AJ (Jaeseop Kim)

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Debuting in 2005 in a K-pop boyband called Paran, under the stage-name AJ, Jaeseop Kim steadily climbed his way into the idol-industry, making appearances on Korean music programs as well as popular variety-shows at that time. Paran's releases often consisted of ballads that fared decently well with the public such as "First Love" [1], but after several older Paran members left for the army, the group became mostly inactive and in 2011, he joined the group U-KISS.

Although U-KISS had a string of relatively popular hits (e.g., "0330," "Neverland," etc.) in 2011 that helped expand its international fanbase, AJ announced in 2012 that he would take a hiatus to study at Columbia University. With tears streaming down his face as he sang to his Japanese fans at his last concert before the hiatus, many wondered if AJ would actually come back to the group. Since then, he has briefly returned from his hiatus to participate in some U-KISS promotional activities, including forming the sub-group U-BEAT with fellow members Eli and Kevin. In 2014, he was also featured in the NY Post article "Ivy League student by day, Korea's Justin Bieber by night" [2], where he talked about his experiences as a Columbia student.

Currently, AJ is a General Studies student and majors in psychology. He briefly studied Japanese when he first came to Columbia, in order to better communicate with his Japanese fans. He also seems to be part of a new Korean band on campus, as he has been featured in their performances several times.

Rumor has it that if you're at Columbia, and you approach him and ask if he's AJ, he'll respond "Oh, do I look like him? Thanks!" and slightly smirk. It's been said that he appreciates his fans, but keeps himself distant from them, and he would prefer not to be treated as a celebrity while at school. From time to time, he posts on his social media accounts on Instagram and Twitter to keep his fans updated on his life, but for the most part, he's pretty low-key about his daily life at Columbia - you know, aside from that one newspaper article and a Good Morning America appearance.

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