MANILA — After facing a delay due to COVID-19, K-pop boy band Tempest made its highly anticipated debut on Wednesday, boasting self-written songs that tackle a variety of genres.
Tempest is the first male K-pop act from Beijing-based Yuehua Entertainment in seven years. The group is composed of Korean members Lew, Hyeongseop, Hyuk, Hwarang, Eunchan and Taerae, and Vietnamese member Hanbin.
"I couldn't be more delighted to be debuting, which we all dreamed of. We prepared a lot and we have a lot to show," leader Lew said in an online press conference.
The group was originally scheduled to debut last Feb. 21 but it was postponed after all the members tested positive for COVID-19.
"We're all in good shape and healthy now, so much so that we can be more active in our future activities," said Eunchan.
Tempest debuted with the mini album "It's Me, It's We," comprised of 5 songs with lyrics co-written by Lew and Hwarang.
"Our honest stories are featured in the tracks, which makes them very meaningful," said Hwarang.
Lew said he felt nervous when the members were recording the songs because the lyrics "felt relevant for us."
Hyuk said the group's music and energy would give fans "a glimmer of hope, with good impact."
The mini album's title track is "Bad News," which talks about Tempest's "ambition to conquer K-pop."
There was much excitement surrounding Tempest's debut since the group started releasing teaser photos and videos on social media earlier this year. In fact, the group's dance cover of NCT 127's "Kick It" has amassed 1.4 million views on YouTube as of writing.
Aside from being backed by a known company in the K-pop scene, some of the members previously participated in popular K-pop survival shows, helping them build a sizeable following early on.
Hyeongseop and Lew (also known by his real name, Lee Eui-woong) were trainees in the second season of "Produce 101" in mid-2017, debuting later in the year as a duo.
Hwarang competed in the 2018 show "Under Nineteen" while Hanbin first appeared in the 2020 competition "I-LAND," which formed Enhypen.
"[We have] a plethora of experiences from these different programs," said Hyeongseop.
Hanbin said the friends he made in "I-LAND" expressed support for his debut.
Yuehua Entertainment is also home to K-pop acts Everglow, WOODZ and Choi Yena. The agency's other boy band, UNIQ, has been on hiatus since 2018.