APOPA #129 Nugu Corner: N.Train

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This weeks nugu feature is N-Train!! Yay! No the N does not stand for Nugu. 

Any English pimp posts that were made for this group, were either deleted or private so, I’m just gonna go for what I know.

They are from Media Line Entertainment. The company of veteran singers Kim Gunmo, Park MiKyung, DJ Koo, Chae Yeon, and Lee Jung. This group was created with the ambition to break the stereotype that idols only do dance music, by focusing on R&B. Kim Gun Mo and Lee Jung fell in love with member Soul J’s vocal talent. Not only did their seniors train them, but also participated in the debut album’s production.

N-Train Member Profiles

Jungkyun, the leader, 24 born November 27, 1987. Other than Korean, he speaks Japanese and English. His talents are writing, music production, composing, piano, guitar, bass drums and of course singing. Previously he was a member of some group that debuted in 2007. From my experience he seems like a really sweet guy and always tries to connect with the fans whenever he has the time. I’m not quite sure just how good his English is, but I’ve asked him questions in English (via twitter) and he replied back in English with nice grammar, so I’ll buy it. Every now and then he likes to post selcas of his group members, pets, face or his well-defined body.

Next is the group’s rapper and vocalist Seunghyun, 25, Born June 14th1987. Also debuted in 2007 in a group called Monster with the stage name Heaven and in 2009 in a mix gendered group called Gary Gold Smith.  With the stage name Smith So this is like his 3rd group. But that’s pretty common in Korea. (lol) He seems like the more quiet reserved member in the group. He’s into stocks, inline skates and bikes, he plays hockey. He can speak Japanese and Spanish. Some people think he looks like actor Won Bin. I can see it a little bit at a certain angle.  I think he may also low key be the face of the group though. I think his singing is better than his rapping, I guess someone has to rap, but I hope he shows it more in this group later.

The next member is Lee Jong Min known as Soul J 23, born October 25, 1988. He is the main vocalist. He has an outstanding soulful voice, probably hence the name Soul J. He really goes for it, like he’s taking it to church. He is also athletic and plays the piano. He’s a gooddancer. He can rap too. He sings well in English, but when he tweets in English its strange as heck, idk if it’s the translator he uses or what. Like the 2 guys from Chaos, he has already in the severed in the military. For an idol, he has an insanely muscular body. He has a tattoo of music notes starting from under his left ear and ending down his neck. I personally find it very nice. He has at least another one of a star behind his right ear and one on his right arm.

Next is the maknae line, Sangwoo 20, he is the lead vocalist born February 22nd 1992.  His talents are singing, piano and guitar. He has a handsome husky type voice. He has sweet and funny personality.

The second half of the maknae line is YuJin the bass vocalist also 20 and born February 22nd1992. He is a good voice and hip hop dances very well. He plays the piano, flute and guitar. He is known to be a lee hongki look-alike. He has a very cute and bratty personality.

Fanclub is called Eternals and the Japanese fanbase is Trinity.Their debut official debut together was May 27th2011 with the song is called “One Last Cry”, a vocally very well delivered ballad. The music video is very simple, it just shows the guys in custom t-shirts and jeans singing their little hearts out and Seunghyun softly rapping, with some light choreography. Someone commented; “No excessive make up, flashy clothing, or autotune.” Then they released a special acoustic guitar version where Jungkyun, Sangwoo and a guest guitarist Joongtae play guitar and they all sing around in the medialine building and on the roof. Earlier this year they had an upbeat dance track they didn’t really promote called “do it”, but there is a video performance. Their second single “I’ll Forget You” they are promoting at the moment; is more of the current style of music popular today.

 At first I was really disappointed because I thought they were going to build up on the R&B style they started last year. But the song grew on me and their voices saved it for me. I need to have a stern talk with whoever their stylists are because, the explosion of color outfits with the plastic accessories that were popular for girl groups back in 2009, paired with super ugly hair-cuts and patchy dye jobs for some of the members were painful for me. The stylist were trying too friggin hard to follow the current boyband style trends. 

Also there was no music video for this single, which really makes me question Medialine’s budget for N-Train. Was it like deciding paying for a music video or the tacky clothing? Plus, I thought I saw Jungkyun tweet something from a set of an mv, I wonder what happened to that? The good thing though, that Soul J showed off his nice arms and tried to liven it up by showing his abs but the cameramen weren’t having it, and trolled hard, so as usual I got beef with the cameramen  too. 

All and all, a group this well put together deserves so much better. Interesting enough, last year they were nominated for 2011 Mnet MAMA awards; Best New Male Artistalong with Kim Jisu, Boyfriend, Huh Gak and B1A4 and Nominated for Artist of the Year. Of course they didn’t have a chance in hades to win, but I noticed they seem more popular with male listeners in Korea.

Fansite (info, photos, twitter links, etc) ->

One Last Cry Acoustic ver.
w/Park Mikyung “Endless Love”
Debut Showcase

Do it

I'll Forget You
[eng sub] 111013 N-Train Story 1 (check sidebar for related videos) 

* infamous nude Soul J gif* ^^

They like to hang out with foreigners. lol 

Ciera Reeves

Ciera is the founder of KpopWise. She has been a fan of Korean pop culture since 2005 and writing about it since 2009. Her bias groups are VIXX and OnlyOneOf. She is a 2nd-3rd generation K-pop fan, but she is actively keeping up with the current artists. twitter instagram

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