From “Once upon a time” to reality. Meet KINGDOM, the boy group of living kings

From “Once upon a time” to reality. Meet KINGDOM, the boy group of living kings

There was a time in which kings and queens were gifted with magical strength and power. Magic was real, and different kingdoms were scattered all around the globe. It was a time of knights and battles, fairy and mystical creatures, potions, and fire. KINGDOM is a K-pop group with a unique concept that starts from their names. The septet is composed by Jahan, Chiwoo, Dann, Arthur, Ivan, Mujin, and Louis. Names that are way different from the ones we are used to when we talk about Korean idols. The reason is simple: they are not "just idols" but kings with their own universe. If it's real or just a legend, it doesn't matter because KINGDOM are fighting their own war to conquer a place in the K-pop industry.

After their debut on February 18, 2021, with the album «History of Kingdom: Part I. Arthur» they come back with «History of Kingdom: Part II. Chiwoo» on July 1st. And now, they are ready to introduce us to another reign with «History of Kingdom: Part III. Ivan». interviewed them in exclusive.

Congratulations on your comeback. Would you please introduce yourself to the Italian public?

Open the gate, KINGDOM! Hello Italy, we are KINGDOM. We are delighted and grateful to reach Italian fans. We are a seven-member boy group, made up of the seven kings and seven kingdoms. We reinterpret diverse cultures around the world and incorporate them into our K-pop music. We perform a fantasy movie, on stages and in music videos. Please send us a lot of expectations and love, thanks!

Your names are unique, and each one of them represents a kingdom. I find this really fascinating. Can you tell more about the connection between your names and your realms?

Our concept producer named each of us, considering how well the name suited each one of us. Dann rules the Kingdom of Change, Arthur rules the Kingdom of Rain, Mujin rules the Kingdom of Cherry Blossoms, Louis rules the Kingdom of Beauty, Ivan rules the Kingdom of Snow, Jahan rules the Kingdom of Sun, and finally Chiwoo rules the Kingdom of Cloud.

You told us before that you watched a lot of movies and dramas to get into this concept. Can you share with us what you were watching/reading to get ready?

We watched "The Lord of the Rings" series! It is our favorite film series, thus we enjoyed watching and learning from it. Since this series is about the dignity, fear, despair and greed of the King, it helped us a lot relating to the title track of this album, "Black Crown".

Let's go back to your debut. Part 1 was dedicated to Arthur and your song Excalibur was so theatrical that left all of us breathless. Thinking now about your debut, how do you feel about jumping into this industry with such a difficult concept?

At first we were uncertain of handling such a large-scale concept, but later we became sure that only KINGDOM could manage this type of concept. It made us enjoy and cherish our unique concept. We couldn't wait to show the listeners our distinctive colors through stage performance and music.

The title track, «Black Crown», refers to the power of evil and the battle between good and bad. How did you come up with this track?

This track is a story of Ivan, the ruler of the Kingdom of Snow. Between his internal good and evil, Ivan chooses the power of absolute evil to protect his kingdom, and wears the Black Crown. To express a fantasy-like concept, this track was built on intense beats and lyrics, mixed with mystic melodies to deliver both good and evil.

What is your favorite track of this album?

The B-side tracks of this album may sound more "mainstream" than the title track. For those who favor ballad music, we recommend "Fallen Star", and "ON AIR" to those fond of addictive/comfy songs.

You reinterpret cultures all around the world. Is there any country you would like to visit once the pandemic is over?

We would love to travel around the world, visiting all countries. Including Italy, for sure. It is a beautiful country and we should definitely visit there someday.

Italy has a radicated history, we had kings and emperors, do you know something about Italian history?

We are not experts in history, but we learned about Victor Emmanuel II who unified Italy. We would love to visit Piazza Venezia someday.

Italy is also the country of fashion. And you, like kings, always wear stunning costumes. But we assume it must be challenging to dance in those dresses. How do you train for your performances?

At first we found it a bit hard to dance in heavy, long costumes. But since it’s not our first comeback, we are getting used to it. We stay tense and focused in every practice, since there are many dancers in our performance and a small slip could lead to big accidents.

You trained for three years together. What do you think is the main strength of the Kingdom?

Our biggest weapon is our unique concept and color. We could make an incomparable fantasy-like stage out of it.

I'm a huge fan of stories and legends about kings and far away realms. I found exciting what you created, and I can't wait to see more. Can you give us some spoilers?

You can find out in the music video that the next protagonist is Dann. You can see Dann in stunning Oriental garment shooting arrows. Please look forward to the next concept and story.

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Marianna Baroli

Giornalista, autore

(Milano, 1986) La prima volta che ha detto «farò la giornalista» aveva solo 7 anni. Cresciuta tra i libri di Giurisprudenza, ha collaborato con il quotidiano Libero. Iperconnessa e ipersocial, è estremamente appassionata delle sfaccettature della cultura asiatica, di Giappone, dell'universo K-pop e di Hallyu wave. Dal 2020 è Honorary Reporter per il Ministero della Cultura Coreana. Si rilassa programmando viaggi, scoprendo hotel e ristoranti in giro per il mondo. Appena può salta da un parco Disney all'altro. Ha scritto un libro «La Corea dalla A alla Z», edito da Edizioni Nuova Cultura, e in collaborazione con il KOCIS (Ministero della Cultura Coreana) e l'Istituto Culturale Coreano in Italia.

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