(x)clusive!: From Sun Up to Sun Down – first Sundown Festival in 2009

Editor’s story

Sundown Festival 2011
is coming yet again, next weekend! I still remember the first Sundown Festival concert in 2009 – the time when Korean Pop was still picking up, and it was rare to see your favourite Korean stars in Singapore. Definitely a memorable experience for myself too, as it was one of my earlier experience with interviewing Korean celebrities.

Photo from Red Spade
Sundown Festival Logo in 2009 – from Red Spade Entertainment

Sundown Festival 2009 featured purely Korean cultural and pop acts namely: The (amazing) Drawing Show, B-boys Jinjo Crew, power duo Mario and Park Shinae, soloist Lee Jisu, mighty performers T-Max, fun-loving FT Island and luxurious girl group Brown Eyed Girls.

Mario & Park Shinae

I actually had the chance to conduct an email interview with T-Max, FT Island and Brown Eyed Girls as I was writing for Lianhe Zaobao, but no one seemed to read Chinese papers for K-entertainment then… Thus as an exclusive, for the first time, you (x)clusive readers will be able to read my interview with these three amazing groups back in 2009!



Q: What strikes you first when you hear ‘Singapore’? (Like food, culture, weather, etc)

T-Max: We know Singapore as a very clean country. We didn’t have the chance to experience Singaporean food in Korea, so we would like to try various foods this time.

Q: Out of all the countries T-Max has visited, which was the most memorable?

T-Max: Japan, Taiwan, Vietnam, Hong Kong and Singapore. In fact, all the countries were memorable. We enjoyed it a lot because we experienced the different cultures of each country. And the most meaningful thing we felt is that Asia is One.

Q: T-Max hasn’t been active in the Korean Pop scene for sometime (in 2009, after their promotions for Paradise). What is T-Max up to recently?

T-Max: We are recharging our batteries while preparing for our first regular album..

Q: Singapore’s hit by the Boys Over Flowers craze – Since T-Max has 3 members, which any other artist would you choose to be the 4th ‘F4’ member in T-Max? Why?

T-Max: That is a tough question, hahaha! Since T-Max means Three-Max, hmmm well, since we are all guys, we welcome it if the 4th member is Geum Jan Di~~!!!

Q: If T-Max were girls, who in F4 will you fall in love with?

Kim Jun: Song Woobin. Without any particular reason, I feel attracted.
Min Chul: No comment.
Yun Hwa: Song Woobin …His leadership and masculinity.

FT Island

Q: Since you have visited Singapore in June, what do you like about Singapore?

FT Island: We liked everything from the schedule to the food and etc, but the best was meeting Singaporean fans. Since we do music, we like the time that we enjoy with fans on stage. Same in Singapore the last time, we liked it when we performed on stage for our fans who enjoyed our performance.

Q: Is there anything you wanted to do/try but didn’t have the chance to the previous time you were in Singapore?

FT Island: We researched various things about Singapore before visiting. There were several things we wanted to do, but the most of all we wanted to try the Duck Tour. It’s a city tour ride on a boat that looks like a truck that glides on land as well as on sea.. We saw it in a photo and it seemed very exciting. Since Singapore is an island country, a city tour on sea sounds great! We want to try it this time.

Q: What can Singapore expect from your performance at Sundown Festival 2009?

FT Island: Just like we performed at the last Singapore concert with a lot more fans than before, we hope when we do perform in Singapore next time, even more fans will attend. And we hope to establish FT Island in Singapore as well, with lots of local fans here.

Q: FT Island has been trying out new areas, with Hongki playing drums in the drama ‘You’re Beautiful’, Jonghun with the piano for FT Triple. Will you guys try dancing one day?

FT Island: We have lots of things to do and learn in regards of music, and instruments. And of course we would like to learn dancing, however because our FT Island members are all not good at dancing, we would like to refrain from it. Rather, we think the FT Island that plays instruments is cooler and better. And our fans seem to like us more when we play instruments.

Q: As students yourselves, do you have any special study tips to share for your fans who are studying?

FT Island: To tell you the truth, studying long hours without any break seems to interrupt concentration. We heard having a short break like studying for one hour and break for 10 mins is more efficient than studying long hours. And one more! We heard it is not always good to stay up all night. Enough sleeping hours helps one to remember better next day. Although these two suggestions are not special study tips, we want to share this because we think this is the most efficient way to study. Our Primadonna fans! Study hard!

Brown Eyed Girls

Q: What strikes you first when you hear ‘Singapore’? (Like food, culture, weather, etc)

Brown Eyed Girls: We haven’t been to Singapore before, so we are so excited about coming this time. First of all, we heard Singapore is a very clean country and has a law-abiding spirit. Although it is a short schedule, we would like to experience lots of new culture and environment.

Q: Is there anything you will like to try when you’re in Singapore?

Brown Eyed Girls: Our plan is to take a full rest if we can after completing the schedule. However since it is our first time to Singapore, if time allows, we would like to go to Jumbo restaurant to try the famous crab dishes. Also, we would like to see the spouting water Merlion that often appears in movie scenes.

Q: Which Brown Eyed Girls’ song will you recommend to people who have never heard of Brown Eyed Girls?

Brown Eyed Girls: Frankly, all artists will want the public to listen to their all songs rather than to one specific song. Same for us. Maybe we are a bit greedy trying to get love from everyone? Hahaha

Q: The ‘Abracadabra’ dance has indeed swept Singapore fans by storm. Even boys are doing the dance! How do you feel when you watch people doing the famous ‘hip-sway’ dance?

Brown Eyed Girls: You may say this is a typical reply, but frankly, we are really happy and pleased and feel surprised. We are far from here but Singapore fans still notice and enjoy our music and even love our dance. We feel tremendously happy! Thank you very much.

Q: In your new song ‘Sign’, Brown Eyed Girls are looking for help. Who needs the most help with directions in a new place, and who gets lost easily?

Brown Eyed Girls: Without pointing at any of us, we all are poor at finding direction. It is kind of funny, but we can’t even go out without our manager. ^^;;

Q: With the release of your mysterious music video ‘Sign’, will you tell us the story behind the music video?

Brown Eyed Girls: Just like the song name, SIGN, the story is to send a sign to everyone who wants to relax and peace and keep to their own things. It is a bit of a dark picture, but in a deep sense, they look for one bright light. For the music video, we all filmed in a mini aquarium. It was not easy to act because we couldn’t swim well and the weather was so cold. We remember it was very hard to film the music video as we had to keep pace with our tight schedule. However the music video turned out very well and we are happy about it. We hope ‘SIGN’ also gets lots of love, just like previous ‘Abracadabra’.

On with Sundown Festival 2009 –

Prior to the concert, all the artistes held a mini fansign at Korea Plaza – attended by selected fans who designed the most creative fan-letters to the performing artistes themselves.

The first Sundown Festival concert was held at Fort Canning Park, not the best concert venue (since it was outdoors, everyone was worried it would rain), but it was interesting to see all the Korean Pop fans gather at a concert, wave various colourful fanboards and sing along to all the songs.

Before the concert started, various Korean Pop songs were played – it was the ‘era’ of SHINee‘s promotions for Ring Ding Dong, and everytime it was played, it became a mass sing-a-long session across the open field!

Amazing performance by Drawing Show

Some notable songs that were performed for the first time in Singapore, during the concert, were T-Max’s Paradise (theme song for hit K-Drama Boys Over Flowers), FT Island’s I Hope and the crowd-pleaser hip sway dance track, Brown Eyed Girls’ Abracadabra. To end the concert, T-Max’s Minchul even brought up his camcorder to film the crowd, while the FT Island boys were caught jumping onto the stage and throwing hearts to the screaming fans.

Sundown Fest 2010 logo – from Red Spade Entertainment

Of course, a first brings on the second, as Sundown Festival 2010 brought in After School and F.Cuz plus Japanese acts like SuG and LM.C – it just gets bigger every year. (Read our past article on Sundown Festival 2010 here!) This year, we have yet another addition – Taiwan pop acts Show Luo, Hebe and Zhang Yun Jing! How different would it be, I have no idea, but it will only get better and grander, so watch out for Sundown Festival 2011 coming your way! 🙂

Sundown Festival 2011 logo – from Red Spade Entertainment

Get your last minute tickets or find out more about Sundown Festival 2011 over here. Sundown Festival 2011 will be happening on the 26th November, 5.30pm at the F1 Pit Area – don’t miss this chance to catch Japanese “visual-kei” Rock band ViViD, fresh Korean boyband sensation Teen Top, Chinese Pop Superstars Show Luo, Hebe and Zhang Yun Jing! Tickets are on sale via SISTIC.

(x)clusive will also be reporting on the event so watch out for our updates!

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