"There's no K-pop group like Cravity," member Jungmo declared to the Post in January 2021. A year and a half later, the nine-member group are still out to make sure everyone's aware of that.
The group, who came into being in 2020 and have spent much of their career unable to perform with live audiences because of the coronavirus pandemic, are excited to get in front of their cheering fans.
So when they were told that many fans donning Cravity merchandise were queuing up to get into KCON Premiere in Chicago on May 20, they cheered, expressing shock and delight. "Really really?" they asked, excitedly.
"We've waited a really, really long time," said Minhee. "Punch me?" he asked Woobin, sitting next to him, who did it playfully. "Ah… Not a dream."
"It's our first KCON in the US, so we're super excited since it's going to be the first time we're going to hear the audience [here]. We're gonna hear that ," said member Allen, the group's resident Cali boy.
"We've been in the US for a couple of days now and everywhere we go, we are just so accepted and welcome. So we're really happy and we've really enjoyed our stay here."
Having landed in New York before heading to Chicago, they admit to feeling tired as the time zone and their hectic pace of travelling caught up to them.
But even exhausted, they didn't show it on stage, with the group energetically performing their recently released single Adrenaline along with a variety of other songs as fans cheered them on, many in the crowd holding Cravity's distinctive fan light sticks.
With a title like Adrenaline, it's important to know the answer to one question: Who is the group's biggest adrenaline junkie? Serim, who used to be a football player and enjoys scaring the other members. The ones he finds easiest to scare? Hyeongjun and Wonjin, who Minhee jokingly dubs the group's scaredy-cats.
Since their earliest days, Cravity's determination has been strong. "Just before we debuted in April , we all prepared super hard for the whole of March," Allen recalled. "We practised every day, 14 hours a day. Because we're that desperate, and we're that eager to show the world properly who we are."
No longer rookies in the K-pop scene, the group said they'd spent the past two years becoming closer, as exhibited by their playful teasing of one another throughout the interview.
"Being with Cravity, I feel like I have a new family with eight more brothers," said Serim, at 23 the oldest member of the group.
Through this growing bond, they all shared the feeling of being more determined to succeed in their path towards the top.
"We usually have some personal time, then talk about our deep thoughts together afterwards," said Jungmo. "Those times give us a chance to air all our dissatisfaction and negativity, just clear our headspaces."
"Our album, Liberty: In Our Cosmos basically talks about how we've found freedom within the space that Cravity and our fans, Luvity, exist in," said Allen. "It's a really meaningful album for us, we feel like it's a turning point. From now on, we feel like the only way is up."
How would Cravity like to be known? The members shared different ideas, saying things like "Good performers" (Hyeongjun) and "funny" (Allen). Jungmo, however, had his own idea: "Phunanimous!" he declared, making everyone else tilt their heads in confusion before ultimately deciding that this is a new word that combines multiple terms, like "fun," "phenomenal," "animated," "united," and "famous."
So here's to a "phunanimous" future for Cravity.
"We're gonna rock the K-pop world," said Allen.
This article was first published in South China Morning Post.