K-pop groups from the “Big 4” companies of SM Entertainment, YG Entertainment, JYP Entertainment, and HYBE amass the most headlines, and after that, more headlines get eaten by the mid-sized companies like Cube Entertainment and Starship Entertainment. It’s harder for groups who don’t come from those companies to elbow their way into the spotlight. However, Ateez was able to do it at KQ Entertainment. Let’s take a look back to explain when exactly did Seonghwa, Hongjoong, Yunho, Yeosang, San, Mingi, Wooyoung, and Jongho debut as Ateez, including their first mini-album and lead songs.
Ateez Debuted on October 24, 2018 with the Lead Singles “Treasure” & “Pirate King”
Ateez made their debut on October 24, 2018 with the mini-album Treasure Ep.1 : All to Zero, which contained the lead singles “Treasure” and “해적왕 (Pirate King).” Music videos for both songs were released on the day of their debut. The “Treasure” and “해적왕 (Pirate King)” music videos were notably filmed in Morocco, offering beautiful and exotic scenery — the Sahara Desert is quite a sight to see! Although, the “해적왕 (Pirate King)” MV describes itself as a “performance” video.
Treasure Ep.1 : All to Zero contains six songs in total: “Intro : Long Journey,” “해적왕 (Pirate King),” “Treasure,” “Twilight,” Stay,” and “My Way.” Eden, Buddy, and Leez composed, arranged, and wrote lyrics for every song on the album, and 안 수완 (“Ahn Suwan”) also composed and arranged on “Intro : Long Journey.” Hongjoong, Mingi, and HLB further contributed to the lyrics on every song except “Intro : Long Journey.” And finally, Maddox additionally contributed to lyrics on “Intro : Long Journey.”
Ateez performed for the first time on October 25, 2018 on M Countdown with “Pirate King.”
Prior to debut, the Ateez members had trained under the interim name “KQ Fellaz,” (Many fans are very happy this name was only temporary!) and they filmed a series called KQ Fellaz 미국 연수기 in which they trained at renowned dance studios in Los Angeles for a time. Reflecting on that experience to MTV in a feature dated to January 2019, Yunho said that “it was an amazing experience. Our movements became more accurate, and we had a new confidence.” San added, “We thought it was a great chance for us to experience new things and have a strong base when it comes to dance. Since then, whenever we learn new choreography or techniques, we’re able to give it our own style.”
But to summarize, Ateez debuted on October 24, 2018 with mini-album Treasure Ep.1 : All to Zero and its two lead singles, “Treasure” and “해적왕 (Pirate King).” The group would steadily grow in popularity ever after, resulting in amazing successes like ranking #2 on the Billboard 200 album chart.