BTS ‘Anpanman’ Choreography

In about 30 minutes we’ll be heading off to the dance studio to learn BTS’ Anpanman:

I’m so screwed. It looks hard. But my daughter has been dying to try this choreography so we can’t pass it up.

Also… I miss Lay. I hope he joins EXO during their next comeback (rumored for August).

Advertisements

More on the BBMAs – Final Thoughts (on Jungkook’s abs)

This ends my series of BBMAs 2018 thoughts on BTS’s presence and performance which started here, here and here. Oh yes, and a bit here, too.

This post will focus on Jungkook’s famous abs-flash. And no, it’s not going to be THAT kind of a post. Sorry. 🙂 I want to discuss something, not actually focus-focus on his abs. In the literal sense at least.

I suppose it started with the release of BTS’s FAKE LOVE music video. But lets face it, if anyone watched the live performance at the BBMAs 2018, it was pretty evident the flash was much more compared to the video. I don’t know if it was an accident in that he didn’t mean to pull his shirt up as high or if he was taking advantage of his liberty on American soil (the little shit), but regardless, I’m pretty sure I could hear a collective POP as hundreds of thousands of fans’ heart exploded at the same time clearly across our vast universe. My daughter’s included.

See for yourself – and this is probably the best HD fancam of the performance. It’s been audio edited so the fans’ screaming is toned down in order to hear the actual song. When I watched it I thought to myself, “What a pity. They did so well and yet we didn’t get to see 1/3rd of their performance.”

To back up a bit, my first thought after seeing Jungkook flash his abs was, well… I was surprised. And a little sad. I know, I know… obviously my feelings on this topic is very unpopular. My daughter said I was crazy. And I had to explain myself.

I’m not judging. Not at all. I am human. I am a woman who appreciates nice abs and a toned body. But last September to November, when there were a lot of comeback shows happening during that time frame, and a lot of kpop groups marketing themselves and hyping up their fans as MAMA and Melon Music award shows approached (and hence, all the voting), I couldn’t help myself to notice how much bare chests and abs were being exposed. And not just a tease. I mean full out, ripping off shirts and such.

It was entertaining at first but then I just got tired of it. Granted, I’m more a less is more and leaving it to one’s imagination type of woman. I prefer seeing a guy in a really nice, tailored suit, for example. For me, that’s so much sexier than just baring themselves. Especially when it’s All. The. Time.

Wonho was stripping off his jacket on stage, along side his Monsta-X leader, Shownu. Then little maknae, Sehun from EXO showd his bare chest and abs in exchange for pizza from Yeol (or was it Bakhyun?) at one of their concerts. I realized then, I was actually relieved BTS kept themselves covered. I felt they didn’t have to do any of that to draw themselves more attention.

Their artistry, talents and skills, were in my honest opinion, enough.

But as I said, I’m not judging. I’m not at all bashing BTS for making this bold move. I know it was a big deal. How long have people been waiting for BTS’ golden maknae, Jungkook, to pull this stunt? How long have they been waiting for him to go from boy to man? I’m guessing as long as 5 years since he was just a baby when he debuted with BTS.

At the least, it was just a flash. A tease, if you will. He wasn’t taking his top off and strutting around stage. By the way, I think it’s a little gross seeing them bare chested and sweaty. I guess it’s just me but I can’t help but to think they would feel a bit sticky. LOL!

So long as Jungkook was not pressured to do it and so long as he is comfortable pulling up his shirt like he did in FAKE LOVE, over all, I’m okay. I trust BTS will remain tasteful about it. I just had to get this out even though I’m sure a lot of people are thinking I’m crazy here.

Anyway – I’ll leave you with some very nice, classy photo shoots of Jeon Jeonnguk from BBMAs 2018 (Source: Naver x Dispatch – for all Jungkook photos, click right):

 

GOT7 “New Era”, EXO-CBX “Horolol” & BTS Kim Taehyung “Singularity”

GOT7’s new Japanese single, New Era, is totally my vibe! While I wish Jackson Wang was part of this (though I understand he does not promote in Japan as he also promotes his solo work in China – I don’t fully understand why but am guessing it has to do with contracts combined with politics), I do love this song and wonder if GOT7 will perform it at all outside of Japan? i.e. As I’m going to see GOT7 this summer, this would be a great song to watch and hear live.

I’ve had mixed feelings of EXO-CBX for awhile. It’s not that I dislike their songs but haven’t found anything I truly really like. Nothing stood out for me. Until Horololo came out a week ago! So I’m happy to finally find an EXO-CBX song which suits me.

I had to save the best for last because I am simply blown away from BTS’ “LOVE YOURSELF: Tear” comeback teaser, Singularity. For one, I am ecstatic to see Kim Taehyung (V) out with a new solo. His deep, sensual vocals lend the absolute perfect combination for such a soulful song. I already thought his solo, Stigma, from the Wings album had topped my expectations of what a great musical artist he is.

Yet here he comes again at us with a piece that is so much more mature, so much more soulful, I really was just knocked off my feet when I first heard it!

Whenever it comes to a song with a blues and slow jazz undertone, one can learn a lot from the singer. I remember I went to this live charity function where the first year, a young lady did this beautiful blues song. The year or two later, she appeared again – same style of music but what a difference. I could tell she went through so much more life experience between the two times I had the pleasure of watching her perform.

This is exactly how I feel about Taehyung – I can hear… no, feel how much he has grown and matured. He’s become so much more of a man since Stigma. And I’m sure some of this has been due to much growing pains of what we all experience in our adolescence to adult years.

The video and choreography alone is stunning! I have yet to dig deeper in BigHit’s choice of background dancers but it’s apparent they truly reached out for amazingly skillful dancers to be in this video. One can not ignore the in-sync, beautiful lines!

In addition, Taehyung not only exhibits his true dance skills but I would also say his acting abilities as well. Everything about how he portrayed himself fit the emotions of Singularity.

Well done BTS, BigHit and Kim Taehyung! Well done!

K-Pop – Recent Discoveries & Obsessions

I’ve said it before and I’ve said it again – being late on the k-pop scene, there’s still so much for me to discover. And even if I’ve been a fan for awhile (I’ve now surpassed my 1 year anniversary with k-pop), the sub-culture has a huge archive! Mainly of videos – Thank you, YouTube and vLive.

K-Pop Dance Classes

First of all, as short of my relationship with k-pop has been, I did recently walk down memory lane with the start of last Friday night’s k-pop dance class. My daughter and I tried to keep up with the best of our abilities to EXO’s Growl. It was a beginner’s class but I wouldn’t rate Growl‘s choreography best suited for beginners. As usual, we focused on the chorus part only (some classes will tteach the parts leading up to the choreo – it depends on the piece we are working on; pre-chorus choreo might make sense if the steps flow into the main chorus steps).

The thing with Growl, when broken down, it’s not extremely difficult to learn but the pace is fast and there are a lot of steps falling on the ‘and’ and in between beats. I realized then MIC Drop Remix was actually much easier to follow in comparison.

Anyway, the beauty of these k-pop dance classes is I’ve been exposed to more great artists and music. One song I’ve been particularly playing from my playlist is Sunmi’s Gashina:

We didn’t get a chance to go to the Gashina dance cover class but we follow the studio’s Intagram which features which kpop choreo they will be covering the next day (also this gives me the chance to post Sunmi’s hot choreo with Taemin from MAMA 2017).

Recent Comeback Releases

I haven’t had a chance to talk about GOT7’s 2018 comeback album, Eyes On You. Two particular songs which caught my attention: One and Only You ft. Hyolyn and my favorite, The Look.

Some nice tunes from GOT7 in their latest release. Another track of theirs worth mentioning is The Reason. Overall, this album is very chill so it may depend on the listener’s mood whether to add Eyes On You tunes to one’s playlist.

Idol Survival Show

On the topic of GOT7, I’ll get right into my current obsession – Idol Producer (since one of the teachers is none other than my bias, Jackson Wang). It’s not really under k-pop but there’s associations for sure. Chizurue has given a great summary about the main players (both candidates and teachers). I just want to second her reason for loving this particular idol survival show in that the main premise of Idol Producer does not promote it by showing nor encouraging back-stabbing to gain votes and high ratings. The candidates are not there to make each other look bad in order to collect votes. This particular show seems to foster a ‘work hard and support your peers’ mentality which I think is brilliant.

The teachers and main PD, Zhang Yixing, are there to encourage the candidates and help coach them through each step. Sometimes there is a bit of tough love when they feel the candidates are not hitting their full potential but it’s done in a professional way. I sort of compare it to The Voice here in North America where the four coaches assist each singers of their team to harness their strengths rather than stomp on their weaknesses. It’s exactly why I had a difficult time watching American Idol after the first 2 or 3 seasons. If I had to listen to Simon be a dick to one more person… ugh. Lets face it – we know how team work is a must for part of the success of an idol group. Why would a survival show want to do anything but foster team work and leadership skills?

Anyway – there are 12 episodes altogether and I just caught up with the current Ep 10. They are now down to 20 candidates – the finale will show us the 9 required for this Chinese Idol group.

K-Pop Poppin’ in Public

Man. Finally. FINALLY! Unlike some international k-pop fans who have heard k-pop tunes while out and about in public, it didn’t look like it was ever going to happen for me. Up until a week ago, I just never had the chance to hear k-pop played in public. Now, it is winter up here in Canada so no one’s driving around with their windows down. If they’re playing tunes from the car speakers, I definitely can not hear what other drivers are playing. But I haven’t heard any k-pop tunes from restaurants, electronic stores, malls, etc.

Well, okay… while having lunch at a Korean restaurant they had their TV station on a Korean channel which was showcasing k-pop live performances from some recorded studio/stage. I don’t know if that really counts, though.

While working out at the gym, I happened to look up and see on the monitor where they play endless loops of music videos (the playlist is controlled by the gym) Yuri’s collaboration with DJ Raiden, Always Find You:

I had to do a double-take. This wasn’t just something that randomly came out on whatever radio station they were on. This was a planned playlist for the day which means some one who works at the gym AT LEAST knows about Yuri from Girls Generation. Come on… that’s something! My only question is why they aren’t playing BTS’ MIC Drop Remix ft. Steve Aoki yet? It would be a great song to workout to! I need to speak to some one and figure out how I can make some requests!

BTS Archive

Of course, I have to end with BTS. Honestly, just when I couldn’t think it is ever possible for me to love BTS more I find myself doing exactly that – loving them more! Their talents just keep on amazing me! So it’s been quite the treat to discover some earlier works to add to my playlists.

My current love is Let Me Know from BTS’ Dark and Wild album:

My daughter sent me this video showcasing how Jimin changes notes in various live performances. I wish I still had the video link – the collaboration of clips is a prime example of Jimin’s amazing vocals. Aside from his mad dancing skills, it’s one of the main reasons why he’s my BTS bias. I love his voice. I mean, I love all BTS’ voices but Jimin’s just wows me each and every single time. Let Me Know is a prime example of his skills.

EXO – PyeongChang 2018 Winter Olympics

Perhaps the reason I’ve been semi-absent from here is due to the Winter Olympics. It’s been an amazing 2.5 weeks! Being Canadian, we’re quite happy with how we performed during this winter game. And being a k-pop fan, I found it quite interesting to see how k-pop was mentioned throughout various moments of the opening and closing ceremony.

gettyimages-916136484_custom-ef08dcb4b924d289411de20ff8ddd242baad801d-s1500-c85

PyeongChang 2018 Winter Olympics – Opening Ceremony “All for the Future”

Opening Ceremony

While no k-pop artists performed during the opening ceremony, as S. Korea decided to keep mainly to traditional music, there were a few moments we were able to catch how k-pop is recognized as part of their pop-culture either by their citizens, the understanding of how k-pop is growing internationally or both:

  1. Parade of Athletes: During various moments as every countries’ Olympians marched to the center of the stadium, we were able to catch music from Big Bang, Red Velvet, BTS and more.
  2. All For the Future: During a pre-filmed segment where five children, each representing the ‘ring’ of the Olympic logo, i.e. the five nations, stepped though a symbolic door into their future on the other side. Their career paths represented top S. Korean strengths/industries both present and in the future. Some involved robotics or medicine & technology, etc. One, however, was ‘k-pop idol’. I suppose it truly is an industry which is showing a positive effect on S. Korea’s economy. As well as the gaining popularity, globally. But a career path? I don’t know – as a parent, that is probably one of the worst career paths I would wish on my kid. They’ve got to really, really want it!
  3. At the end, a group of male hip-hop dancers came out to perform. I would definitely say their dance styles reflect k-pop choreography.

Closing Ceremony

Both CL and EXO performed at the closing ceremony. And it will come off as no surprise, EXO was closer to the end of the entertainment portion.

EXO performed Growl followed by Power. I had a feeling they would perform two songs. And Power was an obvious one. The energy and positive vibe completely fits The Olympics.

My honest opinion? Kai stole the show. His intro before the rest of his EXO family entered the center stage in jeeps, showed just Kai and a traditional S. Korean drummer (and there was some one on a synthesizer as well). As the beat created a rhythm, Kai did such a beautiful dance. Words can not describe it – but I definitely was very proud of him. His ballet and contemporary dance skills came shining through!

 

Concluding Thoughts

I know some ARMY were extremely upset BTS was not part of either opening or closing ceremonies. I think both would have done a great job. Rumors state BTS was invited but due to scheduling they had to decline the invite. Who knows what the truth is.

Does it really matter, though?

I am a true BTS fan but EXO has cemented their popularity in S. Korea for much longer. I think people need to also remember, while k-pop is a part of S. Korea’s pop-culture, the Olympics is not about k-pop. The Olympics has many traditions and while I would have been very supportive of BTS performing at The Olympics, I don’t think it was a tragedy they weren’t there.