ENHYPEN on DIMENSION : DILEMMA’s Meaning, What Their Friendships Are Like, and Their Evolving Style


On November 30, the boys of K-pop group ENHYPEN will celebrate the one-year anniversary of their debut—and the start of sharing their intimate emotional journeys with the world and their beloved fans (known officially as ENGENEs), through song and music videos so visually stunning and choreographically gripping, they deservedly rake up tens of millions of views.




With their year as a rookie group almost behind them, JUNGWON, HEESEUNG, JAY, JAKE, SUNGHOON, SUNOO, and NI-KI had one of their last big firsts this week: the release of their first studio album, DIMENSION : DILEMMA, which came out on Tuesday, October 12. DIMENSION : DILEMMA follows their two EPs,BORDER : DAY ONE and BORDER : CARNIVAL.

In a year that included them debuting during the coronavirus pandemic yet still winning four Rookie of the Year awards and making history as the 10th K-pop boy band ever to chart on the Billboard 200, ENHYPEN is going into their sophomore year with full momentum—and closer friendships and greater understandings of themselves, to boot.

As the group explains to ELLE.com, DIMENSION : DILEMMA, which boasts a wide range of musical genres from alternative rock to ’80s New Wave, is just a continuation of honesty they are trying to convey lyrically as young artists. NI-KI, their youngest member, is just 15; HEESEUNG, their oldest, is 19 and just two days away from turning 20 on October 15.

“Since our debut, our focus has been to capture our honest emotions and experiences through our music,” ENHYPEN told ELLE.com. “As we express our own story of growth as artists, we hope it can be shared with many fans. Our new album also aims to tell stories that everyone can relate to, speaking about experiences and emotions that we all go through, such as confusion in a new environment, dilemma, love, etc. In terms of music as well as visuals, we’ve been exploring a wide range of genres and visual concepts, so based on such versatility, we hope our listeners look forward to seeing more from us.”

The boys took ELLE.com through their new album track by track and reflected on their growth as musicians and friends in their one year as a debuted group. They had strong opinions, by the way, about which member is really the best cook and biggest fashionista.

enhypen in their scylla visual

ENHYPEN in their SCYLLA visual

Courtesy of Belift Lab

DIMENSION : DILEMMA lyrically explores discovering who you are while balancing fame and the struggle between wanting to please the world while also having the space away from it to figure out who you really are. How has performing music that explores this helped you with your own personal journey and journey as a group?

SUNGHOON: I think I’ve tried to overcome my dilemma by focusing on my identity and delivering a positive energy to our audience through my love for the stage.

SUNOO: I think I’ve become better at making wiser decisions. As a group, I think our ability to resolve different situations has improved.

NI-KI: I used to be more concerned about how to make myself stand out, but now I place greater importance on how ENHYPEN as a group will look to the audience.

Take ELLE through each track of DIMENSION : DILEMMA. What’s the meaning of each song?

    ENHYPEN: “Intro : Whiteout” invites listeners to our newest album. It’s a continuation from “Outro : The Wormhole,” which was the last track from our previous album that closed our ‘BORDER’ series. It delivers the feeling of the senses becoming numb after entering a multidimensional world past the wormhole.

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    Our lead single “Tamed-Dashed” is an ’80s inspired track that best expresses the message of this album. After entering a multidimensional world, where many values collide, we question our identity while realizing our desires for the first time. The lead single expresses our resolution to put this dilemma aside and dash forward to find the answers.

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    “Upper Side Dreamin’” is about a boy who desires to become part of the luxurious “Upper Side” neighborhood but falls into a dilemma realizing the difference between his internal desires and existing reality. It has a catchy sound that makes it easy to groove along to.

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    “Just A Little Bit” is an acoustic track that is perfect to just lay back and listen to. In a world where everything seems perfect, a boy meets someone that is different from anyone he has ever met before. His emotions towards this person feel unfamiliar, but he isn’t against it and continues to fall for them. Compared to the innocent emotions of young love that we’ve expressed in our previous albums, this track captures our emotional growth and maturity.

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    Like the title of the track itself, “Go Big or Go Home” reflects the “go big or go home” mentality of today’s youth. It’s a track that expresses the groundless confidence of a boy who views life with an “all or nothing mindset” and believes that he’ll hit the jackpot.

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    “Blockbuster” is our very first track that we worked on with a collaborating artist. It’s a song with a powerful energy that is about a boy who wants to live a life like a blockbuster movie star. Having our labelmate YEONJUN of TOMORROW X TOGETHER feature on this track really brought it to the next level and we truly appreciate his support!

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    “Attention, please!” is a ’90s alternative rock track about a boy who struggles in the choice between love and popularity. The boy yearns for the attention of others, while his crush dislikes him for his popularity. The dilemma the boy faces in having to choose between gaining the heart of many versus his sole crush is expressed through an alternative rock sound.

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    “Interlude : Question” concludes our 1st studio album. In the narration, the questions we ask ourselves in an effort to understand who we are and come to terms with our changing identity in this complex world hint at what might come next.

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    Which song from DIMENSION : DILEMMA resonates most with you and why?

    JUNGWON: “Tamed-Dashed” / It best embodies the emotions we felt.

    HEESEUNG: “Upper Side Dreamin’” / I hope our fans decipher the reasoning behind my choice 🙂

    JAY: “Upper Side Dreamin’” / I also have big dreams and aspirations.

    JAKE: “Go Big or Go Home” / It expresses emotions that anyone could experience.

    SUNGHOON: “Upper Side Dreamin’” / I also have big dreams like the character in the song.

    SUNOO: “Just A Little Bit” / It’s like the story of how we met ENGENEs, who we want to look out for.

    NI-KI: “Upper Side Dreamin’” / It’s a genre that we haven’t tried very often, and it has a fun and exciting mood to it.

    enhypen in their scylla visual

    ENHYPEN in their SCYLLA visual

    Courtesy of Belift Lab

    What was your favorite visual shoot for this album and why? How has trying so many looks over the last year changed your own personal style?

    JUNGWON: CHARYBDIS / I got a chance to explore many different looks, which influences how I dress off stage as well.

    HEESEUNG: Visually speaking, I did also like SCYLLA, but the shoot for CHARYBDIS left us with a lot of great memories, so both of the concepts were memorable for me. Trying on a diverse range of styles and figuring out what I like or what best suits me feels like a part of our journey of growth.

    jungwon in the charybdis visual

    JUNGWON in the CHARYBDIS visual

    Courtesy of Belift Lab

    heeseung in the charybdis visual

    HEESEUNG in the CHARYBDIS visual

    Courtesy of Belift Lab

    JAY: SCYLLA / It was fun shooting a concept that portrays a magnificent lifestyle. I was motivated to continue experimenting with concepts of greater diversity.

    JAKE: SCYLLA / I liked the concept both visually and in terms of its mood and ambience. Being able to experience such visual diversity broadened my horizons and inspired me to take on more challenges.

    jay in the scylla visual

    JAY in the SCYLLA visual

    Courtesy of Belift Lab

    jake in the scylla visual

    JAKE in the SCYLLA visual

    Courtesy of Belift Lab

    SUNGHOON: I liked all three concepts—ODYSSEUS, SCYLLA, and CHARYBDIS. The many outfits we tried on allowed me to realize that I’m capable of looking good in styles that I didn’t know would suit me. I think I’m also gaining a better eye for fashion as we explore different concepts.

    SUNOO: CHARYBDIS / I liked the nuances of freedom and innocence in CHARYBDIS. Trying out different concepts gave me a chance to take a greater interest in fashion.

    sunghoon in the charybdis visual

    SUNGHOON in the CHARYBDIS visual

    Courtesy of Belift Lab

    sunoo in the charybdis visual

    SUNOO in the CHARYBDIS visual

    Courtesy of Belift Lab

    NI-KI: SCYLLA / It was a new challenge for us, but I think we all embraced it really well. I tried out a longer hairstyle for the first time, which was also a fun challenge for me personally.

    ni ki in the scylla visual

    NI-KI in the SCYLLA visual

    Courtesy of Belift Lab

    How would you describe your style as a group and individuals now one year after your debut?

    JUNGWON: All the members have their own unique charms, so our fashion styles are completely different from one another. I think as a group we embrace a casual look.

    HEESEUNG: I’m still exploring what suits me best. I think our group has many different charms, so it’s difficult to define ourselves with one specific style.

    JAY: Personally, I prefer formal or a western style. As a group, I think we all express our individuality with our style.

    JAKE: I’ve been exploring a variety of fashion styles, and I think I will continue to do so. Recently I’ve been into the vintage look. I think being able to distinguish the style of every member is what defines ENHYPEN’s style.

    SUNGHOON: I’ve been challenging myself to try out different styles so that I can make it my own. I think I try to dress uniquely for the most part. As a group, I think we look good in any style! From school uniforms to casual outfits to even formal attire, we embrace each style and make it our own.

    SUNOO: I prefer to dress in a street casual style. I think we, ENHYPEN, look good in luxurious formal attire.

    NI-KI: My style really depends on the weather, and as a group, I think we look great in any outfit.

    As you near your one-year anniversary, what’s one perk of fame you never imagined having before you debuted that means a lot to you now?

    JUNGWON: I am always grateful to and delighted by our fans’ support for even the smallest of our gestures.

    HEESEUNG: It was surreal to receive love for things I never even imagined.

    JAY: I would say I am feeling more confident than I did before.

    JAKE: The fact that our fans love and trust us has been a huge motivation to improve as performers, and we hope we will be able to give back with better music and performances.

    SUNGHOON: The greatest perk has been our fans’ support for us.

    SUNOO: I was fascinated to see myself on the news and in the media.

    NI-KI: I used to practice alone, but now we have fans who look out for us and watch us grow.

    enhypen in their charybdis visual

    ENHYPEN in their CHARYBDIS visual

    Courtesy of Belift Lab

    How do you feel you’ve grown as musicians over the last year and as a team who works together?

    JUNGWON: As artists, our skills as well as our attitude towards our performances have improved. Our teamwork has solidified even more as we get to know each other better and work on our compatibility.

    HEESEUNG: I think we’ve gotten to know each other even better and make up for each other’s weaknesses as we support one another.

    JAY: We’ve grown together as a group as we’ve experienced so much together as artists.

    JAKE: I think the mindset and attitude that we should have as artists have matured. As a team, I can tell that we’re putting effort into understanding each other and leaning on each other for support.

    SUNGHOON: We’ve worked harder to show our best selves as artists. Our teamwork has improved as we learn to be more compatible and understand each other better.

    SUNOO: I think our skills as well as our mindset have improved.

    NI-KI: Our desire to do even better on stage has grown and personally, I put in a lot of effort to show my improvement on stage to our ENGENEs.

    enhypen in their charybdis visual

    ENHYPEN in their CHARYBDIS visual

    Courtesy of Belift Lab

    What has been your proudest moment during your time as a rookie group, as you graduate to the next stage of your careers?

    JUNGWON: When we presented our performance to ENGENEs in person at our first fan meet.

    HEESEUNG: I was most proud when we were recognized as “Rookie Of The Year” at various award shows.

    JAY: I was proud to perform in front of ENGENEs at our first fan meet EN-CONNECT.

    JAKE: Our first fan meet with ENGENEs made me proud the most.

    SUNGHOON: When we returned with BORDER : CARNIVAL. I was proud to deliver an even better performance with our lead single “Drunk-Dazed.”

    SUNOO: Our debut was when I felt the most proud.

    NI-KI: My proudest moment was when we received our very first win at a music show.

    What’s something fans should know about your friendship that they don’t get to see?

    JUNGWON: We are exactly as our fans see us. I think our authentic selves show in how we act in reality shows and the way we communicate with our fans.

    HEESEUNG: The seven of us have been spending more time together, enjoying each other’s company.

    JAY: We are even closer to each other than we seem.

    enhypen in their odysseus visual

    ENHYPEN in their ODYSSEUS visual

    Courtesy of Belift Lab

    Just for fun, help ELLE’s readers get to know you guys more and your friendship with these superlative questions.

    Who gives the best pep talks when you’re having a bad day?

      • JUNGWON: HEESEUNG / He often tells us funny stories to put us in a good mood.
      • HEESEUNG: All the members give me energy and support.
      • JAY: JUNGWON / He often energizes us and makes us laugh.
      • JAKE: HEESEUNG / He looks after me and gives me good advice.
      • SUNGHOON: NI-KI / He’s the mischievous youngest member of the group and always makes us laugh. We have a lot in common as well, so it’s fun to be around him.
      • SUNOO: All the members put me in a good mood in their own way when I’m having a bad day.
      • NI-KI: SUNGHOON / He makes me laugh.

        Who’s the best cook?

        • JUNGWON: JAY / His good cooking reflects the amount of interest he has in it.
        • HEESEUNG: JAY / He cooks for us often.
        • JAY: Me / I think I have a good amount of experience.
        • JAKE: SUNGHOON / He cooked meat for us once, and it was delicious.
        • SUNGHOON: JAY / He has a lot of interest in it and cooks often to practice.
        • SUNOO: JAY / He enjoys cooking and is really interested in it.
        • NI-KI: SUNGHOON / I think he cooks meat better than JAY.

          Who tells the best jokes?

          • JUNGWON: HEESEUNG / His jokes always put us in an upbeat mood.
          • HEESEUNG: Me / I crack a lot of jokes to cheer everyone up.
          • JAY: JUNGWON / He tells jokes with a straight face as if he isn’t joking.
          • JAKE: HEESEUNG / He knows exactly when to make the right jokes.
          • SUNGHOON: HEESEUNG / He’s usually the one telling the jokes and making us laugh.
          • SUNOO: SUNGHOON / He jokes around a lot.
          • NI-KI: HEESEUNG / I find HEESEUNG’s jokes very funny.

            Who is the biggest fashionista of the group?

            • JUNGWON: JAY / He knows a lot about fashion and dresses well.
            • HEESEUNG: SUNGHOON / He puts together neat, clean-cut outfits.
            • JAY: Me / I think I am the most well-dressed.
            • JAKE: Me / I have the best fashion sense.
            • SUNGHOON: Me / Just because 😉
            • SUNOO: JAY / He’s the most interested in fashion.
            • NI-KI: JAY / He’s knowledgeable about fashion.

              Who’s the life of the party?

              • JUNGWON: HEESEUNG / He puts us in a good mood.
              • HEESEUNG: JAY / Just looking at him makes me smile.
              • JAY: HEESEUNG / He is super funny and always cracks me up.
              • JAKE: JAY / He brings a lot of energy to the room.
              • SUNGHOON: HEESEUNG / He always knows how to say the right things to make people laugh.
              • SUNOO: JAY / He’s always eager to make people laugh and ends up brightening everyone’s day.
              • NI-KI: HEESEUNG / He has a flair for setting an energetic mood.

                Who’s the most encyclopedic or booksmart?

                • JUNGWON: JAY / He’s knowledgeable about diverse topics and he enjoys finding out more about the fields he’s interested in.
                • HEESEUNG: JAY / He knows a lot about many different fields.
                • JAY: HEESEUNG / He is much more well-informed than what you might expect.
                • JAKE: JAY / He shares what he knows with us often.
                • SUNGHOON: JUNGWON / He’s the most clever one out of us all.
                • SUNOO: HEESEUNG / He’s smart and I’ve always felt he’s very knowledgeable whenever we talk.
                • NI-KI: JAY / He’s well read in a wide range of fields.

                  Who’s the most mellow?

                  • JUNGWON: Me / I think I look after the mental health of the team the best.
                  • HEESEUNG: JUNGWON / He’s logical and organized when it comes to problem solving.
                  • JAY: HEESEUNG / He’s the fastest in analyzing the situation when something occurs.
                  • JAKE: Me / My mood is always pretty consistent.
                  • SUNGHOON: JUNGWON / As the leader, he’s like the pillar that supports ENHYPEN.
                  • SUNOO: JUNGWON / He’s calm and has a strong mentality.
                  • NI-KI: HEESEUNG / He’s calm and mellow when we talk to each other.

                    Halloween is coming up. Is there anything you can tease about what you’re doing for the holiday?

                    We will most likely spend the day involved in promotions for our 1st studio album. Everyday is special with ENGENEs by our side, so we expect it to be another exciting day with them.

                    What can you tease about where your music will go thematically next? What can fans expect from any live shows?

                    After closing our ‘BORDER’ series, we newly opened our ‘DIMENSION’ series, so we hope ENGENEs can look forward to seeing where our story in this new multidimensional world will head next. In terms of live shows, there’s nothing we want more than to perform for our ENGENEs in person, so we truly hope that opportunity comes soon.

                    enhypen in their odysseus visual

                    ENHYPEN in their ODYSSEUS visual

                    Courtesy of Belift Lab

                    You can listen to ENHYPEN’s new album DIMENSION : DILEMMA here on YouTube and here on Spotify.

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