After 10 months away from the spotlight, long gone are NU’EST’s boyish days – a point that has become a running theme for the idol group’s comeback, from the album title, Re:BIRTH, to lead single Good Bye Bye.
NU’EST’s first studio album is not only a statement about the members’ transition from boys to men, but the shedding of the old for a new-and-improved NU’EST, and the most visible manifestation of the change is seen in the members’ appearance.
Member Ren, who during his debut days was known for his beauty(?), most notably chopped off his signature long, blonde hair to give off a more masculine feel.
“I also practiced my facial expressions a lot,” said Ren. “If I made a lot of pretty faces before, this time, in order to show a more manly side, I looked at male models [for inspiration] and worked on my facial expressions in front of the mirror.”
Baekho added of the other members, “Aron hyung worked on his abs. Ren too,” referring to the members who went shirtless for NU’EST’s teasers.
But what about the other members? Can fans expect a big reveal from them soon?
“I don’t think we’re going to,” said Baekho with a laugh. “We’re not ready yet.”
While “coming soon” was all Minhyun would spill.
In addition to the group’s new look, NU’EST turned heads with its music video for Good Bye Bye, which features a scene in which member JR puts a live fish into his mouth.
JR confirmed that the scene was all real, saying “I didn’t swallow the fish, but I caught it and put it in my mouth for the filming, then let it back in the water and saved it.”
Minhyun added, “When we first received the synopsis, all of the members were reluctant to do it at first, saying we really can’t eat the fish. But JR got caught.”
He continued, “While deciding which member would suit each scene the best, JR was picked for that scene. So, he was really worried the day before, but he did really well on the day of the shoot.”
On how he was able to pull through with the scene, JR said, “When we shot it, it was 24 hours later. Because we shot it after we had been awake for 24 hours, I wasn’t in my right mind, so I think I felt less burdened.”
The transition to becoming men may still be a work-in-progress for some of the members, but the group’s much matured concept appears to be working for NU’EST, as Minhyun said, “A lot of people said this style of music suits NU’EST really well - the emotional type of songs – like ‘Hello.’ Even then, a lot of people said they liked that.”
Speaking of becoming men, Baekho recently celebrated his 20th birthday, and when asked what his wish was this year, after a moment’s silence, Ren said in Beakho’s stead, “I really want NU’EST to hit it big.”
Baekho then jumped in, joking “I really want to hit it big.”