Has this ever happened to you? You discover a song at random and it’s your first time listening to it; you’re completely mesmerized so you look into it, see who the artist is, then only to find out that the person who you heard singing it is actually someone just doing a cover? I don’t listen to the radio much so I usually don’t know what’s trending and what the American top hits are, but there’s been a number of times where I’ve stumbled upon covers that Korean, usually male, singers have done. Whether it’s a 30 second clip or the full version, I become instantly hooked. It’s insane how much I’d rather listen to these covers versions than the originals. Song covers have become a way for people to express themselves, to revamp the original by embodying the song and making it their own. Some may do it just to pass the time but then you have these guys who do it because they simply enjoy doing so. There seems to be an endless list of covers, but here’s our part three of this list.
5. V (BTS) “Someone Like You”
If you listen to BTS’s (Bangtan Boys) then you’re probably already well aware of their powerful choreographies and slick raps. Due to the fact that a majority of the songs that they promote on music shows involve a lot of energetic dance moves, it’s a rare to see the vocalists of BTS showcase their unique voices. With past promotions, in member V’s case, unless you’ve listened to songs that are on their albums that they don’t actively promote, you’ve probably realized how small his parts are and, when he did get parts, they’re usually about ten words worth of lyrics, each.
For listeners, whether it was those who already knew and listened to BTS on a regular or those who’ve only heard of them through passing, when V came out with his cover of “Someone Like You” it took a lot of those listeners by surprise. I personally didn’t know that his voice could go as low as it did, neither was I expecting him to hit the higher notes as he notably did or even for his English to be as detectable as it was. V’s unique and deep bass is quite uncommon in the K-pop industry and he utilizes it well for this cover. Whether or not he fully understood the lyrics he was singing, his voice displayed this raw emotion and showed sensitivity, which will have one swooning in no time.
Since doing this cover (it was filmed and uploaded in December of 2014), V’s earned the recognition he’s well deserved. With BTS’s latest album, “The Most Beautiful Moment In Life Part 1”, he’s received a lot more lines on all the tracks and like some of the other members, he’s also taken part in some of the lyric and melody writing for the album. It’ll only be a matter of time before V becomes a household name.
4. Yonghwa & Jonghyun (CNBLUE) “Geek In The Pink”
There’s a number of songs members Yonghwa and Jonghyun of CNBLUE could’ve covered as a small ode to one of their favorite musicians, Jason Mraz. They could’ve done some of his hits like “I’m Yours” or “You & I Both,” but they opted for the less romantic and more fun and gun-ho track “Geek In The Pink” and, without a doubt, the guys sure as hell put on an entertaining performance for their audience.
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In certain cases, sometimes in order to convey a message from a song, especially when it’s a live performance and you’re performing alongside someone else, there has to be some sort of mental connection. Some performers have an instant bond, a natural sense of chemistry when working with one another, Yonghwa and Jonghyun being the perfect example. Granted these two are in a band together but it’s not always the case where you’d see members work together as genuinely as they do. Of course you’d hope that the members in these idol groups have some sort of connection with one another, but you could usually tell when it’s a forced act and when it’s them truly working together.
However, you can tell that Yonghwa and Jonghyun enjoyed covering this song. They were feeding off of one another’s energy; Jonghyun’s smooth and luscious voice balanced well with Yonghwa’s diverse and distinctive voice techniques. It’s obvious that English isn’t their native tongue, but the way Yonghwa flawlessly delivered that rap, WOW, he should rap more often!
3. G.O (MBLAQ) “Superstar”
Before debuting with MBLAQ in 2009, G.O was apart of a co-ed R&B group, TyKeys. They had a few originals but mainly performed a lot of covers, mostly English ones. G.O’s sang everything from Stevie Wonder to Alicia Keys to Eric Benet. I guess you can say he’s got a lot of experience under his belt covering English songs and singing them pretty damn well, which is probably why this is the second time he’s made it to this series.
The moment the first note left G.O’s mouth in his cover of “Superstar”, I felt chills shoot down my spine. His sweet and charming voice quickly swoops you right into the palm of his hand and glues to stuck. Not only is his annunciation crisp and clear, but you can also sense the longing and passion that transcends through that breathtaking voice of his. As he’s singing the song, the honest emotions that he’d put into each lyric, every pause he’d take, made it feel like he was singing this to someone of his past, someone he truly adored and loved, as if he was the writer of this song.
G.O’s always been a top contender in my list of male vocalists, and although I had discovered him through MBLAQ and not via the impressive covers he’s done in the past, till this day, I am continuously blown away by his ability to accurately crank out even the most difficult and strain inducing notes while maintaining his expressions and still providing the raw flow of feels. The only issue I have with this cover is the fact that it was barely two minutes long. Can we get a petition going for the full version?
2. Jinhwan, Junhoe & Hongsuk (Team Jinhwan on MIX & MATCH) “I Want You”
When I started watching YG’s MIX & MATCH (a competition in which was to determine who was going to be in YG’s new boy band, that of which included members of the already existing “Team B” from YG’s previous competition “Who Is Next: WIN”), I wasn’t expecting my heart to want to accept any new members into what I and many other followers had already assumed to have been iKON (YG’s new boy band’s name). All of that quickly changed when during one of the weekly evaluations, Team Jinhwan, which consisted of Jinhwan and Junhoe (members who were on Team B from WIN) and new trainee Hongsuk performed “I Want You”, originally sung and performed by Luke James.
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Prior to their performance, I had no idea who Luke James was, nor had I heard this song. And even though I knew this was a cover performance, these three unexpectedly blew me out of the submerging water. Through WIN, I’ve had the chance to listen to Jinhwan and Junhoe sing and dance, therefore, there was a slight bias in me, wanting those two to do exceptionally well, in which they absolutely did. What really took me by surprise was how well Hongsuk’s textured and calming voice blended in with the other two. They had smooth transitions and harmonized well together. Jinhwan’s strong point has always been in his dancing but there’s definitely been a tremendous improvement in his once wavering but now solid voice. And let’s not get started on Junhoe’s raspy voice and stellar falsettos that always gets me weak in the knees. This performance was exceptionally enjoyable, especially at the end when Junhoe says, “I want you baby” with determined eyes.
Considering it’s YG Entertainment, and aside from Hongsuk’s short month-long training prior to the show, all three had great pronunciation and each brought their own skill sets to create a magnificent, jaw dropping performance. Although Hongsuk didn’t make it into iKON, he has great potential, and with the right training, he’ll go far.
1. Kevin (ZE:A) “Lost Stars”
Apparently, I can’t ever seem to make a list without adding Kevin of ZE:A in it. Of course, that’s never a bad thing since he’s a man of many talents. He’ll leave you in awe from the moment he sings that first note, to the light sighs and short breaths he’d take in between sentences, down to the very last mesmerizing lyric.
Words can’t fully describe the feelings that took over my heart when I first heard Kevin’s cover of the now ever so popular “Lost Stars”. The way he effortlessly delivers the lyrics with his angelic voice, it’s as if he’s singing this song for and directly to you. You know how there’s singers who sound the same all the time as if everything is like the studio version? Kevin’s the total opposite. Don’t get me wrong, there’s nothing wrong with sounding like the studio version every time you sing a particular song, but it doesn’t show diversity. It doesn’t allow the audience to see and hear your true range. Just in this cover alone, Kevin was able to showcase such a wide range of what his voice is capable of doing. He wasn’t just singing yet another song but sincerely poured all his emotions into it and delivered it so well that it truly felt as though he was singing this song for you, to you.
Hearts palpitates and rupture simultaneously whenever Kevin opens his mouth to sing. There’s something about that firm and silky voice of his that just speaks to your soul. His pleasant and soothing voice will easily and gently cradle you fast asleep. Might I also add that Kevin slayed this cover and all the covers that came before it. It’s been mentioned in previous articles and it’ll be mentioned in this one as well, but I firmly believe that not enough people discuss and talk about how remarkable of an artist he truly is. I know there’s people out there who value and appreciate Kevin’s velvety voice as much as I do.
Do you usually discover a cover through the original or is it at random? Share your thoughts in the comment section below and be sure to subscribe to the site and follow us on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Tumblr to keep up with all of our posts.