Happy New Year! It may be only the start of the year, but there are several K-Pop groups coming to the country. This month, we will be featuring one of the most popular project groups from survival show Produce 101, J.B.J.
The fantasy group started with a rumor that Takada Kenta, Jin Longguo, and Kim Taedong would be teammates for an evaluation challenge. Fans were enthusiastic about the idea since Kenta and Taedong are known for their dance skills. However, despite the rumors being false, the combination remained popular among fans. They even added more members such as Kim Sanggyun and Kang Dongho (N’UEST’s Baekho) to form KenCallTaeGyunHo. Another fan-made team consisted of Kim Taedong, Kim Donghan, and Noh Taehyun, known as RohTaeDonghan, who were all part of the “Shape of You” team.
After the third rounds of eliminations, a fan suggested merging the then-eliminated KenCallTaeGyun and RohTaeDonghan, while adding Kwon Hyunbin, as his visuals suit the team, to form a new group. The group was named J.B.J, which originally meant “Jebal Bulyang Jom,” (please give us more screentime) or “Jungmla Baramjikhan JoHap” (real desirable group). The meaning was then changed to Just Be Joyful.
Due to popular demand, J.B.J. debuted under Fave Entertainment on October 18, 2017 with their first mini-album Fantasy and will actively promote until April (or maybe even longer, please). Taedong’s contract issues with his former company prevented him from debuting with the other six members. J.B.J. has appeared on several programs that allowed fans to get to know them better.
At present, the members are traveling around Asia for their six-city fanmeeting “Come True,” while preparing to release their second mini-album True Colors on January 12.
Some of the members may be familiar as they are part of existing boy groups, were well-known fans of senior artists, were part of popular cover groups, or were prominent in other entertainment-related fields. Let’s get to know the boys of JBJ!
Real Name: Noh Taehyun (노태현)
Date of Birth: October 15, 1993
Position: Leader, Vocal, Dance
Agency: Star Crew (Hotshot, Hotshot/Wanna One’s Ha Sungwoon)
Group: Hotshot (Kid Monster)
Known as Hotshot’s Kid Monster, Taehyun is a former YG trainee who was a backup dancer for Taeyang’s Alive tour in 2012. On Produce 101, he is most remembered for choreographing the legendary “Shape of You” performance. He is also a former member of hiphop dance crew Monster Woo Fam and specializes in krumping.
As JBJ’s leader, Taehyun is like that friend who tells the bad dad or uncle jokes. He may know how to control himself and the rest of the boys, but he is also as loud and hyper as the rest of the group. Taehyun either says the most shocking things or is the butt of everyone else’s jokes, mostly about his (lack of) height, his age, or the things he says, which may be taken out of context.
Real Name: Takada Kenta (高田健太)
Date of Birth: January 10, 1995
Position: Vocal, Dance
Agency: Star Road Entertainment (D. Holic, Kiwi Band)
Among the boys of J.B.J., Kenta is probably the one with the most interesting past. He was known as the Japanese version of Teen Top’s Ricky and was part of a cover dance group. Kenta also showed he has many talents—he can sing, dance, rap, make meringue (due to working part-time at a bakery), and do latte art. After Produce 101, Ricky and Kenta shared a phone conversation and were on a speed skating show together. Ricky even supported Kenta at J.B.J.’s debut showcase! If Kenta isn’t the definition of fanboy goals, we don’t know who is.
Despite what the rest of JBJ say about Kenta’s Korean skills, the Japanese member has proven to be close to proficient in the language. However, Sanggyun revealed that Kenta will pretend not to know what’s going on if he’s in an awkward situation. Kenta has also proven to be game for anything, including completing the Despacito Challenge like a pro. Do not challenge him to a girl group dance off—you’re most likely going to lose.
Real Name: Kim Sanggyun (김상균)
Date of Birth: May 23, 1995
Agency: Hunus (Top Dogg, ELRIS)
Group: Top Dogg (A-tom)
Before signing with Hunus and debuting with Top Dogg, Sanggyun was a former Big Hit trainee. He was supposed to debut in a group with BTS’s RM. Sanggyun also participated in the fifth season of Show Me the Money, where he made it until the second round.
For lessons on self-love and self-esteem, Sanggyun is your man. He hypes himself better than anyone else can, and he may come across as arrogant at times. Sanggyun may talk too much, seem loud and hyper, and play pranks on the members but he shows how much he cares about his fans and group members. To be fair, with a face and spitfire skills like his, he has the right to be proud of himself.
Once upon a time, he also had nice long hair…
Longguo / Yongguk
Real Name: Jin Longguo (金龙国)
Korean Name: Kim Yongguk (김용국)
Date of Birth: March 2, 1996
Agency: Choon (Longguo & Shihyun)
Group: Longguo & Shihyun
Are you a cat lover? Then Yongguk is the guy for you. He owns two cats Tolbi and RCY (Lucy). In fact, Tolbi has posted on the group’s Twitter account and has his own emoji to represent him. Yongguk loves cats so much that he hosted the second season of TV show Cat Butler’s Brag, where people get to talk about their cats and share cat-raising tips.
Probably the quietest member in JBJ, Yongguk might seem to be aloof, but he loves his members all the same. He may spend more time sleeping and being a cat butler, but he delivers the sass when people least expect it. Case and point: the arm-wrestling battle in Produce 101. He asked Bae Jinyoung if he has eaten in Chinese, which sounded like a curse word in Korean. Yongguk revealed in a separate interview that he lost the match. LOL.
Real Name: Kwon Hyunbin (권현빈)
Date of Birth: March 4, 1997
Agency: YG K+ (Lee Hojung, Lee Jongsuk, Lee Soohyuk, Lee Sungkyung, Nam Joohyuk)
Kwon Hyunbin is a familiar name and face to those who follow the fashion scene. He has walked the runways for Kwon Munsoo and other designers at Seoul Fashion Week and has modeled for several brands such as GXG Jeans x Krunk. He has also gone into acting, appearing in MBC’s “Borg Mom” and SBS’s “Part-time Idol.” He also represented his school and Korea in fencing competitions as a junior high school student, and is friends with 2016 Olympic gold medalist Park Sangyeong.
Hyunbin has proven that he wants to challenge himself as he did by choosing to sing (despite being more of a rapper) for the position evaluations and being the leader for the original song evaluation. He works on improving his singing by singing everywhere he goes. (We have good reason to believe that NU’EST/Wanna One’s Minhyun taught him this trick.) He also isn’t afraid to be a meme as he makes funny faces at the camera and sass back at the hyungs like he did to Ong Seongwoo. He may have the poise of a supermodel on the runway, but as soon as he’s off-duty, he is the clumsiest tall baby alive. He threw a bucket at Taehyun instead of just simply splashing water on him. Oh yeah, Hyunbin also speaks Japanese and English. He even spoke a little Filipino for Filipino Joyfuls.
Just to set the record straight, he only had his nose done. He has proven this by repeatedly punching himself in the jaw. Hyunbin also participated in writing lyrics for all the songs in their latest album.
Real Name: Kim Donghan (김동한)
Date of Birth: July 3, 1998
Position: Maknae, Vocal, Dance
Agency: OUI (Seol Inah, RAINZ’s Jang Daehyun)
Before becoming a trainee, Donghan was best known as a member of K-Pop dance groups The Face (Daegu) and D.O.B. (Hongdae). Donghan also said that he is a fan of SHINee’s Taemin, EXO’s Kai, and BTS’s Suga, going so far as declaring Suga the pride of Daegu (where they’re both from). He can also dance to EXO and BTS songs at two times speed. As with Kenta, it would be foolish to challenge him to a K-Pop dance-off. After all, it only took him more or less a week to memorize EXO’s “Ko Ko Bop” choreography after the song was released. He also spoke a little bit of Spanish right here. He can also do hapkido, which he practiced from when he was six years old until his second year in high school.
There’s also no denying Donghan’s potential as a variety show star. That rolling entrance J.B.J. did on Weekly Idol? Yes, that was his idea. He also has the ability to crack walnuts with his fingers, which is why some fans refer to him as “Hodu” or walnut. Who is responsible for exposing everyone else? Donghan. Just watch any JBJ reality show to see how he drags his hyungs to no end like the maknae on top he is. Donghan also isn’t one to shy away from skinship, and will be the one most likely to initiate it. We love an affectionate man who is unafraid of physical affection.
Real Name: Kim Taedong (김태동)
Date of Birth: November 7, 1997
Agency: Major9, formerly The Vibe Label (Ben)
He may not be joining the group now, but he is a JBJ member in our hearts. Known for his dancing skills, Taedong was the trainee who leveled up from F class to A class in Produce 101. He also participated in survival show Boys 24 as a member of Unit Blue (along with independent trainee Lee Insoo) before he was eliminated.
We hope he gets to join the rest of JBJ in future promotions.
JBJ will be coming to the Philippines for their “Be My Fantasy” fan meet on January 14. Tickets are available at all Ticketnet outlets and on their official website.
Follow All Access Production for details and additional updates on the event. Are you excited to see JBJ this month? Let us know what you think in the comments below!