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Monday, 2 June 2014
by seto kit yan
K-pop boyband AlphaBAT was in town recently looking for a new member from Malaysia.
THE latest K-pop act to land in Malaysia, AlphaBAT, is so new that they are actually missing their 10th group member!
With so many K-pop dance competitions in Malaysia, it is apparent that many K-pop fans here aspire to be part of a K-pop act.
With that in mind, AlphaBAT offered an opportunity for Malaysians to realise their dreams recently when they conducted auditions to recruit their tenth member here in Malaysia recently.
AlphaBAT is a nine-man outfit signed to South Korean record label Simtong Entertainment, home to K-pop acts such as Kim Sori, Tritops, Crispi Crunch, GI (Global Icon), and Poppin Hyunjoon.
The rookie hip-hop group originally started off in 2012 as a pop duo comprising Selin and Kyumin. After Kyumin left to join another group, Selin was joined by eight others to form the current nine-member AlphaBAT, which made its debut in November 2013 with first single AB City.
AlphaBAT’s current members – Ji Ha-young, Kim Sang-hun, Choi Yeon-soo, Yoo Yeong-jin, Lee San-ha, Kim Jun-su, Seol Jun, Shin Se-lin, Kim Su-yeob – are known as B:eta, C:ode, D:elta, E:psilon, F:ie, G:amma, H:eta, I:ota, and J:eta, respectively.
With each member of AlphaBAT possessing his own distinctive characteristic, they hope to recruit a 10th member with strong vocal ability and slick dance skills, aw well as have him represent Malaysia in AlphaBAT.
In town for two weeks to promote their new album Attention, AlphaBAT conducted album showcases and auditions for a new member to join their boisterous band. Out of the more than 100 applicants who sent in demo videos, 15 were shortlisted to participate in the auditions held at Danga City Mall in Johor Bahru and The Summit Subang USJ in April.
In the end, four Malaysians impressed the panel of judges and the South Korean management team so much that they still haven’t reached a final decision. The finalists are: university student Mohd Asrulnor Haliff, 18; administrative and studio supervisor Isaac Voo Kai Meng, 20; beauty consultant and part-time magician Spade Liew, 21; and postgraduate student Ong Khai Lim, 24. Of the four, Voo auditioned in KL while the rest did so in Johor.
The winner (or possibly winners) will undergo one year of special training in South Korea.
Although the boys’ positions in AlphaBAT are arranged in alphabetical order (from B to J) and according to their ages (from 27 to 18), they were not specifically looking for someone younger than J:eta, who is 18.
Group leader B:eta pointed out the cultural differences in South Korea and Malaysia with regards to age: “In Korea, age is a particularly important point of reference, but in Malaysia it’s like they’re all brothers. Therefore, the age (of the 10th member) doesn’t matter to us as long as he is a good guy and someone who can get along with us.”
He also added that AlphaBAT’s search for a new member will not only be in Malaysia: “We’re going to look for new members in other countries as well. Since the alphabet has 26 letters, we can continue till the letter Z!”
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