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!
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.