“The fact that you always get a new tomorrow is a miracle”

Tomorrow X Together (aka TXT) have always been a group that looks to the future. That forward-looking essence is built into their name, which stands as a promise to work as a team to create “a better tomorrow”. On their sixth mini-album, fittingly titled ‘minisode 3: Tomorrow’, they take that approach and feed it into a narrative that looks forward to a new day when they can reunite with a long-lost companion from their past.

It’s a record that’s full of optimism, and as singer Taehyun tells NME two weeks before its release, the boyband hope its story will “make people excited about the future and their tomorrow”. On ‘minisode 3: Tomorrow’, the idea of the future is both a motivating force and a notion filled with anticipation. In the bright, energetic ‘Quarter Life’, Beomgyu, Taehyun and Hueningkai use it to keep themselves going through a quarter-life crisis.

‘Deja Vu’, meanwhile, looks forward to reconnecting through an intriguing concept. “Not knowing the reason of my tears, my anemoia,” they sing in its first verse and that last word – a reference to a nostalgia for a time you’ve never known – crops up again in the title of the remix that closes the mini-album. “[The lyrics] say that the expectation of meeting ‘you’, which feels like a far-off future, is really big,” Taehyun explains. “But we’re so anticipating and excited for that moment of our reunion.”

As our protagonists look forward to that reunion, they take stock of what they already have on ‘Miracle’ – a sublime piece of glimmering electronic rock – and take a moment to remind themselves and us not to take those around us for granted. Soobin, Yeonjun, Taehyun and Hueningkai participated in the lyric writing – although Taehyun is quick to point out all five members worked on the theme of the track – filling it with reflections from their own experiences over the years.

“We mostly focused on two overarching themes – the little miracles that we face in life and what’s invisible to the eye but is still important,” says Taehyun, ever keen to dive into the discussion. The second, he notes, was harder than the first because “everything seemed like it was visible”. Eventually, though, it was this release’s title – and their band name – that provided inspiration.

“At the end of the day, we thought of tomorrow or the future – the fact that you always get a new tomorrow seemed like another miracle to us,” he added. To the 22-year-old, there’s something almost magical about the group experiencing those new tomorrows together, too: “The fact that all five members are always together to this day seems like a miracle to me.”

If there’s one thing you can rely on TXT to do as they move forward, it’s to always be creating something new. Across their journey so far, they’ve made it their M.O. to tackle a broad spectrum of genres – from acoustic ballads to raging emo-rock and almost everything in between – and make them feel distinctively, inimitably their own. That’s an approach that extends to ‘minisode 3: Tomorrow’, charting new ground in UK house and Afrobeats. The mini-album also offers up new combinations of sub-units, the three youngest members taking on ‘Quarter Life’, while Soobin and Yeonjun share ‘The Killa (I Belong To You)’.

tomorrow x together txt deja vu minisode 3 tomorrow interview
Tomorrow X Together. Credit: Big Hit Music

The stories behind these songs embody the passion and hard work that Tomorrow X Together put into their music, with each team having to adapt to new sounds and arrangements. “I had to fit my key to the other two [members], which was a little higher compared to my most natural range,” Beomgyu recalls. Rather than complain or be easily defeated, he adopted a determined attitude to help him: “I approached it with the mindset of, ‘I’ll make it happen in my 101st attempt if not [on] my 100th’.”

Soobin had his own struggles on ‘The Killa’. “It’s not my go-to genre, so I had some trouble singing the song in the beginning, and it took me quite a while to wrap my mind around the vibe of it,” he shares candidly. In the studio, the producer suggested he use what Yeonjun had recorded to guide him in creating his own take on the track. “In a way, he was like my bible, my reference, so I think I learned a lot from him this time,” the group’s quiet leader says, gesturing to Yeonjun with a small but grateful smile on his face.

‘Minisode 3: Tomorrow’ might form another commitment from TXT to keep looking to the future, but it also throws its gaze backwards. Its plot line references back to the promise shared in the video for ‘Nap Of A Star’ to “meet again, even if we part ways”, while the record’s second track brings back the morse code that’s appeared in the band’s work since their debut. ‘Deja Vu’’s lyrics, too, call back to songs from throughout their story so far, with nods to the likes of ‘Run Away’ and debut single ‘Crown’.

Diving back into the past wasn’t just a nostalgic exercise, though, but a tool to help them push on. “As we were preparing for this album, I did look up many of our past performances from our albums,” Hueningkai says. “I was inspired a lot while listening to our songs from the past as well.”

tomorrow x together txt deja vu minisode 3 tomorrow interview
Tomorrow X Together. Credit: Big Hit Music

Now is a perfect time for TXT to review everything they’ve done since they first introduced themselves to the world in 2019. Just a few weeks before we speak, the group celebrated the fifth anniversary of their debut – a milestone moment that follows plenty of big achievements over the last half-decade. As the five members indulge NME in reflecting on their time together so far, the overarching mood is not one of boastful pride but of immense thankfulness.

“I never expected that I would make it this far, so I only feel a huge sense of gratitude for the fact that I’m standing here right now,” Hueningkai says as his bandmates nod in agreement around him. “I just want to do my best to make sure that I live up to everybody’s expectations.” Next to him, Yeonjun casts his mind back to their pre-debut days. “Our trainee days were rough,” he begins, causing Hueningkai to throw his ashy blue hair forward in gentle laughter. “But we went through challenges together as one team, so I’m grateful for what I have right now. I will never take anything for granted and keep on doing my best.”

Of all that TXT have experienced in the last five years, it’s some of the stages they’ve been given the opportunity to perform on that have surprised them the most. “Like Lollapalooza, or our stadium concerts and dome performances,” Taehyun lists. “I never imagined that would happen, so I have to say those moments kind of blew my mind.” After the translator finishes conveying his words, he switches to English: “Seeing crowded stages was really special.”

Last year’s Lollapalooza headline set, in particular, felt like all of the group’s drive, appetite and raw talent all brought to fruition wider recognition of a very special act. It was TXT’s second performance at the Chicago festival, seeing them level up from a late-afternoon slot on a small stage to main stage-topping glory in just one year came with much more positive feelings than their Lolla debut.

tomorrow x together txt deja vu minisode 3 tomorrow interview
Tomorrow X Together. Credit: Big Hit Music

“The only thought in my mind was just happiness – I was so, so happy throughout,” Beomgyu recalls of their time on stage in Grant Park last August. “I could see this never-ending wave of light flashes that people were radiating with their cellphones, and it just gave me the feeling that we were the stars of the evening, which hyped me up so much.” Even after the performance was long over, that warmth remained: “I kept on having this lingering happy feeling with me.”

Over their first five years together, TXT have earned themselves many other titles than just bona fide festival headliners. They’re regularly referred to as the it boys and leaders of K-pop’s fourth generation, and now, no longer new faces on the scene but established stars, they’re thinking about what they might mean to those who follow in their footsteps.

“We had our own role models in our minds from the beginning, so we know how much that means to somebody,” Yeonjun says thoughtfully. “I just hope that we will become positive influences and hopes for up-and-coming artists.” Meanwhile, Hueningkai adds that “as an artist, I want to become someone who can be respected and admired by other people. Just becoming somebody else’s role model itself would be great.”

As TXT continue to look to the future and move forward with their adventurous music and affecting storytelling, they have other ambitions they hope to fulfil, from small but important things to grander aims. “As a group, our biggest priority is always to remain healthy and happy at all times,” Taehyun notes. “We have our third world tour coming up, so we just want to enjoy those moments fully. I just want to impart messages of hope and positivity to everybody and just fill everybody’s head with optimism.”

Tomorrow X Together’s new mini-album ‘minisode 3: Tomorrow’ is out now

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