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31 December 2009

[Cover Story] Island Escape @ SG Teens Mag

Island Escape

We reckon FT Island must love Singapore to bits! By Hye-mun

Perhaps it’s because we’re famous for being an island nation, just like their band name. Or maybe it’s because we’ve got passionate fans who are not afraid of showing their love for them.

But whatever the reason, K-pop band FT Island seems to love our little island deeply. Why else would they visit us three times over less than six months?

Since the last time we caught up with Jonghoon, Hongki, Jaejin, Seunghyun and Minhwan, all of them have been keeping busy, both with individual and solo activities. Three of the members have even gotten together to form a separate group and released a single!

Let’s find out what has been keeping the boys busy…

Bitten by the Acting Bug

After Minhwan’s drama in the daily drama The Road Home, Hongki has had a turn in a drama too.

While he made his acting debut as a child actor, Hongki recently wowed audiences in the drama You’re Beautiful.

He played the role of Jeremy, an overseas Korean who grew up in England and returned to his motherland to be a member of the boyband A.N.JELL.

“When I’m a singer, I feel the thrill onstage; if I’m acting, I develop feelings for the screen,” he revealed when asked about the differences between acting and singing.

So did Hongki get along as well with his co-stars as he does with his fellow members, which included actor Jang Geunseok and Hongki’s labelmate Jung Yonghwa of the band CN Blue?

“…. Hongki was a little shy at first, but everyone was surprised at how quickly we became friends. He says he’s not even worried about being misunderstood if we went on a trip together!” is co-star, actress Park Shinhye revealed about how the cast got along on a set.

For Hongki, this experience has given him the opportunity to meet new friends. “When working with FT Island, when I get really tired, I can get bad-tempered. But here, when I get tired, I get to joke around with Yonghwa and Geunseok hyung (=older brother). When I arrive at the set in the mornings, Yonghwa pounds on my car window. I’m a little reserved, but we became friends right away… When I see Geunseok, he glares first. And I talk a lot with Shinhye, I don’t have time to feel depressed,” he grins.

The other members think that Hongki has given a great performance. “When I found out that his character in the drama was a drummer, I did ask him how he would be able to handle the drums. As the date for filming got closer, [Hongki] would practice till the wee hours of the morning. It was tough, but he’s done really well,” Minhwan says.

FT Triple

While Hongki has been busy filming his drama, FT Island members Jaejin, Jonghono and Minhwan have formed the unit group FT Triple. “The idea for the group came when we were preparing for our concert in Japan, and we thought about doing the same in Korea. When the opportunity came along, we decided to just go for it,” Minhwan said.

In the team, Jaejin takes lead vocals, with Jonghoon as the second vocalist and keyboards, and Minhwan continuing on the drums. The trio made their debut on the repackaged release of FT Island’s latest release Double Date, which had two discs – One Date, and Two Date.

Two Date contained three tracks by FT Triple, including the title track “Love Letter”.

“The song is a letter you wish you could write to an ex-girlfriend because you worry about her, asking questions like ‘Are you eating well though I’m not around?’ and ‘Are you doing well without me?’. But you can’t actually ask her about it, because you’ve already broken up,” Jaejin explains.

It was a big change for bassist Jaejin, who took Hongki’s place as lead singer in FT Triple. “My image as a bassist for FT Islad, and main vocalist for FT Triple are very different. You could say that it’s a little empty with only three of us onstage, but I think that’s okay – thanks to good camera angles. But the most amazing thing is that now, yous ee my face for more than half of a three-minute song – it’s quite amazing.” Jaejin laughs.

Exam Fever

While Jaejin has been busy with preparing for their concerts and with activities for FT Triple, he’s also had to mug for his college entrance exams, which were held on 12 Nov 2009.

When asked how he found the papers, he felt that his Mathematics paper was the toughest, but feels that he will do better than expected.

“Funnily enough, I completed my paper really quickly. When I looked at the other students after I finished the paper, they were all scribbling furiously!” he laughed.

While most students look forward to the end of exams so they can relax, Jaejin lamented that he was too busy with preparing for the group’s upcoming concert tour. There is one thing that he’s looking forward to – finding a girlfriend in university! “I want to be part of a CC – a campus couple!” he declared.

Asian Activities

While FT Island has kicked off their concert tour in Korea, they are also gearing up for activities all over Asia.

Their first overseas stop in 2010 will be in Singapore for a fansigning and meeting session.

FT Island Autograph Session
Date: 29 Jan 2010
Venue: IMM Garden Plaza

FT Island Fanmeeting and Handshake Session
Date: 30 Jan 2010
Venue: Dragonfly @ St. James Powerstation

This will be followed by the Thailand leg of their “Men’s Stories” concert tour in Thailand (6 Feb 2010) and their first showcase in Taiwan (27 Feb 2010)

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