Sechs Kies

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SECHSKIES
젝스키스
2016MMA SECHSKIES.jpg
Background information
Also known as 6Kies, Jekki
Origin Seoul, South Korea
Genres
Years active 1997–2000, 2016–present
Labels DSP Media (1997-2000)
YG Entertainment (2016-present)
Associated acts J-Walk
Website SECHSKIES Korean Official Website
SECHSKIES Japanese Official Website
Members
Sechskies
Sechskies logo.png
Sechskies Official Logo
Hangul 젝스키스
Revised Romanization Jek Seu Ki Seu
McCune–Reischauer Chek Sŭ K'i Sŭ

SECHSKIES (pronounced as /ˈzɛksks/ ZEKS-kees,[1] Korean: 젝스키스, Japanese: ジェクスキス) is a six-member South Korean boy band that was formed under DSP Media in 1997. They are the "1st-generation K-Pop idols" and was named as one of the top boy groups in the 90's with H.O.T. Consisting of members Eun Ji-won, Lee Jai-jin, Kim Jae-duck, Kang Sung-hoon, Ko Ji-yong and Jang Su-won, the group officially debuted on April 15, 1997. Their name "SECHSKIES" is supposed to mean "Six Crystals" (representing the six members) in German, although "Kies" is actually translated as pebbles. They are popularly referred to and remembered by fans as "Jekki" for short. The group is separated into "Black Kies" (Eun Ji-won, Lee Jai-jin and Kim Jae-duck) which is the rap-line and dance-line, and "White Kies" (Kang Sung-hoon, Ko Ji-yong and Jang Su-won) which is the vocal-line.

SechsKies disbanded on May 20, 2000, performing "Bye" and "Remember Me" for the last time at the Dream Concert. The group held a reunion concert in 2016. On May 11, YG Entertainment officially announced that they signed a contract with SECHSKIES (except Ko Ji-yong who is now an entrepreneur).[2][3]

SechsKies's official fan club name is "Yellow Kies" and the fan club color is yellow. Their fandom cheering tools are balloon shaped yellow light stick and mini banner.[4][5]

Members[edit]

BLACK KIES

  • Eun Ji-won (은지원), (Leader, Main Rapper, Lead Vocalist)
  • Lee Jai-jin (이재진), (Sub Rapper, Main Dancer)
  • Kim Jae-duck (김재덕), (Lead Rapper, Lead Dancer)

WHITE KIES

Formation[edit]

Eun Ji-won, who was studying abroad in Hawaii, was scouted by DSP Entertainment, along with friend Kang Sung-hoon in a nightclub. The agency had originally planned to debut Eun Ji-won and Kang Sung-hoon in South Korea as duet, but with the success of SM Entertainment's male idol group H.O.T., the agency shifted gears to instead debut a six-member male idol group.[6]

Kim Jae-duck and Lee Jai-jin at the time were members of a dance crew called ‘’Quicksilver’’ in their hometown of Busan and had submitted an audition tape to Daesung Entertainment.[7] Jang Su-won was cast during an open audition, and lastly, Ko Ji-yong, a childhood friend of Kang Sung-hoon, was cast as the final member of SechsKies.

On June 1, 2016, SechsKies guest on Radio Star, Kang Sung-hoon said that he selected all SechsKies members himself.[8]

Career[edit]

1997: Debut[edit]

SechsKies debuted on April 15, 1997 on KBS Music Bank with their first single, "School Byeolgok (학원별곡)". Their debut album School Byeolgok, named after the title track, was released on May 15, 1997.

SechsKies showed the power of monster rookie with hit after hit "School Byeolgok (학원별곡)", "Remember Me", "The Way This Guy Lives - Pomsaengpomsa (사나이 가는 길 - 폼생폼사)". OhmyNEWS reported SechsKies debut album exceeded 1,700,000 ~ 1,800,000 copies (but this may be a combined figure for the first two albums which were released back to back).[9] The physical sales of SechsKies' albums remain unclear not only because of DSP's under-reporting but also because the official records do not exist for albums released before September 1998. For further information on SechsKies' album sales record, read Sechs Kies discography.

Shortly after, SechsKies made their much anticipated comeback in October 1997 on KMTV's "Recharge 100% Show" and began promotional activities for their second album release. Their second album titled Welcome to the Sechskies Land, a 20-track album formatted as a fictional amusement park known as "Sechskies Land", was released on November 1, 1997. They quickly began promoting the album's title track "Chivalry (기사도)" on various music programs, which gave the group their first #1 spot on SBS Inkigayo on December 7, 1997.

SechsKies was quickly being recognized as rookies of the year and received several awards at various music award shows. In December, they won the 12th Korea Visual and Records Grand Prize (later named Golden Disc Awards) Bonsang, the KMTV Korean Music Awards New Artist Award, the Seoul Music Awards Bonsang, the KBS Music Awards Bonsang, the Best 10 Artist Awards at the MBC and the SBS Music Awards.[10][11]

On December 21, 1997, SechsKies held their first ever concert in Seoul at the Sejong Center; tickets were reportedly sold out within five hours. SechKies was the first dance group to hold a concert at Sejong Center for the Performing Arts.[12][13]

1998: Rising popularity, Road Fighter and Special Album[edit]

SechsKies’ fanbase and general popularity quickly began to grow by the spring of 1998. After wrapping up their second album promotions in February, they began a spring nationwide tour, including concerts in Busan, Ulsan, Gwangju, and Daegu.

In March, SechsKies’ very own movie, Seventeen was filmed.[14] On July 17, 1998, it was released nationwide, and the group held promotional fan signing events for the film's premiere release.[15] Moreover, SechsKies starred in the children's musical, Alibaba and the 40 Thieves alongside singer, Jinjoo. The musical ran from April 25 to May 5, 1998 at the Sejong Center. On May 5, SechsKies performed the musical in front of President Kim Dae-jung at Blue House to celebrate Children's Day.[16]

On July 15, 1998. SechsKies released their third studio album Road Fighter, which had more hybridized elements of hip-hop and electronica, as leader Eun Jiwon participated in the production of the album. SechsKies began promotions for their third album, returning with "Crying Game" on SBS Inkigayo. SechsKies held consecutive wins for the title track "Road Fighter" on SBS Inkigayo and KBS Music Bank in July and August. They also won for the #1 spot on SBS Inkigayo and KBS Music Bank for the follow-up track "Reckless Love (무모한 사랑)" in September and October.

On October 30, 1998, SechsKies released a soundtrack for Seventeen titled Special Album, which was later referred to as the group's 3.5 album release. The began promotions for the Special Album on KBS Music Bank, promoting two songs of the album, "Couple" and "Letting You Go (너를 보내며)". They also won the #1 spot on SBS Inkigayo, KBS Music Bank and MBC Music Camp for the title track "couple" which was the most popular song. A special photo book was released in conjunction with the album in November.

With the huge success of the song, "Couple", SechsKies finally won the 9th Seoul Music Awards Daesang with H.O.T. SechsKies also won the 13th Korea Visual and Records Grand Prize Award Bonsang, the KBS Music Awards Artist Of The Year (Teen Category), the 9th Seoul Music Awards Bonsang, the Popularity Awards at the MBC and the KMTV Korean Music Awards, and the SBS Music Awards Best 10 Artist Awards.[17]

1999: Com' Back[edit]

SechsKies held concerts throughout Korea in February, 1999. The tour started on February 6, 1999 in Ulsan and ended on February 27, 1999 in Seoul.[18] On April 5, 1999, SechsKies released their first concert video, recorded from their largest concert to date, the Seoul Concert on February 25, 1999. They also released a live concert album with the video on April 10, 1999. On April 18, 1999, SechsKies held a two-year anniversary special official fan club meeting.

After their concert tour, SechsKies returned to the studio to create their fourth album. Released in early September 1999, SechsKies performed a song titled, "Com' Back," "Hunch (예감)," and "Stay Still (그대로멈춰)". Compared to their previous works, this album had more input from the members of the group, several of them writing and producing tracks.

In the second half of year, SechsKies began to promote overseas. On August 23, SechsKies started their promotion in Taiwan and performed in Asia Super Concert on August 27.[19][20] In October, they went to Taiwan again because of good response in August.[21]

On November 30, 1999, SechsKies participated in the 1st Korea China Music Festival co-hosted by KBS and CCTV in Beijing, which was broadcast on CCTV.[22] On December 5, 1999, SechsKies also performed in the 2000 Peace Friendship Music Concert in Pyongyang, North Korea,[23][24] becoming one of the first South Korean dance groups to ever perform in North Korea.[25]

At the end of the year, SechsKies won several awards including the 14th Korea Visual and Records Grand Prize Award Bonsang, the 10th Seoul Music Awards Bonsang, Bonsang at the KMTV Korean Music Awards and KBS Music Awards, and the Best 10 Artist Awards at the MBC and the SBS Music Awards.

2000: Disbandment[edit]

On January 12, 2000, SechsKies had a 1000th day celebration party with their fans. On February 28, 2000, SechsKies' Seoul Concert was held in Olympic Gymnastics Arena ; tickets were reportedly sold out within a few hours. SechsKies members participated in directing the concert and performed self-composed songs.[26] A concert DVD was also released.

On May 18, 2000, SechsKies held a sudden press conference to officially announce their disbandment.[27] SechsKies's final performance was at the Dream Concert on May 20, 2000.[28] On May 31, 2000, their final release, Blue Note, a "Best Of" compilation, was released as the farewell album to fans. In August of that year, the members of SechsKies self-released one final track and music video titled "Thanks" for their fans, which was uploaded online.[29]

2016: Reunion[edit]

On April 14, 2016, SechsKies held an impromptu reunion concert at the Seoul World Cup Stadium, as a part of a special episode of the popular Korean variety show, Infinite Challenge Totoga season 2. Their dramatic reunion procedure was broadcast through the three consecutive episodes of Infinite Challenge. Except Ko Ji-yong who retired from entertainment industry, five members agreed with the staffs of the Infinite Challenge to perform at the reunion concert impromptu. One most important rule was to keep it secret until the day of the performance, which was originally planned to hold on April 7. However, the concert was cancelled since several media violated embargo and disclosed the day of the concert. On afternoon of the 14th, the day before the anniversary of SechsKies' debut, Infinite Challenge announced the pop-up reunion concert on Twitter.[30] Despite the short notice, approximately 6,000 fans gathered within a few hours to the stadium to attend the reunion concert of Sechskies. Numerous fans donated yellow raincoats to the audience and brought yellow balloons, symbols of Sechskies fans, to wear at the concert to support Sechskies.[31][32]

The most dramatic moment of the episode was when all six members showed up for the reunion concert. While there was wistful speculation among fans that one day the group would perform together, Ko Ji-yong's participation was always in question. Unlike the other members have been releasing their own solo albums and/or appearing on media, Ko Ji-yong left the entertainment industry completely and has been living as an entrepreneur in Korea after finishing study abroad. He also got married and had a son. Although the participation of Ko Ji-yong was in doubt, he was persuaded by the Infinite Challenge staffs and Yoo Jae Suk to appear at the reunion concert.[33] In the show, Ko Ji Yong wished that his participation in the reunion concert would be helpful for other members' career and for the fans who had been longing to see SechsKies for the past 16 years. Their impromptu concert was enormously successful and opened the 2nd heyday to Sechskies. After broadcasting of their episodes through the Infinite Challenge, numerous people were impressed by their dramatic story and energetic performances. New fans were added to the stable, long-awaited regathered old fandom, which was unexpected even to the Sechskies members.

On May 11, YG Entertainment officially announced that they signed on a contract with five members of Sechs Kies (Eun Jiwon, Lee Jaijin, Kim Jaeduck, Kang Sunghoon, and Jang Suwon). YG Entertainment also stated that they would welcome Ko Ji-yong to participate in the forthcoming album and concerts, even if the possibility is uncertain at the moment. What being notified is each member's solo albums and individual performances would be handled by management agencies of each, while the forthcoming SechsKies albums and all the activieis as a group will be supported and produced by YG Entertainment.[34] Later, Lee Jaijin and Kang Sunghoon had also signed on an individual contracts with YG Entertainment.[35] As there has been no contract defining profit distributions between Sech Kies and their previous agency, DSP, the contract procedure went smooth without trademark disputes, ironically becoming privileges to the members.[36]

SechsKies held their own concert on September 10 and 11 at the Olympic Gymnastics Arena and all 22,000 tickets for the concert were sold out within only 5 minutes.[37] On October 1, SechsKies appeared on a music show, Busan One Asia Festival Opening Ceremony, for the first time in 16 years. Approximately 6,000 fans flocked to Busan by more than 60 large buses to see them, which has shown the explosive popularity of SechsKies.[38]

On October 7, SechsKies released their new digital single "Three Words (세 단어)" after 16 years of hiatus, which was co-written and produced by Tablo of Epik High and Future Bounce. "Three Words" topped all 8 major music charts shortly after release, achieving so called all-kill status representing immense popularity in kpop. It was also ranked high in Asian music charts and global iTunes in Taiwan and stayed among the top tracks on iTunes charts in Hong Kong, Singapore, Malaysia, Thailand and others.[39] "Three Words" also topped Gaon Digital Chart, Download Chart and BGM Chart for the 1st week of October.[40] Significantly, the song also topped both Melon Daily Chart and Gaon Monthly Digital Chart, which is difficult record for the idol groups to achieve considering highly competitive nature of those charts. Sechskies and Big Bang are only two idol groups to break this record during the year of 2016.[41]

On November 23, YG announced that SechsKies' new album will be released on December 1, 2016. The new album "2016 Re-ALBUM" contains 10 past hit songs of SechsKies that were rearranged and remastered by YG producers, and is prepared a special gift for fans.[42] On December 1, SechsKies released "Re-ALBUM" after 16 years of hiatus. "Couple," "Chivalry," and "Heartbreak" are triple title tracks and the album includes "Three Words" as a hidden bonus track. The album topped Hanteo real time chart, daily chart and weekly chart for the 1st week of December.

SechsKies continued the Yellow Note concert tour on December 10 in Daegu and on December 24–25 in Busan. On October 31, all SechsKies tour concert seats for December were sold out within a few minutes.

On December 16, YG announced SechsKies is to hold a "Yellow Note Final in Seoul" concert on January 21 and 22 at the Jamsil Indoor Stadium.[43] On December 22, all 13,000 tickets were sold out within three minutes.

At the end of the year, SechsKies won several awards including Click! Star Wars Awards Hall of Fame, the 6th Gaon Chart Music Awards The Kpop Contribution of The Year, the 8th Melon Music Awards Hall of Fame, the 31st Golden Disc Awards Best Male Group Performance and the 26th Seoul Music Awards Bonsang.

2017: The 20th Anniversary[edit]

170504 SechsKies at Yeongdeungpo Fansign

On April 19, YG announced that SechsKies' new album "The 20th Anniversary" will be released on April 28, 2017. Along with the release of the album, two title tracks will be promoted are "Sad Song" and "Be Well".[44] The album topped the charts in Hong Kong, Malaysia, Taiwan, Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, Vietnam, Indonesia, Australia and United States. SECHSKIES’s album also topped Mnet, Bugs, Genie and Naver Chart. All the songs in the album made it to the top 100 on the Melon chart, which is remarkable and shows that SECHSKIES has a wide fan base. SechsKies album topped Gaon Chart and Hanteo real time chart, daily chart and weekly chart. "Be Well" also topped Gaon Digital Chart, Download Chart, BGM Chart and Mobile Chart for the 1st week of May. SechsKies held consecutive wins for the title track "Be Well" on MBC Music Core in May. They also won for the #1 spot on KBS Music Bank.[45][46][47]

On May 4, SechsKies held their first fansign event after 18 years at Time Square located in Yeongdeungpo-gu, Seoul. The venue was filled with more than 3,000 fans gathered to see them.[48]

On May 12, YG announced that SechsKies' will debuting in Japan after 20 years debut in Korea. SechsKies' album "The 20th Anniversary" Japan Edition will be released on July 19. YG announced SechsKies' will held their first Japan Fan Meeting at the Yokohama Bay Hall in Kanagawa on July 23 and at the Namba Hatch in Osaka on September 3.[49]

On June 9, YG announced SechsKies' will held their first Korea Fan Meeting since their reunion at the SK Olympic Handball Gymnasium in Seoul on July 15. On June 26, all tickets were sold out within one minutes.

Fan club[edit]

In the past, SechsKies' official fan club was called DSF (Dear SechsKies Friend) and the official fan club color was yellow since their creation. SechsKies fans used yellow balloons and yellow raincoats as main cheering tools.

Sechskies was named as ‘The Beginning of Idol Fandom Culture’. Sechskies’ fandom was the first to introduce the concept of using a specific color to represent their fandom identity, which led to the creation of goods like balloons and raincoats with their distinctive color.

On April 14, 2016, 16 years after disbandment, most of their fans brought yellow balloons and yellow raincoats for their reunion concert prepared by the TV program Infinite Challenge.

On August 18, 2016, SechsKies has announced their new fan club name "YellowKies" (Yellow Crystals) via V LIVE.[50] As SechsKies is called 'Jekki', YellowKies is also called 'YelKies' for short. Yellow balloons were substituted by the newly designed yellow light stick having symbolic figure of yellow balloons.

Controversy[edit]

SechsKies' disbandment was suddenly announced without clear explanations at the height of their career, resulting into widespread rumor that DSP media was deeply involved in the disbandment procedure. At Sechskies' last performance, SechsKies fans mistook the reporter Jo Young Goo's car as the car of Lee Ho-yeon, the CEO of DSP Entertainment, and destroyed it completely.[51] Jo Young Goo wouldn't want them punished, so didn't file a complaint. Lee Ho-yeon paid him 11 million won as a compensation on their behalf.[52][6]

Each member has talked about disbandment through various media channels several times. Lee Jai-jin stated that what SechsKies members wanted was to change their agency and not the disbandment at a Korean variety show in 2005.[53] Eun Ji-won, on the other hand, said that the members had decided it would be best to disband at the peak of their career.[54] In 2015, Kang Sunghoon mentioned that the members had agreed to disband at the peak of their career.[55] At the concert in 2015, Kang Sung-hoon stated that SechsKies seems to have left a strong impression for having disbanded at the top of their career. However, he also added that he had disliked the idea of disbandment as well.[56] Jang Su-won and Kim Jae-duck have also mentioned several reasons of disbandment .[57][58][59][60][61] They had an occasion to talk about the disbandment all together at the interview on October 17, 2016. Eun Ji-won stated that the disbandment was decided upon agreement by a majority of the members and Lee Jai-jin was one of the members that stood against the disbandment.[62]

There are strong suspicions that sales of albums were underreported in purpose of tax evasion. SechsKies' first and second albums are estimated to have sold millions copies but the physical sales of for their third album shrunk down to 400,000-500,000 copies, which does not seem to match with their growing popularity at the time. In August 2000, reporter Sangho Lee reported on several debatable issues of DSP Entertainment, including tax evasion, embezzlement, underpayment, and lack of written contracts, which was featured in the news series, "PD & Reporters' morning".[63] Reporter Sangho Lee also mentioned in his book, GObal News, that he was threatened by DSP before the news report was aired.[64] DSP said that the report was unfair and based upon unjustified allegations.[7]Afterwards, DSP was investigated by the police for those allegations.[65] The investigation ended after it was determined that the allegations were unfounded. But the National Tax Service conducted a tax audit of the corporation, and collected an additional hundreds of millions of won from it.[63][66]

Discography[edit]

  • 1997:School Byeolgok (학원별곡) (Album)
  • 1997:Welcome To The Sechskies Land (Album)
  • 1998:Ali Baba and the 40 Thieves Musical OST (Musical Album)
  • 1998:Road Fighter (Album)
  • 1998:Special Album (Album)
  • 1999:Sechskies Live Concert (Live Album)
  • 1999:1020 Mix (Compilation Album)
  • 1999:Com’Back (Album)
  • 2000:Blue Note (Compilation Album)
  • 2000:Thanks (Single)
  • 2016:2016 Re-ALBUM (Album)
  • 2017:The 20th Anniversary (Album)

Filmography[edit]

Film[edit]

Year Title
1998 Seventeen

Tours[edit]

Date Title City Country Venue Attendance
December 21, 1997 First Live Concert Seoul South Korea Sejong Center 19,000
February 22, 1998 Encore Concert Seoul South Korea Olympic Gymnastics Arena
February 28, 1998 Tour in Korea Busan South Korea KBS Hall 20,000
March 8, 1998 Ulsan KBS Hall
March 14, 1998 Gwangju Gudong Gymnasium
March 22, 1998 Bucheon Bucheon Gymnasium
March 28, 1998 Daegu Woobang Tower Land
April 5, 1998 Daejeon EXPO Art Hall
December 24, 1998 Christmas Concert Busan South Korea Busan Sajik Baseball Stadium 22,000
February 6, 1999 Ulsan Concert Ulsan South Korea KBS Hall
February 21, 1999 Daegu Concert Daegu South Korea Kyungpook National University
February 25, 1999 Seoul Concert Seoul South Korea KBS 88 Gymnasium 19,000
February 26, 1999
February 27, 1999
February 28, 2000 Seoul Concert Seoul South Korea Olympic Gymnastics Arena 11,000
September 10, 2016 Yellow Note Seoul South Korea Olympic Gymnastics Arena 50,000
September 11, 2016
December 10, 2016 Daegu Daegu EXCO
December 24, 2016 Busan BEXCO
December 25, 2016
January 21, 2017 Seoul Jamsil Indoor Stadium
January 22, 2017

Fan Meeting[edit]

Date Title City Country Venue Attendance
July 15, 2017 (Two shows) YellowKies Day Seoul South Korea SK Olympic Handball Gymnasium 20,000
July 23, 2017 (Two shows) Tokyo Japan Yokohama Bay Hall
September 3, 2017 (Two shows) Osaka Namba Hatch

Awards[edit]

Year Awards
1997
1998
1999
2016

Music Program wins[edit]