Tag Archives: k-pop

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Six Korean Indie Songs That Will Get You in the Mood for Fall


It’s the end of the first week of October, which means fall is now in full swing. Here are six non-mainstream Korean songs that will help you get in the mood for the cozy season of autumn.

1. Verbal Jint ft. Eddy Kim – “I Smell Autumn”

This smooth R&B, hip-hop track by Verbal Jint is a perfect fit for the fall season, hence the song’s name. Eddy Kim’s soft vocals give the song a pleasant, laid-back vibe and compliment Jint’s soothing rap.

2. Soyu and Urban Zakapa – “The Space Between”

Already garnering attention on music charts, Urban Zakapa and SISTAR’s Soyu’s collaborative song has a sweet melody with a crisp beat that gives off the warm and breezy feeling of early fall.

3. Yoon Gun – “Meet in Autumn”

“Meet in Autumn” tells the story of a man who falls in love with a woman in Haeundae Beach and asks her to meet him again at the same location in the fall. Accompanied by piano and guitar, Yoon Gun’s soothing voice carries the love story in a beautiful manner.

4. Younha – “Wasted”


Younha has come a long way since her peppy “Password 486″ days. “Wasted” is an emotionally-charged break-up song that showcases Younha’s clear melancholy vocals. The music video depicts the heart-wrenching lyrics with barren sets and shots of rose petals’ colors fading that are reminiscent of the changing colors of autumn leaves.

5. Clazziquai Project – “Still I’m By Your Side”

Celebrating their 10th anniversary this year, Clazziquai Project brought back their signature funk and smooth vocals in their song “Still I’m By Your Side.” The music video follows the story of two different lovers going about their everyday routines after an argument with their respective significant others. The lovers’ perspectives are shown split screen and in separate filters, one warm and the other cold.

6. Mellouspoon – “Shall We Dance”

With its romantic, vintage sound and comfortable waltz rhythm, Mellouspoon’s song “Shall We Dance” tells the story of love and inevitable parting, reflecting the bittersweet and fleeting ambience of autumn.

Photo courtesy of Soompi


Gangnam Aims To Attract 10 Million Visitors By 2018 With Its Annual Festival


South Korean capital Seoul’s Gangnam District, which was popularized globally by K-pop megastar Psy’s viral hit “Gangnam Style” in 2012, is developing strategic plans to lure 10 million foreign tourists by 2018, according to the head of the district.

In 2012, prior to Psy’s release of “Gangnam Style,” more than 850,000 foreigners believed to have visited Seoul’s affluent southern district. In the following year, that number soared to 5.11 million. Shin Yeon-hee, the head of the Gangnam District, said she and her team will set the groundwork to attract even more tourists by hosting global events, including festivals and concerts.


“The target is to attract 20 million foreign travelers by 2017,” Shin told the Korea Times. “If that goal is attained, bringing 10 million to Gangnam will also be possible. We already have good facilities for tourism … What we need to develop further is cultural content.”

A big part of the district’s effort to make itself more tourist-friendly is the annual Gangnam Festival, a four-day event which began today on Yeongdong Street near the COEX building, an area considered as Seoul’s equivalent of New York’s Times Square. Although smaller-scale festivals have existed for years in Gangnam, the district combined them in 2007 to leverage its brand.

The festival is said to include a fashion festival, a marathon, a global food festival, and a two-hour K-pop concert by JYJ.

“The festival has huge economic effect, with the visitors spending 6.1 billion won last year in Gangnam,” said Shin. “We also hope the festival will have other positive effects, such as revitalizing Korea’s fashion industry and boosting international awareness of Gangnam.”

Aside from festival activities, the district also has plans to remodel the World Taekwondo Headquarters building into a taekwondo-related cultural park by 2016.

Featured photo courtesy of Daum

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Bizarre Korean Music Video Makes Rounds on Internet


There are weird K-pop music videos, and then there are weird K-pop videos that will inexplicably obliterate all forms of consciousness. The music video for Hitchhiker’s song “11” is the latter.

SM Entertainment recently released a music video for a song called “11” by a Korean DJ and producer named Hitchhiker. This bizarre video features garish computer-generated characters, who look like they’re straight from The Sims, busting out Harlem Shake-esque moves. The song itself sounds like an endless loop of auto-tuned baby babble.

Although the music video was released on Sept. 10, it only just recently taken off on YouTube, garnering over a million views and catching the attention of BuzzFeed, Vox, and BoingBoing last week. Reactions have ranged from amused to completely baffled.

In addition to the crazy video, Hitchhiker also released an equally bizarre promo video for himself. In the promo, random individuals, including one French man wearing Kiss make up, express their admiration for the Korean musician. One man even claims in an interview that Hitchhiker’s “commercial value is over a trillion dollars.”


No words can accurately describe how weird this music video is and why SM, one of biggest K-pop labels that manages global stars such as SHINee, Girls’ Generation and EXO, would release something like this. For the full experience, go watch the “11” music video at your own risk.

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Let’s just hope that no one starts copying these dance moves and costumes soon.

Featured photo courtesy of Boing Boing

SNSD Jessica 제시카 ジェシカ My oh My 5

Jessica Leaves Girls’ Generation, K-pop Chaos Ensues


Seems like Jessica of Girls’ Generation is making all the headlines today.

On Sept. 30, SM Entertainment released an official statement confirming that Jessica will be leaving Girls’ Generation, one of K-pop’s most popular girl groups and a driving force of the genre overseas.


The agency told local media that “due to her personal situation” Jessica previously notified them about halting team activities after the release of one more album. However, due to the lack of specific negotiations, Jessica launched her fashion brand, Blanc, without prior consultation from SM. This caused a conflict of interests regarding the prioritization of Girls’ Generation’s activities, and despite ongoing talks, the situation has reached a point where the team can no longer be maintained.

“Thus, the agency had no choice but to pull up the plan for Girls’ Generation’s activities as eight members. While we were still working out the timing of the announcement, Jessica had already posted about her departure in her own words early this morning,” SM said.

On her Weibo, a China-based social media platform, Jessica wrote a message in both Korean and English, saying that she had been “forced out” of the group. Many fans first believed that the account was hacked since hacking is such a common occurrence among K-pop star’s social media accounts and no confirmation from SM was available at the time.

Jessica Weibo

tumblr_inline_ncom47R5jn1r118td(Photo credit: Koreaboo)

The announcement of Jessica’s departure has spurred dozens of rumors from both the Korean and Chinese media.

According to Sports Donga, multiple industry officials have already confirmed that Jessica and her rumored Korean-American boyfriend Tyler Kwon, a CEO of a finance company, are planning to marry this coming May.

“They have already wrapped all major preparations for the wedding. The wedding will be in Hong Kong, and the two will live in both New York and Hong Kong,” reported Sports Donga.

Other media sources added that Jessica has been looking into design schools in New York to attend after her wedding. However, SM has denied all reports about Jessica and Kwon’s romantic relationship, despite photos and witness accounts of the two being seen together in Seoul, Hong Kong, and New York.


Jessica and Tyler Kwon backstage at the Huading Awards. (Photo credit: Jessica’s Weibo)


The Chinese media reported earlier this month that Jessica and Kwon were engaged, saying that the two were seen wearing similar rings in their Weibo photos. (Photo credit: TV Report)

This is not the first time SM Entertainment has had a member exit a group. This past May, EXO member Kris filed a lawsuit against the agency to nullify his contract. In mid-2009, members Kim Junsu, Kim Jaejoong, and Park Yoochun left the group TVXQ and sued the agency for unfair terms of their contracts, including its lengthy term of 13 years. The three then left the company to form their own group JYJ. In the same year, former Super Junior member Hangeng also filed a lawsuit against the agency to terminate his contract and returned to China to pursue a solo career.

While Jessica is no longer a part of Girls’ Generation, she and the other eight members have recently renewed their contracts with SM for an additional 3 years. Thus, Jessica will remain with the agency until further notice.

“We will continue to support and manage Jessica’s individual activities and Girls’ Generation’s activities as eight members,” SM concluded in its statement.

Meanwhile, SM Entertainment’s stocks are suffering a 5 percent drop since the company announced Jessica’s departure from the group, according to Venture Capital Post.



Seo Taiji to Collaborate with IU for Double Track Project


Seo Taiji has revealed that he will be releasing a collaboration song with singer IU for his ninth album. This is the first time in 22 years that another singer will be singing a song produced by Seo, according to Mnet America.


On Sept. 29, Seo Taiji Company announced that the K-pop veteran’s ninth album Quiet Night will be released on Oct. 20. Since this is Seo’s first album in five years, the label will release promotions both online and offline over the next three weeks.

Seo and IU will be collaborating on a song titled “Sogyeokdong,” which tells a “sad and beautiful love story that takes place in Sogyeokdong during the 80s.” The story will unfold through two songs and two music videos, from the viewpoint of a man and woman.

Through his agency, Seo said, “When we were looking for a female singer who could express the song ‘Sogyeokdong’ well, I thought of IU right away, who I’ve always thought of as a junior female singer with the best vocals. I wanted her to sing the song with her charming voice, so I requested her participation.”

According to IU’s agency Loen Tree, the female vocalist happily accepted the request and “felt honored” to be collaborating with Seo, who is nicknamed “President of Culture” and often credited for introducing a wide range of musical genres to the K-pop industry.

IU’s version of the song will be released first on Oc. 2 while Seo’s version will be released on Oct. 10. Afterwards, Seo is slated to perform at his comeback concert “Christmalowin” on Oct. 18 at the Seoul Olympic Stadium.

Photo courtesy of Mnet America

julien kang

Julien Kang Found Loitering the Streets in Underwear, Tested for Drug Use


French-born actor and model Julien Kang was found loitering the streets of Gangnam in his underwear on Sept. 18 and was tested for drug use by the Seoul Police, reported Yonhap.


Police found Kang approximately 1 kilometer away from his home at 3 p.m. and was reportedly wearing only his undershirt and underwear. The actor was said to be in a noticeably disoriented state of mind.

After Kang was taken into custody, the actor told the police that he’d been out drinking from 11 p.m. to 4 a.m. the night before and had no recollection of what happened after he returned home, adding that he could not understand his own behavior.

The police tested Kang for drug use on Sept. 24, but the result came out negative. However, the police have put in a request to the National Forensic Service for a more precise test earlier today.

Kang’s management company, Show Brothers Entertainment, denied any drug use involved and disputed details of the witness’s account to multiple Korean media outlets.

“[Julien Kang] was in a club with a group of acquaintances and he didn’t want to refuse drinks offered to him. He kept drinking despite having a low tolerance, and the next thing he knew, he had lost control,” an agency rep told media outlet TV Report. “As far as we are concerned, the case is now closed.”

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K-pop Male Ex-Trainees Reveal Talent Agency’s History of Sexual Abuse


On Sept. 18, E News broadcasted a shocking report about an entertainment company, identified only as XX Entertainment, sexually abusing their trainees and K-pop artists.

Former male trainees of the management company in question confessed on camera that they were forced to perform sexual acts and were raped by the company’s CEO.

“When it was a company staff member’s birthday, they rented a room in a pub and had male trainees perform strip shows while female trainees served drinks as they suffered sexual harassment,” said ex-trainee “A.”


After the CEO of XX Entertainment was sentenced with rape and sexual harassment, E News said they were shocked to discover that “two out of five members of an idol group were raped since their early teens.”

When asked why he could not refuse sexual requests, ex-trainee “A” said, “We have to do it no matter what because otherwise the agency will fire us.” He added that even though he left the company after 2 years of sexual abuse, there are still many young trainees who are willing to endure the abuse.

“If we report to the police, then our names will be in the mass media, and we don’t want that,” he concluded.

Another former trainee, identified as “C,” added that underaged trainees are not exempt from sexual harassment. “There are so many young trainees, but people will freely use sexual terms and touch them inappropriately,” he said. “Our cellphones were checked once a day, and our weights and heights were checked once a week. They would also check the girls’ genitals.”

“C” also revealed that aside from trainees, the company also abused their artists. “A close unnie who already debuted in an unpopular girl group got called in by someone [from the company] one day and returned with face injuries. She wanted to commit suicide.”

Although the company and idols’ names remain anonymous, the disturbing news has been stirring up chaos in the K-pop industry. Almost immediately after the E News report released, idol group ZE:A’s leader, Lee Hoo, posted a series of shocking tweets regarding his grievances over his agency, CEO, contract, and the Korean music industry as a whole.

Photo via E News


Kim Hyun Joong’s Ex-Girlfriend Drops Assault Charges


Kim Hyun Joong’s case has recently been closed with all charges of assault and battery officially dropped, said a rep from the Seoul Songpa Police department.

Last month, the K-pop star’s ex-girlfriend “A” pressed criminal charges against Kim for repeated beatings between May and July this year, claiming that her injuries including a fractured rib required up to six weeks of treatment. 

According to Star News, “A” filed a withdrawal of her lawsuit on Sept. 17, just a few days after Kim apologized to her in person and released a public apology on his official website. The official apology read:

“I am really sorry for inflicting serious mental and physical injuries on the person whom I’ve trusted and loved for two years. I am ashamed for behaving in a way man should not have behaved. As everything in this case was my fault, that person has no reason to be criticized. I apologize to her once again, and I want to express my apologies to her family and friends as well. Above all, I hope she will accept my apology and forgive me. Learning from this experience, I will work hard to become a bit more considerate person and to live a healthier life.”


Sun Jong Mun, “A’s” lawyer, told the Korean media that the plaintiff originally planned on dropping charges under no conditions if Kim publicly acknowledged the physical assaults and apologized for his actions. Sun added that “A” did not want Kim to be penalized after receiving a sincere apology from him and withdrew the case without accepting any settlement money, as previously agreed.

Regarding the withdrawal, there’s been mixed reactions from the public. While many fans are relieved that the case is finally closed, others seem upset that “A” has let Kim off the hook with a mere apology.

Photo courtesy of Soompi