Korea Rocks is set to invade the UK with tour, and an all-exclusive interview with Park JongHyun of Galaxy Express, Kim DaeInn of Apollo 18, and Yeom SeungShik of Gate Flowers, to open up about the upcoming tour.
Presented by Hyundai Card Music, Korea Rocks has announced that it will be holding a tour in the United Kingdom in late April.
While Korean rock music doesn’t quite have the international following as Kpop has amassed over the years, the genre has become popular with Kpop fans worldwide. The tour will headline some of Korea’s most influential and well-loved rock bands and will hit seven venues from April 24 to May 4.
Our good friends Galaxy Express and Apollo 18 will be joined by highly impressive rock bands, Goonamguayeoridingstella (Goonam) and Gate Flowers, and are poised to bring one of the most explosive and high octane K-rock performances ever seen in the UK. The groups will not only be performing at two of the UK’s highly popular music festivals, Focus Wales and Liverpool Sound City, but will also perform three free club shows during the tour.
Check out the tour schedule below:
- April 24: Kent, England at Tunbridge Wells Forum
- April 26: Wrexham, Wales at The Bank (Focus Wales)
- April 27: Wrexham, Wales at Yales Café Bar (Focus Wales)
- April 28: London, England at Barfly
- May 1: Manchester, England at Night & Day Café
- May 3: Liverpool, England at Studio 2 (Liverpool Sound City)
- May 4: Liverpool, England at Kazimier Gardens (Liverpool Sound City)
Award winning South Korean rockers Galaxy Express was formed in Seoul in 2006. Members Park JongHyun (main vocals/guitar), Lee JuHyun (bassist/vocal) and Kim HeeKwon (drummer) bring to the stage with an infectious blend of high octane garage rock and punk, that wows the crowd with every note. Galaxy Express has released seven albums in total, one being a co-album with K-Indie superstars Crying Nut, and have garnered accolades such as winning the Best Rock Album in 2009 at the Korean Music Awards.
The group just concluded their third highly successful tour in the US, once again performing at major music festivals such as SXSW and The Valley of the Vapors Independent Music Festival. Galaxy Express recently released their new self titled album in late last November and is receiving high praise from fans all around the world. With their infection rhythm and explosive stage performance, Galaxy Express truly epitomizes their title of Kings of Korean Indie.
Formed in 2008, Apollo 18 blends a mix of post hardcore rock with screaming guitars and driving downbeats that just leaves the fans in awe. Members Choi HyunSeok (guitar/vocals), Kim DaeInn (base/vocal) and Lee SangYun (drummer) bring to the stage a performance like no other with a high adrenaline energy that is sure to suck you into the euphoric bliss of some of the best Korean rock on the planet.
Since their formation, Apollo 18 has released five albums, won awards such as Rookie of the Year at the Korean Music Awards, and have regularly graced the stages of some of the world most well-know music festivals such as the Jisan Valley Rock Festival, Incheon Pentaport Rock Festival, SXSW, Valley of the Vapors along with performances at Japan’s famed Fuji Rock Festival and Taiwan’s Beastie Rock Festival. Apollo 18 has been praised by numerous outlets during their career for producing some of the most exciting and intense rock stage performances in the world and are considered the rock band to watch if you’re looking for an amazing performance both vocally and musically.
With a eclectic mix of alternative and hard rock in their repertoire, Korean rockers Gate Flowers, are definitely one of the best Korean rock bands in the market to date with their Pearl Jam-esque sound. Lead singer, Park KeunHong, vocals draw you in with a melding of both a soulful groove and hard-rocker screams that are so impressive, you just can’t help but be enthralled.
Yeom SeungShik (guitarist), Ryu Jaein (bassist) and Yang Chongeun (drums), produce some of the most head-banging-ly addictive arrangements in the business to date. Gate Flowers’ ballads are definitely not something to overlook either, songs like Between the Leaves and Night Night (which was nominated for Best Rock Song in 2013), shows off the bands soulful and softer sides while still sticking to their alternative roots. Their talents have not gone unnoticed.
In 2010 Gate Flowers pulled in not only the government sponsored Hello Rookie prize for being the most promising new band in 2010, but also landed both Rookie of the Year and Best Rock Song at the Korean Music Awards in 2011. Gate Flowers’ participation in the 2013 Korea Rocks tour, will be the first time which the band will tour internationally and are sure to impress even the most wayward fan.
Known for their hard-to-nail down style, Goonamguayeoridingstella (Goonam) utilizes and combines a multitude of musical genres, to produce some of the most entertaining and unique songs in their field.
With influences of rock, blues, reggae, psychedelic and even dub-step all at their creative fingertips, Goonam members have solidify themselves as one of the hottest rock acts in today’s market. Goonam’s We Are Pure (2007) album placed on 100beat.com‘s Best Korean Albums of the 2000′s at number seventy and their Woojung-Motel album (2011) was nominated for Best Modern Rock album at the 2012 Korean Music Awards. Goonam has also hit the international stages at events like Japan’s Summer Sonic Festival, SXSW, and Canadian Music Week in Toronto.
Goonamguayeoridingstella is comprised of Joh Ung(guitarist/vocalist) and Eem ByungHak (basists) as the groups main members, with Park TaeSik (drummer) and Kim Naun (keyboardist) filling out the group for their live performances.
On the eve of their UK tour, we at hellokpop are really fortunate to be able to sit down with Park Jonghyun of Galaxy Express, Kim Daeinn of Apollo 18, and Yeom Seungshik of Gate Flowers, to discuss about their upcoming tour, what they hope to show the fans, how they feel about touring with each other, and what fans should expect.
*Goonam was unavailable due to a scheduling conflict.
With your upcoming tour in the UK just on the horizon, how do you feel about having the opportunity to perform there?
Park Jonghyun: “It’s going to be cool. We just finished up a month-long US tour and only have two weeks off before the start of the UK tour. I think Galaxy Express sound great right now after doing 26 shows in the States. So hopefully that will carry over to the UK concerts, too! This is our first time performing in the UK, so we’re excited to check everything out.”
Kim Daeinn: “Being able to share our songs with music lovers in different countries is always an awesome feeling. We’ve had so many great experiences during our past tours in Japan, the United States, Canada, and Taiwan. We can’t wait to head out on the road again and explore the UK and its music scene.”
Yeom Seungshik: ”We’re really happy about it! This will be our first international tour, so we’re really excited to show people what we can do. We admire how bands from the UK have helped shape the spirit and sound of rock ‘n’ roll, so it’s an honor to be able to play there.”
What should the fans expect at the concert?
Park Jonghyun: ”They should expect a great night of Korean indie music. There are a lot of really good bands playing in Korea’s indie scene right now. This is just a small sample of some of the talent in the scene. Hopefully we can all inspire people to check out more Korean music after watching Korea Rocks.”
Kim Daeinn: ”You can expect our shows to be loud. We’re so happy to meet everyone at the shows, but we want to try and burst their eardrums!”
Yeom Seungshik: ”They should expect to not stand still! We hope people enjoy and move around to the rock ‘n’ grooves we’ll be turning out for them.”
For those out there who are not familiar with your music styles, how would you describe it (in 3 words or less)?
Park Jonghyun: ”Wild, noisy, psychedelic.”
Kim Daeinn: ”Loud, noisy rock!”
Yeom Seungshik: ”Energy, groove, harmony.”
What are you looking forward to the most with this new tour?
Park Jonghyun: ”Meeting new people and seeing new things are always are the best things to do on tour. I hope to drink some good beer and eat fish and chips, too.”
Kim Daeinn: ”Getting to drink lots of good beer! The beer in Korea is not very good. But British beer is very tasty. I’m hoping we’ll have time to visit Stonehenge too. I’ve wanted to visit there for a long time, so it would be really cool to finally see it in person.”
Yeom Seungshik: ”We are looking forward to meeting new audiences and having a lot of fun together with them.”
How does it feel to be touring with the other groups in the lineup?
Park Jonghyun: ”It’s going to be like a big fun road trip with lots of our friends. We’re fans of all the bands on this tour and are happy to be able to gig abroad with them. We’ve been hoping to tour with Apollo 18 for a while now, so we’re excited to finally travel somewhere new with them. We always have a lot of fun with those guys. I’m a bit of a troublemaker sometimes and Apollo 18 can be too. Hopefully that will lead to some good tour stories that we can share later on!”
Kim Daeinn: ”I think it’s going to be a lot of fun. We’re really good friends with Galaxy Express and have gigged with them a bunch of times in Seoul. Our musical styles are different, but I think we have a really strong impact when we’re paired together. We played at Jeju Island’s Stepping Stone festival in 2011 with Goonamguayeoridingstella and they were cool to hang out with. We don’t know Gate Flowers well yet, but we’re looking forward to experiencing some new things together with them in the UK.”
Yeom Seungshik: ”It feels awesome! We are going to tour with some of the greatest bands in Korea right now. We’re very excited to hang out and travel with all of them.”
Do you have any message you’d like to share with your fans in the UK?
Park Junghyun: ”Come get wild and have fun at our UK concerts with us. We’re traveling a long way to perform. Let’s all work together to make these gigs amazing nights!”
Kim Daeinn: ”Come watch the Korea Rocks shows! You’ll be very happy you did!”
Yeom Seungshik: ”We’ve waited a long time to be able to share our music with overseas listeners. We plan to make the most of this opportunity and can’t wait to play for you.”
For more information about Galaxy Express, Apollo 18, Goonam, and Gate Flowers, check out the videos and links below:
We at hellokpop would like to give a special shoutout to Galaxy Express, Apollo 18, Goonam, and Gate Flowers, to thank them for their sharing with us, and we wish them all the best with their UK tour.
Will you be attending the Korea Rocks tour? Which artist are looking forward to see the most?
Let us know in the comments below!
Info & Photos: Direct Correspondence, Korea Rocks
Exclusive: U.S. Artist and Repertoire Executive/Producer ‘Niddy’ talks about signing the first African-American K-Pop artist and opens up about working with JYJ.
When you talk to K-Pop fans in the U.S., their biggest complaint is usually centered around the lack of attention the genre gets in the mainstream music scene and how the aforementioned oversight has become a detrimental obstacle to the path of wide-scale K-Pop tours in the U.S. While K-Pop is slowly starting to gain a foothold in the country’s market, many labels and producers still have not had the chance to fall in love with the genre.
I had never seen an ethnicity that could perform soulfully and physically on the level of any other mainstream pop artist here in America and have the audience that K-Pop has.
As we delved deeper into this unfortunate issue, we came across an individual who has not only worked with K-Pop artists in the past, but who also shares an overwhelming passion with K-Pop fans. With his love for the genre driving him, he has set his sights on correcting misconceptions about K-Pop, and is endeavoring to bring K-Pop to the U.S. mainstream music market in a big way.
Tyrone “Niddy” Buckner, head of Billboard Entertainment Group LLC and freelance Co-Producer/A&R for C-JES Entertainment, started out in the business at a young age, as an aspiring artist/rapper in Atlanta, Georgia. After graduating from high school, Niddy studied music and film at Full Sail University and earned a degree in both film-making and the recording arts.
Niddy began his career as a A&R talent scout for Transcontinental Records/Fashion Rock, working with groups like the N’SYNC and the Backstreet Boys. He has worked with huge names such as Pitbull and Nelly/St. Lunatics on music-based film projects and has now gained the attention of the K-Pop fans worldwide with his work with CJeS Entertainment’s own Xia/Kim Junsu, from JYJ.
Recently, hellokpop sat down with Niddy via satellite, from the Qubeey headquarters in Los Angeles, to discuss how he got into K-Pop, what the genre means to him, what it was like working with Kim Junsu, and his plans and aspirations for the future of K-Pop in not only the U.S., but also around the world.
How were you introduced to K-Pop?
Niddy: “I was working with an artist by the name of Francis Kim. He is a really good friend of mine. When I saw him perform, he was just this amazing K-Pop artist. When I heard his voice, I was like, ‘Man, this kid is just amazing.’ So, he’s the one that kind of introduced me to K-Pop. Then, as I started learning about the genre, I was even more amazed. I was so surprised when I started to look at the American pop charts and realized that not one K-Pop artist was on there.”
What was it about K-Pop specifically that made you fall in love with the genre?
Niddy: “The performances of K-Pop artists themselves. I had never seen an ethnicity that could perform soulfully and physically on the level of any other mainstream pop artist here in America and have the audience that K-Pop has. It was this that specifically peaked my interest. I looked at it and I realized that the Asian community in the U.S. really didn’t have their own niche in popular music here, and I wondered why. Music transcends race, gender, ethnicity and everything. So, I felt like K-Pop truly deserved a place in the mainstream market, because it’s dope.”
How did you end up working with CJeS Entertainment as a freelance co-producer and A&R Exec?
Niddy: “While working with Francis Kim, I was asked by Dr. Dre to bring in some songwriters for a new record. So, I brought in Francis. We spent nine hours in the studio with Dr. Dre. After that, he introduced me to CJES.”
I got to see just how powerful and amazing JYJ truly are. I’ll never forget that moment for as long as I live.
With the collaboration between Bruce “Automatic” Vanderveer and Kim Junsu for his solo English album, Uncommitted, you were heavily involved with its creation. Can you tell us a little about how that project came about?
Niddy: “At the time, as A&R for CJeS, I had about seventy-five track submissions from different producers and songwriters. I was introduced to Automatic through a friend, and he sent me a couple of tracks, one of those being Uncommitted. When I heard it, I was like “Aw man, this is a banger. This is right up their alley.” The funny thing is that track actually was originally submitted for JYJ [as a whole]. It just so happened that CJeS Executive Ray Yeom loved it and wanted to do it for Junsu. It almost happened accidentally.
CJeS hadn’t even announced that they were going to do a solo album for Junsu at the time. So, I thought they were going to use it for the boys. But it ended up being for Junsu’s solo project instead, which was a really good thing for myself, Automatic and the company, because it became a very successful English record. I’m so very proud of that record.”
Can you tell us a little about what it was like working with both Automatic and Kim Junsu in the studio?
Niddy: “The actual experience in the studio was amazing, because it was the first time I got to really hang out with Junsu. It was really exciting, because he has this really cool vibe. He’s got great energy and he smiles a lot. The funny thing about Junsu is his smile. You know when he’s in a good mood, in a good place, and when he’s around good energy, because he always smiles. He was totally a really great and fun person to work with. He worked hard and diligently. He wanted to make sure that record was really good. It was amazing.”
Recently JYJ held their “The Return of JYJ: Tokyo Dome” concerts in Japan. Afterwards, Uncommitted hit number one on Japan’s Amazon K-Pop charts. How did you feel when you found out the news?
Niddy: “I was actually at my son’s track meet when I got the call from Automatic. He was like “Yo Niddy! We’re there son! We made it baby!”, and I was like, “What happened?” He told me that Uncommitted hit number one on Japan’s Amazon K-Pop charts, and I was amazed. I was so excited about it, because it was a great accomplishment, considering what JYJ has been through over the last few years. To see the fight starting to show a winning phase felt really good.”
How did you feel when you found out that Junsu performed the track in front of 210,000 Japanese fans?
Niddy: “The first time I ever saw JYJ perform, I was in Peru. I had the privilege to be sent to Peru by CJeS to see them perform in front of about eighteen thousand fans. When I got there, I got to see just how powerful and amazing JYJ truly is. I’ll never forget that moment for as long as I live. There were thousands of fans with glow sticks in the air. It was dark, and they’re screaming and chanting JYJ’s name. My heart was just pounding, because I knew that one day they would be singing a track that I was a part of, that I did.
When I saw the fan-cams of Junsu performing Uncommitted in front of the fans at the Tokyo Dome, it was overwhelming, because it brought me back to that feeling I felt in Peru. It was amazing to see all the effort that we had put into this track was paying off and that the fans were loving it. I was ecstatic.”
At that moment, Mr. Automatic popped into the studio to say hello to Niddy and to check out what he was up to. You could tell that the two were truly great friends by their interaction with one another. We asked Automatic if there was anything he would like to say to our readers about Niddy, and he gladly responded with the following statement:
Automatic: “I’m happy for my boy Niddy and for being a part of this team. InRage Entertainment loves CJeS and JYJ. This whole experience has been phenomenal, and it all got started with my man Niddy. It’s just an incredible camp, and I’m proud to be a part of it! He’s about to do some big things. So, watch out for it.”
We then steered the interview to the subject of K-Pop fans and discussed how Niddy feels about being a K-Pop fan himself, how he views the other fans of the genre, and how the fans have treated him since the release of Uncommitted.
While K-Pop music itself can boast a wide range of accolades, it’s the genre’s dedicated and loving fans that have become the heart of K-Pop. What is it about this genre’s fans that you like the most?
Niddy: “As professionals, we always try to find a way to get back to the essence of the real fan. When I ran into the K-Pop fans, I saw a rebirth of that essence. I saw the real fan–the fans that cry, that fight for their artists and believe that their artists can do no wrong. They love their artists unconditionally. They love their music and they are willing to fight for their cause and what the music stands for. So, that deserves a place in our music industry.
That’s why I love K-Pop fans. They’ve embraced me. They tell me about their dreams, hopes, stories, aspirations, what they love about K-Pop, what they want to see happen in K-Pop, what they’re willing to do to make it happen. They are active themselves. I haven’t seen a community of fans like that in a very long time. I think that if the ‘big’ people in America could really get an eye on K-Pop fans and really see them, then they would truly see the power of this music and how it really deserves a place here. These fans deserve a place here.”
K-Pop fans always love to share their favorite artists with their friends. As a fan yourself, who are some of the K-Pop artists you enjoy and why?
Niddy: “I’ll have to go with my boys JYJ first, because I’ve worked with them and they are just extremely talented. Aside from them, there’s another group that I really think is dope: Big Bang. I really love Big Bang. They’ve got a track called Bad Boy that I like, and the music video is dope. I also like BoA, Girls Generation, 2NE1, Tablo, Wonder Girls, 2PM, Aziatix, and definitely Jay Park. I want to do something with Jay Park, because he’s amazing. I want to do a couple things with that dude.”
Have you ever wondered if your favorite artist really reads fan letters or appreciates fan gifts? We had been discussing K-Pop fans for a lengthy amount of time, when Niddy was reminded of a very interesting incident that happened while he was on tour with JYJ in Peru. He decided to share it with us. Listening to his story epitomizes the very essence of why JYJ is so loved the world over.
Niddy: “When I was in Peru, I had the opportunity to witness the gift-giving portion of the fans’ love. The fans, once again, because they are so incredible, take time out to create all kinds of fan gifts–from bag and posters to even buying merchandise–for the group. It was the last day of the tour in Peru, and we all went out to take a tour of the city. When we were leaving the hotel, there were fans everywhere, putting gifts for the group in our hands–asking us to give them to JYJ, and even throwing them through the window of the bus. After the boys stopped to pick up some new Samsung tablet phones and pairs of Beats By Dre,we got back on the bus to finish the tour.
When an artist gets that big, you know fans always wonder if they really keep that personal connection with their fans.
I was sitting on the bus and Junsu was sitting right in front of me. I asked him to check out a record I was listening to. So, I handed him my phone. While he was checking out the record, he reached over into the seat next to him and starting going through the fans’ gifts and reading the letters. I thought that was kind of cool. because I knew he was still a real person, that he was still down to earth, and that he truly cared about his fans. I just thought that was so cool. That was one of the greatest experiences of my time with them, before I got to know them better, and I wanted to let the fan fans know. The JYJ members are all like that. The really do love their fans.”
After Niddy finished his heartwarming story about Junsu, he introduced us to one of his closest friends and fellow K-Pop fan, super producer Jukebox.
Jukebox has become a highly successful producer in the music business with his work with renowned artist and actor Will Smith. He’s most well known for producing mega hits like Swizz Beatz Everyday Birthday, featuring Chris Brown, Ludacris and Jukebox, and the pop sensation Whip My Hair, by Willow Smith. We asked Jukebox what he thought about what Niddy was doing for the K-Pop market and he had this to say:
Jukebox: “(laughs) He’s the “Diddy” of K-Pop. I think what Niddy is trying to do is huge for music in general. He has a really innovative mind, and he’s really looking to bring that genuine love back to music. I think that’s one crucial thing that needs to happen, especially in today’s American music.”
As our interview began to wind down, we wanted to get a little more insight into what his company does, what their goals for the future are, and what they plan to accomplish for the K-Pop music market. He also gave us an exclusive on a very exciting, never-before-released announcement about a new artist that Billboard Entertainment Group LLC recently signed.
Could you explain a little about what Billboard Entertainment Group LLC is all about? What is your company’s mission statement?
Niddy: “We’re an across-the-board service company. We provide entertainment and music services such as marketing, A&R, management, and major distribution for artist and labels–especially for those international companies out there who are looking to tap into the U.S. market and global distribution. Our mission is our client’s mission.”
Would Billboard Entertainment Group LLC be interested in signing K-Pop or J-Pop groups in the near future? If so, is there any particular style of artist you are looking for?
Niddy: “Absolutely. We’re definitely going to be looking to sign some K-Pop artists and J-Pop artists. We’re looking for the same style as we would for American pop music. If I found an artist that’s an R&B K-Pop artist, and he or she is really great, then I’m going to want to work with them. If it’s a Soul artist, a Neo-Soul artist, a Pop artist, a Hip-Hop artist, a Rap artist, or even if there’s a Country K-Pop artist, I want to work with them all. I’m open to it all.”
What is Billboard Entertainment Group LLC’s vision for the future of K-Pop, and what do you want to do for the genre?
Niddy: “The vision of my company, within K-Pop, is to become another support system, another leg for K-Pop stand on, from the business side and the creative side as well. What we want to bring to K-Pop is to help companies and artists that are trying to work with producers and songwriters in the U.S. (or wanting to work on features with American artists), help artists from the U.S. who want to work with K-Pop artists, and kind of facilitate that convergence on both sides. I want to be able to offer the same services that we offered to CJeS (and more) to anyone that wants that opportunity. That’s the part that Billboard Entertainment Group LLC wants to play.”
How does it feel to be considered one of the most successful African American companies in K-Pop?
Niddy: “That’s very flattering statement. I’m proud that I’m an African American in K-Pop. It make me very proud to be recognized, both my company and myself, as a leader from the African American side in K-Pop. My company and I still have a lot to prove to K-Pop and the K-Pop fans. I don’t want to jump. I want to take my time. I want the fans to let me take my time. I want the K-Pop industry to allow me to take my time to prove myself, so that when those accolades come, they will really be deserved. That’s whats important to me.”
You recently posted on your social media, that you had a big announcement coming up with regard to signing a new artist. Could you tell us about her?
Niddy: “This is probably the most exciting announcement, and I’ve been holding it in for so long. Actually, we weren’t even supposed to be announcing this right now, but some really great things have come up. So, we’ve taken the position and made the decision to release this news to hellokpop first!
My company, Billboard Entertainment Group LLC, has signed the first female African American K-Pop artist in the world, commonly known as the Queen of K-Pop Covers. She is Pumashock (aka Natalie White). Pumashock is amazing on every level. She has covered some of the hottest songs in K-Pop. She has millions and millions of views online. She’s the only African American female K-Pop cover artist to appear on the Korean television show Star King and others. I think she going to make a huge impact on K-Pop. So, I’m very happy and proud to announce that we have signed Pumashock. I am looking forward to some great things that you guys are going to get to see in the next couple of days. She’s getting ready to release a huge feature with DTMG, which is another great K-Pop cover group. You’re about to see her star power.”
Before we let you go, is there anyone you’d like to thank? Do you have any special message that you want to leave for the fans?
Niddy: “I’d like to thank C-JES Entertainment Inc., music executive Jerrold Thompson and Qubeey.com. Also, a special thanks to hellokpop’s Adrian Cheng, for the opportunity to talk about K-Pop with the fans. Thank you to the fans for taking the time to read this interview, and for tapping into all the links that are in this interview, and I want you guys to continue to support me, because I will continue to support K-Pop.”
We would like to graciously thank Niddy for taking time out of his busy schedule to sit down with us and for giving us some insight on what he is doing in and for the K-Pop world. It was an absolute pleasure, and we are looking forward to a very bright future for K-Pop in the U.S. with him and this genre and its fans.
[UPDATE] Check out our exclusive coverage of Pumashock’s feature with DTMG right here.
*A&R REFERS TO ARTISTS AND REPERTOIRE: A DIVISION OF A RECORD LABEL OR MUSIC PUBLISHING COMPANY THAT IS RESPONSIBLE FOR TALENT SCOUTING AND OVERSEEING THE ARTISTIC DEVELOPMENT OF RECORDING ARTISTS AND/OR SONGWRITERS.
**QUBEEY: QUBEEY IS YOUR SOCIAL AND BUSINESS NETWORKING SOLUTION. IT ALLOWS YOU TO HAVE REAL TIME ACCESS TO MOST OF THE MOST IMPORTANT SOCIAL AND BUSINESS SITES AND ATTRIBUTES ON WEB, ON DESKTOP AND ON MOBILE FROM ONE EASY-TO-USE PLACE. THE QUBEEY PLATFORM IS FLEXIBLE, ROBUST, AND FUN! IT BRINGS ALL YOUR FAVORITE ONLINE PROGRAMS INTO ONE CONVENIENT LOCATION DIRECT FROM YOUR DESKTOP, IPAD OR MOBILE DEVICE. WHETHER YOU ARE CONNECTING WITH FRIENDS AND FAMILY OR BUSINESS ASSOCIATES AROUND THE WORLD.
2NE1‘s very own CL recently took part in an interview with dazeddigital.com. A digital version of the British Dazed & Confused magazine. During the interview, CL mentions 2NE1′s upcoming new album, her family, and her thoughts on fans shipping her with her YG Family label mates G-Dragon and Taeyang of BIGBANG.
You can check out the full article here, but below are some excerpts:
Dazed Digital: What has been your favourite 2NE1 moment of recent times?
CL: “Actually, I can’t pick one, it’s really hard but I love travelling with them and meeting our fans from all around the world. I love when we’re on tour and when we’re on stage. That’s the moment for us. It was our first show in Seoul when we started the second tour, we had the eye contact on stage and were like, ‘okay, it’s starting’ and you feel that butterfly. It was a good moment to start the show and start to our first global tour.”
DD: What’s happening with the new 2NE1 album?
CL: “We’re still wrapping up our album. We did one video but we haven’t had an album out in a year and a half and we’re working very hard to make it special.”
DD: Is there a favourite track off it?
CL: “Well, I can’t talk about the title but there’s a slow song that we did. It’s very emotional and kind of different from Lonely and the other slow songs we did. And I love that song. It’s about me missing somebody and it was easy for us to connect with it because we were missing our fans and our stage.”
DD: Have you ever worried about what other people think of you?
CL: “Yes. I went through that phase when I was kind of thinking about other people. It was in 2011 and everybody was trying to put me down because of my confidence. So I was going through, like, do I think about that or do I do what I love and just be me. I was struggling for a while but you live once and you can only be you, you can’t be somebody else. I don’t want to live my life regretting things. I want to say what I want to say, do what I wanna do. This moment will never come back. You have to capture every moment you get and appreciate it. You have to have respect for other people and appreciate everything in life but you have to trust in yourself.”
DD: In the forums, the practice of shipping (placing two celebrities with each other in an imaginary relationship) has put you with your YG label mates, in particular G-Dragon and Taeyang of BigBang.
CL: “It’s cute that people do that but that’s not true at all, it’s funny. (laughing) I’m happy that people do that ‘cos I never thought that people do that to me!!”
DD: People think there are real but secret relationships going on because you often have Instagram photos with both boys and seem very close.
CL: “I wouldn’t do that (post photos online) if we were a real couple!!”
Sources: (News & Photo) – Dazeddigital.com
After the press conference for Twin Towers @Live 2013, the members of U-KISS were still pumped up with volumes of energy to go through many continuous interviews that would be- and were- taxing. They greeted each media representative with warm smiles and bows, shaking off the butterflies that one would most likely have a serious case of, especially when you’re going to meet and be in a room with seven handsome yet talented performers! The boys were relaxed yet energetic, making the interview, even though short, a fun and memorable one.
hellokpop was fortunate to have this quick interview with U-KISS, with special thanks to JoJo Events and Wayne Phoo from Malaysian radio station, MyFM.
What were the boys’ thoughts about Malaysia, their newest album and potential side-projects? Read on to find out!
hellokpop: Hello U-KISS, welcome back to Malaysia! How do you find Malaysia and Malaysian KISSMes in general?
Kevin: We’re really glad that we are back in Malaysia because we really missed our fans, and it’s been a few months since we have been here. I’ve heard that they (KISSMEs) are waiting for us and that they really wanted to meet us, so this time we’re here to perform, along with a lot of other artists. We’ll be performing our new song, ‘Standing Still’, as we just released our third full-length album in Korea, and we’re ready to put on a big show (for TwinTowers@Live)!
hellokpop: Your latest album Collage has a very interesting mix of musical styles. Can you give an introduction of what the album is about?
Kevin: Well, we are back with our third full-length album Collage, and this time we really wanted to show you guys a lot of different sides of U-KISS, and a lot of different genres. So we had prepared a lot of duet songs, a lot of solo songs, and a lot of fun songs that you guys can enjoy. So I hope that everyone will enjoy listening to our music!
hellokpop: Which songs are your individual favorites?
Kiseop: More Painful than Pain! Soohyun’s voice in the song is very good, and it really brings the song up to another level. He is also able to properly evoke emotions through it.
Hoon: I like Standing Still! It took a lot of preparation for this song to become our title song, and we had really put a lot of thought into it. It was a hard decision for us to choose (the title track) as there were many different songs that we wanted to become title songs from the album. But this time we chose this song as it represented our more mature side.
Kevin: I like My Reason- it’s my solo song in this album! I like the lyrics and the whole vibe of the song because it’s really lovely, and it talks about my first love, and how I feel about that girl.
AJ: Personally, I prefer Party All The Time- and not because that I made the song! (laughs) But I actually like the song because it makes you excited- like when you’re depressed, when you hear this song, it makes you happy. It’s a song that everyone can enjoy.
Soohyun : I like Sweety Girl as a lot of Fans like the song, and it’s really upbeat and happy. I like the guitar riffs featured in it, as well as Kevin’s vocals in the song!
Dongho: I like the track Because I Love you – it has a nice melody and it’s really easy to listen to. It’s light and relaxing.
Eli: I also like Party All The Time. Like AJ said, when you listen to it, it gets you all excited. But for me, the track makes you feel good!
hellokpop: Does U-KISS have any other activities? With more singing idols joining the acting scene, do you have plans to act in dramas or movies any sooner?
Eli: For me, I was on a show that introduces Korean Pop fans to Korea with NS Yoonji. (The show was called K-POP Tasty Road and it gave a sense to K-pop fans about where their favorite celebrities hung out.) It was a lot of fun so I hope in the future that I am able to do more MC work.
Dongho: I myself would like to try my hand at being a radio deejay!
Soohyun: I would like to make videos, like becoming a producer.
AJ: I would like to try many new things, but I mostly want to try a duet, like a unit group among our members.
Kevin: With who?
AJ: That’s a secret! (Laughs)
Kevin: I always wanted to try a musical, and this time around I got to participate in a musical with Soohyun, so I am really excited about that! Our musical is called ‘Summer Snow’ and we are going to be performing it in Japan.
Hoon: I hope to try acting in romantic and action movies! No horror movies! I want to save a pretty girl and be the main hero!
Hellokpop: U-KISS has been actively participating and appearing in a lot of variety shows from the very beginning, such as Dream Team. Do you have any future plans for such appearances?
Eli: I’ve recently injured my shoulder, so maybe after it’s healed?! We’ll see how it goes! (laughs)
After the interview, U-KISS sent their shout out to hellokpop readers and KISSMEs, and look forward to everyone’s support for their third full-length album, ‘Collage’!
We hope to see U-KISS back in Malaysia again very soon!
Covered by: Seckvoon@hellokpop and Clarissa@hellokpop
As CNBLUE mainly focuses its activity to an overground crowd, they have gained more than sufficient fans to be called the band’s idols. But some may think them as not so lucky to have the opportunity to showcase their talents. However, with each album release, CNBLUE boys prove more of their actual skills and matured especially with the newest album of songs that the members worked on personally.
Q. Please briefly introduce the newest album Re:BLUE.
A. Re:BLUE is our 4th mini album comeback within 10 months in Korea, the album is filled with 6 songs which are all of CNBLUE’s creation. With the title song I’m Sorry following with Coffee Shop, A Guy Like Me, Lalala and Where You Are were, all written by member Jung Yong Hwa and More Than You was written by Lee Jong Hyun. The title song I’m Sorry is especially trendy and is a powerful modern rock genre song which we could really fully express our color with. Outside of the modern rock genre, we have created a pop and disco rock, plus other various genres in the album. We hope you like them.
Q. What kind of song is the title song I’m Sorry?
A. Jung Yong Hwa’s song I’m Sorry has a lot of pop elements with an addictive melody. The song expresses a guy’s heart after being hurt from the lover’s last word “I’m Sorry”. Using the electronic synthesizer and guitar sounds, the song became a powerful and trendy modern rock song.
Q. The fact that the title song was Jung Yong Hwa’s first written song left a different impression! How does it feel?
A. Each album contains songs that I worked on, but this is the first time that my song is the title song, so I was a little burdened at first. I tried really hard to put in a lot of pop elements in the song. I was worried and unsure if the fans would like it because it was different from what I’ve tried before. I hope you enjoy it!
Q. Other than the title song, which song from the album do you feel really attached to and what is the reason for that?
A. All the songs are really great, but the members decided that Coffee Shop was the best, it is a song that we want to let many people hear live.
Q. The music video for the title I’m Sorry was filmed in London, please tell us any funny episodes during the filming.
A. Rain! It rained so much and it was so cold. We do hear that it rains often in England and that it is chilly in general but during the filming, it rained for the whole duration. The staff in England even said that they believed that it had probably rained all the rain that could fall for the whole year. Due to the rain, we had to postpone and delay part of the filming.
Q. CNBLUE is famous for being acting-idols (acting-dols), are there any plans to meet your fans through any drama pieces this year?
A. Currently, Jung Shin is acting in My Daughter, Seo Young and since we have made our comeback, for the meantime, we want to focus on the comeback activities. Since it’s been a while since we stood on stage, we would also like to greet our fans for as long as possible.
Q. Which member of CNBLUE cares for his looks the most?
A. Actually, none of the members really cares for his looks too much. We look at the mirror often only right before a television program or broadcast but if we had to pick one, it would either be Min Hyuk or Jung Shin! (laughs)
Q. Last December you held a successful concert, is there any new plan of meeting your fans through concert this year? If you do, when are you planning to have it?
A. To keep it short, “We will meet you soon!” Please look forward to it!
Translated interview and photos -Bugs Music