[NEWS] 100509 ZE:A’s Hot! Debut Diary-ZE:A exists because of Moon Jun Young

How do popular TV and music stars become celebrities? What are the first steps into the entertainment industry taken by people who want to become famous? The public is interested not only in the success stories of public figures or celebrities but also the growth process that they endured. Asian Economic News “Star Hot Debut Diary Corner” is a series about new stars’ hot diaries about their pre-debut days and preparation to becoming the stars that they are today. The 9-member group, ZE:A (Children of Empire), who celebrated their 100th days after debut on April 24th, revealed their secrets.

Recently a hot topic of cable channel broadcasts and after a collection of events, the 9-member rookie group ZE:A did not look so spectacular in the days of their debut, already celebrated their 100th day after debut.

With their second mini album, they are looking for change and development. ZE:A’s current track, “All Day Long,” tells a story about new hopes for their dreams.

On that day, it was pouring heavily outside. From the inside of the Star Empire office, located in Mapo Hapjundong, the mighty battle cry of the nine member group ZE:A could be heard. “Hi! We’re Children of Empire!” They gave a loud greeting and the interview began. It began with a little awkwardness; however that quickly transformed into brightness due to their cheerful personalities.

Unlike the colorful and refined performances on stage appearances, today, ZE:A showed their innocence and let their stories unfold.

The nine joked around like kids, unknowingly, each one showing their charm and appealing to our hearts.

Moon Jun Young, leader of ZE:A, declares, “How should we explain how ZE:A first created?”

Jun Young began his story about the moment when they first met. “I believe we are uniquely fated to meet, like destiny. I first met Kwanghee at a uniform model meeting, and we became friends. At that time I was a trainee in another company. I left that company to joined Star Empire as a trainee with Kwanghee and Taehun. It was the opening of a new beginning.”

Minwoo and maknae Dongjoon opened their mouths, responding “Junyoung hyung was the one who chose me. He saw my UCC dancing video and called me at 2AM. He said ‘I like your dancing image,’ and told me to sing a song. It was in the quiet morning and my whole family was sleeping, so I couldn’t sing. The following day I went to the audition and passed it.”

“Minwoo wasn’t the only one. Kevin hyung came back from Australia and Kwanghee hyung was brought back to the company, all thanks to Junyoung hyung. We all had strength to actually debut because Junyoung hyung. ZE:A exists because of him” (smiles and laughs)

All of the members have faith in Junyoung and regard him as the “heart of ZE:A.”

Junyoung lead the member before and after their debut, in joyous times and hardships, he has always been the strong support system for the other members. When the other members talked about Junyoung, their eyes filled with pride and affection.

Junyoung went back to talking about those days again. “Since our boss was not interested in creating an idol group, we didn’t know when we were to going to debut, whether as a group or solo.”

Because Junyoung gathered all the members and they might have a chance of debuting, they were positive about their expectations.

“Like dancer Minwoo, I call Kevin our ‘Foreign Vocal.’ I made my first international call to Australia, and persuaded him to come to Korea. At the time, I thought Kevin couldn’t or wouldn’t return to Korea. Then one day, when I was eating with the other members on the first floor (of Star Empire), Kevin walked in, saying ‘Hello.’ It was like a dream, the tears just fell down.”

Hyungsik recalls Kevin from that time: “Kevin hyung is really cool, tells funny jokes and speaks Korean well., but at first we thought he was like a person from rural Australia. Back then Dongjoon and I never saw Kevin hyung, but we had this illusion about him as ‘Kevin is from Australia and sings well.’ Junyoung hyung was so happy to see him that he cried. We wanted to become just like this cool, legendary Kevin.”

Hyungsik joked about Kevin’s first impressions, how he thought Dongjoon was a Brazilian soccer player and how Heechul’s strong eyes caught his attention. The other members’ first impression immediately followed.

ZE:A spent from two to five years of their time as trainees. Finally, all nine members gathered. Altogether they said, “If we live or die, we worked extremely hard.”

TRANSLATOR: pixie_noona91 @ Royal 9


  1. hi!!!
    my name is dyas,,
    and i really happy to meet another ZE:A’s fan here ^^

    from your article, i’m agree if junyoung is called ‘the heart of ZE:A’,,
    he’s really make ZE:A not only a group but also a family,,
    and i’m proud to be his fan,, hehe,,

    • Hi dyas ^^ Yeah I am too <33333 I love moonlight ^^ He shines every where he goes ^^

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