The world of K-Pop is more interesting than ever. The increasingly competitive K-Pop industry is filled with a growing wave of young talent vying to make it to the top. Among them is IMFACT who seem to be ready to make 2019 a year for global recognition.
The rising K-Pop boy band formally debuted with self-produced single album ‘Lollipop’ in 2016 under Korean label Star Empire Entertainment, home to well-known boy group ZE:A.
The members didn’t get much success as they hoped, until four out of five members participated in KBS’s idol rebooting program ‘The Unit’, which resulted in their renewed popularity. Following their success, IMFACT has gained international attention when it came to overseas touring opportunities. Members Jian, Lee Sang, Jeup, Taeho, and Ungjae just completed their first ever European tour and made history for being the first K-Pop group to perform in Greece. Now they have their eyes set on the UAE.
Ahead of their performances in Dubai, Gulf News tabloid! caught up with the quintet to discuss their UAE fans, new music, touring and more.
Q: It’s your first time performing in Dubai. What’s going through your mind?
Jeup: As ‘first’ something always comes with excitement and romance, we are really excited and looking forward to our first performance in Dubai.
Q: You’ve just wrapped up your first European tour. How are you feeling right now, and did you face any new challenges?
Jian: We had more fans than we had expected during the European tour, and they really enjoyed with us. So we feel that the fans gave us more energy than we put in the tour. We always try to plan something new when we prepare a performance, so preparation of the European tour itself was a whole new challenge to us.
Q: You’re about to perform for an entirely different audience here in Dubai. What can fans expect of your performances? Have you prepared anything special?
Ungjae: I believe the fans in the UAE only have seen us through the screens, but IMFACT is much more energetic and powerful on the stage. So you would see a performance full of energy and enthusiasm when you meet us.
Q: What have you heard about the UAE you’re curious about or want to see?
Lee Sang: Burj Khalifa is so famous, so that’s where we want to go. I heard that the scenery on the observation decks of Burj Khalifa is beautiful and wondrous, so I hope we could see the scenery, too.
Q: Your last EP ‘Only U’ was released in January. Can we expect new music soon?
Taeho: It is important to release new songs continuously and often enough, but the most important thing to us is growth. We will come back when we could show the growth both in music and competence, and we are putting a lot of effort and time every day to develop ourselves so that the fans don’t have to wait too long.
Q: You’ve worked on a variety of genres. What do you think best suits IMFACT?
Lee Sang: I cannot choose one, and I would say everything if I have to because for us it’s the song itself than the genre. We worked really hard on every song — not only the title songs — and every song is our stories so it’s difficult for us to decide what suits us the best.
Q: What is one thing you hope your fans learn from you and from your music?
Ungjae: Comfort. I hope we could bring comfort and cheer to the fans through our songs. This is why we want to make truthful music, and this is why our name is IMFACT, the mix of ‘impact’ and ‘I’m fact’.
Q: Who are some of your personal musical influences and which artists would you like to collaborate with?
Jeup: Of course there are so many inspirational artists, but as a group, we influence each other and find inspirations within us. That way, our music will be fully original to us and it would be the only way that our whole heart could reach everyone’s heart through our music. So for now, I want to focus on working as IMFACT. It’s still exciting only to think of how we could collaborate with each other as every member has so many different talents yet to unfold.
Q: K-Pop has been gaining momentum internationally, including the UAE, despite the language barrier. How do you feel as K-Pop artists witnessing this growing popularity on a local and global scale?
Jian: I’m really happy to see this growing popularity of K-Pop. We have more opportunities to perform outside Korea, and it’s great that we get to introduce Korea and the culture. K-Pop idols have a really long trainee period, and they could debut only after devoting their whole youth to this intense and competitive trainee period. I believe their earnest wishes pouring all the efforts on the stage touched people around the world for K-Pop to gain the current popularity.
Q: There are highs and lows to what you do for a living. What’s the best part of being IMFACT?
Taeho: Best thing of being IMFACT is having each other. We are really close to each other and it’s great to create a powerful synergy together with these kind-hearted friends.
Q: What are your larger goals as IMFACT?
Lee Sang: I wish to have IMFACT world tour and meet all the fans around the world.
Q: Any words for your fans in the UAE?
Taeho: We’ll see you soon. We will show you something fresh and fun of IMFACT, so please join us and enjoy the time with us!
Don’t miss it!
IMFACT’s show, held as part of the annual cultural programme ‘Travelling Korean Culture 2019’, is free to attend. Performances are scheduled to start at 5pm on April 27 at the American University in Dubai and 4pm on April 29 at HCT Dubai Women’s Campus. Registration is available online.