Korean boy band B1a4, the only group from WM Entertainment, has a style of energy pop not seen in other k-pop boy groups. They debuted in 2011 with a Japanese debut later that same year. The name is derived from their members blood types. One member (Baro) has type B blood and the rest of the members have type A. It also stands for “be the one, all for one.” Their fans are called BANA, which was given by group’s leader, Jinyoung. The “BA” is from B1A4, and the “NA” is from the Korean word “Banada” which means “we have fallen for each other”. Thus, “Bana” means that B1A4 has fallen for their fans, and the fans have fallen for B1A4. Their group color is “Pastel Apple Lime.”
They are made up of five boys: Jinyoung, Gongchan, Sandeul, CNU, and Baro. Jinyoung is the leader of the group, and he is the lead vocalist with his distinctive voice. Jinyoung also writes and composes a lot of the groups songs. CNU is a vocalist and one of the rappers with Baro being the other rapper. He writes the raps with CNU. Sandeul is the main vocalist and is by far one of the strongest vocalists in the industry. Gongchan is a sub vocalist, maknae, and visual.
Name: Shin Dong Woo(신동우)
Birthday:June 16, 1991
Weight:64kg (141 lbs)
Star Sign: Gemini
Hometown: Chungbuk Cheongju
Skills/Hobbies:Rap, rap making, taekwondo, basketball, soccer
You can check out his twitter account here!
- Famous for his long hair
- Oldest in the group
- Pooh/Pooh Bear is his nickname
- His Role Model is Usher
- Enjoys a simple t-shirt and jeans in his fashion style
- His older sister usually picks and buys his clothes for him
- His name “CNU’ means “a dependable and sweet-natured friend”
- Likes sports
Real Name:Jung Jin Young (정진영)
Birthday:November 18, 1991
Weight:59kg (130 lbs)
Skills:Song writing, composing, singing, acting, play guitar, cooking
Hometown: Chungbuk Chungju
You can follow his twitter account here!
- During his trainee days, he thought it would be great if a song he made could go into the group album. So he naturally started composition.
- Composed Bling Girl from their 1st Mini Album
- Famous for his sweet smile and gentle looks
- Can mimic a helicopter noise
- Loves to eat spam
- Picked Gongchan as the most handsome member in the group and ranks himself 3rd
- His #1 treasure is his laptop.
- Fans compare him to a fox.
- Called Mirror Prince.
- Would like to collaborate with Will.I.Am (Black-Eyed Peas.)
- Debuted as an actor.
- When he saw he looked really skinny in photos he decides to gain some weight.
- But even if he eats a lot he doesn’t gain much weight.
Real Name: Lee Jung Hwan (이정환)
Position: Main Vocal
Birthday: March, 20 1992
Blood Type: A
Star Sign: Pisces
Height: 178cm (5’8)
Weight: 62kg (136 lbs)
Hometown: Gyeongnam Busan
Skills/Hobbies: Swimming, cooking
You can follow his twitter account here!
- Wears very high strength glasses before debut but now wears contacts
- Is the happiest when he is singing
- Known for his cute eye smiles
- Dreamed to be a singer since childhood
- His nickname is Psyduck
- During his trainee days he was chubby
- Members call him “Gongchan Baragi (T/N: Only looks at Gongchan)” His laptop background is set to Gongchan’s picture
- Sings in gentle style
- Has won on Immortal Song 2 (“I’m A Candle In Front Of You”)
- Dream to create his own singing tone called “Sandeul Tone”
- “Only One” is his favorite song in their 1st mini album
Name: Cha Sun Woo (차선우)
Height: 178cm (5’10 lbs)
Blood Type: B
Star Sign: Virgo
Birthday: September 5, 1992
Hometown: Jeollam Gwangju
Skills/Hobbies:Rap, rap making, beatbox, running
You can follow him on twitter here!
- Known for his famous catch phrase “Yallu~”
- International fans gave him the nickname “HamBaro” for resembling a cute hamster/Hamtaro, and Squirrel “Baramnjii”
- Baro had his teeth filed, so the nickname has faded.
- Participated in making all the Rap for all the songs in their 1st Mini Album
- Energizer and Vitamin of the Group
- Wishes to learn rap skills from Tiger JK
- Ever since he was young, he always wore caps. If he doesn’t wear caps he loses confidence
Real Name:Gong Chan Shik (공찬식)
Birthday:August 14, 1993
Star Sign: Leo
Weight: 60kg (132 lbs)
School:Suncheon Isu Middle School, Seoul School of Performing Arts
Follow him on twitter here!
- Doesn’t like the subject science
- Was a trainee at Key East Entertainment (Kim Soo Hyun and Kim Hyun Joong are both in it)
- Popular for his “Rifle Gunshot” move
- Good with fan service
- Very stylish
- Shih Tzu,Kkrong (T/N: crocodile character from Pororo the Little Penguin) is his nickname
- In charge of the looks and cute acts in the group
- Has a mature side that comes from being the eldest in his house
- Has a different ideal type taste. He says it has to be a person who has a cute bunny-like or frog-like face
- Enjoys ballads
- Wants to be a singer who can sing various songs, no matter what genre it is.
- Because of his shyness during trainee days his hyungs thought that he is “Chic”
- After making his debut as a singer, he says every second feels like a happy dream.
- When his all alone, he tends to do weird pranks and play on his own
- Currently studying at Seoul School of Performing Arts (Where Boyfriend’s Minwoo Jo Twins, Co.Ed School Eunkyo and many other idols study)
B1a4 debut MV, the adorably peppy “O.K”!
Only Learned the Bad Things, follow up promotions to “O.K” also off of their debut EP- Let’s Fly!
Second single, and probably the greatest and most ridiculous music video out there- “Beautiful Target!”
Tried To Walk is one of my favorites, because it really showed me how deep B1a4 could get. They had done plenty of fun and energetic songs, but this time they showed a new side of them. A side that could be serious and emotional. The video, is about how our choices in attitude can alter a situation, your perception of the situation, and even the outcome of the situation. The lyrics speak of a breakup, though hurtful, is better for them. The concepts contrast a happy timeline, filled with pastel colors and flowers with a darker timeline with dead plants and trees, as well as harsh mirrors. The endings to these parallel story lines can be seen here:
Back to the intense, high energy wackiness with “What’s Happening?”
Reasons why you should adore them:
- They are the first “country-dols” meaning they are from different parts of Korea, not just Seoul. “Five of us have been gathered, but our ways of speaking, accents and word expressions are all different! It’s amazing and interesting, and as we mimic each other, it has become a mess now. (Laugh).” ~Sandeul
- They’re each other’s best friends and even though they pull pranks and joke with each other a lot, they are extremely close. Sandeul’s birthday:
- Their English skills
- The Sprout Dance:
- They are genuinely nice boys. They work together well and can move fluidly through concepts and comebacks with ease. Every single one of them is necessary to the group and they each bring something special and unique to the table.
- Their teasers have undoubtedly been some of the coolest out there. Starting with their pre-debut webtoon that depicted the boys’ pursuit of a girl and actually led people to think they were going to be a co-ed group! Then with their FaceTime style videos for “Baby Goodnight” where each member gently talked to fans as if they were their girlfriends about to go to sleep, leading up to Gongchan’s sneaky slip up, and finally revealing the music video that encompassed all the lies and cheating in their relationship. More recently, B1a4 treated fans to a calendar of teasers for “Solo Day”, with a scheduled release each day and links that fans could open as each day came, like a K-pop advent calendar!
Reasons why I love them:
I’ve been a BANA since almost the beginning, and I loved their energy and their brand of pop and attitude and specific vibe. More than that, they seemed to always know what I was going through or feeling at the time of the release. This made them healing idols for me, and it always makes my heart flutter when I hear of a comeback when I’m going through something. I’ve fallen for B1a4 and they take care of me through their music, creating a bond and connection between fan and idol unlike any other I’ve experienced. It’s relatable to my life, and one of the reasons I love them so much is I believe that it can relate like this to others too.
Baro was in dramas “Reply 1994” and “God’s Gift- 14 Days”
Jinyoung was in “She Is Wow”
B1a4 had their own season (6) of “Hello Baby”
“MTV’s Match-Up with Block B”
BABA Tour (Korea and Japan)
Amazing Store (Korea and Japan)
THE CLASS (Korea)
Listen to the B1a4 (Japan)
Written by Kayla Simmons, guest writer, photographer, and BANA in NY