[ARTICLE] CNBLUE: We Are Not a Singing And Dancing Boyband

South Korean pop-rock band CNBLUE may base their career mostly in Korea and Japan but that has not stopped them from forging friendships across borders.

Singapore singer JJ Lin, who attended the band's concert earlier this month in Taipei, is good friends with Jung Yong Hwa, leader and vocalist of CNBLUE.

At the band's press conference on Friday for their World Tour concert here on Saturday, Jung, 23, said in Korean through a translator: "Look, JJ gave this shirt to me! I see it as a token of our friendship." He gestured at the shirt he was wearing.

CNBLUE - which also comprise bassist Lee Jung Shin, drummer Kang Min Hyuk, both 21 and guitarist Lee Jong Hyun, 22 - began their career in 2009 performing in clubs and on the streets of Japan.

Now that they are well known stars in the Hallyu, or Korean Wave, they say miss their pre-fame days.

Said Jung in jest: "We do want to play on the streets again - maybe we'll wear masks and do it!"

Their fame is not due solely to their music; their side projects in acting assignments have also catapulted them to greater heights.

Jung has tasted the biggest success as an actor. He made his acting debut in the popular 2009 idol drama You're Beautiful and went on to become the male lead in 2011's Heartstrings.

In both shows, he portrayed brooding characters, which he said cannot be further from what he is like in real life. "I want to play a more cheerful person because I'm quite bubbly in real life."

Meanwhile, Jong Hyun joined a star-studded cast for last year's A Gentleman's Dignity. Kang has also dabbled in acting - taking on a supporting role in Heartstrings - but there is no question where his passion lies. He said: "I do get approached with a lot of scripts but for now, I want to focus on our world tour."

He and his band mates seemed keen to emphasise their foremost roles as musicians, rather than pop idols in a boyband.

Their magazine-worthy good looks have led to some detractors to dismiss them as another K-pop boyband, which is something they rail against.

Jung said: "We do see ourselves as part of K-pop but we're not really the singing and dancing boyband types."

Article written by Jan Lee@The Straits Times
Re-posted by yunhae@cnbluebeat

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