By Cathy Rose A. Garcia
It's been over a year since Shinhwa, one of the longest running Korean boy bands, has released an album. While younger boy groups like TVXQ, Super Junior, SS501 and Big Bang have been getting all the attention, Shinhwa members are concentrating on solo activities.
This summer, three Shinhwa members, Kim Dong-wan
, Lee Min-woo
and Shin Hye-sung are set to release their solo albums. The three singers are counting on loyal Shinhwa fans to support their solo efforts, but are also attempting to attract new fans with a more mature image.
Lee, who was the first member to go solo in 2003, will hold a showcase concert for his third album "Explore M" on July 8. His album will be released on July 10.
Adopting the stage name M for his solo activities, Lee has already released two albums with an R&B style. Lee seems to be the most serious when it comes to music, having written and produced songs for other K-pop artists such as Jewelry. He established his own music company M Rising Entertainment, and expressed interest in nurturing new artists.
Last Sunday, he performed as the opening act for international pop star Christina Aguilera's concert in Seoul. Lee has already held a concert in Japan, and has plans of touring China, Vietnam, Thailand and Singapore this year.
Shin, also known as Shinhwa's lead singer, is scheduled to release his second solo album in August. His album is again expected to include mostly romantic ballads, similar to his debut album "Love of May", released in 2005.
There is already much interest in Shin's first solo concert on Aug. 11 and 12 at Olympic Hall, Olympic Park. Advance reservations for concert tickets have been sold out. Shin is also planning on holding concerts in Japan later this year.
Kim is making his debut as a solo performer, with the release of his album "Kimdongwan Is" on June 28. In contrast to his boyish image in the past, he now looks more masculine with a moustache and a leaner look.
Shinhwa members are also helping Kim on his debut album. Kim has a duet with Shin, while Andy
is featured on another track. Lee also composed the song "My Love", which also features rapping by Eric Mun
Kim has been known more as an actor, getting good reviews for his acting in the SBS drama "My Dearest Love"
and KBS drama "A Farewell to Sorrow
While Lee, Shin and Kim are concentrating on their music career, other Shinhwa members seem to be lying low. Andy
has formed his own company ND (New Dream), while Jun Jin
had released a single album last December. Eric Mun
had recently finished the MBC drama "Que Sera, Sera
However, fans of Shinhwa will have to wait a little longer for the members to reunite. Shinhwa's 9th album will be released by the end of the year.