Korean pop stars Michael Kim (Chance), Peter Hyun, and Choo Joon Young (Young Sky)—collectively known as One Way—arrived yesterday, July 28, in Manila for a series of mall shows.
For their first stop, the trio went straight to Annabel's restaurant on Tomas Morato in Quezon City, for a press engagement.
Representatives from Universal Records were also present to meet and greet the up-and-coming foreign group. One Way Live in Manila is made possible by the record company, which is also distributing the Philippine edition of the group's Oneway Street album.
Unlike most of their contemporaries in the Korean pop scene, the members of One Way did not spend their growing up years entirely in Korea. Peter and Choo Joon met in middle school in Sydney, Australia, while Michael attended high school in California, U.S.A.
Their background and exposure to cultures outside their home country eventually served the group well, widening their appreciation of music and musical genres. YJ Entertainment, the management team behind One Way, proudly mentioned that the group can rap and sing with ease, both in English and Korean.
K-POP PHENOMENON. Michael, nicknamed Chance, stressed the group's drive to be known as more than just a group catering to the teenage market. He particularly took note of their continuous drive to explore all avenues of music, with emphasis on songwriting, to allow them to reach more listeners.
"We listen to a lot of stuff, more kinds of music than what our backgrounds give us," said Chance, who is touted as the group's leader.
The three credited the popularity of K-Pop to "catchy beats" and "melodic hooks"—two dependable ingredients in attracting mainstream audiences.
"They're [Korean artists] experimenting on a lot of new stuff just like in the States. There's a lot of experimenting and new sounds are coming out. I think that's what makes it [K-Pop] a little different from what's coming out anywhere else," explained Chance.
Peter added, "I don't want to generalize but it has a bit of the Asian style with a little both of everything that's why a lot of people like it... It just got a wide variety of music."
As for their impression of Manila, Peter exclaimed, "We love it!"
"Actually the weather is like similar to Seoul [Korea], and your hospitality. We love you hospitality. Thank you very much," smiled Chance.
Catch One Way Live in Manila on the following dates and venues: July 30 (Friday) at SM North Edsa Skydome; July 31 (Saturday) at SM Megamall Activity Center; and August 1 (Sunday) at SM Mall of Asia Music Hall. Show starts at 5 p.m.