In the world of K-pop, second chances can be a rare phenomenon due to the growing number of artists with similar ambitions. So as any group is faced with dissolution, it requires indescribable adaptability to pick up the pieces and move forward in this unpredictable industry.
For the 11-member boyband OMEGA X, that exact obstacle acted as a bonding experience before joining forces – molding what can be a devastating occurrence into an empowering source of unity for each tested artist, clearly destined to become a brotherhood. And even when faced with immense levels of hardship together, OMEGA X has consistently risen to the occasion and proven that when fully united, they’re officially impervious to anything that stands in their way. Because, after breaking free from all outside influences and finally establishing their own terms (by conquering a battle against behind-the-scenes forces) the future is looking brighter than ever for the equally talented, and delightful members of OMEGA X.
Though more recently, it’s the group’s own gentlehearted members JAEHAN and YECHAN who were the first to take the next step in effectively spreading their wings creatively, having now embarked on a fulfilling detour to pursue a path leading from music to acting (and courtesy of an OST, both simultaneously). In fact, the duo not only conquered the two lead roles of a now-finished web series (A Shoulder To Cry On) but dually marked their entry into a new fast-paced sphere of the entertainment world – earning rave reviews, new fans, the chance to record music together, and the opportunity to depict organic collaborative chemistry that the world didn’t even realize it so desperately needed.
With their charming, inclusive series behind them and the recent phoenix-like resurgence of OMEGA X channeled into the inviting single “Dream,” we spoke with the modern-day power duo JAEHAN and YECHAN who are prepared to make an impression across every angle of the industry in their sight. But honestly, what can’t these two achieve together?
It feels fair to say that you’re completely natural additions to this industry. You’re immensely talented and adaptable singers, you can act, and there’s just endless potential that suggests you’re destined for bountiful careers! Which medium did you find yourself drawn to first, and at what point in life did it occur to you that you’d like the chance to pursue both?
JAEHAN: I was 14 years old when I thought I should start doing music. I enjoyed singing before then, and I started pursuing my dream as I participated in music festivals and school festivals and sang in bands when I was in middle school. I think it was around the same time that I thought I wanted to try acting. However, I never got a chance to actually try it. When I was 15, I went to a camp that specialized in theater. That’s when I began to really love acting and to dream of myself acting sometime in the future.
YECHAN: First of all, thank you for the compliments. I developed a love for music as a trainee, and later developed an interest in acting. When I was young, my father used to ask me if I wanted to try acting so I always thought I should give it a go someday. Being starred in “A Shoulder to Cry On” was definitely when I grew my love for acting.
Regarding acting, your debut drama A Shoulder to Cry On has earned rave reviews from viewers, and a lot of fans are saying it’s their new favorite series! How did you first react to the role when you were presented with it — and did it make it easier to have that familiarity with a bandmate going into this?
JAEHAN: When I first auditioned for the drama, I was the only one among the other members that auditioned for the role of Da Yeol. I really resonated with the way Da Yeol was maturing throughout the drama, so I really wanted to play that role. And though it was my first time acting, doing it with YECHAN allowed me to be more relaxed during the process.
YECHAN: I thought there were a lot of similarities between Tae Hyun and me as I played that role. As I filmed the drama, I constantly thought about the things I was good at and things I liked to do. Honestly, that entire process was very confusing as it was filled with different questions and thoughts. The fact that what can be seen from the outside is different from what’s inside was another aspect that I found to be similar between Tae Hyun and me. This led me to believe that if I were able to portray such conditions well, I would be somewhat successful at playing the role of Tae Hyun. Also, as this was my first time acting, I was very nervous, but the fact that JAEHAN was there with me all the time and that we had a lot of time to practice did help me out a lot. I’m really happy now that the drama has been released, and that we received much more love than I have anticipated.
It also touched a lot of hearts due to your inclusive and sincere representation of romance, which is a very respectable use of your platform as entertainers. When you walked away from this experience, what do you think were your biggest accomplishments?
JAEHAN: I want to compliment myself for taking my first steps as an actor, which is a different career challenge from a singer. I want to continue challenging myself to do something new.
YECHAN: I think the biggest accomplishment is the fact that the name “Forest” is given to the fans of A Shoulder to Cry On. The name was revealed in a live commentary, and thanks to all the people that liked it, even more contents are being additionally produced. This makes me want to become a better actor in the future.
This is just the beginning of your careers as actors so in the spirit of manifestation — is there a specific role or type of character that you aspire to play in the future?
JAEHAN: There are so many options, but honestly, I want to try playing any character. Since I just started my acting career, I want to gain as much experience as possible.
YECHAN: I would love to play the role of an antagonist in the future. Someone that is not just evil, but bad with a conviction. I also think the role of a student maturing also sounds intriguing.
Going into music, there’s just so much to admire. OMEGA X is such a force of nature, and your abilities as musicians and performers are incredible. Do you currently find yourself thinking about what the next step in music could entail, and if so, what can fans look forward to when the timing does feel right?
JAEHAN: I want to make music that expresses me better than I do now. I’m still doing what I can to show myself to the world, but I do contemplate a lot about what it means to be truly myself. I’m confident that my music will continue to grow.
YECHAN: Among the worries mentioned in my answer to the second question were also concerns about music. Now I know a lot about the music I want to do and like. I am a huge fan of Keshi and Lany, and their music is very refined and unique. I want my music, and OMEGA X’s music, to be unique and one-of-a-kind. I also love the energy that we exchange with our fans on stage, so I would love to put on more performances anywhere around the world.
You also dropped an OST for the series which offered you the chance to collaborate as a duo too! If you were both going to ever try something in the future that’s completely original and organic to your chemistry as a pair, what would its ideal sound or vibe be comparable to?
JAEHAN: I’ve always wanted to become a singer that other people can relate to. I feel like I still need to work on my music a lot more. There is no right and wrong to music, so I would need to continue studying and working hard.
YECHAN: I never really thought about being a duo with JAEHAN before! When I make music with JAEHAN, I try to do something new every time, and I think it was the easiest for us to write songs that are somewhat sorrowful yet refreshing. I think we would be able to really show our chemistry if we perform that kind of music on stage.
It’s also important to discuss the relationship you have with your fans because I think it’s clear that you have so much love and support on your side, with people rooting for you every step of the way. Us included! As you embark on this new journey in your career, what’s the most important thing you want your fans to know?
JAEHAN: I wish our fans, FOR X, to be always happy. I know there will be days when things are rough, but I still want to share those days with my fans. I want to live my life to the fullest, and I want us to grow together and support each other on the way. I want to become a person who is never ashamed of anything, and it’s for the fans who always give me infinite love and trust.
YECHAN: Recently I had a chance to watch videos of fans cheering us on. I couldn’t hold back my tears as soon as I watched those videos… As we had to take a break for more than half a year without being able to share what was going on with the fans, I became very skeptical about myself and my career. But watching the fans made me regain that very purpose. If I can provide them with even a little bit of joy or comfort in their lives, it would be worthwhile. I will do my best by putting all the energy that I have saved up during the hiatus into everything that I do, and I wish to share happiness with my fans by giving back love to them in my own way.
Last, but not least, we wanted to highlight the fact that you’re making a huge impact on the current landscape of the industry. You’ve already created your own second chance, you’ve proven to be a true brotherhood, and in the process, inspire countless positive changes that won’t go unnoticed. What’s one piece of advice you might be able to offer young artists who are preparing to start their careers?
JAEHAN: I want to convey a cheering message as a fellow colleague: ‘Let’s all be happy!’
YECHAN: I still lack a lot both as a singer and an actor, but I think what matters the most is the relationship you have with the members of your group. I think life is like a race where you keep running without knowing what will happen next. Your members are the ones that you are running with you in that race. When the world gives you lemons, you can overcome them together with the members by making jokes or having serious conversations. Also, I want them to fully absorb the sincere support and love sent by the fans. Be loved by people around you, and share love with them.