AB6IX on how “love stories” from American high school dramas inspired new single ‘Cherry’

The up-and-coming K-pop quartet talk their ambitious second full-length album ‘Mo’ Complete’, and how the record reflects their creative colours

It hasn’t been that long since AB6IX made their debut, yet the K-pop boyband have been steadily making a name for themselves with their hypnotising brand of pop, which melds elements of hip-hop with house music.

Originally a quintet, the now four-piece group – consisting of Woong, Donghyun, Woojin and Daehwi – burst onto the scene in 2019 with the dancey banger ‘Breathe’ from their debut mini-album, ‘B:Complete’. Two years on and AB6IX have grown even more confident, both in terms of their production value and sound, and it all shows on their wide-ranging second full-length album ‘Mo’ Complete’.

Starting from the dramatic EDM intro ‘Showdown’ through to the Latin pop-inflected ‘Down For You’ and its summery highlight ‘Cherry’, ‘Mo’ Complete’ is a polish display of AB6IX multifaceted team.

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Following the release of their new album, NME catches up with the boyband to learn more about their ambitious new record, how they overcome comeback jitters and keep the creative juices flowing.

ab6ix mo complete cherry interview
AB6IX. Credit: Brand New Music / Warner Music Korea

Hey AB6IX, congratulations on the release of your sophomore full-length album! Tell us, what does ‘Mo’ Complete’ mean to the band?

Woong: “It represents AB6IX’s growth. We think we’ve grown a lot both musically and stylistically compared to previous albums. And since it’s a full-length album in two years, we are a little nervous but also it’s exciting as well.”

Your new album is the follow-up to your first full-length, 2019’s ‘6ixense’. How does this new record compare to that?

Donghyun: “It’s an album full of colours and fun music. We’ve challenged ourselves to try various styles of genres.”

How did you guys try to challenge yourself creatively on this new record?

Daehwi: “We watched a lot of American high school dramas and tried to apply love stories from them onto ‘Cherry’.”

Let’s talk about the title track ‘Cherry’ – Daehwi, since you produced this song, can you tell us what was the inspiration behind it?

Daehwi: “When you eat a cherry, your lips and hands get stained in red, and I thought it’s similar to the feeling of falling in love. That’s how the song came about.”

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How did the creative process for ‘Cherry’ differ from the creation of your previous self-produced title tracks like ‘Blind For Love’, ‘Salute’ and ‘Breathe’?

Daehwi: “I think the difference between ‘Cherry’ and previous works is that ‘Cherry’ is a funk-pop genre with a bright, yet heavy beat and topline. We hope a lot of people can recognise our AB6IX unique music colours through this song.”

It’s interesting to hear the album track ‘Down For You’, which taps into the group’s more sensual side, as compared to your usual dancefloor-ready cuts. What were you guys trying to showcase with the song?

Daehwi: “It’s a Latin pop style, and it seems like many people including fans from South America have been looking forward to it. You’ll be able to see a little bit more sexy and chill vibe on it.”

What is each member’s favourite track from ‘Mo’ Complete’ and why?

Woong: “‘Do You Remember’. It’s an easy listening song and it makes me feel nostalgic when listening to it, but the track’s vibe is really good.”

Donghyun: “‘Do You Remember’. I really like the track’s vibe itself and it’s a song that I never get tired of listening to.”

Woojin: “‘Do You Remember’. I like its musical style and it’s an easy listening track.”

Daehwi: “‘Simple Lover’ because it’s a very exciting song and is a deep house genre track which I think the fans would also love.”

If you had to choose one word to describe your new album, what would it be?

Woojin: “‘Effort’, it’s an album that all the members worked really hard on, and also equally were ambitious to become successful together.”

You guys have always actively participated in all of your music releases, whether it be songwriting or producing. What helps you keep the creative juices flowing?

Donghyeon: “I think it is important to have a wealth of experience, even if it is a small one, but also think that indirect experiences through TV dramas or movies help as well.”

Woojin: “The presence of the fans and the experiences I feel in my daily life helps me to keep creative.”

AB6IX have always managed to return with a more powerful and bigger hit each time. Do you sometimes feel pressured about outdoing your last release with each comeback?

Woong: “Yes, we do feel it. I think we feel a sense of pressure because the tracks that we’ve written are also included, but at the same time, we always enjoy working on our albums. It can be a difficult process making an album, but we feel genuinely happy when we see our fans loving the outcome.”

2021 has so far been a fulfilling and eventful year for AB6IX. What are your plans, as a group and individually, for the rest of the year?

Woong: “We plan to meet our fans through diverse activities in both individual and group activities, in different areas. All the members are working really hard, so please do look forward to it!”

AB6IX’s ‘Mo’ Complete’ is out now via Brand New Music/Warner Music Korea.

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