On the most recent episode of Eric Nam‘s podcast, K-Pop Daebak, the star soloist revealed why he originally thought YG Entertainment‘s new boy group TREASURE was signed to SM Entertainment.

Eric Nam first met TREASURE on SBS‘s Inkigayo music show last August. At the time, TREASURE had just debuted with their first single, “Boy”, while Eric was promoting “Paradise” from his latest album, The Other Side.

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| Stone Music Entertainment

This week, Eric shared that he also recently listened to the 12-member group’s latest song, “My Treasure”. The lead single from their first full album, The First Step: Treasure Effect, “My Treasure” features a bright, sweet sound and a colorful music video.

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| TREASURE (트레저)/YouTube

While most fans know that TREASURE is YG Entertainment’s newest group, Eric reveals found himself questioning which agency the group was really under. But why? According to the soloist, it’s all about the vibe.

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| DIVE Studios/YouTube

Eric Nam used a Korean expression to describe TREASURE: “shabang shabang“. According to Eric, the phrase describes a vibe that’s “flashy, shiny, pretty, kind of bright, [and] energetic“—just like some of TREASURE’s releases.

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| TREASURE (트레저)/YouTube

Which is, you know, great. Nothing wrong with it.

— Eric Nam

But while Eric says there’s certainly nothing wrong with the “shabang shabang” feel, it just doesn’t feel like YG Entertainment to him. “YG, I feel like, was always branded as like, ‘We’re so hipster and so hip hop and cool like we don’t give an f- about anything’“, he explained. To him, TREASURE comes across as “such a departure from what I have come to expect from YG“.

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YG Entertainment girl group BLACKPINK | BLACKPINK/YouTube

As such, every time Eric Nam sees a new TREASURE release, he revealed he finds himself thinking, “Are you sure they’re YG? Is this not SM in disguise at YG?”. While YG Entertainment is known for an edgier style characterized by hip-hop as well as bad boy and girl crush aesthetics, SM Entertainment is known for a brighter style.

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YG Entertainment boy group BIGBANG | BIGBANG/YouTube

SM Entertainment groups like Red Velvet and NCT Dream, for example, are known for bright and colorful visuals and sounds similar to those in “My Treasure”. So, it’s no surprise that Eric Nam associates the monster rookie group with the agency.

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SM Entertainment girl group Red Velvet | SM Entertainment

But don’t get him wrong—”This is not shade in any way“, says Eric. In fact, it’s quite the opposite. Instead, Eric explained that he’s “very intrigued” by how TREASURE is exploring a new “type of music and aesthetic” under YG Entertainment. And, that aside, he’s a huge fan of the song “My Treasure”.

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| DIVE Studios/YouTube

I absolutely love it… It’s just easy listening… “Would I listen to this on a regular basis?”… Yeah. If it came on, I’d dig it. I’d let it play in a cafe. I’d let it play through my Spotify. I’d listen to the whole thing.

— Eric Nam