Mutjin Saram in Seoul!

IMG_0738 Finally my dream came true; to visit Korea! Seeing historic temples located amongst the modern landscape of the city, walking down the vibrant streets of Myeongdong crowded with shoppers and couples, taking pictures with idol cutouts, eating the most delicious (and not to mention cheap) street ddeokbokki, and listening to Seoul’s indie music scene in Hongdae. There is so much happening in Seoul and the city seems to come alive especially into the night. To anyone who has ever watched dramas or music videos which show scenes of the city, being here will give you a surreal feeling as if you have stepped into a drama yourself. Although the journey to this country is not cheap, everything else here is absolutely affordable and I highly recommend visiting sometime.

Stay tuned for future posts and articles to get an insight on what life is like in Seoul!

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Kpop Choreographer LYLE BENIGA to teach dance class 5/23!

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Having the best, most technical choreography is the key part to a successful Kpop music video and one of the most renowned in the dance world is Lyle Beniga. Just some of his choreography includes Taeyang’s “Wedding Dress”, EXO’s “Mama”, Kim Hyun Joong’s “Lucky Guy” and several others from around the world. Don’t miss this great opportunity to take his Advanced Hip-hop class, for one night only, this Thursday ay 23rd at the Culture Shock Dance Center!

Address: 2110 Hancock Street #200

Time: 8:30-9:30pm

Fee: $15

 Lyle Beniga’s class at Culture Shock in 2009:

2013 KPOP Recap!

An overview of top songs from this year so far and at April’s upcoming releases.

 

Unbelievable, it’s already 4 months into the New Year! At the start of each year, I always anticipate what kind of music will be released and after last year’s success for Kpop I am even more thrilled to hear what’s to come. So far this year, we’ve already seen many great music releases that I am eager to update my iPod with.

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The year started right with SNSD’s ‘I Got a Boy’, their first Korean single in over a year. They broke free from their usual girly and innocent concept and instead showed a mature, hip-hop style. While the song may not appeal to everyone’s tastes with its dynamic sounds and verses which reminded me quite like a musical, it was very visually appealing and the choreography was more complex.

One of my favorite soloists currently is the young and great Lee Hi with her song ‘It’s Over’. This jazz-style song is completely addicting and unlike typical pop songs today. I definitely predict that this 16 year old talent will have a long successful career and contribute great music to Kpop. If great vocals from a solo singer and a soulful sound aren’t your taste, then you just can’t deny the video of this song is entertaining with the adorable dancing bear.

Boy group Infinite finally returns with their recently released song ‘Man in Love’. Trying something new from their usual cool and edgy style, they finally cave into the cute concept. Infinite from the get-go has always had such charismatic looks and a unique quality which I think this song delivers. What I enjoy most about them is that even if this is a different concept from their previous songs such as ‘The Chaser’, it doesn’t seem out of place and maintains their distinctive style. Occasionally when a group modifies their style to maintain
the appeal of fans, they seem to lose the quality which we love about them and appear as just a product being rebranded and sold. This on the other hand just has that “Infinite” feel to it.

Amongst all the songs from these past couple months, I’d have to say my personal favorite so far is from hip-hop trio MFBTY (My Fans Better Than Yours) and their song ‘Sweet Dream’. I’ve always been in love with collaborations, trios and duos such as Infinite H or TaeTiSeo because they have the opportunity to experiment and delve into other styles. This collaboration features hip hop masters Yoon Mi Rae, Tiger JK, and Bizzy in this upbeat song which is certainly not to be defined as Kpop.  As someone who enjoys listening to a variety of genres, I recommend this song to anyone interested in broadening their Korean musical tastes, and especially looking into each of these artists’s solo work. ‘Sweet Dream’ is definitely a song I’d like to blast while cruising around with friends over the summer!

Expected to make a comeback to the music scene within this month is Psy, who has diligently been working on his next song to prove he isn’t a one hit wonder in the American market. People all around the world are anticipating his next song with the hopes that it will be on par with the success he garnered from ‘Gangnam Style’. Other artists who are reported to be returning this month are 2pm, with their long-awaited comeback since nearly two years ago, EXO, SECRET, 4Minute, and Shinhwa, who will be releasing a new album for their 15th anniversary.

Rhema’s (Totally Biased) Kpop Countdown!

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WOW, FANTASTIC BABY~!
One of the biggest and most awaited comebacks of the year was from none other than BIGBANG, one of the most loved and widely known kpop groups there is! BIGBANG is still on top and still killing it after all these years, and one of the most popular kpop songs of the year was none other than BIGBANG’s “Fantastic Baby”! The music video for “Fantastic Baby” was released on March 6, 2012 and has gotten BIGBANG many well-earned perks. On March 16, a few days after it was released, BIGBANG earned two gold medals on YouTube for “Recently Most Popular” and “Trending” since it gained over 8 million views in such a short time. Not to mention “Fantastic Baby” stayed top 10 on music charts for over 10 weeks, showing its true popularity. “Fantastic Baby” is still making records as it just recently hit over 50 million views on YouTube making it one of the most watched kpop videos out there. The song has strong electronic beats providing a catchy rhythm, and not to mention lots of eye candy in the music video. It has a sound that is very hard to get bored of; you just want to get up and dance!

NILLILI MAMBO~!
Another top favorite kpop song of mine is a recent comeback by Block B! Block B recently released their first full-length album called “Blockbuster” on October 16, 2012. Block B are known for their talented rappers, singers, and of course, good looks. Their title song “NILLILI MAMBO” has easily become one of my favorite songs of the year. What I specifically like about this release is the music video. The video showcases Block B as pirates trying to steal treasure, and it feels like you’re watching a movie. It is very well done and I love watching it over and over! All of the members are pretty silly and very loveable. You feel close to their music because they work very hard for their fans.

I’M SO CURIOUS, YEAH~!
Boy group SHINee are called the princes of kpop and they have a special place in my heart because they were my first kpop group ever. SHINee came back after a year and six month hiatus with their fourth mini album called “Sherlock”, released on various music sites on March 19, 2012. After the album was released, they reached #1 on various music sites and gained attention internationally in places like America, Canada, The United Kingdom, and France. They achevived 8th place on the iTunes Top Albums chart and have won many awards because of “Sherlock”. SHINee are also know for their absolutely amazing dancing skills. They received special attention for “Sherlock” working with world famous choreographer Tony Testa who has also worked with stars like Janet Jackson and Michael Jackson. Not to mention the electronic beat is super addicting! Please check out SHINee’s “Sherlock” and give them your support!

CATCH ME IF YOU WANNA!
TVXQ or Tong Vfang Xien Qi (made up of Changmin and Yunho from the previous kpop group DBSK or Dong Bang Shin Ki) have also made a very long awaited comeback recently with “Catch Me”. Released on September 25, 2012. “Catch Me” has done so well in just the last half of this year that TVXQ announced they will be having their own world tour starting in Seoul and going to many other countries around the world, starting the new year off strong. TVXQ’s Yunho and Changmin have been in the kpop scene for many years now, so it’s no wonder they’re still at the top. The music video has insane choreography and even when they perform live they still reenact it flawlessly. The dance is called “The Hulk Dance” because all of the dancers have gold plated arms, and when they connect them all together, it looks like they are raising giant arms like The Hulk! The music video is really phenomenal. There are many impressive points about this song and TVXQ has made me very proud to be their fan. Check it out for yourself sometime!

WE GOT THE POWER!
B.A.P (Best Absolute Perfect) is another one of my all time favorite kpop groups and they have made a big name for themselves. They haven’t been stars for very long but they already have a very loyal following. B.A.P is a 6-member group that has actually released many songs in 2012, but my ultimate favorite B.A.P song is “Power”. The music video for “Power” was released on April 26, 2012 and has about 4 million views on YouTube. After promotion in Korea for this song, they went on an Asian showcase tour in countries such as Malaysia, Thailand, and Taiwan. It’s got that grudge sound to show their true “Power” and their image usually has to do with the bad boy look. B.A.P has it all: great dance moves, powerful vocals, and insane raps. They really are a force to be reckoned with. B.A.P GOT THE POWER!

YOU KNOW WHAT I WISH?
I wish that one of my ultimate bias’ Lee Hongki and I could eat ice cream together! Who do you love in kpop? Lee Hongki is from a band called FT Island who made a comeback this year with their song “I Wish”! It quickly became one of my favorite songs of the year but I really don’t know a lot about FT Island. I have been finding out more about them because I’ve always loved Hongki but never knew his band very much, mostly his acting skills.