Monday June 18, 2012
South Korean boy band B.A.P to tour Asia
AFTER just five months of making its debut, South Korean boy band B.A.P is gearing up for its first Asia tour.
A spokesperson from TS Entertainment told 10Asia that B.A.P will hit the road soon to showcase its music to a wider audience, with the first stop being Malaysia. The boys will be performing at KL Live, Life Centre, in Kuala Lumpur on July 6 at 8.30pm.
“The format will be similar to their debut showcase that opened in Seoul in January this year. The boys will hold an hour-long performance followed by question-and-answer plus game sessions with their fans,” the official said.
The group will then head over to Thailand for their second showcase on July 8 and to Taiwan on Sept 22.
Before kicking off its grand tour, B.A.P will perform at K-Pop Nation Concert being held at the Cotai Arena in Macao on July 2, alongside top K-pop acts Girls’ Generation, U-Kiss and SHINee.
B.A.P comprising Bang Yong-guk, Him Chan, Zelo, Jong-up, Young-jae and Dae-hyun kicked off their activities with the release of their debut album Warrior in January.
Though they are new kids on the block, B.A.P has entered the top 10 on the Billboard’s hip hop album charts in Norway, the United States, Australia, Japan, Netherlands and Canada. – Reuters
Back in action
SINGER-actor Kim Hyung-jun is preparing to make his comeback with a new album next month, after a 15-month hiatus.
An official from his agency S-Plus Entertainment told 10Asia that Kim is putting the final touches to his upcoming mini-album Escape set to hit stores in South Korea early next month.
“Kim will display more of his masculine side as a somger and his songs will be different from his previous hits,” the official explained.
She added that ahead of the album’s release, Kim will hold a mini-concert in Seoul on June 29.
Kim’s last release is his first mini-album My Girl in March last year. He has since focused on his acting career, starring in She’s Completely Insane! in January and in the TV version of Late Blossom.
Kim made his debut as the youngest member of the popular boy band SS501 in 2005. – Reuters
CNblue’s ‘Come On’
TOP Korean rock band CNblue will be releasing its third Japanese single this summer, according to the group’s agency FNC Entertainment.
FNC said in a press statement that CNblue’s new Japanese single Come On, offering four songs, will be available starting Aug 1.
The album features the title track Come On and the instrumental version of it as well as another track that cannot be revealed before the album release, the firm said.
Additionally, Come On will hit stores in three different editions, of which only the limited edition will include a DVD that features the music video for Come On and behind-the-scene footage.
Their last single was Where You Are, which went on sale on Feb 1. It won the group the honour of being the first foreign band in 41 years of Oricon’s history to secure the No.1 spot on its weekly chart after selling over 60,000 copies in the first week of its release.
CNblue, which stands for Code Name Blue, made its debut in Japan before breaking into the K-pop scene in early 2010. – Reuters
Playing a prince?
SUPER Junior member Kang-in (pic) may make his comeback in Japanese musical Goong.
Kang-in, whose real name is Kim Young-woon, enlisted in the army in July 2010, and was discharged on April 16 after fulfilling his two-year mandatory service as an active duty soldier.
“Kang-in has been offered the lead role in the Japanese version of Goong though we are still in discussion on whether he will take on the role or not,” an official with SM Entertainment told 10Asia.
If Kang-in decides to sign on for the series, he will play a crown prince, Lee Shin. The musical is set to open at the U-Port Hall in Tokyo starting Sept 1.
In the musical, a commoner, Shin Chae-kyung, suddenly finds herself engaged to Lee Shin. The fictional story presents South Korea as a nation run by constitutional monarchy.
Originally adapted from the popular comic book of the same title by Park So-hee, it was adapted into a TV series, Goong (MBC, 2006), starring Yoon Eun-hye and Ju Ji-hoon. This was followed by a sequel Goong S (2007), featuring singer Se7en and actress Heo Yi-jae.
The musical Goong was first staged in September 2010 at the National Museum of Korea directed by Group 8, which is famous for reproducing popular TV dramas into musicals, such as the mega-hit series Boys Over Flowers (KBS, 2009) and Naughty Kiss (MBC, 2010).
Top idols U-Know Yunho of TVXQ! and Kim Kyu-jong of SS501 have performed as the male lead in musical Goong, in 2010 and 2011, respectively. – Reuters
KO Soo (pic) may be joining Ji Jin-hee to star in a historical series, making his return to the small screen after a three-year hiatus.
“Daepungsoo is one of the projects that Ko Soo is eyeing positively, but we have yet to make the final decision,” an official with his agency, BH Entertainment, told 10Asia.
The rep added that Ko is reviewing other drama and film projects as well to mark his comeback after last starring in TV series Will It Snow For Christmas? (SBS, 2009).
If Ko, who is currently shooting romantic flick Banchanggo with Han Hyo-joo decides to sign on Daepungsoo, it will be his first historical series since his venture into show business in 1998.
Daepungsoo, set to air in October, is a fictional biopic that tells the story of King Yi Seong-gye, one of the most important historical figures in Korean history.
Ko’s most notable works include TV series Piano (SBS, 2001) and Will it Snow For Christmas? and films White Night (2009), Haunters (2010) and Frontline (2011). – Reuters
BALLAD group 2AM’s Seulong, actress Han Hye-jin (pic) and actor Jin Goo have signed on to star in a political film based on the webtoon by Kang Full titled 26 Years.
The story opens with thousands of people, mostly college students, being killed or wounded by the South Korean government in a pro-democracy movement in the city of Gwangju on May 18, 1980.
In the film that deals with one of the critical events in Korean history, Seulong will play a young policeman who is affected by the incident and Jin Goo will portray a gangster from an organised criminal group whose dad gets killed during the massacre.
Han, who will be making her big screen return in two years since No Mercy, will play a professional shooter from the national shooting team.
The three characters, who consider themselves to be among the victims of the movement, plot a top-secret project to punish the person responsible for the massacre.
The incident showed how the country was brutally suppressed and Kang Full’s web comic put emphasis on the overcoming of inter-personal and societal barriers.
The film was originally set to star Kim Ah-joong and Ryoo Seung-beom under the title 29 Years in 2008, but the production came to a halt when investors pulled out from funding the film due to external issues. – Reuters
Comic book adaptation
KWONE Sang-woo and Soo-ae (pic) have both signed on to play the lead characters in SBS’ drama Yawang and shooting of the TV series will begin in August, production firm Verdi Media told 10Asia.
Yawang is adapted from the third instalment of artist Park In-kwon’s 21-part comic book The President. The second instalment was adapted into a TV series of the same title in 2010, in which Kwone and Ko Hyun-jung portrayed the main characters.
“I loved the original piece (done by artist Park) and did not hesitate to accept the offer,” Kwone said in a statement from Verdi Media. “I’d like to play my character differently this time around.”
The drama, with script penned by Choi Ran of Iljimae (MBC, 2009), sees Soo-ae as an ambitious woman who dreams of escaping from her poor background to become the first lady and Kwone as a man who loves her unconditionally.
Thanks to the big name cast and the high ratings of The President, the company is in talks with some film distributors from Asian countries, including Japan and China, even before the cast list is finalised.
Kwone rose to stardom in Asia after playing the lead in 2003 TV series Stairway To Heaven and his other notable film My Tutor Friend.
Meanwhile, Soo-ae made her debut in 2002 and has starred in a slew of TV series and movies during her decade-long career. Her latest series is Thousand Days Promise last year. – Reuters