It has been over four years since Golden Child – comprising members Daeyeol, Y, Jangjun, TAG, Seungmin, Jaehyun, Jibeom, Donghyun, Joochan and Bomin – burst into the K-pop scene with their energetic and boyish debut single ‘DamDaDi’. Five mini-albums, one studio album and a hanfdul of singles later, the 10-member boyband have undergone a complete transformation, taking on a darker, more mature sound.
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Now back with their second studio album ‘Game Changer’, the talented idol group have their minds set on – as their album’s title suggests – changing the game in K-pop. From their powerful new single ‘Ra Pam Pam’, where Golden Child urge listeners to have hope even in the most desperate of moments, to the English-language pop-rock track ‘Bottom Of The Ocean’ and the pensive lo-fi ‘Singing In The Rain’ , the group tackle a myriad of genres and themes in the 11-track record.
NME recently caught up with Golden Child to discuss their goals for the new record and their ever-expanding “Golden Child Universe”.
Hello Golden Child, and congratulations on the release of your second full-length album ‘Game Changer’! Could you tell us more about the album’s title track ‘Ra Pam Pam’ and what can your fans, Goldenness, look forward to?
TAG: “In ‘Ra Pam Pam’, we wanted to say there is always hope in desperate moments. It’s not over until it’s over.”
Joochan: “‘Ra Pam Pam’, which expresses the sound of the beating of the heart, contains a hopeful message that no matter what situation comes to you, there is hope, and we can do it. We tried to capture a perfect image during this promotion, so I would be grateful if you could focus your eyes on us!”
As this is only your second full-length album, what are some of the challenges Golden Child faced while preparing for this release?
Jaehyun: “Sometimes, we had a brain freeze because of the choreography. It was kind of tricky sometimes.”
Jibeom: “When recording new songs and preparing for performances, there was a sense of pressure to show more perfect performances.”
What is Golden Child’s biggest goal for this comeback?
Daeyeol: “First place on music show! Let’s go for it!”
Y: “Our goal is to do more activities to make music for a long, long time and to meet all of Goldenness without a break.”
Many of Golden Child’s music videos like ‘Burn It’ from earlier this year have been very cinematic and tell complex, emotional stories. What is the story in the video for ‘Ra Pam Pam’?
Donghyun: “The story is about ten boys who survived the destruction of the earth in 2080, fighting against the world to save the destroyed planet and finding hope in it.”
Joochan: “It contains the story of the 10 Golden Children, who are the only ones who survived on a planet destroyed by human greed, struggling to revive the spark of hope and seeing the light at the end.”
How does it connect to your previous music videos? Is there a plan for a wider story universe around your music?
Jangjun: “The expansion of the worldview and the connection lines are a secret. [laughs] However, we plan to announce the infinity of the Golden Child.”
Seungmin: “I would be grateful if you could carefully watch Daeyeol hyung’s appearance at the end of the music video.”
What are some of your favourite B-sides from ‘Game Changer’?
Jaehyun: “I like Seungmin, Jaehyun and Donghyun’s ‘Feeling’.”
Donghyun: “I like ‘Bottom Of The Ocean’ the most.”
Your previous single ‘Burn It’ recently becAme your first single to appear on the Gaon Digital Chart! How does it feel for it to have performed as well as it did?
TAG: “First of all, I would like to give this honour to Goldenness. Thank you very much, and I will work even harder.”
Bomin: “It’s such an honour, the song was good, and the performance was as good as the preparations were. I’m just thankful that the results came out.”
Why do you think the song has become so well-loved by fans in Korea as well as around the world?
Jaehyun: “We can’t meet overseas fans in these difficult times but thank you so much for liking us. Maybe it’s our energy.”
Golden Child’s image has changed drastically since your debut song ‘DamDaDi’ four years ago. How do you think the group will be different in another four years’ time?
Daeyeol: “After four years, Golden Child will grow tremendously and become a group everyone knows!”
TAG: “We will know only then, but we always want to be youthful boys to Goldenness!”
Finally, do Golden Child have any words of encouragement for Goldenness around the world who might be having a difficult time due to the pandemic?
Seungmin: “Goldenness, we must all overcome it together. I love you!”
Jibeom: “We all are exhausted during this challenging time, but I hope we smile even a little while thinking positively.”
Golden Child’s new studio album ‘Game Changer’ is out now.