kourier > [Event Coverage] Block B Press Conference & Fan Meet in Singapore
It had been an eventful 2011 for local K-pop fans and Block B‘s first visit to Singapore ensured that the year closed with a bang! The 7-membered Korean hip-hop idol group were in town on 28th December for a showcase and meet-and-greet, and kourier was present at the press conference to get the latest on their current activities.
Contrary to the black and white suits they donned that morning, the boys’ bright smiles and warm dispositions alluded to the more laid-back nature that the group is known for. To start the interview on the right foot, group leader Zico, politely apologised for the group’s tardiness that morning and proceeded to say “Sorry we’re so late, so sorry” in English. As the questions rolled, the goofy personalities of each member could be seen and this made for a light-hearted exchange as Block B shared their feelings regarding household chores, members’ bad habits and of course, their music.
Q: A warm welcome to Singapore! I heard that you guys toured around yesterday. How did that go?
Zico: It’s our first time visiting Singapore, from everything we’ve heard, it is very clean. Everyone is very nice, everything’s clean. I was very impressed.
Q: You guys have been on a lot of variety programs, so what are some of the new variety shows that you’d like to be part of?
Jaehyo: In Korea right now, there’s a TV program called (Kim Byung Man’s) Rule of the Jungle, where they are sent to Africa and they are required to survive in the nature. So, something along the lines of a nature and survival show.
Q: Korea has a lot of really good food, so which Korean food best represents your personality?
P.O: Bibimbap (Korean mixed rice). I have a husky deep voice, which stands out in the group. And Bibimbap has a rich Korean flavour that represents me well.
U-kwon: I have a sweet smile, so Shikhye (a sweet Korean rice dessert drink) represents my sweet smile.
Kyung: Kimchi. As you know, kimchi is fermented and doesn’t rot. The more it ages, the more flavour it has. So I would like to have such endless quality as well. (He says, “Kimchi!” and smiles like he’s taking a photo.)
Zico: Makgeolli (Korean rice wine). It is a form of Korean liquor that everyone can enjoy all around the world. So instead of limiting myself to just Korea, just like the popular Makgeolli, I hope to grow to be as popular around the world as well. (He says in English, “I represent me!”)
Taeil: Just like Kyung, I’d choose kimchi, but for a different reason. Kimchi has a unique flavour, sweet and sour at the same time. I’m not really good-looking, but not bad-looking too. I have a unique look, so it represents me.
B-bomb: Ramyun. No, change that. Donggeurang Ttaeng (a Korean side dish in the form of a patty filled with various ingredients). It’s round and cute, just like me!
Jaehyo: Samgyupsal (pork belly). You can’t eat it by itself, you have to eat it with other things, like kimchi, rice or cola. You also have to wait for it to cook well. Like me, you can’t get to know me right away. Patience is required.
Q: Block B lives under one roof, so do tell us some of the bad habits that each of the members have.
Jaehyo: Taeil has terrible feet odour!
Taeil: I agree.
Zico: Kyung snores and talks in his sleep, and even farts! It’s not smelly but he does it like he’s “dropping knowledge”.
Q: Some of the members have done collaborations with various artistes, for instance, Zico’s collaboration with 4Minute’s HyunA, and Taeil’s collaboration with Cho PD. Is there anyone else whom the group would like to collaborate with?
Jaehyo: I want to do a ballad collaboration with Younha.
B-bomb: Well I haven’t really thought about doing a collaboration with other artistes but within the group, I would like to form a dance unit with U-kwon.
Q: Tell us more about Block B’s upcoming album, as well as the most improved member for this new album.
Kyung: I think I have improved the most in preparation for the album. (smiles) And with regard to the new album, there’s a rap in the intro section as well as 4 songs, meant to be title songs, that ended up in the album to give it an impact. So I, myself, would like to guarantee that the album will be good as we’ve worked really hard on it.
Q: What do you think about the Singapore fans?
U-kwon: We didn’t know what to expect but we were overwhelmed and surprised by the number of fans that welcomed us at the airport. I think B-bomb is the most popular member in Singapore!
Q: Living together, what are the roles of each member? What is each member in charge of?
Taeil: I’m in charge of cleaning, but I usually do the laundry.
P.O: Because I’m the maknae, I fold socks and arrange the shoes.
Kyung: I don’t do any chores, instead I liven up the environment.
P.O: I don’t agree! (in English)
Q: What is Block B’s unique quality?
Kyung: Isn’t it our handsome faces? (smiles)
Q: If you could say something to a member, what would it be?
P.O: When Jaehyo hyung talked about how Samgyupsal represented him, it was a bit overdone!
U-kwon: His voice tone is a little too much as well.
Kyung: His smile is a bit too much.
Zico: His white tie doesn’t suit him.
Taeil: The bracelet on his left hand is a little too much as well.
B-bomb: Jaehyo and I are sharing the same room in the hotel, and I’m not happy with that.
Jaehyo: Everything’s my fault today!
Q: What are Zico’s musical influences?
Zico: I watch a lot of music videos, so from there, I get my inspiration to produce music.
With that, the press conference came to a close, but it wasn’t long before Block B emerged again – this time in front of screaming fans who were gathered at Tampines Mall for an autograph signing and high-five session. As Block B made their entrance, wearing the same suits they had on that morning, we couldn’t help but wonder if they’d managed any breathers throughout the day’s activities. There were no traces of lethargy despite a super-tight schedule. All seven members came out in high spirits and immediately revealed how delighted they were to finally be in Singapore, and to be able to meet their fans. Quoting Zico, “Hello Singapore, I love Singapore!”
After a quick introduction, the autograph session was in motion and it was great to see all of the members relaxed and generous with their time spent with each fan. On top of signing their first mini-album ‘New Kids on the Block’, they accepted fan gifts and some members were even spotted trying on their gifts right away (I’m looking at you, Jaehyo and your Mini Mouse hairband)! They signed other materials on the sly, upon request, and even gave away high-fives to some lucky fans, even though it wasn’t officially time for that just yet. And just like the idol boys that they are, each member remembered to sneak in some fan service in between (a smile here, a wave there), which the fans lapped up completely. The atmosphere must’ve reached its peak as members Zico, Taeil, Kyung, U-kwon and P.O began to shed some of their layers to combat the heat, leaving in particular Zico, donning a comfortable black Tee.
The fans definitely came prepared. Some memorable moments included a fan who gave Zico a medium-sized Christmas tree with Block B photos as decorations, and a fan girl sobbing as she went down the line of 7 slightly amused Block B members. Block B were able to show their appreciation after the autograph session came to an end, with Kyung aptly summing up in English the group’s heartfelt gratitude – “What’s up BBCs! Thank you for coming. I love you!”
The day rounded off with Block B on their feet for the high-five session and members willingly doing funny poses for the camera. The members who came prepared to wow fans – P.O beat-boxing to B-bomb‘s freestyle-dance, Zico rapping, B-bomb doing a sexy dance – definitely did just that. The event was a success and fans looked forward to see what Block B had in store for them during their showcase the following day.
Be sure to check out our Day-2 coverage of Block B in Singapore!