Have You Heard Of: KUN

SBS PopAsia HQ

Actor, singer, producer… there's a lot to know about this Chinese performer

C-pop fans are probably very familiar with KUN aka Cai Xukun, but if you’re looking for a new Chinese idol to love who’s making music that melds hip-hop and EDM pop, we’ve got the perfect guy for you.

From starting his career as an actor in 2012, through to him becoming a trainee on Idol Producer and debuting as the leader and centre of NINE PERCENT, the idol has been busy for years, and his music is getting more popular as time goes on.

Here’s some fun things you should know about KUN.

He’s been in two idol groups

The first was SWIN, managed under Yihai Entertainment Company. The group was formed out of a reality show, Super Idol, which was produced in China, in partnership with South Korea’s MBC network. KUN received intense training and ended up in the top three contestants.

SWIN debuted but faced managerial issues and as their popularity faded, KUN left the group.

Later he’d partake in Idol Producer and come out in first place, debuting with the group NINE PERCENT.

He composes his own music

When KUN appeared on Idol Producer as an independent trainee, he performed a song he’d composed and produced himself – a bold move for a contestant in front of professional judges. He’s continued to make his own music as a solo artist with tracks like “Wait Wait Wait” and his EP 1.

And he’s topping the charts with that music

KUN may only be 21-years-old but he’s made a huge impact on the Chinese music charts. His song “Pull Up” held the top spot on Billboard’s China V chart for eight consecutive weeks.

If you doubt his popularity, he boasts over 22 million followers on Weibo and back when he was on Idol Producer, he garnered over 47 million votes. For perspective, the final episode got 100 million votes in total.

He’s an ambassador for many things

KUN was made a China and Jamaica Goodwill Ambassador by the Jamaican Embassy in Shanghai in 2019. He’s also a goodwill ambassador for the China Foundation for Poverty Alleviation.

There’s also all his brand deals, like with skincare line YOSEIDO, L’OREAL PARIS, smartphone company Vivo, haircare brand Aussie and denim fashion brand Levis. He was also made an ambassador for Prada, starring in their 2019 Fall/Winter campaign.

He’s making music in Chinese and English

KUN’s got his sights set on international domination if his releases are anything to go by. He’s said in interviews that he studied in California back in 2013, and that it deepened his appreciation for American music.

Now his recent releases, like “Wait Wait Wait” and “Hard To Get” are sung in English and meld R&B, EDM and pop. Plus he’s been working with international directors like USA’s Dave Meyers for music videos.

We bet we’ve convinced you to check out KUN’s music!


 

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