The second member I would introduce is Seong Jeong, a singer who is famous for the video below. It's a video in which, before he was famous, Seong Jeong was busking on the streets singing "No Matter Where" by ISU (from MC the Max). But, why is this video so famous? Well, while Seong Jeong was singing, all of a sudden the real ISU himself walked into the streets out of the blue and started singing with him! This serendipitous video went viral among the K-netizens, and it also spread quickly by word of mouth. Seong Jeong is noted not only for his incredible singing but also for his professional ability which kept him calm even during ISU's appearance. The perfect harmony completed the magical moment of the two, allowing them to perform the song all the way to the end!
In addition to this video with ISU, Seong Jeong also made an appearance on the final episode of 'I Can See Your Voice 4' as 'Hanlim Multi Art School's legendary vocal'. On the episode, it was revealed that Seong Jeong had once suffered from esophageal atresia, a medical complication in his esophagus. Despite the hardships he had still chosen the path to become a singer, performing and making appearances in these music shows in order to find a suitable route.
To introduce the third and final member, it is now time for Byeong Jeong! This member is also famous for a television appearance pre-debut, through MBC's music variety show 'Duet Song Festival' in May 2017. He sang a different interpretation of Girls' Generation's "Party" with the singer Jung In. This performance is well-known for its acoustic rendition, a drastic change from the original version. Judge for yourself whether you enjoy this cover!
So, now that you are aware of each member's shining pre-debut history, let's speak a bit about the group itself. The trio is currently under the nest of HF Music Company, home to idols such as Woo Jin Young, Cho Yong Geun, and Park Woo Dam who are famous from their appearances on 'Mix Nine' and 'Produce 101'. Formerly, the company also worked with Phantom's ex-member Sanchez and produced girl groups such as Dal Shabet and Dream Catcher (who are still active under the label). The company's music production was mostly run and engineered by producer E-Tribe, the songwriter of Girls' Generation's hit single "Gee".
Currently, with Woohee in Uni.T and Woo Jin Young getting ready to debut through 'Mix Nine', the company probably has a handful of work to do, especially in terms of future planning and artist management. Given the circumstances, it was a surprise even to find out that the company had decided to debut this (rather random) ballad-based group. We would never know what really triggered the three of them to be united into one, but it could have been a long-term project for all we know.
Their ages are perfect, too; all three of them were born in the year 1997, earning them the group name 'Class Mate' (like three boys in the same year, same class). Their debut track was a ballad track called "My Star", and second digital single "Miracle", and finally the most recent, "Feel Good". "Feel Good" is my personal favorite, and as recommended by Ren with the caption (grabbed from the lyrics) "I start my day with a fluttering heart", this funky acid-jazz style number definitely shook my soul and is helping me start my mornings in a happier mood. You can check out the videos of the three songs below, starting from most recent releases! (They also have a bunch of other cover songs on HF Company's official channel, so be sure to check them out as well!)
As we all know, it is not so easy competing as a boy group these days in K-pop, seeing that there is a myriad of other groups constantly debuting. But, right now it's too early to lose hope in them just because they are a more ballad-oriented trio. Groups like Vromance or VOISPER have made their way into the scene through live-singing music shows such as 'Immortal Song' or 'Yoo Hee Yeol's Sketchbook', as well as other event-based outdoor performance opportunities like university festivals and busking tours. Obviously, they are still off the radar among the public, and it will take some time for people to start to get to know the group, but individually speaking, I think that these boys have already personally reached some audiences through their long-standing efforts showcased prior to their debut.