K-Pop groups train for years to prepare for their debut. When the big day finally arrives, it's usually so packed with promotional activities like performances and meet-and-greets, the members barely have time to take it all in. But CRAVITY, the latest group from Starship Entertainment, has had a very unconventional start to their career. Since they debuted in April 2020 amid the coronavirus pandemic, they've had to perform in mostly vacant rooms and communicate with fans mainly through social media. CRAVITY's quotes about debuting during the pandemic reveal the boys are channeling all their frustration with this unfortunate reality into forging an even stronger bond with their fans.
CRAVITY — made up of SERIM, ALLEN, JUNGMO, WOOBIN, WONJIN, MINHEE, HYEONGJUN, TAEYOUNG, and SEONGMIN — has yet to meet their fans face to face for real, so they've let their music do the talking. Their debut single, "Break All The Rules," is about being strong enough to overcome whatever life throws at them. The group promises to keep pushing past their limits in their August 2020 sophomore single, "Flame." And on Jan. 19, 2021, they dropped their third EP, Season 3. [HIDEOUT: BE OUR VOICE], along with their latest single, "My Turn," which is all about proving they fulfilled that promise. "This song represents our ambition and eagerness to leave our footstep, saying 'It’s our turn to show it to the world,'" WONJIN tells Elite Daily.
CRAVITY's confidence is evident throughout their HIDEOUT trilogy, but they didn't always feel that way in real life. Event cancelations to avoid the spread of COVID were a huge setback, and being distanced from fans (who they call LUVITY) made them feel a little insecure initially. "Since we made our debut during the pandemic situation, we couldn't actually perform [face to face] in front of our fans... I wondered, 'Are we doing well?'" TAEYOUNG says.
A turning point came when CRAVITY debuted at No. 12 on Billboard's Social 50 chart just a week after their April 14 debut. The achievement proved fans were already buzzing with excitement over their virtual performances on shows like M Countdown and Show Champion. "I was so thrilled and almost burst into tears when I heard we’d ranked 12th on the Billboard Social 50 chart," TAEYOUNG says. "It made us realize that we were receiving so much support and attention, not only from Korea, but also from all over the world." Winning the rookie categories at the Melon Music Awards and Mnet Asian Music Awards later that year was another major confidence boost. TAEYOUNG adds, "That allowed me to feel the love of our fans once again, and it became the driving force for us to work harder!"
With live concerts out of the question, WOOBIN says they worked to exceed LUVITY's expectations in other ways, like by improving their vocals and stage presence. SERIM, ALLEN, and WONJIN also pushed themselves creatively by co-writing tracks on the new album like "Mammoth" and "Moonlight." "I feel like my rap style has gotten more diverse, which helped me gain just a little more confidence and anticipation for future projects," ALLEN says.
While awards and chart achievements are awesome, CRAVITY says wowing fans with their performances is the most fulfilling indicator they're making their mark. "We are all trying to show different sides of ourselves through each album, and to do so, we always take our time to develop our skills. [That's why] performing in front of LUVITY, and getting compliments from many others, are the true victory for me," HYEONGJUN says.
To receive that much-needed feedback from fans, CRAVITY does their best to stay connected with LUVITY online. Besides being active on Twitter and Instagram and filming regular livestreams on VLIVE, the group has participated in virtual meet-and-greets on FaceTime, where they talk to fans like old friends. "Through sharing emotions and daily life, I feel a sense of closeness to our fans to a point that now, if I can’t communicate with them even for a day, I start to get anxious and worried," WONJIN says. "I know the importance of communication, so I’m trying my best to communicate more and more through possible channels."
Just like fans encourage CRAVITY to be better, the group hopes their music will inspire LUVITY to be strong, too. "Through our music, we wish to communicate with fans... to call on our name if it would make them feel just a little less lonely, to call on our name if it would make them have just a little more courage, a little more strength to face the world in such [a] difficult situation," ALLEN says.
LUVITY can listen to CRAVITY's latest EP, Season 3. [HIDEOUT: BE OUR VOICE], below.