AlphaBAT Malaysia
AlphaBAT (알파벳) is a South Korean idol group that debuted under Simtong Entertainment. The group were originally a rookie hip-hop duo debuted back in 2012, with members Kyumin and Serin, releasing a song entitled “Hello”. Now they have been reinvented as 9-member group, minus Kyumin. Currently, the members’ age ranged from 19 to 27 years old (international age, please add 1 more year to their age for Korean age). The members are B:eta, C:ode, D:elta, E:psilon, F:ie, G:amma, H:eta and J:eta.

AlphaBAT chose Malaysia to hold their very first overseas showcase, “AlphaBAT, 1st Showcase in Malaysia”. Organized by New Pro-Star, they were scheduled to tour around several big cities in Malaysia from April 24th to 3rd May to search for their 10th member as well as to meet their fans  through several showcases for their debut mini album, “ATTENTION”.

Nervous faces of AlphaBAT at the Press Conference

April 24th, 2014 – AlphaBAT, 1st Showcase in Malaysia’s Press Conference 

The members of AlphaBAT held a press conference and was greeted by Malaysian media enthusiastically on April 24th at Neway KTV, One Utama. As this was their first ever overseas promotion, you could clearly see how nervous they were. A yellow ribbon was spotted on their chest to show their respect to the victims of the Sewol tragedy. Nevertheless, they were still trying to give their best when answering question after question with the local media. Plus, they had their bubbly leader, B:eta, who has been experiencing the life of an idol prior to joining AlphaBAT, to help them overcome their nervousness!

Below are the Q&As from media and fans at the press conference:-

Q: What is your first feeling being in Malaysia?
F:ie- This is our first overseas showcase so we are really excited and happy to see there are fans waiting for us at the airport when we arrived yesterday. We are really looking forward to our activities.
Q: Have you tried any food in Malaysia? Do you have expectations towards Malaysian foods?
B:eta- We’ve heard from my friends that Satay is very delicious so we would like to try that. For me, I would like to try the rice on the banana leaf (Nasi Lemak).
B:eta – Ah! Since this is our first time in Malaysia, we would like to introduce our members name one by one (the started to introduce themselves in Korean/Malay language).

E:psilon answering question @ Press Conference
E:psilon answering question @ Press Conference
Q: Is there any reason why there is no ‘A’ in AlphabBAT?
B:eta- ‘A’ refers to our fans ,Alpha, so ‘A’ has been reserved for them.
Q: Is there any place in Malaysia that you would like to visit?
C:ode- I did some research before we came here and found about Kota Kinabalu, I would like to try to go there.
E:psilon- KLCC? I heard one of the towers was built by Korean company and another one was built by the Japanese. So, we would like to go there.
Q: Do you know any of Malaysia’s famous artists, singers or actors?
J:eta- I don’t really know Malaysian artists but we do know about the actress, Michelle Yeoh and the shoe designer, Jimmy Choo. Since G:amma and I were models before, we are very much interested in fashion, so we were interested in shoe designer too.
Q: G:amma and J:eta were once models before they became members of AlphaBAT. What is the difference of being a model and a member of K-pop group?
G:amma- J:eta is actually my modelling teacher since I still have lots to learn in modelling. In the model industry, my height is considered as short but as an idol, my height is considered quite tall.
Q: Who do you think is the most handsome member in AlphaBAT?
B:eta, G:amma, H:eta & I:ota: *raise hands*
MC: Lets hear I:ota raps!
*I:OTA shows his rapping talent*
Q: AlphaBAT is here for showcases and to find your 10th member. What is your expectation towards the 10th member that you might find in Malaysia?
B:eta- Each AlphaBAT member has a strong characteristics so we hope that the 10th member possessed great skills in vocal, dancing, performances and all. We hope that the 10th member will represent Malaysia in the future.
Leader of AlphaBAT, B:eta, @ Press COnference
Leader of AlphaBAT, B:eta, @ Press COnference
Q: Since the members are all Korean, do you think that there will be a culture shock and a possibility of not getting along with the 10th members since the new member of AlphaBAT will be a Malaysian?
B:eta- We have no worries about it because AlphaBAT members are very open-minded. This is our first overseas activity and it’s in Malaysia, so we have confidence that we will get along well with the 10th member.
Q: Is it necessary to find a member that is younger than J:eta since he will soon to be the ‘K’ of AlphaBAT?
B:eta- Korea and Malaysia have different cultures. Age is particularly important in Korea, but in Malaysia we are all brothers. Therefore, we do not mind the age as long as he is a good guy and someone who can get along with us.
Q: Will the 10th member will be with AlphaBAT permanently or temporarily?
B:eta- Not only in Malaysia, we are going to search for the new members from different countries in the future until we complete from ‘A’ to ‘Z’. Therefore, we hope that you will anticipate it and show much interest on us.
AlphaBAT posing for media
AlphaBAT posing for media
Q: *A question from AlphaBAT’s fan* Do the members still call I:ota as YODA?
I:ota- Ah! That’s a wrong fact. The truth is, I am a handsome person! Please do not misunderstand!
B:eta- This is our first overseas showcase, so we are really thankful to be receiving much interest and such warm welcome from Malaysia. Please keep in touch with us and we promise to do our very best to show a better performance for you all in the future.

April 27th, 2014 – AlphaBAT, 1st Showcase in Malaysia @ Summit Subang USJ 

AlphaBAT on stage
AlphaBAT on stage

The rookie K-Pop group AlphaBAT that debuted on November 2013 visited Malaysia from April 23rd to May 3rd 2014 for their 1st time ever showcase; ‘AlphaBAT 1st Showcase in Malaysia 2014’. K-Soul was given the opportunity to cover one of AlphaBAT’s Showcases in Malaysia, in Summit Subang USJ Mall on the 27th April, as this was their first ever showcase outside of South Korea. This nine-member South Korean Group also had another agenda up their sleeves as their visit to Malaysia was not only to meet their fans here but also to seek for their 10th member as they were hosting the audition.

Organized by New Pro-Star, the event kicked-off with opening greet by local MC, JC Cheah, around 3pm. The event consisted of two parts which was the audition and then the anticipated showcase by the one and only AlphaBAT. The judges that day consist of two executives from Simtong Entertainment which is AlphaBAT’s management company and the manager of AlphaBAT himself. Honestly, they were a bit surprised by the amount of people who knew about AlphaBAT here in Malaysia, considering that they just debuted in Korea late last year. One actually greeted them in Korea and managed to see them a few times on music shows, thus, an explainable feeling of glee surfaced upon seeing them well accepted here in Malaysia.

Contestants for the 2nd audition.
Contestants for the 2nd audition.

The event officially started with the performance of Malaysia’s girl group, Bubble Candies, where they hit the stage with their very own K-pop mash up dance and it was really good. The girls performed splendidly, and the event followed by audition for the possible AlphaBAT’s 10th member. A total of 10 contestants from all over Malaysia signed up for the 2nd audition, the first audition was being held at the Southern part of Malaysia, Danga City Mall. From our point of view, Malaysian are more interested with ballad, instrument-based band and hip-hop group rather than dance group,so many contestants chose to sing slow songs. Most of the time, if you are to debut in a Korean idol group, then, dancing ability is not something that you could just neglect. Therefore it was not surprising when the judges shot up the contestants with the million-dollar question, “CAN YOU DANCE?”. Even if you prepared well for the audition, you could not possibly think of what exactly the Korean Idol scouts looked for or see in the potential future idol. As most of us know, some idols were scouted based on natural talent, some based on their looks and others based on personality as well as several unknown reasons. For majority of inspiring teens, audition served as the platform to showcase their talent to the entertainment companies. Natural talent is a plus, but the efforts to learn and improve oneself are as important. Talent can be nurtured, we believed so. However, for this case, we would like to think that Simtong Entertainment is looking for someone who has the foundation of Korean language, and could sing and dance well, to accommodate the 1 year of short training period prior to debuting.

B:eta kneeling while performing 'Love In The Ice'
B:eta kneeling while performing ‘Love In The Ice’

As the clock struck 4.30pm, the long awaited AlphaBAT’s 1st Showcase in Malaysia begun and all the nine members made their first appearance as the venue was shaken by the roaring of fans’ cheer as they performed their first song, “Love In The Ice”, which was originally sung by TVXQ. The sweet and serene song definitely displayed their vocal strength despite being a pop/hip-hop group. There was one time where B:eta was singing his part while kneeling on the stage, and it made us proud seeing these rookies performing earnestly for their fans. After the song, with the possible 10th member watching them, the members greeted the fans with their introduction slogan and proceeded with self-introduction in a mixture of English, Korean and Malay languages. AlphaBAT’s leader, B:eta, said ”Whoa! We did not know that we are this famous!”, as he was very shocked as he thought that they will not be this many fans of AlphaBAT here in Malaysia. The other members also said that they feel amazing and deeply touched and thankful to the local fans. They also claimed that they’ve been learning Malaysian greetings and words and when they used it, fans really loved it. Their effort was very much appreciated by the fans.

Following the opening talk, the boys kept the floor down once again as they performed their own track title “Always” from their first mini album ‘ATTENTION’. ‘Always’ is a ballad song composed by none other than the leader himself, B:eta, together with  진짜사나이 and B.O.K, while all of the members contributed to the rest of the lyrics. The song is to express their gratefulness to the fans with the story from their debut until where they are now. As the members of AlphaBAT sang this song whole-heartedly, audiences immersed themselves in this sweet and very meaningful song.

Performing 'Always', their self written and composed song
Performing ‘Always’, their self written and composed song
E:psilon tried to steal the opponent's rubberband
E:psilon tried to steal the opponent’s rubber band

Fan service is not something that can be left out during a promotional showcase or fanmeeting. Therefore, right after the song, the group then proceeded with the long-awaited stage game. This brought all the fans jumping on their feet as the boys started to choose the lucky few who got to be on the same stage as them and interact closely with their idols. All AlphaBAT members were split into three small groups using the infamous method; rock, paper, scissors and together with their chosen fans, they played a game with straw and rubber band where the group members formed a line with straw in their mouth and used it to pass the rubber band along the line. Team A consisted of B:eta, D:elta & H:eta, Team B consisted of E:psilon, I:ota and J:eta while Team C comprised of C:ode, F:ie and G:amma. Through the game, the true self of the boys came out, like how their determination to make sure their team won or how their playfulness when they tried to disturbed the other team when it was not their turn and also their quirkiness when they interact with the fans.  The most memorable moment during the game was when the most mischievous member, I:ota was smacked in the arm by a fan as he was disturbing the other team. It was hilarious as the fans and the rest of AlphaBAT members laughed at him. As the verdict, two teams, Team A and Team B, ended up with five rubber bands each and again, the infamous ‘rock, paper, scissors’ method was used to determine the final winner. Led by B:eta and J:eta, with one shot, team Team B won the game. The fans who were in the same group as them received a special hand-made soap made by the member themselves while the rest went back with the consolation prize. They reasoned out that instead of giving out candy for White Day, they gave the hand-made soap to keep the fans clean. The stage game end successfully and was very entertaining as the members and the fans got a very good opportunity to interact with each other.

AlphaBAT with Bubble Candies
AlphaBAT with Bubble Candies

After the fun session of the stage game, AlphaBAT announced that they will perform cover songs of Infinite’s “Nothing’s Over” and B2st’s “Fiction”. Although those were not their own songs, they really performed it like their their very own. The fun beat of “Nothing’s Over” really gave the chance for the member to give tons of fan service with lots of love thrown to the fans. Next was “Fiction” and again, AlphaBAT performed it wonderfully like it was one of their own. When the song ended, they had another talk session and welcomed the opening act, Bubble Candies, on stage once again. The girls were asked to dance to딴따라 (Ttanttara), AlphaBAT’s latest song and they did good only to be joined by all the AlphaBAT’s members. Both the group danced in sync and earned a loud applause from the audiences.

AlphaBAT performing AB City
AlphaBAT performing AB City

AlphaBAT then later announced that they will be performing their debut song, “AB City”, which earned a loud roar of applause from the fans. The up-beat and funky rhythm of the songs really brought all the audiences up on their feet and danced and sang along to the song. Seeing how much support was given by the fans, all the nine members looked touched and enjoyed being on the stage even more. Even though they were performing on a small stage for a nine member group, you could see that they were performing with 100% sincerity and effort, singing and dancing and enjoying this rare chance they got to spend time with their Malaysian fans.

The boys chose 딴따라 (Ttanttara) as the finale song of their showcase here in Malaysia. Once again the venue, Summit Subang USJ, shook by the loud roar of applause by fans and made all the passer-by of the mall to stop and watched also. The strong beat and army-like choreography was very impressive and they did it all on the small stage, leaving the audiences impressed and deeply touched by AlphaBAT’s effort and sincerity. With that, they left the stage for a break.

Performing their latest song '딴따라 (Ttanttara)'
Performing their latest song ‘딴따라 (Ttanttara)’
Early birthday celebration for B:eta, D:elta and H:eta
Early birthday celebration for B:eta, D:elta and H:eta

Meanwhile, AlphaBAT’s Malaysia fanbase together with the organizer had prepared a surprised early birthday event for the three birthday boys from the group that’s born in the month of May. The members were H:eta on 8th of May, D:elta on 11th of May and B:eta on the 20th of May. The MC interacted with the fans and gave instructions on the special events, speaking in Malay, as to not let the boys to understand the surprise event’s plan. After that, the MC told everyone to sing the birthday song in both English and Korean. Later, AlphaBAT were welcomed again to the stage and the fans started singing, repeating the birthday songs several times. Shock expressions were immediately seen on the boys’ face, especially the birthday boys’. The leader himself, B:eta was almost moved to tears and kept bowing to the fans while D:elta and H:eta were very happy and excited. It was safe to say that they were not expecting this surprise event at all.

C:ode's aegyo at the end of fansign
C:ode’s aegyo at the end of fansign

After the surprise birthday celebration, the event continued with photograph session. Then later, the event was followed by fan signing session for all the lucky fans. Finally, after the last fan, AlphaBAT bid their final goodbye for the day and expressed their grateful feelings one last time with a promise to hold their showcase again here in Malaysia.

The things that stood out the most throughout the event were how hard and earnest they had been. Being a rookie group from a small company means that they need to multiply their effort to compete in a tough environment of K-Pop industry. Language barrier did not stop them from interacting with fans to their best abilities by using the mixture of Korean, English and Malay language. AlphaBAT’s humbleness and their friendly way of treating the fans also shown through the event and if they keep that up, they will go a long way and earn the heart of K-Pop fans one by one. As a nine member group performing in such a small stage, though their steps might had been small, their hearts and gratefulness to their fans are as big as performing in a stadium. With that, the fans leaved with a content feeling and holding the promise of return by AlphaBAT in their heart.

AlphaBAT says goodbye to fans
AlphaBAT says goodbye to fans


Photograph: Feda
Written by: Feda (Press Conference & Showcase), Mira (Showcase)

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