When they landed in Dubai for the first time in May 2023, the members of the K-pop band MCND were nervous. Would people in the UAE know who they were?
To their surprise, hundreds of K-pop fans flocked to their Dubai debut during the Korean Tourism roadshow at Dubai Festival City Mall on May 5. This time, the quintet has returned more confident.
"We were happy that many people recognised us. We went on to perform in many countries, and I am honoured to come back to Dubai to see you all,” the group’s main dancer and lead rapper, Bic, told Gulf News in an exclusive interview, ahead of their second performance in Dubai.
The group will be performing on Friday, November 10, at the Coca-Cola Arena, along with four other K-pop bands.
The South Korean boy group is fairly new in the multi-billion dollar K-pop industry. In 2020, the group’s five members Castle J, BIC, Minjae, Huijun, and Win debuted under the agency Top Media in February, with their song ‘Ice Age’.
However, unlike most bands in South Korea formed through competitive talent hunts, this group is a homegrown band – the members are childhood friends who grew up together with a passion for creating music.
Recently, the band announced that their fifth mini-album was set to be released on November 22.
“We tried our best to make ‘Odd-Venture’ (the new MCND album), and we are expecting to show you all a new and awesome side of us,” said a confident Castle J, the leader of the band.
Earlier this week, the band dropped their latest teaser images for ‘Odd-Venture’.
In the concept photos, the MCND members are ready to head out to sea as they take on a sailor theme.
“We can see from Gems’ (the name of MCND’s fandom) reaction that many are expecting us to release an album with some powerful songs. We are going to show you some concepts that MCND has never shown before, so we are looking forward to it and hoping that you all are looking forward as well,” said Huijun, sporting his new pink hairstyle.
With ‘Odd-Venture’, MCND will mark their comeback a year and four months after the release of their fourth mini album 'The Earth: Secret Mission Chapter. 2'.
“We finally made our comeback after one year and four months, so we know that Gems (MCND fans) are looking forward to it so much… I hope we fulfill their expectations with our stage performances,” said Minjae.
Following the release of their fourth EP (extended play) in 2022, the boy group held their first Asia tour followed by a 'World Adventure' world tour in 2023, performing in Brazil, Chile, Columbia, Ecuador, Panama, and Mexico.
Fans say MCND band members look different in their new concept photos. So, what can fans expect in the new album?
“To put it simply, we will be able to show you a mature MCND,” said Win, the maknae (youngest member) of the group.
Asked what their USP (unique selling point) was, the band members said in unison that it was how they enjoy the stage as if they were playing there.
“And, all the members participate in making the songs, so that our albums can be of a higher quality and we can put our messages in the songs,” said Castle J, adding that they will try to make albums completely in English in the future, for their global fans.
What’s next for the band?
“Once our promotion is complete, we are planning to have tours and we will have chances to introduce MCND’s new songs to our global fans. And then we will come back with our awesome next album,” said Castle J.
“Please stay tuned for our new album, which will be released on November 22 and please keep supporting us and sending lots of love to us,” added Bic.
“We will show you a wonderful stage as you all are excited for, so please stay tuned,” said Minjae to his UAE fans, inviting them to enjoy the concert, Korea Spotlight starting at 8pm, tonight.
- Translations by Hojeong Ju, South Korean expatriate in Dubai