as one was my childhood. back before i even got into kpop at all, i was a little ten year old who couldn't stop listening to the tattered secondhand copy of day by day i'd gotten from my cousin. i had no idea what they were singing, or who they were, or why i liked the slow, soothing melodies; i just knew that i was listening to gorgeous harmonies and that if i'd had a bad day, their music would make it seem like everything was going to be okay.
these days, they're not too well known in english kpop communities, which is pretty much the reason i'm writing this post up (okay, i don't really want to study chemistry either). they actually do quite well on digital charts in korea, so i figured i'd try to get you all a little interested in them. i know their style isn't for everyone though; their charms are a lot calmer and more subtle than most of what's out there now. if you like sica's voice (snsd) or j.ae's singing style (formerly known as j) or byul's songs, then you might be more partial to as one's early days.
whatever i know i learned from google within the past year, since it took me until then to start looking them up. so, i'm sorry if i leave stuff out or get some facts wrong! unfortunately, a lot of their promoted songs aren't up on youtube, and i actually don't really know what they are since i only ever had their full albums. so a lot of their promoted songs are missing from this post :(
left: lee min, right: crystal chae
crystal chae (chae da hee)
born: april 29, 1980 in los angeles
graduated from: chatsworth high school
family: father, mother, older brother, older sister
hobbies: sports, i.e. swimming and basketball
lee min (lee min young)
born: december 15, 1978 in seoul
graduated from: fairfax high school
family: mother, brother
hobbies: dancing, sports, shopping, movies, music
to start off, they were both raised in los angeles. crystal was born in the states, and lee min young moved from korea when she was about 8 months old. apparently they were discovered when shin jae hong, a member of the r&b group solid, attended their church and heard them singing one day. one thing led to another, and they debuted in 1999 with 너만은 모르길 (my very shoddy korean wants me to think that means "for you to not know" but don't trust me on that) off their album day by day, released by rock records.
they followed that with day by day, 사랑+ (love+), and destiny's desire, all off the same album. (i have such a love/ hate relationship with destiny's desire, you don't even know. it's a gorgeous, gorgeous, gorgeous song, but let's just say i used to have a terrible habit of singing along to my favourite songs without paying attention to what i was singing. so embarrassing sometimes)
in 2000, they released an ep called one+one, containing songs from day by day as well as remixes and video clips. in 2001, their second album, 천만에요 (you're welcome) was released, off which they promoted 천만에요 (you're welcome), 원하고 원망하죠 (want and regret), and always.
2002 saw the releases of both their first live concert album, as well as caroling, a christmas-themed album, featuring songs like rocking around the christmas tree and last christmas.
in 2003, they released their third studio album, never too far, with the following songs promoted: mr. a-jo (one of the best songs ever), 미운 사람 (hateful person), and 행복한 날들 (happy days). soon after, their first greatest hits album, forever as one, was released, with several additional new songs.
restoration was released in 2004, with 위대한 유산 (great expectations?)... and probably more promoted, i just can't find them on youtube :X
after a whirlwind five years, they finally slowed down and took a break, before releasing 12 tears of farewell in 2006. notable songs off the album are 십이야 (12 nights) & only friends.
in 2007, their first single, five love stories that we know, was released. the whole thing is pretty darn gorgeous (let's see how many more times i'll abuse that word in this post), but 다시 내 곁으로 (beside me again) is what made me fall back in love with their music. around this time i think i was starting to get really pulled into kpop, and the combination of as one with son ho young was irresistible.
the double star mini album was released in 2008, and honest to geez you guys, kiss me is what turned me into a real stan. look at them. look at how cute they are. somehow i am thoroughly charmed by them doing cute. do i still prefer their old r&b/ ballads? yes. but this is what got me into them as artists vs. them as musicians. does that make sense? i'm kind of tired haha.
lucky for me, one of their most beautiful ballads to date was released in 2009-- 헤어져 (break up) off the artist collaboration album love tonic. i can't even tell you how this song was pretty much playing in the background for me 24/7 last year, because it was ridiculous. (i think i fell asleep listening to this song more than a few times.) everything from the melody, to that beautiful beautiful harmonization, to the simplicity of the actual composition, to how pretty much all my moods could be addressed with this song... tl;dr if you didn't listen to anything else or started skimming, at least listen to this.
aaaand earlier this year, drive (off the happieness 4 us 2nd) and sonnet (off as one season 1) were released. the colours are brighter, but it's a modern, lighter version of classic as one r&b! ♥ (plus, they've aged gorgeously, haven't they? yeah, scroll back up to their birthdates, now back down here, now back up... amazing innit. i'm going to grow up and be like them, i promise.)
aaand here are their ost songs and collaborations.
this one deserves to go first-- i'm sure almost everyone has heard wilbur pan's bu de bu ai, right? the original was actually korean, by a group called freestyle, and it was called please tell me y, featuring... as one ♥ ♥
그리고 그 후 with freestyle, also from their freestyle 1st single
cool running with soul dive, from their first album mad scientist & sweet monsters
꿈이라는 이름의 별 with house rulez, from their album star house city
is it love? with kim hyunchul, from his album ...그리고 김현철
미안해야 하는거니 from the delightful girl/ sassy girl chun hyang ost (♥)
zza zza la from the love & marriage ost (meh)
하얀 겨울 with alex (clazziquai) and bizniz from winter line
사랑할 수도 미워할 수도 from de la musique vol. 1
come on b.b. from the powerful opponents ost
lalala...love song from the world that they live in ost
사랑은 너 하나뿐 featuring zio & $howgun from the rival project: as one vs 2nb
my girl (두근두근 쿵쿵) from mc shingun's album love & hate pt.1 "my girl"
holiday with 2nb from the album holiday
too little too late with j.ae (formerly known as j) from the friends vol.1
white love story from the coffee prince ost
last but not least, other covers!! i'm not even going to pretend this list is complete lmao
right now, they're currently hosting the radio show k-popular on 101.3 tbs efm. i nicked this cut from someone's blog so you could all behold their gorgeous english! i highly recommend checking out their radio show if you ever get a chance. it airs 12pm-2pm in seoul (to convert that to your own timezone, use this converter).
in addition, they're close friends with j.ae, who also hosts her own show on the same station later on. they also seem pretty tight with the one way boys too :)
» their twitter
» wikis: english korean
» korean discography
» yesasia merchandise
» read their radio blog
» listen to their radio show-- it doesn't seem to work in chrome, but firefox & ie are okay.
» download their songs-- as always, i highly recommend buying their albums to support them. the purpose of these download links is to get y'all a little more interested in them! if you decide you like them, don't hesitate to pop over to yesasia or your local korean music store, hehe. a lot of their collaboration songs are still missing, but once i get some time to sort everything out i'll come back and reorganize these. :)
sources: last.fm, xiaoyi blogspot, twirlybox @ yt, seoulpower1965 @ yt, neosairen @ yt, balkorak @ yt, royamify @ yt, shyturtle @ yt, howstony @ yt, LockeDelacroix @ yt, lastchristmas @ yt, sadpixie @ yt, Rocko321 @ yt, johansunworld1 @ yt, BernardoCerqueira @ yt, jennnnchan @ yt, esrattos @ yt, fuzzy1260 @ yt, maypaymusic3 @ yt, BESTofASIAN @ yt, sheera88 @ yt, LEEMINJI87 @ yt, Eyoungpark @ yt, TVXQandSS501 @ yt, omfg why is this list so long, MrAriesmu @ yt, marshymallowski @ yt, imbestigador @ yt, koreanpride2 @ yt, isavee @ yt, KpopOST @ yt, Mr3child @ yt, krnxzephyr @ yt, makinouri @ yt, codelaoder @ yt, nanajm1 @ yt, tinoth @ yt, bayb33ang3l @ yt, uws @ yt, drummerchickie @ yt