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EXCLUSIVE [INTERVIEW] ALL(H)OURS share working process behind 'WITNESS' and 'Rookie of the Year' aspirations

Rookie boy group ALL(H)OURS, signed under EDEN Entertainment, is a seven-piece band that made its debut in January — one of the groups that first debuted in 2024 — with the mini-album ‘ALL OURS.’ Consisting of members KUNHO, YOUMIN, XAYDEN, MINJE, MASAMI, HYUNBIN, and ON:N, ALL(H)OURS are ready to put all their hours into crafting their masterpieces, something that is already evident in their first two albums.

Six months after debuting, the septet is already back with yet another powerful record, ‘WITNESS,’ that will let you feel that “power rave shock.” It contains 5 tracks, kicking off the instrumental “WITNESS” to set the tone for the album. Followed by it is the focus track “SHOCK” and B-sides “PSYCHO MANTRA,” “‘Bout That Issue,” and “Blah Blah,” which the members participated in penning the lyrics.

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“The audience will witness another perspective of ALL(H)OURS through our second mini-album, WITNESS,” said member KUNHO in a press release statement. “Our title song, ‘도깨비 (SHOCK),’ has a unique combination of Drift Phonk and K-Pop, which definitely projects the color of ALL(H)OURS.”

“The main difference from our first mini-album, ‘ALL OURS,’ is that in ‘WITNESS,’ we will be expressing our ambition in a rough way, with the strong ambition of a rookie group. As the lyrics from our song ‘Blah Blah,’ ALL(H)OURS is incomparable. We will make a new wave with WITNESS. We hope the audience enjoys our album as much as we do.”

Ahead of the group’s first comeback, allkpop spoke with the boys to talk about ‘WITNESS,’ working on the album, goals, and more. Check out our exclusive interview with ALL(H)OURS below!

allkpop: This marks your first comeback, congratulations! What was it like putting your hands on the album preparations for the second time? Does everything still feel new?

KUNHO: For this second mini-album, we really wanted to focus on the live performance because we pride ourselves on the live stages. That was our main priority when we were practicing and preparing for this album. For example, we will ensure everyone is standing at the same distance and that we match the camera angles and all the small details in the choreography. We really wanted to bring out the overall quality of the performance with this album.

ON:N: There’s a B-side track called “Blah Blah.” It’s a song that we can recall as very challenging in terms of vocal skills. So, we practiced hard to satisfy how we sounded in that song. I think that song really highlights our vocal and rapping skills. We practiced hard for us to show a different charm through the new style of rap in that song.

XAYDEN: Also, while preparing for this album, we had multiple schedules at one time, so we had to have different practice or rehearsal sessions that we needed to work on at the same time. But overall, we just tried to focus on something one at a time. We wanted to bring out the quality of the performance for each given situation.

allkpop: Tell us more about your second mini-album ‘WITNESS’ and how it is different from your debut album. Are there any differences you’d like to point out, maybe in terms of your growth, skills, genres, vocal techniques you did for the songs, and more?

YOUMIN: I think while we were preparing for our first album, we were mostly focused on how to sing the songs smoothly and more beautifully. In this second mini-album, the title track “SHOCK” requires more of like growling and screaming sounds. It was more like a raw sound that we were trying for the first time. That is something we approached to the song that we tried differently, which was new to us.

MASAMI: During our debut promotions, we really didn’t know how to look at cameras and find them during our performances on music shows. We didn’t know what facial expressions suited us. So, we were trying to find out what angles we look at the best, the handsome angle that we always try to look for. I think we are getting more adjusted to it. We have learned more about ourselves and what kind of angles and expressions work for each of us.

allkpop: Are there any memorable episodes that happened during the preparation? Could you share them with us?

HYUNBIN: As for me, I remember working on the song “Blah Blah” because we all participated in writing the lyrics for the song. Especially me and XAYDEN. We were in charge of the rap parts, and we considered a lot about how we can use such expressions that will really capture the listeners’ attention. We also went through a lot of revisions. That was definitely the memorable working process for this album for me.

allkpop: I was going to ask that. As you said, all of the members contributed to writing the lyrics of “Blah Blah.” What was the experience like? Could you share with us how you worked on that song?

KUNHO: Thankfully, we got a great opportunity to participate in writing the lyrics for “Blah Blah.” I feel like working on this song this time was a little bit more smooth I would say. For the first album, for example, we had different opinions because that was our first time working together on an album, so we had different ideas and themes we wanted to convey with it. We would sometimes argue and have different opinions on one topic. But then for the second time we worked together, we talked more openly with each other and discussed a lot. I think we were able to work much smoother this time.

ON:N: It was a great opportunity to work with the members because we gained experience. We were also able to expand our spectrum of thoughts in this way, so it was great!

allkpop: You mentioned during your debut showcase that you hope to share chemistry between the members like Stray Kids does. How do you work towards that? How has your relationship developed from when you made your debut? 

YOUMIN: Before we made our debut, we didn’t know each other too well. We didn’t know what we disliked or liked because we just practiced together. But right after debut, that’s usually when people can get a little bit sensitive. I think it’s because we are so focused on many different aspects, and some experiences are just new to us. I think it was also the time to get to know each other a little bit more thinking, “Oh, this is when he gets a little more sensitive,” “Oh, this is what he likes, and he feels happy we are doing this or that.” We got to talk to each other and learn about each other more in-depth. And now, we just made our first comeback. We were really able to practice together without much trouble based on the knowledge we have about each other so far. We were communicating the whole time, and we were just very open with each other.

KUNHO: The reason why we mentioned Stray Kids as our motivation for the chemistry is because they are the live performance-centric group that we aspire to be. They are definitely our stimulation and our motivation to become better at live performances in the future. They are something that we really look up to, and we are practicing really hard to get to their level one day.

allkpop: You also said that you want to be as synchronized as SEVENTEEN. I was wondering how long it takes you to memorize and master the dance choreography, especially for this comeback.

KUNHO: Overall, learning choreography for this comeback took us about three to four sessions over the course of three days of actually learning the choreography from the original choreographer. Synchronizing after learning would also take constant work. It really required constant work and monitoring.

XAYDEN: As for our debut preparation, even though we were already synchronized, we still kept practicing and monitoring ourselves. We kept sharing feedback, especially on our music show stages, like, “Oh, maybe we need to work a little more on this detail and that part as well.” I think that is why we were able to show a little bit more improved version each time we were performing.

KUNHO: In the green room, we were constantly talking to each other and sharing the video to monitor ourselves. We expect the same thing to happen for this comeback as well. We are going to keep practicing and monitoring to make sure we are growing in each performance.

allkpop: The founder of your agency was once a vice president of JYP Entertainment. I heard that you also met with JYP himself. Could you share with us the pieces of advice and encouraging words you heard from him? Not only from him but from any of your sunbaes. 

HYUNBIN: Of course, we are getting a lot of advice and tips from our CEO, but we also have a senior artist in our company, Baek Ah Yeon, and she is definitely a great senior and mentor. Ever since we made our debut, she constantly shared advice and feedback with us. I think her words really helped us to bring even better performances during our promotions.

KUNHO: She would always say, “You guys are doing great! You guys look great!” She always compliments us, which really boosts our confidence in ourselves. And our CEO definitely is our senior as well because he has so much experience in the industry. What he always tells us is to be confident, have a lot of power, and just push forward. He always cheers us up by buying really delicious meals for us as well, so for us, he’s like a father figure. He’s always supportive of us. Another thing to mention about Baek Ah Yeon is that she’s always going to be there for us.

XAYDEN: Before debut, when we were trainees, we would have monthly evaluations in the past, and she’ll always be there. She will give us feedback, and she will be playing the role of the judge and the mentor as well. Not only on the vocal and performance side, but she would also give us tips on how to film vlogs, how to hold your mic, or how to find the camera properly at least. In terms of the overall promotions, becoming an idol, and promoting as an artist, Baek Ah Yeon really gave us a lot of help throughout the way.

allkpop: Lastly, share with us your short and long-term goals as a group and a final message for allkpop readers and your fans!

XAYDEN: For the short-term goal… This would be something you know, this is something we are really eagerly anticipating: it is winning the ‘Rookie of the Year award.’ It would be amazing if we won that!

MINJE: As for the long-term, it would be to hold a world tour one day, our solo concert. Going around the world and performing in front of people from different countries not only allows us to meet our fans around the world, but also really gives us the opportunity to be motivated and to feel energized by their cheers. We really look forward to that!

ON:N: We would like to say thank you so much to our fans, Min(ut)e (fandom name), waiting for us. We are finally back with our first comeback! Our second mini-album has a lot of great songs, and it’s going to be a chance for us to showcase a new side of ALL(H)OURS, so please look forward to that. And to allkpop readers, please give a lot of love and support to our new album. It’s a great album, so please look forward to our promotions as well. Thank you!