9034K talk K-pop and perform on the PopAsia stage

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Whilst walking around the MCM London Comic Con on Saturday my K-pop loving ears heard a performance happening on the PopAsia stage. A delight to my eyes I saw a group of girls performing an array of K-pop dances and learnt that they were the UK K-pop dance group 9034K.

The name 9034K comes from each members birth year and consists of Alisha, J-min, Annie, Jai, Lisa and Z.Z. The group sat down with me for an interview about their thoughts on K-pop, the Korean entertainment industry, and what they represent as a UK K-pop dance cover group.

Could you tell me how you all met? What inspired you to start a K-pop dance cover group?
Most of us met through various K-pop fan meetings and flash mobs a few years ago. Then when Girls’ Generation’s I Got a Boy was released we knew each other as dancers and decided to collaborate together. Eventually those rehearsals tuned into us as a group deciding to become a cover team.

Back in 2013 you became the UK representatives for the K-pop World Festival in Changwon. What did it feel like to know you had qualified and that you were all going to Korea?
It felt like a dream for us because we had a lot of strong competition and when the votes were announced we couldn’t believe that we would have the chance to represent the UK and perform in Korea. However, although we had qualified they told us afterwards that we wouldn’t be going to Korea straight away, we had to go through a online voting round against 70 other countries. We unfortunately didn’t make the top cut of votes, so we found it very unfortunate that our chance was taken away, but it was a learning curve that will help us in the future to do better. On the plus side, we were featured in the first episode of their coverage of the global auditions where they named us the British 4Minute.

The K-pop movement in the UK is growing every year, there are lots more Korean idols and entertainers visiting the UK. What do you feel makes K-pop in the UK a movement to follow?
I guess because it stands out amongst all the current pop artists. Most people would admit that pop music is a guilty pleasure, but because K-pop relies on high visuals and catchy hooks, more people in the UK have taken an interest in it. It has lead to more online petitions, more flash mobs and so on, helping more artists take an interest as the number of fans continue grow.

You have covered a wide variety of dances over your career on YouTube and through your Facebook page. Do you have your own favourite K-pop singers or favourite songs to dance to?
Jai: 2NE1, SNSD and EXO.
My favourite song to dance to is Into the New World by Girls’ Generation.

Z.Z: BTS, Infinite and Winner. My favourite song to dance to is Glass Beads by G-Friend.

Annie: 4Minute, Red Velvet, BEAST and FTISLAND. My favourite song to dance to is Ice Cream Cake by Red Velvet.

Lisa: Girls’ Generation and TVXQ. My  favourite song to dance to is Happiness or Ice Cream Cake by Red Velvet. Though my all time favourite would be Into the New World by Girls’ Generation.

J-min: Hyuna, T-ara, NS Yoonji, Speed, BIGFLO and SS501. My favourite song to dance to is My Type by Jessi, Cheetah and Kangnam, with my favourite group dance being Up and Down by EXID.

Alisha: T-ara, BEAST, 2PM, 9Muses, Girls’ Generation and Red Velvet.

Learning a short piece of choreography can be a tough job, but how long does it take for you to learn a full K-pop choreography?
Alisha: Normally it takes under an hour to learn individually, as a group it can maybe take two to three practices at least.

Lisa: It depends on whether or not I like the song. Normally around 30-40 minutes. But synchronising the dance as a group takes longer. The most difficult dance to learn was Girls’ Generation’s Into the New World.

Z.Z: Normally around 30 minutes for girl group dances and more than an hour for boy group dances.

J-min: For choreography it varies. It can take between an hour to a week to learn individually depending on how difficult the choreography is and how much free time I have. Then maybe two to three rehearsals for us to rehearse together and perfect things before recording.

If you had the chance to collaborate with another K-pop dance group from around the world, who would you like to work with?
J-min: I’d like to collaborate with Waveya, 3D Color dance team or the amazing Yama and Hot Chicks dance company, who are back up dancers for groups like T-ara and Kara. If I had the chance to be a backing dancer for a K-pop star, it would have to be Hyuna as she is an amazing and charismatic performer. Last year I had a chance to audition to be her back up dancer which was fun.

Annie: Not really a K-pop group cover, but an individual called Lisa Rhee. If I had the chance to become a backing dancer then I’d like to work with 4Minute or any CUBE artist.

Z.Z: I would like to work with BTS, because their choreographer is awesome!

Alisha: I would love to work with TwoL, who are my favourite original Black Queen members. They have been doing dance for so long that their determination is inspiring and they know how to put on a show. I’d like to become a backing dancer for T-ara or Sunmi, since they both have original choreography which really stands out visually compared to others.

Lisa: Rather than collaborate with, I would like to learn dance with Def Dance Skool. If I had the chance of becoming a backing dancer, I would like to work with Girls’ Generation, BoA or JYJ.

Do you have any other events that you will be taking part in?
We are currently entered into the Cover Dance Festival Competition, but as a lot of our members are going on holiday soon, we won’t be doing performances for a while. We have a Facebook page so please show us lots of support and thank you for taking an interest in us!

 

Check out 9034K’s mix tape of performances at the MCM London Comic Con from May 2015 on both the PopAsia and Fringe stage below.

 

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