Artist of the week – SG Wannabe


David (Chae Dong-ha)
Date of birth : June 23rd, 1981
Physique : 182cm, 73kg
Hobbies : Camcorder recording, watching movies
Debut : “Nature” Chae Dong-ha’s 1st album released in 2002

Real name : Kim Yong-joon
Year of birth : 1983
Education : Anyang Arts High School

Kim Jin-ho
Year of birth : 1986
Education : Daewon High School


Our featured artist this week is SG Wannabe, who is considered the top male R&B groups in Korea now, and perhaps one of the top overall gasoos as well, especially on album sales.

SG Wannabe first attracted attention in early 2004 by debuting through a music video of their title song of the album, “Timeless.” The music video was a mega project with about 2 billion won of production costs and was starred by top movie stars like Seol Kyung-goo, Kim Yoon-jin, Kim Nam-jin and Kang Hye-jeong. Recording pre-sales of 90 thousand copies, the male trio R&B band was a sensation even before their official debut. The sales of their debut album was on top of the charts along with super figures in the local pop music scene such as Seo Taiji, Shing Seung-hoon and Lee Soo-young. However, the actual members of the band did not appear on television or concert stages for quite a long time since their debut creating a mystic faceless image of the band. SG Wannabe was often compared to Brown Eyes when they first debuted because of the similarities of their music and also their faceless image.

Their debut song was first launched on a mobile telephone service along with the music video. The 3-edition music video also attracted many viewers by providing bonus clips like making of the film and NG materials. Music producers Lee Kyung-seob and Park Keun-tae who are famous for producing music for Shin Seung-hoon, Jo Sung-mo, Lee Jung-hyun, Sung Shi-kyung and so on, were in charge of making the debut album for the newcomers. The title song of the album “Timeless” is an R&B ballad number. The sophisticated sounds and melodies of the song matched the heart-rending sentiment of Korean music lovers, rising to the top of the charts immediately after being introduced. Their debut album was very successful and SG Wannabe was awarded best newcomers’ prizes in the year-end awarding ceremonies.

In 2005, SG Wannabe released their 2nd album. Within a week, the album was sold over 50,000 copies, an amazing feat considered the decline in Korean album sales in recent years. This album eventually sold over 400,000 copies and became the top seller in 2005. The trio started to work with producer and songwriter Cho Young Soo on this album, which was just a beginning of many hits to come. Fans also saw SG Wannabe coming to perform more on gayo shows in this album, which eventually spun 3 top 10 hit songs – Crime and Punishment, In Life, and Crazy. In addition, SG Wannabe also released a re-make album "Classic Odyssey" that year with another top 10 hit "My Heart's Treasure Box". Their accomplishments earned them a DaeSang award in the Seoul Gayo Award, and they were also named top 10 artists in many TV stations ceremonies.

Already a top group, SG Wannabe released their 3rd album in 2006. Continued declines in album sales still did not affect the trio too much, as this album still sold over 300,000 copies. It was the top seller for most part of 2006, only to be surpassed by DBSG's 3rd album in December. This album again featured 3 top 10 hits: Partner For Life, Slow Steps, and I Love You (feat. G.O.D.'s Danny Ahn). 2006 also saw SG Wannabe collobrating with other artists to produce hit songs. At the beginning of the year, they collobrated with M to M, Vibe, and Kim Jong Kook to form "Big 4" and produced the hit "Gone With The Wind". Then they worked with their pupils See Ya on "Because of Love", and at year end, member Yong Joon teammed up with Brown Eyed Girls Ga In on the Christmas hit "Must Have Love". All of these songs were top 20 hits. In total, SG Wannabe particpated in 8 hit songs in 2006, earning them our "Artist of the year (DaeSang)" award here in soompi.

This year, SG Wannabe released their 4th album and once again topped the sales chart and singles chart. Another 3 hits were produced in this album: Arirang, One Summer Dream, and Stay. The first 2 hits were unique in the fact that they combined their R&B sound with traditional instruments, making the songs very refreshing.

Even though SG Wannabe just debuted for 4 years, they have already accumulated so many hit songs. Their album sales figures were amazing in such a slow selling era. Their albums usually stay in the top 20 in sales for over half a year, meaning that people keep discovering good songs from the trio. They have also collaborated with many singers and helped launch the career of new potential stars (See Ya is the best example). They are definitely a giant force in today's Korean Music industry.


Wanna Be + (1st album, 2004) : Timeless, I Loved You So Much I Could Die

In Life (2nd album, 2005) : Crime and Punishment, In Life, Crazy, 24 Hours, Thank You, Tenderness, Go, Season of Separation

Classic Odyssey (Remake Album, 2005) : My Heart's Treasure Box

Big 4 of Voices (collobration with Vibe, M to M, and Kim Jong Kook) : Untouchable, Gone With The Wind

The 3rd Masterpiece (3rd album, 2006) : Partner for Life, Love Song, Run, Wedding, I’m Sorry, Untouchable, Gone with the Wind

SG Wannabe & Brown Eyed Girls – Must Have Love (collobration, 2006) : Must Have Love, Must Have Friends

The Precious History (Best Hit album, 2006) : A Song of Love, various hits from 1st to 3rd album

The Sentimental Chord (4th album, 2007) : Arirang, One Summer Dream, Stay, Eun

credits: KBS World, edward1849