[B.A.P Hot Debut Story] Youngjae ① “Youngjae the ‘game maniac,’ his dream was to become a professional gamer”
“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 B.A.P’s “brain” Youngjae, who has stepped forth into the music industry with his strong charisma.
After Daehyun’s interview was Youngjae, who had an enthusiastic introduction and greeting the interviewer with his round eyes. In maintaining his “brain” image of the group, he logically began unraveling his past.
“I was born in a hospital in Bangbaedong of Seoul on January 24th, 1994. When my mother was pregnant with me, she had a precognitive dream of my birth where a chili pepper was dangling and the night sky was in view. Siblings? I have an older brother with the age gap of eight years and I think I grew up without much trouble.”
Youngjae was born into a fairly wealthy family that wouldn’t trade what they had for others, but it was when the IMF hit that his lifestyle changed into a more difficult route. However, the young Youngjae never lost his smile despite the sudden change he faced in his life.
“When I was younger, my mother ran an apparel business but with the IMF, our family’s situation wasn’t at its best, even going into the extent of us living inside a container home from the factory of my uncle’s construction company. I never felt inconvenience, although my mother and older brother did. It was a rough time in my life but I always tried to think optimistically and I worked harder then (laughs).”
Due to financial issues, Youngjae had to live with his mother while his father moved away and the time Youngjae was alone increased. During that period of time, his friend was none other than computer games.
“I lived in a villa with my mother in Yongin and with her working, we moved to Seoul. At first, we lived in a small basement room in Bangbaedong and my mother worked at a shopping mall, so I would spend a lot of my days wholly alone. Since I liked playing games, I remember going to the internet café every day. Maybe it’s because I’m friendly, but I got along with the middle school and high school kids then (laughs).”
Youngjae reminisced as he said, “Although I lacked a lot, it was a time filled with happiness also.” Despite spending not a lot of time with his mother, he knew that it was all because his mother loved him. The interviewer was able to feel how much Youngjae thought of his mother.
Since kid Youngjae liked games, it was in 6th grade that he had the dream of becoming a professional gamer.
“In 6th grade, my dream was to become a pro-gamer. I liked Starcraft so much that I fell into the game every day. In 2002, I was playing that game despite it being the year of the World Cup (laughs). However, my parents weren’t so against the idea either, but that dream didn’t change till I was in my second year of junior high.”
The dream of becoming a pro-gamer didn’t last long for Youngjae as a certain event in his school trip during his second year of junior high routed him into a new dream.