Backstage with Kpop Idols
Ok, now this is a bit of a long story. We’ll post a TL;DR at the bottom, if you’re impatient:
First off, big thanks go out to Todd Thacker and the Jeju Weekly. He contacted us a few weeks ago and flew us out to cover the Super Inkigayo concert that was being held in Jeju. It was going to be Simon’s first time in Jeju since Martina had already been to Jeju twice with her school. On Saturday we tried to absorb as much of Jeju as we could on a driving tour since Sunday was the big concert.
When we arrived at the concert the fans were lined up outside waiting to grab the best seats but the stadium was really tiny so everyone was amazingly close to the stage. Although we had tickets to the show we actually didn’t see anyone perform. Why? Because we spent all of our time backstage!
Backstage was really a parking lot filled with white tents. When we arrived, only the first few acts were there and all the remaning tents were empty. We thought we could easily get clear footage of everyone arriving, but within 20 minutes car loads and bus loads of kpop bands started pulling up out of nowhere! The entire lineup was absurdly large. There was Rania, 4Minute, U-Kiss, Infinite, Orange Caramel, Rainbow, CN Blue, SNSD, TVXQ, f(x), Big Bang, Wheesung, Tony Ahn, A Pink, ZE:A and I’m sure there are many more that we’ve forgotten. We couldn’t get a camera on everyone but we tried, oh we tried all right wildly swinging our camera with the squeal of the local fangirl alerting us.
Martina’s Our goal, though, was clear from the start: we had to get some footage with Big Bang.
BUT OF COURSE, Big Bang was the very last band to arrive and because of that, things didn’t go as expected with Big Bang. We were lucky enough to pull GD aside for just a quick second to introduce himself but it was clear they were very busy signing shirts and preparing for stage. We couldn’t get a hold of TOP, who looked like a man on a mission at all times, but it was still super cool that
I we got to be so close to the action.
What was completely and utterly unexpected is that not only did we know some of the kpop stars, but some of the kpop stars knew us. SERIOUSLY AMAZZZZING!!!!! We spoke with Amber from f(x) briefly, but she said that her management wouldn’t let her talk on camera. Bummer. But she said that she used our Washing Machine video when she first came to Korea. SHAZAM! Our most boring (but practical) video ever! Glad that’s what we’re known for: Eat Your Kimchi – training you how to not have stinky clothes. Lizzy from After School and currently Orange Caramel remembered us from Running Man a while ago. We got shoddy footage of her because she surprised us by approaching us and our lens couldn’t zoom out any further! Also Kevin, AJ, and the rest of U-Kiss were totally freaking nice. I mean, really really nice. They chatted with us for a long time and they are all really down to earth. AJ even laughed off our R Squared Pi joke and complimented Simon on his math poem. See, angry Kissme Fangirls? Kpop stars know how to take jokes, so don’t get all butthurt over our reviews! *Simon gets killed anyways* We’re posting the extended footage of our chat with them on our YouTube bonus channel, so check it out there :D
We gotta say, now that we had a chance to ask some questions to kpop some kpop bands, we feel a lot more respect for what kpop idols go through. We saw tons of exhausted looking kpop stars half asleep in their cars and being woken up to hop out, do interviews, smile for their fans, and perform with full energy. Wow. We asked some of them what they were doing after the show, if they were going to hang around Jeju for a bit. Nope. They gotta hop on a plane back immediately and go do other stuff. When do they have days off during the week? None. Month? Nada. The only real time they have off is during the major holidays, and that’s even debatable sometimes. Seriously! That’s crazy! Sure, being a celebrity has its perks, but at the cost of losing all your free time? Would you make that trade? Famous, but busy all the time (and we do mean ALL the time) or non-famous but able to relax? We’d choose relaxing, no matter how much money you paid us. So, yeah, even if you don’t like kpop music, you gotta respect those Kpop stars who never sleep but still give 110% on stage.
What most surprised us is how different people act backstage. A while ago, for our Heart to Heart interview, we angered some SNSD fans by saying that to those of use who are none-SNSD fans, the girls don’t seem to have much personality in their music videos. People argued that they’re loaded with personality in their interviews and TV shows, but we argued that it shouldn’t be necessary to do outside research in order to appreciate a music video. But, backstage at this super Inkigayo concert, we saw a fantastic side to them. Soooo much fun! They were outside, smiling and giggling, talking to other people, jumping and skipping, and just seemed so radiant with energy. Amber from f(x) was super fun and playful as well, and the girls from Orange Caramel were likewise very smiley and happy. It seemed that it was just the guys – with the exception of U-Kiss – that were very serious. CN Blue stayed in their tent most of the time but you could hear them practicing Bon Jovi’s Always. TVXQ looked super focused but they did go out and talk with some of the girl bands…all while looking super focused. Except for Taeyang, Big Bang spent most of their time in their cars.
So that’s it. We were super exhausted because it was really sunny and hot that day, but it was well worth it. Also, since we had such a great experience with U-Kiss, f(x), and Orange Caramel, we’re gonna tell you to support them and go buy their albums, because they were so nice and we like them a lot now :D
TL;DR – We managed to squeak in backstage somehow, talked to GD, Amber, U-Kiss, and Lizzy. Did not speak to TOP. Super mega stars were really busy and management didn’t let them speak on camera. Mordney was not present.