Sunday, July 10, 2011

Super Junior M

Super Junior-M, often referred to as SJ-M, is the third official sub-unit of Korean boy band Super Junior. They are the first international music group in the Chinese music industry to have members of both Chinese and Korean descent,and are also the first group produced by Korea's CT (Culture Technology) organization, created through a comprehensive localization strategy.Super Junior-M made their debut in 2008, with five Super Junior members: Han Geng, Siwon, Donghae, Ryeowook and Kyuhyun as well as two new ethnic Chinese members, Henry and Zhou Mi.
In December 2009, Han Geng returned to China to pursue a solo career and the group's activities were halted.In December 21, 2010 the Seoul Central District Court ruled in favor of Han Geng. A representative of SM Entertainment said that they will file an immediate appeal to reverse the decision SM Entertainment have yet to release statements regarding his official status with the group.In February 2011, Super Junior members Sungmin and Eunhyuk were announced as new additions to the SJ-M subgroup, coinciding with the release of their 2nd Mini Album, 太完美 (Perfection). Currently, the eight active members are: Siwon, Ryeowook, Donghae, Eunhyuk, Kyuhyun, Sungmin, Zhou Mi and Henry.
Responding to Super Junior's rising popularity in Mainland China, Super Junior's management, SM Entertainment, decided to compose a new Super Junior sub-unit which focuses on the Chinese market. On October 2, 2007, an official announcement was released to the media, stating the birth of a third Super Junior subgroup that would debut in China in 2008. Super Junior's original member Han Geng, and an SM Taiwanese trainee, Henry, were stated to be the first two of the seven members representing the subgroup.Five months later, a second Super Junior member, Siwon, was mentioned in news articles to be the third member.However, the confirmed list of members were not released to the public until April.
Super Junior-M debuted in China on April 8, 2008 at the 8th Annual Music Chart Awards and with the release of their first music video, "U" online.Their debut album was released in various provinces in China starting April 23, 2008 and the Korean version with three bonus Korean tracks was released in South Korea on April 30, 2008. The album was also distributed in several other Chinese communities on May 2, 2008 such as Hong Kong, Singapore and Taiwan.Reviews for the album were generally positive and it also gained praise from Hong Kong singer, Hins Cheung, who said the album contains "international-level music" and that the group is "vocally-talented". A month after their debut, Super Junior-M won their first award, Asia's Most Popular New Group Award, at the 5th annual Music King Awards in Macau on May 25.
After the first announcement of Super Junior-M on October 2, 2007, and the possibility of adding a non-Super Junior member, Henry, to this unit, Super Junior fans immediately voiced out their dissatisfaction and opposition. Immediately, a website was built, called "Only 13", to oppose against SM Entertainment's actions. Through the website, fans of Super Junior communicate and plan out protesting actions against the company. Before legal protests began, many online petitions were made by both Korean and Chinese fans to prevent and convince the label to not add a fourteenth member. Initially fans were planning to boycott the company's products, similar to the actions taken by fans of TVXQ in the past. However, most fans agreed on a silent protest instead. On October 21, 2007 and throughout the week, over 400 fans from Super Junior's official fanclub, E.L.F, silently sat in front of the SM building and held signs that supported the group to have only thirteen members.Situations became worse when SM Entertainment announced through the media that they never stated that Super Junior was a fixed group, although the label announced that Super Junior was a permanent group when Kyuhyun was added to the group in mid-2006.Thousands of fans wrote letters to the company and pleaded them to keep the group permanent, but no answer was returned.
Super Junior-M's goal is to bring the Korean pop influence over to the Chinese market, re-representing the hits in Mandarin.Similar to the style of their main group Super Junior, Super Junior-M's music style falls into the category of mainstream pop, dance, and R&B. Dance pop songs with rock and hip hop influences are easily heard in their music, such as in "Me" and "The Moment", which contains guitar riffs and heavy bass sounds. Rap is not performed as often like the main group, but these influences can be heard in "The Moment" and also the rap remakes in "Don't Don" and "A Man In Love".The group halted their activities in December 2009 after Han Geng filed a lawsuit against SM Entertainment and returned to China to pursue a solo career. In December 21, 2010 the Seoul Central District Court ruled in favor of Han Geng. A representative of SM Entertainment said that they will file an immediate appeal to reverse the decision and have yet to release official statements regarding his status with them. In February 2011, the group resumed their activities with two new members from the main group, Sungmin and Eunhyuk, with the release of EP Perfection.
In late 2008, Han Geng acted in the drama Stage of Youth (青春舞台) alongside other prominent Hong Kong EEG stars Joey Yung, Kenny Kwan, and Yumiko Cheng. He starred as Xia Lei (夏磊), a youth who dreamed to be a dancer. Stage of Youth was an idol drama that was dedicated to the 2008 Beijing Olympics. Other members of Super Junior-M gave cameo appearances in the final episode of the drama.

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