JYP Entertainment is taking their roster to the next level, introducing a brand new boy group this month. However, this isn’t actually their debut. In fact, the line up you may see in their hard-hitting EDM track, “Hellevator” may not be the same in the next few months. The nine members; Woojin, Chan, Minho, Changbin, Hyunjin, Jisung, Felix, Seungmin and Jeongin are part of JYP’s new survival show on MNET, “STRAY KIDS” – which the group are currently known as. There has already been success with the previous show, “SIXTEEN” which created the record breaking TWICE. However, “STRAY KIDS” will be following the boys through different missions with the goal of debuting together, but J.Y. Park himself will always have the decision to alter the line up so everything will be on the line. We won’t find out what happens until the first episode air on October 17 at 11 p.m. KST but until then, JYP Entertainment has unveiled the music video for “Hellevator” which has already gathered over two million views on Youtube within days of its release.
As expected as an introduction to the group, the music video mainly serves to showcase the members and their talents and how they work together as a team through powerful choreography. Many of the scenes flicker back and forth to other members for fans to get used to them and possibly catch their interest for the show’s debut. While the direction and design follows this plan perfectly, it doesn’t show much for a complete music video breakdown. To do a little more dissecting, we need to look at what exactly “Hellevator” speaks about lyrically. Luckily, during our investigations we found a summary of the song through a Twitter account who is currently translating and promoting all things STRAY KIDS.
“Hellevator lyrics are basically a story of being a lost person in this society but escaping the pain through hope, with a “Hellevator” being an escape itself. At the start, the lyrics go on to be about the dark days, using the term Hellevator to describe their life as hell, but then it is used as more of a elevator to a new happiness, then at the end there’s a special verse “I went up the hellevator and it took my hand to the penthouse” which then refers to new beginnings.”
The video itself build entirely on this description, which members trapped in an abandoned building. Fitting with the grungy aesthetic which JYP fans may seem reminiscent of GOT7’s “If You Do”, it instead looks towards the members being lost in their own thoughts or in alternative ‘worlds’ to show their own loneliness. Among the darker scenes’, there is often flickers of the group together, shot in brighter pastel shades and showing the boys laughing and joking together – the happiness that Jisung may recall and long for once again. Happiness and conflict mix together within each scene, with images of deep red and fire alternating with the bright pinks and flowers used in the memories.
One member, Jisung also has a very faint story line within the video, which simply follows the story arc within the lyrics. In the entire group, he seems to be the most lost and feels alone even when the group is together. Conflicted, he breaks away from the group and travels alone into the building where he finds the elevator, the only source of escape. Pressing on the button which signals “Hell”, Jisung travels up and finds himself in a bright field on his own. The colour scheme fits the same palette as the group’s happier memories but also signals a new beginning, with the field possibly acting as a blank canvas for Jisung to continue – alongside the other members who soon follow through the ‘Hellevator’ and runs alongside him. As the group look up, the video ends with them looking up to an aerial shot of what is possibly Seoul – the “penthouse” spoken of in the lyrics and where their new future resides, with JYP and hopefully with the nine-member strong line-up at the end of the survival show.
Overall, “Hellevator” may seem very simplistic but it does its job perfectly. It is bringing STRAY KIDS into the spotlight and which such a perfectly polished track as their first outing, there is no surprise that JYP Entertainment is working hard to make another success after TWICE. Their defined choreography and the low-key use of aesthetic brings together a spotlight that marks the beginning and telling the story of the group’s rise through tough times – fighting hard for debut and finally reaching the top of the Hellevator together as one. At the time of this article, “Hellevator” is not available as a single through iTunes or Spotify and only acts as a promotional video for the show, which will air its first episode on the 17th October. However, make sure to be following STRAY KIDS on Youtube, Facebook and Twitter to find out more about the group and follow them through what is appearing to be another ground-breaking debut from JYP Entertainment.