[CELEB] Boy band DKZ has Jaechan to thank for its newfound fame

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[CELEB] Boy band DKZ has Jaechan to thank for its newfound fame

Jaechan of boy band DKZ [DONGYO ENTERTAINMENT]

Jaechan of boy band DKZ [DONGYO ENTERTAINMENT]

DKZ is back after a six-month break with its new EP “Chase Episode 3. Beum,” which dropped on Thursday. The boy band’s new lead track “Uh-Heung,” an electronic hip-hop track inspired by the roar of a tiger, sings about bravely navigating through a world full of temptation and challenges.
Six of the seven members — Kyoungyoon, Jaechan, Jonghyeong, Giseok, Mingyu and Sehyeon — will be active for the upcoming promotional activities. Munik did not participate in the creation of the EP due to health reasons.
DKZ is an example of a late bloomer in the K-pop scene. The band debuted in April 2019, under the name Dongkiz with five members — Wondae, Kyoungyoon, Munik, Jaechan and Jonghyeong — and saw a lukewarm response for the first three years of its career.  


However, the boy band and its past songs started garnering more attention when member Jaechan started appearing in streaming platform Watcha’s romantic comedy series “Semantic Error,” which was uploaded between February and March this year. After the show became a hit, Dongkiz’s song “Crazy Night,” which dropped in July last year, entered music charts. Such phenomenon of a song gaining popularity months or even years after its release is known as “climbing the charts” in K-pop.  
“Crazy Night” went viral for its eccentric lyrics and choreography, especially thanks to a comments compilation video on YouTube. Following the newfound fame, Dongkiz announced in March that it would change its name to the catchier DKZ and add three new members — Mingyu, Giseok and Sehyeon. It also announced Wondae would depart the group. 


The boy band subsequently dropped its EP “Chase Episode 2. Maum” in April; its first music under the name DKZ, and also the first since Jaechan appeared on “Semantic Error” and rapidly expanded the band’s fan base. 
To put into perspective how dramatic the band’s growth was, its last EP before “Semantic Error” sold 1,200 copies, and “Chase Episode 2. Maum” sold around 110,000 copies.
Jaechan’s breakout role in “Semantic Error” made him a star overnight, but he had been building a steady filmography since his debut as a K-pop idol. He first had a supporting role in the 2019 web series “My YouTube Diary” and landed his first lead role in the YouTube series “Can You Deliver Time?” (2020). He went on to star as the lead in various web drama series such as Naver TV’s “No Going Back Romance” (2020, KokTV’s “YouTuber Class” (2020-21), V Live as “I:LOVE:DM” (2021).  
Watcha's romantic comedy series "Semantic Error" (2022) centers around a romantic relationship between two male college students. [WATCHA]

Watcha's romantic comedy series "Semantic Error" (2022) centers around a romantic relationship between two male college students. [WATCHA]

In early 2022, Jaechan met the role that rocketed him to fame. He played an extremely introverted college student majoring in computer engineering, in the Watcha original series “Semantic Error.” A student who avoids socializing, Jaechan’s character strictly adheres to his everyday routine and always maintains a rational attitude. That is until he runs into an upperclassman, played by actor Park Seo-ham: A popular, extroverted design major who is flamboyant and confident. Romantic feelings start to subtly bud between the two. 
Based on a BL (boys’ love, a subculture of homoerotic romance) by author Jeosoori, the series centered around the topic of romantic relationships between men, a rare topic dealt with in Korean pop culture. The two lead actors rose to fame and Jaechan also made his silver screen debut through the series’ in-theaters version “Semantic Error: The Movie,” which hit local theaters in August.  
Jaechan, right, in the Watcha series "Semantic Error" (2022) [WATCHA]

Jaechan, right, in the Watcha series "Semantic Error" (2022) [WATCHA]

With his newfound stardom, Jaechan has been actively appearing on TV entertainment shows and radio programs. He has been hosting his standalone audio show “Jaechan’s Dream” on Naver Now since August.
While many have high expectations for how Jaechan’s acting career will further pan out, Jaechan has remained true to his roots as a musician. He participated in writing the music and lyrics a number of DKZ’s tracks, including its 2020 song “It’s All Right.” In July, Jaechan also composed and wrote lyrics for “Our Season,” an original soundtrack for Watcha’s entertainment show “Our Season: Spring with Park Jae Chan.” He also belongs to a subunit of DKZ called Dongkiz I:Kan, which he formed with member Munik in July 2020.  
Jaechan (Park Jae-chan)

Date of birth: Dec. 6, 2001
Zodiac Sign: Sagittarius  
Birthplace: Daegu
Debut: April 2019 as a member of boy band DKZ
Agency: Dongyo Entertainment
Jaechan debuted in 2019 as a member of boy band DKZ, which was named Dongkiz at the time until it changed its name to DKZ in March 2019. He has appeared in numberous web drama series such as “My YouTube Diary” (2019) and "Can You Deliver Time?” (2020). He landed his breakout role in the Watcha romantic comedy series "Semantic Error" (2022). The series centered around a romantic relationship between men, a rare topic in Korean pop culture. Through the role, Jaechan rose to fame and saw DKZ's CD sales increase over 90 times.  
This information was confirmed by Dongyo Entertainment on Oct. 4, 2022.

BY HALEY YANG [yang.hyunjoo@joongang.co.kr]
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