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[EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW] Shooting Hoops and Hitting Notes: 82MAJOR on Music, Basketball, and 82DE

82MAJOR is only six months old, but the gifted K-Pop group is already breathing new life into what it means to be a major rookie on the rise.

82MAJOR
82MAJOR | Image from Great M Entertainment

Making a grand entrance into the K-pop scene in 2023, 82MAJOR is already shaking up the waters with their infectious energy and their signature brand of hip hop. Their debut mini-album, "Beat by 82", headlined by the hit single "Choke," has captivated fans with its charismatic magic. Each member of this fiery six-piece brings a distinctive power move to the table, piecing together a synergy that is destined for stellarity.


From the intense live performances to their heartfelt interactions with their rapidly growing fanbase, 82DE, 82MAJOR embodies the spirit of modern K-pop with an authentic twist of starbound attitude.


As they set the course for music industry domination, the South Korean idols promise to deliver exciting content that will keep their fans waving those light sticks.


Dive into our exclusive interview to get the inside scoop on 82MAJOR's journey, fears, wishes, basketball moves, and what’s next on their radar. No doubt that these guys are a slam dunk in the making.


82MAJOR Exclusive Interview: Major Beat Changers


★ POPMACHINE: Hi, 82MAJOR! Congratulations on the release of your first mini-album! The carrier single "Choke" has such a catchy rhythm that reflects your signature flair for hip hop. What part of the song do you enjoy singing/rapping the most?


  • HWANG SEONG BIN, CHO SEONG IL: We enjoyed singing the chorus. It’s so addictive that since we first heard “Choke,” we couldn’t stop humming that part. I think once you listen to it, you’ll keep singing the chorus too.


  • NAM SEONG MO: I like SEOK JOON’s part where he sings. “팽이처럼 돌아버려 내 spin move”! The lyrics are fun, and SEOK JOON does it so well that I end up singing along.


  • YOON YE CHAN: There are two parts I enjoy. The part SEONG MO starts with “jump with the dream squad”, and, as SEONG MO said, I also enjoy SEOK JOON’s part “팽이처럼 돌아버려 내 spin move.”



★ POPMACHINE: Your mini album is a big masterpiece. Did any of the members have the opportunity to be a part of the creative process? 


  • NAM SEONG MO: For this album, all the members participated more compared to the previous album ‘ON.’ We developed the songs we worked on before our debut, and YE CHAN and I participated in the title track.


  • YOON YE CHAN: That’s right. I worked with SEONG MO on the creation of the title track “Choke.” We discussed how to incorporate the basketball concept into the lyrics. Since I used to be a basketball player. I drew from that experience and researched basketball terms to convey the actual basketball vibe in the song.



★ POPMACHINE: You have performed "Choke" live on a ton of TV shows already. Which stage was your favorite? 


  • HWANG SEONG BIN: Every stage was precious and great. Each performance is vividly memorable. It was a place to show the album we had prepared for a long time, and it was special because we were with our 82DE.


  • CHO SEONG IL: M COUNTDOWN’s comeback stage! Of course, I love all the stages, but this was the first official comeback stage for “Choke,” so it was more memorable. It was the first time we showed the stage officially to 82DE and the public after our busking performances. I was more nervous and paid extra attention to everything.


  • YOON YE CHAN: The last stage of “Choke” on the music program left a strong impression on me. It was the last official stage for “Choe,” so I gave it my all. I wanted to express all the gratitude and emotions I felt for our 82DE. Thank you, 82DE, for supporting us until the last broadcast!

 


★ POPMACHINE: The music video for "Choke" features multiple basketball scenes. If you all played one-on-one basketball against each other, which member would likely win, and which member would just stay on the sidelines to cheer?


  • YOON YE CHAN: SEONG IL. I think SEONG IL would beat all the members. I was surprised by his shooting skills when we played basketball together. But since I also have experience as a basketball player, my shooting isn’t easy to beat either. Haha!


  • 82MAJOR: SEONG BIN. When it comes to cheering, it’s SEONG BIN! He isn’t very close to basketball, but he’s the best at cheering. When we hear SEONG BIN’s cheers, we all get pumped up and energized. Thanks, SEONG BIN!

82MAJOR
82MAJOR | Image from Great M Entertainment

★ POPMACHINE: Another great song on the mini album is "Birthday." The playful melody of the track is the exact opposite of the intense energy that "Choke" brings to the table. What was it like recording such a wide range of genres for your mini album?


  • HWANG SEONG BIN: It was a great opportunity to grow skill-wise. Since the atmospheres of the two songs are different, I had to think about how to express the rap and vocal styles. We practiced together, gave each other feedback, and tried to express our style while fitting the song’s atmosphere. I want to continue exploring new genres and styles to broaden our musical spectrum.

  • PARK SEOK JOON: It was also a learning experience for me. While “Choke” aimed to convey a strong and intense feeling, “Birthday” aimed for a soft vibe. Researching and practicing opposite images naturally taught me various ways of expression. We will continue to show different vibes and sides of hip-hop through 82MAJOR. 82DE, look forward to our diverse music like Chameleon!



★ POPMACHINE: What are your favorite off-cam memories from the recording of your album and the shooting of the music video? 

  • YOON YE CHAN: I remember talking about sports with the producers while waiting in the recording studio. Since the concept of ‘BEAT by 82’ is ‘basketball,’ we naturally started talking about sports. I found out the producers also like sports, which made me really happy. We had fun conversations about sports and got closer. 


  • KIM DO GYUN: During the music video shoot, Director Woogie Kim imitated our choreography for “Choke.” He is the first who imitated our choreography and even danced with us. We also took pictures together in the ‘arrow’ pose, which was fun. I want to film a challenge with him next time. Woogie Kim! Let’s do a challenge together!



★ POPMACHINE: Circling back to the song "Birthday", what is the best or most memorable birthday gift you have ever received, so far? What made it special?


  • PARK SEOK JOON: Last December, spending my birthday with 82DE was the best gift. It was more meaningful because it was the first birthday I spent with our fans since our debut. It was the first time I was congratulated by so many people, and reading each letter from 82DE made me feel a lot of emotions. It’s still a good memory that comes to mind. I want to make many memories with 82DE every year. 82DE, I love you!

82MAJOR
82MAJOR | Image from Great M Entertainment

★ POPMACHINE: You only debuted about 6 months ago, but you already have millions of fans. Can you tell us about a favorite fan interaction or memorable comment you have received, so far?

  • KIM DO GYUN: I love hearing that our stage gives fans energy. It’s something 82DE often tells us, and it always gives us strength when we hear it. We are just doing what we should, but fans liking it and feeling energized makes us more grateful. We will continue to show great performances to give 82DE more energy. Just as 82DE gives us strength, 82DE is also our source of energy!


  • YOON YE CHAN: Comments like ‘I came to see you,’ ‘It’s my first time at a fan signing event because of 82MAJOR!’ These supportive comments make an impression. It makes me feel grateful because it shows how much they like us. I want to give our fans good memories. But, actually! We love every comment 82DE gives us!



★ POPMACHINE: You have recently given your fandom the unique name "82DE". How did you come up with that innovative play on words?


  • HWANG SEONG BIN: ‘82DE’ is the name we announced for our fans on April 5th. We always felt it was a pity to just call our fans ‘everyone’ or ‘fans.’ We wanted a name that could well express the special relationship between 82MAJOR and our fans, so we thought about it for a long time.

  • KIM DO GYUN: That’s right. Our priority was to convey our heartfelt attitude to our fans! As a result, the name ‘82DE’ was born. It combines ‘82’ from 82MAJOR and ‘DE’ from attitude, meaning we will always approach our fans with a sincere attitude. Past, present, and future! We will always approach 82DE with sincere hearts.



★ POPMACHINE: We heard that you were nicknamed "Performance Idols" due to your overall strength in music and dancing. What would you consider your most prominent strength as an individual performer and as a group?


  • CHO SEONG IL: All members of 82MAJOR can create songs! The track “82” in this album is also a song that all members participated in. Everyone has a passion for music, so even after group practice, we work on our individual songs.


  • PARK SEOK JOON: Our biggest strength as a group is our teamwork. The five members are the same age, and the youngest is close in age too, so we are like friends. We joke around a lot but are serious when we work. Sometimes we have disagreements, but we resolve them through conversation, which brings us closer.



★ POPMACHINE: What unexpected concept would you like to try out in the future? 


YOON YE CHAN: We’ve shown a lot of weighty and strong images so far, but I want to try a refreshing concept someday. I think 82MAJOR can uniquely express a lively and playful vibe in hip-hop! I think our 82DE would be surprised. Haha!


★ POPMACHINE: If you could spend 24 hours with your fans, what activities would you plan for them?


  • HWANG SEONG BIN: I’d like to plan a trip around the country like a school trip. We could stop at rest areas for delicious food and play games with different themes.


  • CHO SEONG IL: Most of our members like sports, so I’d like to play sports with 82DE. We could rent a gym and organize a sports event with different teams for soccer, basketball, badminton, and other activities.


  • YOON YE CHAN: And we love gaming too. So, I’d like to play games with 82DE at a PC bang (Net cafe). We could have a tournament and give a prize to the final winner! I want to do the things we enjoy with our fans!



★ POPMACHINE: How would you describe your first 6 months as officially-debuted idols in one word? 

  • CHO SEONG IL: Happiness. Meeting 82DE in real who supported us before our debut makes me very happy.


  • KIM DO GYUN: Anticipation. I’m looking forward to all the time we’ll spend with 82DE in the future!   



★ POPMACHINE: What does a perfect day look like for you? 


  • KIM DO GYUN: A fan meeting day. Meeting 82DE is always joyful and happy, especially at fan meetings, where we can talk the most with 82DE.


  • YOON YE CHAN: A concert day! And a stage day! Thinking back to our debut, the best day was our first concert, ‘82 PEOPLE.’ It was memorable seeing 82DE up close, making eye contact, and giving high fives. I want to share the joy of our debut with more 82DE at concerts.


82MAJOR
82MAJOR | Image from Great M Entertainment

★ POPMACHINE: What is 82MAJOR's biggest wish? 


  • CHO SEONG IL: When ranked on Billboard charts. We want to let more people, especially more 82DE, listen to and love our music. It’s good to dream big! Hahaha!


  • YOON YE CHAN: To win all the awards at the Grammy Awards! We want to show 82MAJOR’s stage on a global platform and receive major awards.



★ POPMACHINE: Where do you see yourself 10 years, 10 days, and 10 minutes from now?


  • PARK SEOK JOON: In 10 years, I hope to release my own solo work. In 10 days, I will be practicing, and in 10 minutes, I will probably still be practicing. I think that if we keep practicing and working steadily, one day all the members will be able to release their own solo works. I hope the day comes when we can fill an album entirely with songs we made.


  • CHO SEONG IL: I’m similar to SEOK JOON. In 10 years, I want to release my own full album. In 10 days, I will be practicing, and in 10 minutes, I’ll still be practicing. All of us have a strong desire for music, so we are always devoted to practice. I believe that these times spent will help 82MAJOR grow and continue to grow. 82DE, you will keep listening to our music 10 years from now, right?


★ POPMACHINE: Do you have any upcoming concerts or fan meeting events that fans can look forward to?

  • NAM SEONG MO: We have the WATERBOMB stage coming up! We are continuously working and practicing for the upcoming Hong Kong WATERBOMB stage. Even while promoting “Choke,” we kept discussing the songs with the members and preparing. We are also planning many other events to meet with 82DES. Please look forward to it!



★ POPMACHINE: Do you have any dream music collaborations? 


  • YOON YE CHAN: Murakami Takashi. He is a designer I really like. I’m such a fan that I own accessories designed by him! I would love to do a design collaboration with him one day.


  • CHO SEONG IL: Crush. I fell in love with his sweet vocals. Recently, I’ve been listening to Crush sunbaenim’s “Beautiful” a lot and have become an even bigger fan. It would be an honor to have the opportunity to sing with his smooth R&B vibe and vocals.


  • KIM DO GYUN: Jung Chan-sung. I really like UFC. Outside of practice, I constantly watch UFC matches, and I’m especially a fan of Jung Chan-sung! Isn’t he a true legend? I’d love to have a match with him.



★ POPMACHINE: If you ever plan to go on a world tour, which country would be your first stop?


  • HWANG SEONG BIN: Any country where our fans are! I want to visit various countries and show 82MAJOR’s stage to as many 82DE as possible. I’m curious about how they will react to our music.



★ POPMACHINE: If your music were turned into a type of food, what would it be and why? 


  • KIM DO GYUN: Jeonju bibimbap. Bibimbap has various ingredients, and when they are mixed together, they create a harmonious taste. This is just like 82MAJOR. Each of the six members has their own color, and their unique traits blend well to create the music of 82MAJOR!


  • NAM SEONG MO: Galbi. It’s my favorite food. I can answer that right away because I love it so much. The same goes for music. If someone asks, 'What’s your favorite thing?' and I would answer 'Music!' in 0.1 seconds. Because I am doing what I love, music is like galbi to me.



★ POPMACHINE: Imagine that you are introducing 82MAJOR to a person who has never listened to music before. Which of your songs would you make them listen to first?


  • PARK SEOK JOON: 'Sure Thing.' Many people got to know us through this song. I think it’s a song that can comfortably approach the public, so I’d recommend this song to those who are new to 82MAJOR.


  • NAM SEONG MO: Although it hasn’t been officially released, I’d recommend the song 'Summer Love.' This song is available on 82MAJOR’s SoundCloud and was revealed at our February concert. YE CHAN, DO GYUN, and I worked on it, and I want many people to hear DO GYUN’s sweet vocals. Honestly, I just want to boast about DO GYUN’s vocals!

82MAJOR Kpop group
82MAJOR | Image from Great M Entertainment

★ POPMACHINE: What is your favorite food and what type of food do you dislike?


  • YOON YE CHAN: I love meat the most! And I dislike cucumbers. Except for foods that contain cucumbers, I pretty much eat everything well.


  • HWANG SEONG BIN: 82DE probably already knows. My favorite food is kebab! And the food I dislike is mushrooms.



★ POPMACHINE: What is your biggest fear? 


  • CHO SEONG IL: Ghosts. I don’t have many big fears, but I do find ghosts a little scary.


★ POPMACHINE: Would you rather eat your most disliked food every day forever or face your biggest fear today?


  • YOON YE CHAN, HWANG SEONG BIN: Facing our biggest feat today is better.

In the former case, having to do something you dislike every day is tough because of the daily repetition.


  • CHO SEONG IL: Eating my most disliked food every day is better.

Humans are adaptable creatures. So, even if it’s a food I dislike, if I eat it every day, I think I will get used to it and it will be okay.



★ POPMACHINE: What is your hidden talent, and what is one skill you wish you had?


  • NAM SEONG MO: I can read people’s minds. I’m good at guessing what the members are thinking. And the skill I wish I had is to quickly memorize choreography!


  • HWANG SEONG BIN: I can do a cartwheel well. 82DE, you didn’t know that, right?

YOON YE CHAN: I want to master all the languages of the world. I want to communicate closely with many 82DEs!


  • KIM DO GYUN: I also want to master all the languages of the world and have a talent for playing musical instruments.




★ POPMACHINE: What advice do you have for aspiring artists? 


  • HWANG SEONG BIN: I hope they seriously think about what they want to do in this job before they start. And once they find that purpose, I want to tell them to put all their effort into it and work hard.


  • YOON YE CHAN: If you want to do it, I hope you work hard with all your heart!



★ POPMACHINE: Thank you so much for taking the time to chat with us! Before we cap things off, do you have a message for your fans and the PopMachine readers?


  • NAM SEONG MO: First of all, it was an honor to have an interview with PopMachine. I worked hard thinking about talking to you all, how was it for you? We will tell you more about 82MAJOR! There are still many sides we haven’t shown yet. I hope we can meet again next time. Thank you!


CHO SEONG IL: PopMachine readers! We will work hard to show you even more amazing sides of us, so please continue to watch over 82MAJOR! Thank you!




 

SPECIAL THANKS TO GREAT M ENTERTAINMENT | REELS CORP.



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