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WINNER On iKON, The Making Of 'EXIT: E' And Plans For Future 'EXIT' EPs: '3 More Albums Will Come Out' Vocalist Seungyoon Reveals

By Jesse Lent | February 03, 2016 08:36 PM EST


For WINNER fans loving the five-member K-pop boy band's new EP, "EXIT: E," released on Monday, the group has a message for you--it's only the beginning.

In a full-band interview posted on the website of WINNER's record label, YG Entertainment, on the day "EXIT: E" came out, vocalist Kang Seungyoon disclosed that the new album is the first of four EPs that will come out, one for each letter of the title, in a move clearly reminiscent of another YG artist, Big Bang, whose "MADE" series of singles was the Korean music industry blockbuster of last summer.

"We're not sure [exactly when] yet, but three more albums will come out," Seungyoon said.

"We want to really get things going this year with our EPs. The project is about showing our different sides. We haven't decided on the songs and other details. We're still working on the songs. We'll tell you the details later."

The band members were candid in discussing the creation of their latest release, a process that took over a year-and-a-half.

"I'm so happy, and the memories of the past 17 months flash before my eyes," Seungyoon said.

"I'm really thrilled. I'm also thankful to our fans since they have waited for so long. Our break wasn't just about taking some time off. We wanted to put in enough time so that we can come up with music that can move people's hearts. That's why we were able to make a comeback with this great album."

"EXIT: E" shot to the top of the Korean pop charts. The two singles released to date, "Baby Baby" and "Sentimental," secured the number one and numbers two on Naver Music, Melon, OllehMusic, Genie, Bugs, Soribada, Mnet and Monkey3Music.

But according to WINNER member Nam Taehyun, the group wasn't simply chasing mainstream success in the recording studio.

"I didn't think about making songs that would top the charts," he said.

"I didn't want to get hung up on the chart results. But then again, I'm a human being. So, I guess I somewhat wanted the songs to do well on the charts. I was really nervous though because I knew that the members and the staff really worked hard for this. I suppose I was thinking about the chart results."

"I really wanted the songs to be sincere, to convey true feelings," Nam added.

WINNER was formed in 2014 as a result of being the winning team on the reality television program "WIN: Who Is Next?" The brainchild of YG Entertainment co-founder Yang Hyun Suk, the show pitted two teams of aspiring K-pop stars against each other for the chance to become the label's next boy band according to viewer voting. The losing group was to be disbanded, but ended up being reformed as iKON the following year after enduring another reality show, "Mix & Match."

Seungyoon was quick to put rumors of any residual ill will between the two groups to rest.

"We're very close, but people think of us as rivals," he said. "We compete in good faith. iKON recently headlined a concert in Korea. I thought I would get jealous. But then when the concert actually took place and when I watched the clips of the concerts, it was awesome, unbelievably awesome. They headlined their first concert before we did, but we'll have concerts too. I think we're in a win-win relationship."

And while Taehyun credited Big Bang as a major influence on the group, he wants people to know that both the band and their label are committed to creating a distinct identity for WINNER.

"When we first started, we were, of course, influenced by YG's type of music," he said.

"We were asked to do Big Bang-like hip-hop. But we tried to do our own kind of music and Mr. Yang realized that it's what suits us the most and it's also what people like."

Tagged :  winner, WIN: Who Is Next?, YG Entertainment, Yang Hyun Suk, iKON, K-Pop, kpop, K-pop stars, Kang Seungyoon, Seungyoon, exit:e


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