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ATEEZ: ‘We hope to be able to send a good vibe out into the world’

As ATEEZ prepare to play The O2 Arena tonight, the K-Pop giants discuss their biggest UK concert to date, how touring and their fans inspire their music and their 'crazy' next steps

By Rhian Daly

ATEEZ. (Picture: KQ Entertainment)

As ATEEZ prepare to headline their biggest UK concert so far with a sold-out show at London’s The O2, the eight-member K-pop boyband have discussed their current tour, ‘The Fellowship: Break The Wall’ and their grand ambitions for the future.

The group, who are signed to KQ Entertainment, will perform at the iconic London venue tonight (February 22) as part of the European leg of their 2023 tour. 

The dates follow a big year for ATEEZ in 2022, which saw them score their highest entry on the Billboard 200 chart with ‘The World EP 1: Movement’, which peaked at Number Three and became their first million-selling album. In December, they wrapped up the year with the single ‘Spin Off: From The Witness’, led by the skittering, hypnotic lead track ‘Halazia’. 

Speaking to Rolling Stone UK, ATEEZ have discussed holding their biggest UK concert to date, how touring helps shape their music, and why they promise their next steps will be “crazy”. 

You’re performing at the O2 tonight (February 22) for your biggest concert in the UK so far. What does it mean to you to be so far from home and know there are so many people connecting with your music? 

Wooyoung: “We’re so happy to be performing at a big venue like this. It’s really amazing that people from countries that are far away from us are coming to see us and because of this, we also have a responsibility to these people.” 

Hongjoong: “I’m so excited to perform in such a huge venue in London. Like Wooyoung said, I feel a responsibility, too – but I can feel our fans’ support so we can be more energetic on stage here. It’s so meaningful to us.” 

What have been your most memorable experience of your visit to London so far? 

Seonghwa: “Yesterday we went to Tottenham’s stadium, so we all saw their football game. Sonny scored the first goal, so that was a really good memory for us.” 

How does touring and travelling impact and inspire your music? Has there been anything you’ve seen or experienced on tour lately that’s made you think about new song ideas or ideas for what ATEEZ could do next? 

San: “Every time we tour, we always see the fans sing along and cheer with us. With each album, we always try to give more and do more for each one to be better. Because of this, there’s a lot more you can look forward to in terms of our music.” 

Hongjoong: “When we’re on tour, we can recognise what our fans want to hear and what songs are really good, what they cheer the most to. We can recognise what songs and sounds make the show hot so then we can include those ideas in the next album and next songs. 

What can we expect from new music that you have coming up this year? 

Mingi: “I think the next song will be ATEEZ’s most famous song ever. We’ve prepared a lot of things for this year.” 

Your songs often contain a lot of very powerful and encouraging messages that ATINY around the world have been inspired by and taken a lot of strength from. How do those messages in your songs also impact ATEEZ? 

San: “Firstly, for ATINY, no matter how hard it is, we just want to tell you that we’re always going to be by your side, so it’s going to be OK. And when you take a look at the lyrics and the meaning of them, there’s a lot that we’re able to match with in terms of emotions. When we sing these songs, we also get those same feelings and feel good while we’re doing so. When we’re recording, we hope to be able to send that same good vibe out into the world for the fans.” 

Late last year, you celebrated your fourth anniversary as a group – from your perspective, how have you grown in those four years, both as a group and as individuals? 

Seonghwa: Every concert, there’s something I always say at the end – when I’m with ATINY, I want to be a better person. Because of this, I think that, personally, I’m actually growing up and having growth. As a member of ATEEZ, I think I’ve progressed to become an even better version of myself.” 

The World EP 1: Movementsaw you reach even greater heights than before, with your highest entry on Billboard and your first million-selling album. What are your goals for 2023 and the next chapter in ATEEZ’s story? 

Wooyoung: “Having a big goal is something I learnt from my mum, and being Number One on the Billboard Hot 100 is the biggest goal that we have.”

Hongjoong: “Recently, I watched Rihanna’s Super Bowl Halftime Show. Wooyoung said we should dream big so I want to go to the Super Bowl Halftime Show with ATEEZ. Not for 2023, but someday. Because of that, our next step will be crazy. I can’t say what, but it will be crazy so please look forward to it.”