Yasuo Namekawa (born March 23, 1987) hydration waist belt, better known by his stage name Kang-nam, is a Korean-Japanese singer. He is the vocalist and oldest member of the South Korean hip-hop group, M.I.B. He made his recording debut in Korea with the single, "Say My Name," just before his debut as a member of M.I.B.
Kangnam was born on March 23, 1987 in Tokyo, Japan, and is half-Korean (his mother is Korean) and half-Japanese (his father is Japanese). An only child, he spent most of his childhood in Japan, and also spent some years in Hawaii. In March 2008, Kangnam debuted with the stage name Ya-Cha as a new member of the Japanese band Kick Chop Busters (KCB). However, he left the band and Japan in 2010 for unknown reasons, without his parents' knowledge. Kangnam has stated in interviews that his family is wealthy glass water bottle filter, but he does not receive financial support from them.
Kangnam attended Hawaiian Mission Academy in Honolulu for a period before transferring to another school to finish high school. He then returned to Japan to finish his studies. Kangnam briefly attended Temple University in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, where he majored in Communications, but he left the school to pursue music instead.
In Korea, Kangnam debuted as a member of M.I.B (band) under the label Jungle Entertainment on October 25, 2011, with the title track "G.D.M" aka "Girls, Dreams, Money." His single track "Say My Name" was released on October 17, 2011 as part of a spin-off promotion to prove that each member is capable of standing alone. Kangnam is also an accomplished guitarist and pianist.
In 2012, Kangnam appeared in a CF for Epson, an electronics company that specializes in image-related products. Also in 2012, Kangnam took on his first acting role in the tvN sitcom "21st Century Family", and he became the host of the Japanese rendition of Mnet's Jjang.
On the October 3, 2014 episode of 'I Live Alone' Rainbow segment Kangnam revealed that he had only $3 in his bank account. In subsequent Entertainment Relay interviews, he reported that his income had increased significantly, as he became involved with more CFs and variety shows. In October 2014, Kangnam became a permanent cast member on MBC's I Live Alone. In November 2014, Kangnam became an exclusive model for the shoestore ABC Mart, alongside model Nam Joo Hyuk.
Kangnam finally saw the fruit of his labors towards the end of 2014, four years after his debut, hitting a year-end festival stage as an MC, as part of the "Lucky Boys" project for 2014 SBS Gayo Daejun. On the December 26 episode of MBC's "I Live Alone," Kangnam opened up about attending year-end festivals for the first time since his debut: "Singers usually appear on TV to sing at the end of each year. Every year, I have been watching TV thinking ‘I’ll do that next year,’ and somehow four years have passed.”
On December 26, 2014, Kangnam released his second solo track, "What Do I Do", which soared to #1 on Daum's real time charts. Kangnam also ranked #1 on several real time searches, including Naver, Melon, Mnet, and more.
In February 2015, he was appointed the honorary ambassador for the fourth KCON music festival and convention for its first time in Japan. Kangnam is also scheduled to perform at the April 22 concert. He has said that his fluency in both languages will allow him to "act as the bridge between the exchange of culture from both countries."
Kangnam will release his Japanese solo debut single album 「Ready to Fly」 on May 25, 2016 under CJ Victor Entertainment.
For Kangnam's work with M.I electric sweater.B, see M.I.B's discography.