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K-pop Rising Stars: The Boyz have only just outgrown 'rookie' label, but they're already seasoned professionals

After winning 'Road to Kingdom', the group is set to make yet another stunning comeback with their fifth EP 'Chase'
The Boyz (Getty Images)
The Boyz (Getty Images)

South Korean group The Boyz are all set to "steal your heart" with their upcoming fifth EP 'Chase' and its lead single 'The Stealer'. Despite only having debuted a few years ago, The Boyz are already making a massive impact on the K-pop industry, having amassed a global following and built up an impressive catalog for a group so young. And it appears that not even a global pandemic and a canceled summer of 2020 can slow these boys down.

In December 2017, Cre.ker Entertainment unveiled their new boy group, Cre.kerz, whose name was quickly updated to The Boyz. The members were introduced to the public via their reality show 'Flower Snack'. The group then dropped their first song, 'Boy', off their debut EP 'The First', with their original lineup consisting of 12 members: Sangyeon, Jacob, Younghoon, Hyunjae, Juyeon, Kevin, New, Q, Ju Haknyeon, Sunwoo, Eric, and former member Hwall who officially left The Boyz in 2019, citing health reasons.

Over the course of 2016 and 2017, The Boyz members introduced themselves to audiences by making short cameos in various artistes' music videos. Kevin was the first to be introduced officially during his appearance as a contestant on 'Kpop Star 6'. He went on to release a song for the soundtrack of the 2017 drama 'Saimdang, Light's Diary'. The same year, Sunwoo appeared as a contestant on 'High School Rapper' and Ju Haknyeon participated in 'Produce 101'.

Boy band The Boyz performs onstage during the 8th Gaon Chart K-Pop Awards on January 23, 2019, in Seoul, South Korea (Getty Images)

Before their official debut, The Boyz locked in a host of deals including brand partnerships, modeling contracts and appearances on television shows and series. By the end of 2017, they also signed with Sony Music to help them promote in Japan. Two days later, they would debut, already a fully-formed group with a distinct sound and big-name brands already lining up to work with them.

By 2018, the group was already performing at major venues overseas, such as the 12th Asian Film Awards on March 17 in Macau. They dropped their second EP, 'The Start', along with its title single 'Giddy Up' in April, just before Hwall stepped back from the group to look after his health. All 12 members returned for the release of a digital single titled 'Keeper in July, produced by Block B's Park Kyung, right before nabbing the Rookie Award at the Korea Brand Awards.

Stepping away from music for a brief moment, the group made an appearance on the reality show 'Happy Arrived At Our House' in an effort to raise awareness about abandoned street dogs in South Korea. And after nabbing yet another Rookie Award, this time at the Soribada Best K-Music Awards, the group returned from their five-month break with the single 'The Sphere' and the song 'Right Here'.

In September of 2018, Q was confirmed to be part of the 'Main Dancers of Hallyu' project along with MONSTA X's Shownu, GOT7's Yugyeom, Seventeen's Hoshi, NCT's Taeyong and NU'EST W's JR. November saw the release of The Boyz's third EP, 'The Only', and its lead single 'No Air' and the group finished the year on a high, winning Best New Male Artist Award at the 2018 Melon Music Awards.

Boy band The Boyz performs onstage during the 8th Gaon Chart K-Pop Awards on January 23, 2019, in Seoul, South Korea (Getty Images)

As with most things in life, however, the highs are often punctuated by some devastating downs. Following the release of their second single album 'Bloom Bloom' and its lead single of the same name in April 2019, The Boyz received their first music show win in May. They then dropped their fourth EP 'Dreamlike' along with its lead single 'D.D.D' in August. And in October, Hwall departed the group.

The Boyz, despite the setback, charged on and made their official debut in Japan with their first Japanese EP 'Tattoo' and its lead single of the same name. And after a few more releases, including their first studio album 'Reveal' in February 2020, the group made its way to Mnet's acclaimed reality television competition 'Road to Kingdom' that saw some of the industry's best boy groups go head-to-head with some of their most elaborate performances and sets to date. The Boyz finished in first place, winning the show and earning a spot in the upcoming Mnet show, 'Kingdom'.

And now, the group is making a comeback with their fifth EP 'Chase'. The teasers reveal some suave visuals, with the members dressed in classic black outfits and donning some understated gold accessories. With a hint or two pointing to the concept of 'heartbreakers' and 'heart stealers', it appears The Boyz are set to take their sound and style to the next level, polishing their vocals, rapping, and dancing skills and delivering a level of quality fans have come to expect from them, especially given their performances on 'Road to Kingdom'.

But more importantly, the comeback is set to reveal even more sides to an already flourishing group who have barely begun to scratch the surface of their myriad of talents. 'Chase' drops on September 21 at 6 pm KST / 2 am PST.