5 K-Pop tunes for your summer playlist

It’s the first week of July, which means school’s out, and summer has just begun. To get you ready for the long holiday, here are this year’s top five recommended K-Pop songs that will get you pumped up and dancing your heart out:

 

1. EXO-CBX — Blooming Days

Blooming Days from EXO’s subunit, EXO-CBX, is an upbeat, dance-pop track that exudes cheerful vibes. With Chen, Baekhyun and Xiumin’s effusive RnB styled vocals, this popular song will no doubt get you moving to the beat.

 

2. BTS — So What

BTS’s song So What from their latest record-breaking album Love Yourself: Tear is about letting go of your worries and fears. The pop house track is the perfect jam to add to your summer playlist.

 

3. Momolamd — Bboom Bboom

Momoland has been one of the most successful girl groups so far this year all thanks to their viral hit song Bboom Bboom. Their catchy single with its fun, distinct choreography is required viewing.

 

4. Pentagon — Shine

K-Pop boy band Pentagon showcased their brighter side and infectious hammer dance choreography with Shine. One listen to the funky, playful tune written by members E’Dawn, Wooseok, Hui and Yuto and you’ll find yourself copying the song’s swaggering dance moves.

 

5. Super Junior — Lo Siento ft Leslie Grace

Prominent K-Pop boy group Super Junior teamed up with Dominican-American singer Leslie Grace and US-based production duo Play-N-Skillz for the hit trilingual single Lo Siento. The crossover between K-Pop and Latin music is what you need to listen to this summer.

 

Please note: The above article was originally published on Gulf News tabloid! and written by the owner of this site. 

BTS Take Over Anghami

BTS has done it again! The global K-pop sensation has surpassed 10 million plays on Anghami.

The seven-piece boy band is the first and only K-pop group to achieve this on MENA’s largest music streaming service.

Fans never fail to show support of their favorite artists. Their loyal fans, ARMY, which stands for Adorable Representative M.C for Youth, in particular Arab ARMYS took to Twitter, hashtagging #ArabArmyWithBTS and #BTS_10_Million_Arab_listeners in celebration of BTS’s achievement.

Arab ARMYs across the MENA region have also created Twitter accounts dedicated to everything BTS with their followers, from sharing the band’s latest news to organizing fan projects.

The Emirates is no stranger to the record-breaking group. BTS’s songs, especially DNA and Mic Drop have been played on Dubai-based radio stations such as Virgin Radio Dubai and Radio 1 UAE.

BTS may have made their breakthrough presence in the American music market but it’s seems they have attracted fans locally and around the MENA region.

2018 may be a big year for K-pop in the Middle East.

Image source: BTS’s official Facebook account. 

BTS Count The Days for ‘Mic Drop’ Remix Release On Spotify

ARMYs, did you miss this?! The remix may be around the corner, but that didn’t stop the Korean act to pick up more excitement.

BTS have been counting the days for the release of their ‘MIC Drop’ remix on their personalized Spotify playlist.

Each member has been updating their profile picture by holding an alphabet from ‘MIC DROP’ as well as dropping new tracks on their newly curated playlist till Nov. 24, the release date of the group’s remix song, produced by DJ and producer Steve Aoki and featuring rapper Desiigner.

RM is the latest member to have done so by holding the letter ‘R’ and recently adding a variety of new songs on ‘RM’s Heavy Rotations‘ via the streaming music site.

While the other members have revealed their curated playlist to their fans, AMRYs are still waiting for J-hope’ and V’s personal Spotify playlist to be shared before the official release of the remix tomorrow.

BTS performed their MIC Drop remix on The Ellen DeGeneres Show on Tuesday (Nov. 21) and will be aired on Nov. 27.

“I love these guys. These guys are the geniuses,” Steve Aoki told Billboard. “They’re so creative on every level — on their dance, on their sound, on their style, their flow, creatively musically, creatively on the fashion tip. They’re brand developers. They developed their own brand, and they’re global. It’s incredible working with artists like that.”​

This is not their first collaboration with the biggest artists in the American music industry. They previously teamed up with The Chainsmokers’ Andrew Taggart on ‘Best of Me’ song for the group’s record-breaking album Love Yourself: Her earlier this year.

South Korean boy group made their first U.S. television debut performance at the 2017 American Music Awards on Nov. 19, grabbing international attention with their perfectly distinct vocal skills and eye-catching, synchronized dance moves of their title track DNA.

They are currently nominated for Best Male Group, Best Dance, Best Music Video, Song of the Year and Album of the Year at the 2017 Mnet Asian Music Awards.

Here’s a one-minute long MV teaser of their ‘MIC Drop’ remix:

Who’s ready for the ‘MIC Drop’ remix?

Top things you need to know about BTS now

Bangtan Boys’ latest album, Love Yourself: Her, debuted at No. 7 on Billboard 200 album chart

Find out how this ARTIST is dominating international charts (and fans’ hearts)


At a glance, South Korean boy band Bangtan Boys (BTS) are the complete K-Pop package – they are multi-talented young men with good looks. The seven-member group has recently been conquering music charts, not only in Korea but also in the U.S. Their newly released album, Love Yourself: Her, debuted at No. 7 on Billboard 200 album chart, making it the highest-ranked album by a Korean artist. They also became the highest-charting K-Pop group to land on Billboard’s Hot 100 chart with their title track, DNA.

But, why are they so popular? Well, here’s what makes them stand out from others in the K-Pop industry:

  • They compose and produce socially-conscious music

BTS, who debuted under agency Big Hit Entertainment in 2013, decided to take on a non-traditional path in music.

“BTS ultimately stands out in K-Pop for their emphasis on singing about relatable and realistic topics,” says Jeff Benjamin, Billboard.com’s K-pop columnist.

The Korean artist tackles personal and controversial subjects – politics, loneliness, mental health, adolescence, even women’s empowerment – that resonated with fans all over the world.

“Listeners are not only finding a group that is entertaining and skilled, but someone who represents their voices in topics they aren’t seeing discussed in the media,” he adds.

Writer Taylor Glasby, a freelance K-Pop writer based in the U.K. who has tracked closely the group’s releases, says: “They’ve become excitingly diverse with their sound, bringing in everything from trap to rock to EDM, and as idols who help write and produce their own work, they know best how to use their talents for each track.”

  • They are K-Pop’s social media kings

BTS has a huge fan following and lively presence on social media, which made them the most retweeted artist last year. They were also named one of The 25 Most Influential People on the Internet in 2017 by TIME magazine. After their win at the Billboard Music Awards for Top Social Artist, previously won by pop sensation Justin Bieber six years in a row, BTS proved themselves as this year’s kings of social media in the fan-voted category.

The K-pop group regularly connect with fans through live broadcasts and web videos that feature behind-the-scenes clips of the group while travelling, rehearsing, performing and more.

“I like the way they’re always giving back to the fans and constantly interact with them in more ways than an ordinary artist-fan relationship,” says Admin Ren from BTS UAE, one of the biggest BTS fan Twitter accounts in the country.

  • They’ve got an ARMY of fans

BTS has legion of fans, known as A.R.M.Y. – Adorable Representative M.C. for Youth, and their Billboard win was due to devoted fans, who tweeted #BTSBBMAS more than 300 million times.

BTS UAE on Twitter created a mass request project with the help of A.R.M.Y.s in the UAE and others around the world by tweeting and requesting various UAE radio stations to play BTS’ title track, DNA. The song successfully aired on Virgin Radio Dubai and Radio 1 UAE, while Tag 91.1 played it as part of their reaction segment.

BTS’ new album was soon spotted on the UAE iTunes store after fans conducted a joint project with other international fanbases to make it available to listeners in the Middle East.

“After the news spread, DNA became the #1 track and their new album Love Yourself: Her topped the UAE iTunes charts,” says Admin Kim, the head admin of BTS UAE.

This piece was originally written by the owner of this site and posted on Khaleej Times online and in print.

BTS’s DNA Hits Australian Radio Airwaves

It’s official! BTS’s hit new track “DNA” aired on Australian radio stations, 2Day FM and Fox FM.

Upon the release of the seven-member K-pop boy band’s fifth album, Love Yourself 承 ‘Her’ on September 18, “DNA” made it’s way into Australians hearts, proving that music has no language barrier.

With it’s whistle-led hook, “DNA” is a bright EDM-pop and soft hip-hop, inspired by “young, passionate love”.

“It’s very different from our previous music, technically and musically. I believe it’s going to be the starting point of a second chapter of our career; the beginning of our Chapter Two,” BTS’s leader Rap Monster says in an interview with Billboard.

With Rap Monster, Suga and J-Hope’s rap style, V and Jin’s soulful, smooth voices and Jungkook and Jimin’s impressive dancing skills, the group never seize to disappoint their dedicated fans, also known as ARMY’s, an acronym for Adorable Representative M.C for Youth, by channeling sensitive yet controversial topics that other K-pop groups usually avoid covering. They seem to know their ARMYs and make sure to compose and produce music that listeners can relate to on a deeper level.

BTS’s mini-album, Love Yourself 承 ‘Her’, consists of nine tracks, with a surprise collaboration with New York’s The Chainsmokers‘s Andrew Taggart, who co-wrote and produced the ‘Best of Me’ track, as well as two hidden tracks that are only available in the physical album.

“I think this album will be a type of turning point for us,” says Rap Monster at a press conference.

“It is also about the love of boys who grow up, but it’s also about a message of reconciliation and integration that we want to convey to the society.”

In return for the group’s hard work and captivating highlight reels (that keep fans on their toes), ARMYs around the world joined forces to make the DNA music video hit 20 million views, making it YouTube’s 11th most viewed video of all-time in the first 24 hours and knocking down American artists such as Katy Perry, Taylor Swift and Rihanna.

According to the group’s agency, Big Hit Entertainment, the album is the top selling album chart on iTunes in 73 countries, making it the largest debut number for any South Korean artist.

They also became the first K-pop group to enter Spotify’s Global Top 50, making their new hit “DNA” number 45 in the playlist as of September 22nd.

This is not the first time BTS – who also go by Beyond The Scene – beat out top-charting artists. They also took the award for Top Social Artist at this year’s Billboard Award’s, beating out the likes of Selena Gomez, Justine Bieber, Shawn Mendes and Ariana Grande.

Check out their record-breaking MV “DNA”:

Congrats once again to BTS!

10 of the Best BTS Fan Arts On Instagram

BTS, a seven-member South Korean boy group, have been taking over the world ever since their historic win at this year’s Billboard Awards for Top Social Artists and have been breaking the mold of the K-pop music industry through their socially conscious, catchy music. Aside from BTS’s recent name change in English (from Bulletproof Boy Scouts to Beyond the Scene),which has caused quite a stir among BTS fans, ARMYS, here are some of the best fan art found on Instagram you have to check out:

1. @lyechii

2. @butteurhoney

 

3. @kpopfanart98

 

4. @ramyuniicomics

 

5. @quiversarrow

 

6. @pvstelclxuds

 

7. @mochiddeok

 

8. @xovitaaxo

 

9. @mintyoon09

 

10. @bemywingsbts

Note: The above images are screenshots of users’s respective Instagram accounts.

Image Attribution – Photo by John LimFlickrCC BY-NC 2.0.

Taylor Glasby

(Image source: Taylor Glasby)

Ever heard of Taylor Glasby? If not, what have you been reading lately?! Known as UK’s most prominent K-Pop writer, Taylor is a freelance writer, covering all genres of music, especially the South Korean music, for major UK and US youth titles such as i-D, Teen Vogue, Dazed and much more. Her style of writing has landed her interviews with the best of the best in the K-pop music industry, which include… wait for it…. EXO, BTS, G-Dragon, Zico, SHINee, Girl’s Generation, 2NE1, Red Velvet, to name a few, as well as American artists like Jared Leto, Far East Movement, Demi Lovato, My Chemical Romance, Muse, The Killers and…. the list goes on and on! We all want to be her right now. Taylor dishes to me everything you’d possibly want to know, from how she became a K-pop writer, what BTS are really like in person and her thoughts on journalism. Prepare to be inspired!

Taylor, can you tell me more about yourself and your professional career? Who is Taylor Glasby?

I started writing about music because I’d been obsessed with it since I was about 6 years old, and found myself editor of a young magazine called Disorder when I was in my early 20s and I knew fuck all about running a magazine! I had to learn by making mistakes and lots of them. I’ve been freelancing since 2012 and now, primarily, write for Dazed, i-D, Paper and teenVogue. It’s been a very long journey to get here but I still don’t feel like I’ve achieved all I can. I’m pretty hard on myself!

You’re known for covering not only fashion and design but also all genres of music, specifically K-pop, which seems to be immensely popular nowadays, and you’re currently UK’s most prominent K-Pop writer. How did this come about? When were you first interested in this genre and of course interested in writing about it?

I stumbled onto K-Pop around 2010/2011. I had been covering rock, punk and indie but my roots are in pop music and I was ready for a change. YouTube randomly suggested a K-Pop MV so I watched it out of curiosity and was hooked instantly. I wanted to write about it because no one else in the West was, at least, not for high profile magazines.

When Interviewing K-pop stars, do you usually have a translator available or are you, by any chance, fluent in Korean?

I’m not fluent, no. I have a translator with me.

“I interview artists because I find them interesting and I’m a curious person.”

It’s interesting how Korean music’s popularity is increasing. As a music journalist, why do you think so?

It’s just a natural progression. One person in the West gets into K-Pop and they tell all their friends. Out of those friends, maybe one or two tell more people. The circles just widen and widen. Plus K-Pop videos and choreography generally surpasses what’s on offer in the West. People can’t help but pay attention.

You recently interviewed BTS, South Korea’s most popular K-pop boy band. Can you tell me more about it? Was it what you expected it to be?

I’ve been covering BTS for several years, writing about their releases for Dazed, and I’ve kept up with all their Bombs, which really shows off their personalities, so it was exactly how I expected. They’re a genuinely lovely group of guys.

 Who was the first artist or band you’ve had the opportunity to interview?

What, ever??? I can’t remember, it was too long ago! In K-Pop, it was G-Dragon. I really dived into the deep end with that one.

From all the bands you’ve interviewed, which K-pop band or solo artist stood out or left a great impression?

RM (BTS) because he’s funny as hell, kind and super intelligent. Bang Yongguk because he’s a fighter and, from as far as I could tell, pretty complex. I recently interviewed Keith Ape and he shattered every preconception I had of him. He really impressed me.

Is there anyone you’d like to interview that you haven’t?

I always wish I got to interview Bowie. Actually most of the people I wish I could interview are dead. Oh wait, Stevie Nicks. I really want to talk to her, she’s spectacular.

How do you keep yourself cool and collected when you’re assigned to interview your favorite band or solo artist? What’s the best way to be professional at the same time stay calm internally?

If you’re trying not to scream and jump on them, you’re probably not doing journalism for the right reasons. I’ve had nerves before interviews, but mostly I’m pretty relaxed. I interview artists because I find them interesting and I’m a curious person. It’s always just a conversation, but one that has to be created, crafted, steered and refined before, during and afterwards. It’s easy and difficult at the same time.

What’s your personal style when it comes to writing?

I’ve always been influenced by fiction writers in finding my voice. Hopefully, these days, you can tell my writing from a mile off! I don’t know how to describe it. Immersive? Cinematic? I like to create this visual widescreen feel, but pack in the action as well.

On your website, it states that your personal style has lead many of your subjects ‘offering up exclusives that were reported worldwide’. What’s your secret? What is the process you take to prepare questions?

Research until my eyes bleed and never take anything for granted.

What’s the most important lesson you’ve learned throughout the course of your career?

There will always be someone better, hungrier or more ruthless than you. Unless it’s your singular desire to beat them, you will fall apart from stressing over them. Just stay in your own lane, make goals that work for you, always keep learning and striving on your own terms, and don’t second-guess yourself.

Based on your years of experience in the industry, do you think journalism is dying?

There will always be stories to be told. Journalism will not die but the quality has certainly decreased. The rise of the blogger has lowered the bar significantly, and people accept terrible writing because it’s all they know. We are in the age of instant gratification and while I love that, it does mean intelligent storytelling has suffered. When even acclaimed magazines employ bad writers, you know things are pretty fucked.

Do you have any advice or other tips you’d like to share with us and/or other aspiring journalists?

Never assume anything. Read everything. Never be afraid to ask for feedback. Your final version will never be the actual final version. A good editor will be constructive and want to help you make your piece better, so even if their words feel brutal, don’t dismiss their advice. Try not to engage with internet trolls though you’re tempted to defend yourself. It’s a waste of energy and data allowance!

To keep posted on Taylor Glasby‘s articles and updates, you can follow her on …

Image Attribution – Photo by John LinFlickrCC BY-NC 2.0 (BTS)

note: all answers are original and unaltered

Australia develops a taste for K-pop

(BTS, the first K-pop band to win big at the Billboard Music Awards, appears for one night only in Sydney on Friday. PIC: Supplied)

When the boy band GOT7 held a fan meeting in Australia late last month, Twitter lit up with a series of hashtags that revealed a growing Australian appetite for catchy K-pop – the music genre originating in South Korea that is a heady mix of catchy tunes, synchronised dancing and eye-catching fashion.

#GOT7inMelbourne, #GOT7inAustralia and #GOT7 were soon trending in anticipation of news of the multi-talented Korean idols.

And that buzz is set to intensify with Friday night’s one-off appearance in Sydney of fellow K-pop stars BTS and planned visits to Australia in coming months by G-Dragon and Jay Park.

Jeff Benjamin, Billboard.com’s K-pop columnist, told The Citizen that the “music itself is a true, full package of pop.”

“I think listeners find it so appealing because it isn’t just the music they become interested in; they become interested in the whole K-pop culture.”

Australians were first introduced to K-pop in 2012, when Korean artist Psy released the hit song Gangnam Style, which has drawn around 2 billion views on YouTube and was instrumental in spreading the Korean sound to a new audience.

Benjamin, who writes Billboard’s online column K-Town, senses that “K-pop has a strong and passionate underground following in Australia and the Korean promoters are starting to notice the continent a lot more.”

“I feel like we’re seeing more tours include Australia in their tour dates and bigger acts are visiting,” he adds. “I think that’s a great move on K-pop’s part  since I would say the global music industry sees Australia (and New Zealand) as being early adopters of a lot of new pop music.”

One of the biggest acts to catch the eye of locals is Friday’s appearance in Sydney of Korea’s most popular seven-member boy band, BTS – Bangtan Sonyeondan, or “Bulletproof Boy Scouts”.

In response to Australian demand, concert organiser IME AU decided to divert the band for one night only on their 2017 BTS Live Trilogy Episode III: The Wings Tour. Tickets to the Sydney gig sold out almost immediately they went online.

In fact, Sydney will be the group’s first stop after making history by becoming the first K-pop band to win Top Social Artist at the 2017 Billboard Music Awards, after receiving more than 300 million votes from fans to beat Justin Bieber, Selena Gomez, Ariana Grande and Shawn Mendes.

Some Aussie fans appear so infatuated with the Korean brand of pop that they have created Facebook pages dedicated solely to their favourite K-pop groups. Thirty-three-year old financial consultant Anne Lu is one of the administrators of AusArmyProject, a community of BTS fans in Australia and New Zealand, ranging in age from 13 to 40.

Ms Lu believes that the band’s popularity in Australia, and the reason they stand apart from other K-pop groups, is because their music addresses relatable topics and sensitive issues such as bullying, mental health, politics and adolescence, while incorporating some of the style elements of mainstream US artists, something uncommon for most K-pop idols.

“When they first came to Australia in 2015, their concert was filled with 2000 fans . . . It was the first K-pop concert to sell out in Australia,” Ms Lu adds.

Being an avid fan of the global music phenomenon for more than 15 years, and considered a part of the ARMY, the group’s official fan club name, Ms Lu says that the first K-pop concert in Australia – held in Sydney in 2011 and featuring some of the hottest K-pop groups of the time – pre-dated the K-pop craze.

Two years ago, promoters tested the market again and brought BTS and the better-known Big Bang, which played to sell-out concerts.

“After that, we’ve seen a steady stream of K-pop bands coming,” says Ms Lu. “And it [has] really surprised a lot of promoters, so they have started bringing more bands down [from Korea].”

Increasingly, Aussie fans are taking their love of K-pop to a new level by uploading dance covers to YouTube of their favourite bands, such as the Melbourne-based dance group AO Crew, and by entering K-pop music “boot camps” where they can test their talents.

Unlike Western artists, South Korean K-pop wannabes go through a rigorous and “robotic” system of training at entertainment agencies where they join classes and spend long hours learning dance routines, music and language in a highly organised and frenetic environment, before they officially debut.

Some trainees at Korea’s top agencies spend years working to become idols. But most either drop out or simply fail to make the grade in an extremely competitive industry.

Aussie fans wanting a taste of K-pop training are turning to The Academy, a Sydney-based agency that runs experiential K-pop boot camps, choreography and other tailored programs and reality TV-style workshops.  Those attending also get the chance to work with professional trainers and consultants from top entertainment agencies across Asia.

“We picked K-pop because there is a demand for it on two fronts – from agencies searching for new talent, and young talent searching for a breakthrough in the entertainment industry besides Hollywood,” says Angela Lee, the director of The Academy.

“With the boot camp, it also provides talent scouts a better opportunity to observe the boot camp trainees over a few days so that they can have a better understanding of the trainee’s talent, personality and culture, [and] fit for Korea.”

Ms Lee says that one of the main reasons why fans want to experience the rigorous training is curiosity. Although it’s not widely publicised, or even documented, a lot of applicants want to challenge themselves and see whether they have what it takes to make it to the top.

“We picked K-pop because there is a demand for it on two fronts – from agencies searching for new talent, and young talent searching for a breakthrough in the entertainment industry besides Hollywood.” — Angela Lee, director, The Academy

Much like Korea’s idol trainees, applicants are young teenagers and come with multicultural backgrounds – seven out of 10 are Asian Australians. But interest is starting to grow among other young Australians, too.

“We have seen an increase in interest from an international audience and an increase in the number of auditions by younger talents than in 2016,” adds Ms Lee.

Some Asian Australians, including JJCC’s Prince Mak, Jang Han-byul and Black Pink’s Roseanne Park, to name a few, have gone on to pass rigorous auditions in Korea and to debut at well-known entertainment agencies.

AusArmyProject’s Ms Lu believes that K-pop has boomed in Australia because of the global revolution in sharing – through YouTube and music streaming, as well as via content-sharing sites such as Tumblr, Instagram, Facebook and Twitter.

“This has helped fans come together and share their love for their idols via fan-created content such as memes, gifs, fan art and fan fiction, and creates a perceived greater connection between fans and idols,” she adds.

Much to the delight of K-pop fans, it has been announced that KCON, an annual Korean pop music and cultural convention based in the US, will be extended for the first time to Australia in September, making it the seventh host country since its launch in 2012.

K-pop writer Jeff Benjamin has high hopes for the future of the genre.

“Just like how the current generation of stars utilised and built off the accomplishments of the past generation, the future of K-pop seems to be growing in healthy ways,” he says.

Please note: the above article was originally published on The Citizen and written by the owner of this site.