KOREA + CHINA = POP

UNIQ makes their official debut in China and Taiwan

UNIQ makes their official debut in China and Taiwan

It’s been one heck of a week for rookie idol group UNIQ.

Since their Beijing fan meeting on November 25, UNIQ has been on a whirlwind promotional tour in China and Taiwan. In the course of one week, they have been in at least two different cities, and appeared on at least ten different TV shows.

UNIQ’s Beijing fan meeting was impressive for an idol group that made its debut only two months ago. Their agency, Yuehua Entertainment, had hired concert directors and stage designers to ensure a top class showcase. Although the event was just a fan meeting, Yuehua intended it to look and feel like a full concert.

At the fan meeting, UNIQ performed their debut song “Falling in Love”, along with their two soundtrack songs “Born to Fight” from Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, and “Celebrate” from Penguins of Madagascar. The five members also showed their talents in beat-boxing, a segment that involved all five members harmoniously taking turns to rap or sing to B.o.B’s “Airplanes”.

During an emcee Q&A period, the members shared some unique facts about each other:

  • Sungjoo and Wenhan chose to dorm with each other because they both have similar sleeping habits. They like to sleep in a quiet but cool environment because they get warm very easily while sleeping.
  • Yibo can’t sleep alone, but could manage if the lights were on.
  • Nicknamed the “mother” of the group, Yixuan once made the beds for the other members when he was sick at home one day.
  • The other members declare Wenhan as the member who spends the longest time getting ready because he takes too long in checking himself out in the mirror.

The family members of all five UNIQ members were present in the audience during the fan meeting, which led to some tearful speeches near the end of the showcase.

Prior to the fan meeting, live streaming website iQiyi had published a video that told of UNIQ’s hardships as trainees in Korea. Fans found out that Wenhan and Yibo are the group’s longest trainees, having been under Yuehua Entertainment for four years. Yixuan joined them half a year later, while Korean members Sungjoo and Seungyeon experienced five years and two years of training respectively. In Sungjoo’s case, part of his five years were under Korea’s YG Entertainment.

The five members told iQiyi of the many challenges they experienced as a trainee.

Wenhan said, “During my time as a trainee, there were two times when I considered giving up. Because during that time, there were a lot of trainees who left or who were eliminated, so there was a lot of pressure (to follow them).”

Knowing this, as well as the fact that UNIQ were not allowed cellphones during the duration of their training, it made the ending scenes at the fan meeting even more emotional.

At first, the showcase emcee originally thought only the parents of UNIQ’s three Chinese members were present at the fan meeting, but in actuality, the parents of both Sungjoo and Seungyeon were also in attendance. They had flown in from Korea especially for the Beijing showcase.

When Yixuan was prompted to give a message to his parents in the audience, the venue atmosphere quickly turned melancholic. Yixuan held back his tears when he spoke, and seeing their leader tear up, the other four members had trouble relaying their appreciative feelings to their parents as well.

UNIQ’s Beijing fan meeting required a full day of on-location preparation, but when it was all over, the members were only given a night’s rest before they were flown directly to Taiwan. On November 26, they filmed a performance of “Falling in Love” for Global Chinese Music.

Starting from November 27, UNIQ made appearances on numerous popular TV shows, including: Kangxi Lai Le (康熙來了), The Gang of Kuo Kuan (國光幫幫忙), University (大學生了沒), Idols of Asia (我愛偶像), and 100% Entertainment (娛樂百分百).

Having arrived in Taiwan, the five UNIQ members were most excited to try Taiwanese foods. Chinese members Yixuan and Wenhan especially enjoyed bubble tea and minced meat rice, while Korean members Sungjoo and Seungyeon were taught to speak the local Taiwanese dialect. The youngest member, Yibo, remarked that he liked watching Taipei’s street motorcycles.

In one interview, the members mentioned senior labelmate Han Geng, a former K-Pop artist who is now managed by Yuehua Entertainment. They relayed that Han Geng took great care of them; he visited Seoul to see them quite a few times, and would invite them out for a good meal.

UNIQ’s promotional tour in Taiwan was capped off by a press conference on December 1 where they were officially introduced to the local media. Popular Taiwanese actress Yao Yao (瑶瑶) was in attendance to show her support for the new group.

UNIQ returned to Korea on Wednesday, and is expected to prepare for a Korean comeback in January.

Yuehua Entertainment UNIQ Beijing fan meeting

Yuehua Entertainment UNIQ Beijing fan meeting

Yuehua Entertainment UNIQ Beijing fan meeting

UNIQ in Taiwan, December 2014

UNIQ in Taiwan, December 2014

UNIQ in Taiwan, December 2014

UNIQ in Taiwan, December 2014

Sources: China Times, Sina, iQiyi