U-Kiss’s Jun’s Re-Debut as a UNB Member
With the appearance of the Idol Reboot Project The Unit in October 2017, he showed his skills as a singer who had been hidden for a while. In February 2018, he won first place in the finals and worked as a member of the project group UNB. After completing two album activities, including the first mini-album BOYHOOD and the second mini-album BLACK HEART, the following year, they officially ended their UNB activities at a concert in Japan, in January 2019.
U-Kiss’s Jun became the vocalist of UNB and had quite a responsible position. When it comes to rap, Jun has a low-pitched husky tone, while when singing, it is characterized by a relatively high-pitched voice with a clear tone. He has a lot of affection for rap and hip-hop to define him as a rapper who sings in a position by his personal position.
In U-Kiss, his positions are lead rapper, sub-vocalist, and lead dancer. He is also the longest and youngest on the team. At the time of joining the team, both vocal and rap skills were good enough for the leader to introduce him as a good member, but U-KISS had only members of the vocal position except for rapper Eli.
However, depending on the song, the proportion of rap and vocal is flexible, so there are cases where there are only vocal parts in the songs included in the ballad genre. In the past, compared to the four vocal line members and main rapper Eli, the part was relatively small, but due to various circumstances, the number of members in the group decreased, and the portion of the members who were away from the group was distributed, and the proportion of vocals increased considerably.
In UNB, Jun’s position was the main vocal and sub-rapper, lead dancer. The position in U-Kiss is different, but there is a reason for digesting the vocal part for each mission at the time of the Idol Reboot Project The Unit appearance, and it inevitably changed because the member of the main vocal position was only full in the debut group composed of many members.
Previously, it was not without vocal experience at all, but it was a situation where the main position had to be completely changed from rap to vocal, so he also said that the part he cares about most, while preparing for his debut on the debut anniversary V-Live. Together with UNB’s Chan, he sang the introductory part and the chorus part, and was in charge of high-pitched ad-libs for the debut title song and some included songs.
Through the program The Unit, Jun, who was previously known as a U-Kiss member, refreshed his career with the UNB group. But after the UNB contract period ended, fans wondered if Jun would return to activities with the U-Kiss group?
In an interview with Top Star News which took place in January 2019, Jun talked about U-KISS, UNB, and his solo debut in Japan. Jun revealed, “I want people to be enthusiastic about my solo debut whether in Japan or in Korea. I’m very careful this time because this is my first solo activity. I didn’t know what would happen in Korea, so I prepared everything. It took five years for me after debut to release my first solo album. I feel good that I have been recognized. I think this is the result of my hard training over the past two or three years.”
He continued, “The Japanese staff said to me, ‘Thank you for your hard work. Let’s do the best we can. And I thought this was my chance (to release a solo album). If I didn’t do my best, they wouldn’t think like this. I can be proud of myself. Back then, I worked really hard to be successful. Now, the meaning of success for me has changed a lot. It’s not all about popularity, but I think it’s great if we can do a lot of the things I can and want to do.”
Entitled Phenomenal World, his first solo album has the theme of reflecting on yourself. Initially, the album was to be released in February, but it was pushed back to April 2019 and Jun reasoned that he had to prepare it perfectly. Jun revealed, “I have never tried music genres when I started my career with U-KISS, so look forward to this time. This is a challenge for me and the staff, so I put a lot of effort into this song.” The choreography for this song was made after Jun and the choreographer discussed it together.
Jun said that he has never performed a cute song since his debut except for concerts. In regards to that, he said, “Fans want to see me with a cute appearance that suits my age. If I have the chance, I want to try it. I watch music shows and MXM has cute stage performances. Kim Dong-hyun fits bright songs, and he’s cute. I thought, ‘If I try cute songs, I have to look like them’.”
He explained, “It’s not that I really want to try the cute concept. Usually, people want to try the sexy concept when they try the bright concept at first. Kijoong of UNB is like that. He wants to try to do (something) cool instead of cute things. I told Ki-joong, ‘Whatever you do, you are cute. You’re cool, but at your age, you’re cuter’.”
Jun also talked about the differences between being a member of U-KISS and UNB. He said, “Overall, U-KISS is calm but UNB has high energy. Even when we practice, we can’t decide the song properly. When I was with U-KISS, you made up your own opinion and decided on the song within 2 to 30 minutes. But when we were with UNB, we suddenly talked about other things.”
He added, “Actually, the older UNB members act like babies. When we were together, we were hyper at first and they arranged everything in the middle of time. Ho-jung and I said, ‘Let’s practice’. I have been a trainee for a long time, so I thought that it was important to allocate a proper amount of time during practice. Practicing is fun.”
UNB held their final concerts in Japan, in Osaka on January 25th, 2019, and in Tokyo on January 27th, 2019. They ended their activities in Japan and not in Korea. Regarding this, Jun expressed his apologies, “I feel guilty. UNB was born in Korea thanks to the votes of the unit makers. We wanted to return the love we received from UNMe (UNB’s fandom name), but I thought about how much we gave back (that love) or how well it was received during the year’s promotions. To be honest, I didn’t feel like it was enough, so I personally apologize, and I apologize to the members as well.”
He continued, “Even though holding a concert in Japan is something to be grateful for, it would be better if there was a chance to say goodbye in Korea. I feel like I’m on a long trip, yet can’t greet my parents. I feel so guilty. We also feel disappointed that we cannot end our promotions in Korea. It hurts to imagine the feelings of people who are as regretful as we are.”
Jun also gave an update on the latest activities of UNB members. He revealed, “The UNB members and I are very busy. Hansol is preparing the Newkidd album, Feeldog with dance activities, Daewon is having a fan meeting, Eu-ijin is on Somebody, Chan is doing all the preparations, and so are Ki-joong, Marco, and Ho-jung who are just as busy. I am happy that we are all busy. This is why we were on The Unit and everything went according to plan.”
Jun revealed the differences between Korean fans and Japanese fans. He explained, “Korean fans are always passionate. They were screaming so loudly I couldn’t hear the music behind my in-ear monitor. I’m happy to see them, but I’m worried about their throats. My hearing was a little bad, so I was listening to music very loudly on the in-ear monitor, but it wasn’t audible enough. I was so shocked when I got the Rookie Award at the 2018 MBC Drama Awards. I was grateful and happy when everyone cheered me on, but there was a lot of dust at that time, so I was worried about the condition of their throats.”
Jun said, “Japanese fans concentrate very well when I perform. When I sing ballads, some fans hold their hands together and watch me, while others close their eyes and listen to me.” He added, “When I performed in Japan, I was surprised. Not only Korean fans came, but there were also fans from China, Hong Kong, Taiwan, the United States, and Brazil. I thought it was fun and I feel proud of the fans who have stood for 10 hours in line to cheer me up and enjoy the moment because they like me and want to support me. I feel like I like their passion when doing things.”
U-KISS’s Jun finally made his solo debut in South Korea which fans have been waiting for. After several years of actively conducting solo activities in Japan, on December 5th, 2019, Jun released his first solo music video in South Korea titled “Curious About U”.
Jun, or who is now using his real name Lee Jun-young, released the music video for “Curious About U” along with the single album GALLERY. Through this music video, we can see Jun’s charismatic appearance when singing “Curious About U” and dancing with the dancers. In the music video, fans are also presented with the acting skills of Jun, who seems to be chasing a beautiful girl.
Well, that was all the information about U-Kiss’s Jun: from his full profile, fun facts, career journey from his debut as a member of U-KISS to his re-debut as a member of UNB. U-Kiss’s Jun can be considered as one of the members and also a K-Pop idol who has reached many achievements and now he has also successfully made his debut as an actor and solo artist. Let’s give our support to U-Kiss’s Jun and if you like this article, don’t forget to share it on your social media and stay tuned for more interesting upcoming articles from Channel-Korea!