Shinhwa adds another tick to its timeline with debut of subunit Shinhwa WDJ

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Shinhwa adds another tick to its timeline with debut of subunit Shinhwa WDJ



K-pop history buffs may find it difficult to even get through the lengthy past of Shinhwa, the longest-running act in all of K-pop.
And the boy band is adding yet another tick to its timeline: On Tuesday, for the first time in its career of 24 years and counting, a new subunit of the six-member boy band, Shinhwa WDJ, came into existence with the release of the EP “Come to Life.”
“Come to Life” has five songs: the lead track “Flash,” “Shape On Body,” “Guest,” “Rumble” and “Tomorrow.”
The subunit consists of members Lee Min-woo, Kim Dong-wan and Jun Jin, and WDJ stands for “Woo Dong Jin,” a nickname comprised of parts of the trio’s names, coined by fans.
“We talked about how we wanted a cool name, one in English or Spanish, and we thought of ‘Woo Dong Jin,’” Kim said in the subunit’s appearance on the MBC radio show “Noon Song of Hope” on Tuesday. “We decided to go with the first initials; hence, WDJ.”
Boy band Shinhwa [SHINHWA COMPANY]

Boy band Shinhwa [SHINHWA COMPANY]

When asked by singer Navi, the host of the show for the day, why Shinhwa WDJ chose that particular combination among the six members, Kim answered it was “because we’re signed under the same company.”
Although all six members are signed under Shinhwa Company, the three in the subunit are also dually contracted with Liveworks Company.
“The other three are imported while we’re home-grown,” Kim also joked, giving nod to how the remaining three members of Shinhwa — Eric, Shin Hye-sung and Andy — have had experiences living abroad in the United States.
“We’ve been so focused on our individual activities that it was time to come back together as a team,” Shinhwa WDJ collectively agreed. “We then realized that our fans may become exhausted if we kept postponing band activities, so we thought it would be best to at least gather the members who are currently available to release new music.”
On Dec. 30 and 31, Shinhwa WDJ will hold concerts at the Jamsil Indoor Gymnasium in southern Seoul.
Boy band Shinhwa poses during a press conference for its variety show "Shinhwa TV" (2012-14) in 2012, which aired on JTBC. [JOONGANG ILBO]

Boy band Shinhwa poses during a press conference for its variety show "Shinhwa TV" (2012-14) in 2012, which aired on JTBC. [JOONGANG ILBO]

During the radio show, the members of Shinhwa WDJ were also asked about the other members’ reactions to the formation of the subunit, to which Lee answered that they have been supportive.
This doesn’t come as much of a surprise, though, given that the six members have always been open in showing how close-knit they are during the past two decades.
Shinhwa debuted in 1998 as a boy band under SM Entertainment. Shinhwa is considered one of Korea’s first-generation K-pop acts, along with H.O.T. and Sechskies. All six members are now in their 40s.
Though the band has switched agencies numerous times over the years, it is the oldest idol group to have kept all its members the same as when it started. Such a feat is considered very rare in the K-pop industry, as many groups fall apart around their seventh anniversary, usually when their first contract comes to an end. A significant number of acts also see at least one member change in their lineup.
Shinhwa performs at weekly music ranking show "M Countdown" (2004-) in 2013. [YONHAP]

Shinhwa performs at weekly music ranking show "M Countdown" (2004-) in 2013. [YONHAP]

The members have continuously attested that it is their “friendship” that keeps them together, despite having been embroiled in highly-publicized legal issues regarding the band’s name trademarks and problems with their agencies in the past.
Finally, in 2011, the band founded its own agency, Shinhwa Company.
The band is known for hit songs like “T.O.P. (Twinkling of Paradise)” (1999), “Wild Eyes” (2001), “Perfect Man” (2002), “Brand New” (2004) and “Venus” (2012).
It has already proved its success with its music, establishing itself as a legend in the K-pop industry, and the six members have also shown to be popular with their solo endeavors. Eric, for instance, also acts and has starred in many hit television drama series including MBC’s “Phoenix” (2004), KBS’s “Spy Myung-wol” (2011) and “Discovery of Love” (2014) and tvN’s “Another Miss Oh” (2016).


Another answer to a question from Tuesday’s radio show that caught peoples' attention on local media outlets was which member they think will live the longest.
Kim answered that he thinks Shin would live the longest, because “he tends to eat healthy on a daily basis.”
It was the first time another member had addressed Shin since he made headlines in October for allegedly driving under the influence. He had also had his license temporarily revoked back in 2007 for a previous drunk driving offense.
In the band's career of over two decades, it would be a lie to say that the members have only ever been portrayed in a good light. However, their close relationship is seemingly solid as ever, as the six members continue to be honest even about their bad moments.
Last year was another such example, when Eric and Kim had an apparent quarrel on social media over “contact issues,” which, later on, Kim said that the members got together to discuss their feelings and resolve the conflict.
The members then appeared on variety shows and addressed the incident, saying that the members’ relationship has gotten better with time and that they are “completely fine” now.

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