September started off what is turning out to be a long string of boy group comebacks, and my tastes are reflected accordingly. I really do try to stay balanced and listen to both girl and boy groups, but unfortunately, that doesn’t always work out. I confess that I spent most of my attention on EXO and BTS: the former because they’re my favorite group, and the latter because I was really impressed with their latest music. However, many groups reminded me that I shouldn’t be forgetting about them either.
August was hectic, and October and November are shaping up to be just as wild. So September provided a nice little breather! Things were on the lighter side, but there were still plenty of comebacks to enjoy. I’ll admit I spent most of my time fangirling over EXO and BTS, but some of my other favorite groups came back with some quality music.
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
In my last post, I mentioned that I liked BTOB more for their personalities than their music. I feel the opposite way about B.A.P. I do enjoy their variety shows and broadcasts, but I literally became their fan because of one song. Last fall, “Skydive” smashed into my life to become one of my favorites. I was really moved by their storyline they took on and the detail in their music video. “Wake Me Up” is also thought-provoking, but it takes it one step further. While many can probably relate to its subject, it’s based on B.A.P’s real experiences – which makes it all the more meaningful.
Maybe it’s because these songs were released more recently and I haven’t had time to get bored with them, but I feel like a lot of my favorite songs of the year were released in the fall. That is to say, a lot of songs that I would probably put in my Top 10 of 2016. I thought that there were a lot of comebacks in the summer, but I was wrong. There were so many comebacks and so much to listen to! It seems that this has continued into January, and I already have a long list of songs that I really like.
*Note: The month that these songs are listed under refers to the period where I listened to it the most, not the actual release date (since some were released in the final days of the month).