New boy group INX (Sang Ho, Jun Yong, Bon Kuk, Ji Nam, Win) is definitely a group to watch. In August 2016, they debuted with a single called ‘Alright’ and were able to perform in various places abroad. They became popular in Japan, Taiwan, Vietnam, and more. They became especially popular in Taiwan after appearing in famous telecasts. Moreover, they held an individual concert in Taiwan with about 500 fans before it even became a year since their debut.
Recently, INX signed an exclusive contract with CJ Victor Entertainment (CJ Victor), a company established through the collaboration of Korean entertainment company CJ E&M and Japan’s major music producer Victor Entertainment. They made their official debut in Taiwan in May 7.
It’s true how one says, “A person in one place one second, and before you know it, they are somewhere else.” INX plans to finish up their performances for their second single ‘2GETHER’ that was released last month and then head straight over to Japan. We got a chance to meet the very busy INX who has already grasped the popularity of domestic and international fans.
10. I heard you have completed the all the events associated to your second single ‘2GETHER’ at the end of last month.
Sang Ho: Our last performance was for SBS ‘Inkigayo’. We have been monitoring our performances a lot. We practiced a lot as we have to perform ‘2GETHER’ in Japan soon. There is no time to rest. (Laughs)
10. So it looks like you have to perform abroad just as the one in Korea ended. Didn’t you focus on global activities since making your debut with ‘Alright’ last year in August?
Sang Ho: Yes, we did. We performed in Taiwan, Vietnam, Japan, and more. Moreover, in Taiwan, we were able to star in famous telecast such as MTV, TVBS, and SETTV. We also had our first individual concert there. It was held with about 500 fans. We plan to make our official debut in Japan this coming July.
10. Your first individual concert was held abroad. It must have felt different.
Ji Nam: It was weird how fans from different countries came to see our performance. (Laughs)
Sang Ho: The experience itself felt different because it was our first time performing by ourselves on such a big stage. We were grateful that people came to see our concert despite the fact that it hasn’t been that long since we debuted. It was a heart-warming concert.
10. Share the qualifications of your group that attracts fans abroad.
Win: Communication? Whenever we have time, we try to frequently carry out live broadcasts via SNS channels.
Bon Kuk: After we finish shooting music telecasts, we communicate with our fans through live broadcasts on our way home. Also, we try to continuously carry out chatting events on our fan cafe websites and more.
Sang Ho: Maybe it’s the fact that we have various attractions? We all come from different hometowns and I think we have different attractions according to that.
10. I hear a dialect from group leader Sang Ho’s intonation. (Laughs) So, where is your individual hometowns?
Bon Kuk: If you say hometown, I guess that is where we grew up. I am from Jincheon Chungbuk. But I was born in Seoul. (Laughs)
Sang Ho: My hometown is Busan. I find it hard to fix my dialect. I thought I was using the Seoul dialect right now. (Everyone laughs)
Ji Nam: I am from Wonju Gangwon-do
Win: I am from Cheongju Chungbuk.
Jun Yong: My hometown is Bundang. Actually our members rarely use a dialect.
10. Language is something that cannot be ignored when it comes to global events. We are curious about how well the members speak Japanese as you have an official debut coming up soon there.
Bon Kuk: We are studying hard as we will be appearing in KCON 2017 JAPAN. Jun Yong is the most fluent among our members. He speaks like a local because he lived in Japan.
Jun Yong: I lived in Japan during 7th grade because of my father’s work. We lived in Ibaraki, which is kind of a rural area. I got along with the owners at grocery stores who would always give me fruits to eat. I think that is why I have a friendlier way of speaking when it comes to Japanese. (Laughs) While I only lived in Japan for a year, I maintained my skills by watching Japanese animations and variety shows.
10: You mentioned that each member have different attractive qualities. Can you tell us about the attractive qualities of the member next to you?
Ji Nam: Win is our youngest member. While our fans think Win is ‘young’, ‘cute’, and ‘looks like a kid’, he is becoming manlier. During our ‘2GETHER’ phase, Win’s concept was being the ‘younger guy’ and I think that was what made our fans’ ‘heart race’. (High-fives Win) So, I think his attraction is his tall height and his younger guy concept.
Win: Bon Kuk is a great dancer and rapper. He also knows how to edit music. He has many skills. His concept is being the ‘perfect guy’ because he is really competent, has a great personality, and amazing. (Ji Nam: He also holds our group today like a balance.)
Bon Kuk: Firstly, our leader Sang Ho is considerate. Secondly, he is attractive when he shows off his humor once in a while. Moreover, as a leader, he is very responsible. He always works hard for our group.
Sang Ho: When you look at Jun Yong, you feel comfortable. His friendliness makes people around him comfortable. I think that is a skill. However, when he gets on stage, he acts like an idol and performs accordingly on stage. He has that unexpected attraction.
Jun Yong: Ji Nam has strong features and so when he is still, he gives off a strong vibe. However, when he starts talking, he appears slightly dumb. (Everyone laughs) He is a peculiar character. His concept is being the ‘unrealistically handsome guy’. But honestly, he is not as perfect as the main characters that come out in animations. The fact that he is slightly sloppy is his attraction. (Ji Nam: I don’t want to be the ‘handsome animation guy’. I want to be the ‘handsome movie guy’, the perfect guy that appears in the movies!)
10. You said that each member had a special concept for the ‘2GETHER’ phase. Did you feel comfortable with those concepts?
Jun Yong: I was the ‘friendly guy’ and this total fit my personality. I was comfortable because I could portray myself as I was.
Bon Kuk: I was the ‘perfect guy’ and I was grateful. (Laughs) I felt a little pressured but just as Win mentioned, I think I gained that concept because I am active in various fields such as dance, singing, rap, and more.
Win: I really liked my ‘younger guy’ concept. Through this concept, I was able to show the cute side of a younger guy as well as the ambitious side.
Bon Kuk: It was really enjoyable because our individual concepts fit our personalities.
Ji Nam: Actually it was unfortunate that we weren’t able to perform for a longer period of time for this single.
10. Wherever you perform, you will always have fans waiting in the other country. Share some of the messages you would like to deliver to your fans.
Win: Previously, we travelled to many countries including Japan, Taiwan, Vietnam, and more. We hope to be able to meet fans from many countries if we get the opportunity to do so. We always hope you will bless us with your attention and love.
Sang Ho: Firstly, I would like to apologize for the slight delay in our Japanese schedule. We would appreciate your love as we are really eager to debut in Japan.
Jun Yong: We know it is difficult to wait for us and that has been a great support to us. We would like to thank you for that. We hope you can wait just a little longer because we are preparing a lot of events for it.
Ji Nam: We hope you can lean on us when you are tired or sad because we have gotten the same support from you guys.
Bon Kuk: Many domestic and international fans came to our music broadcast show during our ‘2GETHER’ period. Thank you for always coming to see us, waiting for us, and cheering for us. I just really wanted to say that.
Translated by Choi Na Ri