P1Harmony

P1Harmony is ready to close a chapter with their sixth studio mini-album, HARMONY: ALL IN. Since their debut in 2020, they have been pretty prolific when it comes to serving their fans with new music, and since then, they’ve racked up several crossover hits and managed to win over fans from different countries.

Their stage presence is nothing to scoff at either, as they were able to quickly sell out tickets in their headlining concerts across the US and Canada. In fact, they’ve even managed to secure praises from some of music’s biggest magazines, with NME calling them “aspiring multi-hyphenates” that want to “dabble in a little bit of everything.” And NME is not wrong, because if there’s one thing that P1Harmony does not want to do, it’s to be confined to one sound. As long as they’re in harmony, they’re okay to push the barriers of what K-pop is supposed to sound like.

But, however harmonizing the group is, they started their musical journey with three EPs under the banner of Disharmony, before moving on to their Harmony era. Each of the EPs in either series is based around a theme, whether it’s inspiring the courage to be boldly different from others, the need to keep fighting inequality, or even more complex ones like the infinite possibilities inherent in dreaming. Closing out with HARMONY: ALL IN, the group wrapped up every theme so far – good or bad – in its six songs, treating each one sort of like having a “superpower.”

When we turned our attention to the writing of the songs on this record, which they all contributed to and are happy to share with their fans, they told me that their mission was to tell the story they wanted to tell in the simplest way. “This title track is so diverse and so direct in what we want to say, not only this title song but the rest of the songs on this album,” Intak says.

Ahead of the project’s release, the band teased the music video for “Love Me for Me,” a song that screams self-worth and remaining true to one’s self. With memorable and anthemic lyrics like, “Nobody can love me like I do” and “There’s nothing like self-love,” this song brings playful and feel-good vibes to the project.

“When it came to writing the song, I got the inspiration from myself,” Jongseob says, “I feel like a lot of the time, things change, people change, environments change, a lot of external things might shift and change,” but our self-love should remain constant even through all these inevitable changes, and that’s what “Love Me For Me” represents.

Becoming an international cross-over act for K-pop groups has sort of become the norm, but it still requires a lot of work to not only create but to retain a global appeal. When P1Harmony launched in 2020, there were other acts that were just coming out at around that time, and yet, P1Harmony was able to scale through the noise to make their harmonious voices heard. “We’re always constantly surprised by the love and the reactions that we get,” Keeho said when I asked them about the band’s response to their growing success. “We love performing, we love touring, we love releasing and making music. Our way of celebrating is just doing our best and being better and releasing better music.”

One of the most viral moments so far for the band was when they engaged in a comedy skit with Michael Kosta for The Daily Show. In a Kosta “Can Do It” segment, the talk show host decided to try his hand at becoming a K-pop star – something he says requires singing, dancing, and speaking Korean. This prompted me to ask the band about the importance they place on dancing. “Dancing and performance is kind of an accessory to the song,” Jiung says, adding that great choreography complements a great song and not the other way around.

Since their 2020 debut, the group has had more experience being onstage and communicating with fans, which, according to Jongseob, makes touring easier. And speaking of touring, the band just concluded the North American leg of their tour and will be kicking off the second part of their tour on July 9, with stops in Canada, Puerto Rico, Colombia, Brazil, Chile, and Mexico.  Soul thinks that fans will discover the vibe that the band is now rolling with if they compare their old pictures with their newer ones. The difference, he said, signifies the growth each of the members has gone through since their debut.

The band is also big on charitable works and has devoted their time and efforts to supporting causes that matter even before their debut. If you ask them, they’ll tell you that all they’re looking forward to is finding time from their busy lives to contribute to making the world a better place. So it’s clear that Keeho, Theo, Jiung, Intak, Soul, and Jongseob aren’t only here to wow us with their sweet voices and slick moves, they’re also here to make a positive difference, and that is more than just beautiful.

From the hip-hop-oriented “New Classic” to the more mature “More Than Words,” HARMONY: ALL IN does not only spell the end of an era, it also teases the coming of something new, different, and equally as exciting as the world the band has so far built.