South Korean band CNBlue takes China by storm
South Korean pop rockers CNBlue are fast becoming the blue-eyed boys of Chinese showbiz.
Yes, you read that correctly.
The quartet, made up of lead vocalist and frontman Jung Yong Hwa, 26, guitarist Lee Jong Hyun, 25, bassist Lee Jung Shin and drummer Kang Min Hyuk, both 24, have found fame not only on their home turf but also in China.
The band has made special appearances on China'spopular variety programmes, Day Day Up and Happy Camp.
Jung emerged an Internet sensation of sorts on Sina Weibo, a Chinese hybrid of Twitter and Facebook.
In December 2014, it was reported that just six weeks after Jung set up a Sina Weibo account to interact with his Mandarin-speaking fans, he was a trending topic on the social media platform no less than 20 times.
Last September, CNBlue recorded their debut Chinese hit single Cinderella, which was used as the theme song of South Korea-China produced action comedy flick Bad Guys Always Die.
While Cinderella does not deviate from the group's trademark groovy rock sound and punchy choruses, the Chinese was a challenge for Jung.
"Learning a new language isn't easy. However, I enjoy learning Chinese and I had great fun recording the Chinese version of Cinderella," he told M in an e-mail interview.
"I'm not fluent in Chinese yet, but I'm happy that I am (now) able to communicate directly with my fans in Chinese.
"I learn a lot more by frequently watching Chinese variety shows and interacting with fans on Sina Weibo."
COMING TO S'PORE
Jung might just show off his Mandarin at the band's concert in Singapore next month.
CNBlue, who last performed here in 2014 and 2013, will be at the Singapore Indoor Stadium on Feb 13. Jung staged his first solo concert here last May.
"We are happy to spend Valentine's Day with our Singapore fans," said Jong Hyun. "The fact that we are performing our music to fans on such a good day is very romantic in itself."
He added: "Singapore fans can expect to see sides of us they don't usually see (on TV).
"We will be doing a medley together using just our voices, no instruments."
When asked about their ideal partner, the four eligible bachelors each had a different description.
Jung said: "I tend to like girls who are nice and good-natured."
Kang said he preferred "someone who I feel comfortable with when we are together".
Jung Shin likes "feminine girls who are cute" while Jong Hyun is looking for a someone "who is mature yet fun to be with".
The Korean-language version of Cinderella is in the band's second album 2gether, released last September and available on iTunes.
Unlike many K-pop idol outfits who have no creative input in their studio releases, Jung, Jong Hyun and Jung Shin are heavily involved in the music composition and production.
All 11 tracks on 2gether are penned by the trio.
"The inspiration for our songs come from everyday life," said Jung.
"We write down minor things we see or hear on a regular basis.
"If good melodies pop into our head, we save them and fine-tune them in our studio when we have time."
I'm not fluent in Chinese yet, but I'm happy that I am (now) able to communicate directly with my fans in Chinese.
- CNBlue lead vocalist Jung Yong Hwa
2016 CNBlue Live Come Together In S’pore
WHEN Feb 13, 7pm
WHERE Singapore Indoor Stadium
TICKETS $118 to $268 from Sports Hub Tix (www.sportshub.com.sg/sportshubtix)