Rocking in Korean, Mandarin, English

Rocking in Korean, Mandarin, English

Korean band CNBlue frontman Jung Yong Hwa duets with Singapore singer JJ Lin on first solo album.

Frontman of Korean rock band CNBlue Jung Yong Hwa, who is idolised by legions of fans worldwide, is all too familiar with crazy fan antics.

After all, he pulled one of those himself when, as a teenager, he tried to sneak backstage at girl group Girls' Generation concert in Busan.

"I wanted to say hello to the members and tried to enter the backstage area but was stopped by a guard," says the 25-year-old in an e-mail interview with Life! to promote his first solo concert here next month.

But since he found fame with CNBlue in 2009, he does not have to sneak around anymore and gets to meet the leggy Girls' Generation lasses in the flesh.

Jung was even briefly "married" to the group's youngest member, Seohyun, in Korean reality TV show We Got Married, which pairs Korean celebrities and shows what life they would lead if they were married.

The boyish Jung says he is the envy of his high school friends.

He also got to lock lips with a winsome model in the music video for the title track of his first solo album One Fine Day, which was released in January.

"The director came up with the idea of having an on-screen kiss, but I did not reject it," Jung says with a laugh. "The kiss scene was completed in one shot, without any NG (no good) takes."

He did not work with any female singers for his 10-track album though. His duets were all with male artists, such as Korean rapper verbal jint and Singaporean singer JJ Lin.

Lin and Jung worked on the Korean- Mandarin-English pop-rock tune Checkmate. They wrote the lyrics together and Jung penned the melody.

The singer-songwriters got to know each other when Lin caught CNBlue's concert in Taiwan a few years ago. They have kept in touch since.

Impressed by Mandopop crooner Lin's "competence and passion for music", Jung reached out to him to work on the duet.

"Working with JJ Lin is always fun and energetic," he says.

The duo can be seen goofing around on set in the behind-the-scenes clips for their music video filmed in Seoul in January. They playfully spout random Mandarin and Korean phrases, such as "it's really cold" and "I'm hungry".

They also performed Checkmate on Korean TV music programme Music Bank.

As a sign of their friendship, the singers exchanged gifts.

Lin gave all four members of CNBlue a pair of headphones each. Jung gleefully says he got first dibs to pick the colour.

"I picked the black headphones and I am still using them," says Jung, who gave Lin energy- boosting red ginseng.

He also sent Korean street snacks - such as spicy rice cake, blood sausages and fish cakes - to Lin's dressing room.

Indulging in street snacks at roadside stalls is a luxury these days for the popular Jung.

He says: "I have to behave with many considerations nowadays. There were many things I could do in the past. I remember hanging out with my friends eating street food, going to the karaoke after school.

"They seem like very common things to do, but I miss those things the most."

nggwen@sph.com.sg

Book it

JUNG YONG HWA FIRST CONCERT - ONE FINE DAY IN SINGAPORE

Where: The Star Performing Arts Centre

When: May 30, 7pm

Admission: $138, $188 and $238 from Sistic (call 6348-5555 or go to www.sistic.com.sg)


This article was first published on April 9, 2015.
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