YG New Boy Group: WIN ‘Who Is Next’

A few weeks ago we were delivered a rather shocking news from YG about finally revealing its new boy group. Being an avid YG stan myself, I know how papa YG’s words are just sugar coated lies especially stuffs concerning his artists activities. So when a press conference was held and the news of the boy group debut was announced with supporting materials, we all know it’s finally time. A survival show called WIN (Who Is Next) is made to document a battle between two teams (Team A and Team B) and the result is fully depended on the viewers’ choice. Yang sajang doesn’t have a say in the outcome. The winning team will debut with the stage name WINNER (how fitting) and the losing team.. well nobody knows.

Team A consists of 5 members with an average age of 20 years old thus dubbed with the name ‘hyung team’. Two familiar faces are in this team which is Kang Seung Yoon, former Superstar K2 contestant in 2010 who just debuted as a solo under YG few weeks ago. Next is Lee Seung Hoon, former Kpop Star contestant in 2012. I think he’ll have the shortest trainee years among the rest since he only joined YG last year. The other three members are Song Minho (leader, rapper), Kim Jinwoo (vocal) and Nam Taehyun (vocal).

Team B consists of 6 members with an average age of 17 years old. After the press conference today, the most anticipated member seemed to be leader B.I (Hanbi) as he used to appear in MC Mong’s song as a child rapper years ago. Papa YG also dubbed him “the next G-Dragon” and acknowledged by GD himself. The rest of the members are Kim Jinhwan (vocal), Bobby (rapper), Goo Junhoe (vocal), Kim Donghyuk (vocal) and Song Yoonhyung (vocal).

Since the program hasn’t aired yet and I have only seen the boys through a short video, I can’t say much. But having known Kang Seung Yoon years ago and being his fan waiting three years for his debut AND having supported Lee Seung Hoon since his first days in Kpop Stars, I can’t help but being biased to Team A. Plus I have always preferred people older than me  (although 20 years in Korean age would be the same age as me but that’s better than nothing) and I like the mature vibe they give off through their photos and press conference. BUT we’ll see when the program starts.

I was worried about the biased situation that might happen as two of the members in Team A are already well known by public, on top of that Kang Seung Yoon have already debuted as a solo under YG just recently. I was thinking that Team A might have an upper hand but that is not the case since many people are giving a lot of attention to Team B according to what I see today. I see a lot of people wanting YG to just debut all of them but that would mean an 11 member group, which I do not want to be happening in YG. I am not fond of a large group members, let’s just leave it at the hands of SM who seem to be managing SuJu and EXO well. Anyways, everybody is curious as to what will happen. We’ll wait and see..

p/s what ever happened to the Kwon twins? I was excited to see them but they weren’t in any of the team. Tskk my cutie pies will just remain as backdancers is that what you’re trying to say sajangnimmmm

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July Jam

There has been a few new songs out and I’d like to share those that I like and listened to a few thousand times. I know that it’s only early July and there’ll be lots of songs out but I’m just gonna post these as for the time being.

1. 2NE1 – Falling in Love

Fresh out the oven! The queens of kpop are back with Falling in Love, a new spin from their usual in-your-face songs. It has this reggae feel with a hint of electronic, suits very well with the summer season. 2NE1 is my favorite girl group out there and I gotta say they look gorgeous in the MV. Especially CL. Guuuurll, damn you so hot. The baddest female never disappoint. I screamed a little upon seeing Hong Jong Hyun’s cameo in the MV, I mentioned my crush for him from his drama Dating Agency: Cyrano. Not to forget the always so gorgeous Lee Soo Hyuk (well what do you expect from a man that does modelling for a living). Well he’s practically a YG family. A fun fact if you haven’t already known this, he is GD’s best friend. If you think he looks familiar, he was in 2NE1’s It Hurts MV filmed few years back.

2. John Park – Baby

This is his title song from his new album Inner Child. I swear I listened to this song for I don’t know how many times already. It’s so addictive. If you’re not familiar with him, he is the runner-up for Superstar K2, Korea’s biggest singing audition program, which made Seo In Guk, Roy Kim, Huh Gak, Busker Busker and Ulala Session famous, to name a few. He’s also an American Idol dropout, though not quite sure which season. I love love love this MV, don’t you think it’s the cutest thing ever? I particularly love the intro of the song.

3. John Park – Sipping My Life

This sort of jazzy piece is also by John Park’s Inner Child. It’s a bonus track (not quite sure what does that mean, it is less important or what) and it’s my second favorite song from his album. I’m surprised by his voice here because if you listen to his songs he has this deep voice  and it’s quite unusual and welcoming to hear his falsetto in this song. Another plus point, this song is fully in English. English, not that Engrish that we all are familiar and used with. In his showcase here he mentioned he had troubles writing this song in Korean, so he wrote it in English and it sounded better. Although I never really heard of the ‘Korean version’, I think writing it in English sounds better.

4. Ra.D – A Certain Flutter

As you can see from the album art (if you can read hangul), this is one of the OST for Dating Agency: Cyrano. I don’t really have much to say since I’m not quite familiar with this singer, other than it has a nice R&B feel to it, rare in OSTs and Korean music (or have I really just been ignorant). If you watch this drama, you’ll be familiar with this song. If you don’t, well.. give it a go!

Roy Kim – Love Love Love Lyric (Hangul/Romanization)

[hangul]

그대여 나 그대 눈을 처음 본 순간부터 오 난
그대여 난 알 수 없는 설레는 향기 속에 빠져
난 그대 눈을 항상 바라만 봤었고 그대도 나를 항상 바라길 바랬소
나 이젠 말할 거에요 이 목소리에 담아서 오
Love, 오~ Love, 그래요 난 그대를 난 너무나 좋아합니다
Love, 오~ Love, 그래요 난 그대를 난 정말로 사랑합니다
Love Love Love, Love Love Love, Love Love Love
오 그대여 나 그댈 바라보는 것만으로도 오 난
오 그대여 나 그댈 생각하는 것만으로도 오 난
하루 하루가 항상 빠르게 갔었고 그대도 나를 항상 바라길 바랬소
나 이젠 말할 거에요 이 목소리에 담아서 오
Love, 오~ Love, 그래요 난 그대를 난 너무나 좋아합니다
Love, 오~ Love, 그래요 난 그대를 난 정말로 사랑합니다
Love Love Love, Love Love Love, Love Love Love
Love, 오~ Love, 그래요 난 그대를 난 너무나 좋아합니다
Love, 오~ Love, 그래요 난 그대를 난 정말로 사랑합니다
Love, 오~ Love, 그래요 난 그대를 난 너무나 좋아합니다
Love, 오~ Love, 그래요 난 그대를 난 정말로 사랑합니다
Love Love Love, Love Love Love, Love Love Love

[romanization]

geudaeyeo na geudae nuneul choeum bon sunganbuteo oh nan
geudaeyeo nan alsu eobneun seolleneun hyanggi soge bbajyeo
nan geudae nuneul hangsang baraman bwasseotgo
geudaedo nareul hangsang baragil baraesso
na ijen malhal kkoyeyo
i moksorie damaseo ohh

love, oh! love, geuraeyo nan geudaereul nan neomuna joahamnida
love, oh~ love, geuraeyo nan geudaereul nan jeongmallo saranghamnida
love love love, love love love, love love love

oh geudaeyo na geudael baraboneun geotmaneurodo oh nan
oh geudaeyo na geudael saenggakhaneun geotmaneurodo oh nan
haru haruga hangsang pareuge gasseotgo
geudaedo nareul hangsang baragil baraesseo
na ijen malhal kkeoyeyo
i moksorie damaseo ohh

love, oh~ love, geuraeyo nan geudaereul nan neomuna joahamnida
love, oh~ love, geuraeyo nan geudaereul nan jeongmallo saranghamnida
love love love, love love love, love love love
love, oh~ love, geuraeyo nan geudaereul nan neomuna joahamnida
love, oh~ love, geuraeyo nan geudaereul nan jeongmallo saranghamnida
love, oh~ love, geuraeyo nan geudaereul nan neomuna joahamnida
love, oh~ love, geuraeyo nan geudaereul nan jeongmallo saranghamnida
love love love, love love love, love love love

Guys, it’s not k-pop!

It’s frustrating how people who don’t listen to Korean songs generalize all songs sung in Korean as “k-pop”. I think people forgot that pop is a genre and there’s a lot of other genres that exist out there and the fact that Korea is not a country that’s limited to producing only pop songs.

Of course this is a problem with an obvious root; the role of k-idols and the tsunami-like hallyu wave spread all around the world. It can’t be helped that Korean idols really contribute a huge chunk in globalizing Korean music industry. Groups like Super Junior, Girls’ Generation, Big Bang and so on are even known by the non-kpoppers (a term widely used nowadays) thanks to their huge publicity all around the world. I know k-pop is not everyone’s cup of tea. Those who like it really fall for it, and those who don’t really have a lot to say about it. I was once on the sideline, watching and not understanding the whole hallyu wave craze. Who knew it’d be like this today. Heol~

But that’s not my point. I admit I am an avid fan of Big Bang before anyone else in this industry, mainly because it was them who brought me in this whole “madness” if I could put it in an appropriate word. Big Bang is such a big name, a leader in k-pop, a force to be reckoned with. I’m also a fan of Shinhwa, B.A.P and JYJ. These four are very much in the k-pop category. I dare mention these four as I am very much familiar with all the members, their habits, their appearances on shows, songs and albums and fandom inside jokes.

Others, not so much. Well I sometimes listen to new songs that come out either by accident, or if on a good day, by my own will. Some songs got my attention and I’ll download them, some, I’ll just listen once in Youtube and that’s that, or even worse, some I didn’t even bother listening to. The event in which I actually download other idols’ songs is rare. Probably 2/5 chance? I do have my bias in some idol groups and personal favorites, like Junhyung, Onew, Junho and a few others, but that’s only about it.

Now on to the point of this post. I admit I am thrown off by this whole k-pop genre too, at times. Sometimes I understand the feelings of others who hate this genre with their guts. It’s very different from the whole mainstream concept that we grew up with, which is strongly conquered by the North America music industry. Having a bunch of guys in eye-liners and flashy outfits and even flashier hairstyles dancing and singing pop songs in a language that sounds alien might be too much to digest for certain people.

But I have come to accept this.

But I’m not particularly a fan of that. I listen to a lot of songs outside the k-pop genre. Even more than k-pop, too if you minus out Bigbang. I’m probably one of the hugest fan of Epik High, even before they got mainstream after entering YG. I listen to indie bands like Delispice, Standing Egg, Mad Soul Child, Big Baby Driver, Vanilla Unity, Dickpunks to name a few. I love ballads. At midnight I’m always on a search for good ballad songs which is why I like 4MEN, Sung Shi Kyung, M to M, Vibe, Sweet Sorrow and a lot others. I enjoy watching Immortal Songs. I wish I Am A Singer is played on tv too. Sometimes I found songs from legendary singers like Lee Seung Chul, Im Jae Bum, Boohwal, Lee Moon Sae, Cho Yong Pil, Kim Dong Ryul that I like. I listen to them a lot too. I’m a huge fan of Roy Kim and people like him.

Other than that, since I watch a lot of dramas, I listen to a lot of OST, which usually fall into the ballad category. Groups like Busker Busker, Nell, 10cm, Ulala Session are so popular in Korea but not much internationally. These people aren’t in the k-pop circle, but mainstream enough not to be called indie. So what are they? Whatever it is it’s definitely not k-pop. All of this is not k-pop. 

The other day I was on Omegle and they had this new feature of typing in a certain keyword and they’ll connect you with strangers that have keyed in the same keyword so you can chat with people that have the same interest as you. I typed out k-pop out of the blue, and was connected with fans of SuJu, SNSD, B2sT and a lot of other idols. I asked each ad everyone of them whether they listened to Busker Busker (I really wanted to share my love of the boys with others) but all of them answered no. Frustrating!

Some people might ask, why do you listen to these korean indie bands/non k-pop groups or singers when you can find other North American bands that play the same genres? I have thought about that and I think it has to do with my love for the language. Even when I hated k-pop before, I have always liked Korean language. I’d follow Korean tourists in malls just to hear them speak. It’s also the fun in learning other language, the satisfaction you get when you understand that language. I’m very much interested in anything Korean. I taught myself how to read and write, and now I can watch shows without subtitles and understanding 70% of it, depending on the contents of it.

This has been a long post, something I have always wanted to let out from me, even if it is in a form of a blog post that might not even be discovered by anyone. If you have reached the end of this post, it is either you can connect with my concern or you just scrolled past all those paragraphs. Whatever that is, I’m glad to have all this typed out.

xx

Im Jae Bum – For You

You know how when a new song comes out, you listen to it all the time like that’s the only song you listen to for maybe one or two months but after that it just becomes an antique in your playlist that even when you put them on shuffle and it comes out you just skip to the next song? This is not that song. I really listened to this song for the past two years without fail. I didn’t know the song is based on his true story until I saw a comment from a Korean netizen in a video of his performance in I Am A Singer saying it’s from his own story. I was in tears listening to the lyrics again T.T

Nobody really sing this better than the man himself but if there is a cover that I like best out of all the singers that have covered this song, it’s Lee Hayi. Her low tone is something fresh to hear compared to the original husky tone this song was sung in. Jaejoong sang this song too and although I’m such a fan of him (people who know me know my undying love for JJ) but I didn’t like his version of it. Another cover I enjoyed listening was of 4MEN’s Shin Yongjae, he sang it on Immortal Song when Im Jae Bum came to the show.

Spring: My 10 Perfect Songs

timthumb

Spring’s here! Well technically not /here/ where I live where it’s hot and humid all the time. I really wish we’d have a distinct four seasons like other countries do. Spring would have been my favorite season. I love flowers, it’s such a feast to the eyes. Yeouido must be packed with couples by now, with its hundreds and hundreds of blooming pink cherry blossom trees. So romantic! So here I post my very own spring playlist, in which I put ten songs which I thought suit the lovely romantic themed spring. Although I don’t know if I actually grasped the concept precisely, seeing how I’ve never experienced spring personally *cries*

Nevertheless, here’s my take on songs for spring.

1. Busker Busker – Cherry Blossom Ending

What is spring without Busker Busker? They totally carved their spot in the spring season with this song. The song title even speaks for itself. I really love Busker Busker and while this might not be my favorite song from them, it surely won the hearts of many as they made history in the Korean music industry when this song re-entered the music chart a year later after its release during well.. spring!

2. K. Will – Love Blossom

Love blossoms in spring! This up-beat song it perfectly fitting, especially for couples out there. The lyric was written to compliment the season well. Check out the video if you haven’t. The song really gets you going and the music video captures the occasion of spring romance starring Infinite’s L and Sistar’s Dasom. You won’t regret!

3. Jay Park – JOAH

The music video doesn’t really portray that standard spring feel to it with its graffiti walls alley and streets. But hey, isn’t Jay in red beanie adorable? He IS the flower in this music video.

4. M to M – Really Want to Say Hello 

I posted this song in my previous entry here. This ballad song is from the drama Lie to Me. The drama was shot during spring and there was this one memorable scene where Kang Ji Hwan kissed Yoon Eun Hye under this cherry blossom trees pathway and the petals were falling on them (most probably drama crew in action behind cameras pouring the petals for them-lol totally cuts of the romance sentiment off from your imagination right?) and this song played. It’s my favorite drama OST too, give it a listen.

5. ZE:A X5 – The Day We Broke Up

Spring can’t be all lovey dovey. While this is a song about a break up, those who don’t know the meaning of the lyric would think this is just another up-beat song. I like this sub-unit of ZE:A. It’s easier to grasp, with smaller number of members. These five boys have the perfect look for spring.

6. Kim Tae Woo – High High

Not to be mistaken with another song of similar title by GD&TOP. This is another up-beat song from a drama I like so much that I’m now in the middle of watching it for the third time, A Gentleman’s Dignity. This drama was also filmed in spring.

7. IU – Good Day

This is actually a sad song despite its tempo. A song that sky-rocketed IU to her success with her exceptional three octaves that proves her singing skill and secured herself in the hearts of thousands of uncle fans.

8. Busker Busker – Calling You

I don’t even know if this is relevant but it will be because Busker Busker is the icon of spring. This is my favorite song from Busker Busker. The original version is a tempo slower than the one they played live.

9. Infinite – Man in Love

Nam Woohyun’s high notes, Nam Woohyun’s high notes, Nam Woohyun’s high notes!

10. G-Dragon ft Kim Yoona – Missing You

This is from Ji’s One of a Kind’s album. I love every track from this album and I thought of this song. Doesn’t this song make you feel good inside? Maybe I’m missing you~~

There are lots of other songs such as Roy Kim’s Spring Spring Spring and IU’s Rain Drop, but I could only get ten in there or else it’d be a really long list. Some songs might not be suited for spring at all, but these are the songs I listen frequently now. I watch a lot of variety shows and since it’s spring in Korea right now, all I see from these shows are flowers and really good weather (I’m done with long months of winter and coldness), so it makes me want to listen to these songs. Although I can’t experience it myself, when I listen to these songs and close my eyes, it’s spring in my heart 🙂