PANTHEPACK have released their brand-new single ‘Buzz’ today (August 27), and the quartet recently spoke to NME about the song and their goals as a group.
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PANTHEPACK – comprising GOT7’s Jackson Wang, American-Chinese singer Karencici, Taiwanese musician J.Sheon and The Rap Of China breakout star ICE – quietly made their debut earlier this year with the tracks ‘DNA’ and ‘Transmit’.
At the time, the group largely kept their collaboration and identities under wraps. There was little official information about the outfit, outside of Wang’s solo performance of ‘DNA’ during the finale of Sisters Who Make Waves Season 2, as well as his and ICE’s rendition of ‘Transmit’ at the 2021 Baidu Gala.
“I didn’t want to push it and to have it exposed before our announcement. We just thought it would be interesting to throw songs out,” Wang says of the bid for secrecy, while noting that audiences might have “low-key” known about their involvement in the project. “It’s kinda like a puzzle for the audience to find out, like, ‘Oh, what is this about?’ and being curious about it.”
“It’s not low-key somebody would know, it’s high-key,” J.Sheon chimes in – and he’s not wrong. Months prior to the group’s official reveal yesterday (August 26), discerning fans had already deciphered who the members of PANTHEPACK were, as evidenced by this three-month-old fan-made lyric video.
But provoking that curiosity in listeners is exactly what PANTHEPACK have set out to do – and not just over the group’s personnel, but also with the quartet’s shared Chinese heritage, which seems to have largely been PANTHEPACK’s driving force. “We’re really trying to share and spread our culture through our music and projects and everything,” says Karencici.
Wang notes that their material “doesn’t necessarily have to be Chinese music”, preferring to call it “music made by Chinese [people]”. The group’s three singles so far have largely been performed in English, with a sprinkle of Mandarin lyrics. “It’s like [including] Easter eggs. Like bits and pieces [that] will make people curious like, ‘Hey, what is that?’” he added.
“And also we’re trying to say, ‘Ay, next time you’re in China or next time you’re in Asia, maybe check that out. Like, it’s something that we grew up with.’ In the music video content, the snacks that we eat, the vehicles that we’re on, you know, what we’re doing, tools that we’re using – all of that.”
At this moment, however, PANTHEPACK seem content with finally introducing themselves as a group and vibing out to their new single ‘Buzz’. “Rather than the content itself, which is also important, [‘Buzz’ is] more about showcasing our flavour,” Wang explains. “It’s a hard banger, in my opinion.”
Looking forward, the group’s big picture focus is to become “the next wave”, as J.Sheon puts it, while not being confined by the usual broad genre classification that’s so often used for artists and musicians. “PANTHEPACK is all about taste, flavours and style,” Wang declares.
“The thing we want to do at the end of the day is try to do great things, have fun, entertain people with music. Don’t define us [as] being in any genre as a group. We’re just a group, we’re just PANTHEPACK.”
PANTHEPACK’s ‘Buzz’ is out now via Team Wang.