11 Cool facts about the first non-Korean K-pop band EXP
Have you heard of the non-Korean K-pop band EXP? If you haven't, you're in for a treat! EXP is the first and only K-pop boy band made in New York City. Though they're K-pop, none of the five members are Korean. Scroll down to check out the 11 cool facts about the first non-Korean K-pop band EXP!
1. EXP is the first and only non-Korean K-pop group
EXP's five members, Hunter, Koki, Frankie, Sime and Tarion, come from many parts of the world like Hong Kong, Croatia, and the United States.
2. EXP started out as an experimental project of a Columbia University graduate student
EXP debuted after Bora Kim, a Columbia University graduate student, turned her thesis into a successful Kickstarter campaign, raising enough seed money to make a boy band. The band's name comes from the first three letters of the word "experiment."
3. EXP is the first K-pop band made by three women
Unlike EXO, BIGBANG, or GOT7, which are formed by K-pop's mega agencies, EXP was made from scratch by three Asian women. Bora Kim, Karin Kuroda, and Samantha Y. Shao initiated the I'm Making a Boy Band (IMMABB) project to recruit and debut the five EXP members. The project was born to illustrate concepts like gender roles in pop culture and their impact on other issues in globalized society.
4. The boys come from diverse backgrounds
The five members come from diverse musical backgrounds like opera, jazz, pop, R&B, and musical theater. Their music producer comes from an EDM and dance background, and together they create what's uniquely EXP.
5. EXP is K-pop and a few other genres
"It's a hybrid of a few different genres," Hunter said when asked to describe their music style.
As the first K-pop boy band made in NYC, EXP embraces various cultures and genres of music. Though none of the five members are Korean, EXP labels their music as K-pop because of their highly skilled choreography, songs sung in Korean, and love of Korean fandom culture.
6. EXP sings in Korean and English
EXP's two singles, "LUV/WRONG" and "Feel Like This," are sung in both Korean and English. Moving forward, they hope to sing more in Korean. They take daily two-hour Korean lessons from Bora. KBS, one of the three big broadcasting channels in Korea, filmed a documentary about them in January. EXP is planning its Korean debut this summer.
7. EXP members write their own lyrics
Most of the members come from a songwriting background. They write the English version of the song and Bora translates it into Korean. Their ultimate goal is to write their songs in Korean.
8. EXP is inspired by Zion. T, CL, and Michael Jackson
EXP says their music is inspired by American and Korean artists like Zion. T, CL of 2NE1, and Michael Jackson. The members are keen on creating an eclectic blend of American and Korean pop music.
9. EXP wants to film a variety show in Korea
"I'd love to be on a variety show with these guys," Tarion (second from the left in photo) said when asked what they'd like to do in Korea. He added that Hunter (third from the left) will probably outdo the rest of the members.
10. EXP challenges boundaries of K-pop
"It feels amazing. We're all doing something that's never been done before and we're breaking boundaries," Hunter said, challenging the notion of K-pop for the audience. Is K-pop simply a music style? Must K-pop groups have a Korean member? In other words, what constitutes K-pop?
11. Their third single will be out soon
EXP's upcoming mini album EXPeriment will include two new singles and three music videos. In the meantime, check out EXP's single "Feel Like This" below:
Check out the boys in action in this adorable interview with Hallyu World's Eric!
What are your thoughts on EXP, and what makes Korean pop K-pop for you? Share with us in the comments below!
Cover photo courtesy of IMMABB, Background artwork by 7 Train Murals
Other photos courtesy of EXP's official Instagram account