RM, the sage leader of Korean superstars BTS, has a favorite saying: “The brighter the light, the darker the shadow.” And while the seven members of BTS have gradually gotten used to the occasionally unforgiving glare of their global popularity, no group had as big a spotlight thrust upon them in 2019 as their young labelmates, Tomorrow X Together. After all, standing in the shadow of your own success is one thing; standing in the shadow of the biggest group in the world — of an entire industry’s monumental expectations — is wholly another.
But this year the rookie boy group (pronounced “Tomorrow By Together”) emerged as a force unto themselves, a promising unit not defined by the blinding gleam of their sunbaes (seniors) BTS but by their own merit. In the 10 months since their March 4 debut, TXT have successfully forged their own musical identity with a catalog of songs about the emotional and often tumultuous coming-of-age experience. Their singles were an eclectic mix of genres — sparkling pop (“Crown”); playful hip-hop (“Cat & Dog,” “Angel Or Devil”); and relentless synth pop (“9 and Three Quarters”) — but each sounded distinctly like TXT: bright and fresh with a potent energy that is equal parts whimsical and mesmerizing. That energy also extends to their choreography through intricate moves and quirky formations.
Among the heavily saturated field of young boy groups, Tomorrow X Together have managed to find a sound and an aesthetic that is uniquely theirs.
A promotional image from Tomorrow X Together’s sophomore release, The Dream Chapter: Magic
And their hard work isn’t going unnoticed. Their debut EP, The Dream Chapter: Star, sold over 100,000 units in three days and hit No. 1 on Billboard‘s World Albums chart, and its full-length follow-up, The Dream Chapter: Magic, bowed at No. 3. Meanwhile, Members Soobin, Yeonjun, Beomgyu, Taehyun, and Huening Kai have been racking up the male rookie awards in their native South Korea. Tomorrow X Together also scored a nomination at the MTV Video Music Awards for Best K-pop — the only rookie group among the nominees — and embarked on a sold-out U.S. showcase tour.
So, how did Tomorrow X Together become the monster rookies of 2019? Let’s take a look at how TXT took over the world and timelines this year: