B.Among KARD, its numerous producers, company directors and staff, no one could really agree on what was the best direction for the quartet. It took us a long time to decide on anything, and it’s been nearly a year since our last release, Re:, in June 2022. Selling the best,” says BM, the band’s only native English speaker and de facto interpreter. NME On a Zoom call while the rest of the KARD members crowd around him in front of the camera.
The American-born rapper has admitted that “ICKY” almost didn’t make it to the title track of his new mini-album, but in retrospect, this would have been a big mistake given the current hype behind it. “It could have been a completely different album,” he said, adding that all four members of KARD truly believed in the potential of ICKY. “The hardest part of the song was his one, because so many different points of view he agrees on one point, but we hit it off.”
But don’t get me wrong, the song’s addiction wasn’t a happy accident, but rather a carefully reshaped version of KARD’s own signature Moombahton-inspired sound. “‘ICKY’ contains new elements. [our older] The song was not. When we were building the track, the way we pocketed certain sounds was very modern as opposed to how we used to do it,” says BM. “When you hear the hook, you have a little synth that goes in your pocket, and I think that’s what makes hit songs unique.”
“We just wanted to make the most awful song we could make” – KARD’s BM
What is the other secret of their success in this comeback? Their thematic content is shockingly evocative, and a good chunk of it was co-written by the group themselves. “ICKY” in particular caught the attention of her K-pop community, who were more than a little surprised to hear the sexual overtones in its lyrics. “I’m excited / She wants more than a tip / I’m not talking about coaching.” BM raps with an English verse throughout.
While provocative by standard K-pop production, longtime KARD fans already expect the quartet to push boundaries. “What’s interesting about that verse is that I approached the poem with the intention of being as clear as possible while trying to stay within PG 15-17. [perform it within] korean broadcast [regulations]says BM, who is known for using risque imagery in his songwriting. “I was lucky enough to pass all the age restrictions. I wanted it to be as crafty as possible.”
T.The rest of the album’s songs are similarly bold when it comes to sexual subject matter. Performed by Jiwoo and Somin, the clearly titled “Fxxk You” is a Latin pop-inspired song that epitomizes the push and pull of a passionate relationship. “We really wanted to heighten that overtness. Sometimes it gets a little sexual. ‘I want you, but I hate you.’ There’s a lot of things that I like,'” Jiwoo explains. “It’s a very love-hate relationship, but it’s also very romantic and hot at the same time.”
Meanwhile, the other B-side, “Been That Boy”, this time performed, written and composed by remaining members BM and J.Seph, goes back to the duo’s roots. “Me and Jesef have been together for nearly 12 years now. BM has always been with us, with an important disclaimer, and we’ve made a lot of songs together in the past,” she recalled. It contains an important disclaimer, but with a shy smile, he said: It was a long time ago. ”
“There is no right way to do things. Sometimes a full left turn works.” – Jiwoo of KARD
“As a rapper (rap born out of hip-hop culture), it’s about being confident, being trendy in your own way, really living in it and expressing it through your creativity,” says BM. Both musicians display unique talents when it comes to rap expression. J.seph demonstrates a quick sense of flow, while BM commands slow, rhythmic and complex verses. “We’ve been boys like that since we were trainees. [We still have] That confidence, even though we knew we were bad then, we still had that confidence then, and that confidence really remains with us today. ”
However, “CAKE”, co-written by all four members and produced by BM, is the culmination of KARD’s musicality. “We just wanted to make the worst song we could make. [of producing it] I mean it was all done within the group. The demos we recorded, the track files we recorded, are what you hear on the album,” declared BM, with a proud glow on his smile as he talks about the song. . Somin also agrees as follows. “I really appreciate that he always tries to get us more involved in the creative process. There were no rules and he had no pressure when it was just the four of us making music.”
Half of 2023 has gone by so quickly, but 2023 isn’t over yet for this foursome. They are planning to embark on a large-scale world tour with 17 performances starting in July, but additional performance locations have not yet been announced. “Asia is already in talks, but nothing has been decided yet. Australia is also under preparation. No dates or cities have been decided, but it is very likely,” BM said. NME. “We really want to visit our fans, so we will be very busy with touring, but we are also making plans for our next album.”
In an industry that prefers to follow accepted strategies and formulas for success, how KARD challenges the ready-made narrative about what defines a K-pop group is a breath of fresh air. “There was also co-education. [K-pop] There have been groups in the past, but I feel like there was never a co-educational group like ours. Specifically, the ones that do the type of genre that we do, the ones that hold the type of image that we do,” Jiwoo wonders aloud.
“It’s been a long time since I’ve seen a coed group come up and make such a fuss in this generation,” she added. “There is no right way to go about things, so it is very important for us to continue to differentiate ourselves from other groups. I think it’s a situation like this, so I want other people to be able to enjoy it without fear of taking risks.”
KARD’s new mini-album “ICKY” has been released.