7-member idol group, SPEED (Jungwoo, Yoohwan, Taewoon, Taeha, Saejoon, Jongkook, Sungmin) have made a spectacular return with "It's over". Last year, before their formal debut, they released the male version of T-ara's "Lovey-Dovey" to introduce themselves into the music indstury.
Before making their debut, they received a big response from their music videos. Their title tracks "Sad Promise" and "It's over" were divided into two and both have a dance and drama version. The drama version is about the 5.18 Gwangju Democratic Uprising.
The 5.18 event was tragic and resulted in a high number of casualties, and still to today it's a sensitive issue to discuss what really happened and North Korea's involvement in it. Newly debuted rookies brought the issue right to the front. Yoohwan said, "My hometown is Gwangju and my grandfather and father both participated in it. I always hear them talking about 5.18 and parts of the incident that happened. I was surprised when I was able to appear directly in the video."
However, because the issue was so controversial, the SPEED members felt a little burdened. Yoohwan said, "We were worried because the story is provocative and some may be sensitive to the issue. Through our music and music video, we wanted to show a glimpse of what happened during the era in Gwangju." Following, Taeha commented, "It made us want to work harder. We want the public to know about this subject."
SPEED promised to donate all proceeds of their album to victims of the 5.18 event.
SPEED members have felt a lot of bitterness in their lives. Jungwoo, Sungmin and Taewoon debuted in the group Coed School, but after a year, all their activities were shelved.
Jungwoo said, "I was ready to debut after being a trainee for so long and became Sky and Earth Yoosung, but then I went back to being a trainee. One year felt like ten years." Yoohwan also suffered a similar pain. He was a trainee for four years and was ready to debut with the group BIGSTAR but on the SBS-MTV show "BIGSTAR Show", he was eliminated in the final. Taeha too was eliminated last minute as he prepared to debut in the group Ajax. Jongkook auditioned for Mnet's "Superstar K3", but didn't make it to the end. The members have also struggled a lot since their debut was postponed several times. They were planning to debut in September, and then December, but ultimately it came to January.
SPEED members rushed to prepare for their debut, and while doing that they went to Japan. On the Mnet show "SPEED: Dreaming of Polaris" they appeared. They went to Japan and found part-time jobs and were planning to open for T-ara's concert at the Tokyo City Hall. They were granted approval to perform before T-ara, but they ultimately couldn't because they had no visa. Taewoon recalls, "We were ready to perform in front of 1,500 people, but we did not have the correct visas so ultimately we just went in the seats during the concert. When it was rehearsal time, we went up on stage. We all had tears in our eyes." Yoohwan then said that they made a promise amongst themselves. "Someday as a team by ourselves, we will perform in the sold-out Tokyo Dome," Yoohwan said.
SPEED made their debut on the 17th with "It's over". The song was made by Shinsadong Tiger, Kim Taejoo and Hyuu and has a delicate melody met with a distinct semi-retro and electronic beat. The song also features cheerful and eye-catching King Tut choreography. SPEED was taught by Japanese choreographers how to dance King Tut and it took them over seven months to master, while they only mastered their other choreography in one and a half months. Taewoon said, "The King Tut dance is popular amongst street dance crews, but it's quite difficult to perform. Before, there has never been an idol who performed it on broadcasts."
SPEED has two goals. Rookie of the Year and a solo show. Because of what they experienced in Japan, they want to have a solo show in Korea as well as in Japan at the Budokan or Tokyo Dome. Taewoon said, "We have a lot of different colors. We are a candid group that has nothing to hide to the public, and that's our charm."
Translated by: Nathaniel @ Core Clique