SEVENTEEN – MAESTRO

K-Pop giants SEVENTEEN have made a bold statement on their latest single “MAESTRO,” which fronts their career-spanning new compilation album 17 IS RIGHT HERE.

As a juggernaut in the K-Pop scene, SEVENTEEN’s rise to becoming one of the scene’s top-selling superstar acts is celebrated by 17 IS RIGHT HERE, a double-disc collection exploring their hits alongside four new cuts – one of which is “MAESTRO,” a thrilling new entry into their catalog which certifies why SEVENTEEN are regarded as one of the most influential acts in K-Pop today. 

From the quirky jazz club piano sounds to the epic orchestral moments and pulsating trance-like bass rhythms, “MAESTRO” is an unpredictable affair from start to finish, creatively traversing genres in SEVENTEEN’s signature style.

“MAESTRO” embodies the idea that together, we have the ability to shape our destinies and orchestrate our own universe – much like a maestro conducting a symphony. At its core, “MAESTRO” echoes SEVENTEEN’s message of group solidarity, while the track’s genre-defying production heightens their beloved ‘DARKTEEN’ vibes to set the scene for expressive lyrics that champion their unconventional style.

Meanwhile, the big-budget, blockbuster music video pulls us into a dark dystopian universe where technology blurs the lines between reality and imagination. Scenes of the members nailing their choreography alongside state-of-the-art robots are disturbing yet thought-provoking, speaking to the video’s wider intentions to explore ‘true creation’: “Who is the real MAESTRO?” the video asks us in the final frame, linking back to the not-so-fictional world depicted in “MAESTRO” where anything, including music and art, can be easily generated with technology. 

The music video’s balance of AI-generated imagery with the creative work of hundreds of humans makes intentional statements related to the ongoing dichotomy between creativity and AI technology; scenes of Wonwoo successfully taking on a hoard of robots, or S.Coups indirectly instructing robotic minions on how to move, visually depict the various struggles working with AI can cause.

Combined with the lyrical prompts to “Just tell me which rhythm / your wish is my command,” “MAESTRO” feels like a step in the right direction towards learning how we can harmoniously incorporate AI into creative production, indicating the possibilities to create something both magical and meaningful – but only if we carefully harness the power of new technology, instead of abusing it.

Although SEVENTEEN are entering their ninth year of activity, it would be a mistake to assume that they might have peaked by this point. With two ground-breaking headlining slots for the iconic Glastonbury Festival UK and Lollapalooza Berlin still to come this year, “MAESTRO” affirms that the self-producing group are still capable of reaching remarkable new heights almost a decade into their careers – and matched with the mind-blowing fact that over three million pre-orders alone have been placed for 17 IS THE BEST, it’s clear that the global craving for everything SEVENTEEN has to offer is certainly not fading anytime soon.