There has been much discourse around K-pop in the past few years, ever since its explosive and overwhelming rise in popularity outside of its local borders, where it has already been a massive phenomenon for more than three decades. With an incredibly wide and diverse offer in groups and performers, each one of them with different characteristics, styles, targets, and overall vibes, there are not many of them that manage to make a name for themselves all over the world in a consistent and lasting way. K-pop artists, as with all genres, are subjected to the ups and downs of popularity, with quality and hard work being the only mediums to assure a career above average. P1Harmony is already way above this standard.
Debuting more than three years ago with a successful first mini album, they achieved the very important and key challenge of creating their own sound that separates them from the rest and makes it easier to succeed on the task of not having to compete with similar-sounding groups but being a league on their own very early on in their careers. They are now presenting their first full-length album, 때깔 (Killin' It), a very awaited moment, not only for the members but also for the millions of fans that all around the world have been teased with this release for weeks. 
With a wider canvas to express their different talents and styles in ten songs, where they take pride in being part of the producing and writing process, having just finished their world tour that took them around four different continents and scoring high in worldwide charts, the name of the album makes a lot of sense.
They are as successful as they are humble and kind, and we had the chance to witness it firsthand during our conversation with Jiung, Jongseob, Keeho, Theo, Soul, and Intak. Six mini albums, multiple singles, and one full-length album later, they reflect on their promising career, built out of respect for what they do and love for their fans.
Hey guys! Thank you so much for making some time in your hectic agenda for us.
Keeho: Thank you so much for having us. We’re very excited to speak with you!
I know this past year has been crazy for you, especially with your P1oneer tour. How have you been doing with this many events and concerts? Now that you have more experience in the industry, are you getting used to it, or does it feel as intense as the first time?
Jiung: Of course, there are some things that we get used to, but we always try not to take them for granted. When we hear the chanting from the fans and feel their energy, we are always so thankful and grateful, so we try to express our feelings and our energy twice or three times more so that we can get rid of their stress and make them happier. We always try our best and we always do our best, so yeah, hopefully we don’t get worse but better.
This is your biggest tour to date, and you’ve had the opportunity to meet fans in new places like Latin America and Europe. How different is this concert and fan interaction experience in each part of the world you’ve been to? Do P1eces all over the world behave and react the same way, or have you found significant differences depending on where you’re in?
Jongseob: When we toured Asia, we noticed that there is a pattern where Asian fans tend to lean more on the fanchants we have, and they are very coordinated amongst them, so they would learn them and sing them together. Whereas in Europe, North America, or Latin America, it would not be just these fanchants but it would just be everyone dancing and singing along to all the songs. So I guess there’s that difference—all the same energy regardless—but they just express it a little bit differently.
I’ve seen them sing even the Korean lyrics!
Keeho: Yeah, you’d be surprised! A lot of them learned Korean, and they actually sang the Korean lyrics as well. It’s great to see.
Congratulations on the release of your first full-length album! You already have a lot of experience in the industry and have many songs and mini albums out. How much different does it feel to work on a bigger record? Does it imply more work and more responsibility, or do you feel it gives you more space to explore your creative expression?
Intak: As someone who writes most of my lyrics, definitely. As there are more tracks, it gives me more space and freedom to experiment with different genres and different rap styles all in one album, so being able to have that playground free to just let my mind go loose was very fun. But at the same time, because there are so many more tracks, that means there’s so much more concentration and so much more creativity that goes into the process of making it. Because you don’t want to make the rap sound the same, right? So constantly looking for something new and writing something new was a challenge for me.
Also, especially because we did a lot of the writing and the recording while we were on tour, having to really concentrate harder on writing while doing concerts was a difficult task. But at the end of the day, just being able to express myself in new and different ways on this full-length album was very, very fun.
Let’s talk about the title track, Killin’ It, which is also the name of the album. The video is amazing, and you all look very charming and powerful in there. When reading the lyrics, I realise how confident they are! I’m wondering, do you always feel this confidence so it is easy for you to embody this kind of concept, or does working on concepts like this help you to improve the confidence you have in yourselves?
Jongseob: When the six of us are on stage, singing, rapping, or dancing together, we have a lot of pride, energy, and confidence in ourselves. So definitely, when it came to this concept we were able to kind of put that confidence in it rather than gaining confidence from the concept. Just having that foundation based on the fact that we’re P1Harmony, we’re hardworking, and we do great at what we do. I feel like that kind of seamlessly went into the concept as well.
With which song of the album do you all best identify yourselves?
Jiung: There are ten songs, so it’s a lot. Give me a second (laughs).
Intak: I got it! Street Star.
Soul: For me the title track, Killin’ It.
Keeho: I want to say Late Night Calls just because I like the vibe and I love the beat, so that’s definitely my favourtie song.
That’s my favourite song of the album as well. I’ve already listened to it like ten times!
Keeho: Really? Thank you! We’ll talk about that later because we fought for that song, but we will finish answering the last question first (laughs).
Jiung: I’ll say Countdown To Love.
Theo: For me it’s Love Story.
Jongseob: Street Star and Late Night Calls.
Awesome! So going back to Late Night Calls, I love how smooth and fresh it sounds; it’s like a nice, vibe-y bridge between the two powerful songs that go before and after it. How do you feel about this type of sound that differs a bit from what you usually do? Would you like to explore more of it in the future?
Keeho: Of course! This song has a lot of inspiration from Afrobeats. You know, we’ve loved Afrobeats for a very, very long time, and I remember when we first heard this song, it wasn’t originally supposed to be on the album, it was just like a side song. But as soon as we heard it, we were like, ‘We need to put this on this album somehow; we need to move stuff around, do something, but Late Night Calls needs to be on the album.’ For us personally, that’s the type of vibe we also enjoy. So, maybe in the future, like you said, you’ll see more songs with similar vibes.
I’m curious about what your favourite time of the year is when it comes to your work schedule. Is it the production and creation of your songs, the promotion period, variety show appearances, touring…?
Jiung: For me, going on tour and writing songs.
Soul: I really like when we’re touring, and I also like when we shoot variety shows or reality shows.
Theo: I like rehearsals.
Keeho: Tour rehearsals?
Theo: Whatever rehearsals. I just like being behind the scenes and being backstage, running through everything. I love rehearsals for everything; it could be for tours, festivals, or whatever. Rehearsals are very fun for me.
Keeho: For me personally, I just love touring. I think travelling is so much fun, and being able to travel and perform at the same time is seriously something that, even after touring for a whole year, I’m still constantly thankful for. So just touring and travelling is my favourite part.
Are you, as a group, aware of the impact you have or the virality or prominence of what you do? For example, the Rainism cover you did in 2020 is still brought up every other day in TikTok or X, as it’s constantly been called one of the best dance covers of the past few years. You’re everywhere! Do you know how big you are?
Jongseob: I’ve definitely felt that love and that energy, especially on tour. I feel like it’s so easy to see it online, but now that we’re actually able to go to the countries where these people have been calling us and supporting us from, to go there and have the privilege of performing in these cities and having these many people and all these fans show up and support, we have definitely felt the love.
I’ve been following you since Siren, your debut, and overall, I feel like you all have stayed true to yourselves as individuals while evolving significantly as artists. Do you feel the same way? Do you feel like you’re the same person, or have you noticed a significant personal change ever since your debut?
Theo: When we first debuted, personality-wise, I was much more energetic and I loved being surrounded by people, energies and sounds. But now that I’m able to be surrounded by so much loving energy all the time thanks to P1eces, on my downtime I like to be very quiet. I like to be a little more calm, save that energy. So when there are fans and I need to perform, I’m able to bring that back out.
Did you ever imagine your lives going on the path that they currently are? Has this life exceeded your expectations?
Intak: The dream to become a singer has been accomplished, but as human beings, we’re always dreaming of bigger and bigger things and always dreaming of bigger goals. So in order to continuously chase that dream, I think I always try to work harder. I feel like there’s stuff that I expected and I knew it was going to happen, and I’ve realised that, but since I’m always looking for something new, I feel like there’s always just so much more to learn. So the dream is continuously living ahead.
For ending interviews, you’re usually asked about what we can expect from P1Harmony in the future, but I want to know what you guys expect from the future. What do you look forward to?
Jongseob: The first reason why I decided to choose to do this job and continuously work so hard for it is that I just love being on stage. So, no matter how far into the future I may be in my life, I really, really want to just constantly be on stage. No matter how or no matter what form it may take, I just want to be on stage, and I really want to perform because that’s my passion.