HyunA and DAWN Want You to Watch, Not Listen To, Their First Duet Album
K-pop’s favorite couple has finally dropped music as a duo.
One of K-pop‘s very few couples that have openly confirmed their relationship , HyunA and DAWN have become an industry favorite not only for their powerful music, but also for their stylish outfits. Building on experience from their previous groups, 4Minute and Pentagon, the artists joined the music label P NATION — owned by “Gangnam Style” singer PSY — together in 2019 to further their careers as solo musicians.
Six years into their relationship, the duo has finally teamed up to release their first-ever joint mini-album. Titled 1+1=1, the four-track record is led by “PING PONG,” which DAWN first came up with on an intimate beach trip with his girlfriend. The song arrives with a music video boasting vibrant colors and graphics with visual direction by HyunA, followed by the three other numbers that illustrate tales of love.
Stressing that fans should not “listen to” but “watch” their latest release, HyunA and DAWN discuss their anticipated project in our interview. Read a snippet of the conversation below, and head to HYPEBEAST Korea for the full story.
The two of you have been together for six years now. What motivated you to release an album together this year?
D: We’ve always wondered what it would be like to be on stage together and what amazing music we could create together as a team. We just so happened to come up with a song we liked and decided to create an album based on that. Looking back now, we just wanted to produce something that we could remember.
H: Six years can seem like a long period of time to some people but in some ways, it also felt short. To be specific, we decided to produce this album after DAWN wrote “PING PONG” during our trip to the beach. I woke up one day and he told me, “I was going to write my own song but ended up with something for the both of us.” Plus, we knew our fans were looking forward to a duet album. PSY was also a great supporter along this journey.
Releasing music as a couple is not so common in Korea. What were some things that you loved about working together?
D: The best part is that we know each other better than anyone else. Sometimes, HyunA knows me a lot more than even I know myself. We know each other’s strengths so we can trust each other to put out our best.
H: I enjoyed the production process. I learned a lot just from watching DAWN and how he creates music. I grew so much more respect for him as an artist.
Contrarily, what were some things you didn’t enjoy as much while working together?
D: There weren’t really any, but if I had to pick it’s that we have to watch each other suffer when we’re having a difficult time. I stayed by HyunA’s side throughout the process, but it was tough watching her going through her rough moments.
H: It was the same for me. There were times when I wanted to burst out funny dance moves to make DAWN laugh, but there were times I couldn’t do that.
Did you ever come up with a new duo name throughout the process? If not, we’d love to hear some ideas.
H: We actually did have one. Since we both work with the same staff members, when we were preparing for this project, they started referring to us as the “HyunDAWN Team.”
D: I’ve actually thought of one too.
H: Really? What is it?
D: But now that I think about it, I think HyunA & DAWN works best [laughs].
HyunA, what was it like working as the visual director to create all of the eye-catching imagery for this album?
H: A lot of inspiration came from Disney‘s animated films like The Little Mermaid and Moana, in addition to movies such as Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. I tried to imagine what it would be like to be the main character in those stories. I wanted to recreate a scene where all of these main characters from different stories come together in one place. For this album specifically, Peter Pan meets Ariel.
Which track do you feel most connected to and why?
D: If I had to choose, I’d go with “Deep Dive.” I believe that a song can be presented at its full potential only when the lyrics and message match well with the artist’s overall vibe and how they deliver it on stage. “Deep Dive” aims to capture the feeling of falling in love, and I think my true emotions were able to really shine through on this track.
H: I love “XOXO” for a different reason. The song is a reinterpretation of the funk genre, and I love how it progresses by blending all of the different sounds together. I enjoyed witnessing our producers tweak the different sounds to achieve a full track.
Any final words for our readers and your fans?
H: I want to stress that “health is wealth.” I haven’t been the healthiest recently, so I was frustrated when I couldn’t give my all in preparing for this album. I want all of you to be happy and joyful. If you’re not happy, be angry about it. If you want to cry, cry. Listen to your heart and take care of yourself.
D: You need to be healthy to love, and love to be healthy. I usually have different things to say, but this time around, I felt that it’s important to be healthy.
H: That’s funny because we certainly don’t look super healthy.
D: All the more reason why we can say such things. I’m sure our fans will understand the importance of health since it’s coming from us.
H: One last thing I’d like to say — “PING PONG” is more of a song that you want to “watch” rather than “listen to.” Please pay attention to our performances, and after 1+1=1, we’ll see you guys again as solo artists!
- Hypebeast Korea
- Hyeonuk Joo/Hypebeast Korea