[이데일리 스타in 박미애 기자] “Be the icon of K-pop”. That is the meaning of the name of iKON, YG Entertainment (“YG”)’s new boy group to make debut in 2015. This is why the spelling of the name is not icon, but “iKON”. iKON has seven members whose average age is 19. Even though they have yet to make an official debut, they have already built an enormous fandom. There is no doubt that iKON is the most promising rookie for this new year.
iKON finalized its members in November last year. The members include the team’s leader B.I (19), BOBBY (20), KIM JINHWAN (21), SONG YOONHYEONG (20), KOO JUNHOE (18), KIM DONGHYUK (18), and JUNG CHANWOO (17). The first six from B.I to KIM DONGHYUK already made themselves familiar to the public in 2013, in survival audition show “WIN: WHO IS NEXT” in which they competed with WINNER for debut. JUNG CHANWOO unveiled himself last year, in another survival audition show “MIX & MATCH” designed to finalize the members of iKON.
Each and every member of iKON has outstanding talent and potential, like any other YG artist. B.I is often compared to BIGBANG member G-DRAGON. He is iKON’s rapper and leader, also a good songwriter, lyricist, and producer. Just as G-DRAGON was a member of “little Roola” when he was a child, B.I also entered the world of entertainment very early, by performing as a guest rapper for MC Mong’s “Indian Boy”.
BOBBY is a rapper who is drawing keen attention from the hip-hop scene as well. He won rapper survival audition program “Show Me The Money 3”.
KIM JINHWAN, the eldest member, is an outstanding vocalist. The three members mentioned above have been trained at YG for more than four years, to grow into reliable artists. SONG YUNHYEONG, KOO JUNHOE, and KIM DONGHYUK also have outstanding artistic skills and potential, which are comparable to that of the other three. JUNG CHANWOO joined the team as the last member, but he is growing into an able artist at a very quick pace.
As YG has been supporting iKON very enthusiastically and the team has already built a big fandom even before their official debut, music fans have high expectations for them. The popularity is already big enough to threat existing idol boy groups. As many as 60,000 fans applied for attendance in “MIX & MATCH”’s fan meeting in China, and the number of applicants was 40,000 in Japan. Plus, a whopping number of 150,000 fans applied for attendance in the final performance of “MIX & MATCH”.
iKON is now doing their best to practice for official debut in the first half of this year. They have already begun actually performing on stages, building experiences by performing in high-profile events such as end-of-year pop music awards and BIGBANG’s Japan five dome tour. YG director Kim Sang-Ho said, “We would like to thank fans who spared no support and love for iKON even before their debut. The company will also do our best to make iKON live up to your big interest and expectations, on stages.