It’s Friday, and it’s time for us to introduce you to Kpopmap’s My Idol of the week – JiSoo of BLACKPINK! Currently in the middle of promoting their comeback (and debuting in Japan!), the girls of BLACKPINK are continuing to make their mark on the current K-Pop scene. And one of our favorite parts of watching the girls promote is being able to see more of JiSoo’s unpredictable, adorable personality!
This stunning beauty is none other than Kim JiSoo, the visual of BLACKPINK – although fans affectionately refer to her as “Chuu.” JiSoo was born on January 3, 1995 in Gwacheon, a city just outside Seoul in South Korea’s Gyeongi Province.
JiSoo began training under YG Entertainment back in July of 2011. When she was a trainee, she was approached by SM Entertainment, who wanted her to join their agency instead – but we’re glad she didn’t do it! BLACKPINK wouldn’t have been the same without her.
JiSoo spent her trainee years as a commercial model, scoring gigs with companies as big as electronics brand Nikon. She even got the chance to model Samsonite Red bags alongside Hallyu star Lee Min Ho – easily any female trainee’s dream!
But perhaps our favorite JiSoo ad campaign was her LG commercial series with YG labelmates iKON. Set up like a short drama series, we got to see JiSoo sharing love lines with B.I., JinHwan, and even Bobby.
(If JiSoo’s Bobby back hug doesn’t give you the feels, we don’t know what will!)
Pre-debut JiSoo also appeared in two of our favorite YG artist music videos – Epik High’s “Happen Ending/Spoiler” and Hi SuHyun’s “I’m Different,” where she played the girlfriend of iKON’s Bobby.
(No, seriously, you guys. Does anyone else think Papa YG secretly ships them together?)
She finished off her trainee days making her drama debut on the KBS series “The Producers,” starring Kim SooHyun, IU, and Gong HyoJin. Guest starring in an episode, she got to act alongside Sandara Park, WINNER’s Kang Seung Yoon, and BOYFRIEND’s MinWoo.
On August 8, 2016, BLACKPINK made their debut with the singles “Whistle” and “Boombayah.” The two tracks secured the first and second spot on the Billboard World Digital Songs chart, breaking a record as the fastest musical act to do so.
BLACKPINK’s overnight success made anticipation for their first variety show appearance extremely high. And in November 2016, the girls appeared as special guests on SBS’s “Running Man,” where they killed it with their playful interactions and silly sense of humor.
(And, in our opinion, a 4-D star was born.)
A few months later, JiSoo was selected to host popular music program “Inkigayo.” Her co-hosts are NCT’s DoYoung and GOT7’s JinYoung, adding another reason why we think JiSoo is one of the luckiest girls of all time.
(Working with super babes must be really hard.)
Probably one of the most memorable moments she’s had on the show thus far is when she made her MC debut dancing to Ariana Grande’s “Side To Side.”
These days JiSoo might seem like she has a pretty hectic schedule, but one of the most JiSoo things about her is that she will always take the time to greet fans and accept some gifts when they come to visit her at “Inkigayo.” She’s the coolest!
What’s up after BLACKPINK’s summer comeback? Details are still up in the air. But all we know is that we’ll keep supporting BLACKPINK and JiSoo as they continue to slay the K-Pop scene.
With his ‘bad boy’ rap flow and stageside bravado, Johnny has quickly proven himself to be vital part of NCT – and a worthy K-Pop artist to feature in our ‘My Idol’ weekly feature. Find out all the 411 on NCT 127’s Johnny below!
Johnny Seo was born Seo YoungHo on February 9, 1995 in Chicago, Illinois. He was discovered at the Chicago stop of SM Entertainment’s global auditions back in September 2007.
Johnny was picked up by the agency for his musicality and b-boy dancing skills. One of his special talents is piano playing, and during his time promoting with SM Rookies, he was given the opportunity to play piano for fans.
As NCT’s resident Korean-American, Johnny (along with fellow member Mark from Canada) is often asked to communicate with international fans in English. However, English and Korean aren’t the only languages he knows! He can also speak a little Spanish, French, Chinese, and Japanese, as seen in the clip below.
Johnny began training with SM Entertainment back in 2008. During his training period, it was rumored he was supposed to become a member of EXO, but was kept from debuting. However, Johnny has since dispelled the rumors, saying that while he did train alongside EXO members, debuting through EXO was never really part of the plan.
In December 2013, he was finally introduced to K-Pop fans through the label’s SM Rookies trainee team project. During his time as an SM Rookie, he performed as a part of the male dance unit SR14B, alongside ex-SM trainee Hansol and future NCT group mates Taeyong, Yuta, JaeHyun, and Ten.
2016 was the year that Johnny was able to show off a whole different talent – DJing! He took the stage as DJ Johnny at the 2016 Spectrum Dance Music Festival, working the turntables as a part of SM Entertainment’s special Dreamcatcher stage.
In October of the same year, he also appeared as the featured DJ for the SM STATION industrial rock track “Nightmare,” collaborating with Yoon Do Hyun, Reddy, G2, and INLAYER.
Finally, in January 2017, Johnny made his NCT debut through the unit group NCT 127’s single “Limitless,” where he captured fans’ hearts with his boyishly masculine rap delivery and equally limitless body rolling. (Hit those body rolls, Johnny! Get it!)
Johnny returned with the rest of the group in June with NCT 127’s most recent single “Cherry Bomb,” which nabbed them their very first music program on Mnet’s “M!Countdown.”
The growing popularity of NCT as a whole has definitely helped Johnny gain popularity as well! Since debuting, Johnny has been showing off his versatility as a 4-D idol and expanding into other projects.
Most recently, he replaced group member DoYoung as a male idol make-up guru on the second season of the beauty variety show “Lipstick Prince.” Check out his promo for the program and bask in his dreaminess.
He has been also co-hosting SBS Power FM’s “NCT’s Night Night” radio show with fellow NCT member JaeHyun, something that he says has really helped him brush up on his Korean speaking skills.
2017 has been a huge year for this rookie idol, and we’re only halfway through it. We’re excited to see what else Johnny has in store for his first year. There’s no doubt that his career’s about to soar!
The idol has been appearing on quite a few variety shows while promoting iKON’s latest album “New Kids: Begin” with his group. He even recently joined Sandara Park and fellow group member Bobby as special guests on the roommate reality show “Insolent Housemates,” where he showed off his fun-loving older brother side. Not too familiar with JinHwan? Well, let us introduce you to your new iKon bias!
Kim JinHwan was born on February 7, 1994 in Jeju, South Korea. He signed on as a trainee with YG Entertainment back in 2011, where he caught attention for having musical sensibilities similar to labelmate, TaeYang of BIGBANG.
Apart from singing, one of his most notable talents is foreign languages. Not only can he speak Korean, Japanese, and English, but JinHwan also lived in the Philippines for seven months before he debuted, where he picked up Tagalog and Bisaya.
Before signing on with YG, JinHwan auditioned as a vocalist for SM Entertainment back in 2010. He even studied voice at the company’s SM Academy, a special ‘idol school’ where aspiring K-Pop idols are able to study singing, acting, and dancing.
However, he did not pass his audition, which is great for us because iKON wouldn’t be the same without him!
JinHwan first made his way into iKON fans’ hearts as a contestant on the YG boy group survival show “WIN: Who Is Next.” He competed as the main vocalist of Team B, which also included fellow iKON members Bobby, B.I, Ju-ne, Donghyuk, and Yunhyeong.
On the show, he wowed viewers with his on-point English language R&B covers, including Usher’s “There Goes My Baby” and T-Pain & Ne-Yo’s “Turn All The Lights On.”
While Team B didn’t win the program, Papa YG blessed JinHwan fans with another survival program “Mix & Match.” In the program, the boys of Team B continued to battle for their chance to debut against a whole new round of trainees. This time around, JinHwan was appointed as the main vocalist of the show, where he mentored the other singing trainees and performed an adorable Bruno Mars stage with AKMU’s SooHyun!
After “Mix & Match” finalized iKON’s official line-up, the group focused on preparing for debut. However, before he had even debuted with iKON, JinHwan found himself in his very first scandal. Korean tabloid media Dispatch released a series of photos suggesting he was in a relationship with AOA’s JiMin. Not only did the idols have a number of matching ‘couple’ items, but they were even spotted shopping together.
While both idols neither confirmed or denied the reports, fans seemed to be rather supportive about the couple. One netizen even jokingly commented, “First time seeing a person who hasn’t debuted yet being talked about so much.”
JinHwan debuted with iKON on September 15, 2015 through the release of their pre-album single “My Type.” The song received over 1.7 million YouTube views within the first day of its release!
A few months later, iKON went on their very first headlining tour, where JinHwan accomplished the inevitable male idol milestone – cross-dressing! The singer gave iKON fans a treat by performing a special stage of “Me Gustas Tu,” dressed up as a member of GFRIEND.
Ahead of the release of their latest album “New Kids: Begin,” YG Entertainment announced that JinHwan’s new stage name was ‘Jay’!
With new singles “BLING BLING” and “B-DAY” scorching up the K-Pop music charts, anticipation is rising even higher for the rest of the “New Kids” album series, all slated for release later this year.