F.T. Island

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F.T. Island
FT Island from acrofan.jpg
FTISLAND in February 2012. From left to right : Seunghyun, Jaejin, Minhwan, Hongki & Jonghoon
Background information
Also known as Five Treasure Island
Origin South Korea
Genres Pop rock
Years active 2007 (2007)–present
Labels FNC Entertainment, CJ E&M Music and Live (Korea)[1]
AI Entertainment, Warner Music Group (Japan)
Associated acts F.T. Triple
Website ftisland-official.jp
Members Choi Jong-hoon
Lee Hongki
Lee Jae Jin
Choi Min-hwan
Song Seung-hyun
Past members Oh Won-bin

F.T. Island (Korean: 에프티 아일랜드, Japanese: エフティー・アイランド; stylized as FTISLAND), short for Five Treasure Island, is a five-member South Korean pop-rock band. The members are Choi Jong-hoon (guitar and keyboard), Lee Hongki (lead vocals), Lee Jae jin (bass and vocals), Song Seung-hyun (guitar , vocals and rap) replacing Oh Won-bin in 2009), and Choi Min-hwan (drums).[2]

Their debut album, titled "Cheerful Sensibility", was the sixth best-selling album in 2007. Their debut song "Lovesick" topped the K-Pop charts for eight consecutive weeks.[3]

F.T. Island is considered to be South Korea's first instrumental idol band.[4]

F.T. Island is also the first Foreign Male Band to rank top in the Oricon Daily Charts which is the first band to top the charts in 42 Years.[5]

Career[edit]

2007: Debut and Cheerful Sensibility[edit]

F.T. Island's first album, Cheerful Sensibility, was scheduled to be released commercially in May 2007. Prior to that, the members appeared on the Korean television show "Wanna be my girlfriend?" (Korean: 두근두근 여친만들기) on Mnet (TV channel). The band also performed live on stage at Rolling Hall and held their very first official showcase at Live House Melon-AX, Gwangjang-dong in Seoul on May 27, 2007.[6]

On June 7, 2007 the group performed their debut song, Love Sick on the music television program, M Countdown and their debut album, Cheerful Sensibility was released on the same day.

The album combined 13 songs that were loosely divided into two parts, "Emotional Chapter" and "F.T. Island Chapter", according to the genre of the songs.[7] The “Emotional Chapter” consists of rock ballads while the "F.T. Island Chapter" was produced by Japanese composers who worked with the Japanese band SMAP that composed a variety of pop rock songs.[8]

Selling over 79,000 copies in 2007, it was the sixth best-selling album of the year.[9] The album was later re-packaged on December 3, 2007, titled, The Refreshment (Vol. 1.5) with three extra songs, a photo book, a stack of photo cards and a mixing program called Music 2.0 which allows one to adjust the levels of the instruments and vocals. The edition sold 25,724 copies in December 2007.[9]

2008: Japanese Debut, Colorful Sensibility[edit]

F.T. Island in 2008

After debuting in Korea, FNC Entertainment (formerly FNC Music) moved F.T. Island's activities overseas. On March 31, 2008, an autograph session in Malaysia at the Damansara Cineleisure was held, which was followed by the group's first concert at the Sunway Lagoon Amphitheater on the next day.[10] However, the performance was canceled,[11] and was held in Thailand at the Royal Paragon Hall instead on April 14, 2008.[12]

F.T. Island's first Japanese debut album, titled Prologue of F.T. Island: Soyogi, was later released on June 7, 2008. The album consists of eight songs, two of which were newer versions of the original songs F.T. Island and Primadonna. The last track, Always Be Mine, is an English version of First Kiss from their debut album (though the lyrics are original). Music videos were also released for Soyogi and Friendship, displaying the band's professionalism and playful sides.

After their promotional activities in Japan, the band then returned to Korea releasing their second Korean album Colorful Sensibility on August 27, 2008. A follow-up epilogue, Colorful Sensibility Part 2, was later released on October 17, 2008.

Later that year, F.T. Island also released The One, their first Japanese commercial single under an indie label AI Entertainment. The single charted at ninth on the Oricon daily charts.[13] The single was also the last official release with member Oh Won Bin before his departure.[14]

2009: New lineup and releases[edit]

On January 28, 2009, it was announced that member Oh Won Bin would indeed be leaving the group,[15] with FNC trainee Song Seung-hyun replacing him as a guitarist and backup vocalist.[16] With the new change in lineup, F.T. Island then released the music video for their mini-album with the title song, Bad Woman.[17] They also promoted it on SBS Inkigayo, and two days later, released the band's first Korean mini-album Jump Up.[18][19]

On April 22, F.T. Island later released their second Japanese single, I believe Myself.[20] For the first time, members participated in lyrics composition. For the song Moonlight Angel, member Lee Jae-jin co-wrote the lyrics and leader Choi Jong Hoon co-composed the song. I Believe Myself was the first Japanese single with member Song Seung-hyun.[21] They held their 2009 F.T. Island Tour-I Believe Myself in Osaka, Nagoya and Tokyo during the summer of 2009.[22]

F.T. Island also toured parts of Asia which included Singapore, Japan, Thailand, Taiwan, and others to promote themselves in the summer of 2009. The showcase kicked off in Singapore during June 25 to 27.[23]

While preparing for overseas promotions, the members were in the midst of recording their third album. On July 9, FNC Entertainment released jacket photos for the upcoming third album called Cross & Change. On the following day, a music video teaser for I Hope was released online, featuring kids watching their idols (played by the members themselves) on TV. The title song, called “I Hope/Barae”, was released on July 16.[24] F.T. Island tried out a variety of music styles for Cross & Change; it included a total of 12 songs, ranging from moving ballads to addictive songs with a bright melody. F.T. Island adopted a new fashion style and concept for the album using a "retro" and the “Bokgo” approach, which was inspired during the “jeans jeans look” from the 80s in Korea.[25]

F.T. Island released their 3rd Japanese single, Raining, on October 21, 2009. A music video of the single was released. Leader Choi Jong Hoon played the piano for the single for the first time instead of the guitar.[26]

F.T. Island's sub-group: F.T. Triple[edit]

In 2009, Choi Jong-hoon, Choi Min-hwan, and Lee Jae-jin formed a sub-group called F.T. Triple. Some of the reasons behind this lineup were to showcase more of the members' skills and to prevent lead singer, Lee Hong-ki, from overstraining his voice again. Another reason was to continue promoting F.T. Island while Lee Hong-ki was filming You're Beautiful while Song Seung-hyun was having a break.[2]

At first, the trio was unofficially announced at the Dream Concert in Japan as "A3". They almost named themselves A3 because they all are of blood type 'A'. They also wanted to keep the F.T. name hence adding Triple at the end of it to represent a trio.

In F.T. triple, Lee Jae-jin, originally in charge of bass for F.T. Island becomes a guitarist and the lead vocalist; Choi Jong-hun plays the piano and Choi Min-hwan continues to play the drums. Their first single was titled "Love Letter" and was released with F.T. Island's 2CD Repackaged Album Double Date and a second CD named Two Date that features all of F.T. Triple's songs.[27]

On November 14, 2009, F.T. Island then embarked on a national tour entitled Men's Stories, which began in Seoul, South Korea.[28]

2010: Major Debut in Japan, Beautiful Journey, and Success in Taiwan[edit]

In the months January and February, the band started touring in Asia, visiting Japan, Thailand, Taiwan, Hong Kong, the Philippines and Singapore.[29]

After celebrating their 1000th day in the music industry, they travelled to Japan and they stayed until the end of August to prepare for their major debut under their new Japanese label, Warner Music Japan. They also began a new Japanese television show which aired on 7 April 2010.[30] On May 19, 2010, F.T. Island released their new Japanese single "Flower Rock".[31] It entered the Oricon daily charts in third position on May 19, 2010 on the day of its release, and held the fourth position of that week.[32] On July 14, 2010, F.T. Island later released another single named "Brand-new days", which was written and composed by members Song Seung-hyun and Choi Jong-hoon. F.T. Island performed a five-city concert tour in Japan after releasing both singles.[33][34] They also performed at the international rock festival Summer Sonic 2010 in Maishima Arena, Osaka, Japan.[35]

After promotions in Japan, F.T. Island focused on their comeback in Korea in mid-August 2010.[36] Their new mini album "Beautiful Journey" and the music video for their main title song "Love Love Love" were released on August 25, 2010. They held their comeback performance in Korea on August 27, 2010. The title song topped many popular music charts in South Korea and also gained international notice, especially in Taiwan.[37] Choi Jong Hoon co-wrote and co-composed one of the songs which was Don Quixote's Song,[38] making it their first Korean song that includes the composition of a member. In November and December, F.T. Island held a performances which was the Beautiful Journey Concert[39] and So Today... Concert tour,[40] in both Korea and Japan.

Whilst promoting their second Korean mini-album, F.T. Island recorded another Japanese single titled "So today..." that was released in November. The song, "Boom Boom Boom", was composed by Choi Jong Hoon.[41] The single ranked sixth on the Oricon Daily Charts. With F.T. Island’s 3rd single taking the sixth position, they then had a record of all their singles ranking in the top tens of the Oricon charts.[42] About 10,000 fans turned up at their promotional events in Osaka and Tokyo on 20 and 21 November.[43]

The band then held a concert in Taiwan on December 25, celebrating Christmas together with 9000 fans. Former vocalist and guitarist and sepcial guest Oh Wonbin, performed his first single as a solo artist and a brand new song, which had not been released at the concert. F.T. Island performed songs in three languages, Korean, Japanese, and Chinese.[44][45]

With an album sales record of over 100,000, FT Island won favorable comments in the Taiwanese media.[46] The revenue for concert tickets and merchandises alone and F.T. Island's Beautiful Journey concert had exceeded a total of NT$20Million.[citation needed] They have been named the Korean artistes who earned the most money in the end of 2010.[citation needed] Four main news agencies namely, China Times, Yonhap News, Apple Daily and Liberty Times wrote news on the concerts, showing the band’s high popularity. F.T. Island also broke several records in Taiwan with 500,000 hits on mobile downloads and 10,000,000 hits on music downloads.[47]

2011: Japanese Breakthrough and Return to Korea[edit]

F.T. Island performing during their Stand Up concert at Nokia Theatre L.A. Live, March 9, 2012

On April 20, 2011, F.T. Island released their seventh Japanese single "Satisfaction" with accompanying tracks, "Friends" and "I Want", in which Choi Jong-hoon participated in the composition of both songs. The single debuted at number two on the Oricon weekly singles charts, becoming the band's high charting single in the country.[48][49] Their title song "Satisfaction" was also selected to be the ending theme song of Fuji Television's anime Toriko.[50]

On May 18, F.T. Island released their first major debut album in Japan, entitled Five Treasure Island. The album features songs from singles, "Flower Rock", "Brand New Days", "So Today...", and "Satisfaction"; it also contains several new tracks, including the soundtracks for Japanese drama Muscle Girl!, in which member Lee Hong-ki played the lead male role. The album ranked first at the Oricon album daily chart.[51]

In late May, F.T. Island returned to the South Korean music scene after almost a year, with a mini-album titled Return. The album was released on May 24. Title track was "Hello Hello", a fast-paced rock song. The album featured five songs in total. "I Confess" featured all of the members' vocals.[4]

On September 3, F.T. Island performed at Csoncert for Japan in Toronto, Canada.[52]

2012: Mini album 'Grown Up' and overseas activities[edit]

F.T. Island with CN Blue during their Stand Up concert at Nokia Theatre L.A. Live, March 9, 2012

After releasing a tragic music video for their title track “Severely”, F.T. Island released their fourth mini-album, entitled "Grown-Up". Featuring five songs, "Grown-Up! is composed of slow-tempo rock ballads. The album was released on January 31 and secured the No. 1 position on the Hanteo album chart for total album sales on both the daily and weekly charts, with title track "Severely" topping various online music charts.[53] The album was completely sold out ten days after its release, recording some 50,000 copies sold.[54] F.T. Island also achieved the "Triple Crown" status for Severely on Music On Top. "Triple Crown" is a recognition for any artist who have won a music programme three times consecutively and the song would be removed from further trophies.[55]

On March 9, F.T. Island and fellow label-mates CN Blue performed in America for the first time at Los Angeles Nokia Theater.[56]

In April the band returned to Japan to promote their 7th Japanese single "Neverland", which was released on the 18th. “Neverland”, a fast tempo rock song, was chosen as the opening theme song of the animation Ozuma, a celebration of the 20th anniversary of Japanese broadcasting system WOWOW. Ozuma broadcast its first episode on March 16, written by famous cartoonist, Matsumoto Reiji.[57]

F.T. Island released their second major Japanese album 20 [Twenty] on May 16, 2012.[58] It debuted at number four on the weekly Oricon albums chart, selling 41,726 copies in its first week,[59] earning the band their best first-week sales in Japan.[60]

The same year, F.T. Island released their fourth Korean studio album Five Treasure Box and its single "I Wish" on September 10.[61] Within the first week of its release, the album sold over 30,000 copies in South Korea.[62]

2013: Japanese album, overseas activities, comeback in Korea[edit]

The band continued their TAKE FTISLAND tour which started the year before in Seoul, Korea and went to Taiwan in December 2012[63] and continued the series in China, in Shanghai and in Beijing.[64]

On March 27, F.T. Island released their single, "You Are My Life" with 2 tracks, "Beat It" and "Come Into My Dream."[65] All three songs ended up in the top 5 of Japanese music site Dwango's K-Pop weekly ringtone chart. Also their MV for "You Are My Life" was reported to take "#1 on Chinese video site YinYueTai's Korea chart.[66]

April 9 the band's 2009 album "Jump Up" topped the Taiwanese music chart for Korean and Japanese releases, with "Bad Woman" ranking first on the songs chart, as well.[67]

The group released their Japanese album "Rated-FT" in June 2013, with compositions from band members including "Time To", "Hold My Hand", "Black Chocolate" and "Orange Sky."[68] The album landed at No. 3 on Japan's Oricon Daily Album Chart on its release date.[69]

F.T. Island released their 11th Japanese single "Theory of Happiness" on July 24, 2013. It included two tracks composed by band members, "Eyes On Me" and "Rainy Day" and topped the Oricon Daily Chart.[70] The song was chosen as the ending theme music for the anime Toriko.[71]

The band became the first Korean band to perform three years in a row on Fuji TV's "Mezamashi Live!" on July 28, 2013.[72] F.T. Island also performed live at rock festival "Summer Sonic 2013" in Tokyo on August 10 and in Osaka on August 11, this was their second appearance at the festival, after 2010.[73] The band also completed their first Japan arena tour of seven cities, titled FT island Arena Tour 2013 ~Freedom~, drawing an audience of 100,000.[74]

FT Island returned to Korea in late September 2013, and released their self-composed mini-album "Thanks To", dedicated to their fans and supporters. "Memory" and "Always With You" was composed by lead singer Lee Hong-ki, "Try Again" by Choi Jong-hoon, and "Falling Star" by Lee Jae-jin.[75] They held a two-day concert in Seoul on 28 and 29 September, in front of 6000 fans.[76] The concert was called "FTHX", combining the first initials of the band FT with THX (thanks).[77] 'Memory' by Lee Hongki ranked No.1 on the Taiwanese Omusic chart.[78] "According to the Taiwanese G-MUSIC Chart, FTISLAND’s 6th anniversary album ‘THANKS TO’ was ranked the weekly chart No.1 recording 28.84% sales among Asian album sales."[79]

Their Japanese Zepp Tour started on October 1st, 2013 in Tokyo, and then the band performed in Sapporo, Osaka, Fukuoka, Shizuoka and Nagoya, as well.[80]

The band made their official Korean comeback with their fifth mini album "The Mood" on November 18, 2013.[81] It topped the weekly Hanteo chart[82] and Gaon chart;[83] and ranked first on the online HMV chart in Japan with pre-release sales.[84]

In 2013 they appeared in the reality show Cheongdam-dong 111, which followed the daily life of their agency.

2014: Japanese comeback and individual promotions[edit]

F.T. Island at La Cigale, Paris, in January 2015
Lead singer Lee Hong-gi at La Cigale

F.T. Island started 2014 with a concert in Shanghai which was part of their FTISLAND’s 6th anniversary tour. The band released multiple albums and singles in Japan. New Page[85] was released on May 2014, it sold an estimated 22,000 copies worldwide and charted at 3rd on the Oricon Daily Charts and 6th on the Oricon Weekly Charts.[86][87]

Few months later, F.T. Island then released a second album, titled Japan Best – All About in October with the title track “Be Free”.[85] It topped the Gaon physical album chart during October 5 and 11 periods, Tower Records Daily Pre-Order Charts and HMV Korean-Asia Daily Charts. It also achieved 8th position on the Gaon album chart for the month.[88][89][90][90]

They released a single, To The Light in October, which consists of three self-composed songs by F.T. Island members.[91] Mitaken Future[92] wasreleased on March 16 and Beautiful[93] was released on January 15. Mitaken Future was later included in New Page.

F.T. Island also held several tours and announced a partnership with Taiwanese clothing brand, STAYREAL.[94]

F.T. Island members also promoted individually throughout 2014. Min-hwan was cast in a musical Joseph and the Amazing Tenchicolour Dreamcoat,[95] Seung-hyun collaborated with comedian Song Eun-yi for Two Song Place[96] and starred in a new film, No One to Trust in the World.[97] Hong-gi resumed filming Bride of the Century after his fall on an icy road[98] and starred in a new drama, Modern Farmer.[99] He also released his new accessory brand Skullhong.[100] Hongstargram was also released as a travel book where he took pictures in his first solo tour in different countries.[101] Jong-hoon was later announced to be starring in a new upcoming drama “Heroes”, said to premiere in 2015.[102] Jae-jin starred in Fashion Killa alongside Hong-gi as a special guest.[citation needed]

2015: I Will and 5... Go[edit]

After a year and four months of hiatus in Korea following their mini album, The Mood, FNC Entertainment announced F.T. Island's first fully self-composed album, I Will which was released on March 23. The music video of To The Light was pre-released on YouTube on March 18.[103] The album peaked at 7th on the Billboard World Albums Chart in the second week of April.[104] The title song Pray was also rated 99.0 out of a 100,[105] a near perfect score on Chinese Music Charts while To The Light was rated 85.97.[105] I Will also performed well on the Gaon Chart, peaking 1st in physical album raking and 3rd on the Gaon Social Charts in the third week of March.[106] F.T. Island sold 31,000 copies of the album peaking in 7th position for the highest number of album copies sold in the entire month of March.[107]

The band also started a YouTube TV show with Choi Min-hwan as the host. It has also been announced that F.T. Island would start on a new Asia Tour, titled We Will. The tour would be held in China, Japan, Taiwan and other countries.[108]

After their korean comeback, F.T. Island then returned to the Japanese market with a new album, 5... Go scheduled to be released on 13 May. It is a collaboration with Japanese rock singer Takahiro Morita from One Ok Rock.[109] On April 18, the official music video and title song of the album was released on YouTube, titled Primavera.

Members[edit]

Former[edit]

  • Oh Won Bin (오원빈) (former guitarist)[111]

Discography[edit]

Awards and nominations[edit]

F.T. island have won several major industry awards in South Korea, including several Golden Disk Awards, Mnet Asian Music Awards and Seoul Music Awards. They have also topped popular television music program charts like Inkigayo, M! Countdown and Music Bank.

References[edit]

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External links[edit]