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KPOP 101: Meet the members of U-Kiss 0

Welcome to the first edition of Koreaboo’s KPOP 101! As we have seen, new groups have been making their debut in the Korean music industry nearly every month. It isn’t unusual to come across K-Pop fans who have trouble remembering who is who in a group, nor is it unusual for a K-Pop fan to want to learn more above a group of whom they've recently become a fan of.

In this editorial, readers will be introduced to the members of a group, helping them associate a name with a face. In addition, more side information and facts will be included for readers’ enjoyment.

Starting off the first editorial of KPOP 101 is U-Kiss!

U-Kiss recently made their comeback with their 2nd full length album “Neverland,” which was released on September 1st. They returned with their most powerful concept and choreography to date with their title song “Neverland,” and their music video showed off the group’s strong charisma, stealing the hearts of both old and new fans.

U-Kiss, which stands for Ubiquitous Korean International Idol Super Star, was created under the agency NH Media and was formed in 2008 as a 6-member group that included Soohyun, Eli, Kevin, Dongho, Alexander, and Kibum. Nearly a year after the group’s debut, they were joined by a seventh member, Kiseop. In early 2011, Alexander and Kibum’s contracts were terminated by NH Media and were replaced by Hoon and AJ.

Soon after the member changes, U-Kiss released their mini-album "Bran New Kiss" and successfully promoted their title song "0330." The song attracted attention not only for it's addicting sweet melody, but for Eli and AJ's rap in which they says, "Don't deny our r²π."

Fans have decoded the lyrics in several ways with all answers pointing to the same thing: "Don't deny our (eternal) love."

In August 2011, U-Kiss made their way into the Japanese market by releasing the Japanese license of their Korean mini-album, "Bran New Kiss." They then followed up their Korean activities by releasing their 2nd studio album, "Neverland," which peaked at #1 on the Hanteo charts. The group is eyeing to release their 1st Japanese single in November or December at the latest.

Koreaboo would like to give a special thank you to U-Kiss's #1 International fan forum, Rocketboxx, for providing facts for each U-Kiss member, old and new! Check out the member's profiles below. Do you have a favorite bias in U-Kiss?

Full Name: Alexander Lee Eusebio
Known As: Alexander, Xander
Position: Rapper
Birthday: 07.29.1988
Height: 181cm
Blood Type: O
Languages: Korean, Japanese, English, Cantonese, Mandarin, Spanish, Portuguese
Associated Acts: U-Kiss (Rapper, 2008-2011), 3rd Wave Music
Associated Agencies: NH Media (2008-2011), M Plus Entertainment (present)

Alexander was part of the original U-Kiss lineup and made his debut with them as the unofficial leader (being the oldest) in 2008 with the song "Not Young." The group, at the time, was known to be one of the few groups who did not appoint a leader. He is very talented in the language category and has the ability to speak 7 different languages! Alexander himself is quite an exotic idol in K-Pop as he is part Portuguese, Chinese, and Korean.

Unfortunately in early March 2011, NH Media cancelled their contract with Alexander resulting in his exit from U-Kiss. He embarked on a new journey and began his solo activities, including joining the contemporary Christian music group 3rd Wave Music. He is set to visit Malaysia in October and meet his fans through a special event with 3rd Wave Music.

Full Name: Kim Kibum
Known As: Marumir, Kibum, Allen
Position: Vocalist
Family Relations: SS501's Kim Hyungjoon (older brother)
Birthday: 12.29.1990
Height: 180cm
Blood Type: O
Languages: Korean, Japanese, conversational English
Associated Acts: XING (2006-2007), U-Kiss (2008-2011)
Associated Agencies: Xing Entertainment (2007-2008), NH Media (2008-2011)
Associated Company: HnB Company

Kim Kibum originally made his debut with the group XING in 2006 under the stage name of Marumir. However, in 2007, Kim Kibum withdrew from the group before re-emerging in U-Kiss in 2008 with "Not Young."

Last year, Kim Kibum partnered up with his older brother, SS501's Kim Hyungjoon, and created the company HnB Company (Happy and Bright). In early January 2011, the brothers launched their first product from the company, Piro Piro cushions.

Despite no longer being in U-Kiss, he has continued to work with HnB Company and will be expanding to acting in Japan under the name Allen for the movie "Bond 2011, Boys Be Ambitious."

Full Name: Shin Soohyun
Known As: Soohyun
Position: Power vocalist, leader
Family Relations: 2 sisters
Birthday: 03.11.1989
Height: 181cm
Blood Type: A
Languages: Korean
Associated Acts: U-Kiss (2008-present)
Associated Agencies: JYP Entertainment (trainee), Good Entertainment (trainee), NH Media (2008-present)

Shin Soohyun made his official debut into the music industry with U-Kiss in 2008 after training for 3 years. He is known to have previously been a trainee under JYP Entertainment, as well as Good Entertainment. Soohyun is known to be the power vocalist of the group and was appointed leader after Alexander's departure.

Soohyun is known to have trembling hands when he is nervous and has an extreme passion for music. He has mentioned that his dream is to be a successful singer.

Fans have given him the nickname "King of Fanservice" because he constantly gives attention to his fans and keeps them happy whenever he finds free time. The members of U-Kiss are also known to call Soohyun "greedy" as the leader of the group is selfish when it comes to food.

Full Name: Kim Kyoungjae
Known As: Eli
Position: Rapper
Family Relations: 2 sisters
Birthday: 03.11.1991
Height: 180cm
Blood Type: O
Languages: Korean, English, conversational Mandarin
Associated Acts: U-Kiss (2008-present)
Associated Agencies: NH Media (2008-present)

Since Eli was born in Los Angeles and grew up in Washington D.C., he is fluent in English. However, this is not the limit of his language abilities. He had studied abroad in Beijing to become an actor when he was younger, resulting him in learning conversational Mandarin.

The U-Kiss rapper has mentioned that he would have liked to be an actor had he not followed the route of a singer. Eli also has a habit of biting his fingernails when he becomes nervous.

Eli is interested in "obedient girls." He is known to have had 5 open piercings on his body, including a hand-web and inner conch piercing, both which have been removed. His favorite fruit is the dragonfruit.

Eli has practiced Taekwondo for 12 years.

Full Name: Woo Sunghyun
Known As: Kevin
Position: Main vocalist
Family Relations: older sister
Birthday: 11.25.1991
Height: 178cm
Blood Type: O
Languages: Korean, English
Associated Acts: XING (2006-2008), U-Kiss (2008-present)
Associated Agencies: Xing Entertainment (2007-2008), NH Media (2008-present)

Kevin started his music career with the group XING in 2006 before withdrawing in 2008. Due to being in XING with former U-Kiss member Kim Kibum prior to joining U-Kiss, Kevin is known to be very close to Kim Kibum. A few months later, he debuted again with his current group, U-Kiss, as its main vocalist. Kevin was born in California and is another U-Kiss member who can speak English fluently.

World-renowned star Rain was Kevin's inspiration to become a singer. Being well known himself, Kevin also has an uncle in Germany named Emmanuel Woo, a famous musician.

Fans have reported that Kevin is very patient and incredibly nice. Kevin is known for his incredible appetite and his love for ddukbokki. He is described as having a "black hole" for a stomach because he is incapable of gaining weight.

Full Name: Shin Dongho
Known As: Dongho
Position: Rapper, maknae
Family Relations:
Birthday: 06.29.1994
Height: 175cm
Blood Type: B
Languages: Korean, conversational Mandarin
Associated Acts: U-Kiss (2008-present)
Associated Agencies: NH Media (2008-present)

Dongho is one of the most active U-Kiss members, participating in many dramas and multiple variety shows. Because of his various activities, the members of U-Kiss have said that they are thankful to Dongho for getting their group's name out. Despite being the maknae of the group, Dongho has mentioned on "Kiss the Dream" that many have expected him to act grown up. However, Dongho prefers to act like himself, a big kid.

He is another member of U-Kiss who knows conversational Mandarin as a result of studying in Beijing when he was younger. Dongho loves the color pink and also knows how to knit.

When he first made his debut with U-Kiss in 2008, he only received an 8-syllable line in the group's debut song, "Not Young," due Dongho going through puberty at the time.

Dongho is currently attending Hanrim Entertainment Arts School.

Full Name: Yeo Hoonmin
Known As: Hoon
Position: Vocalist
Family Relations:
Birthday: 08.16.1991
Height: 181cm
Blood Type:
Languages: Korean
Associated Acts: Yeo Hoonmin (solo)
Associated Agencies: Full Asian Entertainment (2009-2010), NH Media (2011-present)

Hoon joined U-Kiss after the official announcement of Kibum and Alexander's departure from the group in March 2011. He was the first member to be announced as the new recruit and was chosen for his good looks and vocal abilities. Known by the name Hoon in U-Kiss, he is one of the group's lead singers.

Prior to his entrance in U-Kiss, Hoon made his debut in 2009 as a solo singer under his full name, Yeo Hoonmin. On September 9, 2009, he released his EP album, "Pure & Love." He returned with a digital single, "Beginning," on May 7, 2010.

Hoon is currently attending Dongguk University as a theater major and has expressed his desire to attempt acting. He has already appeared in the SBS drama "Athena: Goddess of War," prior to his U-Kiss debut, as the bodyguard of the president. Hoon is one of the bulkiest members of U-Kiss as a result of his Taekwondo practice.

Full Name: Kim Jaeseop
Known As: AJ
Position: Vocalist, rapper
Family Relations:
Birthday: 06.14.1991
Height: 183cm
Blood Type:
Languages: Korean, English
Associated Acts: Paran (2005-2011), U-Kiss (2011-present)
Associated Agencies: NH Media (2005-present)

At the age of 14, AJ originally made his debut with the male group Paran in 2005 as the maknae and rapper of the group before joining U-Kiss in 2011, after the departure of Alexander and Kim Kibum. Prior to joining U-Kiss, he had been training with Soohyun during his time in Paran.

While in Korea, he attended Kent Foreign School before getting home-schooled. Currently, AJ is on leave/deferred from Columbia University as he is currently promoting with U-Kiss.

AJ is known to enjoy composing and has already written songs for U-Kiss, including "0330" and "Obsession."

Full Name: Lee Kiseop
Known As: Kiseop
Position: Vocalist
Family Relations:
Birthday: 01.17.1991
Height: 180cm
Blood Type: A
Languages: Korean
Associated Acts: U-Kiss (2009-present)
Associated Agencies: NH Media (2009-present)

Kiseop joined U-Kiss as its 7th member in 2009 and was known as an ulzzang ("best face"), having even appeared on the 2nd season of "Ulzzang Shidae." Had he not been in show business, Kiseop has said that he would have pursued his love for photography. Kiseop is known for his "4D personality" and has a fear of heights. His favorite type of girls are short girls.

Similar to Hoon, Kiseop also practices Taekwondo, in addition to beat boxing, dancing, and acting. The members of U-Kiss have claimed that Kiseop is one of the most hardworking members and is the most serious out of the group.

Koreaboo would like to give a special thank you to U-Kiss's #1 International fan forum, Rocketboxx, for providing facts for each U-Kiss member, old and new!

Source: koreaboo, sentisymphony and U-Kiss

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