On May 28th, Shinhwa Changjos (fans of the group) across the U.S. were jumping in joy and shedding happy tears with the unexpected announcement that Shinhwa, Korea’s longest running idol group, was added to the lineup for this summer’s KCON LA.
You can ask just about any Korean idol in the industry who their inspirations are and who their idols are, and it’s almost guaranteed that the majority of them will say Shinhwa’s name. After debuting over seventeen years ago and still remaining intact and active, members Eric, Dongwan, Hyesung, Minwoo, Junjin, and Andy are the epitome of legends, which happens to be the meaning of the Korean word “shinhwa.” We’ve put together a list of five reasons you should be excited for Shinhwa’s appearance at KCON LA and why they’re loved by so many.
This will be Shinhwa’s second time performing in the States, but first time after their military enlistments. Member’s Eric, Hyesung, and Andy spent a portion of their lives and school years in California; all three attended high schools in the Los Angeles area. It’ll be as if Eric, Hyesung, and Andy are coming full circle, as they were cast for Shinhwa by SM Entertainment in Los Angeles and now they’ll be back in the same city that started it all for them.
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Will these three speak be speaking in English? What will go through their minds as they stand on that stage, in the city that they were discovered in? Will tears be shed? If not from the members, there’ll probably be some from Shinhwa Changjo’s who have waited years to see the group come stateside.
2. 7-Year-Olds Stuck in Middle Aged Men’s Bodies
The average age of Shinhwa is thirty-four. The average mental age of Shinhwa is anywhere between five to nine, depending on the situation. These guys are such goofballs and pranksters. When on stage, they exhibit solemn facial expressions and they’ll stay poker faced throughout their performances. But as soon as the music turns off, the foolishness begins.
For a group of men their age, they’re extremely fond of skinship (touching) with one another, minus the angelic Hyesung, who usually opts of out his members shenanigans. But when he does decide to join in on the fun, things become ten times funnier because Hyesung is so awkward when trying to be funny.
In comparison, due to his prominent facial features, tall frame, and being the leader of Shinhwa, most people’s first impression of Shinhwa’s Eric (this writer’s favorite member) would be that he’s a serious, no time for games kind of guy. But little do they know that aside from being a remarkable and serious leader, Eric is infamous for being the number one prankster in Shinhwa and will stop at nothing in order to put a smile on one’s face.
What kind of pranks will these guys pull on one another at KCON LA? We’ll just have to wait to find out! If this is their way of preserving and staying youthful, Changjo’s are all for it!
3. Sexy Stage Ambiance
Contrary to what was stated in number two of this list, apart from having the heart of young fun loving children, these guys have bodies of grown, matured men. It could very well be their age, but there’s a certain sexiness that naturally exudes from the members of Shinhwa, whether they’re standing still or moving about. As soon as the beat drops, you can see it in their strong eyes and body expressions that they’re in full business mode as the perform their songs and dances.
Throughout the last decade, Shinhwa has completely let go of the cute bubblegum pop concept, fair enough. And in recent years, they’ve opted to go down the dark, mysterious and vampy road. No complaints here, because in return as viewers we’ve been graced with a new element of sophistication and maturity, that in many ways only Shinhwa can pull off. From just a simple T-shirt, to a full tailored suit, to an embellished button up, with their hands slightly tucked in their pant pockets with their thumbs peeking out, everything about Shinhwa just screams out sexy.
4. Unique Choreography
Shinhwa’s known for their heavy choreography, whether it is their dances for “Wild Eyes”, “Perfect Man”, “Brand New”, “This Love” or, their latest hit, “Sniper”. Along with their perfected synchronized dance moves, there’s usually also some freestyle or break-dancing involved, usually performed by Minwoo or Junjin.
The group’s choreography has evolved throughout the years, going from bouncy and upbeat moves to slick and precise steps, some of which can be accredited to Minwoo, who is the group’s main choreographer. With the help of member Junjin, these two have choreographed a number of rigorous body drilling dance moves, some in which have been described as difficult to follow. With these structured moves, there are few people who are able to mimic Shinhwa’s dances; a number of idols have done covers to “Wild Eyes”, but none have truly perfected it to match Shinhwa. What can I say? There can only be ONE Shinhwa.
5. The Precursor
Shinhwa translated means “myth” or “legend”. In Shinhwa’s case, these six are way beyond legends. Not only is Shinhwa notorious for being Korea’s longest running idol group but through the last seventeen years, they’ve never gone through a single member change –everything from the flop of their first album, to Andy’s absence during their fourth album which sparked some controversy in the media. And then to probably the most pivotal point during Shinhwa’s career; them leaving SM Entertainment after their contract ended in 2003 as a group (even though SM’s founder Lee Soo Man offered individual contracts to some of the members instead of the whole group). Even through military enlistments and acting careers and through all the rumors of disbandment, they’ve stuck by one another through it ALL.
Every member has mentioned on shows and interviews that no matter what happens, no matter what obstacles they may face, rumors that may come about, they’ll face it head on, together, as Shinhwa. Dongwan made a statement once during a time when rumors of disbandment was surfacing that, “Shinhwa isn’t a choice but destiny”, suggesting that they were not breaking up. They’re not just saying these things just to make a statement and to make themselves look good; these guys are actually demonstrating to everyone that actions speak way louder than words.
Everything that the six have done in the last decade alone clearly displays that not only are they singers and band mates, but they are brothers, they’re family with a bond that is inseparable. It’s no wonder so many younger artists look up to them. Just imagine yourself at KCON LA, witnessing history, witnessing legends!
If you follow the members of Shinhwa, you probably already know how silly these guys can get when they’re around one another. I suppose these kinds of things just naturally happen when you’ve been around the same people for 70 percent of your life!
Are you excited to see Shinhwa at KCON LA? Share your thoughts in the comment section below and be sure to subscribe to the site and follow us on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Tumblr to keep up with all of our posts.