This interview was very hard to type up since the font on the image was incredibly tiny. There may be small discrepancies from the original interview.
A New Weapon, uBEAT
The group U-KISS has drawn a lot of attention from their hit songs "Manmanhani (Am I That easy?)", "NEVERLAND" and "DORADORA (Spin, spin)" since their debut in 2008. Now they've joined the competitive world of unit groups. uBEAT consists of U-KISS members AJ, Eli and Kevin. AJ and Eli, who are in charge of the rap collaborated with Kevin to come out with their new hip-hop album "Should Have Treated You Better". Hip-hop unit albums are rare for idol groups. Already having had a previous encounter with U-KISS, Kwave is obviously curious about this name. This is the story of uBEAT beyond U-KISS.
Kwave: Why does this unit group consists of these three members?
Eli: AJ kept on suggestion it to our agency. Since AJ and I are rappers, we wanted to do hip-hop. We told them that we want to do music with our color. That was two years ago.
AJ: Technically, Kevin is not a member of uBEAT. He does featuring. If it's only the two of us, we thought the songs would be boring. Because Kevin's sentimental voice would really go well with our songs, he joined us. It's good, because his voice suits the song so well.
Kwave: Since there are so many unit groups already, I thought it was kind of late for you. But there is a hidden story behind it. So have you been preparing for two years right?
Eli: We are a lot late. During the past 2 years we had also been working as U-KISS, we practiced when we would. Because we prepared so much, when the chance came, we could make it right away.
AJ: To be honest, we were a bit nervous as well. If we put it off for two years, we worried that we might never be able to make an album. Now that it is out, it's a relief. We put more focus on the fact that we are doing what we've wanted to do.
Kwave: I guess you like uBEAT better than U-KISS, since you get to do what you always wanted to do?
Eli: Yeah, U-KISS songs are more seriously and manly, but uBEAT has more light and fast songs, so it is more fun.
Kevin: I personally like uBEAT better. We do songs that are easy to listen and sing to.
AJ: For U-KISS, we had to do a seven member choreography. We have a lot of choreography where we all have to be a certain angle. It's of course awesome and cool. but it is limited and not too exciting for us on stage. Since we don't do that in uBEAT we can enjoy being on stage a bit more. We can perform without any limitations.
Kwave: You reunited with hit song producers Brave Brothers, how do you feel about that?
AJ: We didn't really feel anything foreign at all. They have created U-KISS's concept and musical color.
Certainly, compared to U-KISS's songs, these songs are faster and lighter. These songs sound a bit different from Brave Brothers's previously produced songs.
AJ: It was really noticeable. In fact, when you listen to Brave Brothers's other songs, you can tell who they are from. 'Ah this song is definitely made by Brave Brothers'. I think they tried a slightly thing this time.
Kwave: The song's are neither too fast nor too slow, so they are easy to listen to. I heard that one of the songs in this album, "Standing Still (Remix)" is a progressive house song. What is this unfamiliar genre of music?
Eli: Actually, it was the first time we'd heard of it too. (laughs)
AJ: Yes, it's a genre that isn't very popular in Korea yet. This might be its debut in Korea. It was remixed by the song writer, Kim Hyunsong, whowrote the title song for U-KISS's 3rd regular album. This song has a moderate tempo so that it would be more public-friendly. I think it's a song that our concept really goes well with.
Kwave: Your title song is the same as the album title, "Should Have Treated You Better". Have you ever had any regrets like the regrets in the song lyrics?
AJ: I guess everyone goes through that. (laughs) We hope our fans will listen to it thinking "this is my song". It doesn't have to be a love story.
Kevin: Well, more than regret, i just feel bad that I don't go to school regularly. I didn't get to see my friends either.
Eli: I wish I had practised the piano harder when I was young . When I was young I just didn't like it because my mother made me play it, but now that I have become a singer, I kind of regret it.
AJ: I feel a little sorry about the songs I wrote. In our previous album, there was a song called "Amazing". I actually started writing songs seriously when I composed that one. At that time, I was new to composing so I didn't really think of it as title song material. Now that time has gone by, I sometimes think that I should have asked to have it made the title song.
Since you also compose songs, will the next uBEAT album have your songs as well?
AJ: Actually, I was thinking of making songs for our first album too. However since it was our first time, we decided that it was better to do it with a professional producer. So we worked with Brave Brothers, and the songs are great too. If we get the chance to make another album, I really want to put my songs in it.
So what is your goal?
AJ: We want to have it all: do the music we want to do and gain popularity. Of course it won't be easy, but we can't just waste this opportunity which has come after two years of waiting.