Hot off the press

Hot off the press

Hong Kong's hippest new musical act are a mix of muscles, oh-so-cute smiles - and breaking news

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Hot foursome, This Just In, are busy focusing on boyband stardom - and looking oh-so-cool.
Hot foursome, This Just In, are busy focusing on boyband stardom - and looking oh-so-cool.
Photo: Edmond So/SCMP
We've all read magazines telling us to reach for the stars, or had teachers, parents and celebrity idols tell us to follow our dreams.

Yet it's not always entirely practical advice. At school we all have tests to sit, homework to do, extra-curricular clubs to attend, if not run. When we start work, we have bills to pay. Daydreaming, sadly, doesn't cover the rent.

But sometimes a dream will just not back down, however hard you try to ignore it. At least, that's how the guys from Young Post explained their decision to give up their successful careers in journalism to become pop stars.

Yes, you read that right: ace reporters Wong Yat-hei and Chris Lau, sports writer Kevin Kung, and web editor Leon Lee have turned their backs on hackery to form the hottest boy band of the moment: they are This Just In.

"I've been lucky enough to interview some really talented artists since I've been at YP," says New York native Leon, who goes by the stage name LLoD, "It made me miss my days in Jook Sing Clan, the hip-hop/graffiti crew I rapped in back in college in NYC."

Leon's wish to get back into music came about unexpectedly, after fellow YPer Joyee Chan videoed him, Chris "Babyface" Lau and Kevin "K-Dawg" Kung singing a New Kids On The Block song at karaoke, and posting it on YouTube. They were approached by a record label impressed by the number of views their song received, and taken into a studio to record a demo.

It wasn't immediately clear what sort of songs they'd produce. With Leon's hip-hop grounding and Chris's love of Kiwi indie bands, there was a risk of conflict before the group even got off the ground. But then Kevin pointed out that it was their YouTube post that had put them in the spotlight, and the decision was reached: these journos would aim for mass appeal, playing off their good looks and shared love of a melody - and lo, a boy band was born.

For Chris, the opportunity was unusual, but not to be sniffed at. "I never imagined I'd end up in a boy band - I used to play guitar in a grunge/rock band at uni in Melbourne - but this seems like fate, something magical, like from Narnia. Sweet as."

So with the cute guitarist, artsy wordsmith and sports-loving softie with an angel's voice lined up, the guys needed a fourth, even more suave member from Team YP to join their ranks. They needed muscle. And who better than the man whose fans formed a club years ago, Hei, who agreed, saying: "What my fans want, my fans get. If that means me singing, I'll sing."

Between breaking-news stories and covering the recent CE election, the guys have been promoting their album, Cover Story (read our review), and receiving universal acclaim.

"Who knew there'd be so much musical talent in one newsroom?" Kevin says. "But we were offered this opportunity and we'd be stupid to not take it. We're not in this for the money or the fame; this is just about four regular guys - and one big dream."

Go to soundcloud.com/yp-this-just-in to hear the band's all-original single, Gone Baby Gone. Special thanks to Yammi Yeung Pui-yan and William Wu Wai-ting for producing it.

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