K-Pop and Quarantine Life – pt. 5

More Quarantine K-Pop Posts

Hello! So – Going into the 16th week of social distancing and working from home (and generally what is the new norm due to the pandemic). Sixteen weeks, folks!

Granted, we’re slowly moving to phase 2 which means restaurants are allowed to have ‘in-dining’ though technically it’s not really in-dining because they are only allowed to seat people in their patios. Hair and nail salons are also now open. And camping – we finally get to go camping! It’s still slow but they now allow two bubbles (2 households) to interact physically but only with each other. This means after over three months not being able to see my parents outside of porch dinner drop-offs, I’ve finally had a sit-down dinner with them. It was so great!

Hugs between these bubbles are also allowed. And yes, I realize how weird that sounds. Being told we now have permission to hug our parents, aunts and uncles, grandparents, etc. But these are strange times indeed.

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I wanted to dedicate this update centering around women-power!

(G)I-DLE released their latest song, Oh My God, almost 3 months ago and I’m sorry it’s taking me this long to do a deep dive into it, even though I had already posted the video. I’m really, really sorry because I hadn’t paid attention to the lyrics until just recently. Mind you, I loved the song from the get-go. (G)I-DLE continues to impress me. They continue to show how they are striving to be different both from their past work and from other k-pop male and female groups.

I have to give credit to Danny Kim from DKDKTV, a Korean living in South Korea who broke down the lyrics as well as giving insight to the Korean culture.

At first, the lyrics, while interesting, didn’t seem to out there. A general story of infatuation which is described as an addiction. The protagonist expresses an internal torment from falling deeper and a fear of losing herself as she gives herself over to temptation.

I’m falling endlessly
And you’re playing with me
You got me losing my mind, you intruder
It’s so dangerous I want it
Even if it costs all the pain
And now I have you at last, I

But then the chorus comes and I’m blown away…

Oh my god
She took me to the sky
Oh my god
She showed me all the stars

To explain my thought process here, I’m not shocked this is about a same-sex love affair. It’s 2020 and as we celebrate Pride Month, this is not some big revelation in the grand scheme of themes. However, lets go back to how I mentioned (G)I-DLE being different from other k-pop groups while keeping in mind, in South Korea, the culture as a whole is not as friendly towards the LGBTQ+ community yet. It’s getting better – I believe mainly due to the younger generation.

As far as k-pop, it’s always been an interesting dance as idols do a balancing act between old-culture beliefs and their younger more liberal fans. They play on the fence where they show ambiguity as far as what their true sexual orientations are. I urge anyone who has not watched Danny Kim’s explanation to give it a try. And of course, decide for yourself if the explanation makes sense.

Next up… Blackpink in your areaaaaa!

Finally we get the comeback track to the start of Blackpink’s 2-month comeback. Recall I mentioned we will be getting a FULL album (I heard 10 new songs) this September, with releases and teasers in the months to come.

Two days ago, Blackpink dropped their track, How You Like That:

As normal Blackpink style goes, they released what I call one of their dancy-energy songs. Their style and music video alone is impressive as the four ladies show all their sass and attitude. Overall, I love this song! It’s going to be a perfect summer beat on my playlist.

The downside is that it’s nothing really new. I would say they followed their formula for catchy beats. I will also say I don’t expect anything deep with Blackpink. For those who hope this, it may be awhile before they are released from the YG grip of control. Having said that, I will say my favorite part is Lisa’s rap verse with an East Indian beat.

In summary, Blackpink is fun! That”s the type of music I expect from them even though I know they would be talented to go deeper if allowed. They are the type of group where if I had to listen to their music for a couple of hours, I’d prefer it during a live concert rather than listening to their albums one after another. I tend to ‘sprinkle’ a Blackpink song or two mixed in with other k-pop groups in my playlists.

Finally, I’ve been getting into Dreamcatcher lately. They debuted in 2017, the same year I got into k-pop. I heard their name quite a lot back then, as they were one of the rookie female groups up for MAMA 2017 voting. I hadn’t, however, given them the time they deserved.

I don’t know a lot about Dreamcatcher but with our Family Apple Music subscription, which I’m very thankful to have during quarantine, I’ve been listening to their latest album, which happens to be their first full album, Dystopia: The Tree of Language.So far, I’m impressed. I would say they capture more of a rock sound (with some pop as well). Perhaps that’s why I like them. They differ from a lot of the popular female acts.

Next up – ATEEZ. I promised my daughter I would give them more of a try outside the 2 to 3 songs I know from them.

Stay well, everyone!

Not-So Daily Kpop Challenge 2019 – Part IX

[30 Day K-Pop Challenge 2019]

Question #19: Favorite interview of a k-pop idol or group

The last time around, I tooted about Zach Sang’s AMA 2017 interview when BTS first exploded in the US’ main stream media. And it’s STILL my favorite interview because unlike the rest, this one gets real. It finally, gets real. It’s my dream to get a chance to speak to BTS just so I can ask them some deep questions about their work and their music… and their vision!

Zach Sang continues pleasing k-pop fans with his interview with Blackpink (among others like Day6 and NCT 127). I just feel he cuts through a lot of the bullshit and puts the artists more at ease. I hope he continues to interview more and more k-pop artists in the near future.

On the flip side from more serious interviews, there’s been some interviews I have loved because they are funny or endearing. I’d say since Zach’s interview with BTS, my favorite would be just how adorable they were with Jimmy Fallon. And of course, how adorable Jimmy Fallon was as well.

Not only did BTS look like they were having fun in the interview, their performance for Idol and I’m Fine was killer. In fact, this was the first live performance of I’m Fine I really felt emotional for. And the Fortnite sketch they did prior to the show added to their entire visit.

I would have chosen Buzzfeed’s Puppies interview but I’m not sure they are true interviews in the traditional sense but they are so much fun to watch. The one with BTS was fun but I loved the one with Jackson Wang!

[Here’s my original answers from the first time I did this challenge; Questions 20 & 21 will be a separate post! ]

Not-So Daily Kpop Challenge 2019 – Part VIII

[30 Day K-Pop Challenge 2019]

Question #17: A k-pop idol you wish was your older sibling

I can’t believe I actually thought I could view J-Hope as my older sibling. I mean, after ANYONE sees that man live, platonic feelings goes out the door as fast as one can blink! Not to say I don’t doubt he would make a great sibling, but I saw the man do his iconic Bapsae hip thrust… LIVE! My life will never be the same…

My answer now would be, without a doubt, Jooheon from Monsta X.

Watching their Monsta X Ray ep 5, when they spent the day as daycare workers, it’s easy to see Jooheon actually takes on a fatherly role as well. I was impressed how he felt so natural around the kids and was able to diffuse problems by just talking to them in a way which grabbed their attention. I’m quite certain growing up with a brotherly figure such as Jooheon would have been a positive experience.

Question # 18: A k-pop idol you wish was your younger sibling

LISA from Blackpink wins this year’s status as ideal younger sibling. She might be a bit overly affectionate for me to take (ask my family – while I welcome hugs and kisses, I hate being mauled and prefer an arms length bubble of air around me most times). She’s sweet and what a cutie she must have been when she was a baby or toddler.

I think for me, LISA would have been the type of sister to get me to enjoy the moment more often. She would have been the one to open my cold heart in order for me to accept love. LOL! Poor her would have had to deal with my over-achieving ass to ensure she’s on the right track, dates good people and strives for her best.

[Here’s my original answers from the first time I did this challenge.]

Not-So Daily Kpop Challenge 2019 – Part II

[30 Day K-Pop Challenge 2019]

Question #4: Who’s your ultimate k-pop girl bias?

Woohoo! Another one where my answer has changed drastically and multiple times.

First time answering this was LE from EXID because I wasn’t very familiar with many k-pop girl groups, or many other k-pop groups period.

Soyeon, leader of (G)I-dle

Since then, I’ve changed to Lisa from Blackpink, to Jennie from Blackpink, to Sunmi and finally, at the moment at least, Soyeon from (G)I-dle. Though I still love Sunmi. How can one not love Sunmi?

But Soyeon is a hard one to deny. I’ve gushed over her before and I’ll gush over her again – this young lady has skills! She writes a lot of their music, carries the responsibility as leader of their group, is a killer dancer, and I encourage people to watch her facial expressions in both their music videos and live performances. Soyeon knows how to look at the camera and give her iconic snarl expression right at the right moment!

Question #5: A favorite k-pop song from your favorite guy group

As before, this one is extremely hard to answers! I broke it down to the following categories last time:

All-Time Fave: FIRE
2017 Song of the Year: MIC Drop Remix
Current Fave: Sea

To stay with the same categories, here’s my updated list:

  • All-Time Fave: Dionysus
  • 2018 Song of the Year: Truth Untold
  • Current Fave: So What

Once again, this was not an easy question to answer. All-time favorites will change time and time again. How does one even pick an all-time favorite when new things come out all time with k-pop and one’s tastes or mood changes frequently?

I think any of BTS’ classics will remain my all-time favorites, such as FIRE, Blood Sweat and Tears and MIC Drop Remix. Dionysus, however, has earned it’s way to the top for sure!

[Here’s my original answers from the first time I did this challenge.]

Summer K-Pop Playlist

I love seasonal playlists. The right type of tune with the right type of weather just does something for my spirit. Living in Canada and having four seasons helps as well.

Currently, here are my top favorite k-pop songs on my summer playlist:

Look by GOT7

My first k-pop concert was during this comeback of GOT7. Which happened to be in July of 2018.

Honestly by Eric Nam

Definitely summer days type vibe.

SSFW by Chanyeol

I know SSFW stands for spring, summer, fall and winter, but for me, this song suits the summer the most. However, I can see it extend to early fall playlists.

Ko Ko Bop by EXO

So I do keep on returning to this particular EXO song summer after summer. It has a special place in my heart. Not only does it scream summer music, with the laid back, chill feel – I mean it’s totally all lets do summer-lazy really well – it also happen to be my first k-pop comeback ever. Plus Baekhyun had the most iconic style what with his red hair and eye make-up. He pulled off the mullet well.

Play It Cool by MONSTA X & Steve Aoki

This one screams clubbing Friday summer nights. This is exactly the type of song I would be jumping up in down to in the middle of a crowded and sweaty dance floor. Possibly on the third floor of Whiskey Saigon (a Toronto club, now closed, where I spent many Friday and Saturday nights back in my 20’s)

Ma City by BTS

There was never an M/V for Ma City so I found this bit from their Red Bullet tour. Regardless of what city you are from, there’s no doubt a cool summer, energetic beat to go with the heat! And ahh.. I wish I knew BTS back during their Red Bullet tour. What a way to see them in a more intimate setting (way before they started to play stadium concerts).

BOOMBAYAH by Blackpink

BOOMBAYAH is probably one of my favorite Blackpink songs. It’s what got me hooked on them and my love for this quartet female k-pop group has been growing strong ever since! To be honest, most Blackpink energetic beats (and some ballads) fit the summer season.

24 hours by SUNMI

Another song which holds a special place in my heart. 24 hours is one of SUNMI’s older songs but I still love it. This was my first k-pop dance class routine. Plus SUNMI is my ultimate favorite k-pop solo artist! Seeing her live was a dream come true!

Uh-Oh by (G)I-DLE

Here’s my chance to also add one of my favorite recent comeback songs. I really do hope (G)I-DLE continues their strong streak in the world of K-Pop (and hopefully music worldwide alike). Uh-Oh has both the chill and energetic beat of a hot and sizzling summer street feel. Plus Minnie is giving off strong vibes for me in this M/V. Wow – hot! Just like the season!

RUN by BTS

I know. BTS is on here twice. But I am part of ARMY so how could I not? I actually held back because I wanted to add IDOL and FIRE. I’ve always loved RUN but recently I’ve been listening to this track after taking a break of sorts from it.

It suits my idea of summer because it reminds me of youth. Especially my youth. It reminds me of all the care-free, living in the now, carpe diem days with my group of friends. And really, underneath all those moments were problems and issues we didn’t want to face. So these summer days… and nights… made up a collection of distractions we used to prolong facing the music of what’s to come tomorrow.

It’s somewhat bittersweet yet now I look back and see it all as chapters of my life… my youth. Days of basically breaks from growing pains.