It’s sometimes hard to pinpoint where Teen Top are in their career. Sitting comfortable with three singles winning in the weekly music shows, a solid fan club and a well received world tour that was able to take on North America, South America, Asia and Europe. For any other group, they would sit comfortably as a veteran group, not to be messed with. But with Teen Top being so young still, fans and the industry are left wondering, “What else will Teen Top be able to accomplish now that they’ve all reached adulthood, still so young in the industry, but already showing so much skill?” Any Angel will tell you, they think the best is yet to come.
About the MembersStage Name: C.A.P.
Real Name: Bang Minsu (방민수)
Teen Top “Title”: Charisma Rapper
Position: Leader, Rapper
Birthday: November 4, 1992
Height: 178 cm
Blood Type: O
University: Dong Seoul University
- Likes to design things, then get them tattooed to himself
- Has three dogs, Coco, Bangja and Tori
- He picked the stage name CAP because he likes hats
- He writes raps and some of his songs have been released by the group
- Once punched open a watermelon on TV. Honestly, this summarizes CAP’s personality perfectly.
Stage Name: Chunji
Real Name: Lee Chanhee (이찬희)
Teen Top “Title”: Power Vocal
Birthday: October 5, 1993
Height: 173 cm
Blood Type: B
University: Hanyang University
- Likes puzzles
- His favourite season is winter, and he likes rainy days
- If he could take three things to a desert island, he would apparently take food, water, and a girlfriend
- He likes all foods. Except watermelon apparently.
Stage Name: L.Joe
Real Name: Lee Byeongheon (이병헌)
Teen Top “Title”: Mischievous Rapper
Birthday: November 23, 1993
Height: 171 cm
Blood Type: A
- Went to school in the United States for a few years, so his English is at a decent conversational level
- Despite keeping his Korean name while in the US, his classmates started calling him Joe (probably because Byeonghyeon is not an easy Korean name to say) and that’s where his stage name comes from
- Likes to write songs for the group
- Shortest member of the group
Stage Name: Niel
Real Name: Ahn Daniel (안다니엘)
Teen Top “Title”: Emotional Vocal
Birthday: August 16, 1994
Height: 177 cm
Blood Type: A
- Most recognizable of the group – usually because of his lips
- He has never lived overseas, his parents named him Daniel just because
- Niel and Ricky share a room because they’re the noisiest
Stage Name: Ricky
Real Name: Yoo Changhyeon (유창현)
Teen Top “Title”: Lovely Boy
Position: Subvocals, dancer
Birthday: February 27, 1995
Height: 172 cm
Blood Type: AB
- Is called the “visual maknae” because he looks the youngest, even though he isn’t
- He likes sci-fi and action movies
- He is REALLY scared of ghosts
- Ricky would love more opportunities to act
Stage Name: Changjo
Real Name: Choi Jonghyeon (최종현)
Teen Top “Title”: Dancing Boy
Position: Subvocals, Dancer
Birthday: November 16, 1995
Height: 177 cm
Blood type: B
- Changjo’s speciality is dancing
- He wanted to be a bodyguard
- Changjo is one of the quieter members of the group
Teen Top is the brain child of Andy, from Shinhwa. While his company, TOP Media, had released a duo the year before, their career didn’t last. Teen Top were the second group to come from TOP Media, debuting in July 2010. Their debut single, “Clap (박수)” had a unique sound to it that stood out compared to the other songs at the time, feeling very sharp, sparse and dramatic. Teen Top caught the attention of k-pop listeners by being the youngest idol group to debut to date, with Changjo only being 14 at the time. Teen Top caught a lot of attention for their choreography, and Niel’s very distinct voice.
In January 2011, Teen Top really began to get the attention of people with their first comeback single, “Supaluv”. The cyborg, robotic look and infectious beat was impossible to ignore. It seemed that the distinction of Niel’s voice was amplified with this song, bringing more curiosity to the group. It was impossible to not pay attention to these young idols.
After celebrating their one year anniversary, Teen Top released their first full album, Roman. This album contained the title track “No More Perfume On You (향수 뿌리지마)” The song was a fun, energetic song, but the lyrics seemed to divide k-pop fans, due to the fact the song was about a guy who has two girlfriends (which seems to be a popular topic in K-pop music, but doesn’t always get as ripped apart.) Teen Top brought fun, youthful energy to a song that could have been much more sultry, bringing a lot of interesting contrast to the piece.
Teen Top were quickly becoming “vacation-dols”, timing their promotions around school holidays. It was a smart move, both for their members, who had their own classes to attend, and for their fans, to ensure that even young fans could take part during the main promotions. This trend continued in January 2012, with their release of “Crazy (미치겠어)”. The new video continued to push their young image further away, having L.Joe have a love interest in the video. After almost two years of promotion, their hard work paid off, and “Crazy” brought Teen Top their first music show win on Music Bank and Inkigayo. They also had the ending position for Music Core, which at the time was considered equal to a win (they did not have a competition in 2012). With an average age of only 17 in the group, Teen Top became the youngest group to get a music show win, let alone receive an “all kill” across the network stations.
In May of 2012, Teen Top broke the “vacation-dol” mould, promoting outside of the school vacation schedule with their single “To You”. The single was a part of the mini album aRtisT. While the single itself did not win music shows, the song continued to carry the momentum from the Crazy promotions, bringing on new fans and propelling Teen Top into an exciting year of promotions.
Through June of 2012, Teen Top began their first tour in Japan, visiting Tokyo, Nagoya and Osaka. The concerts were well received, and brought many Japanese fans into the Teen Top fandom (an always welcome addition because they are usually willing to spend a lot of money on things.) Immediately after the tour, Teen Top released another single, “Be Ma Girl (나랑 사귈래?)” in August.
In the beginning of 2013, Teen Top began to lead the way in touring globally, by working their way around the rarely visited Europe. Their tour visited Munich, Dortmund, London, Paris and Barcelona. You can read K-Soul’s review of their very first shows in Germany here. Soon after returning, Teen Top released their second full album, No.1. The title track from the album, “Miss Right (긴 생머리 그녀)” was released on February 25th.
An Asian tour followed after the promotion of Miss Right, with their first concert in Seoul, as well as another series of concerts in Japan. In August 2013, Teen Top released “Rocking (장난아냐)” from the mini album “Class”. The song was an instant hit. With the head bobbing beat and the fun tongue twisting lyrics, “Rocking” shot to number 1 on all of the music shows, bringing Teen Top their second music show victory.
The promotion period for “Rocking” was short, so Teen Top did a repackage for the mini album with a new song, called “Lovefool”. The video for the song was the highlight of this promotion, because it highlighted something that many fans always want to know about: their dorm life. Filmed, directed and edited by the members of Teen Top, the video takes place in the new Teen Top dorm, and highlights the newest members of the Teen Top group: their three puppies. While the editing and effects might be lacking, it pretty much is the most perfect video simply for the combination of cute boys in their natural environment, combined with puppies.
In 2014, Teen Top headlined a massive world tour that took them all over the world, hitting up nearly every continent. Starting in Seoul in February, Teen Top began their “HIGH KICK World Tour”. The tour then took them to Japan, then over to North America through their campaign with Krowdpop. Teen Top were able to visit Toronto, New York, San Jose and Los Angeles. (Check out our New York review here!) They then went to Europe, visiting Moscow, Budapest, and Paris. Taking a break through May, the tour continued in June through Asia, visiting Taipei, Hong Kong, and Shanghai, and then the last leg of the tour took part in August. Teen Top visited South America, visiting Santiago de Chile, Mexico City, Panama City, Bogota, and Lima. By the time Teen Top returned from their world tour, they were ready with their latest single. The newest video, Missing, highlights the fact that this group, that started out as the youngest to debut, and the youngest group to ever win a music show before, are now legally considered adults in Korea. The latest single shows a new maturity in their song, both through the video and their vocals, that prove that Teen Top are going to be around for quite a while yet.
Only question is: do we still call them Teen Top when they’re growing into such fine young men?
Why Everyone On Earth Should Love Teen Top
By Robin, from United Angels
Teen Top is known for showing distinctly different images and wowing with concepts with every comeback. They do not recycle concepts, step out of the box, and try new things—musically and visually. They’re able to give their fans different feels without sacrificing their strengths, which is why Angel is such a strong and dedicated fandom that stretches across the whole globe. Even their song “Missing” is powerful, with a down-tempo melody and theatrical music video, which is quite the contrast from their previous releases, like their fun “Miss Right” and party rock anthem “Rocking”. With Teen Top, you really can’t predict what will come next.
Choreography with Teen Top isn’t just something to accompany their music on stage. It’s serious business and these six boys work tirelessly to show you “knife-like” choreography that they flawlessly execute on music shows and in concert. They’re known for their live stages and with the technical moves and perfect synchronization, they sing live and blow kpop fans away with their vocal talent. Teen Top’s synchronization was even #5 on Soompi’s “Top 10 Favorite Moments of KCON 2014”. If you haven’t already seen “Rocking”, check out the next video. Could you master that legwork?
Teen Top doesn’t solely rely on their choreography during live stages to gain love and affection. They have a very strong vocal line whose unique voices bring color to their music. They’ve made several appearances on Immortal Song and their main vocal, Niel, has done many solo stages. Watching these boys sing ballads is powerful and can bring tears, even if you aren’t a fan. This is a live performance of “Love U”, a song written by their visual and rapper, L.Joe.
When the boys aren’t blowing your mind with their stage performances, they’re still giving you plenty of eye-candy with their DVD releases and appearances on variety shows. They’re packed with charms and although they may seem mature and serious when they’re in front of a big audience, they turn into a bunch of kids that keep you laughing until you’re in pain (Trust me! I’ve actually physically hurt from laughing at them). Their 4D personalities are well known by Angels and you might have seen their violent tendencies when doing the popular Random Play Dance on Weekly Idol. It’s hard to be indifferent to a group that has a member like Chunji, who can successfully execute a flying domino kick that can take down his bandmates. Yes, a flying domino kick. Watch all of the chaos in this next video, which is just one of their tries at the game.
But what is the most important in your journey down the Teen Top road is that the members truly love their fans. Over the past year, they covered a good portion of the globe for their High Kick World Tour and unlike many other groups, they even made it to Latin America to meet the fans there. They’re passionate about connecting with Angel and throughout their tours and promotions, they interact with fans through their SNS accounts. Their love shines through with these little gestures and the inclusivity of their fanclub, Angel, which allows international registration. No matter where you live on the planet, you can become an official part of the family and have access to fan meets like Angel Vacance, the 2014 summer fan meet, or something even a little smaller, like the Inkigayo fan meet, where L.Joe arranged for a food truck to come and feed the fans. These types of engagements are in Korea, but it’s a great excuse to make an unforgettable trip to South Korea.
If you aren’t already bought, then please refer to the video of the vocal line singing “Love U”. That song was written for Angel and the sweetness of the lyrics is enough to turn almost any girl into a puddle of emotions. But when you do become that gooey version of yourself, you can rest assured that there are friendly Angels out there that will be there to help you through the sudden feelings.
Additional reasons, by Rebecca the editor:
I’ve been a fan of Teen Top long enough to remember when the fans were called Andromedas and Changjo wasn’t the hot one. Teen Top are an amazing group because I don’t feel bad making people come see them live, because their songs are just FUN. I find that a lot of fans of things forget what fun means. Especially lately, when the world of k-pop has been so serious and dramatic and depressing, fun is such a rarity. But, Teen Top are able to bring it in bunches. They act like young boys because they were and they still are. And it’s refreshing. It’s really nice to see a group out there that just act really stupid and list “beating each other up” as their hobbies. At the same time though, they’re also the same group that made one of the sweetest fan videos I’ve ever seen, and will to this day always stick out in my memory as perhaps my favourite Teen Top video, because there is no major direction or concept. This is just six boys, being dumb and playing in the snow and in their hotel.
But really, here are some of the reasons I love Teen Top: they’re so giffable.