K-Pop without the frills

K-Pop without the frills
Lee Jung Shin, bassist of popular South Korean rock band CNBlue, on how his band differ from others.

K-pop stars are famous for their immaculate grooming and slick dance moves. But Lee Jung Shin, the bassist of popular South Korean rock band CNBlue, has some simple advice for those auditioning for tomorrow's TV talent quest Scoot: K-pop Star Hunt.

"Just be yourself. As long as you're true to yourself and sincere about your music, the audience will feel it. You don't have to do anything really fancy," says the 21-year-old in Korean via a translator.

He was in town on Thursday to promote the third edition of the regional talent competition, which aims to uncover the next K-pop star from Asia. The Singapore leg of the auditions will be held at Bugis+ shopping mall on Sunday. Auditions will also be held in other parts of Asia - Hong Kong, Indonesia, Malaysia, Taiwan, Thailand and the Philippines.

Lee practises what he preaches as a member of a band that is "all about the music". CNBlue's brand of rock music stands out from most slick dance- pop hits that dominate the K-pop industry and have propelled groups such as Super Junior to fame.

His groupmates - lead vocalist and rhythm guitarist Jung Yong Hwa, lead guitarist Lee Jong Hyun and drummer Kang Min Hyuk - focus on playing their own instruments at performances instead of dancing, and write a lot of their own music too.

"We are different because we don't dance and we don't focus on frills to make up a whole package. For us, it's really all about the music," says Lee.

He was in town alone to promote the show, as his bandmates had prior engagements.

Two contestants will be shortlisted from each Asian location for the talent search, and the 14 finalists will gather in Seoul next month for three weeks of training. They will vie for the title of Scoot: K-pop Star on Jan 5 next year, and the winner will be offered a contract with Korean entertainment company CJ E&M and record label FNC Entertainment and be groomed as a K-pop star.

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