Despite debuting at the top of the 2012, five-member K-pop boy group NU’EST has established themselves as true idols in Korea and abroad. NU’EST has an international sound and focus (their debut single “Face” sounds similar to a Taio Cruz production and the group loves incorporating high-energy dubstep heard in “Action”) with the boys making their first American appearance as one of the top acts at the premiere K-pop convention, KCON (Oct. 13).
“We weren’t really sure what type of influence K-pop had in different countries outside of Korea. But coming here we really feel it how much of an influence it has,” said member Minhyun through his English-speaking bandmate Aron. “We’re definitely glad to be here and hopefully K-pop spreads even more.”
On the October afternoon, NU’EST is made up of five energetic lads who look at each other excitedly while talking in the red and black sequined outfits that they would perform in later that night. The group is made up of Korean-American Aron, mysterious and androgynous-leaning Ren, talented vocalist Minhyun, the muscular Baekho, and their quiet and calm leader JR. The five saw KCON as an important step as a new group to promote and get their name out in the U.S. “Because it’s our first time here in America, we’re going to show everything that we’ve got. Get more fans in America and then more support,” Aron said of the group’s three-song performance that included their impressive chair dance routine for “Face.”
For Aron, the performance is even more special as he was born in Los Angeles. “For me, I was born and raised in L.A.,” says the talented singer/rapper/dancer. “It was actually one of my biggest dreams to come back to L.A. and perform in my hometown. It’s a dream come true.”
Aron’s dreams may be coming true again soon with NU’EST’s record label, Pledis Entertainment agency, shifting their focus more on America. Pledis is home to other popular acts like sexy girl group After School, the adorable Hello Venus, solo diva Som Dam Bi, and After School’s quirky splinter group Orange Caramel. American fans may see these acts soon with Pledis citing that an American advancement is not dependent on money or popularity, but the correct timing.
Pledis was also at KCON to promote their American auditions to find new trainees for their agency with one exec speaking on their excitement for new groups. Successful trainees could also find themselves a member of After School with its unique admittance/graduation concept for members.
As for immediate U.S. plans, American Pledis fans will have to wait a bit longer to see these stars. Yet Aron mentions one opportunity that may be ideal for an American debut of his labelmates. “At the end of every year, we have this thing called ‘Happy Pledis’ where all the artists in our company comes together and we perform one song together. It’d be great if we came out to America and performed that together.”
NU’EST will promote throughout the end of the year in Singapore and Japan with showcases. But NU’EST says if fans want to see them again, they need to be the ones making noise.
“You have to call us out to come out here!” says Aron. His bandmember Baekho echoes the sentiment excitedly adding via translator, “I’d like it if our fans in America would call us out more in America and with that, continue to love and support us.”