About a year ago, I kicked off this blog with my 50 favorite K-pop songs of 2016 listed by season. This time, I decided it would be fun to do an “official” ranking. So I grabbed a set of index cards and wrote down all the music I wanted to talk about… only to end up with 100 songs instead of the planned 50. I change my favorites constantly, so I probably should have known how it would go. After all, this is what happens when you’re unapologetically multifandom. I eventually narrowed my choices down to a Top 50, but I decided to make the extra effort and do a “bonus” post. I wanted to share the other songs I liked, and it’s always important to promote good music!
The MNET Asian Music Awards are finally upon us! The week-long awards started in Vietnam this past weekend, with another show in Japan and the main event in Hong Kong. After over a month of online voting, fans all over the world are waiting to find out which K-Pop acts will come out on top. Many categories are a head-to-head battle between EXO and BTS, but there are so many other questions to answer: Will all the recent hype over BTS in the US affect an Asian awards ceremony? Will EXO manage to grab their fifth daesang for Best Album? With three comebacks each, will TWICE or Red Velvet be named the top girl group of 2017? And after enjoying years of favoritism, will any YG artists get recognized at all? This year’s definitely going to be an interesting one.
Awards season is coming, and the MNET Asian Music Awards (hereafter referred to as MAMA) is kicking things off with a bang! It’s only been two days, and my social media feeds are already filled with people discussing the nominations. As I write this, fans all over the world are diligently trying to get on MNET’s bugging website and vote for their favorites. I’m multifandom, so I’m having a really hard time choosing. Also, my computer seems to hate that site. So I thought I’d do something a little different!
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
June is my favorite month! To be fair, that’s really because I was born in June (Gemini all the way, baby). It’s probably because I’m biased, but it always seems like only good things happen this month. And June has given me some of my absolute favorite K-pop songs. While I favored some of the up and coming rookies, a lot of older groups also came out with some catchy music that intrigued me. And there were a lot of upbeat dance tracks, which are my favorite kind.
I was expecting January to be a slow time for K-pop, but we still got a lot of great of music. Female artists basically dominated this month for me. A lot of my favorite rookie girl groups had comebacks, Dreamcatcher had a strong debut, Seohyun and Suzy released amazing music, and three of my favorite biases had an amazing collaboration. Yet I couldn’t completely forget about boy groups – “Limitless” turned me into a major NCT fan.
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).
Happy 2017! Time to get cracking on this blog. It’s been over half a year since I originally set this up, and I stupidly did it while I was still finishing school (practically guaranteeing that I wouldn’t have time to work on it). But this is a new year, and my New Year’s resolution is to actually start a blog and keep it going.
I’ve been into K-pop for almost a year now. When I get into something – especially something media related like music or a tv show – I have the tendency to go all-in. At this point I have gone through the discographies, filmographies, and history of pretty much every major group you could think of. So as I approach the anniversary of the day I stumbled into all of this, I decided to start my blog by making a list of the songs that I really liked in 2016 – my first year as an official K-pop fan.