Featured right here on DramaFever just last February, NYC-born K-pop band EXP is now ready to test themselves by heading to the K-pop homeland, where they will release their much anticipated crowd-funded mini album, while hopefully scoring interviews, gigs, radio appearances, and even a variety television show.

The wait is over for fans and member of EXP, made up of six aspiring non-Koreans who wish to make it big as the world's first non-Korean K-pop band. Rounding out the group are Tarion Taylor Anderson, Frankie Daponte Jr., Hunter Kohl, Sime Kosta, Koki Tomlinson, and David Wallace, all young men from the United States, Croatia and Hong Kong. Formed in New York City under the direction of Columbia graduate student Bora Kim and her collaborators Karin Kuroda and Samantha Shao, the six young men have been doing everything it takes to make it big, taking daily singing and dancing lessons, studying Korean  for two hours a day, and even sitting through "cuteness classes." What all started out as an experiment for Bora's MFA thesis at Columbia has taken on a life of its own.

Having released two singles since their introduction a year ago, things haven't exactly been smooth for the unique boy band. Reception has been mixed, some reactions positive, but many have also been negative. Some people seem to think it's all just a big gimmick, and a lot of K-pop fans don't appreciate that part about them. One member has made it known that EXP has even dealt with some racial and homophobic slurs that have been directed towards them. There's also been accusations that the band's sound is too similar to popular group EXO's. But there will always be haters, no matter what, and all EXP has to do is be themselves. Either way, they do have a lot to prove, especially as they get ready to introduce and establish themselves in the birthplace of K-pop. 

Here's to wishing the world's one and only non-Korean K-pop band the best of luck.

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Starring Jo Jung Suk and Gong Hyo Jin

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