From mafia to midsummer, X:IN hopes to try every musical concept

Girl group X:IN poses for the camera during a FanTalk 2 video interview with Celeb Confirmed. [CHO YONG-JUN]

The prerelease track “My Idol” came as a surprise to the members of X:IN. Not only was its cute and lively concept a stark departure from the girl crush music for which the girl group is known, but the lyrics also contained something highly unusual in K-pop: the names of other groups.

X:IN, since its April 2023 debut, has pursued girl crush and hip-hop inspired music. In contrast, “My Idol” embodied a cute and refreshing style, with the members performing in outfits reminiscent of school uniforms.

“It was a bright song and a departure from our previous girl-crush themed releases,” member E.Sha recalled. And when the band received the lyrics — which named Blackpink, BTS, Girls' Generation and ITZY, among others, as artists they respect — they were “quite worried.”

“At the same time,” E.Sha said, “we took it as a challenge because it was a unique style of music, and that drove us to go even harder.”

Months after the song's February release, the band has come to view the somewhat controversial song in a new light, and with a degree of affection. “People might've been shocked,” Nizz said, “but if you look at the full picture, the song is more like an autobiographical story of X: IN. It talks about the band.”

The group is moving forward with newfound confidence in its versatility — while the members would rather continue their signature strong concepts than delve into the cute and lively if forced to choose one, they are now eager to try out all sorts of music, from rock to refreshing summer scores.

“I’d love to theme our album around midsummer night’s party if we get the opportunity to release an album in late summer,” E.Sha said. Hannah added that she hoped to try a “refreshing, pure and cute concept” in the future.

“I also want to try just a really, really cute concept; I think I have a vocal tone that suits bright and cute songs,” Nizz said.

“I’m not sure if we can pull it off, though,” E.Sha added.

But fans can also rest assured that the group's hip-hop influences are not going away.

“Our fans really liked ‘No Doubt’ upon its release,” said Aria, referring to the lead track of the band's latest album, “The Real,” which dropped Feb. 25. The member said she'd “monitored the fans' reactions” following the release during a FanTalk 2 interview with Celeb Confirmed.

FanTalk 2, the second season of the FanTalk series, connects K-pop idols with their listeners by allowing them to answer questions from their fans.

More than 72 percent of X:IN fans — collectively known as Ready — who participated in Celeb Confirmed’s survey said they would rather see the group perform a powerful concept over a cute and lively one, and the members agreed.

“No Doubt” is best described as a “strong” concept, with an addictive melody and flashy performance as key elements. The song, in portraying the members as ordinary people during the day who become mafia at night, attempts to show the group's duality, Nizz explained.

“If we had to pick between strong and cute and lively concepts and stick with one forever, I’m sure fans would prefer to see strong concepts as they saw with ‘No Doubt,'” Nizz said.

“X:IN has kept its strong concepts since our debut, and I’m sure the fans support us because they prefer seeing the strong concepts,” Aria added.

Girl group X:IN poses for the camera during a FanTalk 2 video interview with Celeb Confirmed. [CHO YONG-JUN]

The group also shared its hidden charms, which ranged from Hannah's flexible body “despite her tall height” to Aria's ability to sleep for a very long time.

“We had a day off after appearing on music shows, so I ended up sleeping in,” Aria said. “When I woke up the next day and checked the clock, I realized I had slept more than 15 hours.” She added that she would've slept more if her roommate Nova hadn't left the room first.

“I actually want to challenge myself to sleep for 24 hours straight.”

E.Sha's strength, her ability to relate and comfort people, was one that X:IN members all agreed on.

“Whenever I had a question, I would go up and ask her,” Nova said. “I think she is a very careful and therefore a very reliable person to talk to.”

“We are very frank and easygoing, so we tend to honestly share our thoughts to resolve grudges,” Nizz added.

Girl group X:IN poses for the camera during a FanTalk 2 video interview with Celeb Confirmed. [CHO YONG-JUN]

Ready was also eager to know when and whether X:IN will hold a world tour — and so, it turns out, is the band.

The United States, Britain, Australia and, most importantly, Nova's and Aria's respective homelands of Russia and India are among the destinations where X:IN hopes to stop. The group performed in Moscow on Sunday.

“Going on an X:IN world tour would be so nice,” Nizz said, adding, excitedly, “Please contact us!”

To find out more about X:IN, visit Celeb Confirmed!