Former U-KISS Member, AJ: Introduction
AJ is a South Korean rapper. He is a former member of the boy band U-KISS and it’s sub-unit uBEAT. AJ joined U-KISS in 2011 along with Hoon for their fifth mini-album Brand New Kiss. On July 29th, 2012, it was announced that AJ would be taking a hiatus as he started his studies at Columbia University. AJ went back to U-KISS for their third full-length album, Collage, which was released on March 6th, 2013. At the end of April 2014, the sub-unit uBEAT comprised of Eli, AJ, and Kevin debuted. In May 2014, AJ took a hiatus again. On August 29th, 2016, his contract with NH Media expired and he officially left U-KISS.
Profile and Facts
Birth Name: Kim Jae-seop (김재섭)
Stage Name: AJ, Siyoon
Date of Birth: June 4th, 1991
Star Sign: Gemini
Height: 183 cm
Weight: 68 kg
Blood Type: A
Education: Korea Kent Foreign School and Columbia University
- His hobbies are street basketball, computer games, and traveling
- His talent is playing the piano
- He went to a foreign school, so he has learned to speak English
- He is a former member of Paran
- His first song with U-KISS was “0330”
- He composes songs and participated in the making of “0330” and “Obsession“
- He says he is closest to Eli and often compares himself to him
- He likes rice noodles
- AJ was voted as the member with the highest IQ
- AJ was admitted at Columbia University in the United States in 2011
- AJ‘s ideal type of girls are sexy and cute girls
After the heart surgery, I am in recovery. pic.twitter.com/8mv9C1EqCu
— Si Yoon Kim (@iamrlatldbs) June 11, 2014
On June 11th, 2014, AJ updated his Twitter account with a picture of his hand with an IV needle and tubes on it. He wrote, “After the heart surgery, I am in recovery.” His unexpected tweet shocked many fans and also other U-KISS members. At the time, AJ was on hiatus from U-KISS to focus on his studies.
U-KISS’ Soohyun replied to the Twitter post with: “What is this, what’s wrong?” While Kevin wrote, “I’ll be praying for a quick recovery! Don’t be sick ㅠㅠ.” And U-KISS’ Eli said, “Jae-seop, be strong!”
In September 2011, it was announced that AJ was accepted in Columbia University, one of the most prestigious universities in the United States of America and a member of Ivy League schools. His acceptance drew a lot of attention. U-KISS’ agency, NH Media, said that several home-school material companies and other educational institutions offered endorsement contracts and AJ had been getting invitations from several institutions to lecture about his secret to getting accepted in Columbia University.
On July 29th, 2012, during U-KISS’ Japanese concert at Tokyo NHK Hall, AJ announced that he would be leaving U-KISS temporarily to attend Columbia University. He apologized to his fellow members and fans for his hiatus. NH Media, AJ’s family, and AJ himself had talked about his hiatus for a very long time and made the decision together to put on hold his showbiz career to pursue an academic career at Columbia University.
AJ returned to U-KISS for the third album. While attending Columbia University, AJ was simultaneously participating in composing music and writing lyrics to the songs for U-KISS’ next album, Collage, which was released on March 6th, 2013.
AJ was also featured in a NY Post article about his school life at Columbia University. The article gave us insight into his life at Columbia, and surprisingly AJ said that not many people recognize him at school. AJ also talked about his school life and his psychology major, and the article ended with him revealing his desire to be a campus couple with a fellow Columbia student. In May 2014, AJ went back to the USA to continue his studies.
In May 2016, AJ uploaded a picture on his Instagram account. He wrote ”Hard work and effort never betray. #deanlist #schoolofgeneralstudies #columbiauniversity.”
Departure From U-KISS
On U-KISS’ official fan cafe, a handwritten letter by AJ was posted. In the note, AJ stated that his contract with NH Media officially ended on August 29th, 2016. He thanked fans for all the love and support given to him over the years and ended it by stating he will become a better musician and show everyone even better music in the future. He officially departed from U-KISS.
After his departure announcement, AJ unfollowed other U-KISS’ member Twitter accounts. But he is still following his old bandmates from Paran. His action received a lot of negative comments from fans. The fans talked about how other U-KISS members were always nice to him, even wishing him happy birthday publicly when he ignored them and how other U-KISS members talked about him with fans saying that he was studying hard.