U-KISS (Korean: 유키스) is a seven-member South Korean boy band formed by NH Media in 2008. The members include Alexander Lee Eusebio, Shin Soo Hyun, Kim Ki Bum, Lee Kiseop, Eli Kim, Kevin Woo and Shin Dong Ho. U-KISS stands for Ubiquitous Korean International (Idol) Super Star. They debuted in Japan on August 15, 2008 and in South Korea on August 28, 2008.
The group has released one full-length album and various mini albums and singles. Their first full length album, Only One, was released on February 3, 2010.
The members of the group have had various activities as solo entertainers—acting in various dramas and musicals,and hosting various reality-variety shows.
The group first was formed as a six-member boy-group. Their original concept was to be a pretty boy-group. Kim Ki Bum and Kevin Woo were original members of the boy band XING. Ki Bum left the group on 2007 while Kevin left the group four months before the debut of U-KISS. The pre-debut activities of the two members helped U-KISS to draw attention among Korean fans. Three of the members, Alexander, Eli, Kevin came from other countries. Alexander came from Hong Kong, while both Eli and Kevin came from the USA. Eli came from Washington DC while Kevin came from San Francisco.
2008: Debut and members
U-KISS debuted in Japan on August 15, 2008 at the Power of Atamix alongside SS501 & Paran. The group released their first mini album, N-Generation with its main track, Not Young, on September 3, 2008. Later on, the group debuted in South Korea, with a performance of “Not Young” on M! Countdown on August 28, 2008.
As many of the members had come from overseas or had studied abroad, they were fluent in other languages. Alexander can speak 7 languages at varying fluency levels. He can speak English, Cantonese, Mandarin, Korean and Japanese fluently. Other languages he can speak include French, Portuguese and Spanish. Kibum can speak Japanese fluently. He had also studied in Australia for 2 years and can speak simple English. Dongho can speak Chinese fluently as he had studied in China, Beijing before. He is currently learning English on a variety program called “Raising Idols”. Both Kevin and Eli were born and raised in the United States, thus both of them are fluent in English. Eli is also fluent in Mandarin as he had lived in China while trying to pursue an acting career. The international members came to South Korea to fulfill their dreams of becoming singers. As a result of the groups’ fluency in many languages, they have no problems communicating with their fans from different parts of the world.
Shortly after their debut, U-KISS also starred in the variety shows, “All about U-KISS”, “You know U-KISS”. As U-KISS was not that popular then, these two variety shows did not receive much attention.
2009: New member and mini-albums
In early 2009, U-KISS made a comeback and released their second mini-album on February 11, 2009, titled Bring It Back 2 Old School with its title song I Like You. They did not gain much popularity from this album though.
Eli and Kibum also starred in the Thai drama “Autumn’s Destiny”. The drama was aired in Thailand only. As both Eli and Kibum cannot speak Thai, their voices were dubbed.
Kevin joined Arirang’s radio show Pops in Seoul hosting the ‘All About You’ segment alongside co-host Isak. Shortly after, Alexander joined Kevin in hosting the show. In April that same year, Eli also became an MC of MBC’s show, Fusion.
Later that year, U-KISS made another comeback with a whole new, more “manly” concept with their third mini-album titled ContiUkiss on November 5, 2009. This album helped them to gain a lot of popularity, especially their main track and hit song, Man Man Hani (Am I That Easy?). The dance for this song was named ‘Kanghan Namja’ (Strong Man) or Kangnam dance for short. It became a popular dance in the South Korean music industry. Their new member, Lee Kiseop, also joined them in the promotion of this mini-album.
At first, some fans were unwilling to accept Kiseop as a part of U-KISS. But that has now changed and Kiseop is now a member of the group, just like any of the other members.
Kiseop is an ulzzang and appeared in a variety show known as “Uljjang Shidae 2” or “Ulzzang Generation 2” (Pretty Boys and Girls Season 2), the ultimate survival show that seeks to find Korea’s best-looking boys and girls. Fellow member Shin Soo Hyun also appeared on the show as a guest.
Dongho has made many appeareances on many variety shows, helping to promote U-KISS and helping U-KISS to gain a lot of popularity. Such shows include Invincible Baseball Team, Idol Maknae Rebellion amongst many others. As a result of his hard work, he is known as the most popular member.
Kevin and Alexander were also featured in Brave Brother’s new music video, “Finally.”
2010: First album and other activities
Before the release of the first full length album, MBC revealed that U-KISS will star in a variety show. The show was titled U-KISS’ Vampire. It was premiered on January 22, 2010. For the filming of the show, the members moved in together into a dormitory. They stayed together in the dormitory for the whole duration of the filming of the show. In the show, they were sorted into teams according to their blood types.
On the January 18, 2010, 2 years after debut, U-KISS opened their official fanclub, KissMe. The fanclub’s official color is Pearl Pink.
On February 3, 2010, their highly anticipated full length album, Only One, was finally released. At first, it was announced that their song, “Without You”, which is a track from the album, would be the main track. However, it was later changed to “Round and Round” (Bingeul Bingeul). The song Bingeul Bingeul later became a huge hit, gaining U-KISS the most popularity and attention that they have ever received since their debut. In this new full length album, they also changed their looks slightly, but it still similar to their “Man Man Hani” look. Dongho bleached his hair while Kevin dyed his hair a sandy brown. The album consisted of five new songs and remixes of songs from their previous mini-albums. The dance for Bingeul Bingeul was given the name “Tornado” dance.
On May 5, 2010, back from the Philippines, U-KISS started promotions for their follow up song for their Only One album, titled Mworago (What). This song too, helped them to gain some more popularity. They named the dance for this song the “Outcry” dance. In an interview, the members decided that Soohyun was the best at this dance as he was good at shrieking.
On June 14, 2010, U-KISS had their first concert in the Philippines. Around that time, they also had promotional activities in Asia, visiting Thailand, Malaysia, Singapore, and Japan.
On June 16, 2010, it was announced that Soohyun would be starring a popular musical called “A Chorus Line”. He had been practicing diligently for the musical but he had to later drop out as he had to prepare for U-KISS’ comeback and for the recording of U-KISS’ new album.
U-KISS appeared on various variety shows as a group. Such as Shin JungHwan PD Variety Show on June 8, 2010, Idol League, Heroes Challenge, and Idol United (they had to drop out of this one as their schedules were too busy. But they appeared for the first and second episode).
They also starred in a new reality show that finished airing on the July 30, 2010, called Chef’s Kiss, in which the seven members split into teams and opened a real restaurant, which they named U-KISS Steak House. Each week, they had a single item on their menu, however, the single menu item would be changes every week. They had cooking challenges every week to decide on which team would be chosen to cook and which of the remaining teams would have to wait tables. Of the losing teams, a member would be chosen to wash the dishes. At the end of the filming, all the members had improved in cooking tremendously. Eli was chosen as the best chef.
Kevin and Alexander continued their role as hosts on Arirang’s All About You show, and Eli joined them as a new co-host. Kevin and Alexander also became MCs for Arirang’s music programme, “The M Wave” in August 2010.
2010: U-KISS Promotional Activities Overseas in 2010
Premiere Entertainment Philippines Inc. (PEP) brought Korean Super Idol Band U-KISS to Manila for the very first time for a series of special mall shows last March 26, 27 and 28. This is in line with the promotion of the band’s full-length solo concert in the Philippines in June. PEP Chairman Joong Ku said that U-KISS is the first of the many Korean stars that his company will bring to the Philippines.
On the March 22, 2010, at an hour before midnight, Universal Records Philippines uploaded the venues for U-KISS’ Philippine promotional tour on YouTube. The video included a greeting to Filipino fans. The Mall Tour included a CD Signing Event after a series of performance of their songs Bingeul Bingeul, Man Man Hani, I Like You, As Long As You Love Me and Talk To Me. The tour kicked off at SM Megamall on March 26, with SM Clark next, scheduled for the 27th and SM North Edsa on the 28th. Their promotions in the Philippines also included a special performance of Bingeul Bingeul at the pilot episode of Party Pilipinas. It was reported that their three-day tour in the Philippines earned 1 Million Pesos, which included a 4,000 copies sell-out sale of their full-length album Only One.
U-KISS had their very first concert in Manila, Philippines last June 14, 2010 at the Araneta Coliseum. The show was originally scheduled for May 29, 2010 but it was postponed to a later date because of an unknown reason. However, U-KISS apologized to their fans through a video uploaded on May 29, 2010, in the video, they promised to work hard in the time that they were still in South Korea. The originally three hour long show was rescheduled to a two hour show due to lack of preparations. The stage layout was also modified to a simpler one because of the delay of stage demolition of Pilipinas Got Talent which recently had a show the day before. The Hydraulics, Fireworks, lifts and 3 more LCD Background Screen were removed from the stage. The large crowd of concert attendees was spotted 2 hours before the start of the show. After the concert, Dongho immediately left for the airport for a scheduled taping in South Korea, but the other members departed for Seoul on June 15, 2010 after having fun at the SM Mall of Asia. The concert was taped and planned to have an official DVD to be released by the end of the year. The said Official DVD is under MNET and Universal Records.
U-KISS recently had guest starred at RAIN’s INTENSITY concert in the Philippines at the SM Mall of Asia Concert Grounds in September 11, 2010. The concert was filled of controversy as U-KISS fans filled the event and swept off the Clouds (Rain’s Fanclub). It was rumored that an estimated 8,000 KissMes attended, while only over 2,500 Clouds attended. However, the night was still filled with much intensity.
2010: Fourth Mini Album: Break Time and Mworago Music Video
U-KISS had filmed the music video for their single Mworago from their full-length album in June and July 2010. The music video was set to be released on August 24, 2010 but it was pushed back to early September. In late September, NH Media announced that U-KISS were going to release a new mini-album titled Break Time and that with the release of their new mini-album, the Mworago music video was to be released as well.
The pictures of their fourth mini-album “Break Time” cover album is already being previewed all over the Internet. This mini-album is set to be released on October 4, 2010 in South Korea. It includes 5 new tracks and one instrumental version of one of the new songs in the album. The album contains a 50-page Photo Book and a Poster.
U-KISS is also scheduled for a mall tour promotion in the Philippines in early November. Scheduled also are fan meetings in Malaysia, Indonesia, Japan and Singapore at the end of the year to early January 2011.
 2011: U-KISS Future Promotion Plans
NH Media released a statement that they are trying their best to bring U-KISS to other Asian countries around May and June next year and will end around mid-August. Schedules have not been finalized yet but NH Media said that a bigger show for cities such as Singapore, Seoul, Kuala Lumpur, Tokyo, Jakarta and a special finale in Manila or in South Korea were definitely certain. Updates will soon be posted, however, information might be changed and everything released is not to be taken as final as information may be affected by factors like availability of venues and ticket sales.
It was also said that concerts for an official DVD would be taped in either Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia or in Manila, Philippines.
U-KISS in Asian Cities
Premiere Entertainment Philippines Inc. (PEP) brought U-KISS to Manila for a series of special mall shows from March 26–28, 2010. This was in line with the promotion of their album Only One and of the band’s full-length solo concert in the Philippines during June.
On June 19, 2010, Geneses Dream Entertainment brought U-KISS to Malaysia for a fan meeting held in Plenary Hall, Kuala Lumpur Convention Centre.
On August 2, 2010, U-KISS member Alexander and Kevin were nominated to host Arirang’s M-Wave program in both Korean and English.
U-KISS joined entertainer Rain as guests in his Intensity Concert in the Philippines at the SM Mall of Asia Concert Grounds on September 11, 2010.
On November 19, 2010, as part of Break Time album promotions, U-KISS went to Singapore to perform at The Kings of Freedom Concert held at Bedok Reservoir Park.
On November 30, 2010, U-KISS went to Mongolia to perform a special on Arirang’s music programm, M Wave concert. It was held in Mongol Palace Ulaanbaatar. This concert celebrated the 20th anniversary of the friendship between Korea and Mongolia.
Tour in Manila
U-Kiss held a concert at the Araneta Coliseum in Manila, Philippines. The show was originally scheduled on May 29, 2010 but later postponed to June 14, 2010. U-Kiss arrived in Manila on June 13, 2010 and had TV guestings. They showed up in a Sunday Music Show Party Pilipinas where they performed Bingeul Bingeul and Man Man Ha Ni. They also appeared in a talk show under GMA Network.
Break Time: The Fourth Mini Album
U-Kiss released their fourth mini-album, Break Time, on October 4, 2010, in South Korea. It included five new songs and instrumental versions of two of the new songs in the album. The album contained a 50-page photograph book and a photo card of either any of the seven members or one of the group. Three days after the release of the album, it topped the Hanteo charts. The teaser for the “Shut Up!!” music video was scheduled to be released on the afternoon of October 3, 2010. But it was later pushed back to October 4, 2010.
U-Kiss performed “Shut Up!!,” the title track of their mini-album, on Mnet’s M! Countdown on October 7, 2010. The full music video was released on October 7, 2010.
U-Kiss became regular Wednesday special MCs on a variety show in Japan called Made in BS Japan broadcast by TV Tokyo for the Wednesday Korean entertainment segments. They hosted the show from October 6, 2010 until December 22, 2010.
On December 10, 2010, they released a Japanese full album called ‘First Kiss’ which was a compilation of all their songs from their debut album up until their ‘Break Time’ album. ‘First Kiss’ placed second on Oricon daily charts on the day of its release.
Members Shin Dongho, Eli, and Ki Seop have been cast for MBC every1’s special new sitcom, titled ‘Real School’. Real School is 40-episode long sitcom series, for which they will play three high school students who board at an ‘English Village’ in an attempt to crack their fear of speaking English. Its pilot episode aired on January 10, 2011. Also Dongho is acting in his first drama, “Royal Family.” Dongho will act as ‘Jo Byung Joon.’ Dongho also has played in several films, including the ‘Villain & Widow’ and ‘My Black Mini Dress.’
U-KISS is planning for a U.S. debut sometime next year.
Alexander and Kibum left the band as of February 23, 2011. A couple of days after the original members Alexander and Kibum left U-KISS, NH Media introduced two new members, Kim Jae Seop and Yeo Hoon Min. Kim Jae Seop is also known as AJ. Before debuting in U-KISS, he was a former member of the South Korean boyband Paran. With the two new members, U-KISS made their comeback on March 30th with their title track, 0330.
U-KISS Asia Tour
According to NH Media, the company is planning to bring U-KISS to various cities in Asia to promote Bran New Kiss. This has been clarified but they have not given it a title yet. The tour will start on May before their shows and activities in Japan and will end on February. The tour is planned to kick-off in Brunei on 29th May 2011, being the first Korean Group to visit the island state. Next Stop will be Singapore Indoor Stadium in Singapore and end in a two-night show in Seoul. This has been also notified by the group’s leader, Shin Soohyun is his Twitter account. The group will also visit Taiwanand Malaysia.
U-Kiss is currently signed under Avex Japan for their near Japanese debut.