Apink / Photo = Lee Seung-hyun @Ish87

It was a complete and utter transformation. The group that had constantly worn pink since their debut in 2011, came out in all black and sporting a different kind of a vibe. The group we’re referring to is none other than Apink – the group who just released their seventh mini album, ONE & SIX, on July 2 at 6:00 p.m.

In contrast to their previous album titles, Apink left out the word “Pink” from the title of their seventh album. By doing so, the group decided to go with a seductive charm this time around instead of the cute and innocent concept they had maintained since their debut. As veterans who have been in the industry for eight years, it isn’t easy to experiment with a new look and concept instead of sticking with an image that you’ve created and are known for. This mini album is a bold new challenge for Apink. Before the official release of their album, Apink performed a showcase at the YES 24 Live Hall in Gwangjang-dong, Seoul and introduced their new album, as well as their plans for their future promotional activities.

When speaking about Apink’s fans who have waited a year for their favorite group to come back as a complete unit, Yoon Bomi said, “We put a lot into our preparations for our fans who have been waiting for so long. We’re excited and happy to be making our comeback.” Jung Eun-ji added, “The members have some strong ambitions for this album.”

Apink / Photo = Lee Seung-hyun @Ish87

The tracklist for ONE & SIX includes songs such as “I’m So Sick” (title track), “ALRIGHT,” “Don’t Be Silly,” “Forever Star,” “Promise Me,” and “I Like That Kiss.” The title track, “I’m So Sick,” is a pop dance number with a tropical house beat that captures how a woman feels after going through a breakup.

“We were worried because this is an image that Apink has never shown before. We wondered, ‘Is it too intense?’” said Park Cho-rong. She added, “We gave it a try because we felt that we could really pull off the concept of this album and show a wider variety of looks in the future.”

Instead of coming off as a group of young and delicate girls that look like they popped right out of a fairy tale, Apink decided to forge ahead with a strong and fierce image. “We wanted to emphasize the song’s vibe. Our choreography, outfits, and expressions are all different from what we’ve shown before. We wanted to express a charismatic innocence,” said Kim Nam-joo. The members all agreed that when they saw how completely different they looked while doing the photo shoot for the album cover, it all felt strange and unfamiliar. Bomi said, “The members were really surprised when they saw each other.” Nam-joo added, “It’s because we’ve never tried something so intense.”

The members were also heavily involved in the making of the album. Cho-rong and Nam-joo both took part in writing lyrics when they respectively penned “Don’t Be Silly” and “Forever Star.”

Jung Eun-ji of Apink / Photo = Lee Seung-hyun @Ish87

When describing “Don’t Be Silly,” Cho-rong explained, “It’s our first time attempting a shuffle dance song. Until now, we took a cautious approach in our songs about love and expressed feelings of pain in our songs about breakups. This time, we’re presenting ourselves as young women who can confidently express themselves.” When talking about her work on “Forever Star,” Nam-joo said, “It’s the first song that I’ve written the lyrics by myself for. I wrote it with a desire in my heart for a precious moment to turn into a star and twinkle brightly. I become anxious when I’m extremely happy, and I compared those feelings to an astrological sign. I became moved as I was writing the song.”

Apink recently renewed their contract with their management agency. “We renewed our contract early. We’re all confident that we’ll be able to show more sides of ourselves in the future,” said Eun-ji. She also revealed, “The song ‘I’m So Sick’ is what started it all. I want us to show more diverse sides to ourselves as artists in the future.”

Translated by Jennifer Earwood