CNBLUE is now on their first ever world tour and has just held their first concert Blue Moon in Singapore on the 13th of April. Prior to the concert, we caught up with CNBLUE for a literal once in a blue moon press conference to see how the members were faring even as they continue making history by being the first South Korean band to go on a world tour of this scale.
Having achieved international stardom, what do the CNBLUE members miss the most about their early days?
CNBLUE: “We still hope to be able to play on the streets while wearing masks to hide our faces”.
CNBLUE’s Blazing Jonghyun, Lovely Minhyuk, Untouchable Jungshin and Emotional Yonghwa
CNBLUE debuted in Japan and now while you are on your world tour, is there anything you feel nostalgic about with regards to your early days?
Yonghwa: We started out as a band which did not receive much attention and now that we’re able to actually go on our first world tour, we are thankful that people recognize us. We are grateful and very privileged to be where we are at the moment, but we still hope to be able to play on the streets while wearing masks to hide our faces.
Jonghyun: As there were hard times, we are appreciative of what we have right now, and this is all thanks to our fans.
CNBLUE is popular in other countries; what traits help CNBLUE stand out from amongst the numerous idol groups?
Yonghwa: I think we are a part of Kpop, but unlike the other Kpop idol groups which focus a lot on dancing and singing together, we are a band and so, focusing solely on music helps us to stand out.
Jonghyun: We believe that our foreign fans can easily come to appreciate our music as bands are universal. Also, there aren’t many bands in Korea, and that this is our strength.
The members have been appearing in dramas recently. What are your thoughts on acting? Are there any roles you want to take on in future?
Yonghwa: In my opinion, both acting and music are both art, and being able to do both helps me express myself an artiste. In contrast to the previous two dramas that I have done, I want to be able to take on the role of a bright character in the next drama because I am bright, lively, cheerful and bubbly person!..and I am a funny guy! (laughs)
Minhyuk: We are in the midst of world tour right now, but even now I am receiving love calls to consider some roles. I do read through the scripts I receive, but at the moment I will be focusing on the tour. If a good opportunity comes my way, I hope I will be able to take it up.
Jungshin: If the cards are in my favour, I would also like to be able to act in a drama again.
Yonghwa, you have been recognized as a singer-songwriter. Will we see you writing songs for others apart from CNBLUE and your label mates? Also, when you write songs for your label mates, will there be a different sound to make them distinct from the CNBLUE sound?
Yonghwa: I would love to write songs for other singers, but at the moment, I have not yet been able to do much of that. When I do, it will be different from the usual sounds that CNBLUE usually performs.
Once in a Blue Moon in Singapore
Does the management dish out any advice on any dos and donts during the concert?
Yonghwa: Honestly, there are no particular don’ts but the company does tell us to have fun, to have fun as much as we can, as that would help fans be able to enjoy themselves.
Minhyuk: The small wish we have is for our fans to go crazy, scream their lungs out, jump, sing and enjoy themselves during the concert. Our staff would probably be a bit worried that the concert would turn out a little bit too noisy!
Have you prepared any special stage for the Singapore concert? Also, is there any possibility of the members switching places/roles and performing on each other’s instruments?
Yonghwa: We don’t have a performance with us switching our positions, but maybe we could consider that! Anyway, for the Singaporean fans, we will be focusing on our new album Re:Blue, so fans will be able to hear many of the new songs. As we are not a performance-based idol group, there will also not be many costumes changes. We will simply be focusing on our music.
Singlish will help you connect to the Singaporeans better. Just add ‘lah’ at the end of all your sentences.
Members: Hi, how are you lah? Enjoy lah! We are very happy lah! Thank you lah!
Please tell us more about the special presents you bought for the media.
All members: The Korean traditional snack hankwa or yakkwa, is a snack we enjoy during special festive seasons when we gather with our families. It is very delicious and we hope that the media will enjoy eating them very much!
Media: Thank you very much lah!
All members: Thank you lah!
CNBLUE’s third and next stop is Bangkok, Thailand; there is no doubt that through this Blue Moon tour, CNBLUE will deliver to all fans a really special, out-of-this-world experience that will remain indelible in the memories of many.
Event Covered by YunTing@hellokpop & Kenny@hellokpop
Photo by Kenny@hellokpop
Spilling the beans about Secret
It was indeed a Good Friday for all Secret fans when the Korean girl group graced the Lion City Singapore with their presence at Marina Bay Sands that evening. Performing songs from Poison, Madonna, Love is Move, My Boy, La La La, Shy Boy, Together, Magic to their most recent hit Talk That, members Jeon Hyosung, Jung Hana (Zinger), Song Jieun and Han Sunhwa kept the fans screaming (and crying) throughout their two hour ‘Secret Live in Singapore 2013′ show.
What exactly went behind those closed doors last Friday that made fans unable to hold back their tears? Just the fact that their long-cherished Secret finally revealed themselves in person for their first concert here.
What do you think of your Singapore fans?
Jieun: They cry really easily. Please don’t cry!
What Singapore food do you like? Sunhwa and Hyosung: Chili crab! Zinger: Fresh fruits!
Zinger, you were badly injured in the car accident last year. How are you feeling now?
Zinger: I’m OK! We’re OK! I’m now able to give 98% of my energy on stage.
Do you girls have any special kind of diet or exercise you do to keep in shape?
Sunhwa: I like climbing mountains.
Would you mind having a Singaporean boyfriend?
Hyosung: I don’t think nationality is an issue. Any nationality is fine with me!
Jieun, what is your favorite song from your album and why?
Jieun: There is one song which we performed and I really like this song because it is beautiful and full of hope. That song is Together.
Throughout the concert, Secret definitely did not leave fans in the dark about their abilities, going all out to win over their audience with their power-packed performances. To sum them up simply, the Secret members reek of professionalism. While they all are dark horses in their own right-having charms that initially seem commonplace, but later proving that they were able to succeed in the competitive industry –ultimately forms a group that is a dark horse which has emerged as a strong contender to become one of the top groups that represent the Hallyu wave. Hyosung stands out with her ‘bagel girl’ image, Jieun for her astoundingly sweet vocals especially while singing live, Sunhwa for her fun-loving and honest image on ‘We Got Married’, and Zinger for her recent makeover and fortitude revealed through the car accident. Although many could argue that other girl groups do not pale in comparison, one has to admit that as a group Secret really has proven to be quite a dark horse, not only being consistent in delivering songs that are well-received, but also in being able to garner good results despite not being able to appear for their comeback live last year. There is indeed more than meets the eye.
Holding their tongues about their not-so-far-off future plans, but dropping hints-a secret from each of the members
Jieun: I am working hard on the next album now!
Sunhwa: I am working hard in the area of music!
Zinger: I am learning English now. I hope to be able to speak to all of you in English soon!
Hyosung: I have started learning the piano!
Other details seem to have been kept under wraps for now, but the Secret members have definitely let enough cats out of the bag to keep the Singaporean fans on their toes and ready to welcome them should they come back again anytime soon. Aptly, the idiom ‘open secret’ fits Secret well: a group, Secret, which is paradoxically both Secretive (or rather, full of mysteries) and widely known to people around the world. Go on and puzzle over them- the enigmatic members from Secret- till we see them again.
Source (Picture): blogs.xin.sg
Jay Park Live in Singapore 2013 -
Jay Park indeed worked hard and played hard in Singapore on the 18th and 19th of January 2013: firstly working with the media in The Butter Factory for a press conference, and then playing hard with his fans in The Star Theatre the next day. For a highly sought-after idol, this is an exemplary show of work and life balance, and it is no wonder then that many have already been infected by Jay Park’s enthusiasm both on and off stage.
Check out the following interview with Jay Park in Singapore below:
This is not the first time you’ve been to Singapore, so what do you have to say to your fans once again?
“I love coming to Singapore, and that’s why I’m back again! I’ve probably done the most shows in Singapore other than in Korea. I love coming back!”
Your first album, titled New Breed, was released last year. You will be coming up with another album and but the title is for now “To Be Advised”. You wrote on your twitter as well, saying “I do not know what to call my album”. Are you anywhere close to getting any inspiration for the title right now?
“I still don’t know. After getting all the songs together, I’ll probably listen to them and see how I feel then, and probably name it then.”
What can fans expect at this concert?
“I won’t call it a concert. I will call it a long showcase, a showcase where I can showcase my skills and my performances and entertain you guys for a long period of time. It is more like a preview for a concert. You can expect me to rap, sing and dance and I will sing my heart out for Singapore (laughs).”
What is the food you like the most here in Singapore?
“I have tried chicken rice, beef rice and fried rice. But I still like chicken rice best.”
K-pop is now very popular here in Singapore. What advice would you give to the youngsters here who want to break into the K-pop scene?
“If you like dancing and singing, enjoy it and work hard at it. If one works consistently, I think that person will be bound to succeed someday. It is, however, of utmost importance that you enjoy the process.”
Resolutions for the new year
Is there anything is particular you want to achieve this year, in terms of album, work, love life?
“I want to put out a very very good second album. And after that, I would like to venture out and do some things in the States, and though I cannot really say much right now, if it is finalized it will become big news.”
You are 25 years old now, where do you see yourself in another five years’ time (when you are thirty)?
“By the time I am thirty, I will be an established artiste everywhere. I hope people around the world will know my music and I hope to get a chance to perform in countries I have not performed in, for example, South America, Africa, Europe-I have not been to Europe yet-and hopefully be the same guy, but much more established.”
You are a self-professed YouTube freak. You have done collaborations with Clara Chung and Ryan Higa, who was here in Singapore last year in September. We do have some local YouTube celebrities as well. How open are you to doing collaborations with them?
“I’m definitely open. I did one with Dennis Yin in Malaysia. If I get the chance to meet them, and if they are cool, I’m definitely open.”
A couple of weeks ago, a picture of you and BIG BANG member G-Dragon caused an uproar. Some of the reactions to the picture:
“Oh my god, Jay! Are you guys going to sing together?”
“Please have a collaboration!”
“I love you guys!”
Would that be happening?
“Yea, hopefully it will! I’m definitely open to it, and he’s open to it. We just have to get the right song together, and hopefully it will happen in the near future.”
Are there any other artists that you are looking forward to collaborating with as well?
“Definitely. I met up the producer of Primary, so there will be something on their album. I’ve also been doing some stuff with Cha Cha Malone, Dok2, The Quiett. I am also writing some (songs) with E-Sens from Supreme Team and also with Jeon Goon. These are the people you’ve seen from the first album and there will be many more.”
Would you do collaborations with fellow Americans or Canadians K-pop stars like Ailee?
“I’ve known Ailee for three, four years already, even before she came to Korea and became a K-pop star. She is very talented and I am a big fan of her works. I definitely collaborate with her, and actually, I was trying to get her on this album and have been trying to talk to her company. I did collaborations with G.NA with her on her album, so, sure, I’m open to doing these collaborations with anyone.”
Jay Park’s take on television and acting
Episode 4 of Jay Park TV was broadcast on the 3rd of December last year. When will the next episode be out? When can we expect it?
“As of now, I’m doing more music. I’m trying to plan and shoot a lot of music videos this time. I have a free song coming out soon, and we’ll be shooting a music video for that. I’m focusing more on music and bringing out content music videos rather than going around and doing shows.”
Can we expect some of the experiences in Singapore to be on Episode 5?
“Definitely! I brought my cameraman and he’s been filming and you can definitely expect to see some of it on episode 5.”
You recently hosted SNL Korea. Can you tell us how the experience was like, and why you decided to go on it?
“I was watching it, and there is no show like SNL Korea in Korea. It pushed the limits, it is very edgy so I wanted to go on it and show my comedic side. It was very good experience, but it was really hard. The preparation was crazy, we only a couple of days to learn all the lines, to rehearse and to memorize all the characters and all so I had a new-found respect for the cast members in SNL as they do it every week. Having to do it for just one week was difficult for me, it took a lot for me to do well on SNL. But it was a really good experience, and I had a lot of fun in the meantime.”
Would you consider venturing into acting in the future, in the same way other artistes are doing?
“Well, definitely focusing more on music right now. I want to put out music in English and Korean, and that’s already much more work to do for me. I won’t rule it out, it’s definitely a possibility. I enjoyed my time on SNL a lot, but for now, it’s music.”
Your SNL Korea appearance brought in a new high viewer ship rating. How would you rate your comedic performance on SNL Korea? Did you have a hand in scripting the parodies and deciding on what was done?
“SNL did a good job of giving me characters that I could portray well, and they did not gave me that many lines as I’m not too good with memorizing lines. I don’t think I did too badly. I did my best, and focused a lot. I wrote in a song, oh..well I wrote in a different song actually and submitted it, but they said it was too much for TV and changed it. For the characters, there was one which I did not really script, but I made up the character in some way. He was not originally supposed to chew gum, but I tend to chew gum and so it just came out like that. Other than that, SNL gave me a script which I could do well with, so I’m thankful.”
Can we expect to see you on more comedic shows next time?
“Yeah, well you might see me again on SNL!”
The New Album
Since you are in the midst of producing your new album, what is the creative process like when you write new material? Do you do a lot of homework, for example, listen to hundred songs a week?
“I do listen to music, I don’t listen to music just to get inspired, but I do get inspired while I listen to music and it definitely helps. Lately I’ve been going to the studio with Jeon Goon, and we’ve been listening to beats and writing songs together. But for the most part, I do it at home by myself, catch the little [beat] that might me going on (in my head) and make melodies and write lyrics right there. Right now, it is progressing well. I have only started working on them for a couple of months, but I have eleven songs done so for, and I plan to do another five or six more.”
Last year, your last album achieved the Top 10 best-selling albums in Korea. Do you wish to achieve this feat again this year?
“Yes, of course! It’s funny though because there weren’t many solo artistes in the Top 10. I was very honored and very surprised that I was given the Top 10, as I produced the whole album myself. Just to have that accomplishment meant a lot to me. Hopefully this time, with the music being better, and with much more content, much more music videos, people will pay attention to each and every song and appreciate the variety of the album. Hopefully, it will get better sales and better reviews from people around the world.”
Work hard, play hard: the singer, rapper, producer and humble guy
You achieved so much in two years, what is the motto you live by which has got you this far thus?
“YOLO? (laughs) Basically, for me, I try to enjoy what I do and work hard. Back then, I would just “work hard, work hard” and wasn’t really having fun, I was really serious and work all the time. Right I’m trying to keep it cool, keep it relaxed. Basically, it is “work hard, play hard”.”
Do you have any pre-show ritual that you do in preparation?
“I drink Red-Bull and sort of..hop around? I also do vocal exercises and maybe say a little prayer for the show to go well. I don’t do anything specific. Just basically little exercises like that.”
You move around a lot due to your busy schedule, what must you have around with you in your bag wherever you go?
“It depends on where I am going. I have my cellphone and wallet everywhere I go. Sometimes, I’ll have protein shakes with me when I work out, my laptop when I’m going to the studio as my lyrics and all are in there. Basically, that’s it. That’s all I need. I don’t have things I must bring with me regardless of where I go.”
What is your regular day like when you are not busy with training?
“For me, it’s not really training. I don’t have the company telling me “you have to record, you have to dance, you have to do that do that do that”. I do everything on my own because I enjoy it. I work out, and I get stressed out if I can’t work out for more than a week or two. I try to work out often. I tan to make the muscles look good, but lately I didn’t get a tan, so I’m really pale right now. I practice with the guys b-boying, I enjoy b-boying. I practice splits at night, as I have to incorporate it into my b-boying and on the stage. I write songs and raps, I do YouTube stuff. Basically I can’t stay still.”
How do you think you have grown, as a singer, rapper and producer?
“I haven’t been doing this for very long, and it has only been two years that I have been solo. New breed came out in 2011 so I have only been producing songs for two years and I’m definitely getting a feel of it-every song I make and every person I meet and every song I listen to-and time will tell (how I’ve grown). If you listen to the new album when it comes out, you’ll definitely see how I’ve grown as an artist. Even with New Breed, the writing the rapping the singing was way better (than I was before).”
As a songwriter, are there songs you wish you had penned?
“Yeah, of course! Well, all the number one hits! (laughs) There are songs I enjoy as of late, and there are definitely songs I wish I had done. Chris Brown’s type of music-I wish I had done it first. If I could write all those songs, I would have, but I’m not there yet.”
Since becoming a musician, is there anything that, if you could, you would have changed?
“You can’t change the past. What happened happened. You become who you are because of those events. I would not want to change anything because I wouldn’t be who I am because of those events.”
When did you get your first tattoo? How many tattoos do you have now, and which was the most meaningful?
“I don’t know how many tattoos I have, and I’m too lazy to count. I got my first tattoo in 2010, when I was 23 or 24. I have a lot of tattoos, as you can see, on my whole left arm. The most meaningful (tattoo)? A lot of my tattoos have meanings – my music, my family, my crew, what I stand for, my morals.”
What kind of person do you want friends to remember you as?
“I want them to remember me as an artiste, an artist who puts out great music but also as a humble guy, laid-back, just a regular person. I am well-known, but I’m not a celebrity – not the kind of guy people exclaim “OH MY GOD, IT’S JAY PARK!” at, but elicit a “oh! Its jay park” response. I’m like your friend, almost.”
Any last shout-out to fans?
“I’m probably going to meet you guys in a bit, thanks to those who came down to the airport at 1.30am last night. Hope to see you guys there and I hope you all enjoy the show!”
Jay Park Live in Singapore 2013 recap:
From the opening bow to the ending bow, Jay Park did everything possible to sweep his audience off their feet. Flashing his impish grin, playing with the microphone stand like a rock star, making heart signs, blowing kisses, flexing his biceps and emphasizing how his fans “make [him] strong”, b-boying, rapping and serenading the crowd for about an hour and a half, Jay Park clearly demonstrated why he remains a big favorite here in Singapore.
Performing hit songs Nothin’ on you, Girlfriend, Star, Do What We Do, I Love You, Carefree, Enjoy the Show, Jay Sean’s Down, Usher’s You Got It Bad, Up and Down , Body2Body and many more, Jay Park dazzled his fans not only by dancing with his crew Prepix, but also by giving sneak previews to his abs, which he promised would be upgraded after he works out more and “returns like Arnold Schwarzenegger”.
Fans held out the “Work Hard Play Hard” sign to pay homage to this one incredible singer, rapper, and producer. Using Singlish to address the crowd, Jay Park had jokingly warned, “Don’t play play”. Indeed, when one knows how to play as hard as one works, this person is a force to be reckoned with.
We caught up with one winner of hellokpop’s contest, Wendy, who was thoroughly pleased with the concert:
“The Jay Park concert was awesome! He totally showcased his charisma through his breaking moves and rapping fluently in his hip hop song choices as well as New Breed album tracks! I also enjoyed the way he tried to engage the audience with his candid speeches! He did not disappoint the fans by ending the concert with a fiery encore and I hope he comes back to Singapore soon!”
To all the Jay Park fans in the meantime, work hard and play hard too!
Event covered by Yunting@hellokpop
The Wonder Girls’ Sunye has performed her last stage before her wedding ceremony. On the 1st of January, China Foto Press (CFP) published photos of the Wonder Girls’ special countdown performance in China, which was shown on the state broadcast CCTV on the 31st of December last year, depicting their sleek dance moves and beautiful figures.
In the photos, the Wonder Girls are dressed in shirts and hot pants of differing colours while performing enthusiastically to songs like Nobody, completely immersed in their song and dance. The audience’s eyes were on team leader Sunye, who appeared somewhat tired after stomaching a hectic schedule, as this was the last public performance for her before her marriage on the 26th of January. Sunye’s intention to take time off after her wedding to enjoy her nuptial bliss and focus on her marriage was announced last year. In the meantime, the other members will be concentrating on individual activities.
Sources: (News & Photo): Naver
RaNia, now currently in Singapore, had their autograph session here on the 6th of December at Rebel Boutique Club, Clarke Quay. Although consisting of seven members, only the currently active five members (leader Saem, Riko, T-ae, Di and maknae Xia; Joy on hiatus since 2011, and Jooyi is undergoing training) are in town for their Asia Tour 2012.
Easy-going and affable, the RaNia members obliged with friendly requests from fans to take polaroids or pictures together, struck cute poses for the cameras and searched for and waved at fans who called out their names. After painstakingly signing every fan’s item, the RaNia members also gave high-fives to the fans while making their way to the small stage for their showcase.
Rocking the impossibly small stage starting with hit debut songs Dr Feel Good and Masquerade, RaNia showed off their sleek dance moves. Lead vocalist Riko then stole the limelight by putting up a flawless solo performance of That’s Me, and the showcase concluded with POP POP POP, STYLE and encore song Goodbye. Albeit short, the showcase gave the fans a chance to meet and converse with RaNia, to obtain their autographs, take pictures and see them perform up close; and was also a golden opportunity for RaNia to exhibit their charms. As the RaNia’s members have proven to be able to possess both vocal prowess and dancing ability, already, many have forecasted that this group has the potential to shine. With an increasing number of love calls from countries all around the world, and having captured attention recently with their announcement of an American debut, all that is left for RaNia to do is to promote a hit song to propel this group to greater international fame.
If you never heard of RaNia prior to this, its time for an update: these girls will soon be making big waves, possibly even Regenerating the Hallyu wave.
RaNia’s rocky start
Unlike many Korean pop group these days, RaNia (Regeneration Idol of Asia) has had been hit badly by controversies and problem immediately upon their debut: being criticized for being too suggestive in their dance moves, having to re-choreograph their debut song, making changes to their wardrobe choices, losing their producer Teddy Riley and experiencing constant changes in their line-up. In the short span of a year and a half since they debut in April 2011, RaNia has indeed come a long way in a short span of time, and it’s about time these girls start getting the attention they deserve.
Initially off to a promising start, RaNia was to debut in 2010 but pushed back their debut as member T-ae had been chosen to star alongside Jay Park in Hype Nation. After announcing their debut in April 2011, it was also revealed that RaNia would be collaborating with producer Teddy Riley in order to break into both the American and Korean markets simultaneously. Originally an eight member group with members Saemi, Riko, Jooyi, Di, T-ae, Xia, Joy and Yijo, the debut only featured seven members as Yijo was absent at both promotions and debut. It was later revealed that she had visa issues and subsequently left the group after a few months.
With two songs that were originally given to Lady Gaga, there were expectations for RaNia to be off on a good start with Dr Feel Good and Masquerade. Instead, they stirred up a huge controversy in Korea with their image and choreography, which was deemed too suggestive by the audience. Altering costumes and dance moves in accordance to the criticisms levied on them by the viewers, RaNia’s image suffered a heavy blow right from the very start.
After promotions for Masquerade ended, more problems besieged the group. Teddy Riley officially called it quits with RaNia due to differences with RaNia’s record label, DR Music. RaNia’s next single single POP POP POP was produced in collaboration with Brave Brothers, who has produced many hit songs like BIG BANG’s Last Farewell , Lee Seung Gi’s I Lost My Mind, Son Dambi’s Crazy, After School’s DIVA and many more.
Member Joy had been missing from the promotions of POP POP POP, and it was only this year that DR Music released an official statement, revealing that Joy had returned to Thailand to be with her family as they were badly affected by the 2011 floods. Joy’s departure, however, remains indefinite, and DR Music maintained that they remained unclear as to whether Joy would rejoin the group in future. RaNia’s recent comeback in September 2012 with title track STYLE only featured five members, as Jooyi was on training for another project. Having only confirmed their American debut just recently after a year of trials, RaNia seems to have beaten the odds and are finally enjoying the fruits of their labour, having recently just embarked on their Asia Tour 2012 (Cambodia 1-2 Dec, Singapore 6-11 Dec, Philippines 13-14 Dec and China 16-18 Dec) to greet their fans, officially known as A1st/Afirst (Asia No 1 Sexy Shine Team Rania Supporter).
Leader Saem Riko
Maknae Xia Jooyi
Do check out our gallery below:
Picture Credits (without hellokpop’s watermark): Jooyi’s Facebook
Special thanks to Jig Asia Entertainment Ptd Ltd for inviting hellokpop to RaNia’s showcase!
Pictures credits by Kenny@Hellokpop
Event covered by YunTing@hellokpop