Category: kpop

[NEWS] PRESTIGE’s Golden Boy Choi Siwon Cover …

COVER STORY: SIWON CHOI

Korean actor/musician Siwon Choi, who stars in a film for watchmaker and jeweller Piaget, talks about life as a global phenomenon. 

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It’s hard to believe that as recently as a decade ago, South Korea suffered from an inferiority complex, often looked down upon by more prosperous and culturally influential neighbours such as Japan and Hong Kong. How things have changed. You don’t have to travel far to see that the country is now experiencing an incredible cultural renaissance, its soft-power diplomacy extending from Beijing to Tokyo and our own shores. First it was K-Pop, the musical wave that has supplanted J-Pop and Cantopop as the soundtrack of teenagers’ lives all over Asia; then the huge popularity of Korean dramas, religiously watched on TV and streamed online by millions of devoted fans; and finally Korean beauty products, prized for groundbreaking innovations that are imitated even in the West. 

Although some blame the Korean entertainment industry for its cookie-cutter approach to building young stars and turning them into flawless and sometimes soulless performers, there must be more than meets the eye, given that young people all over the world can’t get enough of stars such as Super Junior, G-Dragon and Girls’ Generation. 

Entertainment companies such as SM Entertainment are behind the rise of Korean pop culture. Their talent agents trawl the country in search of the next big thing, plucking kids from obscurity with the aim of turning them into superstars. Known for the extremely intense training of the new recruits and the competitive streak they foster among wannabe stars, these talent agencies are true conglomerates, churning out stars at breakneck speed and building their careers. 

While many such performers turn out to be one-hit wonders, there are some with real staying power, natural-born entertainers who can move beyond the strait-laced role of the pretty boy or girl dancing on a stage and spewing out catchy tunes. Super Junior, the group that started the craze for Korean boy bands, turned 10 this year and its leading man, Siwon Choi, has managed to transform his image as a young heart-throb into a successful career as an actor, with roles in international productions and a fan base that transcends the screaming tweens who go hysterical whenever he makes an appearance.
The handsome 28-year-old, who recently starred in a film produced by watch and jewellery brand Piaget titled Beyond a Gift, was set on his path to stardom from a very early age. “When I was a kid, I wanted only to be famous, a celebrity. I thought that I would do my father’s job or something like a boring job, always studying and always taking courses, but I really didn’t want to do that,” he says when we meet him on the set of the film in a leafy suburb of Seoul. 

It didn’t take long for the then 16-year-old to score an audition with SM Entertainment before being picked out two years later to be part of the global phenomenon of Super Junior, whose best-selling single, “Sorry, Sorry”, propelled the band to international stardom. “The funny thing is that I didn’t want to be a singer or an actor,” says Choi. “Not that I didn’t want to do it, but it’s not that I wanted to do at first. Mr Lee [Soo Man], our chairman, just called me, ‘Hey, come to my office, what do you want to do? What can you do? Maybe drums or taekwondo or something?’” 

After that, the two engaged in a long conversation, during which Lee realized that Choi had great potential for international appeal. “He said I should go to China, so I went for three months,” reveals Choi, who since then has mastered Chinese and acted in a series of Chinese productions alongside stars such as Andy Lau and Jackie Chan. Fluent in both Mandarin and English, Choi realized when just a teenager that language barriers were keeping many Korean stars from making it big on the worldwide stage, and decided to master both languages. “In 2007,” he says, “I went to LA, to an event at the Hollywood Bowl, this huge concert for Korean people. Everyone was speaking English and they asked me something, but I couldn’t understand. Then I was really motivated and I started studying by myself.” 

That same dedication is evident on set, where Choi displays a tremendous work ethic and doesn’t indulge in any of the antics of the jaded and spoiled superstar. After a long day filming the Piaget short, he kindly spends a few extra hours on location to shoot this cover story, showing an earnest and friendly attitude that’s at times quite disarming. When asked about his positive outlook, he mentions an early episode in his life that shaped his personal philosophy. 

“When I went to New York, I saw The Lion King on Broadway and I met Matt Damon in the theatre. I said, ‘I’m Siwon Choi from Korea, and I’m part of Super Junior, like the Asian Backstreet Boys.’ He said, ‘Wow that’s good! Have fun in the States!’ He was very encouraging, very friendly. I thought, ‘That’s a Hollywood star, wow!’ I was a kid to him, I was 20, and he was really famous. I then promised myself that if I ever meet someone, anywhere, if they introduce themselves to me, I would be even friendlier than Matt Damon. I promised myself then. I built my philosophy then. I made my own philosophy. It was very inspiring and motivating. He’s a really good actor, a good father, also a good husband.” Choi further attributes his positive thinking and strong discipline to his Christian faith. “Maybe it’s because I’m Christian,” he says. “I also respect Islam, their culture. They really obey. Everyone says that they love Jesus, really love Jesus, but then they do what he hates. Christianity is a huge influence on me; religion first and then my dad. He has his own philosophy, his own way, he never does it another way, always does it his way. I really respect him so much.” 

Choi is also grateful to father figures such as Andy Lau and Jackie Chan, early mentors who guided him on his foray into acting.Andy Lau is very professional. He pays a lot of attention to details. I was 18 when I worked with him. He’s been in more than 90 movies in his life. He controls everything he can on set but he respects the director because he never oversteps, only tells him what he’s thinking. [Jackie] Chan is really professional too and he works hard. He wants to be a really good coach to the next generation, like me.” As someone who’s constantly under the spotlight and who’s the focus of the relentless attention of countless fans who follow every move he makes, Choi seems to take everything in stride, without letting the surrounding mayhem go to his head. He’s definitely not one to complain about the pitfalls of fame and stardom.  

“A lot of people would love to get this attention, with so many fans who like them, so I thank God, I don’t complain,” he says. “Second of all, I feel very responsible to the next generation of people. If I do something wrong, if I make a mistake, I can accept it. But for the next generation, I want to be a good influence, a role model.” Even though he grew up on the stage and has been an entertainer for most of his life, Choi doesn’t believe in mixing his personal life with work and reveals that he would rather date someone who doesn’t come from the entertainment world. But for now, family and career are his priorities. “I’m still living with my parents,” he reveals. “I promised them that I would live with them until I do my military service. You know, Korea is still two separate countries, so I have to do it too, and I promised my parents that until I go to military service I will stay with them.” His close bond with his family also inspires Choi’s charity initiatives. “I’m planning to work on a Unicef project with Super Junior. I want to do something for children. When I open my eyes, my parents are there for me, Mr Choi and Mrs Choi, my parents. They care about me. But think about it, many children when they open their eyes have nobody and have nothing, no parents, no future, no life. So, if I go to heaven in front of God and he asks, ‘Hey Siwon, good to see you. What did you do for me? I gave you love, what did you do?’ I want to say, ‘I was trying to help poor people, children, somewhere.’” 

All this talk about doing good, however, doesn’t keep Choi from focusing on his ultimate goal of becoming an international star on a par with other Asian and Hollywood A-listers. He says that he sees a future career separate from Super Junior and that his goal is to become the first Korean actor of global renown. “If someone asks Western people, ‘Who is your favourite Asian actor or celebrity?’ they always say Jackie Chan, Jet Li or Chow Yun Fat, and all of them are from China or Hong Kong, never Korea,” he says. “Why? Even if it’s hard work, I want to try to make it happen before I regret it, so maybe in five years, when they ask, ‘Who’s your favourite actor in Asia?’ Siwon Choi, yeah me! That’s my dream.”

Source: PRESTIGE

[INFO] Boom: “the first Hallyu-dol, Super Juni…

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On tvn’s variety show “Amazing Saturday”, they played Super Junior’s song “Devil”. The song and the group both topped charts on MelOn after the segment, taking #1 and #2 spots along with 3 more! 

When revealing the artists of the song, Boom introduced Super Junior as “keeping their status as Hallyu King for 14 years” and the caption above the show’s logo read “the first Hallyu-dol, Super Junior”!  

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Source: Naver TV & SiwonVoice

180406 | SMTown in Dubai ©

180406 | SMTown in Dubai ©

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[NEWS] Leslie Grace And Super Junior’s “Lo Sie…

The year 2017 marks a time of major multilingual and multicultural musical collaborations. With Luis Fonsi’s remix of “Despacito,” featuring Daddy Yankee and Justin Bieber, climbing to the top of Billboard’s Hot 100 chart for 16 weeks, and J Balvin and Willy William’s remix for “Mi Gente,” featuring Beyoncé, making it to the No. 3 spot, the western music market is opening up to music in Spanish. But these aren’t the only collaborations bridging different cultures and genres. In the era of globalization, K-pop, short for Korean pop music, is an international phenomenon, and the genre is beginning to meld its addictive melodies with urban Latin pop. Evidence: K-pop boy band Super Junior’s recent collaboration with Leslie Grace.

Debuting in 2005, the fellas of Super Junior are the kings of Hallyu — the Korean wave. At their height, 15 men donned the Super Junior title, but, due to departures, mandatory military service and other issues, only Siwon, Donghae, Eunhyuk, Shindong, Yesung, Heechul and Leeteuk are currently active. As a group, the men have led a revolution in the industry, spurring forward electro-pop and R&B-influenced dance tracks.

And among K-pop, they also have one of the strongest fan bases in Latin America. The group has long captivated these audiences with hits like “Sorry Sorry,” “Mr. Simple” and “Mamacita,” and Super Junior has made sure to visit their Latin American E.L.F — what they call their fans — on three separate tours since 2013, holding arena shows in Mexico, Argentina, Chile and Peru. It must be noted that the group has yet to hold a single solo show in the U.S.

For many years, Super Junior and SM Entertainment, their label, had seen the excitement from their supporters in Latin America and wanted to show their gratitude by releasing a song partly sung in Spanish. In March, the group dropped “Lo Siento,” a tune about finding romance on the dance floor, featuring Dominican-American singer Leslie Grace and the Latino production duo Play-N-Skillz as part of the extended version of their eighth album, Replay.  

“The song with Super Junior and Play-N-Skillz came out of nowhere. None of us really knew each other,” Leslie Grace, who was recommended to the K-pop group by the Argentine-Venezuelan sibling duo Play-N-Skillz, told FIERCE. “The beauty of it was [having the opportunity of] discovering something that’s been happening hugely in its own right in a different side of the world, and discovering it for the first time and saying, ‘Man, I wanna be a part of that. I don’t know anything about it up until this point, but I really want to be a part of that.’”

While it’s commonplace for K-pop groups to release records in Japanese or Mandarin in order to cater to Asian music markets, or English one-offs for international fans, no act had ventured into singing in Spanish or acknowledged their Latin American fans with a song quite like Super Junior.

“Lo Siento” is a true K-pop and urban Latin-pop mashup. It plays up the typical Spanish guitar and blends a familiar Latin flair with the energy and the mix of pop, dance and hip-hop that K-pop is known for. The music video, shot in South Korea, even features the “Díganle” singer dancing along with the guys of Super Junior. 

A post shared by LG (@lesliegrace) on

The trilingual track debuted at No. 13 on Billboard’s Latin digital sales chart, the first K-pop entry ever. A bit over two weeks after the music video dropped, “Lo Siento” surpassed 20 million views, which was three times more than what their last Korean single, “Black Suit,” accumulated.

While “Lo Siento” isn’t the first time K-pop artists have teamed up with Latin ones nor used Latin genres in their music, it is the first instance that we can actually call a real collaboration. In 2016, for instance, Ricky Martin released a version of his hit “Vente Pa’ Ca” featuring Wendy from K-pop girl group Red Velvet, though she sang in English, and Mexican boy band CD9 released “Get Dumb” with Korean girl group Crayon Pop. In both cases, the artists simply exchanged vocals, put them together and released the song with little fanfare. With “Lo Siento,” however, not only did Leslie fly to Korea to be in the music video, but Super Junior invited her and Play-N-Skillz on their Latin American tour last month. 

A post shared by Play-N-Skillz (@playnskillz) on

Stopping in Buenos Aires, Lima, Santiago and Mexico City, Leslie, Play-N-Skillz and Super Junior played before a total of 55,000 fans. The stars blew up the stage with “Lo Siento,” but both Play-N-Skillz and Leslie also had the chance to perform their own sets during the show.

“It never stops being a surprise, with my most recent released single ‘Duro y Suave,’ for [the crowd] to sing it back to me,” the 23-year-old singer, who came to fame after the release of her bachata remake of The Ronettes’ “Be My Baby” in 2013, told us. “I know it’s Super Junior’s crowd. I know that their fans are so accepting and loving, and I knew that they would be attentive during the show, but you don’t expect everyone to connect, especially a crowd that’s so different, to your music when you’re the special guest.”

Lord… tonight was special. Mañana les cuento porque pero por ahora me duermo con el recuerdo de esta noche y los dejo con esto. #SuperShow7@playnskillz @SJofficialpic.twitter.com/gQ0hSXBduX

— Leslie Grace (@lesliegrace) April 28, 2018

Leslie is currently finishing her new album, which she says will drop by the end of the year. She’s also very excited about potentially finishing another leg of the tour with Super Junior. “They’re trying to see if we can do some more shows in Latin America, in Central America, go to the countries we didn’t get to go to in South America, like Colombia [and] Brazil,” she said.

Just like with “Despacito” and “Mi Gente,” “Lo Siento” is bringing together different cultures, languages and even fandoms from various parts of the world that don’t get to interact as much through music in a compact, smooth earworm. 

A post shared by LG (@lesliegrace) on

lesliegrace: Where to begin about this experience… #SuperShow7 came at such a perfect time for me. It was such a blessing to share this experience with you boys @playnskillz @superjuniorpersonally and artistically. 4 countries in a week and IMMEASURABLE AMOUNTS OF LOVE all the way through. #ELF […] To know that the music we make has the power to touch your lives in the way we were able to see it first hand in these shows, that is why we do this, that is purpose, that is PRICELESS. This tour reminded me that… thank you to everyone who made it what it was – simply put, a blessing.🙏🏽

“For us to come together just fully based off of mutual artistic respect, and for something like this to happen, and now everybody really enjoying it despite the cultural differences, that to me was the biggest takeaway and the biggest blessing to now be a part of Super Junior’s story and them a huge part of mine,” Leslie said.  

Source: FIERCE

[NEWS] Super Junior’s ‘Black Suit’ MV wins Int…

Back on May 14, The Philippines’s ’MYX Music Awards 2018’ took place at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.

Among those awarded was K-Pop actSuper Junior, whom, thanks to the votes of Filipino fans, took home the ’International Video of the Year’ with their MV “Black Suit”.

You can check out other winners from the ‘MYX Music Awards 2018’ via the award ceremony’s official Twitter @MYXphilippines.

Tip: Yukio

Source: AllKpop 

[NEWS] Super Junior’s ‘Lo Siento’ becomes thei…

Super Junior’s MV for “Lo Siento” reached 1 million likes on YouTube!

The MV for Super Junior’s latest title track from their 8th repackaged album ’REPLAY’ recently surpassed 1 million likes on YouTube. This is Super Junior’s first MV to make the achievement. And it’s especially more impressive considering how the MV hit over 1 million likes in just a month.

Congratulations! 

Source: AllKpop

[INFO] 180514 Super Junior’s ‘REPLAY’ Album is…

Top 5 Kpop group Album sold on Hanteo realtime (2018-05-14) – 10:40 KST: 

#1 SUPERJUNIOR “REPLAY”

#2 VIXX “EAU DE VIXX”

#3 TWICE “Page Two”

#4 NCT “NCT 2018 EMPATHY”

#5 WANNAONE “I Promise You”

Source 

[INFO] Super Junior’s SS7 tour sales bring in …

Super Junior tour gathered till now 159,253 fans from 12 shows in 9 countries. The ticket sales bring $30,340,048! The group easily bring $2.5 million per show.
There are 2 shows left, and more to be announced in the future! © 

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[INFO] Super Junior’s Lo Siento MV becomes the…

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WATCH MV