Friday, June 21, 2013

KPOP Spotlight: A-PRINCE live in Singapore

K-POP is ubiquitous among youths all around the world, and it is especially prevalent in Singapore. When Discover NYP was invited to meet K-pop band A-Prince and attend their concert, I jumped at the opportunity.
(Source: http://aprinceofficial.tumblr.com/)
They are not as established as other South Korean bands like Super Junior or Big Bang. But, having only been around for seven months, A-Prince has already established an enviable fanbase, both in South Korea and in Singapore.

Fresh out of the K-pop scene, these five charming A-Princes held a three-day event here in Singapore and I had the opportunity to see them live. For non-K-pop readers, you might wonder who these princes are. Let me introduce them.


From left to right: Seung Jun (known as Smile Prince), Woo Bin (Pure/Innocent Prince), Sung Won (Prince of Princes), Min Hyuk (Sexy Prince), Siyoon (Cutie Prince)
The South Korean boy group is signed on under NEW PLANET Entertainment. Even before their debut, they had garnered a lot of attention with their single, “You’re The Only One”. The song is about a man’s feelings and thoughts after breaking up with his true love.

A-Prince officially debuted in November 2012 with their single, “Hello”.

What’s interesting and fresh about A-Prince is that they are ambitious. Barely a month after releasing their single, “Hello”, they had already ventured into the Japanese market. Their promotions and showcases eventually led up to their first solo concert in Tokyo in December 2012, which attracted more than 1,000 fans.

I had the time of my life over the course of the three days. Despite being an avid fan of K-pop for almost 10 years now, A-Prince is the first K-pop event I had ever attended. These guys had charisma, “ageyo” (cuteness) and talent. They left their fans and me wanting more.

During their three-day showcase in Singapore, fans took the opportunity to ask some burning questions:

Who inspires you most in the K-pop music industry? 
Woo Bin said that it was definitely Psy, as his performances are always filled with energy and power. (Members nod in agreement)

I also found out that many members of the band are hoping to collaborate with the artists who inspire them. Sung Won revealed that he wants to collaborate with JYJ’s Jaejoong. Min Hyuk wanted to collaborate with Rapper Beenzino. Si Yoon hoped to collaborate with SE7EN, while Seung Jun wanted to collaborate with Noel.

Since the group is called A-Prince, have you attained any As in your academic life?
Leader Sung Won revealed that he attained an A for music, while Si Yoon received an A for Art. Woo Bin, on the other hand, has not attained any As yet but he would work hard for one. Seung Jun received As for various subjects such as History, Sports, English and Mathematics.

How’s your stay in Singapore so far?
They recounted their visit to the Merlion Park that morning. They felt that it was very beautiful and took a lot of photos there. Sung-Won also said the hot weather in Singapore was refreshing, as Korea was chilly.

THE SHOWCASE

More than 300 fans turned up for the A-Prince’s very first showcase at the DBS Arts Centre. The screams of fans came in waves, each getting louder as the seconds ticked by while they were waiting for A-Prince to appear on stage.

Local dance group Cl1max opened up for A-Prince with a spectacular routine. They performed songs such
as Rania’s ‘Style’ and ‘Just go’ and Girl's Day’s ‘Expectation/Expect Me’.

A-Prince then began their showcase by melting the hearts of their fans with their dazzling vocals in “You’re The Only One”. As if that was not enough, A-Prince continued to cause fan girls to swoon with their signature introductory pose. Comments such as “Kyeopta! (Cute)” were buzzing throughout the concert hall.
After formally greeting and introducing themselves to everyone, the members of A-Prince continued their repertoire with “Oh Girl”. The enthusiastic fans sung the boy group..

A-Prince then brought the energy level up a notch by performing “Hugs” and “Mirotic” by TVXQ. Their performance so overwhelmed the fans that many were in tears.

The host, DJ Ken, then came on stage to test A-Prince on their Singlish. Leader Sung Won confidently added “lahs” to the words he was asked to pronounce. DJ Ken was so amazed that he decided to teach them more “advanced” Singlish, introducing the word “Chio” (“pretty” in Hokkien dialect). He eventually seized the opportunity to ask the members of A-Prince to choose a “Chio” lady each. Thus, five lucky fans got the chance to get their wishes fulfilled by the members of A-Prince. Many asked for either a photo or a hug.

The members of A-Prince continued to interact with their fans while performing f One Direction’s “What Makes You Beautiful” and “One Thing”. They also pleased fans by singing a new song titled “I Love You”.

While Min Hyuk, Si Yoon and Woo Bin went off stage to prepare for their next item, DJ Ken asked Seung Jun and Sung Won to share some secrets of A-Prince. The two started by revealing that Min Hyuktalked in his sleep. Sungwon then revealed that he liked to take photos of flowers as it helps relieve stress. He also mentioned that he liked the perfume by Bvlgari. Seung Jun said that he enjoys a myriad of sports such as basketball, badminton, table tennis, squash and running.  They also revealed that Woobin was talkative and collects caps.

DJ Ken, once again, seized the opportunity and prompted both Sung Won and Seung Jun to do the Gwiyomi (a series of cute gestures). The fans went wild!

All the members finally came out on stage to perform two new songs that have yet to be  released yet (“My Lady” and “Mambo”). The members of A-Prince explained that the song “My Lady” showed their love to their fans (called “ A-lands”) and “Mambo” was an experimental song with a new style.

As a special treat, A-Prince also celebrated the birthdays of Seung Jun and Woo Bin together with their fans. Woo Bin and Seung Jun were presented with two cakes, prepared by fans, and were showered with presents.

A-Prince ended the showcase with “Hello” once again, and also performed Psy’s “Gangnam Style” and “Gentleman” as an encore.

Thanking the fans for coming to support them, A-Prince expressed their desire to return to our sunny shores soon. Their farewell was bitter sweet, and I was sorry that it ended so soon!

Discover NYP is giving away a limited number of signed posters! Win them by answering this question: Name any song that A-Prince had sung during their showcase. Email your answers in this format (Name, Admin Number, School, Year and Answer) to nypcomms@gmail.com.  This contest is for NYP current students.

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By Dzulhilmi Bin Dzulkifli, Year 2, Diploma in Business Informatics

Hello everybody! *Waves frantically~.* My name is Dzulhilmi B. Dzulkifli. Friends know me as ‘Zool’ or ‘Zoomiee’. Even though I have been blogging for half my life now, never have I ever felt that blogging is a burden. Blogging is a way to express myself and let others learn about my experiences.

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