Group BlA4 members Gong Chan (from the left), San Deul, Jin Young, Ba Ro, CNU / Photograph: by Photographer Oh Se Ho, Venue: Chungjunggak

Let’s go back to when we were six years old. We probably began to speak more clearly and learned to walk faster. When we were asked ‘what we wanted to be in the future’, we probably had so many things we wanted to be that ten fingers weren’t enough to count those dreams. This is why BlA4’s ‘6th year anniversary’ is similar to a growing ‘six year old’. When they were asked about the music, stage, performances, and fans that they love, they could not stop talking about it like happy six year old kids.

10. It has been 6 years since your debut.
Jin Young: Time goes by so fast. It seems like we debuted a couple of days ago (laughs) but now that we have gained that much more experience, I want to do better.
Gong Chan: First of all I really want to thank our fans for being with us for the past 6 years. I am eager to know what will happen next. While I wish time will go slower when we have fan meetings or concerts, I wish time would just go faster in general. This is because I want to spend more time with our fans.

10. You have spent more than 6 years with your members. Was there anything that changed or did not change in that time?
San Deul: First, I think our appetite for food did not change. (Everyone laughs)
Ba Ro: We definitely became more comfortable with one another. It has almost been 9 years since we met as trainees. We are like friends and family.

10. Let’s try comparing everyone as family members.
San Deul: Jin Young would be the mean five year old. (Everyone laughs) Then, CNU would be the three year old who behaves cute.
Gong Chan: San Deul would be the ‘grade 8 teenager’ who hit puberty. San Deul: Oh come on, let me be a high school kid.
Ba Ro: I think I would be a freshman in college. I really want to travel a lot these days.
Jin Young: I think Gong Chan is like a 50 year old. Ba Ro: Nah, he should be an elementary student because he likes games!
San Deul: Age has nothing to do with games. Gong Chan is like a 30 year old uncle.
Ba Ro: No, he is like a kid from elementary school. He is always joking around.
CNU: Okay, we will go with elementary school kid. He is very cute when he jokes around.
San Deul: Let’s make him the head of a ‘grade 5’ class!

10. I am curious about the reasons of why Jin Young would be the ‘mean five year old’ or CNU would be ‘the one who behaves cutely’. (Laughs)
Ba Ro: CNU was actually very serious who thought a lot about things. But these days, he is becoming cute. Before, he would even have to think about which coffee he would want to drink but now, he just says, ‘ice Americano’, or ‘ice chocolate’!
Jin Young: I like strawberry yogurt smoothie.
San Deul: This is what we meant about him being a mean five year old. He always wants a drink that is not commonly sold. He will throw a fit if we don’t get it for him. (Laughs)

10. Tell us about the colors of BlA4 that just hit 6 years.
San Deul: We are performing to the songs that we created. Since all five members contributed in creating the songs, you can tell how we felt during that period in our songs. I guess that shows what our group portrays.
Ba Ro: It is difficult to explain our colors in words. But we have heard others say, ‘B1A4 does what they are best at.’
Jin Young: I like hearing stuff like this. When someone listens to our songs, they recognize our song and say, ‘Ah, this is B1A4.’ I think that is a competitive edge. That was our motive and that is to be a group that has our own color. It is still an ongoing dilemma.
Ba Ro: It is a good dilemma. We are enjoying ourselves and using music to find a way together.

10. During the first half of the year, you focused on overseas activities. For example, you went on a tour to 4 cities in the United States this February.
Ba Ro: It has been a while since we went to on a tour in the States. A lot of people came to see us during this tour as well.
San Deul: Usually, our fans in America would sing along to the English parts of the lyrics but during this tour, I was really surprised when a local man sang along to our entire Korean song. (Laughs)

10. He seems like an enthusiastic fan. (Laughs) Why do you think people who come from different countries, with different nationalities and languages like B1A4?
Jin Young: We are also curious about that. I think the people in Korea like us for our friendly image. On the other hand, I guess there is something that they like about us because we have a lot of international fans despite not having gone abroad as much.
Ba Ro: That is why I asked them. (Laughs) I asked a friend who lives in the States and they claimed that they like the energy that we bring us a group.

Group BlA4’s Jin Young / Photograph: by Photographer Oh Se Ho, Venue: Chungjunggak

10. Gong Chan has something to celebrate about. Recently, we heard that he was featured in a web-based entertainment show called ‘Jonjaler (Signifying a handsome star). He was approved for his ‘good looks’ as it only features idols with great looks. (Laughs)
Gong Chan: VIXX’s Hong Bin, ASTRO’s Cha Eun Woo, and other idols were featured in it and I was the last to appear on it. I guess I was saved as the ‘best for last’. (Everyone laughs)
Jin Young: Gong Chan is really good looking.
San Deul: Before our debut, when we came to Seoul as trainees, we first introduced ourselves through video call. When I saw Gong Chan’s face, I realized that I really had to go to Seoul. He is the most handsome guy I have ever seen.

10. Do you share your dilemmas about your personal activities with each other as well?
Jin Young: Well, I do ask about directors that I am not familiar with but my members have previously worked with before.
CNU: Ba Ro was recently worried about his character in a web-based music video ‘Close My Eyes’.
Ba Ro: I had to play a visually impaired singer in ‘Close My Eyes’ and in my previous role I had to play a murderer in KBS 2’s ‘The Master of Revenge’. I think the two roles were similar. But I was concerned in how the details of the characters should be different.
Jin Young: Ba Ro was continuously faced with difficult roles. But through his various roles, he performed to convince his audience. So I think he is doing well.

10. The genre of the web-based music video seems different from the character played in ‘Close My Eyes’.
Ba Ro: ‘Close My Eyes’ was my first production that was created with a low budget and was released with a charge. I hope this production will be able to be enjoyed by more people than other low budget movies. Moreover, I hope the actors featured in this production will be able to gain a lot of opportunities through it. I played my role in this production with that in mind.
Jin Young: There are many cases where really good short movies and dramas do not get enough attention. I think this is something we can all work on.

10. Even the musical sector that CNU and San Deul are in seems to have a limited amount of interests from the public.
CNU: That is true. I have being experiencing that. I hope that more people show an interest as people like me along with other musical actors, directors and producers are working hard. This cannot be blamed on a single person. I just hope that the general public will learn to grow an interest in various cultural contents.

Group BlA4 members Gong Chan (from the left), San Deul, Jin Young, CNU, Ba Ro / Photograph: by Photographer Oh Se Ho, Venue: Chungjunggak

10. Looking back at the six years you have spent together, tell us about some of the times you really depended on one another.
Gong Chan: There was a time when I was really sick. I usually don’t say anything when I am sick but on that day, I wasn’t able to work because I was too sick. I felt so bad that I went to apologize to my members before they left. But all my members told me, “Getting better is the first thing you should do. We will take care of everything.” Ba Ro also came home with some porridge for me to eat.
Ba Ro: But we missed him then.
Jin Young: We cannot replace that light that shines from Gong Chan’s face. (Everyone laughs)

10. Almost half the 2017 has passed. Let’s score how well everyone did so far.
Gong Chan: I would give myself 40 points. I will try to score the remaining 60 points in the next 6 months.
Ba Ro: I want to give myself 90 points. I will reward myself after getting 10 more points! (Everyone laughs)
San Deul: I give myself 60 points out of 120. Jin Young: What do you mean 120 points? San Deul: Since a year is 12 months! During the first half of this year, while we could not focus on a lot of domestic activities, we all worked hard on releasing our third album as well as our global and personal activities.
Jin Young: I give myself 50 points.
CNU: I give myself 5 points. I am not satisfied. I need to work harder. (Laughs)

10. How do you plan to reach a full 100 points (120 points for San Deul) for the rest of the year?
San Deul: I want to perform more for our fans. Also, I want to create a self-produced reality show. What our members always say after travelling is that they ‘want to go with our members’. It would be a program that introduces the places that we have each visited.
Gong Chan: I want to feature in a reality program such as ‘Flower Young Boy’ with our members. I want to show our true selves through our own stories.
CNU: I want to create more albums. If it was possible I would want to compose one song every week. (Laughs) I think it will be a great present for our fans if B1A4 could continuously be on stage and compose new music.
Jin Young: For me it doesn’t have to be an album. I want to create a single collaboration too. We don’t have to appear on broadcasts, I just want to create more music. Moreover, I want to say that each of our members has a lot of attractive characteristics. I hope they try more new things aside from what they are all each working on right now.

10. What would you recommend each member try out?
Jin Young: I think San Deul would do great in sitcoms.
San Deul: I really want to try playing a character that cannot be left out of the story.Jin Young: I want Gong Chan to try playing an Insonam (The main male character of an Internet-based novel) character. Moreover, I hope Ba Ro can broaden his field in movies as an actor.
Gong Chan: Aside from acting, I want to see him sing songs of various genres. Jin Young is good DJ too. Also, I want to see San Deul sing trot like Big Bang’s Dae Sung.
San Deul: Like they mentioned, I have a lot of talents. (Everyone laughs)
Ba Ro: I hope CNU releases a solo album. Since he is a good dancer, he should release a dance album.
Jin Young: (Laughs) We are only greedy to do so many things because everyone is doing so well in what they are working on.

Group B1A4 member Gong Chan’s ‘10 + Star’ June issue’s photo shoot behind the scene cut / Photograph: by Reporter Lee Seung Hyun Ish87@

The contents of the tantalizing interview, photo shoot, and behind the scene cuts for the fans will be released in the June issue of ‘10+Star’.

Translated by Choi Na Ri