Hello! We are a Bulgarian radio show, called Friday Chopsticks. Friday Chopsticks is a show, dedicated to Asian show business and culture. Recently our colleague and Korea.net Honorary Reporter Bojana Doneva did an interview with K-pop group A.C.E. Half of it was included in her Korea.net material about A.C.E. You can read the article here: http://www.korea.net/NewsFocus/Culture/view?articleId=150640
Our colleague, Bojana, thought it was a pity that the whole interview could not be included in the article, so after getting permission from Beat Interactive, A.C.E’s company, we decided to upload it here, for international fans to enjoy. Please, continue to support A.C.E in the future!
1. Please introduce yourself.
A.C.E: Hello. We're A.C.E. The name stands for "Adventure Calling Emotions" and we benchmarked the TV show "Infinity Challenge". On the show, they say that they're far from perfect, but they show it to the audience that way and they always do their best to bring laughter and to move people's hearts. Our five members may lack something or be a bit too normal, but we came together as a group and we want to pursue our dreams, against any adversity, and to become heroes on the music scene.
Jun is our team leader and lead vocals, and also dances. Donghun is also one of our main vocals. Wow and Jason do dance, vocals and rap. Chan is a vocalist and is the youngest.
2. Please introduce one of your new songs.
Jason: The main concept of our second single "Callin'" is a call or summons and we've incorporated hard style music, which belongs to electronic dance music (EDM), into K-pop. We used a powerful synthesizer and the song, with 155 beats per minute, is faster than our debut song "Cactus", so you'll be able to see an even more powerful and cooler choreography.
The title song talks about the growth of young men who are ready to answer the calling of the world and also about their passion and youth.
3. How did you feel during your debut? And how do you feel now that you make a comeback?
Wow: During our debut it felt like a dream to be able to be on the same stage and rehearse with all those people we had only seen on screen and to have our own staff. I was so nervous I don't even remember how I got off stage after that.
Chan: It seems we are even more nervous for the comeback now than we were during our debut. Since it was our first comeback it felt like it ended in a flash.
Jason: It was my dream to become a singer since I was 14. When I realised we were finally debuting I felt very nervous and worried a lot. Now, as Chan said, we are even more nervous than we were back then. We hope people will like our songs.
4. Could you share more about the production of Callin'?
Jun: Actually we had already recorded “Callin” before we made the MV for "Cactus". Of course, "Cactus" was also finished long time before we debuted with it. Thats why we've listened to “Callin” even more than "Cactus". As it took so long to prepare it and all our members like it at least as much as "Cactus", we're looking forward to share it with everyone.
Jason: Preparing the choreography was very difficult. This time all our members gave their ideas for the choreography and in the end we went overboard. It looked very cool but we had made it in such a way that we didn't have time to rest if we had to perform everything all at once live. We didn't have time to rest at all so we took away some of the elements and we'll show you the revised version. Compared to "Cactus" this choreography has a stronger and more sexy feel to it and we are more attached to it since we took part in the making.
Donghun: The producer said there was no other idol-group song as fast as "Cactus", so he asked us not to make more songs that fast in the future. He insisted that we wouldn't do that again but when we came together, we made this song and I remember when he heard it he was just smiling, saying: "Ah... Ah...". It's a nice song so what if there is more shouting and it's 155 BPM? That's what I feel. (Smiles.)
5. What role do you think busking played before your debut? How did you do it?
Jun: We tried to show how we grew as performers. The start was simply uploading our practice videos to YouTube. Our team thought about what our next step should be. Our agency isn't big and we didn't have any singers in the agency who came through before and who had gone through this before. So we were thinking about what we would be good at and busking came to mind.
We decided to do everything from the beginning to the end all by ourselves. So we chose the setup, choreography and order, and we even moved the equipment and drove ourselves there. It was hard because the five members had to cooperate and we had never done this before. However, this period helped us grow and brought us closer together as a group.
Chan: It was just like Jun said. It helped us a lot. Especially before our debut, we covered many other songs by artists who came before us because we didn't have our own songs at the time. In the process, we got to watch performances of other singers many times and learn what colors and charms each has.
Most importantly, we learned how to communicate with the audience and how to keep going spontaneously. We were able to spot right away what songs or dances people like, on the spot.
Also, we really appreciate the support from the audience and we realized how valuable the fans are.
6. What can you say is the greatest obstacle you experience in comparison to the famous bands?
Donghun: To be honest, most people don't recognise well new bands like us even if we're on stage and we don't get the chance to perform that often. This is the most difficult part for us. We are better known as people who started busking and share their rehearsal videos on Youtube rather than A.C.E, the band who write their own songs.
For now we may advance slowly but all our members believe that if we strive even more, people will gradually hear more about us and one day they will support and cheer for us. So we won't fret about it but will work even harder and have fun doing that. We're grateful for every chance we get to be on stage, for the support of broadcasting staff and we feel the warmth of every fan we get on social media.
As our name suggests by creating various songs we will strive to gradually become a recognised band like our sunbaes.
7. How do you get closer to your fans?
Jun: We had to wait a long time before our debut, so we're especially thankful to our fans. Before debuting, we met our fans on the streets when busking. We also communicated with our fans on social media. We always monitor our performances and we found that there were a lot of fans out there supporting us.
We haven't been able to show our gratitute enough to all of them, but we're making an effort to get closer to them all. We chat live online, leave comments, do live videos and say hello to them when we're on music programs, even if only for a very short time. We know that's not enough, but we want to return what we've received from them.
8. Is there a TV ot radio broadcast you would like to be on and why?
Jun: I definitely want to try "King of masked singer" or "Yoo Hee Yeol’s Sketchbook"! As a singer I do have a little professional greed so I'd love to try a format where I can get an unbiased evaluation based on vocal ability only. If I get the chance I definitely want to do it.
Donghun: I'd love to be on "King of masked singer". Although in our team I am a main vocal and I get the chance to show the public my vocal skills well, as a singer I do get to wonder how much more I can do with just my voice. I'll work hard to do that!
Wow: I prefer "Infinite challenge". I've been their fan for a long time and as a regular viewer now I'd really love to try some of the challenges together with them. I will be especially glad, if our A.C.E team can challenge the "Infinite challenge" team.
Jason: I would like to take part in "Running man". I've always liked exercise and I run really well. So I'd love to try tearing sunbae Kim Jung Gook's name tag for once.
Chan: "Baek Jung Won's Three Emperors of the Kitchen" or "Our Neighborhood Arts and Physical Education" - I like that kind of broadcast. The first one I like because I really love to eat and explore delicious restaurants. The second one because I was a football player up until middle school and I saw them play football with the renouned commentator Lee Young Pyo when he appeared on the show. Next time a well-known player or someone like commentator Lee Young Pyo appears I'd love it, if I can play a match against them. I get flustered even when I think of it!
9. Your next goals as A.C.E?
Jun: As for now I'd like to keep showing people A.C.E.'s great music and performances, so we can slowly become a renowned band. I'd also really love it, if we can show the endless talents of A.C.E in shows like "Infinite challenge". And one day, if possible, I'd love us to make individual concerts. No matter the scale or the place. I just want to show our fans and friends who support us what only A.C.E are able to perform.
Although being on stage is always a happy occasion we are grateful for, time never seems enough for us to show everything we can. I wish we can perform for as long as it is needed, for us to give people everything we have to give.
10. Is there any special charm of you that you'd like to show in the future?
Donghun: Both "Cactus" and "Callin" concentrated more on performance than vocals. I'd like us to show you more singing next time.
Wow: We'd love to take part in creating things together like we did with the choreography for "Callin". I'd love to write some of the songs in our next album. For that to happen we are practicing for a midi or at least a song every time.
5. How about sending out a message to all your fans overseas?
Jun: We've just started our journey. We're excited to wait and see what we'll be able to show our fans. We'll try our best to be a proud artist for those who love us, so please keep an eye on us and support us. We'd be really appreciative of your love for our song "Callin", too. Thank you.
Donghun: We managed to come this far, so we'll do our best from now on. We want to show you how we grow little by little, so please look forward to seeing our growth. Your love and support is really appreciated.
Wow: I'll work hard to be a team member who can really wow people! Your love for our song "Callin" is really important. Thank you!
Jason: We'll strive to show you our best, so please keep sending us your support. Thank you.
Chan: We'll do our best in everything, and I'll do my part as the youngest by delivering positive energy. Thank you!
Perhaps you are new to A.C.E and want to find out more about their charming points? Check their pre-debut dance cover of EXO’s Call Me Baby below and see what you are missing out:
Reporter: Bojana Doneva
Translated by: Jihye Yoon, Militsa Nikolova
Photo and video: Beat Interactive