Formed through the KPOP reality survival show “I-LAND,” boy group ENHYPEN debuted on Nov. 30 under BELIFT LAB, the joint entertainment company between BigHit Entertainment and CJ ENM, with a six song record breaking album.
In just two days after release, the music video quickly reached two million likes, earning them the title of the fastest 2020 KPOP rookies to reach the mark, as well as the first to achieve it out of the 2020 rookie boy groups.
The two million views was just the start of it all. The group also became the fastest 2020 rookie group to surpass two million followers on Instagram as well.
But the achievement fans are most proud of are their sales on Hanteo, a site for collecting album sales, where they reported 229,991 physical sales of the album within the first day of release, ranking them first place in the daily album category.
Within that first day, the album, “BORDER : DAY ONE,” also ranked #1 on iTunes in Japan and Lithuania and top 5 in 27 other countries and regions, including the U.S. This marks them as the “most noticeable rookie in the world in 2020” within the KPOP community.
It is no surprise that their debut came out with such a good response, because their fanbase had began forming this June during the premiere airing of “I-LAND,” where fans watched the top producers of BigHit Entertainment judge and form the group through various performances and eliminations of other contestants.
The show was popular worldwide, as fans were excited to see the process BigHit Ent. applied to its trainees, but it was also because there were appearances by KPOP sensations BTS and Seventeen.
In the second half of the show, the decisions for contestants were opened up to the fans watching globally, and even then, there were individual members getting two million votes each worldwide. Finally, on Sept. 18, seven finalists were picked and formed into the group, now known as ENHYPEN.
The group’s name is based around the concept of a hyphen, which is a sign used to connect words in order to build new ones, in the same way that the members will “connect, discover each other, and grow together,” as explained on the show when the name was first decided.
After watching them go through all the hardships of the show and working so hard to ensure their debut, as well as watching them get ready for the debut, fans have expressed immense amounts of love and support for the group, both in sales and in posts on social media.
And because BELIFT LAB is a joint venture between two hugely successful entertainment companies, the group has a lot of connections. Just days before debut, it was announced that the group will already be performing at the annual popular KPOP award show, “MAMA,” one of KPOP's many huge end-of-the-year award shows.
If anything, their success was expected with their much-anticipated debut album, especially with certain standout tracks.
In the press release just hours before debut, BELIFT LAB expressed that "having achieved the dream of debut through I-LAND, where they were chosen by global fan votes, the track "Given Taken" conveys the boys’ doubts about whether their debut was ‘given’ or [if] they have ‘taken’ the opportunity on their own.”
The song begins with an addictive and almost haunting melody on the harp, luring listeners into a powerful pop/hip hop beat, accompanied by lyrics such as “in the rain of fate’s arrows… I flip over the world, I step into the sky." Fans received the track with much love, and many happily expressed that the song very much fit their style, myself included.
The opening song “Intro: Walk the Line,” supported by a dreamy synth sequence, starts with an English monologue and continues to then become something you would expect in a movie where the main character finally succeeds. The sound is uplifting, guided by drums and smooth, airy vocals and very fitting to open their career as a group. The only disappointing part is that it’s only less than two minutes long.
Before release, members gave spoilers that “10 Months” is a song that paints out a puppy-love type of scenario, the kind where you are stumbling through life happily and figuring things out as you go. This track is very light and upbeat, and it can best be described as a very cute little serotonin boost.
I personally just happened to find out about the group a little less than a week before their debut, which gave me enough time to watch “I-LAND” just in time and get to know more about the members. All in all, I’d say this is a no-skip album, and it’s so exciting to see the group doing exceptionally well so early in their career.