Exclusive English Interview with
e e IN
d l r o W
Check out information about the dance scene in Korea and multi-lingual studios
R-16 World Breakdancing SHINee World II Finals
JYP Nation R-16 World Finals
Letter From the editor Dear K-Soul Readers,
Contributing Writers Rebecca Bredin Alice Auriol
Alyssa Beyer Eda Tseinyev HyeonJeong Lee
Design Editor Kevin Yee
Happy autumn! I hope that, for those of you in the northern hemisphere, you’re enjoying the cooling weather after what was quite a hot summer, and those in the southern hemisphere are looking forward to a glorious summer ahead. Normally, K-Soul magazine plans on releasing on the first day of the season, which means we were due in September. However, since this is just a new magazine, we had timing problems on our end. We hope that we’re making up for this issue though with our exclusive interview with U-Kiss! When we went about trying to pick who to approach for interviews, U-Kiss seemed the natural choice for our first featured artist. Well known among international K-Pop fans, travelling around the world to perform as much as they can, U-Kiss have really been making a solid name for Korean pop music internationally, so of course we wanted them on the cover of our magazine! We’ve made some great successes in the past few months! With your continued support, we’re hoping to be able to provide more articles and interviews for our winter issue. As we continue to grow as a magazine, we’re hoping our readership will also continue to grow. If you enjoy what we’re doing here at K-Soul magazine, we encourage you to check out our donate page. The magazine is currently being funded out of staff pocket, and this current issue will cost us about 350,000 won. If everyone who downloaded the magazine last time donated only $2, the magazine would be able to grow at the amazing rate it is now! Please consider it. Thanks for downloading and reading! ~Rebecca Bredin
Dancing In Seoul Dance Studios In Seoul
K-Soul’s first interview is with the ever international group, U-KISS! We speak to Soohyun, Kiseop, Eli, Hoon, Kevin and Dongho in this 8 page special about the past, present and future. Page 11
K-Pop and Concert Reviews How to get into a Music Show Taping: Before You Go Quick tips about one of the biggest holidays on the Korean caleandar! Page 18
SHINee World II SHINee brought down in one of the biggest concerts of the summer. Page 20
JYP Nation The JYP Entertainment family got together for a great concert this summer! Page 24
Three dance studios that offer English language services in Seoul are profiled, and we speak to Thomax Chee, a choreographer in Seoul. Page 5
R-16 Breakdancing Finals The world’s break dancing communitiy comes together in July for a weekend of intense competition. Page 7
Seoul Essentials Seoul’s Soul: Cheonggyecheon This issue, we look at the Cheonggye stream that runs through the core of Seoul, and the lantern festival that happens every November! Page 4
Chuseok: Quick tips Quick tips about one of the biggest holidays on the Korean caleandar! Page 2 1
Holiday Facts In the fall, there is one holiday that dominates all others: Chuseok. Chuseok is the Korean thanksgiving, and usually gets three days of holidays around the end of September. These three days off are public holidays, so if you are employed in South Korea, you should be getting three days off for this holiday. Unfortunately, Chuseok falls on September 30th this year, a Sunday, which means that depending on your employer, the dates are not set in stone, except for Monday October 1st. In some cases for public holidays, if you they land on a weekend in Korea, that’s tough, and you won’t get the day off. Chuseok, however, is one of the most important holidays in Korea, so even the strictest hagwon will require a few days off, because there will be few students. Seoul’s population has only boomed over the past couple of decades, so many of them trace their roots back to more rural areas in Korea. Traditionally, families return to their hometowns, visiting parents and grandparents, honouring their ancestors and preparing for the autumn. Since the art of making kimchi is passed down through families, many families take advantage of this visit home to make kimchi with their grandparents.
Things to do Chuseok is a fantastic opportunity for people in Korea to get their tourist on. Seoul experiences a bit of an exodus out of the city, so things are a little quieter than normal. It is a fantastic time to get to experience South Korean temples, castles, and other traditional areas. Buildings such as Gyeongbokgung Changgyeonggung, Changdeokgung and Deoksugung (the major palaces in Seoul) will be open and hosting traditional games and performances. As well, the Korean Folk Village, which hosts permanent events throughout the year, will be offering more seasonal activities for Chuseok. If you’re on a tight budget, there are many gorgeous, free places to visit. With the weather finally cooling down, it’s a fantastic time to consider challenging one of South Korea’s many mountains. Or, for the history fan, Suwon’s Hwaseong Fortress provides a beautiful walk, over 5km in length. While in Suwon, be sure to try their beef galbi, a city specialty.
Services Available Some foreigners in Seoul are lucky enough to be invited to celebrate chuseok with Korean friends or co-workers. However, for many in the major cities, Chuseok becomes a fantastic five-day weekend. Generally, services are uninterrupted through chuseok. On the main day of the holiday, most shops will be closed, including many supermarkets and grocery stores. Subways and busses will be running on their Sunday/Holiday schedules throughout the three days, and many national monuments will be open to the public. Services like banking can be hit or miss, so do not depend on your bank being open. Just to be safe, take out enough money to last you the three days. If you do run out of cash, it will still be fine to use your card at cashiers.
Seoul’s Soul Cheonggyecheon As the hot, humid heat of summer fades away into the crisp, cool days of fall, the idea of venturing outside and away from the air conditioner may begin to sound more tempting. If you’re in Seoul, Cheonggyecheon is a must-see in the autumn. Cheonggyecheon, which literally means “clear water stream”, has a long history in Seoul. It dates back to the Joseon Dynasty, where it was then named the Gaecheon and used as a drainage system. Over time, as the population of Seoul exploded and people began to live along the stream in makeshift houses, the quality of the stream deteriorated rapidly and was an eyesore. Seoul decided to cover the stream with concrete and created an elevated highway over the stream. At the time, it was considered an example of successful modernization of South Korea. However, in 2003, Lee Myungbak, who was then the mayor of Seoul, created a project to restore the stream. Despite the fact the project was met with much opposition, the project was considered important, as it brought back nature and eco-friendly urban design, which had been ignored for the decades before as South Korea rushed towards modernization. The project would also help to restore the history and culture of ancient Seoul to the centre of the modern city, and would hopefully bring new business and economy to the districts along it.
In 2005, the stream was finally opened to the public. The highway that had originally been built over the stream was removed, reducing traffic in the area and dramatically changing the atmosphere of the entire area. Today, the stream is a popular place to meet and walk along throughout the year, however, it takes on even more character and charm in late fall, as the Seoul Lantern Festival takes over a kilometre of the 8.4km stream. Separate from the Lotus Lantern Festival that takes place in the spring, this festival was started in 2009 as part of the VisitKorea 2010-2012 initiative. In 2012, over 30,000 lanterns are expected to be on display from artists both from South Korea and around the world. The theme for 2012 is “The Living History Of Seoul” (official translation not available), so there will be lanterns showing both modern and historic Seoul living together. The festival will take place from November 2nd to the 18th, with the lanterns being lit from 5 p.m. to 11 p.m. A walk along Cheonggyecheon is a perfect way to spend a crisp fall evening, or even a nice way to spend a warm, late summer evening with some friends or a loved one. Make sure you set aside an evening during your time in Seoul to visit this beautiful reintegration of nature in the concrete jungle of Seoul.
Dance Studios In Korea Studio Name: Hong Young Joo Dance Studios
Address: 657-12 Sinsa-dong, Gangnam-gu, Seoul Website: www.hongyoungjoo.com, https://www.facebook.com/hdcdancecenter Styles of dance: Jazz, urban, hip hop, k-pop, ballet, locking, popping, house, whacking, girl’s hip hop, k-pop idol, k-pop girls, Hard training class Languages available: Classes are available in Korean and English, with most foreigners not having a problem in classes Description of studio: Hong Young Yoo Dance Centre is Interview not far from Apugujeong station, with reasonable prices. with The studio often runs promotions and coupons for Thomaz Chee classes, so it’s worth researching. “Seoul is still underground.” Hong Young Joo is not only the dance studio, but is also Thomaz Cree explains right a dancer and one of the main instructors at the school. away. “You don’t see many She has been a dancer and choreographer since 1991, dancers in advertisements, in and works in television, teaching dance billboards. You don’t see them dancing for any companies. But, the underground scene is really strong.” Thomaz would know this well. A Malaysian dancer of 12 years, resident of Seoul for 2 years, and choreographer, dance is his life and his passion, working for three studios around Seoul. “Seoul’s style b-boy. They’re the strongest in the world. But other styles are growing.” Most of the studios now in Korea can offer lessons in different kinds of urban dance, such as b-boying, popping, locking, and hip pop. Seoul is really well equipped for new students, even if the person has never danced in their life. “There’s a lot of studios that teach beginners classes, to help you grow,” Cree explains. The beginner classes cover all sorts of genres, depending on the studio. For those who have developed a passion for dance through seeing their favourite idols and groups, there are even classes that cater to your interests. K-Pop dance classes, or Bangsong Dance, can teach beginners the routines to their favourite songs. Many foreigners in Korea may feel too shy or nervous to join a dance class, worried about the language barrier. But people shouldn’t let themselves be nervous. Even if the teachers don’t speak much, or any English, with the right teacher and a good use of body language, you should be fine in a basic dance class. However, if you’re too nervous to jump into a Korean dance class, there are some studios in Seoul that do teach in foreign languages. “When I teach, it’s all in English,” Cree notes. “Even when everyone behind me is speaking Korean.” Even if you’re in Korea for just a short while, students would be able to take a lesson. “All studios in Korea run on open classes,” Thomaz explains. This means that at the beginning of the lesson, everyone is starting on the same page, not knowing the dance they will be learning that week. This is ideal for students and tourists who might only be in Korea for a few days or a few weeks. Passes can be bought as individual tickets, or save some money and buy the passes in monthly packages. For those who are into Korean pop culture, the beat and flow of the music is unavoidable, and the dances are unforgettable. If you do have the opportunity, do try out a dance class in South Korea. 5
Studio Name: WithBill Dance Studios Address: 8th floor, 251-1 Seoyeon-dong, Bundang Website: http://blog.naver.com/janwithbill / (Korean) Styles of dance: Jazz, urban, hip hop, k-pop, ballet, locking, popping, house, Waacking, Girl’s Hip-hop, bboy. Languages available: Mostly Korean, with English available in urban and hip hop.
Other studios and resources: http://www.facebook.com/MECDACK - Middle Eastern Culture, Dance and Art Club in Korea http://mecdack.azhaardance.com/ Belynda Azhaar - Belly Dancing http://www.facebook.com/ststation - Seoul Tanz Station http://cafe.daum.net/daum645 - Salsoul Latin Dance School http://www.facebook.com/negativemotion - Creative Company Negative Motion http://www.meetup.com/danceinseoul/ Dance in Seoul Meetup.com group
Studio Name: JK Dance Studios
Address: Hapjeong – Namjung Building, 394-12, Mapo-gu, Seoul Cheonho – B1, 83-9 Seongdae-dong, Gangdong-gu, Seoul Website: http://www.jkpole.com, Styles of dance: Jazz, pole dance, zumba, club, urban, b-boy, k-pop, jazz, burlesque, aerial silks Languages available: Korean and English Description of studio: There are two studios now in Seoul, one in Hongdae, and a new one in Cheonho that specializes in aerial arts.
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S ecial! Sp l! a i c e Sp
Anyone who mentions this article can receive a coupon for a K-Pop or Jazz class. Also, there will be a 10,000 won discount on the first silks class (one time offer) if you mention K-Soul Magazine!
World Breakdancing Finals Every year at the beginning of July, the worldâ€™s best in breakdancing and the culture surrounding descends on Seoul for a festival of music, art, and most of all, dancing in Olympic Park. The R-16 World Breakdancing finals is a culmination of a year of intense competitions around the globe. Sponsored by the Korean Tourism Organization, the competition finals have turned into a full weekend festival, with the combined effort to bring this thriving culture into the spotlight. While the main competition took place inside the Olympic Hall, the area around the hall outside was surrounded by displays from shops relating to all things B-Boy, such as clothing and goods. As well, Red Bull had a strong presence throughout the competition weekend, keeping the crowd energized by any means. Across the street from the hall, a graffiti art exhibit and competition was taking place under the shade of the thick trees lining the path. The heat made many people take refuge down this path, bringing lots of exposure to these artists. Inside the Olympic Hall, events were split into two days. On the Saturday, the solo artists performed and compete. There are three different categories that dancers can compete in: solo b-boy, popping, and locking. The competitors are judged on five different areas:
Fundamentals: Marked on flavour, footwork, top rock, and musicality Creativity: Marked on their original styles, moves, and unique concepts and ideas continued on page 8
continued from page 7
Difficulty: Marked on their power, freezes, tricks, complexity and physical risk Execution: Marked on the synchronicity, perfection of their moves, the cleanliness of form,
and smooth transitions Show: Marked on their stage presence, choreography, theme and music In the solo competitions, the dancers go head to head in a dance battle, being scored on the five categories. The winner advances to the next round, until there is only one left. In the end,
Benson from Taipei, Taiwan won in the locking, Boogaloo Kim from Korea won for popping, and Issei from Japan won for the b-boy solo battles. The R-16 draws judges and DJâ€™s from all over the world. The judges included dancers from the USA, including Ken Swift, Abstract, ORB and Suga Pop. Cico from Italy and Iron Mike and Toni Basil from France visit from Europe, while Born and Popping J from Korea, and Takeshi from Japan round out Asian judges. DJs from the US, Japan, Korea and Poland provide the music for the weekend, including DJ Lean Rock, DJ Light, DJ Ricky, DJ Wreckx, and the Warsaw Band. Entertainment is also provided through the showcase that takes place during the intermission of each competition. On the Saturday, the audience was treated to a dance performance by all of the judges. AS well, Blue Whale Bros, KRNFX, The Quiett, and Dok2 performed. Jay Park, the popular Korean idol and honorary ambassador for the R-16 competition, also performed. On the Sunday, Cube Sound and Ulala Session brought the crowds to their feet during the intermission. On the Sunday, the crews took to the stage to compete. There were representatives from all across the globe. The final eight teams were Massive Monkees (USA), Team Shmetta (Belgium), JinJo Crew (Korea), Flow Mo (Finland), Simple System (Kazakhstan), Mental Fusion (China) KGB (Taiwan) and Found Nation (Japan).
The judging system for the crew battles is different to the solo performances. R-16 uses the O.U.R. system, which stands for Objective, Unified, Real-time judging. What happens with this system is that there is one judge per category, and each judge determines the quality level from each throw down, round for round. The throw downs are given a score between 1 and 5. The team that wins the majority of the categories moves on to the next round.
The five categories for judging were: Foundation: This judge marked the teamâ€™s confidence and musicality. Born, from Korea,
Originality: This judge considered the creativity and artistry used. Orb, from the USA, judged
Dynamics: This judge considered the difficulty of each move. Cico, from Italy, judged this. Execution: This judge marked on both the confidence going into a move and the cleanliness of each move. Abstract, from the USA, judged this. Battle: This judge looked at the counter response to their opponents by using a similar style or technique. Ken Swift, from the USA, judged this.
There are two parts to the crew competition. The crews first had a showcase performance, where they could perform a rehearsed routine. The five judges would mark each section, and then give the groups their marks. After the showcase, there ended up being a tie between JinJo Crew, the defending world champions, and the very talented Team Shmetta from Belgium. The judges had to then vote on the crews over all, and JinJo crew won 3-2 in votes. There were three rounds to get to the finals. In the quarterfinals, each battle lasted ten minutes. Simple System defeated Shmetta in the first round, while Flow Mo defeated KGB. The Massive Monkees defeated Found Nation, while the home team favourite, JinJo crew, defeated Mental Fusion to advance to the semi finals. Country
Kazakhstan Simple System Mental Fusion China Flo Mo Finland JinJo Crew Korea KGB Taiwan Shmetta Belgium
Foundation Originality Dynamics Execution Showcase Total 5 6 8 7 5 5
3 4 6 9 8 9
6 4 5 7 9 9
6 5 7 9 8 8
7 7 6 9 10 10
27 26 32 41 40 41
Place Order 7 8 6 1 3 2
In the semi-finals, the battle lasted for 12 minutes. Simple System faced off against Flow Mo. Flow Mo had developed a quick following from the female audience, impressed at the only female break dancer in the entire competition being the closing dancer for both battles. Despite impressing the audience, Simple System won the semi-final round and moved onto the finals.
The second match in the semi-finals was the USA versus Korea. The audience was electric, since the vast majority of the crowd were hard-core JinJo fans. Despite the fact that the audience was cheering them on, Jinjo could not keep up with the incredibly strong Massive Monkees, and were defeated, ending Jinjo Crewâ€™s two year winning streak. This left the Massive Monkees from the USA competing against Simple System from Kazakhstan. Despite the fact that the crowd favourite had been defeated, the energy was still buzzing throughout the audience as the 15-minute battle went underway. While Simple System put up a fantastic performance, it seemed that the Massive Monkees were unstoppable that Sunday, and easily won the finals, becoming the R-16 world champions for the first time. It was the first time that a US team won the finals in the R-16 finals since the competitionâ€™s beginning in 2008, so it was a very emotional moment for all of the members of the crew. The R-16 festival is a fantastic weekend to kick off the summer in Seoul. Filled with people from all over the world, itâ€™s a great way to spend a weekend, watching some of the best break dancing on earth. If you happen to be in Seoul in 2013, make a point of checking out the competition next year!
Over the past year, U-Kiss have watched their global success soar to new heights as they’ve taken on the new international challenges in the k-pop industry. In a year where Korean music has made major steps to become more mainstream around the globe, U-Kiss have been at the forefront of this movement, bringing the infectious sounds of Korean music to new countries. Their debut in Japan has been one of the most successful in 2012 in Japan. Japanese fans have flocked to the international group, impressed by the members determination to communicate in Japanese with their fans. Within a year, U-Kiss have been able to hold two sold out national concert tours, MCing the concerts with remarkable comfort in Japanese. As well, U-Kiss has brought K-pop into the often untouched continent of South America. They were the first k-pop group to perform in Colombia, invited to perform at “Evento 40”, a large weekend festival hosting other major international artists such as Shakira,. Later this year, U-Kiss will be revisiting South America for their first South American tour, visiting Peru and Chile in November. On top of that, their fifth Japanese single, “Distance…” will be released in December. On top of their professional successes, the members of U-Kiss have been celebrating their own personal successes as well. The group is currently promoting with six members due to the fact that AJ, one of the rappers in the group, is starting his first year of psychology in the prestigious Columbia University in New York. With the group clearly on the rise in the global k-pop scene, we thought it would be a good time to reflect on the past, present, and the future goals of the members.
As the leader of U-Kiss, one would think that Shin Soohyun would have the weight of the world on his shoulders. Instead, Soohyun has reveled in the position, his love for his group and compassion towards his fans clear with every note sung and every word spoken.
K-Soul Magazine: You’ve recently just marked your
Soohyun Soohyun Soohyun
four-year anniversary, and have just released your 7th mini album. If you could go back and re-record any song from U-Kiss’ discography, which would you pick and why?
Soohyun: The more I practice and the more I’m on stage, the more I want to re-record every
song. It would be great if people could hear and enjoy all of our songs since we’ve improved so much. What I really want to do is re-record the 5th mini album (0330). As it's the first song we recorded after the member change, I'd like to try recording it once again with a more relaxed mindset.
When it comes to U-Kiss’ successes overseas, Soohyun notes their performance in Paris, France as one of their most memorable, when they took part in Music Bank – Paris. “I was really surprised when we went to Paris. Everybody was singing along to our songs in Korean!!” he laughed. Even with their own attempts at being true to their name of being ubiquitous and international, hearing the international fans singing along in Korean is clearly something that the members of U-Kiss love. For many fans, getting to communicate with the members of U-Kiss seems an impossible feat, so many use letters and gifts as a way of letting their admiration be shown.Soohyun finds that he is easy to please. “I really like fan letters, or anything that fans want to give!” Fan letters let the fans speak to the members of U-Kiss with more detail and thought than Twitter or any brief moment at a fan event can allow, so it’s no wonder why Soohyun enjoys them. With all the members having their own side projects along with their promotions, Soohyun stated, “Besides promoting with U-KISS, I would also like to try doing solo promotions. My digital single "Snow Man" was released in the winter as my first solo single, but there were no promotions for it. If there's an opportunity to do so, I'd like to try promoting as a solo artist.” For a bit of fun, we asked the members what would be their reaction of the world ended with a zombie apocalypse. “Zombies can still sing right?” Soohyun asked, laughing. “Then I’ll be the first singing zombie!”The sign of a true singer – Not even the living dead could stop him. 12
Kiseop Kiseop Kiseop
Of all the members of U-Kiss, Lee Kiseop could easily be considered the member who is most vocal with his love for their fans. On the official fan club website, messages from Kiseop can be found taking over their message boards, and he’s always quick to talk about how much he loves his fans. After travelling around the world to perform over the past year, Kiseop noted the differences between the Kiss Me’s around the world. “One point is that the Filipino fans are really active and passionate at performances, whereas Japanese fans are really quiet. Something that's the same with all our fans though is that everybody sings along with our songs in Korean! I'm thankful every time for this. Whenever I'm on stage, I feel so touched.” As someone who is so clear about his love for their fans, Kiseop’s choice for favourite gifts from their fans is clear. “Sincere fan letters.” He answers without second thought. “Whenever I have time, I read them one at a time and when I do, the strength I was lacking seems to well up in me.” Even when asked about taking on personal projects outside of U-Kiss, Kiseop’s focus on the group never falters. “Many people around me have recommended that I try acting. If I have a chance, I'd like to do so, but for now I want to focus on promoting with U-KISS first.” When asked about what his reaction would be if the world did end with a zombie apocalypse,Kiseop’s reaction is the same to any other question. “If humans become zombies, then it really is the end isn’t it?” Kiseop asks, clearly notliking the thought. “Then I can’t meet Kiss Mes anymore!” Now that’s devotion to your fans.
One of two American born members, Eli Kim helps bring the international flavour needed in a group who’s name means Ubiquitous Korean International Idol Super Stars. Able to speak English and Chinese as well as Korean, Eli is able to communicate with his fans from around the world comfortably. On top of that, he continues to study Japanese with the rest of his group.
Eli Eli Eli
His entertainment career began with aspiring to be an actor in China, but he eventually became a member of U-Kiss a few years later. Continuing to work sometimes in television through Arirang TV, as well as acting in a drama in Thailand, Eli’s love for acting has never faded, though his devotion to U-Kiss is most important. “U-KISS has been able to grow and over come a lot of obstacles, and I want to continue to see us grow,” Eli explains, looking back on the group’s past. “So please watch us as we continue to walk along this road.” With U-Kiss’ success globally, Eli sees the group’s potential to grow even further. Though it seems Eli can see U-Kiss’ potential in the future, when asked where they might be in ten years, “Expanding?! Growing?! I’d have to say that the best answer is that we’re growing, step-by-step, and I want to see that growth continuing,” Eli explained. “So you shouldn't take your eyes off us~” As for the distant future ending in a potential zombie apocalypse? “I’d like it if a zombie apocalypse didn’t come at all!!”
With a voice sweet as honey and the definition of “chocolate abs”, it’s quite easy to see how the U-Kiss fan base has developed a taste for Yeo Hoonmin. Having joined the group in early 2011, Hoon has been an active part of the Japanese promotions since the very start of their official Japanese debut. His bright and charming personality shone through as Hoon’s Japanese improved, winning over fans both at home and abroad.
Hoon Hoon Hoon
As the members of U-Kiss continue to receive love, letters and gifts from around the world, Hoon appreciates the time and thought spent more than anything else. “We're thankful and appreciative of everything which we receive because somebody is thinking of us.” If made to pick one thing though, Hoon answered, “If I were to choose one gift that I simply like the best, rather than expensive presents, it's things like snacks that we can share with the staff members who are working hard and sweating right alongside us!”The reason is their busy schedules, Hoon explained.“Because of what we're doing, we often can't eat a full meal, so snacks and drinks that we can just grab on the go make everybody happy.” When thinking about the future, Hoon has his eyes on acting. “I want to try more with acting. Earlier this year I was in “Holyland” and had the chance to be a part of an action drama, which was a lot of fun,” Hoon said, referring to the mini-series he was in with U-Kiss group mate Dongho. “I want to be able to do more of the same thing.” One thing is certain with Hoon, however – he is completely devoted to the group. “Even if we become zombies, U-KISS will be U-KISS!” If ever the world did become plagued with zombies, U-Kiss fans can rest assure, knowing there will still be U-Kiss to support.
Kevin Kevin Kevin
Kevin Woo has always known that he was going to be a performer. “Since both of my parents worked in the industry, I was always naturally around music since I was a kid.” Kevin explains when asked about his childhood. “Because of that, I'd never thought about doing something which wasn't music.” Knowing that his future was in music, Kevin made the jump from living in the United States to Korea when he was finished middle school, and has been singing ever since. “Whenever I can, as a singer, I want to receive love from the fans. From the beginning till now, I also want to thank and show love to my fans for all the love and support they’ve given me.” Being one of two native English speakers in U-Kiss, Kevin is often able to communicate with fans from other countries. When they perform internationally, Kevin is often seen as the one that seems most comfortable in attempting new languages, be it French, Spanish or Japanese. Because of this, Kevin is able to get to know the differences, and similarities, between their fans. “Japanese fans are really quiet. The Koreans cheer really loud, but Japanese fans just want to listen to the songs, right? However, the passion and love we get from the fans is the same no matter where we go.” As the group continues to grow and evolve, each of the members get opportunities to tackle projects outside of their U-Kiss promotions. Taking on musical theatre at the beginning of 2011, and also taking part in musical collaborations in Japan and Korea, Kevin thinks he would like to try his hand at solo promotions one day. “I like promoting with U-KISS but there is a limit to the kind of music we can do as a group, so I'd like to give solo activities a try too.” When asked to describe how he'd like to see U-Kiss in ten years, Kevin is hoping they can be considered mature. "I hope we'll all have worked as best we can, and end up becoming successful adults in the process." However, if U-Kiss weren’t able to make it to ten years due to a zombie apocalypse, don’t expect him to be enjoying it. “That sounds scary.”
Dongho Dongho Dongho
Being the youngest of the group, Shin Dongho is also the member who has spent the most of his life out of all of the members as an idol. Debuting with U-Kiss when he was only 14, most of his teen years have been spent in the spotlight in one way or another. When asked about how he might describe U-Kiss in another ten years from now, it’s natural that Dongho would think about it with his own age. “If it's 10 years from now... I'd be 29 years old... still "young"??”
Despite Dongho’s young age, he is one of the more recognized members of the group by the general public because of his frequent guest spots on various television programs. Taking part in these shows, Dongho has often been seen as the unofficial promoter for the group through television programs, bringing attention to the group outside of their promotions. Over the past few years, Dongho has begun moving from being on variety programs to also working as an actor. In 2011, Dongho could be seen as the lead role in shows like the teen sitcom “Real School” and the action miniseries “Holyland”, both co-starring with other U-Kiss members as well. Dongho was also a regular character in the full length drama “Royal Family.” Currently, Dongho is promoting “Don’t Cry, Mommy”, a movie that will have a national theatrical release in November. When asked about projects in the future, Dongho would like to continue down this path on screen. “I'm continuing to do acting as a solo activity, but I think it would be good for me to learn more about it and try taking slightly more mature roles.” As for our zombie question that is not nearly as mature as Dongho? “You're going to lose even if you battle them, right?” Dongho asks before rationally answering, “I’d like it best if that day never comes.”
How To Get Into A Music -Show Taping before you go tips
When fans of Korean music come to visit Korea, one of the first things that they want to try and do is get into a taping of one of the four major music shows in South Korea. Those are M Countdown on MNet, Music Bank on KBS, Music Core on MBS, and Inkigayo on SBS. The procedures to get into these shows can change depending on countless factors, such as weather, location, other television events, and the groups taking part in the filming. However, there are a few things that any savvy fan should know before heading out to the studio.
1. Know your location.
This means more than simply knowing the station and where to go to get to the studio. Knowing what you will be surrounded by while you wait makes a huge difference. M Countdown: There is a small cafe and a Coldstone Creamery inside the building. Across the street is a convenience store. However, this location has very little in terms of getting proper food without straying down the road a little. Music Bank: Located in Yeouido, Music Bank is in the centre of one of the main business districts in Seoul. Across the road from Yeouido park and the National Assembly buildings, there is no shortage of restaurants and cafes to go to while waiting. Music Core: Located in Ilsan, Music Core is very well located in terms of keeping well fed and sheltered. There are countless restaurants and cafes around the studio, and even a Daiso so people can pick up anything they might need while waiting. Inkigayo: Inkigayo's strongest asset is the Homeplus across the street. Housing a Dunkin Donuts and Baskin Robbins on the first floor, a few restaurants on the first level of the basement, and an entire grocery store as well as a food court in the second level of the basement, the Homeplus is an easy place to get food, drinks, and last minute gifts. However, recent laws have forced Homeplus to close every second and fourth Sunday in the month. On the weekends when Homeplus is closed, Inkigayo is a very difficult show to go to, since the closest reliable bathroom is a couple hundred metres down the road, in the far end of the sybway station. 18
2.Make your claim
There are many ways fan clubs ask fans to prove they were there. It used to be a list system. However, these are proving to be difficult to be fair with larger fan clubs, so depending on photos with a time stamp is key. Be sure to check with your group's fan cafe before heading out for the specific rules. However, if your group has no requirements other than to just be there, the first thing you should do is take a photo of yourself with a timestamp attached. The iPhone camera does not have a timestamp, so you will either need an application that can read the Exif information, or an alternative camera application that can time stamp. This way, you have proof that you were in line at 6am, even if you can't speak Korean and accidently end up at the back of the line.
3. Always be prepared
None of the studios offer much in terms of shelter while waiting to line up. You will be outside for hours, so knowing what is in store is very important. Check the weather, and know what you're up against. While going in the rain might be off-putting, the lines can be shorter so there's a better chance of getting in, depending on the group. The sun can be incredibly dangerous during these long hours, so keeping in shade and keeping hydrated is important. Through the winter, the cold can be intense while standing around, so keeping hot packs and dressing warmly can help ward off any problems. Â
beginning again. Finally, the video started and continued without problem.
When I first moved here, and was just starting to get to know about concerts in South Korea, I had missed SHINee World by two days. It had been sold out for ages anyways, but I was always a bit depressed over the fact I missed their show, since I was quite a big SHINee fan at the time.
Thousands of people were desperate to get out of the heat, so a queue started early for those wanting to get into the hall as soon as the doors opened. Normally, there is a long wait before the doors open to the main seats, but the staff took pity on us and began letting people in early.
Fast forward to 2012. Once again, I found out about SHINee World II by chance, but this time, it was a week before the show, instead of a week after. Despite the fact it was still sold out, for the most part, a ticket showed up on G-Market a week before the show.
The wait, once inside, was short seeming. Olympic Park Stadium was slowly transforming into a teal blue sea, the fan club colour for SHINee. The lights began to dim, causing a huge scream from the audience. A video started, as most concerts have, with the members of SHINee having some kind of astronomical space power. This has become a theme in 2012 concerts, strangely. However, half way through the introduction, the video froze while the audio continued. Not many seemed to notice until everything was stopped. We sat in a confused pitch black hall, waiting as the video was started from the
I’ve been to Olympic Park Stadium many times, for many huge artists. But the crowd for SHINee was one of the largest I’ve seen, hands down. As well, the heat that day was incredible. Normally, the line up for the standing section is the one that goes on forever, however at this show, it was the opposite. 20
The concert opened on an extended edition of Lucifer, which had the audience up on their feet screaming immediately. The effects being used even in the first song really established what we would be seeing throughout the show. The stage had multiple lifts and rotations, and the hall was wired for fly ins. Lucifer has become one of those k-pop songs that stick with people no matter how long they’ve been interested in the music, so it was a great way to open the show. Without a break, SHINee continued with a rock version of Amigo. Yet another classic favourite of SHINee fans, the energy continue to throb through Olympic Park Stadium as the fans chanted along loudly. Songs back to back to back, Shinee continued to play their most popular songs one after another, singing Juliette next. This song was great because it ended up with Jonghyun coming out from the stage rigged on wires with massive angel wings on, flying over the audience, much to his fans delight. Following right after was another rock version of one of their most well known songs, “SHINee World”. This was a personal favourite part of the show, because hearing a massive crowd of thousands of people chanting “My name is Minho!” along with the singers was fantastic and hilarious.
After four songs, the boys finally stopped to have a short MC moment, greeting the audience and introducing themselves. The break wasn’t too long, because there was apparently a lot of show to get through. The stage quickly changed to some strange jungle set, complete with mildly offensive dancing natives as SHINee broke into the Korean version of “Always Love”. The song was incredibly cute, so it wasn’t too difficult to ignore the strangeness of the set. However, I would not have made the same decisions for the song. Breaking into something a bit more comfortable, SHINee began performing Hello, a painfully cute song. The technical difficulties from the beginning of the show reared their head once again, with Taemin and Key’s microphones faltering during their parts. Luckily, it was able to be fixed soon enough and Onew and Jonghyun were able to help cover quickly.
While the microphone problems were being solved, a video started that involved knights, and then eventually came out onto the stage. There was a very cute scene where the boys were princes and there was magic involved. The scene dissolved into the incredibly popular “Noona neomu Yeoppeo” which translates roughly to “Girl, You’re So Pretty”. Since noona is the title given by guys to girls who are older than them, many of the women I know have a secret (or not so secret) love for this song. The reasons are obvious. Once the song was over, another video started, this time with the boys playing high school students. This marked the end of the first set, and the stage prepared for set two: the solos. Minho opened the solo acts with a great performance of “Turn Up The Music” by Chris Brown. His songs seem to be a popular choice for solo songs at k-pop concerts, because his music has also been used by
other artists such as 2AM’s Seulong. Next up was Onew, who started a very cute set with “I Won’t Give Up” by Jason Miraz. As an English speaker, these solo songs are especially interesting because the artists often pick English songs, so we get to see their English skills as well. Onew finished off his set with “Passionate Goodbye”, a Korean song by Toy, featuring Lee Jee Hyeong. While some artists just want to have fun with their solos, and sing something outside of the genre, others sing a song to show a side they rarely get to show. The next three songs certainly did that. Taemin had the next solo, and he performed “Get Up!!” by Korn featuring Skrillex. Despite the fact I have been in Korea long enough to not even know who Skrillex is, I did recognize the classic sounds of Korn, who have been around since I was a child. The screaming of swear words certainly was easy to identify. Taemin had come out completely decked out in rock gear, his eyes lined with heavy liner, and he generally looked incredible. Key was the next one to perform. He had chosen to perform two different songs by Lady Gaga, “Hair” and “Judas”. Key has an incredible voice that really lends itself to these songs, so he brought a lot of emotion and feeling to the lyrics, which he clearly had done his best to understand fully. Read into his song choices as you like, but they were fantastic choices for his performance style and voice, and he brought a lot of power to them.
first and second set had people up dancing on their feet. The next song choice, “Amazing Grace”, also felt like an incredibly strange choice, but the guys sang it beautifully as a motorized globe flew around the arena.
Easily one of the most discussed moments of the concert came during Jonghyun’s solo piece. Apparently, during the Japanese leg of the tour, Jonghyun had sung a different song, which came later in the Korean tour line up. For Seoul though, Jonghyun took the opportunity to collaborate with Taemin, singing “Internet Wars” by Seo Taiji. Starting the song by himself, Jonghyun was incredible and powerful. Shirtless, with fake tattoos covering his body, he was incredible to watch. Taemin showing up in the centre of the second stage caught many off guard on the first night. However, the singing is not what people are remembering. This was the song with the well discussed almost kiss between the two while the instrumental part was playing. It clearly was no where near a kiss, however from most camera angles, and even the angle of my own seat, it was very easy to think that something else was happening. The audience exploded, and
they were a buzz the entire time the set changed into the third set as an older video from their Lucifer days played on the screen. Set three opened up with another Japanese song, “Seesaw”, except with Korean lyrics. This then led directly into SHINee’s latest single, “Sherlock (Clue + Note)”. This performance was incredible, with the stage using all of its lifts and effects, including water fountains shooting jets of water way into the air. Then using the water from the fountains, they sang “Love Like Oxygen”, splashing the water around as part of their choreography. After another video, SHINee began to sing “The Reason”, from their most recent Korean album. It was a jarring choice, after the solid hour or so of up-tempo dance music, it brought the audience down, letting people relax for the first time in what felt like ages, since almost all of
Finally, Jonghyun sang his original solo piece from the Japanese leg of the tour, “Hyeya (Y Si Fuera Ella)”, which was gorgeous and went along with the calmed down tone of the show. The song, which can be found on “The SHINee World” album, was the only solo piece to actually be a SHINee song, which was a nice touch, since all of the fans were already familiar with the song. An adorable video followed up, showing the story of an angel, played by Onew, being tormented by an evil Key. The video was really cute, and led into the next song, “Tie a Yellow Ribbon” perfectly. This song continued with the theme of completely obscure and strange songs that seems to suit SHINee perfectly that had been happening throughout set three. Once the mood had been lifted from low key, relaxing music to the adorable upbeat tone from “Tie a Yellow Ribbon”, SHINee began “A-Yo”, their very popular and encouraging anthem. The audience was back on their feet once again, singing along as the pace picked up once more. The song choice was beginning to switch between a fast song followed by a slower paced song, showing the third set beginning to wind down. “JoJo” played
next, then followed by another video as the stage changed for the final set. The final set began with “Stranger”, from the most recent album. Key was fantastic in this song, and sounded brilliant. If Stranger hadn’t gotten everyone up on their feet, the next song, “Ready Or Not” had everyone up immediately. The catchy dance track from the Lucifer album had the entire hall dancing along with the guys, singing along as well. The popular songs kept coming, with a remix of “Ring Ding Dong” coming up next. The energy coming from the audience at this point was electric, and you could see SHINee were really enjoying themselves, despite they’d been performing with nearly no break for over two hours at this point. “To Your Heart”, one of their Japanese songs that has not gotten a Korean version yet, was performed, and most of the fans knew the song, though the sound of the fans singing along quieted a little as many were unfamiliar with Japanese. Closing the final act was Lucifer, once again, but remixed as a rock version. Despite the fact that Lucifer had also opened the show, nobody minded, because they could have easily played Lucifer as every other song and people would have been pleased.
Naturally, the guys came back on stage, and started their encore with “Stand By Me” from the Boys Over Flowers soundtrack. The guys were really cute and energetic, as Onew seemed to insist on invading Jonghyun’s personal space, and Jonghyun dealt with this by drenching himself with water.
It was also a great song for the members to show their thanks to the SHINee fans who continue to support them. Finally, they sung “One”, another great song to try and wrap things up. Once the song was over, the members finally spoke to the audience, after what seemed like hours of constant singing, saying their thanks. As the instrumental version of Sherlock played in the background, the audience began singing Sherlock back to SHINee. For a crowd of over 10,000, they were surprisingly on pitch and sounded good, and SHINee joined in as they went around the stage, waving to as many people as they could before they finally had to leave the stage for good.
The next song was then Life, from the Lucifer album. A very calm song, it was a nice way to try and bring the energy down so that the audience could actually leave without demanding encores throughout the night.
SHINee World was definitely a great show, with the fans bringing as much as the group in terms of energy. With future tour dates throughout Asia, it’s certainly worth trying to get tickets.
all cracked open glow sticks they had been given according to their seats, and managed to spell “SHINEE” across the third floor seats. Obviously, most of the members lost it and were crying as they attempted to sing “The Name I Loved”. The guys said their thanks, and then left the stage, leaving a thunderous audience demanding an encore.
A video then played, with clips showing their past as a group through training, debut, and their successes since. At this time, fans on the third floor
By Alice Auriol
After two years, JYP Nation show successfully returned on August 4th, 2012 at the Olympic Gymnastics Gymnasium in Seoul. The overall impression given before entering the venue was that JYP Nation was to be considered as a family, thus, only JYP Nation goods were sold at the booth without individual group or artist goods. Fans were there with their penlights from other concerts, so there were lots of different lights on display in the hall. Miss A got people in the mood with their latest single ‘Touch’, then went on with ‘Goodbye Baby’ and made the audience sing along with their hit song ‘Bad Girl, Good Girl’. The artists all performed successively, including Wonder Girls, JJ Project, San E, 2AM, JOO, and last but not least, 2PM. The bands sang their singles and then came the special stages. Miss A performed along with Wonder Girls on ‘Like This’, 2AM with 2PM on ‘Heartbeat’, etc. JYP came along with his backup dancers and performed a few of his own songs accompanied at the end by his artists who sang other JYP groups’ songs and danced together. Boys of the agency parodied Miss A’s ‘Bad Girl, Good Girl’ on ‘Bad Boy, Good Boy’ whereas girls performed their own version of 2PM’s hit song ‘Again and Again’ and so on. One of the most anticipated moments was the showdown between 2AM’s Jokwon’s and 2PM’s Wooyoung’s solo singles respectively named ‘Animal’ and ‘Sexy Lady’. Jokwon made a big impression as he climbed down the stairs of the stage on 4-inch heels with six leashed female dancers around him. Wooyoung added a few degrees to the hall temperature by dancing sexy moves and taking off his tux jacket on his own solo. No need to say that the duel ended up as a draw, as both Jokwon and Wooyoung are both incredibly talented. 2PM, 2AM and Wonder Girls went on with many of their older singles, sometimes revisited by other artists from JYP. The newest member of the JYP Nation, JJ Project, and solo artists JOO and San E
were often featured in special stages, so they had a substantial part of the spotlight. Even though they only had one title song. JJ Project’s JB and Jr were especially keen on stage since it was the first major show they were in. 2PM and Wonder Girls were obviously the most popular bands, and we could hear some fanchants on their most famous singles. 2PM’s Nichkhun and 2AM’s Jinwoon did not show up, the first being involved in a drink-driving accident and the second having activities for a TV show filmed in Africa. Taecyeon’s mood seemed a bit down at the beginning, and 2PM expressed their regrets about Nichkhun not being there. However, Taecyeon’s mood got brighter as the show went on. Before the encore, the stage went dark and a rehearsal movie was broadcast featuring the artists performing at the show. In the end, all the artists from JYP went on stage together and performed 2PM’s ‘10 out of 10’ and ‘Hands Up’ as the whole audience stood up and danced along. The last song was JYP’s ‘Don’t Leave Me’, during when the singers ran down the alleys and the catwalk and took the occasion to touch the fans’ hands and wave at them from a closer distance. As for the performances in themselves, they were settled, well accomplished, nearly flawless. Almost the whole show was live, except for very few songs that needed playback because of intense choreos. But what was very fresh was the fact that the artists seemed to really enjoy themselves, giving us awesome performances. The impression I got was that artists from JYP seem very friendly, motivated and passionate with their jobs. They looked like they got along with one another and had a good time mixing up with other groups to make exclusive versions of the songs we already know. I really enjoyed the show, and thought that the audience could have been even louder at times to show just how much we all were enjoying the concert. If I was asked whether I would go to another JYP Nation show, I would say “yes” right away!
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