“Warrior gives courage as a highlight of the song. It gives courage to the one in their 10’s and 20’s.”
Tough rookie group B.A.P has arrived with six members, Bang Yongguk(22), ZELO(16), Himchan(22), Daehyun(19), Youngjae(18), Jongup(17).
Their first single album ‘워리어(Warrior)’ was released on the 26th last month sold out 10,000 copies two days after release. Hitting the World Billboard chart at number 10, having a crowd of 3000 for their debut showcase stage and broadcasted for 1 hour on a cable show. Fan-cafe has exceeded 20,000 members just 3 weeks after debuting.
Deserved to be called ‘Super Rookies’. Group name stands for 베스트(Best)-앱솔루트(Absolute)-퍼펙트(Perfect).
▶ Underground HipHop Musician, Traditional Music… all joined together
“Hello. I am Bang Yongguk. I participated in making the lyrics for this album.” and the other members introduced themselves after that.
“My hobbies are rap beat-boxing, and I like to go skateboarding as well. I think that it will give strength to your thighs.” (ZELO)
“Majoring in traditional music. Knows how to play the guitar, piano and drum. Into korean traditional music(恨). But I like both traditional music and African-American music.” (Himchan)
“Is from Busan. Trying a lot to fix my accent. It was hard at first but at the end, getting used to the Seoul dialect.”(Daehyun)
“I’m going to show an impersonation. I will follow what appeared in Gag Concert by Choi HyoJong-ssi. Ae-mae-hab-ni-da-ing~!” (Youngjae)
“I like to dance and, my hobby is listening to music. My favorite type of dancing is street dancing. Among them, I like b-boy. Have been dancing since first year of middle school.” (Jongup)
Bang Yongguk was part of a famous hiphop musician in Hongdae. Was the first B.A.P member introduced through Untouchable sunbae a year and a half ago. Then was joined by traditional music and model Himchan, Daehyun from Busan, dancer Jongup, Emotional vocalist Youngjae and maknae ZELO. B.A.P practiced together for about a year. They’ve been practicing 16 hours in a day prior to their debut.
This album’s title track ‘Warrior’ has an intense beat and talking about social criticism in their lyric. Bang Yongguk’s bass rap that blends in with ZELO’s high-speed rap, Jongup’s splendid dance, vocalist Daehyun and Youngjae and Himchan’s unexpected level of vocal ability.
Reminding us of 1990’s popular group H.O.T.’s ‘Warrior’s Descendant’. Kangta, Moon Heejun, Jang Woohyeok, Tony Ahn, Lee Jaewon who were representating the Korean wave.
“It’s an honor to be compared with H.O.T. Idols nowadays have a sweet-boyfriend images. We want to be different from other group and not include ourselves in the same plot.”(Bang Yongguk)
When asked if they can go beyond H.O.T., Himchan said “It would be more than enough to go beyond them”. Bang Yongguk added “So we want to work harder”.
▶ The stage collapsing incident, “Come one more time”
In the chorus part ‘Warrior’ there is a part where they stomp. Once during a music program pre-recording, the stage floor could not handle the dance and collapsed.
“The sound of the foot was like the New Zealand Maori warrior. It was really powerful and I would like the stage to collapse once more in the future. I didn’t mean to do it but the dance is meant to have a powerful strength in it.”(Bang Yongguk)
The secret to the powerful dance is “bapsim (A traditional Korean meal which consists of rice and side dishes),” said Youngjae.
“We practiced for the showcase at 4:00AM the day before it. The boss gave us meat and rice to eat then went to sleep till the morning. It’s not that we don’t want to eat the meat but, since it came from the boss it’s precious.”(Youngjae), “A person eats in about 2-3 minutes.”(Bang Yongguk)
Called the ‘Big Rookies’ as soon as you debuted. Do you feel pressured.
“At first, it was the burden to think of how the 3000 seats to be filled for the showcase.” (Daehyun)
“I was surprised. I was touched to see that there was that much people who wanted to see us. We felt good after knowing that all our efforts would be put into a good use. We will show you a better image from us. The press have also showed interest in our efforts” (Bang Yongguk)
Right now we have successfully got through our debut stage safely but, a singer has gone through a tough road and obstacles.
“At first, I went to a local broadcasting talent show(Jeollanam-do, Mokpo). I formed a team with my friends and we wanted to do both rapping and dancing. We joined in as the Game Item. It was in my 4th year of elementary school. The stage literally exploded. My parents was against it at first but later see the passion in me later on.”(ZELO)
“I wanted to join Music Academy but they needed a 30 point average grade or more. I had a bet with my mom about the test scores. In my 3rd year of Middle School, I scored 43 points for my mid-term and 80 points for my finals.” (Youngjae)
“I am a part of a Hongdae Club since my 3rd year of Middle School, performing hip hop in the streets. I went from being a hip hop artist to being an idol singer, I was determined to take up such a sight. Even if I change little by little, I will prove to you.” (Bang Yongguk)
“Right now near the company in Hannam-dong a ‘luxurious’ 4-floor villa is where we live.” (Himchan), “On the 4 floor villa we used to live in the basement, I was glad that we live on the 4th floor. That’s why it’s luxurious.” (Bang Yongguk), “Living underground was fun. All of it was good memories.”(Himchan)
▶Fashion of the alien warrior…“The face is too dark showing sadness”
B.A.P’s blonde hair is the focus, and wore army suits as they go on stage. They look like they’ve come out from a Japanese manga Dragonball with an alien warrior atmosphere. They’ve showed a concept of an alien ready to conquer the earth through their showcase.
“For a cable program, we appear as aliens. Our hairs are dyed to give a more alien look.” (Youngjae)
“As rookies, our hairs were dyed blonde to show an atmosphere that we are one team.” (Daehyun)
But with ‘Power of Blonde’, the members of the team feels like they don’t have an individual personality.
“Sometimes fans cant tell who is who. Music broadcast camera director also gets confused.”(Youngjae), “I knew I was supposed to dye my hair. Looking in the mirror, I wanted to say ‘This dye doesn’t suit me. There is also a black Korean!’.”(Himchan)
Because of the blonde color it makes the skin looks darker to the hyungs and unlike ZELO who is smiling brightly. “Everyone says it is me who suits the blonde. I believe I do too.”(ZELO), “Back then, I don’t see it suits anyone.” (Himchan)
To give a feeling of warrior, your eyes are covered in dark make up. “It’s hard to wash away the eye-make up. I’m learning how to erase them.” (Himchan)
Members who wants the group to specialize in music, fashion and dance.
“Our dream is to be a global group. There is where we came out with ‘Conquer the Earth’, so we are going to work hard. In 2012, our wish is to win the Rookie Award in the Award Ceremony. Please cheer on us.” (All)
translations by minchu @ baperfection.wordpress.com