Full Profile of Indie Singer Jang Ki-ha (Interesting Facts, Age, Religion, Girlfriend, and Career)

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Introduce Korean Indie Music King, Jang Ki-ha

The Korean music industry has mostly been populated by idols and big budget productions for approximately the past decade or so, with groups such as G.O.D, Big Bang, Super Junior, EXO and BTS dominating the scene. Smaller, independent bands or rappers aren’t something that we often see in the industry, unless they suddenly rise to fame from a viral project, a stint on a survival show, or was signed to a big industry agency. Thus it came as a surprise to most when Jang Kiha and The Faces first entered the scene in 2008, with frontman Jang Ki-ha leading the way.

Jang Ki-ha has steadily risen to fame since his 2008 debut with the group, and having mostly spent his time under a small agency, he’s only recently come into the spotlight with appearances on variety shows and the reveal of his relationship with solo superstar, IU. So who is he, exactly? What kind of group is Jang Kiha and The Faces? How did they rise to fame so spectacularly? What is he up to recently? Let’s take a closer look and get to know Jang Ki-ha!



Profile and Facts Jang Ki-ha

topstarnews.com
Name
Jang Ki-ha
Birth Date
February 20th 1982 (36 Years old)
Birth Place
Seocho-gu, Seoul
Height
183 cm
Bloodtype
O
Academic Background
Seocho High School
Bachelor’s Degree in Sociology from Seoul National University
Family
Debut
Cheap Coffee by Jang Kiha and The Faces in 2008
Group
Jang Kiha and The Faces (2008 – 2018)
Entertainment Agency
Dooroo Dooroo Artist Company

Facts About Jang Ki-ha

  • He has a very big nose, especially his nostrils.
  • When he was a child, he used to be called ‘White Pig’. This was due to his being fairly heavy before he served his mandatory military service.
  • Before he served in the military, he used to have dreadlocks.
  • In 2009, he won the Korean Pop Musician poll on Naver, winning against Taeyang with 39,455 votes. Subsequently, he was awarded ‘Best Music’, ‘Best Rock Artist’ and ‘The Netizen’s Choice’ awards during that year’s Korean Pop Music Awards.
  • He was featured as a character on the webtoon ‘Along with The Gods’, written by Ju Mi-ho.
  • He was picked by Wonder Girls’ former member, Sohee, as the musician she wants to work with the most.
  • Jang Ki-ha is known for his hobby of collecting record plates with fellow member Hasegawa Yohei.
  • He really likes to eat, he once even said that eating has become a hobby of his. As seen on his Instagram and Twitter accounts, he likes to upload pictures of food that he finds interesting and delicious.
  • He’s a big fan of the British band Oasis, but only started liking their music after they disbanded.
  • Some artists he would love to collaborate with are Blur, The Gorillaz, and Damon Albarn.

Jang Ki-ha’s Reality Show Appearances

As mentioned before, although Jang Ki-ha debuted as an indie musician, recently he has taken a more active role appearing on hit variety shows. Check out some of his appearances below!

Running Man

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One of his most memorable appearances is on Running Man‘s popularity race episode, in which contestants participated in an episode-long race where they have to win against the writers on several different missions. The name of the episode comes from the fact that the writers did a survey using a thousand women as the pool of data for today’s ranked popularity race, and were asked the following question: If you were born again, which man would you want to date the most? Not only that, some female celebrities also participated in the poll. Song Ji-hyo, the series regular, acts as the MC, leaving the six remaining male regulars and five guests, including Jang Ki-ha, as the main contestants of the show.

The episode involved challenges where they had to work as a group but also as individuals, the first one being a team effort to match the number of feet on a reflexology mat with the number called out by the writers. Jang Ki-ha’s expertise, though, really shone in their second mission, in which they were asked to participate in a knowledge quiz. Jang Ki-ha offered to go first to solve an English question worth five points, as they need to strategize in order to get to 30 points, collectively.

The English question was taken from an actual college entrance exam and required both listening comprehension and math skills. It seemed like they were in good hands, because Jang Ki-ha said he used to be a translator when he was in the army. To everyone’s amazement, he got it right and accurately explained how he arrived at the answer. Not only did he beat the English question, but he also answered the history question without breaking a sweat. This only goes to show that despite being an indie musician, people shouldn’t forget that he graduated from the notable Seoul National University.

It’s Dangerous Beyond the Blanket

Another variety show he took part in is It’s Dangerous Beyond The Blanket, which differs from his Running Man appearance because this time he was a series regular. The show works a little differently than most variety shows, since he doesn’t part take in every episode despite being a series regular. It’s a show about homebodies leaving their house to go on a trip with fellow homebody celebrities. Jang Ki-ha took part in several trips with other celebrities, such as series regular Kang Daniel and guests Junhoe and Jung Sewoon from IKON. It looked like they all got quite close, judging from the clips above and below.

With guests Junhoe and Jung Sewoon, he took a trip to Chuncheon where they spent time enjoying the sea breeze and wildlife. The three didn’t seem to know each other well before the show, but quickly grew close due to their similar personalities. Jang Ki-ha, in particular, seemed to be pretty comfortable with Junhoe, asking if the other had eaten beforehand and progressing to Junhoe spilling some of his thoughts about his past clubbing scandal with Jang Ki-ha.

soompi.com

With Kang Daniel however, despite both being series regulars, they have only been on one trip together. The trip was to Jeju, and they were joined by other cast members such as Loco and Lee Yi-kyung. The four spent their time in Jeju by cooking, enjoying the local delicacies and doing self-care together.

Jang Ki-ha’s Career

allkpop.com

Starting out his career as a member of the band Nunco, Jang Ki-ha went ahead and proposed the idea for Jang Kiha and The Faces to a group of fellow musicians and band members. The group itself marks the return of Korean indie music into the mainstream scene after the Music Camp incident, which featured indie musicians that went a little bit too far on national television. The name of the band comes from the nickname Jang Ki-ha earned as the face of the Korean indie music scene, and how the industry seems to place an importance on how people look.

The concept of the band is based on one of Jang Ki-ha’s role models, Bae Cheol-soo, whom he heard on the radio growing up and thought about the way he sings. Jang Ki-ha saw him as someone who sings the way he talks, and that’s something he wants to achieve with his music. They first hit big with their debut single, ‘Cheap Coffee’, a 1970s-esque folk rock tune infused with a dash of whimsy, but it’s also been described as blank of emotion.
Part of his appeal is that his music is genuinely refreshing and the way he expresses himself, which is unlike musicians in general, really struck a chord with the masses. Jang Ki-ha’s music’s not actually completely original. But another side of the popularity coin is because the viral phenomenon, which started off last fall, came unexpectedly without a strong marketing push from anyone. One song by one musician got picked up by netizens, passed around, and rode the wave of popularity.

Yet through it all, Jang Ki-ha remains unperturbed — “enough to make you wonder if this is really the guy at the center of all that success.” He says, “I am surprised by it, but on the other hand, even if I hadn’t sold well, I’d still put my hard work into my performances anyway.” That same unruffled reaction applies to his album.

Jang Ki-ha’s Love Life, Who is His Girlfriend?

On October 8th, 2015, a Dispatch report came out stating that IU and Jang Ki-ha had been dating for around two years at the time.  It came as something of a shock for most, as neither of them are musicians people usually see interacting often. Adding to that, there’s a pretty significant age gap between them, causing doubts among the masses. Surprisingly, the two were swift to confirm the rumors, in a statement saying that they had been meeting quietly during that time and it was completely love at first sight. They both hoped that the public would continue to support them in the future.

In a supplementary statement, both they revealed that they met when Jang Ki-ha was working as a DJ in one of the national broadcasting companies, and IU came in as a guest. He fell for her at first sight and the two have continued to spend time together since then, having a shared interest in composing and producing songs. IU also said that she learned a lot about the world of songwriting from Jang Ki-ha and he continues to give her feedback on her work.

Sadly, on January 23rd, 2017, four years into their relationship, they announced that they had split from each other due to personal reasons. Both of them stated that the two parted on good terms and that their breakup had no specific reasoning, but netizens assume that it had something to do with their busy schedules and the struggles they face to make ends meet.

Jang Ki-ha’s Social Media

Instagram

As mentioned before, Jang Ki-ha ranks eating as one of his favorite things to do, and a hobby of his. This is reflected in his Instagram posts,, which have pictures his daily meals mixed in with some of his more promotional posts. As seen below, Jang Ki-ha has posted a picture of a sandwich he had after only eating kimbab for a long time. He calls the sandwich one of the little things that made his day. Another of his posts features a piece of tuna sushi he seem to be quite enticed by.

View this post on Instagram

#mastering

A post shared by 장기하 (@kihachang) on

He’s also known for is his very pretty handwriting, something he cleverly uses in his Instagram posts, as well. His handwriting is featured in the post below, in which he promotes his appearance on the variety show, Problematic Man. The video does not only feature his handwriting but a witty animation and editing to go with it.

Twitter

The content Jang Ki-ha posts on his Twitter account is somewhat similar to the ones on his Instagram, as demonstrated below, where he posts about quitting alcohol for 21 days and a book he has been enjoying lately.

Jang Ki-ha’s Latest News

Kiha and The Faces Disband

On October 18, right at midnight, frontman Jang Ki-ha and the five other members of the band posted on their personal Instagram pages simultaneously the announcement of their disbandment, “Our upcoming 5th album will be Kiha & The Faces’ last. Starting from the first day of 2019, all six of us will be going our own ways.” Kiha & The Faces debuted in 2008 with “Cheap Coffee.” Due their unique music style, they were said to have created a huge change in the indie band industry.

In the disbandment statement, the members stated, “It’s already been 10 years since we released ‘Cheap Coffee’ and started this band. During that time, we made an effort to always grow. We know that the [fans] who love us and are reading this can only feel hurt.” They continued, “Starting from today until December 31, more than ever, we will have a great time together with [the fans].

The disbandment seem like something that came out of nowhere for fans, but on a different occasion, Jang Ki-ha explained the group’s decision to disband. He revealed that through the their 10 years together, the band has grown and became somewhat of the ideal for them. Most call this the comfort zone and while creating their latest studio album, Jang Ki-ha concluded that he does not think it could get any better than that album. Rather than subjecting themselves to the endless torment of trying to make something better in the long run, he chose suggest closure to the members.

So what do you think of Jang Ki-ha and his career, to date? Are you expecting any new music from him soon? Comment your thoughts and opinion down below!