K-pop past, present in Exo show

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K-pop past, present in Exo show


Exo poses yesterday ahead of “Exo 90:2014,” which starts Friday on Mnet, at a press conference in Sangam-dong, northwestern Seoul. Provided by CJ E&M

All 11 members of Exo will introduce the history of K-pop in a new reality show that launches Friday. In the show “Exo 90:2014,” the stars will perform to songs that were popular back in the 1990s.

The show is operated by CJ E&M and will debut on cable channel Mnet.

The channel expects for this program to act as a bridge for the younger generation to learn more about older K-pop songs while people in their 30s and 40s can reminisce about their favorite stars.

To promote the new show, CJ E&M invited celebrities and officials in charge of the program to a press conference yesterday at its headquarters in Sangam-dong, northwestern Seoul.

“We wanted fans of popular music in 2014 to find a way to emotionally communicate with people in their 20s and 40s through music,” said Jung Yu-jin, a producer for the program at CJ E&M.

“By bringing back what was popular in the 1990s, the period K-pop really started to shape up, Exo members or youngsters can have a chance to get to know more about what items or music spark homesickness for the earlier generation.”

To help the Exo stars born in the 1990s better understand the start of K-pop, entertainer Jun Hyun-moo, who attended college in the 1990s, will assist them during the show. He will act as an MC to introduce the vivid K-pop scene of the past.

“It feels good that I get to see the start of the K-pop scene [as a fan], and still in the industry to feel the vibe,” said Jun.

“I feel like I’m the members’ manager here and tell them what they need to have more to last longer in the entertainment industry because I experienced K-pop back in the 1990s, and I am still experiencing the current scene.”

The members of the popular boy group also shared their excitement about the show.

“As we grew up listening to K-pop songs and dreamed about being part of the music scene, participating in this show will help us continue establishing our lifelong career,” said Suho of Exo.

“It felt very fresh and unique that we get to reanalyze the songs that already exist through our own color by filming a music video as if those songs were our own tunes,” he continued.

Non-Korean members of the group said that they are not yet familiar with many of the songs from the past but are in the process of learning more.

“By singing along to the songs, and even filming a music video, I’m getting to know more about K-pop history,” said one of Exo’s Chinese members, Tao.

“Whether written in Chinese or Korean, if a certain song gets to be played and heard many times over and over again, that must be a good song,” said Lay, who is also from China.

The boy group will make a music video featuring 1990s K-pop as a way to revisit the music scene widely appreciated by people now in their 30s and 40s, who were fans of idol stars such as H.O.T. or Fin.K.L.

BY lee sun-min [summerlee@joongang.co.kr]

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