Article. Lee Jiyeon
Design. Jeon Yurim
Photo Credit. PLEDIS Entertainment
It’s that time of year again when we all reflect on the past 12 months in our own way. For our part, Weverse Magazine will be taking a look back at how different artists and their tireless staff spent 2022 with fans. We’ll be publishing articles for three weeks as the members of the staffs behind BTS, SEVENTEEN, TOMORROW X TOGETHER, ENHYPEN, fromis_9 and LE SSERAFIM select their favorite music, videos, performances and other MOMENTs from working with the artists they support. This week we take a look at the music these six groups have released. For this fifth part, we talk to head of A&R2 for fromis_9, Ahn Singyu, who tells us all about the group’s song “DM.”
Why “DM” is fromis_9’s song of the year
Ahn Singyu (head of PLEDIS A&R2): The albums fromis_9 released up to Talk & Talk were very girly. Conversely, starting from “DM,” our intention was to have them appear a little more grown up and confident enough to go right up to their significant other. The best example of this is in “DM,” with the lyrics, “So you can’t look away / Or change the subject,” showing they’re ready to go up to someone they have feelings for and tell them directly. “DM” is off their album Midnight Guest, and the whole the album has this idea of a late-night escape and tries to capture the thrill and excitement of a momentary break from norms. The group’s been putting out good music, including “Feel Good (SECRET CODE),” “WE GO” and “Talk & Talk,” and I think “DM” feels similar. The song “Stay This Way” that came out after was good too, but I think it owes its existence to “DM.”

The voices of the fromis_9 members
Ahn Singyu: The most important thing to consider while divvying up the parts was to make sure each member could express what makes them special. We thought about which vibe would fit which of them best and split up the parts based on who would best suit and be able to express them. The biggest concerns were the high notes for the line, “doesn’t matter,” during the chorus and the ad-libbed part that’s in the whistle register. But fromis_9 has Hayoung and Jiwon, so it turns out there was no need to worry because they’re great at hitting high notes. (laughs) Even though the two of them sing the same part, their way of singing high notes is different, and we tried to show how interesting that could be. And we exchanged opinions with Nagyung, who sang the intro to the song, like, “The vibe at the beginning of the song has to come across well if people are going to pay attention to the rest,” and she recorded that part like she was having a conversation with someone. Jisun is also good at singing her lyrics like she’s reciting poetry, so we really tried to have her capture that vibe in this song. Every one of the group members has a tone and feel to their vocals that’s special in its own way so we focused on making sure that came across.
How the fromis_9 members felt about practicing “DM”
Ahn Singyu: Whenever the members get their parts for a song, they get to practicing really hard. They talk it over with the vocal coach that suits them best and put in the effort so they can do the best job possible for their part. When they’re practicing or even while recording, we all trade ideas about what kind of feeling to sing each part with. I’m not surprised each part of “DM” really shows what makes each of them so charming because they love the song and put a lot of practice into it. (laughs)

The music of fromis_9
Ahn Singyu: fromis_9 works hard to give the impression that they’re people you could easily talk to, just like a friend sitting right next to you. We tried to get more and more people to get to know the group from there, find out what makes each of the members so enticing and finally become fans. It’s the same reason that their music mainly focuses on being simple and fun to listen to. We’re trying our best so that listeners will choose a fromis_9 song as the first song they listen to whenever they feel like listening to something.

Hoping “DM” will be memorable for fromis_9 and flover
Ahn Singyu: I hope “DM” will be remembered as a song that brought fromis_9 to the next level. And I would love it if even people who don’t know who fromis_9 is hear the song and find out who they are and become interested in the group. (laughs) I hope “DM” tells people the kind of music fromis_9 makes and gets them to listen to more.