Six years ago, on May 23, 2017, boy group A.C.E (an acronym for Adventure Calling Emotions) made their debut under the label Beat Interactive. Since their debut, the five-piece got recognition from K-pop fans for their unique concepts, styling, and music direction.
In honor of their six-year anniversary, here are six times A.C.E have rocked the industry and their fans.
1. Hot Pants, Thighs Out – “CACTUS”
A.C.E first made their mark in the K-pop industry by wearing booty shorts, or “hot pants”, during their debut promotions for “Cactus”. K-netizens and the public were quick to make snide comments about their choice of costume. Coming from a small unknown label, however, the group had to do whatever they could to make the public remember them.
2. Byeongkwan’s Iconic Looks – “UNDER COVER”
Speaking of styling, A.C.E got more and more experimental as their career progressed. In the music video for “Under Cover”, member Kim Byeongkwan served with this iconic “queen bee” look. From the sequined crop top to the pigtails to the black-and-yellow fur coat, topped with his charisma and confidence, Byeongkwan went viral on K-pop stan Twitter and helped the group gain more fans.
3. Siren Concept Photos – “SIREN : DAWN”
We have seen a Siren concept before, but we haven’t seen a boy group pull it off. Well, that is until A.C.E tried their hand at it. The concept photos that were released before their comeback were absolutely breathtaking. They truly understood the assignment.
4. Jun & Chan’s “Gashina” Cover – “THE UNIT”
Like every underrated and underappreciated group, A.C.E also competed on survival shows early in their career. While Wow, Donghun, and Byeongkwan competed on MIXNINE, leader Jun and Maknae Chan competed on KBS’s The Unit. During their audition, they first performed a cover of Maroon 5’s “I Don’t Wanna Know” which failed to impress the mentors. When asked to perform another song, the duo performed a dance cover of Sunmi’s “Gashina”. Immediately, the mentors and audience alike were in awe, and the two made it into the show.
In the finale, Chan made it to the final line-up and was active with the temporary group UNB for eight months.
5. From Concept Photos to Music Video – “FAVORITE BOYS”
Ah, the ‘HJZM: The Butterfly Phantasy’ era. This was the era that should’ve given A.C.E their big break, especially when it came to the underwater concept photos and MV styling. Combining historical Joseon costumes and imagery with modern-day clothing to create the “Goblin” concept was quite unique and innovative.
6. The A Stands For Ally – “SPARK” & Tinted With You
Finally, as we head into Pride Month, A.C.E’s ally-ship is one of the most genuine in the K-pop industry. They recorded an OST for the BL series Light On Me, “Spark”. The song was used as the closing theme song for most of the series. Additionally, Jun was the lead in another BL series called Tinted With You. In an interview with Teen Vogue, Jun stated that taking on the role was a challenge, especially considering his career as an idol.
He also shared his support for the LGBTQ+ community, particularly the LGBTQ+ CHOICE (A.C.E’s fan club) who have supported him and the group.
“I remember receiving a lot of support and love from them when they heard that I would be playing this role,” he said. “They thanked me for expressing these values as an artist. I was proud that I could tell a part of their story, and be another voice for them through this role.” (Source)