F.T. Island Profile
F.T. Island is a five member kpop rock band under FNC Entertainment. The band name “F.T. Island” comes from “Five Treasure Island” which basically states the five members in the band have their own unique talent. The group debuted on June 7, 2007 with their first full length studio album “Cheerful Sensibility”. F.T. Island can be idolized as the new generation rock group. They were without a doubt, the most popular kpop rock group until their label-mate CNBLUEdebuted. The group also has a sub-unit called “F.T. Triple”, a unit with three of the five members from the band.
The official fan club of F.T. Island is called “primadonna”, which is Italian for “first lady”. It’s also in relation with music as prima donna means the lead singer in an opera company. The fans’ meaning of primadonna is that the fans are F.T. Island’s “first lady”, or that the fans have been there for F.T. Island since the beginning.
F.T. ISLAND Members
F.T. ISLAND Discography
F.T. ISLAND History
2007: Debut in Korea with Cheerful Sensibility
The group first showed their faces through the Mnet cable channel show “Wanna Be My Girlfriend?” and held a showcase concert on May 27, 2007. After gaining positive feedback, F.T. Island released their debut album “Cheerful Sensibility” on June 7, 2007 and also made their national TV debut on M!Countdown on the same day with the song “Love Sick”. Love Sick was awarded first place for three consecutive weeks and the album sold over 80,000 copies. Towards the end of the year, F.T. Island was awarded the “Rookie of the Year” award at the 2007 Golden Disk Awards. F.T. Island had become the first “idol” kpop rock group that became successful. There was a previous attempt by S.M. Entertainment with TRAX but to no avail. By forming an “idol” rock/ballad group, FNC Entertainment became the dominant force in the genre.
2008: Debut in Japan with Prologue of F.T. Island and Colorful Sensibility in Korea
In early 2008, the band went on a small tour around Asia, from Malaysia to Thailand. The showcase concerts held were just promotional activities to spread F.T Island’s music in the other Asian countries.
F.T. Island debuted in Japan on June 7, 2008, exactly one year after their debut in Korea. The debut album was titled “Prologue of F.T. Island” and contained 8 tracks. The band promoted the album with the track “Soyogi”. The album seemed to have failed because it did not rank well on the charts. Although the band was unsuccessful in the beginning, kpop would eventually set in Japan later on and help with their future activities.
Colorful Sensibility was released on August 27, 2008 as F.T. Island’s second studio album. The name transition from Cheerful Sensibility to Colorful Sensibility meant that the band would provide a variety of colors with their music. Within a year, F.T. Island had improved and had their own distinct style in kpop rock music. Their first EP album, “Colorful Sensibility Part 2″, was released shortly after on October 17, 2008.
F.T. Island tried their luck again in Japan, but under an indie label this time around. They released a single titled “The One” and due to the commercial aspects of the single, the song reached ninth place on the Oricon Daily charts. Through a simple switch in market strategy, F.T. Island was able to rank on the charts. It was then that FNC Entertainment realized they need a Japanese label in order to spread music in Japan.
2009: Member Replacement, More Activities
It was announced on January 28, 2009 that member Oh WonBin would leave the band. Luckily FNC Entertainment had a trainee named Song SeungHyun who could replace Oh WonBin’s parts and do more. Even with the change in member lineup, F.T. Island moved forward and promoted their new EP album “Jump Up” with the title song “Bad Woman”. Their first EP album, Jump Up, was released on February 11, 2009. The EP album was, in a way, proof that F.T. Island had grown up in terms of the new line-up, and skills and experience gained from activities in both Korea and Japan.
F.T. Island went to Japan once again on April 22, 2009. This time, it was for the release of their second single “I believe Myself”. The band toured around that summer for the promotion of their music and their new single. F.T. Island also toured around Asia, performing in Singapore, Thailand, Taiwan, etc.
The third studio album “Cross & Change” was released on July 16, 2009. The promotions for the F.T Island Cross & Change album were teaser videos and a jacket photo for the album. The album concept sent the band back in the 80′s in Korea where retro was the highlight of the music industry. Cross & Change is an album with a wide range of music styles and melodies, from pop, rock, ballad and even retro.
Their next and third Japanese single was released on October 21, 2009. The music and the music video for the title track was special because it featured Choi JongHoon playing a piano instead of a guitar. This action was favored by many fans as they got to see a more mellow and sensitive side of the band’s leader.
Before the formation of F.T. Triple, the three-member sub-unit with Choi JongHoon, Choi MinHwan and Lee JaeJin, the main vocalist of the group Lee HongKi was casted for the hit Korean drama “You’re Beautiful”. The drama also featured label-mate CNBLUE’s Jung YongHwa. FNC Entertainment set out to prove the three members’ abilities and F.T. Triple was formed.
2010: Signing with Warner Music Japan, Continued Success
The band became very popular as the drama “You’re Beautiful” aired. Lee HongKi became a star all throughout Asia. FNC Entertainment grabbed the opportunity and proceeded to tour F.T. Island around Asia, holding concerts in Japan, Thailand, Taiwan, HongKong, Phillippines, and Singapore. The tickets sold out almost immediately and the concerts were held in January and February, 2010.
F.T. Island proved their success with their track record in the music industry. Warner Music Japan recognized their popularity and signed them. F.T. Island made their major debut on May 19, 2010 with their major single “Flower Rock”. The single placed third on the Oricon Daily charts. Their rising popularity in Japan earned them concerts in five cities around Japan as well as a spot at the international rock festival held in Osaka, Japan.
The band once again returned to Korea. A new EP album was coming out on August 25, 2010. It was titled “Beautiful Journey” which indicated that F.T. Island enjoyed their career and viewed it as a positive journey. The title song “Love Love Love” topped various charts in Korea and around Asia. It was becoming obvious by this point that the members of F.T. Island were becoming better at composing music.
The switch from Korea to Japan continued as F.T. Island released another single titled “So Today…” later that year. The single placed sixth on the Oricon Daily chart, making it yet another single ranking in the top 10 placement on the Oricon charts. By this time, all of F.T. Island’s singles had placed in the top 10 and showed the rising success and popularity of F.T. Island in Japan. Fans especially saw this as a monumental event for the band.
Another proof of the band’s success was the concert held in Taiwan on Christmas. With over 100,000 albums sold over a mere 10 months, F.T. Island performed in front of 9,000 fans, making them the first Korean rock band to hold a large concert in Taiwan. They also broke records in Taiwan with over half million downloads on mobile content and over 10 million downloads on music content. The highlight of the concert was the featuring of the band’s former member Oh WonBin holding his new single as a solo artist. The showcase of Oh WonBin proved that the current members and the old were still friends and held no grudges.
2011: Japan and Korea Once Again
By this time, it was no surprise that the band would go from Japan and Korea month-to-month.
F.T. Island’s 4th Japanese single “Satisfaction” was released on April 20, 2011. The title track of the album, “Satisfaction”, was featured as the ending theme song for the anime series “Toriko” and became popular through diverse crowds. The single reached second place on the Oricon Weekly charts.
Just a month later on May 18, F.T. Island launched their major debut album in Japan. The album featured many of the hit singles they previous released in Japan as well as OSTs. This album that placed first on the Oricon Album Daily chart was titled “Five Treasure Island”. For the first time, F.T. Island placed on top of the charts. Five Treasure Island sold over 20,000 copies on the release day and held an event to celebrate the event. The event turned out to gather over 5,000 fans.
F.T. Island returned with “Return”, an EP album signifying the come-back of the the band after almost a year away from Korea. Return was released on May 24 with “Hello Hello” as the title track and contained four other original tracks; making the it a jam packed 5-track long EP album.
2012: Grown-Up, America and Japan
F.T. Island released the fourth Korean EP album “GROWN-UP” along with the music video for “Severely” on January 31, 2012. With a title like “GROWN-UP”, the album featured a more mature outlook by the band. Overall, the album contains slow-tempo and mellow tunes rather than the previous bright pop rock F.T. Island performed. By February 9, the album had sold over 50,000 copies and was sold out. FNC Entertainment also gave their praises to the “monumental sales” made.
The band set foot in America with CNBLUE. Their first American concert was held at the Nokia Theater in Los Angeles on March 9, 2012. The venue is famous for the previous concerts held by celebrities such as Lady GaGa and Kelly Clarkson.
With the gain of steady recognition in Japan, F.T. Island was asked to sing the opening music for a new animation “Ozuma”. The song is titled “Neverland” and Ozuma started broadcasting its first episode on March 16.