Since the beginning of their Japanese debut in December of last year, their number of fans have been steadily increasing, their first nation-wide tour in March was a success, in July their additional performances were an even bigger success, the ones that completed this, is U-KISS. In succession to their third single “Dear My Friend” which went on sale on July 25th, they continue with their 4th single which releases as early as September 5th, furthermore, on that same day, they will face the Budokan performance that they were longing for! We’ll deliver their unedited voices to you in 3 parts.
Dongho, the youngest, is their Japanese teacher!?
Q. Please introduce yourself and tell me your charm point.
Hoon: I have muscles. That’s why, within the members, my fighting ability is the highest. I’m manly and I can protect all of the fans!
Soohyun: I’m U-KISS’ leader and, I’m in charge of the vocals. I’m able to get along well with anyone. I protect my younger brothers.
Hoon: He leads us well.
Kevin: My charm point is, I have a soft singing voice and smile… and I have a pure heart (laughs). Also… What else is there?
Hoon: It’s not good to lie.
Soohyun: That’s enough (laugh).
Kevin: Alright~ (laughs).
Kiseop: I’m Kiseop, I’m in charge of the vocals in U-KISS. I’m more thoughtful and deep compared to the other members, and I’m also the strange member. My hobby is dancing.
Eli: I’m Eli, I’m in charge of the rap. The thing I don’t lose against the other members is… When we’re singing on stage, I show my charismatic appearance and, actually there’s a lot about me that makes others laugh a lot, when I communicate with the fans, I become an interesting character. Also, I won’t lose in animal imitations (laughs).
Dongho: I’m Dongho, I’m in charge of the rap but, sometimes I also sing songs. I’m U-KISS’ Japanese teacher. It doesn’t mean that I’m exceptionally fluent but, I do my best to teach the members on what I know of the most.
Eli: He really teaches us a lot. Sometimes to the point that he’ll get irritated (laughs).
Dongho: Hahaha. That’s because Eli hyung doesn’t try to study.
Q. What’s an surprising aspect the members that we don’t really know about?
Soohyun: Kevin has charisma and is manly on stage but, he’s actually really weak against bugs.
Kevin: That, even all of the fans know that (strained laugh)! I, I’m quite the coward….
Soohyun: He hates ghosts/monsters too, if you suddenly surprise him he’s shout in a loud voice, and cry (laughs).
Kevin: That’s not only me, Kiseop is like that too! I don’t like it when you say that it’s only me (laughs).
Q. Well then, within the members, who’s the one that gets the most affection?
Soohyun: The youngest, Dongho is the one who gets the most affection. Even if we don’t give affection to Kevin, he can still do everything on his own but, it’s because Dongho is still a child.
Kevin: We praise him.
“Dear My Friend” is a message to the fans
Q. Your new song “One of You” goes on sale on September 5th so, what kind of work was it completed into.
Hoon: Up until now, the songs that we’ve released, in one song we just had one kind of concept but, in “One of You”, our cute appearances, our cool appearances, everything is in there. You can see our everything all at once so, I believe that the fans will surely be happy about it too.
Kiseop: While we have stages where we have fun with the fans, within that, this is a song where we can show our different appearances so, I want to show this off right away.
Q. Your third single “Dear My Friend” is currently on sale, what are the feelings that you included in that song?
Dongho: We do our activities while going back and forth between Japan and Korea and, when we return to Korea, I think that the Japanese fans feel lonely. That why, this is a song that’s packed with words we want to convey and is like a present to all of the fans. Along with the title “to my friend”, it’s a song with the theme of friendship so, there’s the message of “don’t feel lonely” to the fans and at the same time, it can show the friendship between the members, nevertheless, I believe it’s a nice song.
Q.In the lyrics of “Dear My Friend”, there is a phrase that goes like, “we’re connected by an irreplaceable bond (kakegae no nai kizuna de tsunagatteiru)”. Member AJ’s activities are currently on a temporary break for his studies and, this song represents U-KISS well at the moment.
Soohyun: That’s why, we all cried a lot during the live. Even if AJ is coming back right away, when we received the notice that he would be separated from the group for a little while, we were really sad. And then, we’d remember this song a lot.
Kiseop: We heard about AJ before the tour started. That’s why, whenever a performance ended, one after another, we were reluctant about letting it pass by. Right now, I believe that all of the members have to put great effort into showing many aspects as 6, so that it’s about the same as when AJ was here with us. After all, we do feel lonely, and we want to see him as soon as possible but, after those 5 months pass, we’ll be 7 again so, we have to work hard so that we can show our better appearances at that time, that’s how I feel.
Q. “Dear My Friend“‘s coupling track, “Beautiful”, is AJ’s work, right.
Eli: I’m pleased with it too. If we sing it on stage it’ll be fun, and I think we’ll be able to show our romantic side as well.
Soohyun: If a regular person listens to this song, they’d probably think, “I bet this is the words that they want to convey to their fans” but, according to AJ, it’s a bit different than that.
Kevin: He wrote it while thinking “when I find someone that I love, I’ll surely feel this way”.
During the nation-wide tour, they fully enjoyed the food from this place!
Q. In your third single, you’ve recorded the sound from the tour final of the March tour in Zepp Tokyo and, what kind of impressions did this performance leave on you?
Soohyun: We sang the song “Believe” during the encore, and since that day was the last day of the tour, the fans made a surprise even for us. U-KISS’ penlight colour is originally pink but, they all changed that colour into blue, meaning to tell us “thank you”, all of the members cried. “Believe” is originally a song that was made to give hope to all of the people that suffered the big Tohoku earthquake and are dealing with painful memories. That why, every single time that we sing this song, my heart hurts, I even thought, “I wonder if we can become their strength” but, all of the fans gave us their thankful messages, and we were rather moved.
Eli: Also, the tour had 11 performances in total but, actually on the last day we had two performances and, it was the most difficult. I’ve had a hernia from the start, and I injured my back a bit as well… I remember that the doctor even came all the way to the waiting room, everyone got garlic injections and IV drips, and gave us massages.
Dongho: The waiting room looked like a hospital (sarcastic laugh).
Eli: We have a lot of really powerful dances, and the performances had those highlights so…. But, if I die then I’ll die on the stage. Hahaha.
Q. During the tour, I believe that you were able to visit every place in the country so, what kind of memories do you have of that?
Kiseop: For the tour we went to local areas and, we studied about the culture in each of those areas, we came in contact with the dialects so, that was fun. We were able to meet many fans as well. Also, the happiest thing was, that we were able to eat many different delicious foods!
Kevin: If we were in that place, then we ate many delicious foods. Tebasaki in Nagoya, jingisukan and miso ramen in Sapporo, tonkotsu ramen in Fukuoka, takoyaki and okonomiyaki in Osaka, cow toungue in Sendai!
Eli: We rea~lly love tebasaki!
Soohyun: Japanese cuisine is really delicious! The staff brought us to all the local famous shops.
Kevin: Also, what left an impression was the dialects. When we spoke the dialect from that area, the fans were really happy.
Kiseop: As for dialects, we lived in Osaka so, we’re most familiar with Osaka dialect. Sometimes it just flies out of our mouths. What’re ya’ doin’!
Dongho: What’re ya’ doin’!
Eli: Why tha’ heck~ (laughs)!
[T/N: Osaka dialect sounds more rough and rowdy than regular Japanese, which is why the three of them sound like someone from the countryside.]
Q. Which venue had the best atmosphere?
Dongho: I think that it was in Osaka and in Tokyo. The fans know that we lived in Osaka so, they tell us “welcome back~”, so the atmosphere is nice and has the “hometown” kind of feeling.
Eli: I’ve said this before but, Sapporo is really cold so, it feels like the fans are settled down as well, instead of screaming their cheers, they clap at the end of the song. But, in Osaka, from the very beginning to the very end, their reactions are big.
Dongho: Sapporo, I love it. They also have “Shiroi Koibito [T/N: lit. White Lovers, it’s a brand of sweets. A layer of cookie on top of a layer of white chocolate.]”. They only sell it in Sapporo, there’s also the Shiroi Koibito Chocolate Drink and, that’s really delicious!
(END OF VOL.1)
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