Real-life couple HyunA and DAWN have officially debuted as a duo, releasing their joint mini album, 1+1=1, on September 9. It’s a bright, breezy, four-song ode to love that allows the Korean pair’s natural chemistry to shine through.
Catchy title track “PING PONG”, about a couple who are super into each other, comes with an explosively colourful music video that sees HyunA and DAWN dancing through a Lisa Frank-esque wonderland.
In a press conference, translated by Soompi, DAWN revealed they wanted their title track to be a song you could dance to, since dance is a “universal language” and they wanted their many international fans to be able to easily enjoy it. “I hope people feel the rhythm and mood really well,” he said.
Other tracks on the album, all co-written by DAWN, include “Deep Dive”, about falling deeply for someone, “XOXO”, a celebration of the heady feeling of wanting and loving someone, and “I Know”, which explores a relationship going wrong.
Together since 2016 and public about their relationship since 2018, HyunA and DAWN have previously released two songs as a duo – 2017’s “Purple”, and “Party, Feel Love”, which came out in January this year. Despite their history of collaboration (they were also in a trio, Triple H, with singer Hui from 2017-2018), HyunA said at their press conference that they were originally “never going to do” an album together, before adding that this one just felt right.
“The album 1+1=1 was made shockingly perfectly, so it feels really new to be releasing it now,” she said. “It was also fascinating that our chemistry was so perfect.”
DAWN added that it took about a year to create the album, which he described as “meaningful”. “The process of perfecting the songs took a long time, and HyunA prepared the visual direction for a long time, and there were a lot of edits.”
Describing the joys of working together, DAWN said that he would get “mesmerised” by HyunA’s performance. “I really felt that she was an artist with an insane ability to attract through her facial expressions and gestures...She’s really a muse.”
HyunA shared that working on the album and music video allowed them to see different sides of one another, revealing that it was “cool” to see DAWN make music and that it made her want to work with him even more. She added that performing together brought a whole new perspective.
“When we monitor each other, since we’re obviously still different artists, I think it’s inevitable that we see the good parts,” HyunA said. “I didn’t know DAWN had such an energetic side where he used so much strength. I was surprised by his stage presence.”
After being together for five years, coming through a bunch of challenges together and finally working together in a respectful and collaborative way, HyunA and DAWN have firmly established themselves as celeb couple goals.
They revealed that their aim with their album is to give people something to enjoy that allows them to feel even a little emotional relief. With this fun, energetic pop offering, there’s no doubt they’ve achieved exactly that.
Words by Jenna Guillaume, an entertainment journalist and author of YA rom-coms What I Like About Me and You Were Made For Me. Follow her at @jennaguillaume.