[B.A.P Hot Debut Story] Bang Yongguk① “They thought I was a mute because I couldn’t speak till I was 5..”
“How did the celebrities inside our televisions become a star?”
With the outlooks on the entertainment industry rising one step higher, we as the public aren’t just curious about their glamorous images, but their back stories before they became celebrities as well.
We have prepared the column “star story” in our publishing which not only tells a truthful side to stars, but their past that brought them to where they are today. This episode’s protagonist is Bang Yongguk who has stepped forth into the music industry with his strong charisma as the leader of the six-member group B.A.P.
Bang Yongguk greeted us brightly on a day in April filled with a spring atmosphere when we met him in his company. Because we’ve met him before during the days when he promoted in a duet with Secret’s Song Jieun with “Going Crazy,” we were able to interview him in a comfortable state.
We weren’t able to find the image of him shaking from nervousness before his first stage just a year ago as he exuded a confidence that was leader-like of him since he’s currently the leader of the idol group B.A.P.
“Hello, this is Bang Yongguk. I’m already nervous in telling our fans my story haha. What should I start with? Since I was born? Then I should talk about the precognitive dream my parents had before they had me. Hold on, let me call my mother haha.”
How does Bang Yongguk treat his mother? We thought that he would throw away his confidence that he carries as a leader of a team in showing aegyo to his mother but with not even much seconds passing by, those expectations were completely proven wrongly. He spoke to his mother on the phone with his normal deep voice which gave us the sense that he was a cold son.
“I was born in a hospital in Incheon on March 31st, 1990. I’m the youngest out of two sons and one daughter in our family. When my mother was pregnant with me, she said she had a precognitive dream about me and said that there was a really high sluice that gated the ocean and when the sluice opened, the ocean water seeped through and there were only silver-gleaming sand left but in it were two clams. For the fans who caught on early might know that I have an identical twin. Of course, my older twin brother and I both look alike and the way we talk is alike as well.”
And that’s how Bang Yongguk saw the light in the world with his older twin brother as they spent their adolescent days together. Right now, he’s currently showing off the nation’s greatest rap skills but from what we’re told, he learned how to speak much later than other kids.
“I learned how to speak really late. I couldn’t speak till I was 5 so my family thought I was mute. Because of how I was, there were a lot of people who were deeply concerned about me and I played a lot during my younger days, I was also a kid who received a lot of awards when I was in kindergarten. I received a lot of awards in competitions like children’s arts or math competitions. My older brother always placed 1st and I was always 2nd though.”
However, he didn’t have many memories of his younger days as he confessed that it was due to his parents both working to earn a living for their family.
“Because both of my parents were working in Seoul to provide income for our family, I spent majority of my adolescent days at my grandfather’s house. Even for school arts festivals, my parents never came and at the time, I was upset since I was younger but my grandmother always did. I remember being embarrassed when she did since all the other kids had younger moms and I remember being jealous of them (laughs). But because I’ve always had a strong set of pride since I was younger, I never showed these kinds of emotions to my parents and instead would say that things were better this way haha.”
In a way, this may sound like a depressing story but the smile never left Bang Yongguk’s face when he told us this.
“I used to really like sports when I entered elementary school. I liked all types of sports. In third grade, I was recommended by my coach to sign up for little league baseball since I liked sports and in 6th grade, I started soccer but because I caught the eyes of a recruiter from a different elementary, I even went to practice at a different soccer team in another school. Also, I entered a basketball team without my parents knowing in which I even advanced to the National Sports Festival. Back then, the anticipation of my surroundings were high and some even believed I’d become an amazing athlete. However, I wasn’t able to achieve that due to my parents being against it.”
Bang Yongguk continues to tell us that he’s interested in sports even to this day and because of various circumstances now, he enjoys watching it more.
“When I was younger, I had no toys to play with. I don’t hold the personality to make a lot of friends so at home, I only had my older brother and we’d find things for us to do together. Back then, we didn’t have proper equipment either so we’d use a broom as a bat and a cloth doll in replacement as a ball. That’s how we had fun playing and when I started elementary school, I started to get the hang of fitting myself around people when I started sports and my personaliy changed to a brighter one.”
And that’s how Bang Yongguk spent his elementary school days and when he moved onto middle school, he started adjusting to a new environment when he moved up to Seoul where his parents lived.
<B.A.P Star Story – Bang Yongguk② will be released on May 1st>