F.T. Island

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Name(s): F.T. Island, FTISLAND, Five Treasure Island, 에프티 아일랜드, FT아일랜드, エフティー・アイランド
Scope/Focus: K-Rock, K-Pop, Rock, Bandom
Date(s): 2007-present
See also: F.T. Triple, CNBLUE, AOA (band), N.Flying, SF9, FNC Kingdom, K-Drama
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F.T. Island is a five-member band from South Korea. The rock band was formed under FNC Entertainment consisting of Hongki (main vocal; Lee Hongki (이홍기)), Jonghoon (leader, guitar, keyboard; Choi Jonghoon (최종훈)), Jaejin (bass, vocal; Lee Jaejin (이재진)), Seunghyun (guitar, vocal, rap; Song Seunghyun (송승현)) and Minhwan (drums, vocal; Choi Minhwan (최민환)).

They debuted on June 7, 2007 on M! Countdown with their single "Lovesick" and member Oh Wonbin who withdrew from the band in 2009 and was replaced by Seunghyun, a confirmed fan of F.T. Island. According to Wonbin him and the band stayed in good terms and were even close after his departure to develop a solo career [1]. However, "Lovesick" topped the charts and they won awards like "Best New Male Group" in the "Mnet Asian Music Awards" having an equally successful debut album called "Cheerful Sensibility". One year later they made their debut in Japan and in 2009 the sub-unit "F.T. Triple" was formed by Jonghoon, Jaejin and Minhwan to show their skills and to avoid main vocal Hongki overstraining his voice. The sub-group was first called "A3" (because of their blood types) and has been inactive since 2012. Over the years, F.T. Island released seven albums in Korea and eight in Japan. The band held several concerts and tours mainly in Japan. While being considered the first instrumental idol band the members constantly fought with their agency to pursue a different genre in music (Rock). Therefore, they fully composed their latest albums and took the loss of popularity in Korea [2]. The band plans to enlist together as a team in 2019 in order to return together as a team.

Fandom

Their fans are named "Primadonna" after the title of one song of their first album telling the story of an innocent man falling in love for the first time (it also means that the fans are the heroines of their lives). Sometimes male fans refer themselves as "Primadude/Prijackson". The official fandom colour is "Sunshine Yellow" and many fans carry a "Pentastick" around. There also was a controversy where fans accused Pentagon for copying F.T. Island with their introduction phrase "Pentastic! Hello, we are Pentagon!" [3].

For shipping the most popular pairing is Hongjae (Hongki x Jaejin). Sometimes label mates like CNBLUE, AOA or Juniel appear in fanfictions or people the band shares a bromance(/friendship) with (like Hongchul (Heechul x Hongki)).

Interaction With Fandom

F.T. Island is known to be completely honest with their fans which results from their early experiences in their career. Due to the mismanagement of FNC Entertainment reporters dug out the whole past of the band members which led to a lot of fake rumours. Nowadays, the band rather reveal everything by themselves, they are sometimes too open for their own good.

The band is really playful with their fans which is reciprocal since the fans also tend to play tricks on them [4]. Furthermore F.T. Island tries to remember their fans for being able to recognize them in which they often succeed [5]. The members treat their fans sincerely as good friends (and never as lover or girlfriend).

Hongki also often appeared in variety shows while the other members don’t like to come since they often get accused for not being capable of playing their instrument. The band advises to go to their concerts since they often don’t get to play their instruments in music shows.

They also do projects like creating their own perfume or nail design to sell it to the fans while the proceeds are donated [6]. Hongki even launched his own designer brand in 2014 called Skull Hong which he’s creative director of. The label sells fashion and accessories which include nails and jewellery while Hongki told the reporters that he wants to break the stereotype where it's weird for men to get nail art.

Controversies

Since the debut of CNBLUE the bands get constantly compared coming from the same company and both being "instrumental idol bands". Therefore, also the fandoms sometimes struggle, especially since the CEO of FNC Entertainment tend to leave comments favouring CNBLUE (Hongki even stated that he didn't want to take part in "Cheongdamdong 111", but was pressured by the CEO which led to fans believing F.T. Island is unfairly treated) [7]. Both bands don't like the comparison since their music really differs. Primadonnas were also upset that the band isn’t allowed to produce the music they like. The band fought eight years with their company which resulted in the album "I Will". Nowadays fans are sad that the band isn't fully recognized as rock band rather than an idol band [8].

There was one incident where Hongki had to apologize to Exo-Ls for using the bands name (EXO) in a Drama [9].

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