“The theme [is] a new world or an ideal world for you and me,” Vernon tells Teen Vogue, explaining how the track also serves as a link between Face The Sun and the repackage. “Face The Sun ends with the song ‘Ash,’ right? So a new world is born from the ashes and now you have Sector 17.” Vernon also shares how the song was developed over Zoom, with himself, Woozi, and long-time collaborator Bumzu joining forces with songwriters Tommy Brown, Steven Franks, and husband-wife duo Michel “Lindgren” Schulz and Melanie Joy Fontana.
If you are one to pay attention to song credits, you might have noticed these names are also listed on Face The Sun’s “Don Quixote,” with the addition of Wonwoo on the lyrical side. In fact, Lindgren tells Teen Vogue that the teams worked on both “Don Quixote” and “_World” during the same series of Zoom sessions, two to be exact, before Woozi and Bumzu took the reins to finalize the structure of the songs. It’s a testament to the planning of this rollout.
“Usually [these sessions] start with some chords and a lyrical concept. The boys had already prepared the title ‘Don Quixote’ and so we got to talking about the original story and how we could apply it to SEVENTEEN’s concept. The longest time in a session is spent finessing our melodies. A lot of work on the beat will happen after the lyrics and melodies are done,” Melanie explains. “I loved how casual the writing session felt [with SEVENTEEN]. It was like I was meeting longtime friends for a creative ‘hello.’ It was quite an early morning in Korea when we were working, so Vernon took his breakfast while simultaneously writing. I also was hungry so I took my dinner and we both joked that we were eating noodles at the same time but on two different days, due to the time zones. It was such good fun with very skilled people.”
“Working with SEVENTEEN on these songs is a great example of why I love my job,” Lindgren adds. “You get to experience so many different perspectives, cultures, and techniques at once. It’s like taking a trip around the “_World” — pun very much intended.”
Aside from the title track, Sector 17 also introduces the heart-warming ballad “Circles (돌고 돌아),” the long-anticipated return of the SVT Leaders with the boisterous, trap-infused “Cheers,” as well as the Korean version of standout Japanese single “Fallin’ Flower,” which was first unveiled live during The Fact Music Awards in late 2020. These songs were done almost exclusively in-house alongside various members of the music group PRISMFILTER, which was founded by Bumzu himself.
To learn more about the process of working on Sector 17, SEVENTEEN’s upcoming tour, and the group’s new challenges, Teen Vogue caught up with Joshua and Vernon over Zoom on the day of the album’s release, and later with unit leaders S.Coups, Hoshi, and Woozi over email.