UNIQ is a Korean-Chinese boy band created to cash in on the growing hallyu wave in China. You may not have heard of them yet, but they have some seriously impressive credentials behind them.
The boys trained at YG Entertainment for four years (surprising considering what great dancers they are) before moving over to Starship Entertainment, home of SISTAR and K.Will. Over in China they’re signed to the same big hallyu agency as ex-Super Junior star Han Geng, while hitmaker Shin Hyuk (who was behind Oh My Girl’s spectacular “Cupid” and a string of SM tunes) is one of their main producers.
Last week, they released their first mini-album, EOEO. The title track is formulaic trend-chasing boy band hip-hop that’s somewhere between being enjoyable and completely forgettable, but the b-side, “Listen To Me,” is fucking fantastic.
It opens with all the whizzes and wub wubs of any overproduced dubstep tune, then builds like it’s about to explode into an ugly electro hook. Suddenly, it does the unexpected: “Listen To Me” soars into a florescent chorus of glittering disco and dance-pop. It’s so lush, how could it not be selected as the lead single?
Listen to your heart, and your music
Just trap me inside
It’s my favorite part of music
I want you to hear it
One step I can’t take my eyes off of you
Two step this is love unknown
The fact that it was co-produced by American hip-hop producer Fingazz –who contributed to one of my favorite Western pop albums of the past five years, Heidi Montag’s artificial extravaganza Superficial— only makes me love it even more.
UNIQ have already used “Listen To Me” as part of their double comeback stage on Show Champion, and the Chinese version of the track got performed in full at a recent awards show in Beijing, so maybe it’s being promoted as their Chinese single while “EOEO” is for Korea.
Hopefully it gets some more exposure because it’s my new fave boy band song (aside from the entire new BTS album, which is incredible!).
Check it out below.