The Dreamers, UNB
The story of UNB is one of determination, heartbreak, and renewal.
UNB, short for “You & Boy,” is the nine-member group that was formed by popular vote on KBS’s “idol rebooting program” television show, The Unit. The concept of the program was to create a nine-member boy group and a nine-member girl group composed entirely of already-debuted idols. The 126 idols who applied for the program were typically from smaller companies and were desperate to gain recognition not only for themselves, but also their groups, in order to become successful. With their debut mini-album release on April 7, UNB is the first to debut of the two winning groups, with their sister group UNI.T gearing up for their own debut this month too.
The entire point of The Unit was to shine a light on artists who may not have gotten the attention that they deserve. For some participants, their groups had already disbanded. Viewers tuned in every week to watch the idols overcome countless struggles and over time became closer to them. The nine idols of UNB are: Jun (U-KISS), Eujin (Bigflo), Go Hojeong (HOTSHOT), Feeldog (BIGSTAR), Marco (H.B.Y), Ji Hansol (NewKidd), Daewon (Madtown), Kijung (IM), and Chan (A.C.E).
With UNB, the members get their chance to start again, but just for a short time. Similar to groups I.O.I and Wanna One of the popular trainee program Produce 101, UNB has plans to disband at the end of this year so that they can return to their groups or go on to solo activities. For now, the group’s main focus is on their debut and their upcoming overseas tour this month which will take them to Thailand, Singapore, Japan, Hong Kong, and China.
The group’s mini-album, Boyhood, was released with two title tracks: “Feeling” and “Only You.” While “Feeling” allows UNB to present a cool, mature image, “Only You” is the song that goes straight for every listener’s heart.
The first title song, "Feeling,” is a call to K-Pop fans around the world to listen up, because UNB is here to be everyone’s new favorite.
The song’s lyrics are about “waking up” the listeners sleeping senses and in return, their hearts will be stolen by UNB and their charms. In return, the members hearts will be full of love for their new fans and they will provide for them. “Feeling” is a mixture of EDM and R&B sounds that work incredibly well together; the song opens with a refreshing piano intro that quickly builds into an energetic, powerful EDM chorus that highlights the group’s talented vocalists.
Of the two title tracks, “Feeling” is the only one that currently has a music video. It heavily deals with the idea of being born again with new opportunities, similar to the concept of surviving to debut in UNB. It opens by showing the members all scattered, lost, and soulless; it’s almost as if they are ready to give up. There is a break in the middle of the video where a quote from French author André Gide is show, and from it, the members are rejuvenated: “may your vision be every new moment; the wise man is he who constantly wonders afresh.”The members quickly unite together and are finally seen smiling and laughing; now, they’re having fun. It’s a music video that is heavy in meaning and juxtaposed well with beautiful imagery. The members fit the mature, cool concept and their strong choreography is impressive, but the story is what sticks with the viewer.
“Only You” is the song that, once its meaning has been discovered, could make listeners tear up. Musically, “Only You” is a dreamy, ambient, EDM song that blooms into an emotional chorus. While the melody is beautiful, the real hook of “Only You” is the lyrics; they’re the words the members wished to say to their fans who have supported them in their original groups, on The Unit, and now as UNB.
It is a painfully pure and heartbreaking track, with lyrics: “My life was extinguishing but you were the candle / I engraved those words in my heart / waiting for the day when I could smile again / I’m running toward you / I was standing still and you blew over to me / From now on, the flower blooming spring days become the path for you and me / I’m so thankful / Now, I’ll hold onto you / You’re my only one.”
Listening to each member confess these feelings and their struggles one by one is so heartbreaking; it makes the listener want to comfort them instantly. Before UNB, these were idols who were so desperate to succeed as an idol that they felt like giving up. However, their fans kept them afloat through all of their struggles, and now they finally feel like they can properly repay them with this track. Where once they felt lost, now as part of UNB, the members can be hopeful for the future.
The members of UNB have worked extremely hard and have gone through many struggles to be standing together as this group today. Most importantly, they continued to believe in their dreams even when they seemed to be slipping out of their grasp. As UNB, those dreams are reignited and the future is bright once again.