The members of Cravity say they’re finally feeling better after a bout with Covid left them sidelined for more than a month, delaying the release of their new album and sending all nine members into quarantine in Seoul.
The K-pop group was about to drop the second part of their first studio album in February when all nine members tested positive for Covid. The news came amid a wave of new Covid infections in the K-pop community, with members from Seventeen, ITZY and most recently, Red Velvet, all testing positive, likely attributed to an omicron surge in the country and the amount of time the group members spend together (often practicing, eating and living in close quarters).
While none of the groups have displayed serious symptoms, South Korean rules currently mandate a seven-day quarantine, and the positive tests forced the guys in Cravity to take a temporary hiatus from all promotional activities — and led to the album being pushed back indefinitely, much to fans’ dismay. Management company Starship Entertainment released a statement saying the guys were “fully focused on getting some rest and following the authorities’ guidelines for self-treatment,” adding that any plans for touring and appearances would be postponed.
Now, a month after finishing quarantine, the group is back together — and back to full health — just in time for the (new) release date of the album.
Liberty : In Our Cosmos is out today (stream or download here), and features eight tracks that run the gamut from the genre-bending styles of lead single “Adrenaline” (co-written by Serim and Allen), to the high-octane “Chandelier,” and acoustic bop “Late Night,” which finds the guys singing about late nights with friends who are there to cheer each other on (the group’s camaraderie is a big part of their success).
An accompanying release teases that “The boys have finally become free after overcoming their inner worries and struggles.” The title of this album also “suggests that Cravity has become one, and has found hope through finding stars in the cosmos, a place where they feel the happiest and most liberated.”
Rolling Stone caught up with Cravity to find out more about their Covid scare, what to expect from the new album, and how their mandatory quarantine may have been a blessing in disguise when it came to refocusing for their big comeback.
Where were you guys when you found out you had Covid?
Taeyoung: We were practicing for our comeback in our company practice room, and some of the members were not feeling well.
Woobin: I was in quarantine separately away from the members. I did a self-kit test and found out that I also tested positive.
What did you all do immediately after?
Serim: We all had to go into quarantine separately. It felt strange and empty to be alone and away from the members whom I’m always with.
Minhee: And we quarantined for seven days!
Did any of you feel sick? Were you nervous at all?
Allen: Some of us had mild cold symptoms, and some experienced fevers as well as loss of taste. We were quite nervous before we got the results since many members were experiencing cold symptoms beforehand.
Hyeongjun: True, I also had a bit of a sore throat. Since we tested positive for Covid-19 amid our comeback preparation, I did feel somewhat anxious and nervous about it.
What did you do while you quarantined?
Jungmo: I got plenty of rest to recover quickly. Oh: I also decorated my new room.
Wonjin: Recovering quickly was the main focus of my quarantine. After the symptoms were relieved to some extent, I worked out little by little to regain my physical health.
How are all of you feeling now?
Seongmin: I feel amazing! It’s a relief that we’re not experiencing any severe side effects.
Serim: I’m feeling fine! Very good!
Any lessons you learned that you can share with people who might be dealing with Covid right now?
Minhee: Don’t take it too hard on yourself even if you’re sick. You’ll overcome this moment with Cravity — we’re always here for you.
Seongmin: I hope everyone is healthy. Eat well, take medicine, and sleep tight. I hope you get well soon. You can do it!
Aside from pushing back the album release, how did being in quarantine affect the way you prepared for your comeback?
Allen: Being in quarantine gave us plenty of time to rest and recover from whatever fatigue we had preparing for the comeback. Being in quarantine also gave us some unexpected time to rest and clear our headspace, which allowed us to continue comeback preparations with more clarity in mind to stay motivated and not lose focus.
Taeyoung: First of all, we really appreciate everyone who has been waiting for us. I wasn’t that sick while in quarantine, so I used my time for self-care, such as working out and getting some needed rest. As much as LUVITYs (the group’s fandom name) have waited a long time for us, I wanted to prepare myself better to show a more perfect performance.
What can fans expect from the new album?
Wonjin: I think LUVITYs will be able to see a completely different Cravity, so I hope you look forward to seeing the change.
Hyeongjun: The overall concept of this album is brighter and more bubbly than the previous albums, so you can definitely look forward to it.
Anything else you want to share with the fans?
Wonjin: I’m sorry for making you wait so long! We will make it worth the wait. Thank you so much LUVITY.
Jungmo: We are now fully recovered and healthy, so don’t worry about us! We really really miss you LUVITY. Be sure to stay healthy and well.
From Rolling Stone US