The Utter Exhaustion of being a Kiss Me


When I moved home to Canada from South Korea in March, I felt an unspoken understanding that I had probably peaked with my k-pop interests. The days of me being a really devoted fan were probably over. I’m not much into watching television in the first place, and I find myself not fitting well with the online U-Kiss fan community. Without being able to take part in events directly, I knew that I would become just a regular fan, with great stories to tell if ever anyone asked. I have been incredibly blessed with the ability to continue working on K-Soul, which is doing well despite the distance, and hope that we can continue running it for a while longer.

But, as I was looking for news articles to write for the magazine, I stumbled across something in the U-Kiss cafe that hadn’t been translated yet: AJ was going to be staying in New York for another semester. I rushed to get the article up, knowing it would be good news to get up. But no, it was overshadowed by incredibly massive news that day, being Kris suing SM Entertainment. Also, it was overshadowed by the rumour, then the announcement, of Dongho’s official replacement, Jun.

U-Kiss Jun

U-Kiss’ New Member, Jun

I have no opinion on Jun as a person at all. I think he looks cute, and will probably do well in a boy band. I also am not upset over the idea of a new member. I’m not going to be the type that is upset because the lineup is changing, because U-Kiss’ lineup changes constantly, at this point.

However, I am upset. Or, better put, I am exhausted. Completely and utterly exhausted.

Because in the end, NH lied to us. Again.

When Dongho left, it was really tough, but the fandom took it really well. Everyone was really accepting and understanding. NH Media told us that U-Kiss would continue as a 6 person unit, and that would be that. We were cool with that. And the U-Kiss that came from this change suddenly became a much more adult U-Kiss. Suddenly, we had a group that was all over the legal drinking age, all clearly had dated or were dating and were just being quiet about it, and they were being men instead of boys. Considering the fans in Korea are not whimpering teenagers, this seemed to be a much appreciated change, from what I could see. It was beautiful to see the boys act their age, and drop the image of having to fake some kind of idol innocence. One of the most amazing things to hear about was when AJ explained that some of the songs he wrote were about a girl who dumped him in NYC. It was nice to hear that yes, these guys date and drink and act their age and are real human beings that the older fans could relate to.

Jun is born in 1997. I am eleven years older than him.

I’m sorry, but I can’t pretend to relate to a 17 year old. I teach 17 year olds. I can’t watch a 17 year old the same way I watch the rest of the group, because to me he is a child. NH have put a child in with a group of adults, and it’s not fair to anyone involved. Jun might be a wonderful guy. His rapping and singing could be amazing, and he could speak ten languages, and get along with all of the others. But when the members of U-Kiss go out for a drink or something after work (if they ever do that), he can’t join in yet. When the others are talking about their university courses (because remember, Soohyun, Hoon, Kiseop  and AJ are all enrolled in university programs part or full time), Jun will still be working on high school.

NHM, you told us that U-Kiss were going to be a six member group, and we were happy with that. You are never happy with U-Kiss the way it is, but never realize it is not the lineup that is broken. When you give them half assed songs, and a half assed promotion, and don’t even get them lined up for all the music shows, you won’t rank in the music charts. When you don’t even get Melon to feature the song for half a day, nobody will notice your song exists. When you only do one or two fan signs, and ignore cities outside of Seoul (not even going into the suburbs like Incheon, and completely ignoring cities like Busan, Daegu, Daejeon, Jeongju, and other big cities around the country), nobody is going to buy the CD. When you make promotions that frustrate fans more than encourage them, people will give up sooner than work harder.

NH Media, I was one of the first to fill out my Kiss Me Fanclub registration. That was back in October 2013. It is now May of 2014, and I have yet to receive my card, or anything. You have forgotten how the music industry works, and who supports you. Your fans do. And right now, we don’t support you. We will support the new member, and Jun is adorable. It would be unfair to put this on the shoulders of a teen who doesn’t deserved to be blamed for NH’s failures.

NH Media, I’m TIRED. Not in a “I’m sick and tired of your bullshit” kind of tired, but tired in a actually exhausted kind of way. I want U-Kiss to actually have a sound that is consistent between two albums. I don’t want to have to adapt and change my tastes, just to keep enjoying the group I like. I want to open up  the next CD and know what I’m getting, instead of having the fear I’ve had over the past two years of which writer’s sloppy seconds are we getting this time? I don’t care about the boys having #1, and I don’t care if they don’t have ten trillion fans. I want you to know that I loved 0330 and Neverland and DoraDora. I want you to realize I listen to the Japanese singles more than the Korean ones because at least that sound is consistent. I want to be honest and tell you I really didn’t like Mysterious Lady much. I hardly listen to the Moments album compared to other albums. I want you to know that I like AJ’s stuff, even though he needs some guidance as he continues to develop his work. I also want you to take a long, LONG look at the Japanese singles and figure out why those songs are so much better, because I have enjoyed each single, and the side track, since Tick Tack. Which I can’t say here.

I don’t want U-Kiss to suddenly be trying to pull in teenagers with one new 17 year old. And I’ll be honest with you: unless he does something groundbreaking, he’s not going to change the audience much. All the fans want is you to do what you say you’re going to do. We want our fan club things 6 WEEKS after paying for it, not 6 MONTHS. When you tell us you’re going to sell the light sticks as well, you should do it. When you say you’re going to release a video, and you don’t, tell us why. Don’t wait for the news to leak something when you should have the courage to just tell us yourself.

At this point… I’m tired. I’m really really tired. And I don’t want to play this game any more. But even then, I’ll never stop being a Kiss Me, because my love for U-Kiss has nothing to do with NH media. It has to do with the now 10 people who have shaped the group to where it is now. All NH decide is how much effort I can or will put into it.

And really… When I stop putting effort into something… It’s a sad day indeed.