South Korean band MCND debuts in the UAE
South Korean band MCND debuts in the UAE Image Credit: Supplied

It was their first time performing in Dubai, the young members of the K-pop band MCND looked calm and composed as K-culture fans flocked to take pictures with them.

After many days of practising, they were ready to impress K-pop fans in Dubai, with a special show during the Korean Tourism roadshow at Dubai Festival City Mall on Friday, May 5.

In an exclusive interview with Gulf News, the band spoke about their first visit to Dubai, their upcoming project, and more, while casually sipping on their favourite drink, iced Americano.

“Annyeonghaseyo (Hangeul for hello), we are MCND,” they all said in a perfect chorus, before individually introducing themselves.

The band’s name is an acronym for ‘Music Creates New Dream’.

The five-member boy group, composed of members Castle J, Bic, Minjae, Huijun, and Win, first debuted under the entertainment company Top Media in 2020.

But, unlike most bands in South Korea formed through competitive talent hunts, this group is a homegrown band – the members are childhood friends who grew up together with a passion to create music.

“Our band, MCND has professionally trained for a long period of almost five to six years. We have always been crazy about music, rap, and K-pop. It's what brought us together since kindergarten,” explained Castle J, the singer-songwriter of the group.

The friends joined Top Media in different years before finally debuting together in February 2020 with the song Ice Age, the hook of which they sang for Gulf News readers during the interview.

The band, which usually makes music in the pop and hip-hop genres, added that one of the K-pop bands they look up to is BigBang.

“Pop singers Justin Bieber and Harry Styles inspire me, personally,” added Minjae.

Speaking about their first visit to Dubai, the group said: “Dubai is a unique city with … splendid buildings.”

Huijun added: “We are so honoured to be here, in this country far from Korea. We have prepared the best of our performance and hope the audience enjoys it.”

When asked what challenges they faced while preparing for their debut in the UAE, Bic said they love singing, which is why their work feels like a fun part of their life.

He added: “We didn’t have too much of a hard time preparing for the show. If there is one thing I can say was a bit difficult to prepare, it was the cover song of the performance.”

MCND released a total of 32 songs between 2020 and 2022. In the same years, they were nominated for many awards. In their debut year, they won the New K-Wave New Artist Award in the Soribada Best K-Music Awards. And, in 2021, they took home the Rookie of the Year at the Asia Model Awards.

Over the past few months, the group has been performing in different parts of the world.

Win added that the group was preparing for two of their upcoming tours, which will take place in South Africa and South America in May.

The group also mentioned that they were working on a project set to release later this year.

“We cannot reveal the details but we are working very hard on our next project. We look forward to seeing you with our new project,” added Castle J.

- Translations by Mia Jung and YangJi Park, Korean expatriates in Dubai