Go Away With ... ATEEZ

Times Square is one of the attractions that the group ATEEZ hopes to visit during their debut tour of the United States.
(KQ Entertainment)

ATEEZ is embarking on a sold-out tour of the United States (including dates in Los Angeles, Chicago and New York), which will be followed by a European leg. “I want to take in the sights of many cities,” says group leader Hongjoong, 20. “I want to visit the various landmarks in each city (like) Times Square in New York. If there’s time, I’d also like to attend other artists’ concerts.” Though the South Korean band is less than half a year old, their enthusiastic fan base initiated this tour via MyMusicTaste (, an online service that allows fans to request shows in their area. Stay in touch with ATEEZ on Twitter ( and Facebook (

Q. If you could travel anywhere to see a musician perform, who would it be and where would you go?

Hongjoong: I’m a huge Camila Cabello fan, and if she were to hold a concert in Korea, I would definitely attend.

Seonghwa: The city isn’t that important to me, but I really want to go to a Billie Eilish concert.


Yunho: I would like to go to one of Maroon 5’s U.S. concerts.

Yeosang: A Justin Bieber concert in New York.

San: As long as I can go to a Bruno Mars or Justin Bieber concert, the city doesn’t matter.

Mingi: A Jay-Z concert in New York.


Wooyoung: I went to a BTS concert when I was a kid and it left such a great impression on me that I would like to go again. The city doesn’t matter.

Jongho: I really want to go to a Bruno Mars concert. The city isn’t that important to me.

Q. How have your travels affected you as a musician?

Seonghwa: I’m able to take in different things I’d probably never see otherwise. The more I’m exposed to these diverse sights and scenes, the better I can cultivate my emotions and ways of expressing them.


Wooyoung: I’m able to broaden my imagination and add more depth, because I encounter many new things while traveling.

Q. Would you choose a casual meal at a street cart or fine dining at a restaurant?

San: Fine dining at a nice restaurant. I’d enjoy dressing up and going to a nice restaurant.

Jongho: Street food, because I think it’s representative of that region’s specialty and unique flavors. I can also walk around and casually hang out, while eating some street food.


Q. Who were your childhood influences, musically?

Hongjoong: I was greatly influenced by Michael Jackson. He was an artist way ahead of his time and generation. I feel like he made bold new strides and challenged what was the status quo.

Seonghwa: My dream of becoming a singer was inspired by EXO’s Kai and SHINee’s Taemin.

Yunho: EXO’s Kai and TVXQ’s U-Know. The international artist who inspired me was Michael Jackson.


Yeosang: BTS’ V.

San: I listened to a lot of DEAN and Zion.T’s music.

Mingi: Park Jae-beom is my role model, but I was also influenced by the music of Offset, Drake and Joey BadA$$.

Wooyoung: BTS. I want to become a respectable and cool artist like BTS. I also look up to Shawn Mendes. He’s my vocal role model.


Jongho: Bruno Mars. I listened to a lot of Bruno Mars songs and practiced singing along to them.

Q. When you go away, what are some of your must-have items?

Hongjoong: My MacBook. Whenever I get a free moment, I like to jot down my thoughts, arrangements or lyrics about a certain place. I also believe there’s certain music you can only create using the inspiration and sentiments felt while traveling.

Yeosang: I think it’s really important to exchange money beforehand so you’re able to travel without worrying.


Mingi: I always bring my necklace, wallet and bag. Even if I don’t have a lot of important things in my bag, it’s a habit of mine to bring it everywhere.

Wooyoung: My phone, hat and external portable charger. In particular, I always bring a hat, because it’s a versatile item.

Q. What was the first trip you took as a child?

Seonghwa: I went to Saipan when I was young.


Yunho: My first overseas trip was to Thailand. My first domestic trip was to Seoul.

San: The first trip I went on was to Cebu with my father.

Jongho: I always went to Busan at least once a year with my family.

Q. What’s the most important thing you’ve learned from your travels?


Yunho: I’ve learned that it’s important to plan out your travel itinerary before leaving and to pack accordingly. Also, don’t forget to take a lot of pictures on your trip.

Q. Where would you like to go that you have never been to before?

Hongjoong: I want to visit Brazil and Argentina, because I heard that they are very passionate countries. I want to experience that passion firsthand. Ah! I also really want to visit England, as well.

Seonghwa: Above the clouds! It’s kind of an odd answer, right? I’ve always been really inquisitive. It might be impossible, but I’m really curious how it’d feel to stand on top of a cloud.


Jongho: Spain and England. I really like soccer, so I’d like to see the Premier League and La Liga in person.

(Jae-Ha Kim is a New York Times bestselling author and travel writer. You can respond to this column by visiting her website at You may also follow “Go Away With...” on Twitter at @GoAwayWithJae where Jae-Ha Kim welcomes your questions and comments.)