While I enjoy writing recaps and reviews, the point of K-Pop is that it’s a fun and light-hearted activity. So I decided to start a column that shows more of my fangirl side on this blog. Having biases is a huge aspect of being a K-Pop fan. It’s hard to decide, but at the end of the day we all have our special favorites that make us smile. Every month I’ll choose one of mine and make a special appreciation post about him or her, illustrated with a bunch of videos and Tumblr GIFs. We’ll start with the one who originally said “That’s right my type” – EXO’s maknae and one of my longtime biases, Oh Sehun!
August was the magic month for Produce 101 reunions. Wanna One arrived on the scene, almost half of I.O.I. returned in their new groups, and alumni from both seasons either released new music or made their debut. Who would have thought that this show would help jump start the careers of so many young idols? Let’s look at all how all of these rookies are faring!
I can’t believe it’s been almost a month since I went to see K.A.R.D.! It seriously only feels like it was a few days ago. Getting to see one K-Pop group this summer was already pretty lucky. But when K.A.R.D. announced a Europe tour, I knew I wouldn’t be able to resist. Literally the morning after the Monsta X concert, I snatched up tickets and immediately planned my trip to London.
Frequent readers of my blog will know I started out mainly writing reviews of K-POP’s latest releases. I still really enjoy doing those, but they’re super time-consuming. On average, it takes me about two days to do all the research, make GIFs, and actually write the review…and that’s when I’m focused! If I did that for every group I liked or I was interested in, I’d be forever behind. And there also just times when I don’t feel I have enough material to fill up a whole post. So I’ve come up with a new solution!
Rapid(ish) Reviews will be a blanket post for multiple artists at once. I’ll still use the same scoring system, but I’m going to focus on what I feel is most pertinent rather than every single little thing. I’m still going to do the big reviews for artists that I really like and/or feel I have a lot to say about, but I think this is an easier way to share my opinions when I’m pressed for time. Because there were so many comebacks in August, I’ve split this into multiple posts. This one will cover the more well-known idols or ones who have been around for a while. I’ll make another one about all the rookies / Produce 101 alum.
On September 20, digital music platform Soribada hosted their first ever BEST K-MUSIC AWARDS. Eligible songs were from September 2016 to August 2017, with online voting starting in July.
New Korean Wave Producer Award: Iggy Youngbae (I assume for a GFriend song)
New Korean Wave Music Video Award: Zanybros (I’m not sure if they were nominated for a specific MV, but they worked with many of the artists that were there: B.A.P., Mamamoo, GFriend, KNK, Wanna One)
New Korean Wave Music Star Award: Sonamoo and KNK
New Korean Wave OST Award: Ailee, “I Will Go to You Like the First Snow” (Goblin)
New Korean Wave Rookie Award: Pentagon and Wanna One
New Korean Wave Popularity Award: EXO
New Korean Wave Icon Award: Red Velvet
New Korean Wave Trot Award: Tae Jin Ah and Hong Jin Young
New Korean Wave Global Achievement Award: Eru
New Korean Wave Photogenic Award: DIA
New Korean Wave Rising Hot Star Award: WJSN and Wanna One
New Korean Wave Voice Award: Han Dong Geun
New Korean Wave Performance Award: NCT 127 and gugudan
New Korean Wave Artist Award: BTS (not in attendance)
2017 SOBA 11 (aka the Bonsang Prizes): Hwang Chi Yeul, T-ara, BTOB, EXO, Vixx, B.A.P., Mamamoo, Red Velvet, GFriend, Monsta X, Twice
Digital Daesang: Twice
Daesang (grand prize): EXO
I was originally going to do a recap, but there wasn’t all that much to sum up. Groups won awards, gave speeches, and performed their latest hits; there weren’t any special stages or collaborations. And all the artists stayed backstage, so it’s not like I can comment on their reactions to each other. Also, the streaming on V-Live was terrible. There was this weird echo/loop on the audio for the first thirty minutes, and the image kept cutting out or going out of sync. I know it’s a first time show, but those are some serious growing pains.
I’m not sure how much of a big deal these awards are or will be, especially compared to long-standing shows like MAMA, Melon, or Gaon Chart. It’s kind of strange that certain habitual award recipients like BTS, GOT7, BLACKPINK (and/or any YG artist), and Seventeen are nowhere to be seen. (BTS literally just started their comeback and they did send an acceptance speech, but it’s still a little weird) And to be honest, I don’t know what half of those awards mean or what the criteria was for deciding any of them. But I’m really impressed with the diversity of the artists they awarded. They’re mostly all groups big in the last five years, but there’s still a wide variety. And I’m really happy with the attention they gave to all those rookies. They all deserve more recognition, and I’m glad they got it. I’ll be interested to see if Soribada does this again next year and how it will be – hopefully a better streaming experience!
Sources: V-Live, Soompi, Wikipedia
Another month, another group profile! I finished GFriend just in time for their comeback! I’ve also been working on one for a certain extremely popular boy group that’s coming back in less than a week…but I have other things I want to do, so I might put it to the side for a week or two.
I can’t believe we’re already so far into September! I had so many great new blog updates planned, and all of a sudden the month’s halfway through. Where does all the time go???? The good news is that I’ve been working on a lot of different posts over the past couple of weeks, so I’m looking to post a lot in the next couple of weeks. Here’s what’s coming up next (in no particular order):
*A post about the K.A.R.D. fan meeting I went to in London
*A “Favorites” post for August
*The rest of my reviews for August comebacks and debuts. As you might have noticed, I’ve had less and less time to write full in-depth reviews for groups, and sometimes I just don’t have enough to say to merit a whole post. So I decided that I would save writing the long reviews for my favorite groups, and then make one big monthly post to do quick opinions on all the rest.
*Bias appreciation post for September: This is a monthly topic I’ve been waiting to do for a while. It’s just a fun semi-fangirl kind of post where I talk about my bias and the reasons I’ve chosen him or her. If you want a hint of who I picked for this month, I’m thinking of permanently naming this column “That’s Right, My Type.”
*Quizzes: When I was in London to see K.A.R.D., my friend and I basically spent the entire weekend doing K-Pop personality quizzes. It was so much fun, and I thought that would be a fun thing to add to this blog. This one might take a while, but it will be an EXO quiz.
So to sum it up, a lot of EXO related stuff and some other things (XD XD XD)
It’s hard to believe there was a time people scoffed at the idea of a male Produce 101. But even for the less skeptical, Wanna One has had an astounding amount of success. They literally dominated August, from charts to music shows to even variety show viewership ratings. I did a profile on them, and my list of their variety show appearances literally doubled my site traffic. And my friend who visited Seoul confirmed they were everywhere. Basically, they’re so successful that they’re potentially damaging the way things work in K-pop. Not only was their debut wildly popular, but it was also really good – and it proved these young men are indeed super rookies to keep an eye on. Continue reading