Behind The Cover with ENHYPEN: “It’s a great honour”

NME’s flagship franchise The Cover turns one this month! Join us in celebrating our cover series and the emerging talent it spotlights by going behind the scenes of select Cover stories – here, K-pop superstars ENHYPEN.

“It’s our first photo shoot with NME,” ENHYPEN’s leader Jungwon says on the set of the K-pop boyband’s Cover shoot. He smiles and adds: “NME… but those who are watching us aren’t our enemies, we’re allies.”

The mood in the studio for ENHYPEN’s first NME cover is playful – between set-ups, Jay air-trumpets along to jazz that’s blaring from the speakers, while his bandmates discuss which aspect of Pokémon the back of his t-shirt reminds them of.

“We had so much fun [and] we tried out many dynamic poses,” Jungwon assesses at the end of the shoot. “And because the background is so simple, we got photos that focused on us even more,” nods singer Heeseung.


For the team behind the seven-piece, ENHYPEN’s appearance on The Cover speaks volumes about their standing on the global music scene. “[It’s] a testament to how much ENHYPEN has grown in terms of the group’s identity as an artist and its fandom,” BELIFT LAB, the label behind the band, says. “It’s a great honour for [them], earning recognition for the unique group they are that presents a new roadmap in the K-pop scene, and an artist that brings you the whole package.”

Since debuting in 2020, the boyband have carved out their own place in the K-pop scene as an act shrouded in mysterious, supernatural elements – whether that’s in their songs, concepts or visuals that accompany the music. Those at the label see these aspects of the group as offering “immersive experiences for both the creative producers involved and the fans”. As ENHYPEN continue to follow their own path, BELIFT LAB teases this will only become a stronger part of their artistry: “We intend to focus on developing these immersive elements even further to engage a wider range of viewers and invite them to become a part of the story.”

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The Interview


“I’ve always loved how ENHYPEN portray the dichotomy of ‘idol’ versus ‘regular person’ in their songs, and the way they link those experiences to vampires is just genius,” says Tássia Assis, the journalist who profiled the boyband for The Cover. She points to their single ‘Bite Me’ as an example: “It’s about love but it can also be about fans’ love, and how idols are bound to that in a very vampiric way.”

In her feature, Assis discussed the notion of destiny with the group and said it was “quite interesting to learn [about] the concept of fate through their eyes”. As for what she hopes for as ENHYPEN’s ultimate destiny, the writer cites creative freedom and happiness. “I’d love to see an album fully written by them [with] choreographies they designed and concepts they came up with,” she adds.

ENHYPEN (2023)
ENHYPEN on The Cover of NME. Credit: Pak Bae for NME

The Photos

Photographer Pak Bae describes shooting ENHYPEN’s Cover as “a blast”. “ENHYPEN always participate with such great enthusiasm when we shoot,” he explains. “I remember the members recognised that I was feeling a little bit under the weather and approached me to ask how I was doing, which made my heart warm!”


Before the band and photographer got to work, they chatted about the emotions Pak wanted to inject into the end result. “ENHYPEN’s enthusiastic energy and their level of engagement in the shoot overall led to an even greater outcome,” he says. His favourite image came from the group shots, thanks, in part, to the seven-piece’s understanding of “the mood and angle”. Because of that, Pak says, “it was much easier to achieve the impeccable group photos that I’m quite proud of”.

ENHYPEN (2023), photo by Pak Bae
Credit: Pak Bae for NME

The Art Direction

For ENHYPEN’s Cover, Simon Freeborough took inspiration from the group’s name, which references the connecting powers of the hyphen. When designing the headline artwork, the art director created a title made of one continuous line. “I wanted to make a completely bespoke piece of typography which is the one line – a sort of hyphen – used to create the seven letters,” he explains. “I took the look further and gave it a chrome exhaust feel to reference the motorcycle jackets and styling of the band.”

As for the cover image itself, Freeborough acknowledged the challenges of fitting a group with seven people into one portrait shot. “It’s easier for a landscape shot, but the photographer did a great job and came up with a unique creative triangle formation that easily got everyone in,” he says.

A version of this story appeared in NME Magazine’s September/October 2023 issue, which featured ENHYPEN on the cover