In an interview with Billboard, Stray Kids gave insight into their creative process. 3RACHA (Stray Kids’s hip-hop production trio) is made up of Bang Chan, Changbin, and Han, and is responsible for creating the majority of Stray Kids’s songs.
“It might just be us three who are making music, but around us the team members always give us good ideas or which way to go, so that always helps.” — Bang Chan
Even before their official debut, Stray Kids was winning fans with Mixtape, a “pre-debut” album that featured tracks from the members’ Stray Kids competition days. 3RACHA is responsible for co-writing lyrics and music for every one of Mixtape‘s seven tracks, with the help of producers and their fellow Stray Kids members.
Stray Kids said that their goal for Mixtape was to make relatable songs for young people, particularly for those in their teens and early twenties.
“The story that we’re telling is for everyone who is around our age who is just questioning and figuring out their life.” — Changbin
In I Am Not, Stray Kids took their youth-centric themes even further with fierce, angsty songs like “District 9”. Through their music they wanted to create a refuge for other “stray kids”, to let them know that they aren’t the only ones struggling toward their futures.
“We thought of, I guess, identity crisis where kids think, ‘What’s my dream? What am I going for? Who am I?’” — Bang Chan
“District 9”, in particular, aimed to inspired listeners to stand up for their true selves, no matter how chaotic the world around them is, by creating their own space to exist in.
“We wanted to step out of the norm and we wanted to turn everything around, turn it upside [down]. Our message is kind of like, ‘To the people the want to follow us, follow us.’ A lot of people our age don’t know what they want to do with their lives, they don’t know if they’re going down the right road. Even the people that they’re living their life with, they’re not sure if they’re the people they should be with. So the story that we’re telling is for everyone who is around our age who is just questioning and figuring out their life and where they stand.” — Changbin
Although Stray Kids is still relatively new, they have a loyal and dedicated fanbase that will support them for years to come.
“It was so unexpected for all nine of us to go on stage and see our New York fans. We didn’t expect to have this many fans to come support us. Having to see that, gave me a lot of energy. It was crazy that day, everyone was.” — Felix
As for Stray Kids’s future, the possibilities are endless.
“I think that you guys can look forward to the growth of the group and what we can show in the possible future.” — I.N.
Check out their KCON performance here.