Tag Archives: BoA

3 Reasons Why The 1st “Girls on Top” Line-Up, “GOT The Beat”, Is The Most Powerful Kpop Girl Group

21 Jan

On January 1, 2022, SM Entertainment hosted its traditional SM Town Live concert, SMTOWN LIVE 2022: SMCU EXPRESS @ KWANGYA, via their Youtube channel. During the show, SME introduced their latest girl group project, Girls on Top, and debuted their latest sub-unit: GOT the Beat with a new song “Step Back” (produced by Yoo Young Jin and Dem Jointz, to name a few). Members of GOT were taken from many other major girl groups within the company (or from their own solo activities) and gathered to create the ultimate girl group.

SM Entertainment has found recent success with these “mix-’em-up” sub-units. In 2019, SM Entertainment debuted SuperM, a boy group sub-unit that consisted of Taemin (SHINee), Baekhyun and Kai (EXO), Taeyong and Mark (NCT 127), and Ten and Lucus (WayV).

By putting these members together, the fandoms united, and this created massive success for SuperM. Their self-titled EP, SuperM, reached number one on the Billboard charts upon release. They embarked on a live world tour, only being cut short because of the global COVID-19 pandemic.

Though all activities have had to be adjusted to fit online streaming, the idea of this massive sub-unit has come with massive rewards for the company and the group members.

It was only a matter of time before SM Entertainment tried this method with their girl idols. GOT appears to be that formula.

GOT (Girls on Top) will be a bit different from SuperM in the fact that it will rotate the members out, much the way SM Entertainment handles their group NCT.

But so far, the first line-up for GOT is getting the reputation of being the “Female Avengers of K-pop”. After the release of GOT The Beat’s stage video performance of “Step Back”, they were already being received as a very powerful girl group from SM Entertainment, and possibly the strongest one in the whole industry at the moment.

Here are 3 reasons why this group is considered so powerful:

1. The Members Are Considered The Best At Their Craft

Let’s just introduce this line-up of girls.

First off, BoA is in this line-up. Highly regarded as the “Queen of Kpop”, “Beat of Angel”, “Asia’s Star”, and now a creative director and choreographer at SM Entertainment, BoA debuted in the year 2000 at the age of 13, influencing the early Hallyu or Korean wave that brought Kpop to the international stage. She’s also respected for having allegedly saved SM Entertainment, one of the “Big 3” music labels in South Korea, when it was in financial crisis in the early naughts. Since her debut and near 22-year reign, she has become an adept solo artist, mastering both her dancing and vocal abilities.

She’s also had a major successful break-through career in Japan, becoming quite the J-pop artist as well. BoA is also multi-lingual (speaking Korean, Japanese, and English). Her various talents and world-trotting gifts make her an “all-around” presence in the group.

The respect SM Entertainment has for her is visible through the group’s name, “Girls on Top”, which pays homage to one of BoA’s most successful Kpop songs “Girls on Top“.

BoA may seem to have tried it all, but this is her first time navigating a girl group, showing that there’s still more on her bucket list. In her reality show, Keyword#BoA and in other shows, she’s confessed that she’s always wanted to be in a girl group, particularly Girls’ Generation (SNSD) and Red Velvet. Now, it appears like she took her opportunity, and she’s not disappointing anyone. BoA is proving that age is nothing but a number, and she inspires many of many ages to keep moving forward towards their dreams.

When the stage video dropped, it was pretty clear who had the potential to be the leader of the group, especially as some discovered she got the most out of the line distribution in this debut. Rightfully so, as she crawled so all those after her could walk and run. She is strong in many areas, so it’s easy for her to perform naturally with many members of this new group.

Next in the line-up, we have Taeyeon of Kpop’s iconic and legendary girl-group Girls’ Generation (SNSD), which debuted in 2007. Overall leader of the former NINE-MEMBER girl group, a group often literally called “The Nation’s [South Korea’s] Girl Group”, one of the first to break the “glass ceiling” (being the first girl group to chart for weeks on South Korea’s major charts and award shows), the first to sell millions of albums, and the first Kpop girl group to go on to achieve global success, Taeyeon contributed massively with her amazing vocal talent. To many, her vocal prowess remains unrivaled in Kpop. With her experience in such a large-member girl group, Taeyeon has learned how to make her personal talents and presence shine within minutes, and most fans of GOT learned quickly that they can’t get their eyes (and ears) off of her.

Since her debut in 2007 with her group, Taeyeon has mastered the art of vocal control and stage charisma. Being only slightly younger than BoA, and still being considered a Kpop “visual”, she’s also proving that age is nothing but a number.

Following Taeyeon from the legendary girl group Girls’ Generation (SNSD) is the group’s powerful lead rapper and dancer Hyoyeon. Debuting in 2007 with her initial girl group, she quickly became recognized as one of the few female Kpop acts that can “dance with the boys” (with the boys being more recognized for their powerful choreography). Hyoyeon has shown time and time again that she gives nothing less than 100% with anything she takes on. Her ability to give her all in a performance makes her rap verses flow naturally and her dancing fluid and precise. After all, this girl worked with Janet Jackson and was BoA’s silhouette dancer before her debut with SNSD!

It’s ironic that, at this moment in time, she’s teaming up with someone she once shadowed. This just shows how much her status has come up in the world.

Like her fellow band-mate, she can’t help but steal the spotlight whenever she takes the stage. Her confidence and “girl-crush” aura make her a crowd favorite. There’s no way she can fade into the background. Her chemistry with her new band-mates also amazes people, showing just how adaptable she is, too.

She also brought the beauty and the “style” visually with this debut, especially standing out with her popping pinkish-red hair. Like with BoA and Taeyeon, what is age?

The girls of Girls’ Generation (SNSD) can rightfully be called “Queens”.

Moving along down the line-up is Wendy of the ever-popular Kpop girl group Red Velvet. This group became SM Entertainment’s answer to JYP’s Twice and YG’s Black Pink. Debuting in 2014 to both controversy and wildly popular admiration, Red Velvet has since carved out their own identity from former groups by experimenting with new sounds, images, and styles. They are now one of SM Entertainment’s biggest girl groups.

Wendy has particularly been a stand-out with her vocals. As lead vocalist of her own group, she instantly became recognized as SM Entertainment’s “strongest vocalist”. This amazingly talented vocalist even appeared on King of Mask Singer as “Space Beauty Maetel”. And everyone knows that anyone who joins that reality show has to sell their voice and nothing else.

But Wendy has shown that she’s very capable of selling all she’s got in this debut. Pretty and talented, Wendy doesn’t shy away from performing on par with her seniors, vocally or in dance. It helps to have practiced doing solo work. It’s the key to why Wendy can shine so brightly in this group full of so much talent. When she sang in this debut, people quickly noticed how easy it was for her to hit a F5 (vocal range). People also noticed how well she danced next to some of the best. Wendy appears to be refusing to be outshined in any area. Known for being bubbly, she’s been surprising everyone with how well she’s merging with the tougher GOT concept.

As with her group-mate, Red Velvet‘s Seulgi can’t seem to fade into the background either. While most people know this diva is talented, with this debut, she has shown that her dancing, singing, and rapping chops make her a dominating force in her own group and in her new sub-unit, pulling out all-around gifts to spread to every area, similar to BoA. When Seulgi performs, it appears as if she’s been around as long as her seniors, which shows just how amazingly talented she is.

Seulgi has everything all the other girls have in one whole body, which is why she’s considered SM Entertainment’s “secret weapon” and the “ace”. She manages to maintain her own powerful identity within a group setting, merging well with the others and, yet, taking center stage effortlessly at the same time. She’s never out-of-step.

Finally, we have members from the newest and super popular Kpop sensation Aespa, which debuted in 2020. Aespa has been known to have a unique identity in SM, bringing the trap and hip-hop vibes, usually a staple of YG artists, along with some futuristic touches (such as having virtual “avatars” perform with them) to the label. From debut, they have seen significant music show success, constant streaming on platforms like Youtube and Spotify, and have charted on the Billboard 200.

Since pre-debut, everyone knew Karina was born to be a star. From being invited to perform with her senior (SHINee’s Taemin) and having the honor of appearing in a Tucson car performance ad (usually reserved for veterans), she’s already shown that she’s a big-dog in the Kpop industry already, and she’s only been full-throttle in the industry for a little over a year. Before debut, many could see her potential as a soloist, so it’s no surprise that she can so easily slip out of one group to another (from Aespa to GOT) within just one year of debut.

Karina has shown that she’s a powerful dancer, strong rapper, and obviously visually stunning, standing stronger than most of her peers and some of her seniors. Recently, she’s also shown to even have very good vocals as well! She’s quite a quad-threat. It’s no wonder she was selected to be first in line during the stage performance.

Winter is another story. Pre-debut, SM Entertainment hid her special talents behind her gorgeous and stunning visuals in her teaser videos. Yet, when Winter stepped onto her debut stage, she shocked everyone with her powerful vocals, rapping skills, and dancing abilities.

Being underestimated, everything fell in her favor due to the shock factor. It made her extremely popular and a fan favorite. Within her short time within the Kpop industry, she has also gained significant status. It’s amazing that she has been able to elevate to the point she is performing with all of the other queens in GOT. And she fits oh-so-well. Her shared “bridge” with BoA and Wendy in the “Step Back” song has had everyone talking, and it’s seriously got everyone wondering what she has next up her sleeve.

With these seven members, this sub-unit is definitely a strong forceful wind blowing in the industry.

2. FOUR Generations

GOT (Girls on Top)

Many sub-units have been formed from many labels, but very few can gather FOUR GENERATIONS of Kpop idols, let alone the most talented of them. The Refund Sisters may have been the only other one, and that was, to most, just three generations.

Many Kpop agencies haven’t even been around as long as SM Entertainment, who, quite frankly, is said to have pioneered the “Kpop-idol formula“. The agencies that were formed in the early days of the industry are either gone, having been dissolved by the industry, or all of their older idols have completely left their agencies, disbanding or retiring.

Well, considering the four generations of Kpop, the active participants in GOT cover them all. BoA is from the first generation, Taeyeon and Hyoyeon (Girls’ Generation (SNSD)) are from the second generation, Wendy and Seulgi (Red Velvet) are from the third generation, and Karina and Winter (Aespa) are from the fourth. This is already over 20 years of talent in one group, from 2000 to 2022!

Thus, this group, as it stands, is sure to bring to circle a large and diverse fanbase, one that has been both following the industry for years and the young blood. Already, newer Kpop fans are being introduced to older idols, and old-time Kpop fans are learning of the newer idols or are being reintroduced to them. This unit brings a unity to Kpop, especially because the fandom is largely divided as to which “era” of Kpop is superior.

In this group, all eras reign supreme!

3. All The Girls Are Well-Established

Finally, the reason this group is so perfect is because all of the ladies are well-established, so there’s no fight over who is getting more attention (or love from fans) than the other. Technically, each girl is a bias of some group of people, unlike what you might find in your typical Kpop group, where one girl appears to be more beloved than the others.

Many who have analyzed the line distribution have noticed that every line has been distributed as fairly as possible, allowing each girl to shine.

This could also mean that the company doesn’t believe that any one of the girls will be the main pull of this group. This is because all of the girls in this group are the pull. They have had major successes outside of GOT, have developed their own strong fandoms, and are moving into this project with a fresh outlook.

One of main causes of many fan wars (and even disbandment) has been attention disparity between members. In many other Kpop girl groups, it’s often obvious that one girl is favored. Usually, it’s noticeable when someone wears more unique outfits, gets more lines in a song, more screen-time in a music video or stage performance, and/or more side projects, like ads, than the other girls.

But in GOT, all of the usual “favorites” were combined in one group. Karina and Winter are the main “biases” in Aespa, Taeyeon and Hyoyeon are favored from SNSD, Wendy and Seulgi are favored from Red Velvet, and BoA is highly respected as a solo artist and Kpop veteran.

Thus, they’ve actually toned down on favoring the usuals, too. For example, while Karina appears to be favored in Aespa, often having the more interesting wardrobe and prettiest hair options, more lines in the song, and more visual presence, in GOT her hair is a normal dark color, with the more interesting colors given to Girls’ Generation’s members, BoA has the most lines of everyone in the song, and the visual beauty of the group is largely disputed (with many also complimenting Winter, Wendy, and Taeyeon for their feminine looks, too).

The same extremely talented individuals who always get praise for standing out also have their matches in this group. While Taeyeon, Wendy, and Winter each get praise for their powerful vocal dominance in their own groups, they are vocal equals in GOT, with BoA stepping down a peg, too, to let those ladies do their thing.

BoA also has to share the stage with her shadow Hyoyeon when it comes to dancing, and Karina and Seulgi deliver strong in that department as well.

Karina is a very powerful rapper in her group, and yet, Hyoyeon is able to keep up (and even dominate) the flow most of the time.

Together, many fans consider this the “best vocal line” in Kpop history due to there being six of seven vocalists in the group! It can equally be considered the “best dance line” as well, with over half of the members displaying significant body control in this choreography. Each member brings something to the table, and would be incomplete without everyone.


GOT the Beat on McCountdown “Special Stage” “Step Back”

While acknowledging that some talents shine equally in this group, it can hurt fans who want to believe their bias is superior. But it also leaves many people humbly and genuinely respecting the individual strengths of all of the ladies, leaving no one to find a weak link. No one can honestly leave disappointed with any of them, and suddenly, many fans may find themselves latching on to a different bias than the one they actually started with.

To be honest, this is possibly why most comments on them have been positive, with few fan wars sprouting out. There’s nothing to fight about when all of them appear amazing.


GOT the Beat “Special Stage” fancam view
GOT the Beat Winter (fancam)
GOT the Beat Karina (fancam)
GOT the Beat Seulgi (fancam)
GOT the Beat Wendy (fancam)
GOT the Beat Hyoyeon (fancam)
GOT the Beat Taeyeon (fancam)
GOT the Beat BoA (fancam)

Overall, this sub-unit will go far.

Unfortunately, they will be swapped out. It’s both bitter and sweet. On one hand, Kpop fans will get to see many of their other favorite idols get together and perform. On the other hand, could the next sub-unit really be as powerful as this four-generation group?

There’s still much to improve on. Many fans have found the lyrics of “Step Back” to be questionable, considering it sounds more like a “diss track” over a man than a “female-empowering” anthem, and there’s still no official music video released to really give the group justice. Before another sub-unit takes the stage, this powerful sub-unit should at least get another chance at making an even bigger mark, possibly with an EP, another comeback with fresh new lyrics, and a stylish music video. That may be asking for too much, but fans can only hope the potential here doesn’t go to waste.


BoA, Korea’s Princess of Pop: The Pop Conqueror

10 Jan

I’ve been having a terrible week, so please forgive me if everything seems a little foggy…

Throughout this terrible week, only one woman has been able to ease my mind and take the stress away. After getting a whiff of her performances, I just couldn’t help but be in awe. She put a smile on this heart-broken face of mine. Her name is BoA Kwon.

BoA is known as Korea’s Princess of Pop. She debuted at the tender age of 13, way back in 2000. She is one of the biggest Korean stars in the world. She’s a veteran by now. As mentioned before, she has a long, fabulous resume, and she is only 28 years old!

BoA is a Pop Conqueror of sorts. BoA, in her lifetime, has managed to not only grab the Korean market, but has also conquered Japanese charts. She has also been one of the first K-pop artists to make their U.S. debut. She was SM Entertainment’s first artist to step into the American market. She was actually SM’s first major international star. SM Entertainment has always been known for their groups, but BoA was their female break-out artist.

What draws people to this diva, of all divas, is not just because of her tomboyish looks, no. Not just because she’s pretty. No. But this woman can SERIOUSLY DANCE, and she sings quite well, too. She has always given dynamic performances.

One day, I hope that I get the pleasure of seeing this amazing woman live.

Because she made me so happy today, I wanted to take this time to share with you some of my favorite performances, music videos, and songs from her. Honestly, when you see her on stage, you can’t help but be entertained. When I see her shine on stage, I always say to myself, “Man, this is how a performance SHOULD be.” I definitely wouldn’t mind spending money to see her perform. She’s amazing, what else can I say?

If you want to learn more about BoA:

A Fun Game: The BoA “Double” Challenge -This was a little game I constructed based on BoA’s music videos. BoA always usually has two different versions for her music videos because she always releases a Korean version and a Japanese version. While many seem identical, there are slight differences. Can you spot them?

BoA’s first U.S. Movie Debut – BoA made her first American movie debut back in April 2014. Unfortunately, tragedy struck one of Korea’s ferries around that time. But perhaps you still can find it on Netflix.

BoA’s Japanese Comeback September 2014 & A Group of Her Music Videos -BoA made her Japanese comeback in September 2014. It was her first album comeback in YEARS. In honor of the comeback, I posted all of her music videos, starting back from debut.

Finally, BoA has made her official KOREAN comeback as well!

I hope you all enjoy the videos I’m sharing today!

My favorite live performances:

BoA has Janet Jackson listed as her inspiration, but she was also highly inspired by Michael Jackson. I remember, in an interview, BoA mentioned how much she loved watching Michael Jackson’s music videos as a little girl. BoA often adopts androgynous styles, and admits that she’s more of a tomboy. These looks suit her so well. The above videos are some of my favorite performances because BoA gave them her all. You can really tell. “Divinity in Motion”-Michael Jackson

BoA has done “Only One” with several SM artists, including some from Super Junior and EXO. But I’m sorry, Shinee’s Taemin is the best to me. He’s smooth in his movements, and he creates the atmosphere while he dances with BoA. They have so much chemistry dancing, and he makes the whole performance sexy. We can clearly understand this song with him dancing. The dancing is so intricate, and yet BoA does it perfectly even while singing!

“The Shadow”, to me, was her best dancing, hands down. I especially love that shoulder move. ❤

This era (2005) was one of my favorite eras from BoA. “Moto” and “Girls on Top” were some of my favorite performances. BoA was just adjusting to her new, edgier image. “Girls on Top” was the song that introduced me to DBSK (TVXQ). I remember them performing it with BoA. That was back in the day. This song showed a tougher side. I love the street style so much.

This is my second favorite era from BoA. She had made her Korean comeback after YEARS of focusing on her Japanese releases. Let’s face it, she’s a bigger demand in Japan. But she FINALLY returned to Korea with Hurricane Venus. I absolutely LOVE this album. I was so addicted to it. Her performances were dynamic.

“Spark” had that twinge of Janet Jackson. She brought the “house down” in this performance. Sexy, sleek, and mature, I love it. “Spark” also came from the “My Name” era when BoA underwent a “transformation” of sorts in 2004.

“Atlantis Princess” was SOOOO cute. I love this dance so much, especially when she wore that ponytail. One part in the dance has her put one leg in front of the other, and flick her head slightly. That ponytail gives it the perfect touch. I remember the album Atlantis Princess. It was my first Korean album, actually.

“Girl in the Mirror” from The Face tour was one of my favorite performances from the tour. Honestly, this was my favorite tour from BoA. She danced so well. So much energy was put into every song she performed on this tour. It just didn’t get the respect it truly deserved. BoA said that she had more of an influence in the performances for this tour. In fact, this was the first album BoA played a heavier hand in.

“Lazer” IS my favorite BoA song. It was my ringtone, my theme song, it was just AMAZING. I love this song so much from her Identity album. A LOT of people had negative things to say about that album, but it was one of my favorites. I liked her image for this performance, but the whole performance was just fun and unique.

“Lady Galaxy” happened before Lady Gaga, I’ll have you know. I love this performance. It was very futuristic at the time. I love the sound. It was from the Made in 20 tour and album. BoA had just turned 20 years old.

“Rock With You” was designed at a time when Pop/Rock was becoming a thing in western countries. Boa designed her own Pop/Rock style song. She gave it her own individual touch. I absolutely loved this song when it was first released. The performances are very creative. The performance shows a combination of Rock and Pop, with the band playing initially, and then later BoA kicking the mic stand down to dance.

This was one of my favorite songs and performances from the Outgrow era. It’s high energy sound and performance enthuses me. It’s sexy, too.

That was my favorite ballad by BoA. It was from her Valenti album, released in 2003. That was the year I became a BoA fan. I just love the lilting melody. It’s wistful and romantic at the same time. It soothes me. BoA’s vocals are amazing, too.

One of BoA’s few English songs. I love this song and Mondo Grosso’s contribution. I was addicted to this song. It was seriously way ahead of it’s time. This kind of music is in popularity right now.

“Look who’s Talking” was originally made for Britney Spears. I absolutely love her performance of this song. I remember when she first performed it on MTV Iggy. I’m telling you, I was so excited. It’s so hard to find MTV Iggy’s version nowadays. “Eat You Up” is one of my favorite English songs from BoA. Her dancing is just spectacular.

Expect is such an epic song. The performance is also epic. From the Love and Honesty (2004) album and tour.

Respect: How can BoA dance like that so close to the edge, doe? “Silent screamerz” is one of my favorite songs from the Outgrow era, even though it was performed for Made in 20.

This song was in honor of 9/11. When I first heard this song, it brought tears to my eyes. This is why I love BoA AND Koda Kumi, a J-pop star.

B.I.O is my favorite song from the album Valenti.

Remember Y2K? That was when BoA debuted. It seems like it was only yesterday. I didn’t become a fan until 2003, but I remember when those clothes were in style and when commercials used to be just like the one above. 😛 BoA showed off her tomboyish charms since debut. For a rookie, she was immaculate in her dancing and performing, and she was just 13. What does that mean for the rest of you rookies out there? No excuse. 😛

My favorite Music Videos:

“Eat You Up” and “Energetic” were both from her U.S. debut. She showed her amazing dancing skills when she debuted in America. Of course, they’re my favorite.

I first heard about “Be the One” because everyone thought it was going to be the opening for the video game franchise Kingdom Hearts. Of course, I knew of BoA long before, but that was the first rumor before the final release of the song. This song and dance is just epic even thought it’s in one completely white room.

You just can’t like BoA and not listen to “Listen to My Heart”. It was seriously one of her break-out songs in Japan. I love this song.

Trivia: No.1 was filmed in Japan for both the Korean and Japanese versions. It gave a glimpse of BoA’s Japanese success and how she catapulted to international stardom.

When I seriously saw this MV, it made me dizzy but I was addicted to it. I loved the mirror effect. It inspired me to make the BoA “double” challenge.

“The Shadow” and “Only One” are two of BoA’s best dance music videos. That dance, doe.

Both songs above are from the Identity album. I seriously loved this era. So mature, so individual. I loved BoA’s new haircut.

“Lose Your Mind” has an edgier sound than many of her works prior. BoA likes that about this song. I do, too. I loved the high-energy dancing.

“Shine we Are!” showed BoA’s excellent dancing skills and she didn’t even have to try so hard.

“Quincy” was the first time BoA tried her new “transformed” image in Japan, back in 2004. It was SO awesome. I love this sound and look.

“Believe in Love” was made for the Astro Boy anime. I simply love it. It’s addictive.

The “Look Who’s Talking MV” is so cool because I get to see how hard BoA has been working, especially how hard she worked for her American debut. Her dancing is on point even bts.

BoA’s debut MV. BoA always worked hard, even as a child. She was very much like Michael Jackson. She had been training under SM Entertainment ever since she was 10 years old. It’s no wonder she is such a genius with performance and music.

Another video that is “Jackson”-inspired. I love the concept for this video.

Some Favorite songs of mine:

I love the Bratz, too!!!!!

GN’s Top 20 Favorite Far East Asian Artists: 20 Countdown

6 Nov


As most of you readers probably know, GN loves foreign music. I love music from around the world. I listen to music from France, Turkey, Russia, Tanzania, Brazil, Spain, and many other countries around the world. But my favorite countries rest in Asia. Yes, GN is a big-time fan of Asian music.

As a Black/African American, most would look at me and wonder what made me love music from other lands and nations so much. I only speak English fluently. My parents never raised me to like foreign music. Well, not directly.

When I was younger, my parents would always take me to Mexican Food restaurants. I grew up eating Mexican food because they liked it. And you know what kind of music I would hear playing? Spanish music. After getting songs stuck in my head, I began to enjoy the music. I began listening to the music on my “alarm clock radio”…something only us ’90s kids would understand…

It was then that I began to like music spoken in a language that was different from my own. I never let language stop me from liking music.

Later, when I was around age 10, I acquired a love for anime. Cartoon Network’s Toonami block introduced me to so many animes, but it also introduced me to RPG video games. One of those video games was Kingdom Hearts. Kingdom Hearts had a commercial that played repetitively on every channel. The commercial had a very catchy song linked to it. (Many of you have probably heard this story before, if you’ve been following my blog.) That song was my favorite for months. It had a mesmerizing sound and beautiful vocals. But I never knew who sang the song. Finally, when I bought the game, I looked at the back of the booklet that came with the game and found out who it was. Now, I’m not going to give who it was away because that singer is going to be on my list. But I just wanted to share a brief summary of how I got hooked on foreign music, and how Asian music became a favorite of mine.

Even though I knew about that artist, I always thought the person was an underground American artist because the artist spoke excellent English. Little did I know she was a famous singer overseas! I didn’t really realize other countries had their “own” music (I know, it was very ignorant of me).

At the time, I was also a Bratz fan. Bratz came out with a song that was only released in Asia. At the time, I had to have everything Bratz. So, I did some research on this song, and found out about another famous Asian star. It was then that it dawned on me: There are other great singers out in the world that AREN’T American. My mind and my options were opened. Since then, I’ve been a fan of Asian music.

This all happened in 2003.

Now, I like tons of Asian artists. I’ve acquired a love of many different kinds. Over the years, I’ve gotten into artists from other continents, too.

So, now that you’ve been updated with my history, it’s time for me to share with you all some Asian artists I just can’t get enough of. I love all Asian music naturally, but these 20 artists really pop out to me. On this list, I will do a countdown, starting from #20!

20. Jo Kwon

I was introduced to this sexy K-pop star through f(x) Amber’s instagram. She was right about him. He’s super sexy. Not only is he sexy, but he does sexy in a unique way. Jo Kwon really impressed me with his performance, “Animal”. He is an artist that I consider “ground-breaking” in Korea and around the world. He proved that men can strut in platform heels and still look good doing it! I honestly can only respect him as he highlights his own beauty. Ever since that performance, I have been wanting more from him. He’s a rare gem in a boxed world.

Debut 2008

19. Zard

I was first introduced to this J-rock band when watching the Detective Conan anime. One of Zard’s songs was the 4th Opening theme. But it was the 22nd Opening theme that made me follow this band full-throttle. Whenever I think of Japanese music, this band is always one of the first that come to my mind. Their music is energetic, but what made them even more special was their lead vocalist. There are very few female rockers in the world, and she was one-in-a-million. Unfortunately, she has passed away. 😦 But their music is still amazing.

Debut 1991

18. BtoB

I first learned of K-pop boy group BtoB this year on We Got Married Global. I heard about their song “Beep Beep”, but the song that really sparked my interest was “Wow”. Teddy Riley raved about this group’s New Jack Swing style, which is what made me check out that song. The fact that BtoB successfully tried New Jack Swing was impressive enough, but they also are really charming young men who love music. Sungjae has become a favorite of mine, as he seems to really love music. I’ve been watching him on KBS’s A Song for You. He never ceases to entertain me. BtoB is a K-pop group with one American member.

Debut 2012

17. 2ne1

I was introduced to this K-pop group on a BoA fan message board site. BoA was compared to the YG entertainment group. At first I was offended, but I still gave them a shot. When I heard the song “I  Love You”, I immediately knew there was something different about them. They were so different from all the other groups. They didn’t do the “cute” thing. But they also sounded so…AMERICAN. They kind of reminded me of Rihanna in many ways. I was addicted to that song for a long time. They always struck me as more mature than the other girl groups. It wasn’t until later that I saw more edgy, fun sides to them. Their performances were always unique. They never danced silly or cute dances. They used profanity in their performances. They dressed risque and pointed with swag at their viewers with their long, sharp nails. While this tough edge made them a more “alpha, dominant” female group, it never took away from the sex appeal or girlishness. They had a charm all their own. I couldn’t resist getting their latest album, Crush.

Debut 2009

16. Gackt

Gackt has always been one of my favorite J-rock stars. I was introduced to him while passing through Japanese music websites. Final Fantasy deepened my interest in him. His unique image and sound make him universal. Something about his androgynous looks makes me mesmerized. And his image is in far contrast to his music, which is very masculine in nature. I love every moment.

Debut 1999

15. Mai Kuraki

This J-pop star takes the #15 spot for me. She is an amazing vocalist. She used to remind me of Utada Hikaru back in the day. My sibling first introduced me to the J-pop star through the song “Perfect Crime” and I loved that song. But I first gained extreme interest in her after her song “Revive” appeared on the Detective Conan anime. She definitely has some epic and addictive songs.

Debut 1999

14. School Food Punishment

This Electronic J-rock band caught my ears with the song “Sky Step”. My sibling also introduced me to this band. Their fast transitions mid-tempo makes their music easy to recognize. There isn’t one song I hate from this band and I can listen to them over and over again without losing interest. Their genre is also considered Post Rock. Unfortunately, this band disbanded in 2012. 😦 But their music is still hypnotizing and addictive.

Debut 2004

13. Keiko Lee

This Japanese Blues/Jazz artist is one of my favorites. I first heard her music on the anime Requiem from the Darkness. She sang both the opening and ending songs. I swear, when I first heard her voice, I couldn’t believe a woman like her was singing. Her style is similar to Billie Holiday. She has quite a bass. Her bass adds a haunting shade on everything she sings. Her music can be alluring, seductive, and mysterious all at once. You should hear her cover of “We Will Rock You”. It’s most definitely a unique spin on that song. Check it out when you have time. It’s bone-chilling. The best part for me is that all of her music is in English, my native language.

Debut 1995

12. Show Luo

This Mandopop star captured my heart with his amazing performances. Originally part of two different boy bands, he struck out on his own after several of his members left for military service. Most people probably know him from his cover of High School Musical 2‘s “Bet On it”. But I know him from the song “Zhen Ming Tian Zi” featuring female pop sensation Jolin Tsai. His music is catchy and his performance value is high. If you are in the C-pop neighborhood, you should definitely check him out. And for all you ladies, you’ll have plenty of I-Candy.

Debut 1996

11. Super Junior (Including Suju-M)

I’ve known about K-pop boy band sensation Super Junior ever since I’d visited the SM Entertainment main website back during their debut. What stood out to me was the number of members they had. I also liked their boy-next-door appeal. The song I remember listening to often is “Sexy, Free, and Single”. Even though I knew about them for years, I wasn’t a fan until last year. It was Super Junior-M’s member Henry that helped my interest in the group increase. I saw Henry play the guitar for “Someday at Christmas (Happy Holidays)”, saw him play the piano for “Trap”, the violin for “Fantastic, and I just wondered, “What CAN’T he do?” I felt this was a reflection on the group. They must be some really talented men. The song that I first gave a chance was “Swing”. Ever since, I’ve followed them closely. Their upbeat and catchy music keeps me dancing for days.

I became an even greater fan of the original Super Junior after seeing Kangin on KBS’s A Song For You. He’s funny and also very experienced with music.

Debut 2005


10. Got7

Recently, I’ve become a huge fan of this K-pop group. I was first introduced to Got7 on We Got Married Global. I usually hate boy bands. But the three members on that show (Jackson, Mark, and Bam Bam) made me fall in love with this group. Jackson, Bam Bam, and Mark are three of Got7’s international members. Got7 is a multi-national group, which always sparks my interest for various reasons. This makes them well-rounded. Their music style is mostly hip-hop, which gives them some edge. I love their hard but boy-next-door appeal. These are gentlemen who display honesty and frankness. There is something very real about this group. This group seem like normal boys that anyone can relate to. But what’s most impressive are their acrobatic skills onstage. It’s hard not to be amazed by this boy band. The music is attractive, the members are attractive, and the performance value is high. Once I had a taste of this group, there was no turning back. They continue to impress me. The first song I heard was their debut song “Girls Girls Girls”.

Debut 2014

9. Shinee

This K-pop boy band was the talk of the town during their debut. They were, in fact, the second Korean boy band I had ever listened to (after TVXQ). I was first introduced to them through SM Entertainment’s main website. I learned more about them through fan-made AMVs on Youtube. From the song, “Lucifer” to “Ring Ding Dong”, I couldn’t get this group out of my head for weeks on end. Their unique sense of style, colorful personalities, and strong unity kept me interested in this group for a long time. And I’m still a major follower. My interest in this group has increased after watching them on variety shows and seeing their performances of “Everybody”. They are just so unique, and yet, underrated in comparison to SM Entertainment’s other artists. They brought in a new age wave of Kpop.

Debut 2008

8. Crystal Kay

Crystal Kay was one of the first J-pop artists I became interested in. Basically, she’s a veteran. What really struck me about her was her dark skin. Just like me, she was African American, but unlike me, she spoke fluent Japanese. I thought it was the most impressive thing and very inspirational. Crystal Kay is part Korean as well, though she doesn’t speak any Korean! Some of her inspirations include Janet Jackson, Michael Jackson, Speed, and my personal favorite, Namie Amuro. This girl has amazing vocals and an international appeal. The first song I heard from her was actually M-flo’s “Reewind!” featuring Crystal Kay from the “M-flo Loves __” collection. But I was so obsessed with that song for a year, I quickly became a Crystal Kay fan. And she just had her first U.S. debut! So exciting! Check out her performance of “Girlfriend” with BoA Kwon. Not only is her music amazing, but she has a soulful and bubbly personality that oozes charm.

Debut 1999

7. Ayumi Hamasaki

What J-pop fan doesn’t know about Ayumi Hamasaki? Ayumi Hamasaki is the most unique pop singer in Japan. She has the foundation of a pop singer, but the performance value of a rock star! Ayumi Hamasaki is one of the few artists in the world who has creative control of her music. She fought for that right. She is widely known for her constant change in image. What I loved about her music is the edgy rock sounds she mixes with pop music. The first thing I heard from her was her album I Am…Yes, I heard the whole album. I was on a website back in 2003 called J-fan.net. They used to have a collection of Japanese artists. I happened to stumble upon Ayumi Hamasaki. I remembered the name from Inuyasha, which I watched occasionally. When I heard this album, I was taken aback. It was so amazing. Ever since, I’ve gotten every album after. Ayumi is never boring. Ayumi made “Poker Face” a thing even before Lady Gaga. Check her out if you haven’t already.

Debut 1998

6. Kristine Sa

Vietnamese Canadian singer Kristine Sa stole my heart, mind, and ears with her vocals. Her music is amazing. She is widely known in the anime community, but is still relatively underrated. Her music is addictive. I seriously have every song she ever released. Ever since I accidentally stumbled upon her website, and heard the song “Consequence”, I was sold. I also managed to have a long conversation with the star. She was really friendly.

Debut 2002

5. Jade Villalon/Valerie/Sweetbox

There are many reasons the Filipino J-pop star is among my Top 5. The girl can sing, but in her music, her personality and attitude burst forth. Jade Villalon’s music is clever and full of her wit. And I just love her face. Something about her baby face. I was first introduced to her on a blog I used to visit a long time ago. I do not remember the name of that blog, but I would like to thank them for introducing me to the artist. THANK YOU, WHEREVER YOU ARE! The first song I ever heard from her was “Liberty”, which was released during her Sweetbox days. That song was deep for me. The lyrics stood out to me. Many know her from the Final Fantasy song “1000 Words”. I seem to like those Final Fantasy songs…

Debut 1999

4. Namie Amuro

I first stumbled upon this J-pop diva on http://hmv.co.jp. I was eager to find new J-pop artists. Namie Amuro stuck out to me because her music was steeped in Hip-Hop at the time. I just loved her voice. She was sexy and her performances grabbed my attention immediately. At the time, it was different to see a J-pop artist steep their music in hip-hop, especially females. And I always loved her tattoo and “lucky” belt that she wore. She just had a bad-ass image. I’ve never missed a single album of Namie Amuro’s. The first song I ever heard from her was from her album Style called “Namie’s Style”. Once I heard that epic hip-hop number, I had to have that album…and every album that came after. Namie Amuro has changed her style frequently. She also sings Dance Pop and Electronic Pop. I really just can’t forget about this edgy diva. And no matter how old she gets, she just looks younger and younger!

Debut 1995

3. f(x)

Oh yes. If you have been reading my blog, this should come as no surprise to you. What may be surprising is that they are only number 3 on my list! The quirky, unconventional all-girl K-pop group consumed my life last February with their album Pink Tape and slayed me this summer with Red Light. But I’ve known about f(x) since 2012’s “Electric shock”. I was introduced to f(x) through another K-pop star’s message board and decided to give them a shot. I was introduced to them the same day as 2ne1 from the same fan board. At first, I only planned to listen to the song once. But that song would not get out of my head! Later, I had done an article on androgynous fashion, which brought me in contact with f(x)’s Amber Liu and her story. My fascination with the group grew. I am now a huge fan! I believe this group has what it takes to be an international phenomenon. The diversity and individuality burst through. Their image is very unique and their music is spiced with variety. They are well-rounded for all age groups and all musical ears. To add, their lovable personalities allow you to fall in love with them. This multi-national group exceeds all language barriers. There’s so much I can say about this group. It’s even hard to really have a bias in this group. What I like about them is that they are girls who are just as entertaining as the boys.

Debut 2009

2. BoA

BoA Kwon…was technically the first Asian pop star I was introduced to. She was the first artist that I was introduced to as “foreign”. I was introduced to BoA through a Bratz song called “Show Me What You Got”. The Bratz single was only released in Japan. A Bratz fan shared it on a popular Bratz Yahoo group. It was then that I realized there were other artists in the world outside of my own country, the USA. BoA is also the reason I have been introduced to so many other artists! After finding BoA on her Japanese website, I realized she was under the label Avexnet. After trying to find her album, I stumbled upon HMV’s main website, which led me to Namie Amuro and Crystal Kay. I found Ayumi Hamasaki while trying to listen to BoA’s album Valenti. I would always visit the SM Entertainment official website to keep up with the latest BoA Korean releases, and that’s how I was introduced to Shinee and Super Junior. Through BoA’s fan board, http://www.boajjang.com, I was introduced to 2ne1 and f(x). So it was really BoA that broadened my J-pop and K-pop experiences. Really, she is the reason I became interested in World music in general. I was so amazed that she was a pop star in a foreign country, I wanted to search for other artists in different lands. And this is all thanks to the Bratz dolls. 😉

BoA has always kept my interest with epic dance moves and hypnotizing music. This girl can REALLY dance. She is purely a musical genius at this point. It only makes sense that she would be #2 in my life. BoA is one of the best female performers in the world. I really saw this in the “The Face” tour. My first full-out BoA song was “Double”, and I first heard it directly on it’s Japanese release date, October 22, 2003 at 15:30.

Debut 2000

1. Utada

Yes, my #1 favorite Asian artist is Utada Hikaru. This J-pop star was my FIRST Asian artist. She was the first singer from Asia that I’ve ever loved. And at the time, I didn’t even know she was a J-pop star! I was introduced to her through the Kingdom Hearts commercial. Her song was the exact thing that drew me to the game in the first place! I loved her song “Simple and Clean”, and the remix got me dancing every day. That song was stuck in my head for months until I broke down and bought the game. What a clever selling tactic, and it worked on my young, impressionable mind. When I found out who sang the song, I became a huge fan of that one song for YEARS. Later, I found out she was a huge J-pop star. Out of all of the artists on this list, she is the only artist I have seen live.  I attended her “In the Flesh” Tour. This is the artist I would jump planes to see. Many artists I’ve liked later have either reminded me of her or have been affiliated with her, like Kristina Sa and Jade Villalon. She set the stage. Her impressive vocals, musical experience, and unique concepts always struck me. My whole family enjoys her music, so it’s the glue that ties us together. Utada is an experimental artist who speaks two languages. This is why her albums have such wide-ranged appeal.

Debut 1998

So that’s my full list! Share with me your list!

My sister also shared with me her list, if anyone is interested in knowing about new artists.

BoA’s Japanese and Korean Comeback: BoA “Double” Challenge

12 Sep


In case you couldn’t tell, this month is BoA month in honor of BoA’s first Japanese comeback in FOUR years and her Korean album in THREE years! So, this article is to spread the word!

Her Japanese album was released September 3, 2014 titled, Who’s Back?.

Her Korean album, Kiss My Lips, was released May 12, 2015.

Own it, it’s awesome!

For today, I have a challenge for BoA fans and readers.

BoA has debuted in THREE countries: Korea (2000), Japan (2001), and the USA (2008). She has around 94 music videos and still counting!

Between her Korean music videos and her Japanese videos, BoA has brought over some of her Korean stuff into the Japanese nation. Many times, she has done music videos TWICE for both countries. She translated many of her Korean songs in Japanese.

She did the same thing in America (She translated Girls on Top, her Korean hit, in English).

The music videos between Korea and Japan may look like identical twins, but just like identical twins, there are differences.

The inspiration behind the title comes from a BoA song called “Double”. In the video, she has two mirror versions of herself as she dances.

My challenge for you readers: Can you find the differences?

Ready? Begin!

BoA Double

First, we’ll start with the inspiration behind the title: “Double”. Released in 2003.

Korean Mv


Japanese Pv

I notice there are a lot of differences in editing. Can you spot any differences?

The Shadow

Next, we’ll do The Shadow. Shadow always reminds me of “Double”. BoA has three versions of herself that meet each other at one point. There is an emphasis of BoA mirroring herself, much like in “Double”. Released in 2012.

Korean MV


Japanese PV

http://www.jpopsuki.tv/video/BoA—The-Shadow-%2528Japanese-Version%2529/e88dc86aa9b209013b0bf12b81b5bf13 <—-Click

Can you spot the differences? Japan has a dreamier feeling, while I feel Korea’s shows BoA’s tougher and sexier side.

BoA Shine We Are

Released in 2003.

It’s even harder to find the differences in these music videos. But they exist! Can you find them?

Korean Mv


Japanese Pv

Rock With You

Released in 2004.

These are VERY identical. Can you spot the differences? I did! There are very few, but they exist.

Korean Mv


Japanese Pv


Released in 2002.

The differences become very obvious here. Can you spot them?

Korean Mv


Japanese Pv

Jewel Song

Released in 2003.

Something this beautiful can hide hidden surprises, including differences. Can you find them?

Korean Mv


Japanese Pv

Destiny (Miracle)/Kiseki

Released in 2002.

So many lovely scenes. BoA wears the same outfits, and sings the songs pretty similar, but there are still differences. Can you find them?

Korean Mv


Japanese Pv

Meri Churi

Released in 2004.

A Beautiful Christmas ballad, but with different angles. Can you find them all?

Korean Mv


Japanese Pv



Released in 2006.

You never notice certain things in a music video until you see its twin! What differences can you spot?

Korean Mv


Japanese Mv

I hope you enjoyed the BoA “Double” challenge! It was a lot of fun for me!

Leave me a comment and let me know one difference you found in at least one music video!

And don’t forget to get BoA’s albums on sale now!


BoA’s Comeback: Who’s Back?-A Walk With BoA Down Memory Lane

1 Sep

For the month of September, I focused on BoA’s Japanese comeback! She hasn’t had an album in four years!

For the month of May, I am focusing on BoA’s Korean comeback! She hasn’t had an album in Korea for THREE years!

I’m so excited for BoA! She has been in the limelight for 14 years! She is a pop star veteran, at the age of 27! She has more awards and accolades than many TWICE her age, and she has the kind of resume and experience that makes her a superstar! Many K-pop stars can learn from her!

She is more of an international superstar. Her fame in Japan is even greater than her fame in Korea, though she is pretty famous in both nations. She has had plenty of tours in Japan, and just finally had her first Korean tour LAST YEAR. It’s easy to tell that she is well-received in Japan based on the differences of her sales between the two nations since debut…In Korea, she is in the thousands with hard copies, but in Japan? That’s the millions, baby! Her debut album sales in Japan were much higher than her debut sales in Korea. This is why I’m glad she’s having a Japanese comeback this time around.


How did I become a BoA fan?

I know. Judging by all of the recent articles on f(x), it may appear to you that f(x) were my first favorite international artists. But no, they weren’t. I just like them A LOT. But BoA was the second foreign artist that I got into (My first was Utada Hikaru). BoA was the artist that introduced me to other J-pop artists. I first heard of her on Bratz “Show Me What You Got” music video. I was a big Bratz fan at the time. She broadened my music world. At the age of 13, I really didn’t know that there were other pop artists around the world besides the ones in my own backyard. And sure, you modern kids may think that’s pretty ignorant of me, but internet wasn’t quite as advanced as it is now, and people didn’t have I-pads and I-phones yet. I just simply didn’t have exposure to world music yet. However, I did learn about BoA on the internet on a Bratz Yahoo Group (a major fan message board at the time). Once I visited BoA’s website for the first time, I kept following her music closely. I started researching other J-pop artists, and found out about Namie Amuro, Crystal Kay, Ayumi Hamasaki, Firstklas, M-flo, Soul’d Out, Koda Kumi, Hitomi, and many others. Even though I knew about Utada first, I knew about her from the English Kingdom Hearts. I thought she was an American artist because she spoke English so well…so I usually consider BoA my first favorite foreign artist. It wasn’t until later that I learned she was actually Korean. Later, when I started getting into her K-pop work, I was introduced to DBSK (or TVXQ, as you all may know them). However, I was still into J-pop more than K-pop until f(x) stepped into my life…But I was, in fact, introduced to f(x) through boajjang.com…a BoA fan website…

So, now that you know my BoA story, you understand why I have to make this month special for BoA’s comeback album and tour.

And in honor of that tour, I am taking you on a walk down memory lane with BoA. I will be posting all of BoA’s music videos from her debut up until now from both Korea and Japan! I am proud of BoA’s success, and I want to share it with fellow BoA fans and new people who are reading (or watching)!

Let’s begin with BoA’s first MV ever, ID:Peace B! Such a long time ago! It’s hard to believe! We were all so young…*Tear* 😥




*Most of the videos may seem the same, but if you look closely, you will notice the difference in editing in some of the videos that are for the same song.

**Listen to My Heart was posted again because of it’s higher quality.






(The VIDEO THAT INTRODUCED ME TO BOA is NEXT! OH MY GOD! 😥 Nostalgia for real! )

BoA’s resume is GREAT and this is just the beginning! Enjoy BoA’s years of success as we enjoy BoA’s Anniversaries!

So leave me a comment! If you were already a fan of BoA, let me know what your first BoA moments were. If you are a new fan after watching these videos, let me know your favorite song and/or video!

Keep on the watch for more BoA articles!

SMTOWN LIVE WORLD TOUR IV: Starting August 15, 2014! Performances include…

6 Aug

SM Town Live World Tour IV will begin AUGUST 15, 2014, and will begin at the Seoul World Cup Stadium in Seoul, Korea! But they will also be touring other cities around the world. The other cities listed are Tokyo, Shanghai, and Hsinchu.

1) Tokyo, Japan’s performances will be held at the Ajinomoto Stadium. Tour dates:

*October 4, 2014

*October 5, 2014

2) Shanghai, China’s performances will be held at the Shanghai stadium. Tour dates:

*October 18, 2014

3) Hsinchu, Taiwan’s performances will be held at the Hsinchu County Stadium. Tour Dates:

*March 21, 2015

The Tour will include performances from the following artists:


From being a part of SM’s first biggest boy-band success, H.O.T. (debut in 1996 WOW), to charting his own solo career, Kangta is a determined force to be reckoned with! This group thrust SM Entertainment into being one of the biggest labels in Korea, and are one of the groups to spark the “idol group” trend! They were the first SM group to hold a concert performance outside of Korea. Move aside noobs, Kangta’s taking the stage this time! He is also scheduled to have a comeback THIS YEAR! His last comeback was in 2010, and that was in Chinese. So his presence will definitely be a treat, both for old-time fans and for newcomers. I just can’t wait to see him grace the stage once again! Check out his last Korean release along with his debut!


Hailed as Korea’s Princess of Pop (and in many people’s eyes, the Queen), BoA Kwon (debut in 2000 WOW) will also take the stage once again! She is acknowledged for being one of the first Korean artists to achieve international success! She’s not only a household name in Korea, but in Japan as well! She has also stepped into the Chinese market as well as the American market! She has had the privilege of performing alongside the Princess of Pop, Britney Spears! She has also performed with Backstreet Boy’s Howie D. and with “Bratz” (MGA Entertainment’s line of fashion dolls). BoA is well-known to most westerners for singing the ending theme for the anime Inuyasha. BoA was SM’s first artist to chart American music industry territory with her self-titled all-English album, BoA. She also recently starred in her first U.S. movie, Make Your Move with Derek Hough! This humble diva has a huge resume following her, and she’s only 27! Currently, she has been working on her Japanese comeback, scheduled September 3. BoA is also well-known for her extremely immaculate dancing talent, which has gotten the attention of western audiences in Make Your Move and during her U.S. debut. Guys, ya’ll know BoA is my FAVORITE K-pop idol (a tad bit more than f(x)) 😛 I’ve been a fan of this chick since 2003 when she featured in the Bratz song and single Show Me What You Got! Check out her latest Korean activities as well as her debut!  The Queen shall take the stage! Bow down!


Originally five members, TVXQ (Though I know them as DBSK) are often referred to as the “Kings of K-pop” by many. TVXQ (debut 2003) have now been stripped down to two members. This group has had the privilege of performing among one of America’s most notorious stars, Britney Spears! These men have since risen as international superstars! They have made their names well-known in Japan. They are noted as being the first K-pop act to have 13 number one singles in Japan! They were the first non-Japanese Asian artists to headline a Japanese nationwide dome tour. Billboard has even described them as “K-pop Royalty”. They have recently been focusing on their activities in Japan, and have had success with their last four singles released there. This group is known for their eloquent, efficient, and polished dancing. They have a distinct style that is hard to miss, and their experience shows. Member Yunho was also featured in the American movie Make Your Move. He showed off his sexy moves! I certainly can’t wait to see these men steam up the stage this August! Check out their latest Korean activities and their debut!

Super Junior

Super Junior (debut in 2005) began with TWELVE full members. They got a lot of attention by having all of those men singing in harmony, almost like a choir! At the group’s peak, they have had THIRTEEN members. That’s a lot of men in one group! Currently, Suju has TEN active members. This was also the first group to add two sub-group members to help cater to the Chinese-Mandarin language. Super Junior was the first SM group to have major success in China. Super Junior has had success in other industries besides music. Along with singing and dancing, they have a lot of entertainment experience from acting and hosting. Because of their success in entertaining, other management companies have been training their idols in other areas of entertainment as well. They were K-pop’s best-selling artists three years in a row! This group is one of SM’s international superstars, and is one of the most notorious groups in the modern K-pop world. Super Junior will bring all that makes them awesome to us this August! Check out this group’s latest Korean activities and their debut!

Girls’ Generation (SNSD)

The 9-member Goddesses, Girls’ Generation (SNSD) (debut in 2007) made their stamp on the K-pop industry with the ever-catchy, “Gee”, gaining them success in Asia and beyond!  They certainly represent the beauty of Korea! They are SM’s latest divas, often called the “K-pop Queens of this Decade”. This group has also gained a lot of attention for their number of members! Their voices, in harmony, can take up a whole dome!  They still carry the largest number of members of any successful female group! Their foray into the Japanese market has also been highly successful. Their album, Girls’ Generation, is still the highest selling K-pop album in Japan to date! They are considered one of Korea’s top tier female groups in the modern decade. They have managed to experiment with different languages with their songs, most notably “The Boys”, releasing the song in Japanese, Korean, and for the first time, in English. To date, they ARE SM’s biggest and most successful girl group! And their success doesn’t seem to be slowing down anytime soon. They will bless us with their lovely presence this August! Enjoy their most recent Korean activities and their debut!


Shinee (debut in 2008), the five-member male fashion and style icons of the modern decade, are well-known for their creative, synchronized, and complex dancing. And yes, they are fashion pioneers, starting the “Shinee Trend”. To date, they are the only male group that remained close since their debut, and have never split. They have great success in the Japanese market, being labeled as the group that “managed to get in top 3 for 3 continuous releases since debut”. Shinee is known for their striking, dramatic, individual personalities, which lands them acting roles. Shinee is also known for their boyish youth and energy. When Shinee performs, they perform with their “whole soul” as if they really love music even more than success. Unlike most male groups, Shinee doesn’t mind singing romantic love songs more often than once! They are definitely one of the most unique boy bands of the modern decade. They have had major K-pop success with three full-length albums, five EPs, three concert tours, and many awards. Shinee will “shine” for us this August! I can’t wait to see what these men will cook up for this tour…This is my favorite male group, so I’m anticipating it very much! Check out their most recent Korean activities as well as their debut!


f(x) (debut in 2009) is SM’s first major multi-national group where over half the members were NOT born in Korea! f(x) entered the Korean market during a time when most girls were doing the “cute” thing. f(x) decided to “do something different”, and voila! You get the sense of this group. f(x) boasts as being Asia’s Best Female Dance Group, and so far, they are! f(x) is known for their “legendary and epic” dance moves, as well as their multitude of talents: acting, piano, song-writing, guitar, ice skating, drums, acrobatics, and so much more! Because of their individual talents, the members have developed their own independent careers outside of this group! f(x) is known as SM’s “experimental” group because of f(x)’s unconventional sounds and quirky lyrics. Their fashion styles are bold and individualistic. In fact, Olleh finds f(x) to be Korea’s most individualistic girl group. With f(x), you never know how they will comeback! Their “art of surprise” keeps their fans on their toes. f(x) draws curious attention from their unusual approach, but they also gain the respect of many foreign music critics for their original and artistic style. In fact, f(x) is considered SM’s most critically-acclaimed group by many! This group, of all of SM’s groups, seems to have the most artistic freedom, and is the most musically and fashionably expressive.  They have had major success in Korea, and have gained Chinese and American attention as well, mostly due to the multi-cultural girls within the group that speak languages those nations can understand. I personally love this group! They recently had their comeback in July, though they went on a hiatus shortly after. It is good to know they will be back to performing in August. I can’t wait to see f(x) make an impact on the stage! Check out their recent Korean activities as well as their debut.


EXO (debut in 2011, basically 2012) are SM Town’s most recent, fresh boy-band act. They debuted with TWELVE members, just like Super Junior, but unlike Suju, they debuted as two sub-unit groups: EXO-K (Korean) and EXO-M (Chinese-Mandarin). They have had HUGE success, both in Korea and in China. Their fresh, rugged vibe attracts the hearts of many young fan girls, and their “one-shot” camera shooting, a hallmark of their music videos, draws attention from video experts. They are SM’s modern-day boy band, keeping up with the “Social Media Age” and the “Digital Revolution” to properly promote, spread, and highlight this group. EXO, in just two short years, has gained the success that most of their seniors have had to slowly acquire over the years! In less than two years, they have had their first LIVE TOUR! They have only had TWO albums: full-length and repackage (2013), and their repackage was the best selling album of that year! Thanks to SNS, international fans have more access to K-pop, which contributes to their success. But their on-camera confidence, their ability to use two languages at the same time, and their modern, trendy music help to put the cherry on top! They radiate all that an idol boy-band needs to be a huge success. Shoot, their seniors might want to learn FROM THEM. They will be “bursting at the scenes” when they hit the stage this August. It’s hard to deny the affect they’ve had on the K-pop world. They are considered K-pop’s top tier male group in this decade.

Newcomers: Red Velvet

Newcomers, Red Velvet (debut in 2014), just debuted about a week ago, and they have already captured the attention of fellow SM label fans! SM describes them as a mix between Girls’ Generation and f(x). We can see that it’s very true. Like Girls’ Generation, they are four lovely girls, with amazing vocal abilities, and with charming, girlish, and sweet personas. They also look a lot alike! But like f(x), their style is bold, quirky, and colorful. They are SM’s fourth girl group (The Grace, SNSD, f(x), and now them). It has been a while since SM debuted a girl group, so this is quite a refreshing change for SM fans. As they just debuted, there’s a lot more for us to discover about this new group. This Tour in August is the perfect time for them to show the world what they are made of! Check out their debut!


J-Min’s inspirations can tell you a lot about her. The person that struck me was Michelle Branch. I honestly didn’t know any K-pop idols knew of Michelle Branch, but here comes J-Min! “K-pop Queen of Acoustic”, J-Min can be likened to the “Jewel of K-pop”. Her music is very different from the other SM Entertainment artists. In fact, if you ever heard her music, you wouldn’t even know she was an SM artist! Her distinct style and expressive music prove that true art can still shine in a modern-music world. Most of her success is in Japan, as that is where she first debuted. It is not surprising, as many artistic artists make their mark there (Utada Hikaru, Gackt, School Food Punishment). It’s no wonder she stands out so much: her music is more Japanese than Korean! She is a huge soundtrack maven! Try your favorite K-drama, and listen to the opening or the ending. You might just see her name pop up in the credits! Her music is very suited to K-dramas because her music is very “real”. Even though she debuted into the music industry in 2007, her first Korean EP and full-album were just released in 2014! I can’t wait to see this performance! It will definitely blow me away! Check out her Korean debut!

Zhang Li Yin

Zhang Li Yin (debut in 2006) is a Chinese solo artist who gained China’s attention AND Korea’s attention. That is quite an accomplishment for a foreign solo artist. She speaks fluent Mandarin and Korean. SM nicknamed her the “Chinese BoA”. She was one of the lead players of the “Korean Wave”. Though she only had one studio album, many of her singles were #1 hits. She was the first foreign artist to win Best Newcomer Award at the Mnet Music Awards. Zhang Li Yin has charted her own destiny, stepping out of BoA’s shadow, and into her own skin. She is now a “Ballad Goddess”. Her music videos are always touching, and she always has a meaningful story behind them. Most definitely NOT generic, and a must-watch! All of her ballads are amazing! Zhang Li Yin is hitting the stage once again! We get to hear her lovely melodious voice soar on stage! I’m so excited! Check out her recent Korean activities as well as her debut!

Fly to the Sky

Instead of going for electronic, upbeat sounds, Fly to the Sky (debut 1999) took a more unique approach to music at the time of their debut. This mid-tempo group is known for their soothing, R&B melodies. They incorporate hip-hop and rap in their music as well. This makes them distinct among SM’s artists. This was one of the groups that also had an international American artist in it. They branched away from SM for awhile, but they came back with the label. They have been on a five year hiatus. But now, they are back! I’m sure fans are anxious to see their faces once more.

So now that I have introduced you to the SM artists that will be attending the Live World Tour, are you people excited? I look forward to August 15!

Leave me a comment and let me know which artist you look forward to the most! Which artist did you just learn about?

You can order tickets online at GMarket: http://ticket.gmarket.co.kr

Ticket info: 1566-5702

BoA and f(x) @ Hong Kong Dome Festival

1 Jul

It’s that time of year again, and of course, f(x) and BoA performed at the festival like they do every year. This time, though, the girls are bringing some SM boys along.

Two of my favorite girls, in the same place! I’m still snooping for some f(x) and BoA interactions…

After years years of inactivity, BoA returns to the stage! Good job, BoA! The Queen has returned!

Even though that smoke was a little distracting, and I wish BoA sang live for “Hurricane Venus”, BoA did a really good job. I’m proud of her!

BoA’s Japanese comeback will be in SEPTEMBER for all of those people interested.

f(x) also returns to the stage with their songs. They seemed a bit tired, but they brought their energy to “Hot Summer”. I think they’re ready for some “RED LIGHT”!

f(x)’s comeback will be JULY 7, 2014 for all those people interested.


A Walk Down Memory Lane: Bratz Music

28 Apr

I seriously LOVE Bratz music! #bratz

Their music is seriously GOOD. It sounds professional. Even if people don’t necessarily like the dolls, many people enjoy their music. Their album, Bratz Rock Angelz, even made it on  Billboard 100’s list!

Their music is better than most songs geared towards children. Even teens and adults can enjoy their music. Monster High is cool as a doll line, but their music is a little cheesy. No offense. 😛

So, I’m going to post all of the Bratz songs I’ve collected on this article! Have a listen!


List of Bratz Singles and Albums:

Show Me What You Got featuring BoA Kwon and Howie D (Backstreet Boys)

Look Around featuring Verbal (M-flo) and Christina Milian

Bein Who We Are

Rock Angelz

Genie Magic

Forever Diamondz

Fashion Pixiez

Girlz Really Rock

The Movie OST

*There are also songs that you can hear on the Bratz movies! Almost all of the albums above have a movie to go along with it! There are also songs that appear on the Bratz Kidz and Bratz Babyz movies as well.

Bratz Yasmin

Yasmin’s nickname is Pretty Princess because she’s pretty and because she royally rules. She’s also called Pretty Princess because she takes the coolest common clothes and turns them into royal perfection. Yasmin’s fashion passion focuses on bohemian and retro fashions, in autumn or earth tone colors, and with exotic textures and patterns. However, occasionally, Yasmin likes to wear vibrant colors, too. She considers her look to be “free-spirited”. Her favorite color is Honey Yellow. She’s all about blending different styles into one graceful look. Her style has a feminine touch to it. She is known for her gorgeous and unique natural beauty: her sandy-red brunette hair, natural tan, brown eyes, and the beauty mark under her left eye. She is considered to be of Iranian-Jewish and Hispanic/Latina origins.

She’s considered “a girl with substance”. She’s known for being quiet, shy, and mysterious with a regal air and an open mind. She may not express herself verbally very well, but she’s full of ideas inside. Sometimes, Yasmin is so quiet, she’s hard to read. She has a difficult time standing up for herself and she can be sneaky. Yasmin is a sensitive and soulful individual. She is very earthy. She is the most natural (wearing less makeup and seldom dyeing her hair) out of all of her friends. She has also shown interest in plants and animals. Yasmin loves music. She seems particularly interested in singing and playing her own instruments. She also enjoys writing. She has written music but also enjoys journalistic writing as well. Because Yasmin is so quiet, she’s observant which helps her see things others miss. This observant trait assists her as a journalist. She’s also interested in writing plays and stories as well. She enjoys playing the ukulele and the guitar as well as making flower crowns. She also enjoys attending festivals, especially music festivals.

All of the Bratz girls have performed as music artists. Yasmin has personally experimented with pop, pop rock, hip-hop, soul, funk, Arabic-Bollywood style, and R&B genres. Yasmin is considered the best vocalist of the girls. Her vocals are powerful yet graceful, and they add soul to every song she sings. Her music showcases her strong and open-minded personality. She has stated that her favorite genre of music is anything alternative, like alternative rap, alternative pop, and alternative rock.  She also enjoys pop rock and acoustic rock. She seems to enjoy upbeat pop and rap music as well. Some of the artists that she likes include Black Eyed Peas, Katy Perry, and Nicki Minaj. She seems to be interested in artists that are open-minded and experimental. Her favorite stage color is Neon Yellow. Yasmin’s signature stage move is pulling up fans on stage to serenade them.

Bratz Sasha

Sasha’s nickname is “Bunny Boo” because she loves the hip-hop thing and “hops to her own beat”. Sasha’s fashion passion comes from the streets: she combines the old school with the new. She’s always on the hunt for a new look. She’s also interested in anything experimental and avant-garde. Sasha is considered the most passionate about fashion of all the girls. Sasha often makes a “statement” with her fashion. She’s often seen wearing bold colors and hairstyles, especially gold. She likes to be flashy but classy. Sasha is known physically for her dark brown skin, golden brown hair, and green eyes. She’s considered attractive. She is of African American descent.

Sasha is also called “Bunny Boo” because she always gets the scene “hopping”. Sasha is lively with a good sense of humor, and she loves to party. She’s known for having a big, loud, and strong personality. Her dreams are as big as her personality, as she wants all that life has to offer. She is confident and sassy. She knows who she is, what she wants, and how to get it! She’s not afraid of confrontation. She’s determined and is considered a natural leader. Sasha is always ready to defend her friends. Sometimes, she can be quick-tempered, straight-forward, a perfectionist, and a little selfish. She often feels misunderstood. But her friends know she means well. Despite her shortcomings, Sasha is down-to-earth and an honest friend. She is super smart as well. She’s interested in politics, history, and other social studies. Sasha is interested in music and fashion. She also enjoys the performance arts such as dancing and acting. She aspires to be a music producer with her own fashion line! Sasha knows how to play the drums and DJs on the side. Sasha also enjoys making Youtube videos showcasing her makeup skills as well.

All of the Bratz girls have performed as music artists. Sasha has personally experimented with pop rock, rock and roll, new wave, glam rock, pop, R&B, Soul, funk, reggae, and hip-hop. Sasha has a strong voice with a slight rasp. Her vocals add power to every song she sings. She’s considered the second best vocalist among her friends. Her songs showcase her powerful, strong, down-to-earth, expressive, and unique personality traits. She has stated that her favorite genres are hip-hop and R&B, but she also shows interest in soul and rock and roll. Her two inspirations are Beyonce and Jennifer Lopez ( J-LO), two music divas who give dynamite performances. Her favorite stage color is plum purple. Her signature stage move is changing her look mid-performance.

Bratz Cloe

Cloe’s nickname is Angel because that’s what she is! Her friends gave her that nickname for many reasons. For starters, no matter what she wears, she always looks divine. Cloe’s fashion passion focuses on anything dramatic and trend-setting, which includes animal prints, shimmering or sparkly fabrics, and pastels like pink or blue. Despite her flair for dramatics, there’s a sporty and “rocker” element to her style. Cloe follows the trends much closer than the other girls, and she’s considered good at finding deals or sprucing up common fashions for on-trend looks. Cloe is considered naturally pretty. She is known for her blonde hair, blue eyes, and sometimes her freckles. She is the only one in the group who wears glasses. She is of Icelandic heritage.

Cloe’s friends also call her ‘Angel’ because she’s considered sweet and her head is always in the clouds. She’s quite the dreamy romantic in her group. She can be a little naïve, ditzy, and gullible, but she’s also considered playful, sweet, kind, and friendly. She’s also tough. She is seen as the leader of the pack. All the Bratz have shown an interest in sports, but she is the sportiest of her group. She has shown interest in many different types of sports. Soccer is her favorite sport, but she’s considered to be great at skating and skateboarding too. Though she can be klutzy, she’s graceful when doing any sporty activity. Cloe is highly creative. Cloe likes to see life through a different lens-which is why she likes cameras. She also likes to paint and draw, especially her fashion ideas. Cloe is interested in web design as well. Cloe is a drama queen, so she is naturally good at acting and seems interested in acting professionally. Cloe has been shown to play the acoustic guitar and keeps one in her room. Cloe is a socialite. She loves to hang out with her friends and loves social media.

All of the Bratz girls have performed as music artists. Cloe has personally experimented with pop and pop rock genres. She has lighter vocals than all of her friends, but her voice always showcases her charm and personality. Her music is characterized by its upbeat nature. Her music often showcases her fun, strong, and friendship-oriented personality. She has stated that she enjoys any artist topping the charts. She seems to be open to all genres of music, but mostly pop, pop rock, and American Country music. Artists she has shown the most interest in are Prima J, Rihanna, and Lady Gaga, artists that were most relevant to Cloe’s world at the time she listed them. She’s into the latest music trends. Her favorite stage color is red. Her signature stage move is covering the front row with confetti.

Bratz Jade

Jade’s nickname is Kool Kat because she loves cats and because she’s cool! Her fashion passion focuses on anything on the cutting-edge of cool. Her style is extreme, head-turning, and far-out. Yet, she still maintains a “sizzling flair” and sporty edge. She likes anything new and quirky cool. Jade is known to be beautiful and the “ultimate fashionista”. She has a light complexion, light brown eyes, and jet-black hair which she experiments with. She is considered to be of mixed descent: Of Caucasian and East Asian (Chinese and Japanese) heritage.

Jade not only loves cats, but she’s inspired by the feline persuasion! She’s considered quick in mind with an even quicker wit. She’s also sassy and fierce. She is considered to be very intelligent and is always one step ahead in everything she does. She loves science, especially child psychology, chemistry, and nature, and one of her aspirations is to be a scientist. She has an extreme and far-out outlook on life. Her friends consider her personality to be just as quirky and extreme as her style. In fact, she’s kooky! She’s bold, confident, and adventurous. She can be a little unpredictable and sometimes her friends don’t understand her fashion sense, but she approaches everything with an open mind and open heart. She loves anything extreme, especially extreme sports. Skateboarding is her favorite extreme sport. Jade shows an extreme interest in anything that relates to fashion. She aspires to be a fashion designer and possibly start her own fashion blog. She’s worked for a fashion magazine before and is always searching for inspiration. Jade can play a bass and violin. Jade was originally meant to have suffered from an eating disorder in her early life (You Don’t Own Me: How Mattel v. MGA Entertainment Exposed Barbie’s Dark Side).

All of the Bratz girls have performed as music artists. Jade has personally experimented with pop, pop rock, punk pop, alternative rock, urban pop, R&B, hip-hop, disco, new wave, ska pop, among others. Because of her raspy voice, her vocals add edge to every song she sings. Of all her friends, she’s experimented with the most genres. Her songs showcase her unique, bold, resilient, hard-working, friendship-oriented, and fashionable personality traits. She has stated that her favorite music genres are electro-pop and punk rock. Still, she has shown interest in a variety of different pop artists such as Gwen Stefani, Jessie J, and Lady Gaga. Most of the artists she’s interested in have a stylish edge about them. Her favorite stage color is platinum silver. Her signature stage move is getting the crowd to dance.

Other Bratz 

The other Bratz that have had songs were Roxxi, Sheridan, Eitan, Fiana, and Anna.

There have also been songs from characters in the movies and tv shows. These characters include Madam Demidov from the movie Bratz Girlz Really Rock, the Dwarfs from Bratz Kidz Fairy Tales, and Alonce from the Bratz TV series.

“Make Your Move” Movie Review–SM Entertainment’s first U.S. film

19 Apr



Make Your Move was definitely an SM Entertainment movie, and the first one they released in the USA.

At first, I was a little skeptical. Lionsgate dropped this film, so my thinking was that they probably didn’t think this movie was a good one. So, I didn’t come in expecting too much. But after watching it, I was surprised. It was actually pretty good! It was better than the last two Step Up sequels honestly. It got the same reviews…so I don’t understand why Lionsgate dropped this film. I know they merged with Summit, but Summit is doing Step Up: All In, which is due to come out this summer, and I’m sure they’ll be working the same material. The only difference is this dance was unique. I don’t get it…It’s not like critics will be any easier on that movie, and people would’ve enjoyed this movie.

From the director Duane Adler, we get a movie that follows her resume. This movie is very similar to Save the Last Dance and Step Up. In fact, it’s a combination of the two. Combine a classic dance, racial conflict, and some sexy, hip-hop footwork (along with bumpin’ club music) and you get Make Your Move. So if you’re a fan of those movies, this one won’t disappoint.

Make Your Move is the story of a young woman named Aya (BoA Kwon) and a young man named Donny (Derek Hough) who both love to dance. But they both take on very unique styles of dancing: Donny tap dances, and Aya mixes Taiko drumming with tap dancing.

The two meet at Donny’s brother’s club one day, after Aya sabotages the performance on the stage at the time and takes over. Donny then joins Aya in a hot and sexy bar dance. Donny instantly falls for her.

But there’s a problem in paradise: their brothers own rival clubs, and this rivalry is VERY intense. To add, both clubs are threatened by some Wall-Street, rich-guy, douchebag who is obsessed with Aya.

This makes their relationship almost “forbidden” in a sense. This is aside from their own personal struggles and trials (Donny violates his parole in New Orleans to dance in Brooklyn and Aya has to find the money to extend her Visa so she won’t get deported back to Japan).

Inspired from Romeo and Juliet, this story proved itself to live up to former dance movies by the director.

Like I do often, I will review this movie in sections. I don’t want to give too much away. 😉

Story/Plot: I wouldn’t say this had the most unique and thought-provoking story in the world. It was simple enough for the young 10-year old behind me to understand the movie. This concept has been done before. Because it’s a pretty overtly done story, the outcome is pretty predictable. However, the story WAS engaging. You did wonder what would happen next. You did wonder what the two brothers, the rivals in the movie, would do to screw up everything and make matters more challenging. I wasn’t bored watching the movie, but I didn’t leave the movie in contemplation the whole night.

I also applaud the story for being smooth, and not leaving any plot holes. I could keep up. Things didn’t move too fast, but things also didn’t move too slow. I wasn’t confused.

This movie was like a musical, only instead of breaking out in singing, they broke out in dance, often randomly.

The best part of this movie was the dancing. Both BoA and Derek Hough have some SERIOUS professional skills, and it was evident in this movie. BoA and Donny showed off their strong choreography. But hey, this is a dance movie, that’s what they’re supposed to do…though many movies fail in this regard.

This movie definitely brought a new generation of dancing. I learned about a new dance, and saw something that peaked my interest. So I wasn’t disappointed. I was always eager to see how this dance would play out throughout the movie.

This movie seemed catered to tweens and teens, like most dance movies.

Some may be disappointed that the ending isn’t stomping out an opponent, but I think the final outcome of the movie drifts from the way usual dance movies in this day-and-age end…

But honestly, overall, I went in not expecting too much. But the movie was actually better than I thought it would be. Much better.

Characters: While Derek Hough played a very typical romantic interest (an ex-con, homeless man who dreams of dancing), Aya was somewhat different than what I expected of her. For starters, Aya was sexy in a NON-SLUTTY way. I don’t once remember her wearing skimpy clothing, or the camera focusing on her butt, breasts, belly, or anything below her face, though she had some nice outfits in this movie. In fact, she was quite the tomboy. But she owned that tomboy. She made that tomboy look VERY sexy. A new side to BoA stepped out.

Aya was very “gangster” to me. She stood up for herself. I wouldn’t call her a feminist-though those themes seem prevalent in the film. I connected with Aya. She was confident, smart, funny, and daring. She wasn’t sweet and innocent, like I expected her to be.

On the flip-side, I was at first confused as to why it was so difficult for Aya to “find the money” to pay off her Visa. There were easier ways than dancing, but I think that was the point. Aya wanted to get it by finding a job dancing instead of doing something she hated…well, that’s what I got out of it. Maybe Aya couldn’t get jobs easily because she was foreign…But her brother didn’t think it was such a smart idea either, so…

Surprisingly, BoA’s English has gotten REALLY good! Or maybe, it was just the dialogue that was good. But the script was well-suited to the characters’ personalities, and it wasn’t cheesy. Many times when we think of singers acting in movies, we’re often prepared for some poor acting. But BoA was really natural, I have to give it to her. You could tell she was comfortable with Derek.

There were no random filler characters (you know, the random person put in the story for no other reason than to make it funny). Every character served it’s purpose. I wouldn’t call all of the characters unique. The brothers were very typical rivals. I don’t even remember their names, but they served their purpose: to make the two lovers’ lives miserable. I do remember the douchebag Michael, but he’s kind of the main antagonist. Then there are the two ladies who support the brothers’ roles, and they merely serve as people who move the story along.

This story basically focused ON the story and focused on the point: to show a new side to dancing.

I was a little disappointed that Yuhno from TVXQ only made a small appearance, but he danced well, so I wasn’t too disappointed…

Setting: The setting begins in New Orleans, where Donny lives. I wish we could have seen more of him in this place, but I suppose it wasn’t necessary. We see him do his cool tap dance, and then it’s off to Brooklyn…

There were basically two main scenes: the two rival clubs and the abandoned church. Donny was homeless, so he didn’t have a house we could see. Aya lived with her extended family, so I’m sure she didn’t spend too much time at home. Aya did work in a coffee shop…

Of course, the main focus was on the clubs.

OST: The original soundtrack was AWESOME. Yes, we heard songs from American artists, but we also heard songs from some k-pop artists like  f(x), Girls’ Generation, and a nice collaboration with Krystal from f(x), Jessica (SNSD), and EXO-M’s Kris in the song “Say Yes”. So we heard a few SM artists in the mix.

My only disappointment was that we only heard f(x)’s “Nu Abo” over a computer. 😦 I was so hoping they would play it at the end or in a club scene. That song is too smokin’ to just be hiding behind a computer!…

But overall, the OST is fabulous for fans of K-pop and pop or hip-hop music in general.

Overall, on a scale from 1 to 5, I give this movie a 3/5. 1 awful 2  Ok  3 Good 4 Very Good 5 Excellent

On a scale from 1 to 10, I give this movie an 8/10. 1 DON’T WATCH 2 Bad movie, but should watch for laughs 3 had a few good moments 4 I liked just one part of the movie 5 ok 6 It was different and unique 7 Interesting 8 Pretty Good 9 Really Good 10 Go WATCH NOW

This movie was good, it wasn’t boring. It wasn’t the most unique story told, but it wasn’t utter garbage. It was a good movie that I would watch again. Mostly, this movie is good for a DVD release. I wasn’t disappointed, in fact, the movie was better than I thought it would be. The dancing was killer, the story kept my interest, the characters didn’t suck terribly, though many weren’t extremely developed. BoA shined in this movie. This dialogue was to-the-point and not stuffed with crude humor. Every scene was necessary, every character moved the story along. This movie was just like the usual Duane Adler movie.

So, all you lovers of K-pop and dance, this movie is one of the best. I rarely see a good film staring a foreign actor/actress. But this one isn’t disappointing.

Because this is an indie film, I was informed that this movie is NOT showing everywhere. So, check the listings in your surrounding area, particularly, major cities. I had to drive 30 minutes away to see this movie. But that’s better than what others may have to endure to catch this flick…

Leave me a comment and let me know your thoughts!


The Korean Wave “Hallyu”

17 Apr

I first heard the coined term on an article about f(x) being the first K-pop act to perform at Texas’s SXSW South By Southwest.

f(x) the Korean “Spice Girls” + Amber Liu in the Spotlight

f(x) Brings the Korean Wave to Texas

I know you’re wondering why I suddenly have this inspiration to create an article about the Korean Wave. Well, the other day (as in last week), I was watching Crayon Pop’s song “Uh-ee” and “Bar Bar Bar” when I heard the news that Lady Gaga wants to have Crayon Pop open for her Live Concert Tour. If anyone knows Crayon Pop, they are an all-female K-pop group that went viral awhile back due to their quirky dance moves, bike helmets, and wholesome attire entirely. They are definitely unique, and they seem like they would be Lady Gaga’s taste.

But just hearing how even Lady Gaga is into Korean pop music got me thinking: Just how many people listen to K-pop?

So, I did some research on this subject.

The “Korean Wave” reminds me of the Tulip Era in Turkey in the 18th Century…for all of you historians who are interested…


What is the Korean Wave?


It is a sudden “wave” of interest in South Korean “pop” culture. Yes, not just any Korean culture, but “modern” and “popular” Korean culture. And it has developed into a sub-culture with some cult followers in the mix…

The term “Korean Wave”, also called Hallyu, was said to have been coined by Beijing journalists who noticed a growing interest in South Korean culture in China. More and more Chinese people were exporting Korean merchandise, and supporting Korean music and film.

The Korean Wave shows a huge thrust toward entertainment media mostly, but many foreigners are more aware of the lifestyle in Korea as a result, such as the food (I learned about Kimchi), fashion, language, and even literature. The only thing excluded from this category is history, but that may come soon with the rising popularity of Korean dramas.

Due to increase internet availability and usage around the world, and the Technological Revolution of the early 21st Century, K-pop and Korean dramas are more available to people all over the world! So, Korean pop culture is spreading quicker and easier.

The Korean government hopes they can use this “wave” of interest to gain “soft power”. Not the kind of power where you take over other nations, but the kind that introduces Korean beauty, culture, and art to the rest of the world. They hope to make peace through this “wave”.


Where Did the Korean Wave Come From?

After World War II, Japan put a limit on entertainment that came in and out of the country. Once Japan lifted restrictions on international imports (and exports) in the 1980’s, entertainment could be distributed more freely worldwide. This brought about a “Japanese Wave” that was at a much smaller scale than the Korean Wave (mostly due to the fact that internet was a newer concept and not available everywhere around the world), but still, relatively large.

With the “Japanese Wave” came an increased interest in Japanese animation and comics called mangas. Japanese cartoons were fed to children in the 1990’s (I was one of those children). My first Japanese anime cartoon was Sailor Moon. Every day before school, I watched this show! Of course, at that time, the show was butchered so much because they wanted the animes to “relate to American children”. Later, Cartoon Network’s popularity increased as more and more people had access to cable channels in the late 1990’s.

Then came the Pokemon phenomenon, the first major Japanese animation to make millions in the West. It even had a very successful theatrical release! Pokemon is still being aired today.

Cartoon Network began to band together with the popular American animation company Funimation, a company that translated Japanese anime to make it more understandable to American audiences. Toonami, a segment of the day that mostly aired anime, was born afterwards. My next favorite anime to watch on that segment was Dragon Ball Z. This was the start of Japanese influence seeping into the minds of children.

There was also an increased interest in Japanese role-playing games. Sony, a Japanese company, made Playstation and Playstation 2, which made characters come alive on the television screen. The graphics were more real-looking than they had ever been before on any console, controls were easy to use, and Japanese game-makers began to sell their games to the world using this console.

Square-Enix was one such company. They are known for making the popular Final Fantasy series as well as the phenomenon Kingdom Hearts.

Japanese anime brought a wave of interest from the generation exposed to it. Interest in animes like Inuyasha and video games like Kingdom Hearts led to a growing interest in J-pop music (as you can hear an artist at the end of every anime or video game, particularly the legend Ayumi Hamasaki), Japanese food (teriyaki and goyza), Japanese language (Kawaii, Sugoi), fashion (cosplays and lolita came out of this wave), holidays, festivals (like Hinamatsuri), and destinations (like Osaka and Tokyo).





Bratz tokyo

An interest in Japanese culture, thus, led to an interest in all modern Asian culture.

This is where Korea comes in.

Korean Dramas and Manga

Korean film producers banked on this rising interest in Mangas and Animes. Korean drama adaptations of these animes spurred a fascination for Korean dramas in general. One of the biggest dramas a part of the “Korean Wave” is the drama Boys Over Flowers, based off of the popular Japanese manga series Hana Yori Dango. Meteor Garden, a Chinese version made in Taiwan in 1999, was the first live adaptation of the popular manga series. It was big in all of Asia. Since most southeastern Asian countries speak Chinese, other people were exposed to the drama. The Korean Boys Over Flowers had come out a decade later in 2009, updating the original adaptation and giving a modern feeling. Other Asian countries remembered Meteor Garden and heard about the new adaptation, which exposed many people to Korean culture.

Winter Sonata was Korea’s own major masterpiece, and it equaled the success of  Meteor Garden. This drama was said to have been the drama that launched the “Korean Wave”.

These Korean dramas were popular because of two factors as quoted from Wikipedia:

  • Emotional engagement of the audience with particular emphasis on forging an emotional bond with the protagonist
  • Explicit attention to female sexual desires — Departing from conventional dramas that tend to eroticize the female body, these dramas market the sexual attraction of the male actors, giving women a certain freedom of sexual expression.

 SM Entertainment

“Powerhouse” label SM Entertainment brought Korean music to the world for the first time. H.O.T. was the first all-boy Korean group to perform a sold-out Concert outside of Korea. This group particularly targeted teenagers and were the first of their kind. They were the pioneers of what we know as the “idol group trend”. They were meant to bring K-pop to the younger generation. Their debut was in 1996.

Then came BoA Kwon, the reigning Princess of K-Pop. BoA was the first Korean artist to sell over a million copies of her albums outside of Korea. She was Korea’s first international superstar. She was an extremely young artist, and the youngest artist to debut at the time of her debut (2000 at age 14).

My first taste of K-pop was also through BoA. I was first introduced to BoA after my favorite doll brand, Bratz, did a collaboration with BoA and Howie D (Backstreet Boys) back in 2003. It was my second taste of foreign music (my first was Utada Hikaru from the Kingdom Hearts series, but she sounded so “American”, I didn’t realize she was a Japanese superstar at the time).

I started looking up more about BoA. That’s when I found out she sang the ending song to the popular anime, Inuyasha, which also made BoA more popular. That’s when I realized just how popular BoA was in Japan.

Then I found out she wasn’t Japanese. Little did I know, at the time, I was a part of a movement that shaped the next generation.

She is still the only Korean artist to have six consecutive hits in Japan, and is considered a household name in many Asian countries.

Soon, other K-pop artists from SM began to pop their way to stardom.

The groups I remember distinctly popping up was TVXQ (DBSK), Super Junior, SHINee, and Girls’ Generation. With the Youtube phenomenon, these groups spread Korean pop music internationally. Many of those groups had international members in them. The male groups broke Asian stereotypes around the world, and gave Asian men a “beautiful face” in the Western world.

At the time, SHINee was the most unique. SHINee embraced their more “feminine features” and made it more attractive to girls! They also started the new generation of dance-pop music with complex dance moves. After their debut, the other artists started imitating their style. Originally K-pop boys showed more edge, but SHINee softened their blows, wearing eyeliner, long hair, and shaking their butts in “Ring ding dong”.

Girls Generation brought Asian beauties to international audiences, and paved the way for the female “idol group” trend.

My biggest sweep into the Korean Wave was with the group f(x). Amber was Korea’s first androgynous pop star! Ever since, I’ve been an adamant follower of K-pop “idol groups” rather than Japanese, and recently, C-pop (Chinese pop). I’m just so darn addicted to that group! Once you get swept into the ocean of K-pop, with your favorite K-pop artist, it’s hard to swim back to shore…rather, it’s hard to want to.

The rising popularity of these groups contributed to the “group” trend that is known in Korea today…

Adding these idols to K-dramas spreads Hallyu further.

Psy and Gangnam Style

Psy made K-pop a global phenomenon in 2012 to 2013 with his smash Youtube hit “Gangnam Style”, an upbeat, electro-dance pop/rap song, put to funny, satirical lyrics, and choreographed with humorous “galloping” dance moves. Psy made a statement in Korea, and brought Korea to everyone’s backyard. He was the first viral artist to have over a billion views! He broke a world record!

Unlike most idols, he wasn’t slim-trim, with a “Justin Bieber” haircut, skinny jeans, and hot dance moves. He was an “average” guy. His music also made a statement. He pointed out satirically about the lavish lifestyle in Gangnam, a district in Seoul, Korea, the center of Korean pop culture. This appealed to audiences worldwide.

Psy also put his label, YG, on the map. Korea hopes to use his fandom as a sign of diplomacy and “soft power”.

What Makes the Korean Wave Unique from other “Asian Waves”?

The Korean phenomenon wasn’t the first international fascination with Asian culture. Asian persuasion has been around since the growing popularity of Kung Fu films in the 1970’s and 1980’s, which put Chinese cinema on the map and popularized Chinese culture and history in many parts of the world. The growing popularity of Japanese culture dominated the 1990’s.

But what makes the “Korean Wave” unique is that it is getting popular in an era that is influenced by the “Digital Revolution”. It is spreading at a much faster rate and on a more universal scale than the other two phenomenons.

It’s also unique in the fact that Koreans are popular for their “modern” culture, and not stereotyped, historical depictions of them that may no longer ring true (like all Asian men learning martial arts). Koreans are looked at as more of an advancing society, as their modern culture is more popular than their ancient one, and that’s what makes this “wave” special.

Finally, what makes the “Korean Wave” unique from the other two “Waves” is the fact that the “Korean Wave” shows a huge support from the female audience. Kung Fu movies and the “Japanese Wave” mostly had male audiences wrapped around their fingers. Though, as a female, I’ve been into all the waves at one time…

This also helps to change the world’s views on Asian culture. It helps to diminish biases, prejudices, and stereotypes. It creates mutual understanding and peace between nations.

What are characteristics of those involved with the Korean Wave?

1) Lots and Lots of fan girls-Because of the increased female fan-base, men are more objectified in K-pop and K-dramas, and female sexuality is highlighted. This makes Asian men more desirable to women.

2) K-pop Group biases and fan wars-With the rising popularity of K-pop groups, you find tons of fans defending their favorite “idol” groups. My favorite is f(x) recently. They helped sweep me into this “Korean Wave”. But I hate fan wars.

3) K-Drama discussions-K-dramas can be so dramatic, you will find tons of message boards about them. Prepare to cry.

4) Eclectic clothing-Korean clothing can be trendy and sometimes downright eccentric.

5) A bunch of young college kids-While you might think mostly teenagers are into this wave, sources show that the biggest support comes from young adults in their 20’s. So, this is what the college kids are into. I sort…of…um…am apart of that demographic. :3

Well, that’s all for now folks! Leave me a comment let me know what you think about Korea’s growing popularity!

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