From Stevie Wonder to 2NE1 – International Worlds Collide at 2013 MAMA Airing in the U.S. Exclusively on Mnet America

MNET lineup

Hit-makers Icona Pop and Ylvis (“What Does the Fox Say”) to Share the Stage with Asia’s Megastars on November 22 in Hong Kong

 

Dumbfoundead (a.k.a. Parker) and Bekah to Highlight English-hosted Live

Broadcast of the Award Show

 

LOS ANGELES, CA – November, 14 2013 – Mnet America (www.mnetamerica.com), the first and leading national, 24/7 English-language television network in the U.S. for all things Asian cool, has announced that they will be airing the 2013 Mnet Asian Music Awards (MAMA) LIVE from the AsiaWorld-Expo in Hong Kong on its cable network as well as their YouTube channel online (www.youtube.com/mnetamica). Stay-up on November 22 at 1:00 am PST (4:00 am EST) for the chance to witness Asia’s biggest award show unfold live.

Big name international acts including musical legend Stevie Wonder, Icona Pop (“I Love It”) and Ylvis (“What Does the Fox Say”) will bolster a lineup packed with Asia’s biggest stars including 2NE1, BIG BANG, EXO and Crayon Pop.  From the red carpet to the explosive performances Mnet America will ensure North American fans know exactly what is happening as English-language hosts Danny Lim, Hannah Jun, Dumbfoundead (a.k.a. Parker) and Bekah (After School), guide viewers every step of the way.

“A big part of Mnet America’s role as an ambassador of Asian cool here in the States is making sure that American audiences have easier live access to the amazing shows happening in Asia,” said Jae Yoon Choi, Producer and Head of Programming for Mnet America.

MAMA is an eye-popping year end celebration of the biggest stars on the planet.  Taking over Hong Kong for the second year in a row, MAMA 2013 will air in over 93 countries in Asia, Europe, North America, Africa, and Oceania, and celebrated by over 2.4 billion people around the world. In the past, blockbuster performances have included Snoop Dogg and Dr. Dre, Adam Lambert and CL from 2NE1 on stage with the Black Eyed Peas.

 

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Korean Wave Roars in the City of Angels! North America’s Largest K-Culture Festival

GDragon_4039x5526August 24-25, 2013

Los Angeles Memorial Sports Arena

 

Exclusive special events for Hallyu(Korean Wave) fans in North America!!

Marking a turning point as new wave worldwide beyond Asia!!

 

 

2AM_5616x3744CJ E&M presents various special booths for Korean music, food, and fashion!!

K-POP fans are growing rapidly interested in <M COUNTDOWN What’s up LA> featuring fantastic lineup!!

 

 

Launched in 2012, CJ E&M’s first ever large-scale K-Culture convention ‘KCON’ (Official Homepage http://www.kconusa.com) is to mark a turning point as new Korean wave around the world beyond Asia.

DynamicDuo_4039x5390_2

Organized by Asia’s leading entertainment content company CJ E&M, KCON is North America’s first and largest Korean pop culture convention to take place on August 24 and 25 at the Los Angeles Memorial Sports Arena in Los Angeles, California. It is an exclusive event for fans who are interested in Korean pop culture in North America. Combining convention and concert, KCON presents various cultural events where the fans can experience current K-POP trends as well as K-Culture itself. Most notably, the concert will also be the first ever U.S. taping of the #1 K-Pop countdown show, ‘M COUNTDOWN.’ Numerous cultural contents of recent Korean culture such as music, film, food, fashion, and beauty will be shown to the audience. It is going to be assorted gift sets for Hallyu that expands the opportunities for fans participating and seeing their K-Pop heartthrobs in person.

fx_2000x2000At the numerous booths around the arena, there are going to be various Hallyu events for two whole days including <M COUNTDOWN What’s up LA> on August 25, 19:00(PDT). <M COUNTDOWN What’s up LA> featuring fantastic lineup such as worldly famed rapper Missy Elliott, G-Dragon, 2AM, f(x), Dynamic Duo, EXO, TEEN TOP, Yu Seung Woo, and DJ KOO is to rock the city of angels.

The United States has traditionally been referred to as a “melting pot,” welcoming people from many different countries, races, and religions. As many people witnessed Psy’s ‘Gangnam Style’ syndrome worldwide, the U.S. has been a major window to stardom as the center of global pop culture. With a strategy that incorporates active interaction between fans and artists and customized cultural events exclusively for fans in North America, <KCON 2013> achieved substantial growth as a larger scale convention with diverse events compared to last year.

Henry_2059x3089Kim Hyun-soo, General Manager of CJ E&M’s Global Festive Business, notes, “Starting with Korean dramas, Korean wave (Hallyu) gradually moves to K-pop in recent years. Now, K-Culture is rapidly growing as the new global trend in culture.” He said, “This time around, KCON is expected to play an important role in expanding Hallyu content and business worldwide.

 

KCON as a new bridgehead to lead the creative business and exports of K-Content

 

EXO_3500x2461Empowered by CJ E&M and produced by Mnet America, KCON is the first ever large-scale convention dedicated to ‘All Things Hallyu.’ The convention was launched in October 2012 to establish an annual flagship event that will improve the American K-Pop and Hallyu fan experience by providing a way for fans to connect with each other as well as artists and professionals in the K-pop industry. KCON 2012 surpassed expectations in all aspects including the achievement of over 10,000 fans attending the convention, 6.5 million people reached on Facebook, and ranking in the top 10 Twitter trending topics worldwide. The number of non-Korean audience was almost 70 percent of the total visitors, meaning it had become a stepping stone for Hallyu to expand worldwide beyond Asia. KCON got much spotlight from hundreds of major media outlets such as CNN, Billboard, and Insider.

DJ KooExperts note such high interest in KCON explains Korean wave (Hallyu) for music and drama in the past gradually spread overall Korean culture that fans can see, hear, and feel in person whereas they had no choice but to watch it on TV or via Internet before.

 

Seeing last year’s successful hit, Korean media and companies looking to expand its global business in America show high interest in KCON 2013. KCON has become a new platform to lead global creative business and exports of K-Contents worldwide.

A two-day festival filled with various special events for fan engagement

Compared to last year, KCON 2013 expanded one more day with numerous special events where fans can get their moment with high-profile Korean artists and experience K-Culture in various ways. Distinguished from any other previous Hallyu events, KCON 2013 continues to win fans with a festival focusing on fan engagement activities.

Renowned 1st generation of Hallyu star DJ KOO is to perform at <M COUNTDOWN What’s up LA> as well as to show up at “DANCE ALL DAY” to testify all things about K-Pop dance. At “Vintage K-POP” he and 1TYM’s Danny are going to talk about K-Pop in the 90s to those who are not familiar with the origin of K-Pop. Big Bang, 2NE1 choreographer Aimee Lee Lucas will also appear at KCON 2013 following last year.

YuSeungWoo_3193x4789<American Idol> season 11 constant Heejun Han shows up with Yu Seung Woo who appeared on the fourth season of the famed Korean television talent show series <Superstar K4>. At “Audition Star,” they are going to share stories of their personal experiences while they were filming the show in the U.S. and Korea respectively.

Local R&B singer-songwriter Jeff Bernat is also to perform and speak at KCON 2013. He will talk about success stories of Asian American stars on YouTube. Jeff Bernat released his first album “The Gentleman Approach” online and within hours his album was in the high ranks of various online music charts. He has become famous on YouTube and SNS ever since. He is expected to perform at KCON 2013 as well.

Meanwhile, at the booth for CJ O Shopping, worldly renowned fashion designers like Choi Bumsuk and Ko Tae Yong talk about K-Fashion. They will tell current trends in K-Fashion and the prospects of the next season. Korea’s top-notch makeup artist Woo Hyun Jeung is to teach cover makeup for K-Pop artists at ‘Get It Beauty’ booth. In addition, various cultural events are set up such as cooking class for ‘Bibimbap,’ K-Pop composing sessions and more.

Kim Hyun-soo, General Manager of CJ E&M’s Global Festive Business, notes “KCON 2013 is assorted gift sets for K-Culture, so to speak. It would be a best chance for the audience to see, hear, and feel the full spectrum of Korean pop culture which they were vaguely familiar with in the past.”

The first ever U.S. taping of the #1 K-Pop countdown show, M COUNTDOWN! Headlining acts include Missy Elliott, GD, 2AM, f(x), and EXO and more!

Korea’s renowned music chart show Mnet <M COUNTDOWN> visits LA for the first time to present <M COUNTDOWN What’s up LA> on August 25, 19:00(PDT), the second day of KCON. K-Pop fans are growing rapidly interested in <M COUNTDOWN What’s up LA> featuring fantastic lineup that has led K-Pop wave worldwide, to enchant the convention crowd. The lineup includes G-Dragon, EXO, f(x), 2AM, Dynamic Duo, TEEN TOP, Yu Seung Woo, and DJ KOO.

Korea’s renowned music channel Mnet introduces global tour of M COUNTDOWN since last year featuring outstanding lineup. It has become one of the most anticipated music festivals for a long time among those music fans throughout Asia for its advanced skills in stage and production management. Harmonizing both Korean and American pop culture, <M COUNTDOWN What’s up LA> is expected to show a music extravaganza with tremendously popular artists worldwide and their special performances in LA, the heart of the global entertainment industry.

 

Yoon Shin Hye, Chief Producer of <M COUNTDOWN What’s up LA> notes, “My team is very excited and awaited for this M COUNTDOWN since it is the first time visiting the US. With Mnet’s exceptional skills in stage, production management, and unique collaboration performances, we are planning to make <M COUNTDOWN What’s up LA> as a global music extravaganza for all music fans around the world.”

Millie’s Top Ten July K-Pop Music Videos

Millie’s Top Ten July K-pop Music Videos 

July gave an overload of Summer K-pop Music that made it hard to keep up. But among the pack of flashy videos, there were a lot of unique videos that caught my eye at first glance. With rookie, and veteran girl groups dominating my music charts.

10. Kim Hyun Joong – Your Story

Kim Hyun Joong- Your Story

Back with a new wardrobe that specializes on no shirts (but we are not complaining) is Kim Hyun Joong. This time around he came back with two songs; “Unbreakable” and “Your Story”. Both music videos give off a manly and dramatic feel, as well share in common the amount of time he shows off his six-pack (which is a good half of each video). But despite the eye candy that is Kim Hyun Joong, he came back with two interesting title tracks, “Your Story” being my favorite of the two. The Music Video screamed 90’s Romance Novel cliche; with the waves/beach fading footage and the rotating camera as Kim Hyun Joong stands on the sand serenading the…air? But even though the song was slower, I enjoyed listening to it a lot. Does it stand well on its own? No, Kim Hyun Joong being shirtless and sexy helped a bit. But is it still nice and worth listening to? Yes.

9. AOA (Black) – Moya

AOA-Moya

Ace of Angels Band unit, AOA Black came back with their first original song “Moya”. The group had previously preformed the band versions to AOA’s two title tracks “Elvis” and “Get Out”, but this was the first time the group appeared by itself. “Moya” has to be my favorite of the AOA songs; it’s memorable, extremely likable, and just the sound of an all-female K-pop band is unique in the K-pop music industry. In the Music Video, the girls are getting ready to go out and have a good time, while singing about how frustrated they are with their boyfriend who is no longer giving them attention. He always claims to be busy, and never wants to talk, so the girl feels like is getting ready to break up and tells him to hurry up and do it, to stop breaking her heart. The Music Video has a funny twist at the end, and overall does a good job of expressing the girl’s emotions.

8. 2NE1 – Falling in Love

2NE1-Falling in Love

2NE1 made their long awaited comeback with “Falling in Love” – a summer reggae track that is quite different from 2NE1’s regular fast-paced, loud sounding dance music. They slowed it down for the fans with sensual dance moves and beautiful tropical scenery backgrounds, but still brought their confidence and unique fashion tastes in all of their outfits. The girls expressed the sentiments of summer love; falling in love at first sight and the strange way it makes the heart race. Added also with a fierce determination to win over the boy and make him feel the same way. Even though this song brought out a new color for 2NE1, I enjoyed it a lot and was excited to see this new side. It’s not my favorite song, but I applaud the girls for being able to try something, and pull of a concept like reggae so well.

7. Junsu – Incredible

Junsu-Incredible

Junsu released his second full length album with the title track “Incredible”. Incredible is right, as this dance track is loud, fun and extremely colorful – a complete 180 degree change from the darker single “Tarantallegra” that he released last year. The song itself is alright, but what sold me was the party-like music video. Usually these kinds of videos already exist (and are in fact quite boring with just attractive people jumping around, dancing and drinking) but Junsu brings an international cast of dancers for this video, making this music video expand on a global scale. The only down part was the rapping of Quincy, the featured artist in the song. His part really didn’t do anything special to the song so it might have been better to do without. The dance is highlight of the entire performance for me, and makes me wish I could learn these for the next time I go to a pool party.

6.  Stellar – Study

Stellar - Study

After a member change, 2011 rookie girl group Stellar came back with their second song “Study” – a cute song of advice for a boy that is trying to win the girl’s heart. She tells him to “study” her, so that he knows what to do to gain her attention, and she confesses that she is starting to cave into his affections. This sweet and adorable music video is filmed inside, as all of the girl are in different parts of the house, trying to do their work but are too distracted by the thoughts of their admirer. Surrounding them are crumpled pieces of paper that symbolize their frustration and their inability to focus on their current situation. Stellar has finally caught my attention, but can they keep it?

5. A-Pink – No, No, No

A-Pink-No No No

After a year, the girls of A-Pink have returned with their cute title track “No, No, No” off their third mini-album “Secret Garden”. This was the first time the girls performed after the departure of one of their members, Yookyung, but the girls came back strong, continuing with their “innocent” images that made them so popular. “No, No, No” is an encouraging song to the boy they love; they tell him no, no, no, don’t be sad and to lean on them – they will be his strength and his light. While the music video was bright and colorful to match the encouraging lyrics, it seemed as though the plot of the video was too ordinary and they could have been more creative with the story-line. None the less, this is a very catchy song with an adorable dance that matches the girls perfectly.

4. EXO – Growl

EXO-Growl

EXO came back shortly with their follow-up track “Growl” for their repackage album “XOXO”, a tamer song and video from the beastly “Wolf”. Reflecting their original teaser photos (and the drama version of “Wolf”), all 12 members were dressed in grey school uniforms and danced in a parking garage like empty room. The music video was centered towards the dance; as the camera solely focused on the choreography and the video did not switch back and forth to shots of these pretty boy’s faces (nor were there any weird outfits/accessories, flashing lights, or sound effects to distract from the amazing dancing). “Wolf” only grew on me after a while, but “Growl” was an instant hit for my ears. More simplistic – sometimes music industries need to take a step back and come out with great songs that can stand on their own.

3. Ailee – U&I

Ailee-U&I

The Jersey girl is back! Ailee made another powerful return with “U&I” the title track off her second mini-album “A’s Doll House”. This song hit the “All-Kill” status within the first day, and I could tell why. This song is uplifting, with a funky tune and highlights Ailee strong personality and voice. Her outfits and sets are very “shiny”; objects decorated fully with rhinestones and bright lights everywhere for a stage performance theme. “U&I” is about a girl who is tired of her relationship; it makes her unhappy, stressed, and situation never seems to change between the two. She wants to end it now, and leave the mess behind.

2. Infinite – Destiny

Infinite-Destiny

Infinite members made a speedy return with “Destiny”, a music video filmed in a unique background – California’s very own Universal Studios. Infinite became the first Korean artists to be granted permission to film their music video in same place as the settings for some of Hollywood’s most iconic films. They made great use of this location as the music video switched between different scenic locations and added CGI effects to give the member’s “powers”. One word to sum up this comeback is dramatic; a dramatic background, with a dramatic song and complicated dance to match Infinite’s high reputation of choreography. The lyrics are about a man who regrets his decision to break-up with his girlfriend and now that she wants to leave him for good, he is pleading with her to stay.

1. Brown Eyed Girls (BEG) – Kill Bill

BEG-Kill Bill

The queens of the sexy concept have returned to promote as a group, after a year and half, with “Kill Bill” a song from their fifth studio album “Black Box”. This song continues to brand the confident, seducing reputation their previous songs (Abracadabra/Sixth Sense) have formed. “Kill Bill” carries a memorable tune; quite upbeat compared to the dark, somber tone the music video starts off with. In the Music Video, the girls are different killers who while all four try to kill each other, only end up wounding each other. Four years later, the girls are at it again. Holding onto their signature fatal weapons the girls try to finish each other off only to be faced with the same fate as before, showing that history has the habit of repeating itself. The lyrics are about getting revenge on someone they loved who betrayed them, and how satisfying it is to watch them break down. Not only was the music video filmed beautifully with the scenery, action shots and costumes, but the dance creatively provocative and the music video touched down on a deeper message of the song – sometimes getting revenge is not the answer.

~Millie

KCON 2013 TICKETS GO ON-SALE

KCON logo

TEEN TOP Joins EXO and 2AM In Line-up for Convention Capping Concert August 25

 

Bekah (formally of After School) also Scheduled to Participate

 

Los Angeles – July 15, 2013 – As tickets for KCON 2013 go on-sale today, North America’s first and largest Korean pop culture convention announced that TEEN TOP will be one of the six groups to perform at this year’s two day convention and concert. The line-up already includes EXO and 2AM.  Tickets can be purchased through the KCON website here.  Additional announcements surrounding the artists including headlining acts attending KCON 2013 will be shared in the coming weeks.

Tickets for the star-studded event at the Los Angeles Memorial Sports Arena range from $60 to $300 for varying admittance to the six act concert, the convention floor and VIP access areas.  More information and access to the ticket vendor can be found at www.kconusa.com.

With six members ranging in ages from 17 to 20, TEEN TOP has consistently brought infectious pop singles to the K-Pop scene since their 2010 debut under T.O.P. Media.  Recently coming off a successful first European tour, KCON 2013 will be the all-male band’s first trip to the United States to perform.  TEEN TOP released their first full-length studio album, No. 1, in February of this year.

More details about additional stars scheduled to participate will be announced leading up to the convention.  That list already includes Bekkah, formerly of the girl group After School, who will give fans a sneak peek behind the scenes as she hosts a panel titled, “Day in the Life of K-Pop Artist.”

KCON is set to take place on August 24 and 25 at the Los Angeles Memorial Sports Arena in Los Angeles, California. The concert will also be the first ever U.S. taping of the #1 K-Pop countdown show, M COUNTDOWN. For more information and updates, please visit www.kconusa.com.

KCON is produced by Mnet America (www.mnetamerica.com), a youth entertainment brand for all things Asian cool, which includes the biggest national, English-language lifestyle TV network in the U.S. for fans of Asian pop culture. Mnet America is a division of CJ Group; Korea’s leading lifestyle and culture company.

Additional Artist Details: 

EXO is a 12 member group produced by SM Town that is divided into two subgroups, EXO-M and EXO-K, each singing respectively in Mandarin and Korean.  All 12 members will be attending KCON 2013.  Since debuting last year, EXO has exploded to become one of the most successful and popular groups in K-pop. Released earlier this year, their first full length, XOXO, topped the Billboard World Album Chart.  Their current single, Wolf (EXO-M and EXO-K) has a combined total of more than 10 million views on YouTube and continues to grow.  A special greeting from the group can be seen here.

2AM is a four piece group commonly known as K-Pop’s #1 ballad vocal group.  Debuting in 2008, the band is currently celebrating their five year anniversary.  In March, 2AM released their most recent album “One Spring Day” reaching #1 on multiple international charts.

ABOUT KCON

KCON is the first ever large-scale convention dedicated to ‘All Things Hallyu.’ The convention was launched in 2012 to establish an annual flagship event that will improve the American K-Pop and Hallyu fan experience by providing a way for fans to connect with each other as well as artists and professionals in the K-pop industry.

KCON 2012 surpassed expectations in all aspects including the achievement of over 10,000 fans attending the convention, 6.5 million people reached on Facebook, and ranking in the top 10 Twitter trending topics worldwide. The Official KCON 2013 poster and photos from KCON 2012 can be found here and here.

ABOUT MNET AMERICA

Mnet America (www.mnetamerica.com) is a youth entertainment brand for all things Asian cool. It uses video, digital, experiential and social media channels to reach Millenials with lifestyle content inspired by Asian pop culture and entertainment. This includes the leading 24/7 English-language television network in the U.S. targeting fans of K-pop music, anime and other genres of entertainment growing in popularity throughout Asia and around the world. An advertiser-supported network – distributed in over 30 DMAs through Comcast Cable, Time Warner cable, FIOS TV, Cox cable, Charter Communications and via TV Everywhere – Everywhere – Mnet America is the first U.S. television property of CJ E&M, Asia’s leading entertainment company and a unit of the CJ Group. Mnet America is headquartered in Los Angeles can be found on http://www.facebook.com/MnetUSA, on Twitter @mnetamerica and Tumblr at http://mnetamerica.tumblr.com/

ABOUT CJ E&M

CJ E&M is Asia’s No. 1 integrated entertainment and media company innovating cultural trends. Over the past 20 years, CJ has built leading businesses in broadcasting, film, music, live entertainment and interactive game industries. CJ E&M is running 18 cable channels at home and 3 channels abroad: Mnet America (U.S.), Mnet Japan (Japan), and channel M (in 10 Southeast Asian countries). With CJ E&M’s broad catalog of original content and popular platforms, we are investing heavily in globalizing the Korean wave and working harder than ever to become a global content provider. Already, projects such as ‘Superstar K’ and ‘MAMA’ ‘(Mnet Asian Music Awards)’, as well as CJ E&M’s TV dramas, movies, musicals, and games have gone beyond Japan and China to find success in the greater Asian market and the U.S.

Get Geared Up for KCON 2013

KCON2013The 2nd Annual KCON, Southern California’s biggest and best Hallyu event of the year will be held August 25th and 26th at the Los Angeles Memorial Sports Arena.

 

The event, upgraded to a 2 day affair this year will feature a KPOP concert, panels, workshops, games and activities – something for every Hallyu fan. Tickets go on sale July 15th.

The first artist reveal for the big concert is out!

 

 

Want more information? Go to:

http://kconusa.com/

https://www.facebook.com/kconusa

Be sure to sign up their updates to get the latest info on what’s happening at KCON this year. Yeah – We’ll be posting here, too! 😉

Millie’s Top Ten May K-Pop Music Videos

Millie’s Top Ten May K-Pop Music Videos

This month, the K-pop music scene has seen the return of many groups that had taken long hiatus. We see the return of “beast-idols” 2pm, rookie group “EXO” makes a reappearance after making their fans wait impatiently for a year and a half, the Sexy Queen Lee Hyori comes back with multiple singles, and Shinhwa celebrated their 15th Anniversary (wow!) with a new album for their dedicated fans.

10. Vixx – Hyde

Vixx-Hyde

One of the few rookie groups to make it out of the 2012 explosion of debuts is Vixx, coming back with their new title track “Hyde” for their first mini-album. “Hyde” is a dark and dramatic song about a guy who is apologizing to his girlfriend for showing her a darker side of himself. He says it’s not his fault, but sometimes he feels like he changes between two people, like “Jekyll and Hyde”, and to believe in him. The music video mirrors the lyrics with the boys chasing after the girl who is leaving them, except the screen jumps back and forth between the “white” version (the good side) that is trying to be gentle, and the “black” version (the bad side) that is ready to tear apart the girl. Vixx presented us with a bipolar music video to match the bipolar feels.

9. Lee Hyori – Bad Girls

Lee Hyori-Bad Girl

The Queen is back! Lee Hyori has been absent from the K-pop scene for three years but has now returned with her fifth studio album “Monochrome”, as well as promoting her pre-release title tracks “Miss Korea” and “Bad Girls”. Both tracks had similar themes of women empowering (“Miss Korea” however was more retro than “Bad Girls”). “Bad Girls” was my favorite of her comeback titles because not only was the music video funny but the song is also amazingly catchy, and proves that Lee Hyori, despite being in the Korean music industry for so long, can still keep up with the younger rookies that are dominating the charts right now. “Bad Girls” is a comical video about the life of a bad girl; from when she was four and pulling pranks, to high school when she didn’t let anyone bully her, to an adult where she refuses to let men get away with just looking at her looks.

8. Shinhwa – This Love

Shinhwa-This love

Shinhwa debuted in 1998 and is still coming out with new singles and album, proving that the k-pop group curse (that k-pop groups only last five years before disbanding) does not apply to them. The group came back with their 11th studio album, titled “The Classic”, and they are promoting their title track song “This Love”. This song surprised me, for when I heard it the first time, I instantly fell in love with it. It surprisingly has a modern sound, yet, doesn’t sound like any of the other songs that are being promoted at the current time. However, as much as I like the song I can’t say the same about the dance. It has such exaggerated movements that it seems almost comical, except I think they were trying to be serious about it. It’s okay though, I forgive them for this because the song and their live performance makes up for it.

7. Hello Venus – Do You Want Some Tea?

Hello Venus

This is a very good, yet underrated single. “Do You Want Some Tea?”  tells the story of a girl who has been dating this guy for only a short time, yet she really likes him and the relationship seems to be moving too slowly for her liking. She talks about how she is going to have to make the first move and invite the guy over for “tea” in order to get closer. Now, this could be taken as a very suggestive song but since the song and music video are very innocent, I’m going to just accept the fact that the motives behind inviting the guy over for tea are also innocent. The music video is simple but matches perfectly with the song and lyrics with its pastel colors and graphic patterns, and portrays the girls all going on dates trying to suggest to the guy to show more “skinship” and it even goes to the comical extreme of slipping him a homemade love potion.

6. EXO – Wolf

EXO-Wolf

EXO made their long awaited comeback with the hip-hop/dubstep title track “Wolf”. SM Entertainment’s style as of late has been to mash-up their artists title tracks, and this song being no exception with the constant change of pace throughout the song. The choreography is fantastic, with many signature dance moves and the twelve members are able to transition their places effortlessly. However, the song is another thing. I’ve accepted some of SME’s past mash-ups but this one is just jarring for my ears. Perhaps after listening to it several times over I’d be able to tolerate this piece but as of now I’m going to enjoy the live performances and just watch these handsome boys dance.

5. CL – The Baddest Female

CL-The Baddest Female

CL, the “Badass” rapper from 2NE1, came out with her first solo single “The Baddest Female” and became the second member from 2NE1 to branch out in a solo promotion (the first one was  vocalist Park Bom). “The Baddest Female” is a hip-hop song mixed with dubstep, and holds a catchy chorus that is easy to follow along with. CL surprised me by not only showing her signature swag and edgy style, but also mixing it in with a sexier image. My only request is that I wished this single showed off her singing abilities as well and not only her rapping. We know she is an excellent rapper, but she is capable of more.

4. Nine Muses – Wild

Nine Muses-Wild

Nine Muses is the nine member k-pop girl group made up of models. Throughout their past releases they have shown that they are not only pretty faces but also talented singers and dancers. “Wild” is another great song that shows off their sexy and seducing sides as the music video is filmed with a black and white filter letting only a blood red color pop throughout the frames. This is a music video that their male friends are sure to love; not only for these lovely ladies and their gorgeous bodies but because the song expresses the girls’ desires to stay forever with the one guy they love.

3. B1A4 – What’s going on?

B1A4-What's happening

B1A4 came back with their new crazy title track “What’s Going On?” (Otherwise known as “What’s Happening?”) That rivaled their famous music video “Beautiful Target” for being one of the weirdest music video I have ever seen. Even watching it several times over I still had difficulties understanding the strange way this video was filmed.  I’ve boiled it down to the plot being that the five B1A4 boys are trying to catch their cheating girlfriend on a date with another. B1A4 finally had their first win on a music program with this title track and I could see why, the live performance shows off the great energy despite the sad nature of the song. I’ve always had a soft spot for the country-side idols, and now “What’s going on?” has become one of my favorite songs that was released this month.

2. Secret – Yoohoo

Secret-yoohoo

Secret has always been able to switch between the sexy concepts and the sweet ones. “Yoohoo” is a fun summer song that shows off the cuteness that the Secret girls previously expressed through “Shy Boy” and “Starlight Moonlight”. The music video seems to have nothing to do with the lyrics; it is about the four members on vacation when they suddenly get stranded on a deserted island and have to travel through the jungle to get back to civilization. The lyrics are talking about finding out you are slowly falling in love with your best friend, someone who has always been by your side but only now are finally noticing.  While this music video was cute, it really didn’t feel like anything special, with its saving grace being the beautiful scenery behind the girls in most of the shots. However, I love the song. It’s super infectious and the choreography that goes with it is very fun. This has to be my favorite comeback song from Secret with their cute concept.

1. 2pm “A.D.T.O.Y”

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2pm enjoyed pushing the rating limits with this steaming hot music video. “A.D.T.O.Y” (All Day I Think of You) was released directly after “Come Back When You Hear This Song”, so at first this song lacked in views because fans were not aware of it being uploaded. But after seeing this music video once, it’s hard to forget. The 2pm “beast-idols” showed off their signatures abs in black and white scenes, many of them containing passionate moments with a female that I think most fans were jealous of (I volunteer to take place of the next leading lady in their music video, 2pm, call me?) The choreography differed from their usual style as they enabled chair props that were constantly changing places and position, making it a very clean and interesting visual for this promotion. But it’s not only the sexy music video that is making me play this track on replay but also because I can proudly say that this is my favorite 2pm song to date.

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:

Not Feeling the Love from the Korean Entertainment Industry

And don’t I deserve love? Really.

 

Korean dramas and Korean music are big business in Korea. Asian countries, especially Japan are bigger markets than the homeland. In fact, according to Bernie Cho, president of the DFSB Kollective, a Seoul-based agency specializing in the marketing and distribution of digital media, Korean artists can make as much money in Japan in one week as they make in a year in Korea.

Korean fan sites are currently geared for this audience as well, with translations in Japanese and Chinese and often entire sites dedicated to the fan-bases in those countries.

As the Hallyu wave sweeps the Americas, phenomena like the B.A.P. selling out their entire U.S. tour in an hour happen with increasing frequency. Interestingly, though, the Korean entertainment industry seems unprepared for the enthusiasm shown by English speaking fans. Although the Americas seem to be a market that interests them, not much effort seems to be given to catering to English speaking clientele, much less Spanish speakers. To be sure, K-pop groups tour the Americas with great success. But trying to join a fan club or view official websites is an exercise in frustration.

Logo_of_SM_EntertainmentSM Town’s website is notoriously difficult to navigate. Despite the enormous popularity of groups like Super Junior, Girl’s Generation, SHINee and EXO here in the US, there is no offer anywhere on their page to translate into English, nor is there an “official” place for English speaking fans to go, merely after-market fan-made sites.

**Update: Down at the bottom of the SM front page (right hand side) there is a small “English” box that will translate the site to English. It’s easy to miss, so look for it! Once clicked, much of the site is translated.

Want to join a fan club? Good luck. While English translations on that page may direct you to the fandom of choice, once you get there, you’re out of luck entirely.

Familiar with E.L.F.? The Super Junior fans? If you’re Korean, you can join E.L.F. for $15/year. If you’re American, you’re going to have to shell out $45/year. Why the discrepancy? Good question. It almost makes you wonder if SM is really interested in the American market after all. Or are they actively trying to discourage American fans?

Logo_of_YG_EntertainmentYG entertainment has recently added an English tab at the top of their website. There are some amusing translation errors, though, and no official fan club info, in case you were wondering how to join Big Bang’s VIP’s.

JYP_Entertainment_LogoJYP also has an English tab. Their website has much in English that’s translated pretty well. There are English profiles on the artists and overall, it’s relatively easy to navigate. The fact that the FanCafe is in Korean with no way to translate may be program related.

Cubeent Cube Entertainment’s Front page shows up in English but it’s a dangerous proposition clicking any further than that. Very little beyond that front page sport anything other than hangul.

FNC_ENTERTAINMENTFNC  Entertainment’s website does a lovely job of making life much easier for their American fans. Aside from a few side trips to google translate, I was able to sign up to join the CN Blue fan club (for free!) and enter the site. I took a look at the shopping area and while it’s not entirely translated, they did have a “Guide for Foreigner” tab that gave a step by step tutorial with screen shots, guiding the purchaser through the shopping and check-out process. Again, FanCafes, sadly, are not translated.

What about those networks that air all of those popular dramas?

kbs_rss_logoKBS World Website now allows you to select English as a language on the front page. Once you do, entire news world opens up to the English speaker. I highly recommend this website as they have a wide variety of informational areas as well as Korean Language learning pages. Everything is translated and translated well. Kudos to KBS for for their welcoming, informative and educational site. A full 10 soju shots awarded by the DramaQueen!

sbs_kr logo_mbcSBS and MBC, on the other hand, cater not at all to English speakers. Not at all. Nada. Nil. Opsoyo. Want to know more about your favorite SBS or MBC dramas direct from the source? Better learn Korean.

naverEven sites like Naver, the popular South Korean search portal, have made it pretty much impossible for an American to create an account. While difficult before, it is now appears impossible. However, Naver-Japan allows an American to easily sign up for a Naver account. Go figure.

So the question is why does much of the entertainment industry ignore (or in the case of SM – actively diss) English speaking clientele?

  • Are they unaware that the market exists or that there is an interest? (Nope, this can’t be – I doubt anyone is unaware.)
  • Have they just not “gotten around to it?” (Possibly. Translating effectively takes time and money.)
  • Are they actively shunning English-speakers – in other words, are they entering the market somewhat reluctantly? (Although rumors exist that some anti-Americanism may exist, my guess would be $$$ trumps that – always.)

I am honestly perplexed at the lack of effort shown by the Korean entertainment industry in trying to gain (or actively block?) my internet attention. In this day and age of instant information, it is increasingly frustrating trying to access accurate content directly from the source when the source is hiding.

I am actively working to learn Korean, but it’s slow going. And I really hate the idea of having to wait for fluency before I ‘feel the love.’

Rant over.

The views expressed here are my own and not necessarily those of KKonnect, although anyone who disagrees with me is an idiot. 😉

The Ultimate KPop Electro House Party!!!

Break out the glow sticks, turn out the lights, and have a 4:05 minute party in your house.

DJ Zedd-Spectrum with a KPop Twist.

S.M. The Performance: TVXQ’s Yunho, SHINee’s Taemin and Minho, EXO’s Lay and Kai, Super Junior’s Donghae and Eunhyuk

This KKonnect writer likes the music, but ponders why there aren’t any K-Pop musicians with beards or mustaches.

(Original by Zedd)

© S.M. Entertainment