K-pop Indie Gem: Summer Roundup Written by Miyoko On August 30, 2014
Welcome to another edition of Seoulbeats’ Indie Gem! As you may know, we often use this segment to bring you artist recommendations from all over the indie spectrum, writing about their history, discography, music style, and highlighting a few standout tracks.
However, if there is one thing we have learned from this segment, it is this: too many artists, too little time. For this round, I wanted to highlight some indie summer singles that should not pass you by. A few are from familiar faces, and a few are from newcomers, but they will all help you hold onto summer a little longer.
The summer hip-hop singles that caught my attention were all about the smooth beats and romantic feelings. First up is Deffinite (yes, two f’s)
Director Im Kwon-taek (left) explains his concepts for the opening and closing ceremonies of the Incheon Asian Games 2014 at the National Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art, Seoul, on August 27.
"We will present a festival where all can enjoy, with sympathy and harmony", said Im Kwon-taek, one of Korea"s top filmmakers, who will supervise and produce both the opening and closing ceremonies. Director Im was speaking during a press conference held at the National Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art, Seoul, on August 27. "We have seen large-scale ceremonies for international sporting events hosted by superpowers. With the Incheon Asian Games ceremonies, however, we will differentiate from that model by putting on a gala with wit, humor and ideas which all Asian countries can enjoy", he added.
The press conference was attended by two famous moviemakers -- Im Kwon-taek and Jang Jin -- who are in charge of producing both the opening and closing ceremonies, as well as Second Vice Minister of Culture, Sports and Tourism Kim Chong and clothing designer Rhee You-sook
And now it’s time for Round 3 of the Soompi K-Pop Idol Rap Battle! We’re now down to a quarter of our original contestants, and there have been some unexpected casualties along the way.
Round 2 was pretty tough. There weren’t any rappers that were outright crushed; a lot of battles were, in fact, very, very close. The biggest gap in votes was seen between BIGBANG‘s T.O.P and Block B‘s P.O, T.O.P beating out P.O by roughly 30 percent. At the other end of the spectrum, the closest round without a doubt was between Block B’s Zico and EXO‘s Tao. In the end, the difference of 0.12 percent — yes, much less than 1 percent — made Tao the winner.
Also coming as a surprise in Round 2 was the defeat of Jay Park by 2PM‘s Taecyeon, who made a comeback late in the game
TheFineBros and K-pop Through a Fan’s Eyes Written by Lindsay On August 29, 2014
Why is it that K-pop fans react so strongly to people outside of the fandom giving their opinion on the genre? Perhaps defensiveness is simply an inherent trait of any fandom, or perhaps its just us. Regardless of that, TheFineBros – a professional video-making duo on YouTube – have certainly experienced the gamut of fan defensiveness and attitudes because of their videos about K-pop.
While showing the uninitiated K-pop music videos may be something we’ve all given a try, it comes across very differently when it is being done publicly for entertainment as opposed to in our bedrooms with good friends.
Out of human decency, outsiders should be given the benefit of the doubt and treated like potential fans, not potential enemies
During the crazy excitement that was KCON, Soompi had the opportunity to sit down with drama blogging superstars girlfriday and javabeans, the lovely ladies behind Dramabeans!
We asked them some really, really hard questions (sorry about that!) but I think you’ll all enjoy their answers! Check out the full interview below. Okay, first things first, what is your favorite show this season?
javabeans: Pshhhh…. long silence…
girlfriday: Okay that’s really hard…
javabeans: There are a lot of shows I like right now, not one that is my all time favorite… “Joseon Gunman?” It’s not the awesome amazing 100% I wanted, but it’s pretty good
If you"re in Korea either as a visitor or a resident, then prepare yourself for the best weekend ever. Lotte"s "18th 2014 Family Concert,"
featuring your faves, is taking place on August 30-31. Did someone say… EXO
This is going to be a large-scale concert, filled with talent and eye-candy galore. Held at the main stadium of the Jamsil Sports Complex, the concert will be open to a whopping number of 12 thousand audience members and will be a 3-day event. Tourists and Korean locals alike are welcome to enjoy the Hallyu magic.
There will be performances on August 30 by vocal angels Lee Seung Hwan, Kim Bum Soo, Wheesung, and Ailee, and on August 31 by K-Pop stars EXO-K, EXO-M, VIXX, Girl"s Day, ZE:A, BTS, and Boys Republic
Recently, rookie actor Jung Hae In has been receiving a lot of attention for his role as the flower boy Ahn Min Sun in tvN’s newest Sunday drama, “The Three Musketeers.” The actor worked with the fashion magazine Elle and through the interview with them, he revealed the behind the scene stories of the audition.
Jung Hae In officially debuted through the drama “Bride of the Century.” He graduated with a degree in Broadcasting Entertainment Department and appeared in the independent film “The Youth.” As an actor, he was able to build a strong foundation and during the time of the audition, the writer of “The Three Musketeers” complimented the actor after hearing his voice by saying, “Your voice was meant to do historical dramas
It’s about time we show our love and respect for our favorite women in their 30s gracing our TV (or computer) screens with their beauty. Here are eight of those talented actresses who effortlessly prove that aging might be something to look forward to after all.
1. Choi Ji Woo
We start off strong, seeing as Choi Ji Woo is 38 and still wowing us to this day. Many fans know her from her emotional performance in Winter Sonata, but she can now be seen playing the titular character in the newly premiered The Suspicious Housekeeper.
2. Song Hye Kyo
Another actress well-known for her work in the seasonal Endless Love series, Song Hye Kyo is 31 and possibly—probably—even more beautiful than she was ten years ago
K-pop Takes on the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge Headfirst Written by Willis On August 25, 2014
The social media fad that has swept up awareness for the ALS disease — the ice bucket challenge has been gaining major press for how many people are taking up the bucket. More recently, it has become a growing occurrence among the K-pop elite, with celebrities and idols such as Yoo Jae-suk, Siwon, and Amber all taking part in this challenge. Let’s take a look at the origin of this social media campaign for awareness and donations, and see what K-pop has to offer it.
Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), also known as Lou Gehrig’s disease, is a debilitating disease that is a part of the Motor Neuron Disease (MND) category where “control muscles undergo degeneration and die.” People with this disease are usually expected to only live for 2 to 5 years after first experiencing symptoms, and there is no known cure for it
Now that Thanksgiving is right around the corner, it’s nice to recognize some K-drama stars who show gratitude for their success by giving back to the community. Sometimes it seems like K-drama actors and actresses are always involved in relationship scandals, but this is the good kind of fame—the charitable kind that brings awareness to important causes. Fighting!
1. Won Bin
Autumn in My Heart"s Won Bin has been an official UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador since 2007. His recent work has included raising funds for vaccination efforts and disease treatment.
2-4. Song Joong Ki, Park Yoo Chun, and Lee Jong Suk
All three of these in-demand actors have been involved with the Good-Hearted Library Project, where they use their voice talents to create audiobooks for the visually impaired
Welcome to Round 2 of the Soompi K-Pop Idol Rap Battle!
The first round was a motley assortment of battles, some of them being complete runaway matches (T.O.P vs. HyunA, G-Dragon vs. Jung Hana), with no question as to the clear winner, and others with less of a split (CL vs. Rap Monster, Bang Yong Guk vs. Ilhoon). Still, some of the matches were neck and neck all the way (Jackson vs. Yong Junhyung, Taecyeon vs. Park Kyung), ending with less than a two percent difference! Especially a surprise was the victory of Taecyeon, who made a comeback late in the game, beating out Block B’s Park Kyung, who had been ahead for the majority of round one. Bet there were some sweating fans out there!
In the midst of all this, we definitely had some talented contenders knocked out very early, like Miryo (knocked out by Baro), M
Not too long after returning from his military service at the end of last month, Super Junior’s leader Leeteuk has decided to create his very own Instagram account. This means that fans will be able to see more of Leeteuk’s updates through not only his Twitter, but his Instagram as well!
So far, the Super Junior member has only posted one photo of a poster for the group’s upcoming “Super Show 6” world tour concert, which will be starting on September 19 to 21 at Jamsil Indoor Stadium in Seoul, before continuing on to open up more shows in China, Japan, Thailand, and more.
The current follower count has already surpassed 78,000 and is increasing by the minute. It appears that fellow group member Donghae has decided to join the fun and is now following Leeteuk’s account
Winner’s “2014 S/S” Is Fashionably Late, But Still Solid Written by Gaya On August 18, 2014
In the arms race between K-pop’s big three companies, the launch of a new boy band would be considered a major stage. With SM and JYP already off and running with Exo and Got7 respectively, we finally arrive at the final, anticipated debut as YG Entertainment unveils Winner.
It may feel as though Winner is at a disadvantage with its late start, but the group has been in the public eye for a considerable amount of time even before debut: first in the much disparaged show WIN, which gave Winner its name and right to debut as the first YG male group since Big Bang, and then in their pre-debut reality show Winner TV, documenting their adventures as they toured in Japan with Big Bang
Gag Concert and Foreigners: Not A Good Mix Written by Gaya On August 17, 2014
Gag Concert has a grand history as the longest running comedy show on South Korean television. Beginning in 1999, Gag Concert has managed to keep up with a rotating cast of comedians and new and newer skits. As a sketch comedy show, Gag Concert comprises of “corners” featuring certain scenarios, like Bboom Entertainment and Discoveries of Life. These skits have been retired, though, to make way for new material. And that new material is this (Note: video may not be viewable in your country):
Mansour Corner depicts the life of a rich Arab man by the name of Mansour, who flaunts his wealth by dressing like the king from Aladdin (among other cultural inaccuracies)
Jung Yong Hwa took a brief break from his preparations for his upcoming drama "Three Musketeers" to perform with his band CNBlue at KCON in Los Angeles. But now he is back on set, working hard to create his drama character and enjoying every minute of it.
On Aug. 12 he was present at the tvN drama"s press conference and there he spoke about his character, Park Dal Hyang. His character is a poor man of noble birth, who becomes a member of the military guard. Park Dal Hyang serves Crown Prince So Hyun, played by Lee Jin Wook. But he is not just the prince"s champion. He will also form a love triangle with the prince, as they are both in love with the woman played by Seo Hyun Jin. That woman was Park Dal Hyang"s first love.
Jung Yong Hwa said that the director advised him to act hic character with his heart rather than his head
WINNER Debuts with an Emotional Lament in “Empty” Written by Camiele On August 13, 2014
Finally, after much teasing and putting off, YG’s first boy group since Big Bang has debuted. To ensure the fresh-faced boys of WINNER make as big a splash as possible—or perhaps to give penance to fans who’ve waited for over a year—Papa YG decided to release two music videos back-to-back to commemorate the group’s long-awaited unveiling, and both “Empty” and its sibling video “Color Ring” make heavy use of the dramatic intro.
I’ll be the first to admit that I don’t keep up with rookies. What can I say? I’m a fan of established artists, and until the noobies can prove themselves musically, I’ve no interest. As a result, I wasn’t really paying much attention to the hoopla surrounding their win on last year’s season of Win: Who Is Next? (and subsequently WINNER’s show, WINNER TV)
The Plot Makes the MV: Part 1, “Sadness” Written by Warda On August 12, 2014
Korean pop music has predominantly been identified through brightly colored, diabolically sweet, and epilepsy-inducing music videos. From DB5K’s “Balloons” all the way to “Gangnam Style,” you cannot argue that K-pop isn’t fun.
In spite of that, you also can’t say that K-pop is all fun and games either. Korean music warrants diversity, and what better place to show differences in ideologies, opinions, and points of view than a music video? The music industry is thriving in South Korea, and the “MV” stands to be a crucial vessel in which ideas are shipped across the airwaves. The aim is to use visual artistic expression (via video) to portray a story, evoking specific emotions in the audience watching, to a background of music
SECRET - "I"M IN LOVE" MV REVIEW
Just the other day, the lovely ladies of SECRET
dropped their new video for "I"m In Love,"
and the MV pretty much guarantees that it will not only be a "SECRET SUMMER
," it will be a sizzling one.Duble Sidekick
is behind the tune, and it appears the fierce SECRET is back to dazzle once more. From Sunhwa
"s powerful voice, Hana
"s rapping, and the acoustic piano in the beginning to the retro horns that characterize the rest of the song, everything just works.
The MV is one of the countless sexy concept videos released this year. However, it does have some good qualities that the others lack. SECRET is not only known for their sexy videos (grab a look at the second version of "Bastard
" for an example) but also for their cute ones a la "Yoohoo
5 Tips to Becoming the Next “Gangnam Style” Written by Andy On August 12, 2014
K-pop is a bloody fight to the death: who can sell more, who do people talk about more, and who gets people to watch their MV? The epitome of this power is, of course, PSY’s “Gangnam Style.” The vibrant, crazy song that billions around the world watched (or at least millions repeatedly). What does it take to make such a commotion, not just in Korea, but around the world? How do you make yourself known in the vast expanse of K-pop Wonderland?
If you are a part of the Big 3, you probably don’t have to worry about any of this. Millions view their MVs anyway, no matter how lame they are.
So, if you want people to flood to your videos and make a splash, there are easy paths to take!
Jun Ji Hyun fulfills her popular “My Love from the Star” character Cheon Song Yi’s claim as “the face of Hallyu” in her new real-life duty, becoming the honorary ambassador for the Korea Tourism Organization.
On August 12, the actress received a plaque from Korea Tourism Organization President Byun Chu Seok in an appointment ceremony held in Seoul. Her appointment rides on her star power, especially coming off her successful comeback to TV drama through “My Love from the Star” earlier in the year. The drama has seen not only domestic but worldwide success, particularly in China, where her and co-star Kim Soo Hyun‘s popularity rose sharply. As honorary ambassador of the Korea Tourism Organization, Jun Ji Hyun is expected to boost even more tourist arrivals to South Korea