Friday March 1, 2013
Teens on top
By NATASHA IMAN
The current it K-pop boys are taking the world by storm.
With 17 music videos, a European tour and a record for the highest decibel levels ever reached at the Le Trianon theatre in Paris under their belts, it is hard to believe that South Korean boy group Teen Top has only been in the industry for three years.
They made their debut under a record company founded by Andy Lee of legendary K-pop group Shinhwa, and members C.A.P, Changjo, L.Joe, Ricky, Niel and Chunji went on to release their first single album Come Into The World.
At the time of the release, oldest group member and leader C.A.P was merely 17, with the youngest member, Changjo at 14.
As the memberís ages were revealed, fans began debating whether they were too young to be making their debut in the industry.
Nevertheless, the boys were unstoppable as they heated up their debut stage on MBCís Music Core, receiving positive reviews for their performance.
With a powerful debut and a growing fan base, Teen Top was quick to release their next single Supa Luv, a track originally written in English but translated to Korean.
Adding on to their dynamic year, the group was then featured on French TV show Le Grand Journal, where their single Supa Luv was shown as part of a section where they introduced three countries with three different musical performances.
The screening of the video was then followed by a discussion as to whether or not the groups shown could be a potential hit in France. While the other videos were harshly criticised, Teen Topís video received highly positive feedback from the panel.
On July 21, 2011, Teen Top released the first preview of their single No Perfume On You from their EP album, Roman.
During the promotional period of the album, Teen Top came down to Malaysia and took to the stage with acts like Park Jung Min, U-KISS, FT Island and 4minute as part of the Korean Music Wave 2011, held at Stadium Merdeka in Kuala Lumpur.
Needless to say, their Malaysian fans were delighted by the show, as the boys performed hits such as Clap, Supa Luv and Angel in front of an enthusiastic crowd.
Continuing on their incredibly successful streak, Teen Top released their second mini album, produced by the Brave Brothers, entitled Itís in January last year.
The album peaked at number four on the Gaon Monthly album charts, and the first single Going Crazy became the most downloaded ring tone in Korea, beating out girl group T-araís Lovey Dovey.
However, their biggest breakthrough came later in February as the group won their first ever K-Chart award on Music Bank, setting a record for the youngest group to have ever won on a music program.
Since then, Teen Top have been touring actively, including stops in Japan and Europe.
The five-city European tour was announced at the end of last year with dates scheduled for Munich, Dortmund, London, Paris and Barcelona. They hit the road in Europe on their very own tour bus.
Response to the tour was generally good, especially in France where the tickets were sold out almost immediately.
Once back in Korea, Teen Top hit the ground running with the pre-release of their song I Wanna Love along with a music video.
The song was well-received among fans, most of whom had been eagerly anticipating their return to the K-pop scene. The song reached number one on the Cyworld and Bugs music charts.
Coinciding with the release, Teen Top became one of the most searched phrases on Korean search engine Naver.
To the joy of many of their fans, the track list of Teen Topís first full studio album was released earlier this month ahead of its release last Monday.
The hype was further fuelled by the announcement that there would be a limited edition of the album, which would come with an 80-page photo book, photo cards and a large sticker picture.
Based on previews of their music videos, the boys seem to be transitioning to a more mature sound and image.
The video preview was split into two parts Ė the first one featuring C.A.P, Changjo and L.Joe, and the second featuring Ricky, Niel and Chunji.
Finally, on Feb 25, the album was released, and it was titled No. 1. The band travelled all the way to France to shoot material for the album jacket.
The music videos for I Wanna Love and Miss Right were also shot overseas, helping them to expand their fan base beyond Korea and Japan.
With age not being a limiting factor, Teen Top surely has a very bright future in the entertainment industry, having only made their debut three years ago and already accomplishing more than what many veteran artistes have.
Although the group has not officially performed Miss Right on an official music programme yet, many fans are expecting that No. 1 will live up to its name and top the K-charts.