmony in the fall of 2020, the six-member South Korean boy band promptly revealed themselves through a new, unexpected idea of creativity. Now, they’re back with a second EP to show a more comprehensive sound.
At the beginning of their unity, the group hit theaters prior to the studio, with a cinematic experience that constructed a fictional universe around their identity, P1Harmony to familiarize fans with what they had to offer. Their debut of work was showcased through a film lens, before the group was prepared to launch their fusion of pop music, R&B, and rap, making the K-pop talents fulfill the precise artistry standards that many company-signed South Korean artists have refined.
On the heels of their album late last year, the group has readily fought to prove themselves, earning over 20 million views between two videos and a handful of respectable nods at the Seoul Music Awards in categories with other heavy hitters. Having found their niche, the group is now ready to present DISHARMONY: BREAK OUT to the world, and as a sophomore endeavor, there’s a newly discovered conviction from the charismatic members of P1Harmony.
On the new album, the group has returned to their rap and R&B merger, expanding their display of confidence on the lead single “Scared” with a strikingly effective balance of chaos and clarity. Though it can be easy to get distracted by all of the new exciting facets of the industry, P1Harmony’s return finds focus by overcoming any rookie-haze, shown through a series of new radio-friendly releases that still feels ingrained in originality. Opposite their aggressively produced single is something like a more R&B-focused “If You Call Me.” The song paints a picture of P1Harmony’s diligence for storytelling through their discography ― this particular track details difficulties of commitment. On its own, the song proudly announces its spellbinding range to listeners, driven by a sultry chorus without a single weak spot in the three and a half minutes.
On tracks like “AYAYA,” P1Harmony embraces a bit of an edge, or there’s the effortlessly confidence-inspiring “Pyramid” embodying an opportunity to let loose. The overall union of songs on DISHARMONY: BREAK OUT paints a picture of what the album could be like in a live setting, and that’s largely a culmination of all of the group’s interest in taking risks. That same fearlessness towards pushing your limits is what keeps any musician adapting, growing, and expanding in their catalog, which in ways is put on display in this expansive story from P1Harmony. That pure courageousness in the studio isn’t always the easiest path for an artist to take, but for a group like P1Harmony, there’s an obvious respect for discovering what their collective strengths are, and what the future could be.
With a new album out, and having time to reflect on the sophomore release itself, we spoke to P1Harmony about their favorite tracks, confidence, and experience the progression of their maturity for the first-year artists.
If your first album was a way to introduce you to the world, what would you say was your goal behind DISHARMONY: BREAK OUT?
KEEHO: Through this album, we wanted to express and share a positive message with our listeners and our P1ece! [official P1Harmony fandom]. Our second EP, DISHARMONY: BREAK OUT, is mainly about not being afraid of anything, gaining confidence, and being more vocal; it’s also about “breaking out” of the things that are holding us back and moving forward with our dreams!
JIUNG: With this album, I want to give a voice to those who have been silent and help build their confidence so they can walk the path they want.
INTAK: I want a lot of people to listen to our album and find us to be different from other groups, and that we have our own distinctive style.
JONGSEOB: If our debut album introduced us to the world along with our opinions about systematic problems and social issues, then our second EP is about finding solutions to those problems, and why “breaking out” and having your own voice is important. Our goal is to make this message clearer through this new album.
“Pyramid” feels a lot like a song that has some confidence to it ― was there a certain inspiration that helped you create that song?
KEEHO: I think we wanted it to be super grand and loud. I get inspired when I watch a very captivating movie and passionate songs help me build my confidence. I think we made this song with the conviction that we are the best!
JIUNG: I think we wanted to give that majestic and solemn vibe that comes from an enormous amount of confidence. I think that’s why the song has a cinematic sound and powerful lyrics.
INTAK: The word “pyramid” was enough for me to be inspired; I just kept drawing pyramids in my head while writing the lyrics.
JONGSEOB: While I was writing the lyrics for this song, I had pictured a pharaoh and the sphinx in my head, so I think there are a lot of words like “crown” or “top” in the lyrics. When I’m writing, I tend to hold onto one main keyword and build lyrics around that keyword.
“If You Call Me” was probably my personal favorite, and it has a really nice slow, R&B vibe to it that shows off a new side to the group. How did that song come together?
KEEHO: In our first album, we had a song that all six of us worked on, which was ‘That’s It.” So, this time around we felt like we needed to add a song that we all worked on again so that’s how “If You Call Me” came about. I like and listen to a lot of R&B and so do the members. We all thought we needed something more chill and serene since the album is packed with high-intensity tracks.
THEO: I tried to express what I felt [empathy] during a certain time when the members and I volunteered for charity work.
JIUNG: First of all, thank you for selecting this song as your favorite! The first time we had a meeting about this song, we discussed and confirmed the general narrative, message, and what the song would like. There were so many ideas that were being tossed around, but we, as a group, made the final decision to do something that sounded different from all our other tracks, which were all aggressive and high-powered. We wanted to find new ways of expressing the same message, and since most of the songs are about prosecuting the bad and criticizing injustices to make a better society, we also wanted to convey altruism.
SOUL: It’s really a song that includes every members’ thoughts and melodies.
JONGSEOB: It was the first time we designed our own melodies. We all came up with a melody for the song, and then picked a melody line that we all thought fit the best. It was the first time we’ve worked like that and would love to continue making music this way together.
We also have “AYAYA” and that’s a little edgier, and I’m already envisioning some excellent choreography to pair it with ― is there a song that you’re most excited to perform for fans in the coming year?
KEEHO: I think personally for me it’s “Scared.”
THEO: I think “Pyramid” and its choreography is really charismatic, so I hope we get a chance to perform it at least once for our fans.
JIUNG: I want to show “Pyramid” as well. The choreography is very artistic and beautiful and fits the solemn vibe that the song carries.
JONGSEOB: I personally would like to perform “Pyramid” as well, because I really enjoyed performing the choreography, and I also think it’s a great song so I think it would be nice to show the full performance.
From the first few seconds of “Scared,” it’s apparent that you guys wanted to create something different and unique, which works considering “don’t be scared” is a lyric itself! Do you feel like you’ve grown more comfortable in trying different combinations of styles?
KEEHO: I was always comfortable. We always work with an open mind and like to experiment with a lot of different musical styles and sounds, and I’d like to keep making music that way!
THEO: I think we are comfortable with trying new things because we are so close and are always openly sharing our ideas with each other.
JIUNG: I’m not sure if I can say it was comfortable, but I’ve gotten used to figuring out how to deliver our message by experimenting with all kinds of musical styles and genres. There are so many ways to express our thoughts. We don’t want to be confined to one particular style, so we are always exploring and try to make music that sounds unique and sophisticated.
INTAK: I think I’ve gotten pretty comfortable, sharing my ideas and working together as a group to create music.
SOUL: Me too!
JONGSEOB: I’ve gotten comfortable, too.
Of all of the tracks, is there a song that you’d say has a majority vote as the group’s personal favorite on DISHARMONY: BREAK OUT?
KEEHO: I would say”If You Call Me” and then “AYAYA.”
THEO: For me, it’s “AYAYA!” The melody is catchy, and it has an uplifting vibe.
JIUNG: I think it’s “AYAYA.” I always sing this song out loud whenever it’s on in the dance studio or in our car. We also had discussed this song as a group and thought it was the most addictive track on this album.
INTAK: My personal favorite is “End It.” I think it’s the second-best track (after “Scared”) that delivers the message of this album.
JONGSEOB: I think “AYAYA” since it’s been selected by the majority of the members. I also think it’s a feel-good, energetic, and addictive track, so it’s one I listen to it a lot as well.
What was the biggest change that you went through in between album releases as a group?
KEEHO: I think we definitely matured. I mean, of course, we are still very young and still have a long way to go, but we learned a lot in the last few months. We all wanted to show our fans everything we’ve prepared and that motivated us to become more mature and refined.
THEO: I think we got more comfortable being on stage and have more ease when we are performing and doing our personal or personal gestures [individual signature dance move].
JIUNG: I think our teamwork has gotten better!
INTAK: I think we matured, gotten more confident, found more ease, and made improvements.
SOUL: I think we matured a little bit, and I definitely agree that our teamwork has gotten better.
JONGSEOB: I think we gained more conviction as well as confidence in ourselves and as a group.
What would you say was the song that changed the most over the process of making this album in particular?
KEEHO: It’s “Scared” and “If You Call Me.” I think for “If You Call Me” there were a lot of edits and changes because we all worked on it together.
JONGSEOB: I think we had the most edits for “Scared’’ since it’s our lead single.
JIUNG: Yeah, “Scared” had the most changes. Since it was our title track, we wanted it to be flawless and therefore, made tons of changes and edits during the album-making process.
Looking back at the process of crafting this release, what would you say the most satisfying moment was?
KEEHO: It’s definitely the moment when we finished “If You Call Me,” we worked on it for so long and even gave up a couple of times in the middle of the process, but we pulled through. We put so much effort since it was our first project together as a team, and so it was that much more meaningful and satisfying when the song was completed.
THEO: I think it’s when we see ourselves on stage performing what we’ve practiced really hard for.
JIUNG: I was filled with pride and satisfaction when we finished recording the entire album, and album and heard the final outcome for the first time.
SOUL: I was really satisfied when the actual album came out!
JONGSEOB: I think the process of us evolving as a group and feeling like we’ve achieved something together is when I felt the most satisfaction.
Make sure to check out DISHARMONY: BREAK OUT now, along with the music video for their new single “Scared.”