Artist of the Week – SS501
Name: Kim Hyun Joong
Position: Leader ; Vocal
Date of Birth: June 6, 1986
Physique: 180 cm ; 68 kg
Motto: Life in one strike.
Name: Heo Young Saeng
Position: Lead Vocal
Date of Birth: November 3, 1986
Physique: 178 cm ; 63 kg
Motto: Don’t look behind after doing your best.
Name: Kim Kyu Jong
Date of Birth: February 24, 1987
Physique: 181 cm ; 65 kg
Motto: Challenge and don’t have regrets
Name: Park Jung Min
Date of Birth: April 3, 1987
Physique: 181 cm, 67 kg
Motto: Be always grateful.
Name: Kim Hyung Joon
Date of Birth: August 3, 1987
Physique: 181 cm, 66 kg
Motto: Walk and walk.
SS501 is a five-member boy band made up of members in their early 20s. The SS in the band name stands for Super Star and the 501 stands for the five members of the band uniting as one for eternity (symbolised by the number 0). Thus the group will become a super star when the five members come together as one. The quintet – Kim Hyun Joong, Heo Young Saeng, Kim Kyu Jong, Park Jung Min and Kim Hyun Joon – were chosen through auditions or scouted by casting directors of the management agency. However, the members went through tough and fierce musical and dance trainings before they could debut as a band.
Under the management of DSP Entertainment, SS501 exploded onto the music scene in June 2005 with their first single "경고" (Warning), which offered listeners a fascinating mix of pop dance, R&B, hip hop, among other genres. A few months later, the handsome quintet were back with their second single "Snow Prince", which consists of five mellow songs perfect for the winter season. Among the stand-out tracks include the emotional ballad "Snow Prince", and "하얀사람" (White Man), a slow tempo song about reflecting on a love in the previous and present winter seasons.
For much of 2006, SS501 were inactive in Korea due to member Heo Young Saeng’s throat condition, which required surgery. However, they did perform in Japan, holding a fan meeting in April and later on, their first concert, "Step Up Concert", in Osaka. They didn’t forget their Korean fans, however, and returned to Korea in late 2006 to release their very first album, "S.T 01 Now". Notable tracks included "Unlock" (written by composer Kim Tae Hyun), the funky hip-hop song "Four Chance", and "Again", which was inspired by ideas from the band’s leader, Kim Hyun Joong. Besides promoting the album, the quintet also took time out to film a show on MNet called SOS. To the delight of their fans, they won the Mutizen award from SBS Inki Gayo for their song "Four Chance" on their 600th day (Jan 28, 2007).
The group debuted in Japan in 2007 and soon after, a Japanese fan club with the name of "Triple S Japan" was formed – it officially debuted on March 25, 2007 when SS501 had their first fan meeting with the fan club. The quintet’s Japanese single, "Kokoro", was very well-received, hitting the Oricon charts in Japan and even producing multiple versions. They clinched the year’s Best 10 New Artist award at the Japan Gold Disc Awards in March 2008, a definite recognition of their talent and popularity. They also lent their vocals to the OST of the SBS tv serial Surgeon Bong Dal Hee, contributing the touching end theme "Love That Can’t Be Erased" and their version of "Memories of Youth".
Buoyed by their success in Japan, SS501 returned to Korea on a high to release their third single, "Deja Vu", on March 8. The title track, "Deja Vu", is a refreshing blend of R&B and British pop, and showcases the group’s vocal strengths and rapping skills. "Neul boo leu neun no rae" (Song Calling Your Name) is a house-style dance number that highlights SS501’s lively dance choreography, while the trendy hip hop track "Destiny", written by rapper Park Jang Geun, captivates with its strong guitar riffs and drumbeats.
Now that they are back in Korea, fans can look forward to more SS501 goodies this year, as the quintet gear up for another single this summer and a new full-length album scheduled for release later this year.
1st single (2005) 01 경고 (Warning) 02 Passion 03 Never Again 04 Take U High 05 Everything 06 Everything Inst.
2nd single (2005) Snow Prince 01 하얀사람 02 My Girl 03 Snow Prince 04 In Your Smile 05 Fighter
1st official album (2006) S.T 01 Now 01 Existence 02 Four Chance 03 Unlock 04 Again 05 Stand By Me 06 Sky
Japanese single (2007) Kokoro 01 Kokoro 02 Be a Star 03 Alice 04 Kokoro (instrumental) 05 Be a Star (instrumental) 06 Alice (instrumental)
3rd single (2008) Deja Vu 01 데자뷰 (Deja vu) 02 널 부르는 노래 (Song Calling Your Name) 03 Destiny
Credits: yesasia for album images, wikipedia entry on SS501