MCM Buzz Exclusive: Interview With K-pop Group CROSS GENE


Among the groups that debuted in 2012 one in particular set a standard for being multicultural to the highest degree. Consisting of  South Korean members Sangmin, Yongseok, Shin and Seyoung, Chinese member Casper and Japanese member Takuya, they hit the charts with their first release “La-Di Da-Di“. Under the name Cross Gene they caught the attention of many new fans with their unique dance style and repetitive and catchy song. In the early part of 2013 they released their Japanese release “Shooting Star” allowing them to break into the Japanese music industry with ease.

The boys have been really busy touring and promoting their work, as well as working on a brand new album, but they managed to find a little time to sit down and hold an interview with MCM Buzz and to allow their fans from Europe to get a little bit close and personal with the members.

Please introduce yourselves!

SHIN: Hi, I’m CROSS GENE’s Shin, I am the leader and also on vocals.

SEYOUNG: Hi, I’m CROSS GENE’s Seyoung. I am the oldest and responsible for vocals.

SANGMIN: Hello I’m CROSS GENE’s Sangmin and I’m responsible for rap and dance.

TAKUYA: Hi, I’m CROSS GENE’s Takuya and I’m responsible for vocals as well.

CASPER: I’m Casper and I’m responsible for rap and dance.

YONGSEOK: Hello, I’m Yongseok and I’m responsible for the vocals and I’m the youngest member.


You recently released your new MV “Bad Lady”. Can you tell us the story behind the new song? What genre have you gone for this time?

CASPER: It’s the image in the mind of a man in love who is excited to meet an attractive woman, and sang about her while imagining her.

SHIN: The world is immersed in the lyrics which provokes the woman we sing about. The concept is that of a sexy man, singing sexily whilst being conscious about his looks.

SEYOUNG: A really attractive woman appeared to the man, but she got away. He wants to be the man next to her but she is not available. “Why would she do this, I’m addicted? Why is she so attractive” Such an attractive woman makes him want to do something for her and with that he sings a song wholeheartedly.

SANGMIN: This song is so perfect for a woman to tell her story about seducing the heart of a deprived man; the medium tempo of the song is addictive. The contents of the song is the feeling of seduction, which is what he sings to her.

TAKUYA: The song is expressed with a sexy tune and medium tempo. The lyrics are what best describes the world of the “Bad Lady”. Love at first sight with an attractive woman, a man’s heart beating faster, and expressed with passion. I sang as sexy as possible.

YONGSEOK: The sight of a woman that is too appealing for the man’s heart is expressed in the story. He sings from the heart in this situation.


You have been away from the Korean music scene for roughly two years. What have you been doing in that time?

SHIN: In March 2013 we debuted in Japan, and after that in Hong Kong, Shanghai, etc. We have travelled in many places to share our music.

SEYOUNG: Three solo concerts in Japan, and for fans of our music we organised events and had a fan meeting in Hong Kong, which was fun to do.

SANGMIN: After the Japan concerts, we made appearances in Hong Kong on programmes, alongside going back and forth between Korea. It was a busy schedule.

TAKUYA: In Hong Kong we appeared on TV shows and other events, I shot a movie in LA, USA. We went to Japan three times last year, and I lived alone!

CASPER: After some concerts in Japan there was the album preparation.

YONGSEOK: The live debut in Japan has been the centre of activity. Our other appearances in Hong Kong were through a fan meeting and TV programs to meet a lot of fans. Also, I was filming in LA and did a lot of production work.


Could you explain the meaning behind the name Cross Gene, and what you hope to bring to the Hallyu Wave?

SHIN: CROSS GENE is one internationally created group by the combination of genes and with a team sense. We are creating a new culture of music, but we would like to broadcast this dream in many places.

SEYOUNG: CROSS GENE symbolises three countries (China, Japan and Korea – CJK) and indicates the genes that are together.

SANGMIN: CROSS GENE – Good genes joined together to make a dream team in the best sense. Each individual has an excellent impact and a memorable look and the desire to be in a team.

TAKUYA: China, Japan, Korea countries means that there is a combination of genes – CROSS GENE. I hope to bring our own culture beyond the music into the hearts of people, and share the colour of performing with others. Wherever you go our songs will be trendy.

CASPER: Three Asian countries, made into a group, that’s made ​​up of different mixed DNA, which means that it’s a CROSS GENE.

YONGSEOK: CROSS GENE gathered a group of genes – China, Japan, Korea. So we mix the three countries with glamour and performance which creates a new style. Through our activities, each of the countries vibrant cultural exchanges can be seen by the fans.


Shin was known as an actor within Korea before and during CROSS GENE’s debut. What were the members thoughts about Shin’s acting and have any you wanted to act as well?

SHIN: I have experience, but would like to try acting as a psychopath again. That would be nice.

SEYOUNG: If the opportunity presents itself I want to do exactly that. I want to act and do an interesting role!

SANGMIN: If I have a chance, of course. I would like to do an action movie.

TAKUYA: I definitely would like to try acting, in any genre of movie or drama, by all means.

CASPER: I would like to try also.

YONGSEOK: Acting in a movie would be a first experience for me, a musical as well for a challenge maybe. The drama “Friends” is such a fun comedy show and films like “Crows Zero”, I’d love to do them. I would love to try loads of different roles. Is that greedy?


You have travelled across Asia to promote, but have you thought about doing a European or Western tour? If you could visit anywhere in the world to perform, where would you go?

SHIN: Of course, I’d love to stand on any world stage, regardless of if I wanted to go somewhere. If I could go anywhere though, I’ve never been to Europe, so I would like to perform in Europe please!

SEYOUNG: If our music was in every country in the world, I would want to go to those countries.

SANGMIN: I would like to be in front of the Eiffel Tower in France and I would like to do the “Bad Lady” dance.

TAKUYA: Of course, a U.S. tour, Asian tour, I’d like to tour the world. I’m sure there are fans waiting for us around the world. Definitely!

CASPER: Performing in France, I would like to perform there the most.

YONGSEOK: European and American tours, and as quickly as possible! Of course, if you can go anywhere I want to go to all. Let’s start in the UK!


With hard training and practice there must be times when you want to relax. What is it you do to relax or would like to do?

SHIN: Listening to music in a cafe (the best!). It has not seemed to fail me since our debut.

SEYOUNG: Sleep, sleeping a lot and watching a movie. In particular I watch a lot of sad movies. This can be relaxing for me.

SANGMIN: Mainly soccer and going to the Han River, along with exercising with the members. We don’t do this as much anymore since our debut, but I still love it.

TAKUYA: When you want to relax as much as possible and the only time you have alone, I like to sleep, it makes it worthwhile! What has changed since my debut is my hometown, also playing time with friends was reduced.

CASPER: Singing and dancing, it is relaxing and is my single rule! You have a good time with friends but since our debut we have been busy these days, so I haven’t been able to play a lot.

YONGSEOK: Watching movies and eating delicious food if it’s available. I’m free!


Out of all of the songs you have released in both Japanese and Korean, which song was your favourite and which choreography did you like you performing the most?

SHIN: Shooting Star! I think that I am more into the sad songs. I liked the choreography of La-Di Da-Di as it represents the culture of CJK better now that I think back.

SEYOUNG: The songs on the Amazing -Bad Lady album are the ones I like the most, very sexy and it has thoughtful choreography.

SANGMIN: Amazing -Bad Lady. The song has a manly feel, you know?

TAKUYA: My favourite song is Sky High. It’s a really uplifting song. As for choreography Amazing -Bad Lady has a cool dance that comes with confidence and makes you feel good.

CASPER: Solar is one of my favourite songs. Love Game’s choreography is good too.

YONGSEOK: My favourite song is Amazing -Bad Lady. The choreography is amazing as well; I love that the most.


Even though you have debuted for just over two years, do you still get nervous when standing on stage or in front of your fans?

SHIN: I will be nervous. I feel tense in front of a small crowd, and quite nervous the first time I meet someone. When you hear the cheering fans that does stick with you, especially as the tension builds.

SEYOUNG: I have a nervous side but it all disappears when you see all the fans enjoying themselves.

SANGMIN: I still get tense, especially when I stand in front of a lot of people, but also excited. Performing live in front of several hundred people, I feel in the moment and feel it’s fun.

TAKUYA: I still get a lot of tension whilst feeling a little stuck. But then I think about the performance. Performing in front of many people is really exciting when you think about it. Your smiles are my energy – Yes!

CASPER: At the moment there is a lot of stress for us to give a great stage for our fans who want to show that their hearts are big.

YONGSEOK: I’ve never been nervous even since before our debut. The stage is my domain, I feel at ease on stage remembering the lyrics etc… it is all in the mind. When performing in front of our fans I try hard to deliver 200% and enjoy singing and dancing.


There are a lot of people debuting within the K-pop and J-pop world. Is there anyone you would like to collaborate with or work with?

SHIN: Nope, not really.

SEYOUNG: Music, like colours, may vary in many ways, so I want to perform with a lot of people.

SANGMIN: Lee Ssang’s way! It would be nice to work with seniors.

TAKUYA: Not specifically. If I could choose any group and there is a chance to work with someone you respect then you have got to have fun. EXO debuted as group recently with seniors who are Korean and Chinese as a group that respects each other, that seems like the way to go.

CASPER: I would like to work together with Jay Park.

YONGSEOK: I would like to work with Bumkey. They came out a year or so ago, but I have noticed how awesome the BAP seniors are! We would like to be as active overseas like them on a world tour.


Being a group made of different nationalities and learning new languages, was there any annoying moments when trying to communicate?

SHIN: At first, a member of a well known group tried to talk to us, and at the time I initially mixed language with body language to try and talk to her. Now I think about it, I am a little bit ashamed.

SEYOUNG: Living in Japan, there is a difference between pronouncing “a great woman” and a “dangerous woman”. Mispronouncing it caused a lot of laughter. I don’t have a problem with communication between members any more. The common foreign language between the members is Korean but it’s also well known between the native speakers.

SANGMIN: Trilateral dialogue between the three countries, on one hand the language is different, then the body language used to talk to me is different too. So to understand each other we teach each other all the time, this is important.

TAKUYA: At first, it was too hard not knowing Korean or English and not getting to talk often I did loads of hand gestures. In one event when the hall of people was mixed with Japanese and Korean fans in the theatre, there was laughter when I got there, I heard the story later, but I couldn’t understand it at all.

CASPER: I can be clumsy when doing an interview in Korean; it is still a little hard for me. I can’t get over the experience when I came to Korea and I visited a sauna, and did not know anything (the language) and then had to leave.

YONGSEOK: It becomes less difficult when members do communicate with each other, I guess. An embarrassing time was when I went to eat rice in Japan and it went wrong. I talked about Japanese food and ordered but got something different from what I wanted (because I ordered it wrong). But I’m not too embarrassed as I ate it instead!


Thank you for taking the time out of your busy schedule to answer these questions. Could you please leave a message for your fans and the readers of MCM

SHIN: As CROSS GENE I will continue to work hard and reward you with the best music we can. Thank you.

SEYOUNG: For always loving, supporting and acknowledging CROSS GENE I sincerely thank you. I will work hard to find a better way to broadcast live and improve. Thank you.

SANGMIN: Our goal is to run around the world as quickly as possible, not only in Korea. I’m wanting to hear you cheer. Fighting ^ ^

TAKUYA: Even though we have not performed there in the UK, some day we will! Europe, expect us soon~

CASPER: MCM Buzz readers through our many activities in the future I hope to meet you in the near future!

YONGSEOK: Fans, and MCM readers, thank you very much for your support. Your support gives us the power so that we can send you great music and the best performance. I will work hard so that we can show you all. I hope we can do a show in Europe. Please support us and acknowledge us with a lot of love! Goodbye.

It’s obvious that CROSS GENE are hard working and are really having fun by promoting their music. The love for their fans is very strong and their personalities as individuals shines through. I would like to say a huge thank you to Aya Nogami and Universal Music Japan for arranging this interview, and obviously a big thank you to Shin, Seyoung, Sangmin, Takuya, Casper and Yongseok for taking the time to talk with their fans! Thank you also to Danielle Moore for translating.

At the time of doing this interview, CROSS GENE released their new album and single “Amazing – Bad Lady” which you can see below. Be sure to show your full support for the boys!

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