I think I’m beginning to understand the appeal of boy bands

July 14, 2008 at 11:58 am 5 comments

For me, it’s come in a little Taiwanese package known as Fahrenheit or Fei Lun Hai. It’s not that I just discovered them, but more that I recently discovered that they’re pretty awesome. But it’s not really that all their songs are amazing or their performance skills are great, I just like them.

Members include (from left to right)

Wu Chun, or Wu Zun, though Zun is the correct hanyu pinyin, it seems that it’s usually spelled Chun. He’s from the small country of Brunei, though he is of Chinese descent. He has a Bachelor’s degree in Business Administration from RMIT University in Australia. And he owns a gym in Brunei. He first came into the Taiwanese entertainment industry with a small role in KO One, but later starred in Tokyo Juliet alongside Ariel Lin (who I adore). Right now he’s 28.

Calvin Chen (Chen Yi Ru) is Taiwan born and bred. He studied in Canada for his undergrad and grad, completing a Master’s degree in Economics at University of Victoria. He’s currently a student at National Chengchi University (for what? His PhD?). In Vancouver, he joined a competition called Sunshine Boyz and won first place (in 2004) and won a trip to Taiwan, a music contract and drama role. He’s 27.

Aaron Yan (Yan Ya Lun, birthname Wu Geng Lin) is also Taiwan born but moved to New York at a young age. Later, he and his family moved back to Taiwan. He’s only 22, the youngest of the group and unlike the rest, has no degree, though he is in the middle of one (who knows if he’ll ever finish).

Jiro Wang (Wang Dong Cheng) is also Taiwan born and raised, who holds a degree in Advertising Design from Fu Shin Arts and Trade College. He’s the most famous from before the band started, and was also put in a group with the amazingly famous and talented Jay Chou, but due to 9/11 and the company’s stock crashing, the plan had to be aborted. He’s been in many dramas, CMs, and has modeled. He’s 26.

Fahrenheit is pretty new, only formed just before the end of 2005. Looking at Fahrenheit and looking at Johnny’s, I can’t help but think how different Taiwan and Japan really are.

1. Fahrenheit was formed after all four had made names for themselves. Johnny’s groups are groomed from boyhood, from nothingness to ultimate stardom, even then you’re not even guaranteed to debut (Ikuta Toma, anyone? The poor child…). For Fahrenheit, it’s kind of like an afterthought, “hey, these guys are all sort of famous and can sing, sort of dance….LET’S PUT THEM IN A BOYBAND!” This was the same for F4, Taiwan’s most popular boy band, which has pretty much disbanded now. The four acted together in the Meteor Garden (Taiwan’s Hanadan drama), which was an amazing success (and as a side note, did you hear? There’s going to be a Korean drama version sometime next year!) Anyway, F4 formed after the drama aired because they were so popular of course they’d sell millions! They changed their name to JVKV later because of the Hanadan airing in Japan and not wanting to get them mixed up. Don’t know why, though, it’s not they ever going to release anything again anymore because each of them is already so famous and has their own solo stuff going on. Anyway, back on topic.

2. In comparison to Johnny’s, Fahrenheit is old. Feels like most Johnny’s debut at around 17-19 years old, with the exception of pedo-bait Hey! Say! JUMP. Seriously, it’s a little gross. What’s going to happen when they hit puberty? And also except Aaron, the little youngin.

3. What also comes with age is education. The guys in Fahrenheit don’t need the group to make them famous; they already were. Plus, some of them don’t need to be in show business. Wu Chun owns a gym and Calvin has a master’s degree. Seriously, man, you have a master’s and yet you’re in a boyband….seriously… and he’s still in school; how’s another master’s or a PhD going to help in the boy band industry? Props to him, though, I don’t think a lot of Johnny’s even graduated from high school (though there’s a few exceptions and college students? I’m not quite sure myself, but it’s definitely not the norm).

I think I’m beginning to understand why people like boy bands or girl groups. Even if you don’t like all their songs or their performances that much, you’re still a fan of their stage personality.

Actually, Fahrenheit has been getting bigger and recently released their first Japanese single. Their two albums have had Japanese editions released, and, as always, they have plenty of endorsements and their songs are on tons of drama soundtracks. I am going to review them eventually, though, look forward to that!

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5 Comments Add your own

  • 1. moonchild5  |  July 14, 2008 at 2:38 pm

    i was surprised by the timing of your post since wu chun and calvin chen was just here (philippines) during the weekend. we got to attend one of their meet-and-greet’s and i was amazed at how nice, witty and funny the boys were. i’m not that big a fan before but i can’t really say that that’s still the case. =D

    i absolutely adore calvin. his accent is really heavy but judging from the way he responds to questions and makes jokes you get to understand that he really knows how to speak english. it’s kind of a bonus point for me that he kinda resembles matsumoto jun (whom I really like), though he’s a lot taller.

  • 2. Elizabeth  |  July 14, 2008 at 10:51 pm

    really? I’d guess it’s for their drama Gong Zhu Xiao Mei right? cause they both starred in it, is it airing in the Philippines now? are you watching it? I really liked it! and lucky for you to see them!! I’d love to see them sometime whenever I get the chance to go to Taiwan again.

    I have to say that Calvin is my favorite too, and now that you mention it, he does kind of look like Matsujun. and I would think that he, and wu chun, and aaron can all speak english without much difficulty because they lived in english speaking countries for some time. just another reason why they’re all eons smarter than the johnny’s boys

  • 3. moonchild5  |  July 15, 2008 at 9:44 am

    yep. it’s the promo for that. it’s on its last 2 weeks of broadcast here but i actually watched the un-dubbed one. (imo, the drama’s sound way better in their original language so i’d rather read subtitles.) we also got to take pictures, and though they were supposed to be group shots, i got to stand beside calvin! his arm was around my shoulder and since i’m also kinda tall (i’m 5’8″ and I barely reach his shoulders >.<) our front was sorta cleared out; i can photoshop the pic so that it’d look like we’re the only ones in it. hehehe. if it had been a johnny’s boy, we would have never been able to get a picture like that in a million years.

    re: being smart, i guess the only exception that i can think of on the johnny’s side would be Sakurai Sho from Arashi who was also an economics major from Keio University no less.

    we’re going to taiwan on october for the arashi concert. m hoping i can also catch a glimpse of the farenheit boys there. it’s a long shot, but m keeping my fingers crossed. šŸ˜‰

  • 4. Blackmager  |  July 20, 2008 at 6:11 am

    Well that was interesting.
    Just when those guys appeared in the Philippines.
    The comparisons you made were interesting, and true I guess.
    Some at least.
    I think.
    ANYWAY, you are kinda right on how the guys in Johnnys really don’t make a name for themselves. They really don’t work through ranks (even though there is ranks in the agency)
    They just kinda go BAM, they’re famous.
    Instead of starting off at small gigs, until getting big.

  • […] I think Iā€™m beginning to understand the appeal of boy bands […]

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