It's been less than a week since their debut, and rookie K-pop group Tomorrow X Together are already making waves. Their first mini album The Dream Chapter: STAR dropped on Monday (March 4), and it didn't take long for the Korean boy band to clinch the No. 1 spot on the iTunes Top Albums chart, dominate worldwide Twitter trends, and sign a U.S. distribution deal with Republic Records. Not to mention, the music video for their debut single "Crown" racked up over 14 million views in its first 24 hours. (It's cleared 24 million views, as of press time.)
So, who are Tomorrow X Together (read as "Tomorrow By Together"), and why are they suddenly all over your timeline?
The quintet are the first group to debut from Big Hit Entertainment since global superstars BTS bowed in 2013. So understandably, there's a lot of hype around them. And they're aware of it. "We've had worries, but we will work hard to not cause any harm to their reputation," leader Soobin said during their debut showcase.
"Since we were able to see our seniors achieve so much after going through difficulties, it's an honor and we respect them," youngest member Hueningkai added. "We will work hard."
Not only are they BTS's juniors, but they're also a huge part of Big Hit's future global strategy — and after making history (and continuing to do so) with Bangtan, it makes sense that all eyes would be on Big Hit's next boy group. But with their debut release, Tomorrow X Together ("TXT" for short) — consisting of members Soobin, Yeonjun, Beomgyu, Taehyun, and Hueningkai — make it clear that they're not BTS; they're their own unique group with a playful energy, youthful concept, and an album full of upbeat bops.
What does Tomorrow X Together mean?
As is custom in the world of K-pop, Tomorrow X Together debuted with a concept (or storyline), and this one is based around the idea of adolescence and coming of age. Their single, "Crown," sets this story in motion: One day, a boy wakes up to find horns sprouting from his head, and these horns made him feel confused and alone, so he isolated himself, afraid of what people would say — until he met a boy with wings and he didn't feel so alone anymore; and by connecting with another person, the boy starts to see his horns as a crown.
Essentially, this is an allegory for growing up. The horns are symbolic of the physical, emotional, and mental changes that all young people face as they come of age in an increasingly uncertain world. "Wanna run away," Soobin sings over an energetic synth-pop beat. "Wanna disappear / Far away / Who am I / I don't know who I am."
But true to their name, they find comfort in one another — knowing that even though they may be different, they can embark on this journey together. "Your existence changes my world like magic," they sing. "I'm not in pain anymore."
"Crown" ultimately speaks to the group's intent to "come together under one dream in hopes of building a new tomorrow." And if the TXT Universe is anything like the Bangtan Universe, then we know that there's a lot more to this narrative, and it will continue to develop with every future release.
Who's in the group?
Five members total, Tomorrow X Together are a group of teens who have already shown that they have great chemistry. At their showcase, oldest member Yeonjun said, "When I met the members, who have the same dream as me, I felt that I wasn't alone."
From left to right: Hueningkai, Yeonjun, Beomgyu, Soobin, and Taehyun
Let's get to know the individual members a bit better:
SoobinBig Hit Entertainment
While their official roles have yet to be revealed, it has been confirmed that vocalist Soobin, 18, is the leader of TXT. Completely unrelated, but he's also the tallest, standing at 6'1". Because of his height, he's earned the nickname "cucumber." When it comes to his leadership abilities, however, Soobin has said that he's "more of a leader that supports the members."
"Since my age is in the middle," he added, "the members can approach me and talk to me more easily." And he has the stamp of approval from oldest member Yeonjun, who says the leader is "so considerate and kind." (Honestly, they must really love him because at one point in the "Crown" choreography Yeonjun and Beomgyu hoist him on their backs — what a supportive group!)
Fun facts: Soobin likes bread (relatable), chocolate (very relatable), rice cakes, and BTS's Jin. Oh, and he has very stretchy skin.
YeonjunBig Hit Entertainment
The eldest of the group, Yeonjun, 19, is a bit of a secret weapon. On The Dream Chapter: STAR, the teen idol exhibited his skills in singing, rapping, and dancing — and when it comes to the group's live stages, he's got charisma in spades. So it makes sense that Yeonjun would also have unrivaled confidence. (Not many rookies could deliver the lyric "let's play forever, I just want to be your dog" with that much bravado.) According to his fellow members, he was a super trainee at Big Hit, excelling at everything — and he didn't let them forget it. Yeonjun trained for four years, the longest of any of the members, and according to him, "The most difficult part was wanting to debut so much, but having to wait."
It's unclear if Yeonjun is the group's designated main rapper, but he shows off his chops throughout the album — playfully switching up his flow on the trap-pop concoction "Cat & Dog," while taking on the only rap verse in "Crown" with a gleeful swagger.
Fun facts: He loves to dance and cites Travis Scott as one of his favorite artists. But perhaps his most endearing quality is his affinity for dad jokes. Yeonjun also created the group's hand logo.Big Hit Entertainment
BeomgyuBig Hit Entertainment
The mood-maker of TXT, 17-year-old Beomgyu seems quiet at first, but the vocalist has got a lot of energy. According to his fellow members, he's the most talkative one of the bunch. (He even speaks in a dialect, since he's from Daegu.) Sentimental at heart, Beomgyu likes to collect polaroids and can play the guitar. In fact, he and youngest member Hueningkai are currently working on their songwriting in the hopes of contributing to their future albums — not unlike their seniors BTS. "We're trying and practicing," he said. "Hopefully we can get better and contribute to songs on future albums."
In addition to his musical talents, Beomgyu has an abundance of aegyo (or, cute expressions), which really makes his members flustered.
Fun facts: Of the members, he trained the least amount of time (two years), he has a pet parrot, and he created his own heart gesture for fans. (We told you he was a master of aegyo.)
TaehyunBig Hit Entertainment
Physically, Taehyun is the smallest member, but he's got powerhouse vocals. Just one listen of guitar ballad "Nap of a Star" and you'll see what we mean. (Also, that's him and Hueningkai on the explosive "Crown" hook.) At 16, Taehyun is part of the group's maknae (youngest member) line, but he's considered to be the most calm and mature. His nickname is "cutie" — because he's cute and he knows it — and his members like to comment on his striking facial features. According to the rest of the group, Taehyun is easily the most quotable member, as he often likes to make up his own inspirational sayings, like, "Leave tomorrow's worries for tomorrow — then you can sleep well and worry tomorrow."
Fun facts: He's a fan of Bruno Mars and Shawn Mendes. And their performance of "Nap of a Star" is less of a fun fact and more of a must-watch:
HueningkaiBig Hit Entertainment
As the youngest member of the group, 16-year-old vocalist Hueningkai knows how to get what he wants from his hyungs (older brothers). "My charm, which the hyungs all fell for, is my cuteness," he said. In addition to his charms, the burgeoning lyricist also has the distinction of being Big Hit's only Korean-American idol. Born in the U.S. and raised in China — where his American father launched a successful singing career of his own — Hueningkai was destined for the stage, but adjusting to life in Korea as a young teen wasn't easy.
"At first, my family worried a lot, but I got used to Korean culture and the Korean language," he said at the group's showcase. "I became more comfortable and liked it more. My members all take good care of me also because I am the maknae, and I am charming."
Fun facts: What he lacks in flexibility, he makes up for in musical talent. He plays several instruments, including the piano.
What should I watch next?
Their five-song debut album is available to stream, and the group has been promoting their single "Crown" on South Korean music shows, performing the title song as well as album opener "Blue Orangeade" with complete choreography — and those fan chants are on point. "Blue Orangeade" in particular is a fresh swingbeat song that highlight's TXT's loud, playful dynamic.
Overall, The Dream Chapter: STAR is a solid debut because it gives you a little bit of everything — from sticky pop ("Our Summer") to mumbly rap ("Cat & Dog") to airy harmonies ("Nap of a Star") — and showcases the rookie group's versatility.
Whether Tomorrow X Together can translate that to lasting success is still anyone's guess — after all, they've been an official group for less than a full week, so let's calm down — but they're having a lot fun, and it shows. And for now, that's all that really matters.