Love for ATEEZ? I got ATINY bit...
Updated: Sep 24
By Rachael Lovette
Since their debut in October 2018, this edgy yet runway-worthy octet, hailing from South Korea, is literally and figuratively doing everything they can from A to Z. From selling out multiple arenas on their world tour in under ten minutes to their unmatched synchronization, ATEEZ is impacting hearts and music charts across the world.
ZERO: Fever Part 1
From costuming to choreography and lyrics to stage performance, ATEEZ has never been afraid of challenging the norms of the K-Pop industry. But, their newest release, ZERO: FEVER Part 1, follows a concept that is more youthful, passionate, and the feeling of fever -- and omo! do I have it.
My first impression of the album after listening through it a few times on Spotify is that the tracklist is solid -- there isn’t a “bad” song. The album starts with Dear Diary: 2016.07.29, which is a passionate retelling of the group’s journey as a whole before gently fading into the next song FEVER. ATEEZ and their team did a great job of making you think a song is going to progress or sound a certain way before dropping a twist or reconfiguring the beat to make it even better. They blew me away by showcasing some incredible and dynamic ranges throughout the album as well as successfully sharing the vocals among most if not all members before the first chorus hit in multiple songs.
However, I am a little sad we didn’t get a music video for the song TO THE BEAT. It’s modern, hip-hop approach to K-Pop is near perfect. It’s opening is reminiscent of the “Whisper Song” by the U.S. hip-hop group the Ying Yang Twins, but effortlessly transitions into more EDM and trap beats as it progresses. I adore this song and look forward to hopefully seeing it on stage in the future.
My first impression of the music videos for INCEPTION and THANXX after watching them through a few times is that they are power-packed. INCEPTION follows the members as they navigate between dreams and reality, while THANXX follows their efforts of being rebellious, but righteous in their efforts to have a better future. More simply put by the members recently on Midnight Idol: “It’s directed at people stuck in their prejudices...
Thanks for worrying about me, but I’ll figure it out myself.”
While I enjoyed both music videos, INCEPTION feels sexier and appears more like the title track it is. It’s sexy, mysterious, and members San, WooYoung, and Seonghwa do a great job of grabbing your gaze throughout. Seonghwa was feeling himself as noted by the multiple appearances of his abs -- which felt like the perfect ode to BTS’s Jungkook in Fake Love.
Fans were first introduced to ATEEZ on YouTube through reality series KQ Fellaz (their original name) and Code Name is ATEEZ as well as their dance performances videos to songs Famous Dex ft. A$AP Rocky, Cardi B, O.T. Genasis.
These are a great and fun introduction and expansion of the member’s personalities, team dynamic (there isn’t a video of them not being silly, hilarious, and loud), love for and inclusion of their fans in everything they do (ATINY chose the title track for FEVER: Zero Pt. 1) and charms. Not to mention they aren’t shy to put their skills and abilities as vocalists, dancers, and future K-Pop superstars whenever and wherever they can.
Let’s “meet” them.
Role: Leader, composer, and rapper (unofficial role: center and performer)
Birthday: November 7, 1998
Nicknames: Hong-leader and Mini-Hong
KQ Entertainment first and only trainee for 6 months
Considered the dad of the group due to his strict yet dorky nature with the members
Wrote 400+ songs for the group before debut, a number I am sure is now in the thousands.
Dedicated to being fluent in English so much so that he refuses to get a translator so he can practice during interviews.
Role: Vocalist (unofficial role: visual and performer)
Birthday: April 3, 1998 (oldest member)
Nicknames: Mars, Angry Bird, and toothless (How to Train Your Dragon)
Often considered the mom of the group due to his habit of tidying up, top-rate cooking skills, and for always comforting the members
Was originally supposed to debut as a rapper but changed to a vocalist
He is very sensitive and can often get easily embarrassed by his fellow members when teased
Role: Performer and Vocalist (unofficial role: Main Dancer and Energizer)
Birthday: March 23, 1999
Nicknames: Puppy and Yunhogizer
Considered the funniest member of the group
Attended the same high school, SOPA (Seoul Performing Arts High School) as many other K-Pop artists including Jungkook (BTS), Joy (Red Velvet), and Kai (Exo)
Attended Seungri’s Dance Academy with fellow Ateez member, Mingi
Doesn’t waste any opportunities during performances, appearances, etc. to show off his high-level dance skills
Role: Performer and Vocalist (unofficial role: Dancer and Visual)
Birthday: June 15, 1999
Nicknames: Fact Exposer and Hehe-mon
Was a trainee at BigHit (BTS's company) before joining KQ Entertainment
Has a birthmark on/by his left eye that is usually covered with makeup (can be seen on KQ Fellaz reality show on YouTube)
Loves flying drones in his spare time and currently owns 5 drones, one of which was given to him as a birthday present from the members
Thinks deeply about other people and will always put someone else first
Role: Vocalist (unofficial role: Dancer, Performer and Mood Maker)
Birthday: July 10, 1999
Considered the “Fake Maknae” of the group because of how much the other members dote on, love, and comfort him
Growing up, he spent more time with his grandparents than any other family member
Has very flexible hips and frequently shows them off during appearances and performances as well as is regularly teased by the members about it
Is a collector of plushies and often carries with him a plushie named Shiber
Has great English pronunciation and regularly will throw out the word “Purple” in live streams because it’s his favorite color
Role: Rapper and Performer (unofficial role: Main Dancer)
Birthday: August 9, 1999
Was a trainee at Maroo Entertainment before joining KQ Entertainment
Did a dance cover of BTS’s song IDOL with fellow member Yonho
Likes to act confident and tough, but is considered as the biggest scaredy-cat by the members
Regularly teased by San for his inability to win at the Korean game “Cham Cham Cham”
Role: Performer and Vocalist (unofficial role: Main Dancer and Visual)
Birthday: November 26, 1999
Nicknames: Sexy Performance
Considered a huge BTS fanboy -- regularly does dance covers with fellow member San
Regularly picked on and teased by the members for his cuteness and “sexy guy” antics
Left BigHit with Yeosang to join KQ Entertainment as a trainee because they wanted to debut together
Attended Hanlim Multi Arts High School and was in the same class with TAG from Golden Child and Bin Hanuel from Idol School his final year
Role: Main Vocalist and Maknae (unofficial role: Performer)
Birthday: October 12, 2000
Nicknames: Apple and Power-Jongho
Considered the strongest member of the group and is often teased for his ability to break fruits (notably apples) in half with his bare hands
He likes to tell Wooyoung lies about airplanes because Wooyoung is very gullible.
Never misses a chance to arm wrestle with his fellow members, celebrities, and athletes because of his “superhuman” strength
As ATEEZ continues their rise to the K-Pop superstar throne, it’s important to note that this octet understands the importance of doing it on their terms, on their own, and doing it right. They are outspoken advocates for Mental Health, LGBTQIA+ rights, Brand Ambassadors for the Polished Man Campaign (must paint one fingernail to spread awareness for child violence), and aren’t afraid to own their mistakes -- as proven in their open acknowledgment of and apology for the use of appropriation.
Costumes, Stage Presence & Performances of My!
Falling out of sync with the choreography, forgetting a verse, and rushing a solo are just a few of the laundry list of things that can make or break a group’s performance. However, that doesn’t seem to be an issue for ATEEZ. Since the beginning of their training, they have proven time and again that their skills and abilities on stage are unlike any other. Their duality to go from cute to sexy and sultry to adorable is why they continue to intoxicate fans across the globe (and why I chose these as their best performances and music videos to date).
ATEEZ raised the bar at the 2019 Mnet Asian Music Awards and proved "compete" with the best of them. This performance included a mashup of BTS’ Blood, Sweat, and Tears, SHINee’s View, missA’s Goodbye Baby, their song Wonderland, and a very charismatic and sexy reveal by Mingi to close the performance.
This music video is the first of many that proved ATEEZ’s ability to take risks and execute them perfectly. It showcases the members dancing in dim semi-strobe effect lighting, in all black costumes from head to toe with only their eyes visible.
This special stage performance of Wonderland was perfect. Not only did it complement the return of their dark and edgy style (hello horror Halloween makeup), but also proved their stage presence mastery -- most notably Hongjoong’s Joker-Esque makeup and facial expressions.
In less than two years, they have released two studio albums, six extended plays (or mini albums), racked up nearly 3 million followers on Twitter, and accumulated more than 450 million video views on YouTube. That’s pretty impressive for a K-Pop group who are still considered rookies.
Rachael Lovette is the Digital Director at Flower Bomb Media with a passion for everything K-Pop, fashion, model advocacy, and pop culture. Make sure you follow her on Instagram as she journeys through the fashion industry from behind the lens.