There isn’t a day in pop-culture happenings where K-pop isn’t trending. A worldwide phenomenon that offers room for all different musical genres, from rap to opera, with a loyal fan following, has proved to be more than a phase in the entertainment industry. People swoon over these K-pop singers and groups for multiple reasons; some stars catch the eyes of their fans with their leg-breaking moves, while others grab attention with their visuals, stunning backdrops, or pin-worthy outfits. As a K-pop fanatic myself who lives on the Internet, I have witnessed multiple groups spreading their fan following in India over the years. The latest K-pop group to come under my radar is GF Entertainment’s seven-member boy group, Kingdom, which entered the K-pop scene in 2021.
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Kingdom made their debut with a seven-track mini album called History of Kingdom: Part Ⅰ. Arthur, which featured the title track Excalibur. In reference to the group’s name, K-Pop Group makes excellent use of orchestration, and dramatic and theatrical concepts. Each of their albums brings up concepts and storylines based on historical kings and their eras in a fictional manner.
Their latest concept has an Indian tone to it, titled History of the Kingdom: Part Ⅶ. JAHAN. The album includes seven new songs: IIntro: Apocalypse with their title track Coup D’etat (a dance genre tune), Love Song, X-game, On My Way, Sandcastle, and an instrumental version of Coup D’etat. To give the album a realistic feel, Kingdom has shot their music video, directed by Sagan Lee, at the historical Chanwa Luni Fort, situated in the captivating Jodhpur District of Rajasthan, India. To dive deeper into this album, all the members sat down with ELLE to chat about everything they wanted to express.
ELLE: Can you elaborate on the concept behind History Of Kingdom: Part Ⅶ. JAHAN?
Dann: The last album of Season 1 of KINGDOM, which created a new word ‘Cinematic Idol’ with a unique world that contains the story of 7 kingdoms, is titled History Of Kingdom: Part VII. JAHAN. Just like the album title, this album is also filled with diverse and high-quality tracks. After reinterpreting all cultures of the world through K-pop in Season 1, please look forward to KINGDOM Season 2 in the future!
ELLE: How was the whole creative process while making the new album, especially the India-inspired theme?
Arthur: It was much easier than expected. We didn’t necessarily take an active part in any creative or production tasks, but the process went well, and the choreography was great, so we didn’t encounter any major issues in learning it. This is our second visit to India, and each time we visit, we feel a new inspiration, and it has been very helpful in various ways.
ELLE: Which song has the most difficult choreography to master?
Mujin: Personally, I think the choreography for Ascension was the most challenging. With a change in our choreography director, we had to learn new angles and techniques, and I feel that I grew the most during that time.
ELLE: How was the experience shooting the music video in India?
Louis: I was inspired by Bollywood, where watching freely moving steps helped me change many of my rigid thoughts and perspectives.
ELLE: You are so closely connected to your fans. Are there any memorable fan interactions?
Ivan: While there are many great memories, if I had to pick one, the most memorable moment would be when I saw our fans–also known as Kingmakers–for the first time after the end of the COVID-19 pandemic.
ELLE: How much do your fans inspire you to keep going?
Hwon: Thanks to our fans, Kingdom exists as a group, and we were able to continue moving up to this 7th album. Therefore, we are constantly putting in effort and research into how we can better communicate with our fans and what kind of content they would appreciate more.
ELLE: Any chance of performing in India?
Jahan: I hope the day comes soon when we can perform in India. Meeting international Kingmakers, including those in India, is a great source of motivation for all the members, and we have a strong desire to showcase Kingdom’s performances to our fans abroad.