August K-Pop Releases You May Have Missed

August K-pop releases cheetah
is just about over, but we’re still listening to a lot of the songs that came out from the K-pop world. Popular K-pop acts likeWonder Girls, SHINee, Big Bang, Girls’ Generation, HyunA, T-Ara, and B1A4 all released new songs, but so did a lot of other artists. Here are seven songs we think that everyone should have heard in August and maybe didn’t take note of.


After a four-year hiatus, the vocal trio SG Wannabe came back with the dual singles “Love You” and “Good Memory.” Keeping with their usual evocative ballad style, SG Wannabe didn’t disappoint. Both songs are perfect representations of the group’s style, but “Love You” climbed up Korean music charts with its bright, building sound.

Also on KultScene: May Music Releases From Korea That You Might Have Overlooked

Cheetah “My Number”

Cheetah won the first season of “Unpretty Rapstar” and released her first post-win song at the beginning of the month. “My Number” is a hybrid of pop and hip-hop that showcases Cheetah’s skill and feelings about becoming a celebrity. While the song isn’t as heartfelt as some of her raps on “Unpretty Rapstar,” it’s highly personal and has one of the most intriguing Korean music videos of the year, featuring drag queens, intense dances, and Cheetah herself in all her glory.

Primary “Hello” feat. Lena Park

Primary is arguably one of South Korea’s most up and coming producers and all of his latest songs are a reason to get excited. His latest, “Hello (I Got My Nails Done)” is a bright song with a steady beat and the powerful vocals of Lena Park. The song takes the talent of the Korean fairy of R&B and combines it with Primary’s producing skills and creates a fun summer jam all about nail polish. (And really, everyone needs a song about nails walking).


This song is ridiculous and cute and a gift to their fans, but FTISLAND’s humorous search for their “Puppy” can’t be overlooked. It’s like the Internet got rolled into one, with cute boy band members looking for puppies and pizza, with the talent of FTISLAND and vocals of Lee Hongki thrown in just for good measure. FTISLAND is one of the most underrated acts in K-pop today, but this over-the-top song and music video are just too adorable to overlook.

Baechigi “Shut Up” feat. EXID’s Solji

Combine Solji’s sultry vocals with Beachigi’s distinct rap style and you get one of my personal favorite songs of the summer. The song is about being used by people and the hardships of both general life and romantic relationships But rather than being a depressing tune, “Shut Up” is all about getting over things and doing what is good for you, even if others don’t understand you. “Shut Up” has a lot of soul, saxophone, and self -assertion, so what more is there really to ask for?

Also on KultScene: Simon D ‘Simon Dominic’ Music Video & Song Review

Tiger JK “Blazing” feat. Yoon Mirae and Bizzy

If you ever thought that you’d fall in love with a promotional song for a baseball team, then you must be a big sports fan. But that’s exactly what “Blazing” is — the absolute perfect pump up, sports anthem created by the members of MFBTY, Tiger JK, Yoon Mirae, and Bizzy, (although it is officially a song by Tiger JK.) The song is a passionate tune based on the anthem of Korean baseball team Hanhwa Eagles, “I’m The Eagles,” and both the song and the music video offers the fiercest inspiration to pursuing your dreams that you will ever see.

Simon Dominic “Simon Dominic”

Simon D came back this month with several songs, including the self-titled “Simon Dominic.” Like Cheetah’s song, it’s a personal take on what the singer wants to say those around him. “Simon Dominic” is a hook-filled song about Simon’s attempts at making it big in the Korean music world as part of the duo Supreme Team and continuing to make his way in the hip hop world. The song’s style and story led to “Simon Dominic” taking over Korean music charts.

What is your favorite lesser-known K-pop song from August? 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.

‘Coming Out! FTISLAND’ Takes Cues From American Reality TV

The Real Housewives of South Korea? Almost, but not quite.

It’s not every day that Korean idols go to a waxing salon and let their fans watch, but that’s exactly what some of FTISLAND’s members did during the first episode of “Coming Out! FTISLAND.” With scenes showing the band arguing and getting drunk, the reality show feels a lot more like “Keeping Up With the Kardashians” more than typical Korean idol reality shows.

The five-episode long show began airing on SBS MTV in South Korea on April 7, and became the first reality show dealing with K-pop idols to receive a 19+ rating. The result is something almost entirely foreign to the K-pop world- full disclosure. While this is something new for K-pop fans, elements of “Coming Out! FTISLAND” would make it a perfect show for the American reality-loving audience.

This Is FTISLAND’s Reality as a Band

If you’ve never watched “The Bad Girls Club” or “The Real Housewives” series, consider yourself lucky. But two important elements make those shows enjoyable to watch- the fighting and the partying. That also happens to be some of the elements that many bands are known for (ever hear of Guns N’ Roses or Van Halen?) and helps FTISLAND shirk off the idol-band image they began as. The group doesn’t hide behind the smoke screens of editing, sleeps naked, and doesn’t keep their tempers in check.

In fact, FTISLAND doesn’t really keep anything in check. The group completely disavows its idol-image, showing the nitty gritty of their lives and relationships in a way that idols typically hide behind makeup and perfectly manufactured personalities. In essence, FTISLAND attempts to use the show that it is a band not an idol group.Drunk Minari

FTISLAND drinks… A lot. Hongki’s love of alcohol verges on alcoholism and he’s a clear enabler, which he admits. The band’s youngest member, Minhwan, even wakes up one morning still drunk from the night before after Hongki insists on buying vast quantities of alcohol. Drinking games and parties are part of South Korean culture, and FTISLAND lives up to it.

Drunk Minari 2

Also on KultScene: FTISLAND Give Vibrant Performance in NYC & Announce New Album

The other members aren’t as intense as Hongki, who lives up to his status as a Korean rockstar, and there’s nobody tearing out one another’s weave, but “Coming Out! FTISLAND” isn’t just an outlet to showcase FTISLAND’s preparations for their comeback. The members mention multiple times that the show is for their fans, but it’s also a way for FTISLAND to break the mold of K-pop idol and become real people. Well, reality show people.

Take Us As The Humans We Are

FTISLAND doesn’t shy away from their issues, though, and instead broadcasts them freely. All reality television shows, American and Korean, get edited to some degree, but this is the perhaps the first time in K-pop history that an idol group doesn’t claim to be anything but the co-workers that they truly are. What FTISLAND has going for it is the members have worked together for so long that they’re able to freely communicate with one another their thoughts and needs.

Lee Hongki 1

The tension between FTISLAND’s members is clear from the first episode. Lead vocalist Lee Hongki is described as an “American rockstar” by the other members of FTISLAND, and shows it by not showing up at practice and instead going drinking with friends. Leader Choi Jonghoon is mostly quiet and sulks, while the three younger members (Lee Jaejin, Choi Minhwan, and Song Seunghyun) play around, mostly carefree. There’s bickering and irritation, and even though K-pop fans want to believe that idols are best friends with one another, it’s clear that there are issues within this band.

Lee Hongki 2

Throwing together humans and telling them to be a band is difficult (ie TVXQ, EXO, One Direction.) But “Coming Out! FTISLAND” depicts FTISLAND honestly, allowing the members to be frank about their worries and concerns while making it brutally honest that their relationship is as bandmates and not best friends forever (Minhwan and Jaejin’s waxing date aside…).

Lee Hongki 3

“No matter what problems we face, no matter which members fight, I will protect the name FTISLAND and protect my members until the end!” — Lee Hongki

Lee hongki 4But, even though FTISLAND’s members have issues internally, they still work together. The personalities in the band are different, but they are still connected by what they’ve accomplished as K-pop’s first real band. The second episode was the most tense (Jonghoon got mad with Minhwan and Seunghyun and Hongki showed up hungover to a fan meet) but also features the five men drinking together and talking honestly to one another. Because, at the end of the day, FTISLAND has come so far together that the very suggestion that the thought of their group’s end is something they must protect against.

Also on KultScene: Banishing the Stigma of K-Pop Idol Singers, One ‘Mask King’ Episode At A time

Rated 19+

One of the most newsworthy things about the reality show is that it’s the first time a K-pop act filmed a mature rated reality show. FTISLAND’s clearly trying to break away from the K-pop idols image that helped them debut. And the band is popular enough that it no longer needs young K-pop fans; FTISLAND’s Primadonna fanclub is extremely loyal, and FTISLAND’s prowess as a band is not up for debate (I repeat, listen to their latest album in its entirety.)

Ugly HongkiUGLY HONGKI 2

But going 19+ is still risky. FTISLAND is still a K-pop band, and idols, no matter what anybody says. The choice to bare all (waxing!) is smart marketing but could only happen with a loyal fanbase. SHINHWA set an example of a K-pop act doing something outrageous to make fans happy and shot a nude photo book in 2001; FTISLAND shot 19+ in 2015. It’s not something that all K-pop idols could do and get away with, but FTISLAND’s outrageous attitudes have brought the band all over the world and made them successful. By “Coming Out!” FTISLAND is declaring its emancipation from manufactured.

It’s a bit difficult to find episodes of the show with subtitles, but here is a link to the first episode for anybody who has yet to watch.

“Coming Out! FTISLAND” is a fun reality show that highlights FTISLAND in all its R-rated glory. It’s a nice change from the usual, highly edited and cleaned up K-pop reality shows, and makes FTISLAND more likeable for it.

What do you think of FTISLAND’s coming out as something other than K-pop idols? Should other idols film 19+ shows? 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.

[All gifs credit Cross And Change on Tumblr]

FTISLAND Give Vibrant Performance in NYC & Announce New Album

New York City’s Snowmageddon-that-wasn’t couldn’t keep FTISLAND from performing its first solo concert in the city on January 28th.

The Korean quintet FTISLAND (short for Five Treasure Island) brought a dynamic range of energy that K-pop fans have been waiting years to see in New York at their FTXH tour stop. The band headed cries of East Coast Primadonnas, FTISLAND’s fans, and flew to Washington D.C. and drove to New York in order to make the concert after a blizzard shut down New York City airports. It was freezing outside, and snow was all around midtown Manhattan, but inside Best Buy Theater, FTISLAND brought fans from all over the region together to forget about the chilly winter.

Lead singer Lee Hongki’s powerful vocals and strong personality dominated the evening, but Lee Jaejin and Song Seunghyun’s backing vocals stood their own, while leader Choi Jonghoon and Choi Minhwan’s skills as versatile musicians were undeniable. Each member of the band was given time to shine, with vocal and instrumental solos dispersed throughout the night. Even though they looked exhausted at times, and made it clear that they were uncomfortable with speaking English to a native-speaker-filled crowd, FTISLAND brought a memorable performance to NYC.

Also on KultScene: VIBE & 4MEN Songs To Know Before Their U.S. Concerts

The group has a large following in Asia, and expressed multiple times how shocked they were to discover American fans had been listening to their songs, while fans sang along with Hongki. Even though some fans weren’t able to make it to the show because of the poor traveling conditions, the audience was clearly filled with people who loved FTISLAND’s unique mix of K-pop and instrumental music.

The band opened the show with Last Love Song, and filled the night with hits like Madly, Memory, and switched it up by performing unplugged, acoustic versions of some of their most iconic songs, including I Hope and I Wish. The performances were stellar, and if they made a mistake, nobody in the crowd noticed. But the few non-musical aspects amidst the concert shone a light on FTISLAND’s intimate thoughts, something that is often missing at K-pop concerts in the U.S.

With humorous tones when some of the members teased Hongki mid-show and the female translator wowed Hongki, FTISLAND’s members opened their hearts to the New York City Primadonnas. The lead singer made it very clear that the group only recently had started really performing music that they loved, and that what people saw on television about the five wasn’t always the truth. Even as Hongki brought his large personality to the stage, it was very clear throughout the night that, first and foremost, FTISLAND was there to play the music that they personally wanted to perform for their fans. The biggest surprise of the night was when Hongki announced FTISLAND’s upcoming album, to be released in March or April. The band ended the night with a new song, On My Way for the encore performance, differentiating FTISLAND’s NYC show from recent shows in Europe and Latin America.

Also on KultScene: 10 Amoeba Culture Songs To Get You Ready For ATL & NYC

The concert clocked in at less than two hours, but FTISLAND’s vigor-filled concert lacked nothing. As the band members walked off stage, throwing guitar picks into the audience, it was clear that even though this was FTISLAND’s first performance in New York City, it didn’t disappoint.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

What’s your favorite FTISLAND song? Have you ever seen FTISLAND perform live? Share your experience 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.


5 Things To Expect At FTISLAND Concerts

FTISLAND is one of South Korea’s most popular idol-bands, and the quintet is heading to the United States this month with concerts in New York and California. Whether you’re attending these events, (and spotting KultScene there) or any FTISLAND shows anywhere else in the world, here’s what you can expect.

Great Live Music

FTISLAND has been doing what they do since 2007, and the band does it well. The group has its own distinct style that can be heard in just about every song. Their live performances are filled with infectious energy, enhanced by lead singer Lee Hongki’s almost-nonstop action on stage.

Ad-Libs & Goofing Around

With as many concerts and performances under their belt, FTISLAND are pros. And, being pros, they can essentially do whatever they want mid-stage. There are tons of videos on YouTube showing FTISLAND goofing around on stage, sometimes on purpose while other times mistakenly. This is no perfectly coordinated, emotionless idol show that FTISLAND put on; this group is the real deal and comes prepared but then… Sometimes gets a bit distracted during the show.

Also on KultScene: Beenzino’s ‘Up All Night’ Party in Los Angeles

Exuberance Towards The Audience

FTISLAND always has some special words for their fans, no matter where in the world they are performing. In the case of their latest world tour, FTISLAND will likely brush up on some languages, and perhaps perform some songs from the countries that they visit. Look forward to some great Engrish at the New York City and Los Angeles shows.

Special Event

Fans are everything to musicians, and FTISLAND is great at making sure that fans know that they’re appreciated. A lot of K-pop concerts around the world have problems where the local fans feel like the singers aren’t as connected to them as they are with Korean fans, but FTISLAND doesn’t let that happen. Instead, the group always makes efforts to interact with fans in special ways. For the New York and California concerts, Powerhouse recently announced through its Twitter account that FTISLAND will be giving away signed CDs, posters, and pictures to random fans.


You’ll get a chance to hear FT Island’s best songs, like “I Hope,” “Severely,” “Hello Hello,” “Love Love Love,” and many more.

Is there anything else more to say? FTISLAND is a talented band with great songs. Don’t miss your chance to see them when they come to your neck of the woods. In case you’re able to make it to the Los Angeles and New York City shows, you can purchase tickets here and here. Don’t forget that you’ll be entered into the contest to win the autographed goods!

Look forward to KultScene’s coverage of FTISLAND’s US shows!

Do you like FTISLAND? What songs do you want to hear them perform live? 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.