Guitar and Vocals in the popular Korean 4-piece band CNBLUE. As an actor, he boasts his popularity in all parts of Asia after starring in “You Are Beautiful” and “Heartstrings”. On April 24, CNBLUE’s 5th single “Blind Love” will be released.
Not your typical “K-pop idol”. He came to Japan seeking to be a musician, flew here from Korea where the band culture isn’t well established. On the streets and in live houses, he trained and experienced hardship. He’s a serious band guy.
“In Japan, there were so many unique bands that were beyond our wildest imagination. It was a culture shock. I’ve learned so much from watching other bands. I still do.”
“You Are Beautiful”, a drama he was cast in the middle of his training, was a bit hit. Riding that wave, he returned to Korea and debuted as CNBLUE. The band that performed on the streets of Shinjuku swept the Korean charts with “I’m a Loner”. Their popularity spread to Japan where they were filled up Yokohama Arena right before their major debut. Their first major album ranked top on the Oricon chart, and they also successfully finished an arena tour. Starting this April, they’re starting the first massive worldwide tour as a Korean band.
“I have no pressure at all about the World Tour. I’m excited to experience different cultures abroad, it feels like I’m going on a trip. (laughs) CNBLUE is a band, but I think our appeal to the world is that we have popular melodies that are distinctly K-pop. Of course, it’s thanks to other K-pop artists’ superb performances, and our unique position as a band within K-pop that makes us stand out. I think that the current K-pop and K-drama boom worldwide is helping us greatly in synergistic effect.”
As Asia’s top runner who aspires to venture abroad following Korea and Japan, what should CNBLUE do next?
“Recently, not only in Japan and Korea but the variations of music are becoming more and more rich worldwide. Diverse genres of music are bringing energy to the charts, and that’s what people want, too. They’d listen to CNBLUE but other music as well. That’s what I like. It’s not like I only listen to what I like, and I don’t listen to CNBLUE’s music every day. (laughs) I think it’s important to get in touch with many different kinds of music. Compared to when I debuted, the band culture in Korea has developed a lot. I want CNBLUE to be a band that leads that trend, a band that can suggest “the way” to progress forward. I have the same mindset on this whether it’s in Korea, Japan, or the world. Through our overseas activities, we are promoting Korea and Korean music, and it’s very overwhelming every time the Japanese or overseas fans support and welcome us. It’s been three years since debut, but it’s still really overwhelming. (laughs) Just this fact that I’m on the cover of “AJ” with a Japanese star, Sato Takeru, is also overwhelming. Certainly, it’s an incredible honor. The photoshoot and the interview were so much fun, I hope to have more opportunities like this in the future.”
A common denominator between Sato Takeru and Yonghwa is that they’re both actors. Although he started in a band, what are his thoughts on being an actor?
“The pressures I feel as a musician and as an actor are quite different. It seems like my fans think the the difference I feel are very interesting, and so do I. I feel that performing as an actor definitely improves my expressions and performances on stage. It’s also connected to the music I express. I also think about going overseas with acting, not just as a musician.”
Scan by tieba
Trans credit just_jyh