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First I want to take a moment to welcome you to Rising Stars Magazine and the SIFF Battle of the Bands. It's nice to have you guys here. MinJun: Thank you, we are very excited to be here.

We have a number of KPOP bands this cycle and I am curious, why has KPOP become so popular? What is your take on it? MinJun: I think it is because of PSY, I mean without him no one would know our countries pop music. I am just so happy that everyone is enjoying the music and connecting with the music, It doesn’t matter if the Music is in Chinese, Arabic, Japanese, or even our language Korean, as long as people feel connected with Asian Pop or even K-Pop then the Music Genre would be very popular.

What makes you different from other KPOP bands? Mike: What is different from all of the K-Pop group is our style, we have a different concept it is kind of a mix between 4Minute, BAP, 2NE1, Girls Generation, and Shinee. We can be bad boys in one concept and cute and feminine in another concept. We also are one of the only bands who actually debuted in America before we debuted back here in Korea, no K-Pop band has ever done that before

It seems to me, as I am reading about training schedules, that anyone who wants to can sign up to be part of a KPOP group and you will be taught to sing and dance. How does that work? Mike: Young-Soo knows a lot about the trainee system so… (Hands Mic to Young-Soo) Young-Soo: Firstly, you must audition to be part of a company, people outside of Korea, can participate in Global Auditions that the companies have booked. If you pass the audition you go through a series of other events, such as interview in front of the managers, photo-shoot, then you sign a contract with the CEO, I was very nervous through out the whole audition process. After move into the company, since they have dormitories for the trainee’s if the company is too far. Each Trainee has a different training schedule. You actually em… train by yourself for the majority of the time, then if they think you are ready you will be put into a group. But the interesting thing is that the people that you bunk with

will mostly likely be your band members, I shared a room with MinJun and Andrew back in 2011 so it was interesting to see.em… how things turned Out. When did all of you decide you wanted to be part of a KPOP group? How long have you all be training? Andrew: As a Korean/British person, My mum told me about Korean Pop music, I used to listen to this rap group called 1TYM, and from then I wanted to be a K-Rap star. But then things changed and I decided K-Pop was the place for me, but you must remember that K-Pop is just one big genre, in K-Pop you have K-Jazz, K-Rock, K-Soul, and much more. They are just considered to be under the K-Pop Genre. Mike: I’m going to answer the “How long have you been training?” question, I actually got into the company in November 2013. I was not the original member of Number Nine, I was put into another group which had code name KSBG2 which stands for Kor Sims Boy Group 2, one day my manager called me and said I should leave the group, at that time I was thought I was being kicked out of the company, but I actually was called to be part of the boy group “Number Nine” I didn’t know that was the boy group that was debuting. But it turned out one of the members left due to some conflict in the group, that I won’t go into, but I am a omplete newbie in this company and in the K-Pop industry, I actually had no interest in the K-pop industry I actually wanted to be a Korean-American that acted in dramas and movies.

Did any of you know each other before "KPOP Band Camp"? MinJun: None of us knew each other before we got into K-Pop, we all met under the company, and met each other at lunch breaks, I met Mike before he joined in our band, and he only been in the company for 3 days, he had so many questions about trainee system etc…

Tell us a bit about each of you. Where you from, why did you decide to are get into music, who are your influences, that sort of thing. MinJin: I think we will go in order starting from Mike who is on the right end side, then end from me.

Mike: Hey my name is Mike and I am 16 year’s old, I am from sunny California. My mom and dad live near K-Town. I decided to become a singer when I was 8 year’s old. My influences are hmm…. NOT ONE DIRECTION! I would say my influences are my family, yeah..they seem to influence me a lot and always push me to become a doctor or something like that. But I’m a singer so everything is epic in it’s on way. Andrew: Hello my name is Andrew, my mother is British and my father is Korean. I am 18 year’s old, I lived in Maidstone which is in the county of Kent. I passed my GCSE’s which was a dream come true, I got into music because my dad wanted to be a pop star when he was younger, so it is my dream to take his place and become a pop star for him. My dad is the biggest influence for me he has always look up to him. Young-Soo: My name is Young-Soo, I am 24 year’s old the oldest in the group. My English is at intermediate level, I am from Wonchu in South Korea, no North Korea! My mother is my influence because she used to be a Panjori singer. I wanted to be a singer because of BOA she is my idol and I love her. MinJun: Hello guys it is Min Jun here, I am 19 the leader of this wonderful boy group. My parents were from Busan but moved to Seoul when I was young around 6-10 months old. My influence is from a female singer called Hilary Duff, she really made me want to become a singer. My friends influenced me and pushed me to audition for this company and if it wasn’t for them I wouldn’t be here.

Do you write your own music or do you have someone who does that? What about choreography? Andrew: The Company does everything, the music the choreography, we do not write our own songs we cant. The company does everything we sing them and make money for them, at the end of the day em… we are the ones who have to make the money for the company if not t hen we have to disband and go separate ways

Do you see yourself still performing KPOP in ten years or are you going to make a radical music change like the boy band Human Nature and start doing Motown covers? Mike: It’s all hard to tell because we want to still be a group like BOA, she has been in the k-pop industry for 10 years? If not we hope to become solo artists in the K-pop industry, and after that I would like to become an actor and settle down with a wife and have kids. But it is hard to tell, since we still haven’t debuted yet.

Are there any plans in the near future to release a CD? Andrew: Albums go on sale the day of the SIFF Premiere, and that’s the day we debut. We hope to release a collaboration with the new nine member girl group.

What drew you to the SIFF Battle of the Bands? MinJun: The CEO of the company wanted to debut the group in a competition, and he discovered battle of the bands, so he called a group meeting and told us to start preparing for the hardest debut of our lives.

Now for some random questions from the SIFF fans out there. Cats or dogs? Andrew: I like cats Young-Soo: I want dog. Mike: I hate cats can’t stand cats, Dogs all the way Minjun: Me, I like both

How would you feel if an anime was made about your band? Mike: That would be epic! Anime all the way!!!

How would you feel if an anime was made about your band? Mike: That would be epic! Anime all the way!!!

Ramen or udon? MinJun: Ramen?, Udon? Oh you mean Udong, in Korea we pronounce it as Udong and Ramen as Ra-myon. For me I prefer Ramyon because it is nice and I can put Kimchi on it.

Star Wars or Star Trek? Young-Soo: we never watched any of those never! Mike: I have‌.I like Star wars! YAY!

Andrew: (Laughs) you’re crazy mike Mike: I had chocolate….

One last question, and I'm asking everyone I can think of and since you are here and I am asking questions...can any of you tell me three differences between N'Sync and the Backstreet Boys MinJun: Who? Mike: That’s so hard….I don’t know they all look the same to me…same style same lyrics…GAH! This is hurting me brain.

Rising Stars - Number 9  

Rising Stars - Battle of the Bands Edition - Spring 2014 Issue 7

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