Having already debuted such female artists as After School and Son Dam Bi, Pledis has now introduced the rookie male group NU’EST to secure a competitive position and appeal to the masses at the same time.
Accustomed to a life overseas and born in 1993 is Aron, while taking on the mature role of hyung for the group is leader JR, despite being born in 1995, the same year as fellow members Baekho, Ren and Minhyun. These five boys make up NU’EST, whose powerful performances, like their sunbaes, include special material for their songs and intense dances that alone cause their fellow singers to be taken aback upon their first impression of the group. WStarNews recently had an interview with the group. Check it out below!
Baekho: We were first known as the After School Boys, so we could not break the expectations of that name. Therefore, I guess we were able to practice even harder for our performances. As we did each piece of choreography, we kept in mind, ‘We cannot disappoint.’
Despite receiving a hot response from people around them, they actually didn’t know too much about the response of the general public, so an embarrassed NU’EST, with their two eyes twinkling, would ask, “How is the response for us these days?” However, two weeks passed after their debut, and the month of March became quite difficult for the group. With big stars like Shinhwa, SHINee, 2AM and Big Bang making their comebacks and rookie rival groups BTOB and EXO making their debuts one after another, the general public was greeted with a slew of new faces, and it became easy to get lost among them.
JR: Using the dubstep genre, which is trending all over Europe now, we came up with our title song ‘Face,’ and we sought to differentiate ourselves. If you listen to our intro song, you will gain a better understanding of it. The song is composed only of dubstep. In particular, Aron and I personally participated in writing the lyrics for the song, so I think it seems to show NU’EST’s abilities.
Baekho: There are dim views about idol groups’ debuts themselves, but we hope that those prejudices can be thrown away. With our singing and our talents, we will continue to work hard so that you can get rid of those prejudices when you see NU’EST.
Confidently presenting their new weapon, NU’EST introduced their title song ‘Face‘ without any regrets. The song was originally supposed to deal with the love between a man and a woman, but in order to make them even more special, the company decided to modify the content to talk about social problems in the classroom, thereby giving birth to this new concept of ‘the teenage representatives NU’EST.’
Previously, B.A.P handled somewhat unconventional content with their songs ‘Warrior‘ and ‘Never Give Up,’ but NU’EST takes sides and throws punches in their choreography, while singing, ”You always find out it hurts after it shatters, that’s why you’re only at that spot.” If you were to watch them, you would be reminded of a past image of Shinhwa in their song ‘Yo.’
JR: We look to sensitize all teenagers to the violence in schools, and I’ve come to see incidents like this up close and personal and I always hope the problems will disappear.
Still rookies in the industry, NU’EST gives off this raw, unfamiliar charm. They sighed, “Before our debut, with the only exception being sleeping, our time was spent practicing continuously, so we want to show as much of our skills as we can.”
Minhyun: Although we had often heard before our debut that the entertainment industry would be rough, standing on stage at the start of our activities seemed to be just for fun. However, we made many mistakes. During the ending, JR made a mistake when turning his chair and lost his footing during his rap and fell forward.
Not only should we learn from making frequent mistakes, in order to show an improved image, after the broadcast finishes, the members are instructed to always meticulously monitor it.
NU’EST has already shown much improvement as they built their foundation on various live music broadcasts and continued to work hard in order to show a sincere image on reality programs. As a testament to their hard work and potential, during those two weeks of activities, membership to their official fan cafe reached 5000 people.
There is still lots to consider when it comes to whether they will succeed or fail. Nevertheless, we can expect to see a NU’EST who will continue to show us a new image to constantly differentiate themselves from other rookie groups out there and without any rest, make history by taking the music industry by storm.
Q: To what extent do you feel Son Dam Bi and After School’s parental-like love?
Baekho: When we were shooting for our jacket, Dam Bi sunbaenim finished filming for her own drama and quickly came to cheer us on and bought us snacks. When we were doing our music video, Orange Caramel sunbaenim dropped by all the way from Namyangju and gave us a lot of advice. Nowadays, everyone is busy with their own things, so I’m always thankful towards them.
Q: Excluding your sunbaes of the same agency, who is your favorite singer?
JR: The members all like TVXQ and Big Bang. As for individually, I like Eminem. At first, no one appreciated him, but he put in a lot of effort and later, he achieved recognition from white people, black people, everyone and became the best singer. I also want to try to become the best musician recognized by everyone.
Ren: I like Michael Jackson and Beyonce. I long to take after their perfection.
Aron: For me it’s Lee Jeok sunbaenim. My vocal teacher often tells me that my singing resembles Lee Jeok sunbaenim’s tone of voice.
Baekho: Um…I like TVXQ sunbaenim’s powerful and full of energy stages. We also want to show a powerful image like that.
Minhyun: Big Bang. They communicate to their fans an image that they enjoy the stage. I also want to become a person who knows how to enjoy himself on stage and will be put in a lot of effort to do so.
Q: Up until now, your happiest day has been?
Baekho: When we made our debut?
Aron: I think it felt the best when we made our debut. (ha ha)
Ren: (Expressionless) I always feel good. What? I don’t look happy? Not at all… I’m always happy…
JR: When I’m dancing on the stage.
Minhyun: When we finished filming our music video. While hugging our president, he acknowledged the hard work we had done.
Baekho: Our president takes very good care of us. He doesn’t work directly with us, but he often watches our dance practice. He’s like a father.
Q: With the exception of Aron, everyone is of the same age and born in 1995, are there pros and cons of this?
Baekho: First off, it’s easily a strong point. At the beginning, it felt a lot like being friends, and now I feel like we’ve become closer like a family after living together for a long time. We can even speak comfortably. Um… I don’t think there are any downsides.
Aron: I am the hyung, but I am like friends with my dongsaengs. Growing up in the US, there wasn’t this gap between hyung and dongsaeng. Nine months ago, when I first came to Korea, I told them we could just be like friends. They are all good kids, so there haven’t been any difficult times.
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