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July 31, 2023 60 mins

You better Believe Kevin Woo is on the pod!

Kevin is a Korean-American singer, songwriter and actor who joined the boy band U-KISS at only 15 years old.

U-KISS was one of the first bands to pioneer the evolution of K-Pop. Kevin reveals all and how this moment in time changed his life.

Plus, his mom AND sister are his managers… what’s it like working with family? His answer may shock you!

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Episode Transcript

Available transcripts are automatically generated. Complete accuracy is not guaranteed.
Speaker 1 (00:04):
This is Frosts Tips with Lance Bass and I Heart
Radio podcast. Hello, my little peanuts, it's me your host,
Lance Bass. This is Process Tips with me Lance Bass
and my lovely co host Turkey Michael Turchin. Well, hello,
lovely other. I'm crazy. Yeah, I'm excited. We got Kevin
wu on today. I know. Yeah. If you know my

old radio show, we've had Kevin on and he's just lovely.
I think it's our first K popper. Yeah yeah, our
first K pop. No, we can there's so many we can.
We can go. This show can go on forever. I know,
but they just need I don't know why they won't
come on the show, or maybe we haven't. No, maybe don't.
Maybe this is the catalyst we need. Kevin. You gotta
woo everyone else. It's funny. Well, h U. K pop

fans will know that he is from a U kiss Um.
He was kind of a pioneer in K pop. Yeah,
he does everything. He just had that Broadway show K
Pop he starts in. Got lots of Tony nominations this year. Um,
he's just been killing it, killing it. So I'm excited
to have him on the show and catch up and
explain to you what K pop's all about. Yeah, because

you know a lot of us you know, on the
show and listening to show. You know, unfortunately we're middle aged. No, fortunately,
we're middle aged. Fortunately. Yeah, that's right. Um, so we
kind of missed that K pop resurgence. Um, and so
we're gonna teach you all kinds of fun little works
you're never too ill to learn. That's right. You're gonna
know what a bias member is, oh, biased member. Yeah,
because I'm your bias member. I have a bias against you.

A little U entertainment pop culture news Snad O'Connor passed away.
I unfortunately this week. Um, I don't know it has said,
but I'm assuming it was. It's in mental health. I mean,
if you're having trouble out there, you know, ask for help.
There's tons of places you can go to. You can
call anonymously. If you're just having you know, some thoughts,

you know, talk to someone, got it. It's always the
Trevor Project, which you always we love the Trevor Project.
They will listen to anyone. And again anonymous, you don't
have to say who you are, just like talk it out.
Therapy is good. Yeah, that's great. Everybody said, been therapy.
We ever, did we ever discuss our trip? Who went on?
Did we with our view our owners that all year?

I know we did. We We finally had a little
summer vacation, which was nice. We we flew with the
kids to Mississippi, spent a little time with my family.
Then we we let the kids stay on a little
summer vacation. Yeah, and grandparents. So we flew to San France.
And I've always wanted to drive the one on one.
So it's a freeway here in California that hugs the

Pacific Ocean the whole way, all the way from Portland
to San Diego. Yeah, and there's so many great beautiful
things to do, and I've all, you know, I love
a road trip. So we went to San France. Been
a few days there. We went hiking, and we ate
so great food. We ate so much, went hiking. It
was like the most pleasant leisurely trip I've ever been

on in my life, non alcoholic, nonalcoholic trip. You would
think we would do all the kinds of wine because
it's all the best fine country, but no, we just
kind of just enjoyed hiking and being like healthy, yeah,
and just a lot of spas, a lot of spas, yeah,
and a lot of food. Yeah. It was Yeah. I
gained a good five pounds on this trip. It was
an eight pretty love trip than we eat. We found ourselves.

We did. We did Bottom of a Fish and Chip.
I'll tell you this one place. I mean, we stayed
in some really great places. So we you know, San France.
We stayed at night in Monterey. They have a really
great aquarium. We stayed in Carmel for a few nights
at this really great winery. Yeah. Then we ended up
in Santa Barbara, which is only an hour away from here,
so it's you know, it's yeah, I could retire there easily.

It is beautiful. Oprah Winfrey knows what she's doing. Just
a gorgeous town right on the ocean. And so we
stayed at this place, Oh my god, what was it called?
Oh the Rosewood Rosewood Mirrormars, Mirrormar Beach that Rick Crusoe owns.
He's the one that ran from mayor the billionaire. Uh,
oh my gosh. Wow. I was not because we were

going to Santa Barbara for two days to hike again
and go to restaurants. We didn't leave the hotel. We
did not leave the hotel once. We're like, no, no no, no,
we just need to I've never seen anything like. It
was so chic. Shake shake, shake cheek and they we
had a room like right on the beach, but it
was it was We saw Brian Austin Greene and Benji

Madden like this is like, I guess the secret spot,
and Lance Bass it was the Who's who? How come
no one has told me about this spot until now?
Obviously I was not in the cool the cool group.
You must have not got the invite. No, I did
not get the invite. No, but it was great, and
you know, I love my food and it has Crusoe's
the restaurant there Star restaurant, and then the Michelin chef

does this eight course mill. You know, it's just like
a two bite on every meal. Wow, there was one dish.
I was like there was one. It was like it
wasn't even it was like an unofficial dish of the
eight so it was like the ninth. It was like
a little sampler to start it off with. And listen,
everything was amazing. It was so good, except this one
thing I think was maybe an accidentally got onto the plate. Yeah,

because it tasted like a cigar, but it was like
a tomato. Maybe you were supposed to smoke it and
then give me a lighter ja oh my gosh U.
So yeah, that was that was nice. So I highly
recommend go into the Rosewood if you're in Santa Barbara.
You're really and be saved up for fifty years. Was

our only time going. Yeah, yeah it was good. We
had a we had a discounted room. Yeah, we're not
all that cool, but yeah, it was. It was nice.
It was It was a good way to end our
chic trip. Yes, um, all right, guys, uh, let's get
into our interview. Let's take a little break, we come back.
We're gonna have the one and only K pop superstar
pioneer Kevin Wood and welcome back to Frost and TIBs.

All right. Kevin Wu as an American singer, songwriter, television
host based in New York City. He is primarily known
as a former member of South Korean boy band Ukiss
from two thousand and eight until twenty seventeen, as well
as a host of various programs such as after school club.
Born and raised in California, he was discovered by South
Korean entertainment agency Zing Entertainment at the age of fifteen

and subsequently moved to South Korea after a few months
of training. Wu debuted as a member of the boy
group Zing in two thousand and six. After leaving that
group two years later, he re debuted as a member
of UKISS in two thousand and eight, and in March
twenty seventeen, he left UKISS after his contract expired. Following
his departure from UKISS, We pursued a solo career in

South Korea and Japan, and he debuted as a soloist
with his first single, ride Long in October twenty eighteen. Kevin,
welcome to the show. That was very impressive. You've done.
It was it was everything that I said true? It
was true? Okay, did I pronounce everything right? Because of it?
I see zings X I n G S. I had

something crossing. Whatever, let's just start up, just kid it
all right. So, Kevin, you come from a musical background.
Your family was all into music. Your dad plays instruments,
your uncle's an opera singer. When did you when did
you know that you shared that musical talent with your family?
It was I guess when I was growing up and

during the holidays, we'd always just gather on the piano
sing songs. And I also singing at my school. Yeah,
my middle school graduation too. What was school like for
little Kevin Wood? Oh God, it's so long ago. She
went to school here in California, I did. Yeah, where
I grew up in the Bay Area, Okay, yes, North

l Um. And I was a very shy, just very
um introverted kid. Um. Honestly, I just didn't see myself
a lot in the media. I grew up in a
very like white dominant um neighborhood, so I didn't have
too many like Asian friends around me to feel comfortable
in my own skin. So yeah, growing up with a

lot of you know, insecurities. But I feel like that's
why I geared towards K pop uh and a lot
of my um, you know, upbringings and my my uh
childhood like memories were like watching a lot of K
dramas and that led to k K pop and that
this was before YouTube days, so we would like rent
DVDs and like the VHS tapes. Yeah, and I would

have to drive all the way to LA I would
beg my parents to drive to La from San Francisco
to go to these Korean record shops and that's that
was the only gateway to access like K pop albums
and stuff. And did you speak as a kid, you
learn it for when you lay your music? I could
get by, yeah, I, um, you know, ask my parents

like if I could have something, if I could eat,
like and I'm hungry, Like that's the the basic stuff.
But I really learned to read and write when I
moved to Korea in two thound six? Was that difficult
for you? It really wasn't, no, because you're the basis. Yeah. Yeah, yeah,
I gre up around speaking like you know, Korean, and um,
all my relatives were like all Korean speakers. Yeah so

I was like right in the middle. Yeah yeah yeah.
What was the holidays? Like holiday house? Like it does
the whole family come together, your cousins and uncles and
yeah yes, so it's very much like an American uh
you know, festive holiday, but with just Korean food. Yeah yeah,
which is amazing. Yeah yeah, okay, so what is the

dish for the holidays? The Korean food especial because you
know we always have turkey and all of them, so
We did a little bit of both. We had our
you know, traditional American turkey, but we also had a
bunch on, which is like slide to, and we'd have
something called kay bee chain which is like braised short ribs,
and that was like the main dish. And lots of
good like soup, like spicy soups. So, I mean you

are a pioneer in K pop. I mean you started
you know, Yeah, I'm right in front of a pioneer,
you know, on different ways for sure. So how did
you How did you first hear about this kpop? But
when did when did k pop start kind of going?
Like when did that starts? Yeah, that's an interesting question
because it wasn't k pop. Yeah, it was just yeah,

what is the evolution of that? It was just Korean
music to me, So I guess the evolution really started.
Um well, yeah, I guess. My group was one of
the pioneers. We had several like international members. One member
was from Macao, Hong Kong, one member was also like

me and Korean American. We spoke seven different different languages
all put together, so we were very much international group group,
which UK just kind of stands for. It's called it's
an acronym for ubiquitous Korean international superstar ubiquitous. I have
no idea how my boss came up with that. I

have no idea. Yeah, um, so yeah, we were meant
for the international market. Um. But then starting with our era,
which is like the second generation of K pop, that's
when we kind of branched out to you know, um,
like outside of Korea, and that was when, yeah, k

pop kind of blew up as as this global phenomenon,
starting from like the early twenty tens, I would say.
But before that, it was just Korean music. Um, what
artists did you listen to? What inspired you growing up?
For me, boy bands for sure, it's cliches in front

of you, but you have to believe me. And Sink
was the group for me. Well, what was what was
it about in sync that made made you want to
do something? It was the dance. It was performance, the performance.
Um yeah, and that's what I love about kop because
right now the American boy bands they don't dance really,
it's just it's different. Yeah, but k pop has come around.

I'm like, now that's a performance. We kind of took
what you guys did in the early two thousands and
we kind of just like evolved it and kind of
um infused our own flavor and taste into it, and
it just kind of transitioned into into k pop. But
definitely influences, um, big influences from from you guys, for sure.

So when you went over to South Korea to audition one,
how did you even know there was an audition to
be had? And so I'm very blessed. My mom was
an actress in Korea. She was already in Yeah, she
had her feet in the industry. So when I told her,

I wanted to, you know, go to Korea. I wanted
to sing, and I wanted to be in a kapop
group because I you know, I loved the whole concept
of boy bands and how like we could all kind
of really compliment each other because there's so many different
personalities in one group and that means it's so special.
So I asked my mom, like, do you know any

agencies or any people that I could meet? And luckily
she knew many. So it just took one flight to Korea,
and and also it took one audition to get into
the group that I did. You would your mom ever
act again? Um? No, that she is full time manager. Ye.
Ever since I did you, she's always been by my side.

I'm super supportive. Do you have brothers and sisters? I
have one sister, she's also my manager. Keep it yes,
I mean that can be difficult for some I mean
I didn't say it was easy. Yeah, but we make
it work. Yeah. But most of the time, the families
have your back and sometimes the only people you can

really trust. But then you also have family members like
Britney's dad that you're like, oh, maybe you should a
little a little too control. Yeah. Yeah, and you hear
the horror stories. I think Macaulay Hawkins parents people advantage
of that. Yeah. So again very blessed. Yeah, yeah, that
is nice. So you did up. You did end up auditioning.

Clearly they loved you because you I don't know why,
what was it? I don't know. So talk about that audition,
like how how did that day go? And what were
you thinking? Oh god, it was even till this day.
It was just so never cking because they asked me
to dance, like freestyle dance, but I only saying at
my school choir, I sang at Christmas dinners, like I

never had to perform for anyone, But there were like
ten people like executives, UM, and cameras all around, lighting,
and imagine a fifteen year old kid just standing in
front of all that. Um. I was just so nervous.
I don't know how I did the audition, but uh,
I think they found like potential or some kind of

start quality. UM, I guess I had when I was younger. Um.
But yeah, so it's almost like an X Factor audition
but not televised. Dude, do you ever see this footage
of your audition? Did they ever use that? Okay that? Yeah,
I have no idea where that tape is. Oh my gosh,

if I know, I wish I had your audition videos. Actually,
I would love the in sync audition. Old Man was fun.
That was so funny. I did that. There's a song, Hey,
what did you do old Man River from South Pacific?
I guess yeah, which the funniest longing for sixteen year
old man looking like I did like a little twink

and sing an old Man River. I just I just
wanted to prove to them that I'm a bass singer,
because they were looking for a bass singer. I'm like, well,
this is the bassiest song I know and the only
song that the worst yea. So now looking back at that,
I'm like, they must have been laughing their asses off
behind my back. We're like, did this kid really come in?
You're seeing an old man river? But how old are

you then? Sixteen? Sixteen? Okay? Yeah, so I was fifteen
and I also did a similar thing, I saying let
it be yeah, um and now and forever my Richard
Marx so very like yahn. You know, I guess that
was a trend back then. You can't go wrong with
Richard mars No, you cannot thing that proves our era

because there was no one really to look up to
or kind of have an influence to be like, oh
that's that's who I aspire to be, or that's my
that fits my voice. Range. Um. It was just like
very much just ye. I mean, it's so interesting because
it does feel like over in South Korea it is
a factory, which kind of is like what we went
through in Orlandos. It was a boot camp us in

Backstreet and all these other groups, and uh, you know,
you had to really like train. It was like you
were training for the Olympics. Yeah, we're almost like Olympians. Yeah,
I mean, it's a sport. It is a sport to
be able to sing and dance like that and just
the heart. Mean, it's there's so much that goes in
so much group. What was the training, Like, did you
go like immediately into it or like after so you

got that put me in the door. See, we have
the same similar paths. I did not dance. I love performing.
I was in a show car, so like I would
show car dance right like, but but I did have
spared Yeah, but I didn't know anything about hip hop,
which is obviously the biggest influence, yeah, for dancing. And yeah,

I remember the guys like, yeah, let's do this. You're
in the group, and then a week later I'm in
choreography lessons, like what wait, we're dancing. I thought we
were just kind of like do up, you know, step touch,
step touch. Did you have any idea that the group
that you were going to be in was such such
a dance heavily like not at all. I Mean I
knew that JC and Justin dance one Mickey Mouse Club,

you know, so you know that's what. But I had
no idea that we were going to be a group
that danced like that. They didn't sell it at all.
You just we literally just went to dance rehearsals. Like
like I had known this was a lance. Thought they
were going to be like a Disney group that does
sings at Disney, like an acapella group. I was hoping
we would be a Disney group like that. That's that's

as high as I thought it could get it. Singing
in the park, Yes, like that acapella group that goes around.
Chris was in one at Universal Studios, the high Tones,
and I'm like, well, maybe we can do that for Disney. Yeah,
you know, just acapella around the park. Like we'd be
real famous, could be like, oh, it's that that quintet
Disney looking shooting for the stars. I know, hip dance class. Yeah,

it's like, oh turkey here. He was in hip hop
kids in Miami. That's right. I was in hip hop
dance from Yeah, and they had they had better clothes
than in Sync. For sure. Might have been inspired by
in Sync, but y'all took it to the next level. Yeah,
a lot of badguts that no, well you know, probably

not me, but you could find others and it's best
not Yeah. Yeah, it's a way with your audition video somewhere. Yeah. Yeah,
why do you think Korean music has blown up so much?
Not just in America but all over the world. Yeah,
I mean stadium is being sold out by Black Pink

and all these artis and in the majority of the
languages in Korean, So like, how how did that work? Oh? Man? Um?
You know, I I saw the whole journey, the whole
arc from when it when we were starting out to
like tour in the US at venues, not even small
venues like thousands and two thousand theaters like the Microsoft

Theater that was like one of the theaters that we
performed at. Um. But like it definitely wasn't a small crowd.
There was a there was a following for sure, a
niche like you know, cult following. But I think the
reason why it got so big was I I think
there was a lack of um just like the dance
element and the performance element to these boy bands and

the girl groups, and even the lack of boy bands
and boy and girl groups in the US as well,
because we don't really have any going on right now. Yeah.
After after the two thousands, um, like everyone got too
cool after the two Gasol Yeah, like one direction like
we ain't dancing. Jonas was like, I'm not doing it.

I'm not going to do it. Yeah, So I think
there was something that people were missing and that and
just really good pop music. Yeah, and that's you know,
I grew up on watching on television because I didn't
get to the concerts Madonna, Janet Jackson, Michael Jackson, and
it was always about Yeah, the music was great, but
I wanted to be entertained. Yeah. I wanted just my

jaw to be on the floor, like what was that?
Which a lot of artists, there's some artists are doing
it right now, Beyonce obviously, that's the show you want
to see, Taylor Swift, people that really care about the theatrics,
that is what I want to see. I don't want
to go to a concert see someone just stand behind
a microphone. Although unless some people do it right. Harry

Styles not a big choreographer, but very entertaining. There's very
few people that can keep me entertained by just performing
behind unless your voice is like unless you're like an
adele or like you're there, you're literally there for the voice. Yeah,
I get it, but if you can't sing like that,
you better put on a show. Yeah, exactly, flipping around.

You know, I want to be entertained. I need some confetti.
If you hit me with some confetti, I'm gonna think
it's the best concert ever. I mean that's not even
not even joking. And that's the thing with kpap We
just kind of served every everything. If you served the performance,
the visuals, and also the visuals with the fashion. Um

and uh, whenever like a group debuts, there's like a
story behind. There's like a concept whether or from space,
whether they're like heroes or like, you know, something that's
like um ethereal, so that you know, people could like
really fall into that story and want to know more
about them. Um. So there's just so many different aspects

that come into play when it comes to kapop. Yeah,
and they just mastered every single Well, I'm glad you
brought it out fashion because that's something that we did
not have back no one. You guys were kind of
fashion for me. You were very very forward, very fast forward.
But it's just you know, it's it didn't in the
nineties in early two thousands, especially being guys, you didn't

think about fashion really like, you weren't trying to go
to the met Ball and you weren't getting big designers
to sign, like no one cared. Now they do, and
especially with a lot of these K pop artists, fashion
is so forward, you know, and I love that and
there doesn't have to be a reason or a statement
behind it. It's just fashionist fashion and they up to it.

Like guys like I feel like crop tops like started
to get popular through through the K pop Oh yeah,
like nowadays America, like you know, guys are wearing crop
top and it's it's so cool. But I think this
was like even five six years ago, um boy bands
were wearing crop tops and it wasn't like, oh, why
are they wearing crop tips? It was just it was

so cool yeah and sexy, and then they owned that
sexy And I don't know if I can pull off
a crop top. Well, it's not for everyone. That What
was the most difficult part of the training for you?
Besides like the dancing that was so new to you
with your journey, what was the most difficult Did they
work y'all so heavily you couldn't sleep. I think the

most difficult part for me was how like you mentioned,
it is a factor. You know, these these major labels
are recruiting these trainees to create, you know, ultimately a
product um. You know. And and for me, you know,
that was very much um my story as well. But
as I was getting into my more um you know, mature,

um like definitive years, I feel like I lost that identity.
I fell too much into what the label wanted me
to be or what the fans expected me to be. UM.
So I kind of lost myself there. And I feel
like a lot of K pop um you know, kids
or trainees or artists UM kind of have that similar
you know struggle because you know, they they're kind of

torn between what they want to portray or expressed as
an artist versus what the label wants. UM. So for me,
that was I think the most difficult part. Yeah, um,
would you say, because you know, we obviously went through
horrible contracts, you know, the Lou Roman era where we
were so taken advantage of as children and everyone's like, oh,

your kids, you'll recover or you guys signed up for it.
Yeah this was what you want it. Yeah? What is
that like in South Korea? Now? Are they are they
going through a loop proman moment right now? Where they
are taking advantage of their not getting the piece of
the pie they should or are they treated pretty fairly? Um,
it's getting better. Yeah yeah, yeah, yeah, Um there's progress.

Has made money, bas made money, yeah, because it was
worrying about that. So I'm just kidding, UM, like I
feel like, um, it took a while, but uh yeah,
there's a story that I want to share. Um, I
was in a very long contract. I signed ten years

in my first contract, and uh, I believe that wasn't fair.
You know. I also was you know, raised in America,
so I wanted to fight for my rights. And I
was like, ten years is way too long for for
any any child or any for anything to do for
ten years, not even just singing and acting anything for
ten years. Um. So I follow the lawsuit when I was,

um seventeen, Uh, and I won that lawsuit and ever
since then, UM, every K pop label UM changed their contracts.
Yeah yeah, so it's shortened to seven years. So now
every contract of seven years. Um. And yeah I think

also not only just like contracts, but in the mental
health space too. Uh. In my days, you know, we
just kind of had to suck it up. Um, if
we were feeling a little down or you know, even
if not even if we weren't just like ill physically, Um,
like if there was a time where we just wanted
to rest, we couldn't really do that because there was
so much pressure and so much money involved, and like

as a kid's sad that, you know, we had to
think about all those different you know, things that we
shouldn't We're just you know, we should just be focusing
on our Yeah, and going through something like you did.
I mean a lot of people aren't able to mentally
handle that, especially going through a boot camp like this
and all the pressure and then you know, the face
and wanting you to be something. And we do have

a problem these days with a lot of suicides happening
all over the world unfortunately. Yeah, K pop um has
lost a lot of very special hearts. Yeah, and I
mean it's it's just and I don't I don't know
if it's because they were worked too hard or they
just couldn't deal with the fame, or if it's COVID.
I mean, I mean I feel like since COVID everyone

kind of got separated for so long that I've seen
an uptick and a lot of suicides. Yeah, lately, I
think it was the lack of awareness where in Korea, um,
let't let alone. Asia, therapy is still seen as like
a weakness, and people don't want to be seen as weak,
so they don't seek out for therapy. Um. But nowadays

I've seen kapop idols who are going through you know,
a mental breakdown or they just want to rest. Companies
are allowing them to you know, sit out on tours,
sit out on promotions. So yeah, things are changing. Yeah
that's good. Yeah, that's really good. Um. So after your training,
became a member of Seeing in two thousand and six,
So how did it fail to finally be able to

use that training in a group. Well, I feel like
when I debuted, I wasn't fully ready. It was still
you know, none of us are no. Yeah, the view
is uh is far from our complete form. Well I
don't think we're ever gonna you know, be our complete
form because we're always evolving and changing. Um but um,

but it was it was nice. It was really cool
to see how all my insecurities growing up as a
kid in America and when I moved to Korea, everything shifted.
It just became the opposite everything I thought thought on myself. Um,
like as a weakness was a strength. Yeah, like I
guess I don't know my fair skin or like my more, Um,

I don't know. Just yeah, everything that I thought was
masculine in America, everything was perceived as sexy and masculine
just the way I was. Yeah. Korean so great. Yeah yeah,
because I'm being grown up in California. Yeah, and you've
always you know, you felt like an outsider, right, and
then going to South Korea, I would see I would
feel like you would find a little more of yourself

but also feel like a little outsider because you're American. Yeah,
you get treated differently because you did come from America. Well,
they do praise anyone who you know is fluent in English.
So that was like it was a double yea double
double good. Yeah. Yeah I've got everything that they you know,
like physically or appearance wise. But they also liked that

I was from America. Yeah. Um. But internally, yeah, there
was a struggle because no one really understood me or
and I didn't even understand myself at that age, um,
in my American and my Korean. But I as I
got older, I was able to embrace both sides of me. Yeah.
Well after a few years, we can't remember of you kiss.
So that is the group you'd be with from two

thousand and eight to twenty. I mean, what an amazing
experience that been. Yeah, so how do you describe that
period of your life? So that was when like the
group you can really blew up. We got our international fame.
We started you know, topping charts, international charts. So that

was like that was like a big move for me. Um.
And that really changed my lifestyle because that's when I
really couldn't really go out um because you know, there
were there were too many eyes. Um. And that's when
I felt like, oh this is That's when I got
my little first taste of fame. Yeah yeah, yeah, yeah.
What was that like? Um, overwhelming? Were exciting or scared? Um?

At first it was it was exciting, but then uh
yeah at a certain point, you know, everything all good
things kind of become its first you're like, yeah, I'm
recognizing yeah, for a while becomes yeah, do you have
any crazy fan stories? Oh? Man? Um. So in in
Korea there's a thing called like sasang fans, and the

shasang fans mean they are obsessed with like your private life,
and they follow you everywhere you go, like they wait
in front of your apartment or your house. They write
taxis around to follow where you go outside of your work.
They also like book the same flights as you. Um,
like if we're writing like business or first, they would

also book this next to us. Yeah, we have those
type of fans, but they were mainly in Europe and
you know, oh you know like Germany, you know, England, Spain,
you'd have those type of fans. None ever books flights
though with us, that's yeah, but we really didn't see
that much. We'd have the fans hanging out of the hotels,

but that's pretty much. But yeah, the ones in Europe
would follow you everywhere. You knew them by name. Yeah,
you almost become friends. Yeah, I know you. I mean
there's even uh um some Spanish fans that we still
keep in touch with them. Probably listen, they listened to
the show. And it's just so fun to see thirty
years later, you know that that you know, we still
know them exactly because it's a fun ride we did together. Yeah,

it's it's a special memory that you can never forget. Yeah,
all right, you brought up a Korean word for the
super fan. So I know there's different words for K
pop members. I know there's like icon, there's bias, there's bias,
you're bias and saint. Remember I'm sure, yeah it's your favorite.
You should be contemplating your life. Yeah seriously, So give

us the different terminologies for the different members and fans,
like what what should we know? Yeah, so, um, let's
start off with Mane is like the youngest member of
the group. Yes, I remember that from the last time.
You're all, yeah, like the CUTI pie. But there's also
power a man who are like, you know, they think
people think that they're the cute ones, but then they're

actually the ones that are more you know, Um, I
guess I don't know. They got like dominant vibes. Yeah, okay, yeah,
that would be Meminan. Sorry, I guess it would not
be me who was the youngest member in justin Oh wow. Yeah,

probably had a lot of terms. Yeah he was, yeah,
one of the lead singers. He was the youngest. A
lot of people's bias, a lot of pep so Chun
Coop from BTS is the Mangna. He's the youngest, but
he would be called like the power Mangnai because like
he's he's like one of the more in the most
popular members and the was the power. Yeah, he's there. Yeah,

and he's out doing solo music and he's just living
his best life. Like did you hear did you hear
the song seven with Lotto? Oh? Yeah? And the explicit version.
Oh I haven't heard the explicit there's an explicit version,
And I was like, oh wait, so so in so
management's okay with that now? Well I think, um, when

you're BTS, yeah, I think you could do whatever you want, okay. Yeah. Yeah.
And he's just out there, yeah, like I said, having
his best life. Do people look down on group members
going solo or is it supported? Supported? It is? Yeah,
yeah yeah. Um, it's kind of like a newer concept.
Though it took longer for anyone in a you know,

an idol group to branch out to become a solo member.
But nowadays, um, yeah, even when they're promoting actively as
a group, they you know, they release solo music, and
it's kind of kind of getting similar to like the
US too, like people want to see individual flavor and character.
Yeah that's what's fun about it. Yeah, I really I

just hope there's gonna be a girl band right around
the corner, Like we need another Spice girls, we need
another child. Yeah, it's just I just love a girl group.
I love a girl grou I mean my obsession was
Fifth Harmony Yeah yeah, yeah, but they were the last
kind of American one to really work. Yeah, they were
the last big American group. And now Kay Pop is

kind of dominating that Spye. Yeah, I can't beat Black
Pink Graph. I mean, they're just incredible headlining coach. Oh yeah,
I was there. We're good friends. So, like it's also
really interesting to kind of pick out her brain to
see what that level of fame is like, ye, but

how is she handling it? She's still level headed and
I'm still you know, I'm still struck by it because
like if I had a hard back then, even now
it should be even more pressure because of social media
and how much you have to do to stay relevant.
But you do, have you ever gotten in trouble with
something you've said in an interview or social media? Not yet? Yeah,

let's let's keep the show all the time. Makes the
headlines today today with the past. What's interesting is now
you kiss is still going on today, But it's kind
of like Manudo. They've recast the group. Yeah, there was
a new member. Even when I was still in the group,
we had a lot of member changes, like four to

five different Um. It's not too common. But and the
fans accepted. Uh they it was harder for them to
accept it back then, but nowadays. Uh, I mean they
still want the original members obviously. But there's a new group,
well not new, they've been around for a while called NCT.

And what they did with this group there, they have
a very cool concept. They are like an ever changing group.
So they have like an infinite number of like members
or they have a lot of members actually, and NCT
they have like over twenty members, but there's like four
to five or even more different sub units with an
NCT that's always changing. There's dream, a, Stunt one, two seven. Um. Yeah,

so it's um this whole thing where spinoffs. Yeah, the
label has kind of got ahead of them, like, oh,
let's not continuously change the members and you know, break
the fans hearts. Let's just make it that is all. Yeah,
that's that's so forward thinking. Yeah, yeah, I love it. Hi.

I'm Chris Harrison, host of the most dramatic podcast ever.
I'm just like you, always looking for something interesting, heartfelt
and entertaining to listen to. You know, look, maybe you
used to watch a show every Monday night and now
you have a lot of time on your hands and
you're looking for something new, someone who's here for the

right reasons. If you will, I've got you. Listen to
the most dramatic podcast ever on the iHeartRadio app, Apple Podcast,
or wherever you listen to podcasts. Hey, guys, it's Jennashqwitz
and Kevin McHale from and That's what you really missed podcasts.
We are going through all six seasons of Glee, and
we are giving you the behind the scenes stories of

what it was really like, sing the musical numbers, and episodes.
It's been so special to revisit the show that changed
our lives with some of our closest friends and to
share some of the most authentic and real experiences we
had together, completely raw and unfiltered. Plus, we chat with
our co stars like Jane Lynch, Chris Colfer, Heather Morris
and ber Riley, Harry Shump, Junior court Overstreet, Josh Susman,

Max Adler, romy Rosemont, John Stamos, Alex Snell, and Dot
Marie Jones on the pod, and so many more to come.
We have some exciting guests coming up, and we can't
forget the behind the scenes crew who made it all happen,
Our dear friends and literally the hardest working crew in Hollywood.
From creators Ryan Murphy, Any and Brennan to directors, camera operators,
musical directors. We are sharing all of our experiences on Glee.

So meet us in the choir room at McKinley High
and join us weekly on And that's what you really
missed available wherever you listen to your podcasts. So after
you kiss, you started the solo career. That was twenty seventeen.
How nerve wracking was that? To go out on your

own nerve wracking? Because, um, going solo within a group
and within that label is one thing, but to leave
all that behind to start your own, you know, story,
your own adventure into the unknown is also something else.
Who did you depend on during that moment? Who is

your like sounding board beside your family? Obviously? Yeah? Um hm,
there there really weren't any because in K pop, you know,
the K pop idols usually stay in the label for
a while, or they stay in Korea because you know,
that's where you know, they're comfortable. But I have a

unique story, you know, because I'm Korean American and I've
lived here, but I've also done the whole k pop
you know, a journey, um, And for me it was
just coming back. It was like a homecoming for me,
um to rebram myself and also also to rediscover my
So yeah, do you yeah? As a group, did y'all
have rivals or were y'all very support Did y'all have
a backstrey versus in sync type situation? And who would

have been your rival? Like? What was the group? You're like,
we gotta stay on top, oh man, um? So within
the group or other groups? Other groups, other groups. So
we debuted in an era where there weren't too many
like groups debuting in the year. Nowadays you've got like
four or five different groups debuting in like a month.

Many yeah, And in my air in the second gen,
how do you stand out? I don't know, I really
don't know. It's hard to keep up, um. But in
my days there were only like three groups that debuted
in a year. So in our year, it was a
group called Shiny and another group called two PM so um,

which which was so ridiculous because they were so different
from us, and every group had their very distinct, you know, qualities.
But because you were the only boy groups of the year,
the media would kind of put us together in like
this rivalry. Um. But I was friends with all of them,
so it was weird to like see that happening online

and with the fans when we were all just cool
with each other. Yeah. What made jaras group stand out?
More like what was the difference between you and other groups?
For us? We um, so we kind of had to
like for our it took time for us to define
our groups like called like a yeah. Yeah, it's like

it's like a while, but at the end it was like, um,
just good pop music uh, and and really good performances.
Our performances stood out, Yeah, thank you, thank you. And
and the fact that we could speak to seven different languages. Yeah,
that made us international. Yeah. Did you pick up any
other languages while you were doing this? Japanese? Yeah, so yeah,

I'm fluent in Japanese. Um. Ucus is also huge in
Latin America, so we did three America tours. Yeah, visited Mexico, Peru, Colombia.
So I mean, I'm glad I took Spanish when I
was a little kid, a little bit of that. I'm
learning that now just because when the kids are learning Spanish,
so and I'm learning Mandarin. Mandarin. Oh how it's hard,

but I just keep playing it for the kids over
and over. So I'm kind of it's I know a
lot of words now, but I'm just hoping it just
kind of gets in their brain. Yea, and it's easier
for them to learn when they're a little older. So
that's my gift to them, to give them Mandarin and Spanish.
That's what I want. I'm speaking of Japan. Our friend Shin, Yes,
just recently where the breaking news just like a few

hours ago. I know, so excited that he has come
out publicly, which is very hard for a Japanese artist
to do. So what would you say to Shin right now?
I am beyond proud. Proud is an understatement. Um to
you know how I feel about his whole journey because

we've been best friends for over a decade because he
was in a group called Triple A, one of the
biggest idol groups in Japan. Um and you kiss and
Triple A were in the same um under the same
label AVIX, So that's how I met him. But um, yeah,
he came out to me like a few years ago,
just like only maybe two years ago. And uh and

at that time he was still you know, going through it, um,
you know, telling his close friends family. So this is
he told me. He told you, Yeah, I'm always like
to go to like, hey, let me run this by.
Are you like the gatekeeper? That's that's huge for Japan

because this is the first out musician. Yes, yes, he
is a pioneer, a trailblazer of that's going to change
so much, so much. And I mean it's only been
a few hours, but all the fans taken it so supportive. Um,
everyone in the because he had the courage to come
out in front of his fans in persons, because you know,

these these things are very personal and it's hard to
even just say it in front of a camera, but
in a live, in person venue with his members there
to support him and everyone. He was crying obviously because
you know, he was telling his story and everyone was
just so supportive. Fans were crying. He said, we still
love you. Um. His comments on Instagram are just blowing

up right now. I'm just thinking of the amount of
kids there that will see themselves in exactly and actually
save people's lives. Like someone some kid out there is
not taking their life today because of this story. Yeah,
I mean, that's just it's it's great and it was,
um it's a great time. I mean too, because there

were a lot of you know, just political and issues
revolving the LGBTQ community in Japan, and it could have
had been a better time. Yeah, I mean, I'm seeing
that all over the world right now. You know, it's
the lgbt Q plus community is being attacked in many countries,
just politically attacked because people are you know, the alt

rights really trying to get elected and so they always
pick on the lgbt community when that happens. I mean,
America is getting real dangerous here. This is the first time,
I think and decades that now the HRC is saying
there's certain states, and there's a lot of states that
they're saying don't travel there. They're saying it's not safe
for lgbt to travel to states. I could never imagine

that's the world we're living in. As much as we
think we're you know, going forwards. But you know, and
I'm hoping that, you know, this is a tipping point
because you know, the pendulum definitely swings far one way
and then it comes back, so hopefully, I don't know,
but it does. It does feel dangerous. This is the
first time I've actually been kind of scared to kind
of to walk around certain places, you know. And it's

sad that I just finally got over not being afraid
to hold his hand in public, you know, because you're
so instilled in those things at a young age, like Canaly,
integrated in our brains. Yeah yeah, yeah, yeah, but no
super partisan. So happy for him that he could finally
live his authentic life, just unapologetically himself, and it'll create

um conversations and it'll just yeah, it'll it'll started going
encourage because obviously there's more gay people and musicians out
there that just aren't out yet, so maybe this will
encourage them to be themselves. But hey, when it comes back,
let's let's yeah, let's go to Yeah. Got that now
we have a really good excuse, all right. So I

mean there's nothing that you can't do basically, I mean
you music, TV hosting, acting, So what are you going
to focus on next? So right now, um, I am
in development for a few film projects. Just about my
first feature film. It's with Margaret Choe and and James Hong. Oh.

I play a gay character and I fall in love
with my love interest, who is David Berka love David
all those people. Yeah, what an amazing time and what
an honor because, um you know, it's my first feature
film in America. So I think after my k Pop

Broadway run because that was last year it ended. Um
so having Broadway on my credit is also great too.
Broadway debut, yead and so okay, because I know what
it's like to launch a musical. It is very difficult.
It takes difficult, many many years. Um so, congrats for

it getting because Kate Pop took a decade to transition
over to Broadway because k Pop started on off Broadway,
Okay yeah, yeah, and it was a long journey, a
long time in the making, but we made it on Broadway.
We made history, as you know, the first carean story
to be told on Broadway, first all Asian casts, first

Asian woman composer. Yeah yeah on Broadway. Um so yeah,
so many monumental you're just breaking the glass ceiling all
over the place. That whole journey was amazing. So yeah,
you know, I've only I've only been back in the
States for like a little over a year and a
half now, so it's really interesting to see how, you know,

my career will shift back home. And I just feel
so comfortable and liberated here literally the disguise of limits.
And you seem so happy. Thank you, You're still so young,
like you've done so much this, You've had such a
long career already. When you when you look back at
everything that you've accomplished so far, what are you the
most proud of right now? Ah, just my self growth.

I'm very proud of myself. Um, to see how far
I've come. Um. And you know, it's weird because I
think Kapa made me think I'm old because I started
at such a young age. But yeah, I'm only thirty. Yeah,
and I just Scott here. I know, normal people don't
start like the profession at fifteen, but so true, and

especially in the pop world. I remember, God, I was
maybe twenty six or twenty seven when I first realized, like, wait,
you'all to think I'm old, like because people someone like
nineteen twenties, like, oh, they're like they're old, they're ancient.
I'm like, I'm twenty six years old. Yeah, yeah, yeah,
what are you talking about? Children? But I love how
I get to just redefine um my, I guess my

my future career with the New Passion as well, and
also a fresh mindset. Yeah, and there's just so much
to look forward to. That's great. I love it. And
I'm also doing Cacon so you guys should definitely. Cacon
is August eighteen through twentieth. So I'm performing you're not here,

It'll be at the Orlando Orlando. We're in Orlando. Yeah,
it's It's held annually at the Crypto dot Com Arena.
I'm performing. I have my own panel. Yeah. I wish
you guys could make it. Yes, we'll be in Orlando.
We're with mister Joey Fatone. He does his Joey Fatone
and Friends at Epcot every year. Oh my god. So
I'm gonna be one of the friends to pop up

and sing with him. Awesome. Oh my god, I'm gonna
do Yeah, I'm gonna open up the Old Man River.
Send in my regards because my first podcast was with
Joey fat why did you do it with him? And
the other Joe was a cup of two Joses Jos.
This is during the pandemic, my first ever podcast appearance,
and then we parted together at um at Roucos. Yes, yes, remember, yeah,

all right, we need a frosted tip here for you
the fans want to know. What are some tips you
have and overcoming your fears of doing something you find intimidating. Yeah,
I would, I would like dance. You did how to dance?
So it's like, what was that fear? Like, how do
you get over you know, how do I get over that?
How did I get over that? God? I can't probably

think about it? Just how you just gotta do it.
My best advice just do it? Yeah, just do it.
It's true. Um, it's crazy what you can get yourself
to do, especially when you're focused on something you're interested.
It's you can you can force yourself to do anything.
It's true. But it's also at the same time, like
your mind also forced you to like not do so
many things for no real good reason, just like because

of fear. Yeah, you know, it's just a feeling, but
it'll stop you from doing something that you could very
easily do. Yeah, you know, you just got to try.
For me, it took a while for me to really
just embrace my like fears and insecurities. It took time,
but you know, anyone in their teens, I would just say,
you know, what, life is short, go for it, you know.

And like I used to think and like care about
what other people thought so much, but to be honest
and from experience, guys, it really doesn't matter. And as
much as I tell myself that over and over, it's
still catch myself caring too much. Yeah, that was like,
oh God, like why do I care? It doesn't matter?
And the people that and the people who do say

stuff that's just their insecurities. Yeah, that they're putting it
on themselves. Yeah. And I think I still have that
like PTSD type brain where you do and the nineties
or two thousand, like you were so you had to
be this person, right, and I keep catching myself being
that person for someone else. I'm still in that era too. Um.
But it's yeah, like like you can have like a

hundred like amazing comments, but someone will write one bad
comment about you and that to please everyone, and then
that one is the only one you will focus because
you got to win them over, And I'm like, well
then what about one hundred other people that other one?
Why are you even looking at that? Because you're just
as I'm a people pleaser. Yeah, and and and being

within sync and then having the competition with Batsttery boys.
You know, if you had a hater, like especially the guys, right,
of course you're not going to win many guys over,
but you so desperately wanted to. Yeah, you're like, why
do you hate me? I need you to like myself
And we focus on that more than the actual people
that care about Yeah, exactly, It's ridiculous. Um, all right,
here's some fan questions. Uh, the man do Lorean? That's

like dumpling and Korean? What was your trainee experience, like
we can talk about that. Yeah, I rigorous training process. Um,
but it was really fun. I was Uh, I was young.
I had a lot of energy that I wish that

I would still have something like and I still wish
I could have. Did you ever did you ever get
to the point where you threw up? Um? No, not
I did that the first time I was with the guys,
maybe for a week or two. They're like, we're going
to go to the gym, which is another thing I've
never done. I'm like, okay, so we're dancing and we're
gonna work out. Great good, so you know, work out

for the first time, and I'm like, wow, I'm like
lifting heavy than I ever thought, like, this is why
have I not been doing this? Right? Maybe you push yourself.
The next week, I could not get off the futon
I lived on in Christkoph Patrick's room. Could not move up,
so sore and I was throwing up from the pain.
It was. It was bad, actually almost throw up doing

a first cross fit experience. Oh yeah, yeah, but that's
different from my can't I won't even drive. My body
can't take that. I'm at an age now where I
know what I can do and I cannot do that.
Yeah yeah, yeah. Uh what was your first exposure to
pop music that made you want to pursue K pop?
By Mattie one D. I think we discussed some of that.

Maybe we should start fan questions. We just ended everything.
We answered everyone's just one about twenty minutes. Yeah, all right,
This is from Nam Junie for PREZ. Do you feel like,
uh oh, do you feel like thanks to K pop
nineties mail groups are making a comeback. Oh yeah, I
think so. Yeah, I agree with that because there's so

much demand in boy pants. Yeah yeah, I think K pop,
you know, with you guys and BTS and Black Pink,
people interested in those groups. Yeah again and so yeah,
and I think actually boys blew up again because of that.
Well I wouldn't, yeah, I woant to say, just because
of K pop definitely influences. Yeah, it definitely does. Um

and also within like the K pop m realm too.
K pop because it's so big now, it kind of
made people nostalgic of the older K pop groups like
ten to fifteen years ago. So they're making comebacks. Yeah.
Like my group just made a comeback as well. Yeah,
it's our fifteenth year anniversary. So what are y'all doing
for that? Um? So I was Unfortunately, I was busy

with the Broadway musical and I was also shooting movies,
so I couldn't be too busy for you. Yeah, I
wanted to view with over here. No, it was a
bummer that I couldn't really you know, you know, be
in the comeback album. But they're doing a concert, they're

on tour right now, so nice. And do you keep
in touch with those guys. Yeah, and I sent them
my video messages for them to show at the concert. Good,
you know my fans, and they're like our fans would
be like, oh, yeah, that's great. Is your family still
up in the Bay Area. No, so my whole family
moved to create when I was but then I'm slowly

moving them one by Yeah. I'm with my dad right
now in La. Oh good, so you want them in La. Yeah.
Hopefully my sister and my mom will join soon. That's nice.
It's I mean nothing like having a family around you.
I mean, you can create your own family, but having
your real family around so close. Yeah, we're thinking now
because you know, we have the kids and you know,

so nice in families over here, but we're so far
away from them California. So eventually we would like to
get a little closer. So we're looking at places like
Austin or Dallas or Nashville that's closer to our families. Um.
And that would just be so nice to be able
to have my family moved to whatever town we moved to.
I love that to have Grandma next door, you know,
anytime we need it. Would I would actually get some

sleep and actual vacation Kevin is always great to catch.
Please tell your fans what you need to tell them
right now. And how can everyone stay in touch with you?
Oh yeah, follow me on my socials. I'm on Instagram, Twitter, YouTube, um,
and my upcoming projects. Like I mentioned, I'm doing kkon

so you can see me there in August. Other than that,
look forward to my upcoming films and I'm also working
on a short film that's going to be really soon.
So yeah, there's a lot of things to look forward to.
And I hope I get to meet you on tour
soon because I'm writing new music as well. All Right,
I love that. Well, it's always great to see you,

and well we can't wait time you back to kind
of follow up on all the things that all the
five hundred things that you're doing to time. We have time,
we have time. Well, thank you for having me, Thanks
for being everybody. Thank you sweet mister Kevin. Woo. Everyone

say all the time, but he is such a nice guy.
Such I mean, I might have to say, the nicest
we've ever had. I think you might be the nicest
human being. Is just such a good guy. Um, you know,
we've I've known him for a few years. He came
on our last show, and you know, we've kept in
touch here in Los Angeles, and he introduced me to
his best friend Shin, who we talked about, who just

came out Japannon and that's such a big deal, huge,
Like Shin is huge in Japan. Um, it's like a
BTS member coming out. It just just massive changes a
lot in like a country where that's not no comment
at all. No, no, it's yeah, it's like America and
the eighties. It's like it's no bueno, you can't be
gay or you're just considered an outcast. Um. So yeah,

So congratulations to him, and congratulations Kevin kick I. I
can't wait to see all of his projects. He is.
He's a brilliant man, super talented and we're going to
see a lot from this young man in the future. Um.
All right, guys, that is all the show I have
for you. What a good day, a great day. It's
a hot day, that's a good day. That's a great
hot day. It's a great hot day. But it's a

great day to have a great day. Right. I love that.
I love it. That's how we start every morning. It
is a great day to have a great day. Um,
all right, guys, be good to each other out there,
don't drink and drive, take care of those animals. We'll
see you next time, but don't forget Stay Frosted. You
missed it literally again I've heard literally forgot what it was,
and don't forget Stay Frosted. Hey, thanks for listening. Follow

us on Instagram at Frosted Tips with Lance and Michael
Church and art and at Lance Bass for all your
pop culture needs, and make sure to write us a
review and leave us five stars six if you can
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