Calling all unicorns! Cause who doesn’t want to be a unicorn? Okay, let me clarify: unicorns are the fans of Chinese-Korean idol group UNIQ. The group is set for a comeback soon, either in May or June of this year. I personally feel UNIQ is such an underrated group and definitely deserves more attention, so I’ll provide you with all the deets about this amazingly talented and gorgeous group.
UNIQ is a Chinese-Korean boyband formed by Yuehua Entertainment. The name UNIQ comes from the combination of the words “unique” and “unicorn.” Before they debuted, they were trained under the guidance of YG Entertainment. The group consists of two Korean members, Kim Sungjoo and Cho Seungyoun, and three Chinese members, Wang Yibo, Zhou Yixuan and Li Wenhan.
The group officially debuted on October 20, 2014 with the release of “Falling In Love” in both Korean and Mandarin, and later on also released an English version. While the group is still relatively unknown in South Korea, they have been making waves in China since their debut, racking up many CFs, dramas, films, variety shows, etc.
UNIQ fans will tell you that choosing a bias is really difficult, as the entire group consists of all visuals, yet each member brings his own personal charms and strengths to the group. Chinese leader Yixuan has a velvety bass rap, Korean leader Sungjoo sports smooth and strong vocals, Wenhan has sweet vocals and statue-like good looks, Seungyoun’s got sick rap skills and hilarious personality, and chic maknae Yibo is an incredibly strong dancer.
Zhou Yixuan is the rapper and the group’s leader in China. He is considered “the mom” of the group as he’s the oldest and is often seen taking care of the members. Prior to debuting, Yixuan traveled to Australia to learn dance from famous choreographer Parris Goebel (choreographer of Taeyang’s Ringa Linga). When he returned to China, he was scouted by Yuehua Entertainment after appearing at KOD, a large street dance competition in China. He’s known for his smooth and sweet words that make his fellow members cringe. Okay boys, he’s just a very caring and loving mama. No wonder his favorite animated character is Baymax.
Interesting fact: he’s very slow to do things, according to his members.
Li Wenhan is the lead vocalist and has a background in classical guitar and swimming. He has achieved professional guitar skills up to level nine. Wenhan was the past winner of the Hanzhou Junior Swimming Competition and previously trained at the same training venue as Chinese Swimming Olympic Medalist Sun Yang. While attending high school in the US, he auditioned for Yuehua Entertainment and passed. Prior to his debut he appeared in a diving reality show “Stars in Danger: The High Dive”, which aired in China nationwide in 2013.
Interesting fact: known for being a bit dense, but in the cutest and most hilarious way that makes his members and fans frustrated.
Kim Sungjoo is the main vocalist and the group’s leader in Korea. He previously lived and studied in Beijing, China before moving back to South Korea to pursue his dreams as a singer. Sungjoo was previously a trainee under YG Entertainment for many years before joining Yuehua Entertainment. An avid fan of martial arts dramas and films, Sungjoo is trained in martial arts himself and is particularly skilled in wielding a bamboo staff.
Interesting fact: likes to talk too much (according to the members).
Cho Seungyoun is the rapper and vocalist of the group. Besides Korean, he can also speak Mandarin, English, Portuguese, and Tagalog, as he previously lived in Brazil, the US, and Philippines. He once dreamed of being a soccer player and was a member of the Corinthians Paulista Junior Soccer Team in Brazil. He later returned to Korea to pursue his dream as a singer. Seungyeon is a skilled rapper, writer and composer in his own right, and can be seen collaborating in the unofficial group M.O.L.A. with his friends Nathan and Jimin of 15&. Check out their works here.
Interesting fact: has a tendency to scream at the level of dolphin.
Wang Yibo is the main dancer, rapper, visual and the maknae (youngest member) of UNIQ. He auditioned for Yuehua Entertainment and was selected to become a trainee. He’s well known for being very skilled in dancing with his specialty being free-style dance. He’s known for his cool and aloof image, however, as fans know Yibo is every bit as much fun as the other members when in the right situation. Yibo was accepted to study at Hanlim Multi Arts High School in South Korea, where Seungyeon also graduated from.
Interesting fact: refuses to sleep alone as he’s afraid of the dark.
What’s a better reason to check out a group, other than the fact that they are everywhere in China already. As a group that has debuted less than two years ago, they’re all very active and have achieved quite a lot for a rookie group. In fact, these days the members are so busy it’s hard to see the whole group together as one.
Yibo is a fixed cast member of one of China’s most popular shows “Day Day Up,” and is starring in two upcoming Chinese films “MBA Partners” and “A Chinese Odyssey 3.”
Sungjoo has appeared on the variety shows “Let’s Go Back to the Past” in China and “Off to School” in Korea, and even hosted a cooking show. He is currently starring in the Chinese drama “Magical Space-Time” starring top Taiwanese actress Ruby Lin. Sung Joo is also in the film “MBA Partners” with Yibo, while the other three members are set to make cameos.
Yixuan filmed a Chinese web drama called “Female President” and he plays a highly skilled bodyguard named Leng Feng.
Seungyoun was previously a guest on “Kiss the Radio,” teaching Portuguese for a few episodes with host Ryeowook of Super Junior. He recently auditioned for “Show Me the Money 5.″
Wenhan participated in the Korean variety show “Cool Kiz On The Block” for two of the swimming episodes.
Besides the member’s individual activities, they’ve released OSTs for three major films so far, including “Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles” (song: “Born To Fight”), “Penguins of Madagascar” (Song: “Celebrate”), and “The SpongeBob Movie: Sponge Out of Water” (Song: “Erase Your Little Sadness”).
In terms of music, UNIQ has a bit more artistic freedom for a rookie group, compared to many idol groups. UNIQ releases their songs both in Korean and Mandarin. The Korean members write lyrics for the Korean versions and Chinese members write the lyrics for the Chinese versions. The songs they’ve written include: “Luv Again,” “EOEO,” “Falling in Love,” “Best Friend,” and “Listen to Me.” The songs are divided into vocal and rapping parts, with rappers Yixuan and Seungyeon writing the rap portions, while Sungjoo and Wenhan compose the lyrics for the vocal parts, respectively. Yibo has participated in the choreography of some of their dances, including for “EOEO” and “Best Friend.”
Not only do the members participate in song writing, but their concepts and style of music are always changing, in order to keep their fans anticipating what they will come up with next. Talk about teasing.
Are you a fan of UNIQ? Who is your favorite member(s) or bias?
BlackSesame88 is an Asian drama and entertainment addict. She enjoys discussing her favorite dramas, and sharing her knowledge of Asian entertainment. Follow her on Twitter and join her for recaps of the current dramas she’s watching.