Fan Chant: This is the Moment SEVENTEEN’s DINO Has “Been Dreaming About”

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Welcome back to Fan Chant, a weekly column for K-pop fans, stans, and newbies alike. This week, we chat with DINO from SEVENTEEN about his new mixtape. Also, if you love reading Fan Chant, don’t forget to subscribe to my companion newsletter to get it delivered right to your inbox!

It’s been genuinely joyful watching SEVENTEEN, now in the eighth year of their career, achieve more global success than ever. In its first week, their 10th mini-album, FML, became the most-sold K-pop album of all time when 4.55 million copies flew off shelves. Then, at this week’s MAMA Awards, they received daesang (the Korean word for a top prize at annual music awards shows) for Album of the Year for the first time in their nearly decade-long career.

The group’s youngest member DINO has a lot to celebrate this week, including the release of his solo mixtape. As part of SEVENTEEN’s solo mixtape project, The Thirteen Tapes, DINO follows in the footsteps of his older brothers HOSHI, VERNON, and WOOZI. Co-written with bandmate WOOZI, “Wait” makes room for DINO to flex his strength as a dancer, particularly in the chorus.

Even in a quick check-in, it’s clear how much DINO values and trusts his members — in our brief email chat, he sings their praises at every opportunity. Watch the music video for “Wait” below, and read on for the full interview with SEVENTEEN’s DINO.

How does it feel to have “Wait” out in the world?

It’s like a dream come true. I believe this was made possible all thanks to the members’ support and CARATs’ love. I feel so proud.

What prompted you to explore a solo mixtape at this point in 2023?

The solo mixtape had been on my bucket list for 2023 and I’d really hoped it would happen, especially because I wanted to showcase a song that I had worked on myself. My goal was to really show everyone who I am; what my true colors are. This is the moment that I’ve been dreaming about for a very long time.

You’re no stranger to working alongside WOOZI — what was the process of putting this specific song together with him?

This was my time working with WOOZI by myself, just the two of us. It was a great opportunity to learn so much from him. The process itself was full of positive energy and we had a lot of fun.

You often record and perform alongside your members in the performance unit. How did it feel to take on “Wait” by yourself?

It’s not very challenging to put together a performance by myself, but I did feel the members’ absences a lot. I was once again reminded of how big of a presence the members are to me, especially during the solo practices I had to take on by myself. All 12 members came to the music video shoot to show their support, and I was so grateful.

Have any of the members besides WOOZI heard the mixtape? What did they think?

I showed the members the music video for “Wait” after our group practice and they loved it. They also had a lot of compliments which made me happy. I could feel the sincerity in what they said, so that meant a lot to me. I’d like to take this opportunity to once again express my gratitude and love for all of them.

What do you love about the choreography for “Wait?” Were you involved in its design as well?

I’m especially fond of the choreography during the chorus. The movement that goes along with the melody has a special catharsis to it and is also a lot of fun. The track itself was put together with a performance in mind, and the choreography naturally followed the track’s story. I hoped to translate everyday motions into a dance move to resonate with a wider audience and come up with a seamless yet original performance.

The message of the song revolves around moving forward even in the face of hesitance. Have there been any moments in 2023 you feel embodied that idea for you in particular?

I think the release of this solo mixtape is such a moment. It’s as if the images and the moments that I’d envisioned so far had been waiting in the back, in hesitation, and now they came to life through bold, courageous actions.

I think my hopes and anticipation for a mixtape release really originated from CARATs and the members. I love you so much, and thank you.

Stray Kids’ ROCK-STAR Return

stray kids rock-star new album jyp entertainment skz
stray kids rock-star new album jyp entertainment skz

Photo courtesy of JYP Entertainment

Checked in with Stray Kids recently to chat about their explosive 2023 and their latest LP. Read the interview here.

TXT Take On Tiny Desk Korea

tomorrow x together tiny desk concert k pop korea music news watch listen
tomorrow x together tiny desk concert k pop korea music news watch listen

Tomorrow X Together, photo via YouTube/NPR

For the latest installment of Tiny Desk Korea, TOMORROW X TOGETHER (my No. 5 artist of the year, according to today’s Spotify Wrapped) take over. Watch it here.

Song Rec of the Week:

I’m new to VIXX — all I know is this song rules.

Fan Chant: This is the Moment SEVENTEEN’s DINO Has “Been Dreaming About”
Mary Siroky

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