Dubai: 'Black shoes, blue ties', balloons and toys – K-pop band Super Junior LSS, a sub-unit of the legendary South Korean boy band Super Junior, is going viral with their latest music video 'Suit Up', released last week.
That's not all. The three-member band is breaking age barriers in the K-pop industry.
The sub-unit is called ‘LSS’ after its three members – 40-year-old Park Jeong-su, known professionally as Leeteuk, 38-year-old Shin Dong-hee, known by his stage name Shindong, and 37-year-old Choi Si-won, better known as Siwon.
The trio is getting ready for their first solo concert and an Asian tour very soon.
Ahead of their upcoming projects, the members of Super Junior LSS gave Gulf News an insight into what fans can expect, how the band came into being, and more.
“You may have seen many facets of Super Junior, but this performance, as LSS, will showcase a different side. I hope you have high expectations,” Leeteuk said in the e-mail interview.
Launched in 2005, Super Junior is considered among South Korea’s second-generation K-pop boy bands, which includes BigBang, TVXQ, 2PM, Shinee, Beast, and Infinite.
These bands are known to have laid the groundwork for the global popularity of younger boy bands like Exo, and BTS.
Eighteen years of K-pop
Super Junior originally debuted with twelve members and gained international stardom following the release of their best-selling single ‘Sorry, Sorry’ in 2009. This was the title song of their most critically successful album, Sorry, Sorry, and it won them many international music awards.
Over the years, members of the band have returned to the stage time and again, in smaller subgroups – Super Junior LSS being the most recent.
“We wanted to create an unexpected group that no one could imagine,” Shindong revealed, talking about the inspiration behind the creation of the subgroup.
“When we asked many people about the image of the three of us coming together, the conclusion was that it's interesting. We want to make music that is cheerful and enjoyable for everyone…”, he added.
The band is led by Leeteuk, who also led the main group since its newcomer days. Not only is he known to have played a huge role in the popularity of the main group, but he has also often been voted by fans as the best K-pop group leader.
A popular Korean entertainment polling website, KingChoice, held a month-long poll in 2023, in which fans were asked to vote for who they thought were the top K-Pop group leaders of 2023.
Over one million K-pop fans participated in the poll, and out of 28 nominees, Leeteuk was ranked the best.
Talking about the new subunit’s USP (unique selling point) as artists, Leeteuk shared: "It's just about taking on challenges. By not ascribing meaning and, instead, giving our best in every moment, the outcomes naturally acquire meaning.”
Challenging age with hard work
It is perhaps this philosophy that is reflected in the popularity of their latest music video. In just a week, the video has garnered over 800,000 views, with fans in the comments section saying that it doesn’t matter how old the band members are. What mattered was the hard work that they seemed to have put in.
For those who have yet to listen to Suit Up, “It's an incredibly exciting song. I think it's a track that captures the unique wit and fun of Super Junior LSS,” said Siwon, who is also popular as an actor.
He has a huge fan following with hit romantic comedies such as ‘She is Pretty’, and ‘Love is for Suckers’.
Speaking of what inspires him as an artist, Siwon added: “I can't speak for the other members, but I think it's 'empathy’," adding that the world has embraced K-pop.
With all the speculation about age being on the wrong side for the members, how is the K-pop group managing to go strong, even after 18 years?
Shindong attributed the success to two things – the entertainment label managing the brand and the close bond that all the members share.
“I think it's thanks to being supported by a great company like SM. Moreover, we have a feeling of being like old friends among the members, knowing each other well and showing consideration beyond anyone else,” the rapper of the group said.
“We stayed true to our essence,” he added.
What’s next for Super Junior LSS?
The trio is now gearing up for their solo concert titled ‘Super Junior LSS. The Show: Three Guys'. The concert at the East Sea Museum of Art at Kwangwoon University in Seoul on February 3 to 4, will kick off the band’s Asian tour. They are scheduled to perform in Hong Kong, Jakarta, Ho Chi Minh City, Bangkok, and Taipei.
However, regardless of age, being artists in the K-pop industry comes with its own set of challenges.
"The responsibility that comes with receiving so much love from fans is both [something we are] grateful [for] and heavy," Siwon admitted.
"Being a part of Super Junior is of significant help, and I believe it brings comfort and inspiration to many."