Like most people their age, the members of P1Harmony are Extremely Online™. So online, in fact, that by the time we sit down for our early afternoon chat in a boutique hotel near the Flatiron area of Manhattan, they’ve already spent a collective 12 hours online, watching YouTube videos and scrolling through their FYPs on TikTok. In an industry where time is a luxury, there’s no better way they’d like to spend it than on their phones — where the content that offers them respite from their daily schedules is just a tap away.
It’s late September at the time of our interview, and I don’t know it yet, but they’re preparing their November EP, Harmony: Set In. Its lead single “Back Down” is a loud burst of energy with a whole lot of self-assured swagger. In person, they vibrate on a slightly more chaotic frequency. Leader Keeho is open and honest, and naturally funny, taking the lead in interpreting for the others. Youngest member Jongseob is eager to contribute, often in English, jumping at the chance to tell me his favorite League of Legends champion is Xerath. Intak recalls a recent trip to Disneyland in Los Angeles with the members; he liked the Guardians of the Galaxy ride the most. Theo, Jiung, and Soul nod along, still in the process of waking up.
As the conversation shifts to their YouTube habits, however, they perk up, excited to delve into their watch histories with Mashable.
We asked them what they’ve been watching on the internet, and their tastes in content are as unique as the members themselves. From solo camping logs to surgery simulators to K-pop documentaries, here’s how the members of P1Harmony spend their precious free time.
Mashable: Roughly how many hours of YouTube do you watch a day?
Jiung: For me? An hour and a half.
Keeho: Maybe an hour and a half for me as well. Oh, wait, it’s on the settings [on your phone] so you can check. Let me see. [Everyone grabs their phones.]
Theo: Today I watched 2 hours [of YouTube].
Intak: An hour and a half.
Jongseob: Three hours for me so far. I’m really into YouTube. In 10 days. I probably watch 100 hours of YouTube. Usually, I watch a lot of “League of Legends” videos, like people playing it. I love the game, and I usually play with Soul. We play “Call of Duty,” “Apex”… and I play “League” with Theo. And “Minecraft.”
Soul: I’ve watched 3 hours of YouTube today.
Keeho: I’m only 12 minutes [laughs]. But I’m on TikTok more. On TikTok, it’s 1 hour 59 minutes [today]. I watch whatever’s on my For You Page.
Mashable: What does your For You Page look like?
Keeho: It’s just a lot of funny videos, but when I’m in Korea, it’s always K-pop. Recently, there’s this dance trend I like. It’s a new dance. The song is called “Koroba” by Tiwa Savage. It’s an Afrobeats song. It’s very groovy. I really love Afrobeats. I also like to watch vocal evaluations on TikTok and YouTube because I want to see if I’m on there. There will be videos like “4th Gen K-pop idols vocal evaluations,” and they’re like, “Here, Keeho is hitting a G3 and he’s not very supported but very resonant.”
Mashable: Do you look for that kind of feedback?
Keeho: It’s fun to see, and sometimes they read me so well, like, “Yeah, I’m not good at that. How did you know?”
Intak: I watch everything, all of the reactions and the fancams to monitor my performance. I just search “P1Harmony” on YouTube, and then watch from most recently posted. I also really like watching cover dances of our songs.
“How I tricked the internet into thinking I was Harry Styles…”
Mashable: Keeho, you recommended this video from GeorgeMasonTV in which he scams people into thinking he’s Harry Styles on TikTok.
Keeho: I just thought it was so funny to see everyone get manipulated like that. I was like, “How is it that easy?” I saw the clip on TikTok first, so I went on YouTube and looked for it. And that was the most recent thing I watched on YouTube. I can’t believe he fooled so many media outlets and so many people into thinking Harry Styles has a TikTok. And that it was so easy. If I was Harry Styles, I think I’d be a little mad. I’d be like, “Where’s this coming from?” The fact that the internet can be so easily manipulated… It’s so easy to fabricate information and people will just believe anything. It was just a funny concept to see play out in real time.
Mashable: I’m sure there are people who claim to be you on TikTok, or fabricate things about you.
Keeho: Yeah, literally. This one time we went on ISAC, which is the idol sports league, and I was speaking to ATEEZ’s Hongjoong because we were competing with them. They were so fast. Like, they’re the fastest people that I’ve ever seen. So I was like, “Hey, do you guys run on the daily? Why are you guys so fast?” And he’s like, “Oh, no, we’re very surprised. We didn’t know we were this fast.” A picture of us having a conversation showed up on Twitter, and someone was like, “Keeho called him good-looking and said he looked hot and sexy.” [Laughs.] I was like, first of all, you can’t even hear our conversation. And everyone’s like, “Oh my God, P1Harmony and ATEEZ, Keeho was calling Hongjoong sexy.” And that never happened! I didn’t know about it until a fan asked me on a fan call. I was like, “What are you talking about? I never said that.” He is [handsome], but I never said it.
Mashable: So we’re going to set the record straight.
Keeho: Stuff like that is so funny to see on the internet, where it’s like I never said it but so many people believe it just because one person says it happened.
Mashable: You just summed up social media in a nutshell.
Keeho: I feel like it’s a funny, dangerous, like, amazing, spectacular thing.
“【Surgeon Simulator 2】天才外科医4人組の手術ショーターム【わいわいがやがや生】”
Mashable: Soul, I know you like gaming. What do you like about this “Surgeon Simulator 2” video?
Soul: The YouTuber plays a surgery simulator, where you have to perform surgery in the game, and he plays with the viewers, so they can all take control amongst each other. It’s funny to see everyone go crazy. There’s one person who’s purposely messing everything up. The hands are glitching, but you’re trying to focus on the YouTuber because they’re actually trying to get stuff done. So just watching everyone lose their minds over this chaotic surgery game is funny.
Mashable: Yeah, it was like 90 percent laughter.
Soul: Yes, exactly.
Mashable: Do you watch any streamers?
Soul: I’m subscribed to over 30 gaming channels [on YouTube], so I watch a lot of them. I also like watching live streams as well. I play a lot of games. One time, I didn’t sleep for two days because I was playing “Apex [Legends].”
Keeho: It was when we had a small break, and like some of us went home or did other stuff. So he would just stay up all night playing games.
Mashable: You’re a prolific TikTokker. Where do you get your inspiration from?
Soul: My head! These days, I don’t really have any inspiration. I just do whatever I want or whatever I feel like doing, whatever I feel like is going to be good content.
Mashable: I think you might be a creative genius.
Soul: Thank you!
“EXO KAI cooks tomahawk steak at YOOXICMAN’s home”
Mashable: Intak, what do you like about watching cooking videos?
Intak: Oh, because it’s so relaxing to watch people cook. It can be really intimate, too. And while you’re watching, they give you facts about the dish, like the history behind it or where the fish or the meat comes from. I like that I learn a lot by watching this channel. I find myself watching it whenever we’re in the car on the way to our schedules, or even during my free time.
Mashable: Do you like to cook? Are you good at it?
Intak: Right now, I don’t consider myself to be a good cook. But I’m storing these videos in my brain, so that in the future I can use them.
Mashable: Does anyone in the dorm cook?
Keeho: We order! It’s faster that way.
Mashable: One of the videos features Kai from EXO. Are you a fan?
Intak: I do like him, but I didn’t watch the video specifically for him. I just like that the creator invites guests over and lets them taste the food he’s made. I think it would be cool if I had the chance to go on that show and be able to try his food.
Mashable: What would you want to cook?
Intak: I want to cook some meat pies. That looks so great. I want to try to do it.
Mashable: I think you could do it. You all should make a meat pie together. Think of it as a teamwork exercise.
Keeho: I think only two or three people would work and then the rest would be like… I’ll do the dishes.
Mashable: So who’s doing the work?
Keeho: Definitely Jongseob and Jiung. Maybe Intak… actually, no. Because when there’s too many people there it just gets too out of hand.
“Just Live! – (Roentgenium, Kimchi mandu, Bujungman)(ft.VIichan)”
Jongseob: They’re not professional singers, but this song gave me a lot of energy. And the lyrics are very hopeful. Like, whatever you want, just do it. Go with the flow. Even if everything goes wrong, just live. I love that type of band music. I watched that video, and I thought, “P1Harmony should try this kind of music.” It’s very energetic, and there’s a lot of shouting.
Mashable: P1Harmony should go full pop-punk.
Jongseob: I like that!
“[37th night] Light car and rain car camp”
Mashable: This one is more of a lo-fi camping video.
Jongseob: I love camping, even though I’ve never tried it before.
Mashable: You like the vibes of camping.
Jongseob: I love the silence. In the video, he doesn’t say anything. There’s just the sound of rain. And then he’s cooking and going to sleep. It’s a chill vibe, and I love to listen to the rain. That video is what I watch to relax. I’ll watch it at night and on the plane. I use my noise-canceling headphones to watch videos and chill.
Mashable: Jiung, I know you love camping. So why don’t you take Jongseob camping?
Jiung: I have no tent. I have everything but the tent.
Keeho: I also think the reason why he likes camping is so that he can go alone.
“굶기 싫으면 잡아라! [팔도어지도 EP.1]”
Mashable: Jiung, what’s so appealing about surviving in the wilderness?
Jiung: I’m planning to do that. That’s one of my goals.
Mashable: How many days would you want to do that for?
Jiung: Maybe two months?
Keeho: Woah! I was thinking like a week.
Jiung: I want to drive around Korea and camp along the way. It’s the same drive he’s making in the video.
Mashable: So you’d follow the same trail.
Jiung: Kind of the same, yes. And I’d do it alone.
Keeho: All alone?
Mashable: Two months is a long time.
Jiung: Yeah, but it’s great!
Mashable: What are they going to do without you?
Jiung: I’d like to invite them, but I don’t have that much space or multiple chairs and tables.
Keeho: So buy a bigger one.
Jiung: I don’t have money yet.
Mashable: Theo, you like Infinite Challenge!
Keeho: It’s like a Korean variety show with all the famous MCs. It’s a great, very funny, very popular [show] every Korean watches. And the channel Theo likes is just like a five-minute highlight of clips, like montages of that.
Theo: I’m not a picky viewer. I watch everything, but I do watch a lot of comedy. Most of the time I’m watching Infinite Challenge. Whenever I’m eating, I watch it. I cry to it. I laugh to it.
Mashable: Why are you crying?
Theo: I’m very passionate about it. [Laughs.] It’s not just about comedy. The performers are very passionate, and the teamwork is very touching.
정찬성 Korean Zombie
Keeho: That is a fun one.
Jiung: I love this one, too.
Mashable: So tell me about it. What do you like about The Korean Zombie’s channel?
Theo: He’s a very popular UFC fighter in Korea. He’s like sixth place in the world. And he’s so sure that there’s a prodigy out there that has no specific training that he wants to turn into the next fighting champion. A lot of them are popular street fighters in Korea, or people that like to fight from different parts of Korea. So he’s looking for this prodigy that he can turn into a pro. It’s a content. He goes around Korea and fights people to see if they’re ready. You get money if you’re a good fighter, too. It’s a lot of fun to watch because a lot of people think they’re really tough, but then they end up fighting a pro and realize that they’re not ready. There are people who are funny and also people who are actually putting up a fight.
Keeho: Theo likes watching UFC.
Theo: You know when they get on stage, it’s like their mindset and like their determination is so like… when you see it, you start getting worked up.
LE SSERAFIM (르세라핌) Documentary “The World Is My Oyster”
Keeho: LE SSERAFIM has a documentary on YouTube. It came up on my algorithm. I was like, “What is this?” So I clicked on it, and it was their entire process to debut. It was so crazy to see because we went through the same thing. We had member changes and people who were here and then left — and constant practices where we had to dance to “Siren” for hours and hours a day. There’s this one part [in the documentary] where they would shoot one member at a time to capture their facial expressions, kind of like a fan cam. And we did the exact same thing. It was literally every single thing that we did. So it gave me some PTSD [laughs]. It was a crazy throwback moment. They obviously had a very hard time, too. They’re crying so much in the documentary over a lot of stuff. We went through a lot of the same emotions.
Mashable: Yeah, it must be hard to go through that and then also be filmed.
Keeho: I could not cry on camera. But just seeing these vulnerable states they’re in… Some of them started filming even before they came to Korea. One of them was living in America. Just watching that, I was like, “That’s so crazy. Why didn’t we think of that?”
Mashable: Did you watch the whole thing?
Keeho: I watched it while I was running. When you’re running for 30 minutes it can be kind of boring, so I like to put something on to keep me distracted. I watched all four [episodes] because they’re not that long. It’s just very cool, like, wow, what a cool moment to document.
Mashable: It makes you realize how far you’ve come as well.
Keeho: Yeah, because you don’t really get to sit down and be like, “Hey, you did a good job. You went through a lot of stuff, and you finally made it to this point. So you can give yourself some credit.” And I never really did that. I feel like seeing the documentary felt like I was watching myself. Like, “Keeho, you did a really good job, and you really went through a lot to get to where you are now.” It’s a good time to appreciate everything. Because this life… It’s not an easy thing to do.