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Fantasy Vs Reality: MAMA 2015 Award Winners

MAMA awards

Much to the delight of international K-pop fans, the annual Mnet Asian Music Awards (MAMA) is coming round again on the second of December and will be held in Macau. Nominees for the various categories were announced on Oct. 31,and fan voting began on the same day. It is already shaping up to be a heated battle between the multiple fandoms but there are a few groups that have already gained and maintained a strong lead against their competitors.

Based on the results of previous years, there is a definite correlation between the size of a group’s fanbase and their chances of winning awards, which might unfairly cause more deserving groups to miss out on their prize. To acknowledge the possibly underappreciated groups and artists that will not be recognised during the awards, let’s have a round of Fantasy Vs Reality as a prediction for this year’s winners –with the exception of Union Pay Artist and Song of the Year, there are too many nominees for us to pick!

1. Best New Male/Female Artist

Fantasy: SEVENTEEN & Oh My Girl
These two groups could not be more different in nature but the one thing they have in common is that they’re insanely talented. From participating in the composing and production of their own tracks (SEVENTEEN) to standing out amongst several other girl groups using cute concepts (Oh My Girl), both groups have massive potential and will go far in the K-pop industry. Although they have been gaining a lot of fans since their debuts, neither of these two groups have a large enough fanbase at the moment to ensure their victory in MAMA. However, I’m looking forward to their work in the future!


Reality: iKon & TWICE
Both these groups debuted from huge and rich entertainment companies (YG Entertainment and JYP Entertainment) which had previously produced hugely successful acts such as BIGBANG and the Wonder Girls, so it is a given that they would have a more polished debut filled with lots of high budget teasers, hype and music show promotions. Both groups had also participated in pre-debut reality competition shows (“Mix or Match” and “Sixteen”) which garnered the members a sizeable fan base, giving them a headstart and strong lead against other rookie groups. For so much hype though, their actual debut proved to be underwhelming, especially in the case of iKon, so they may not be as deserving of this award in a year filled with better rookie debuts.

2. Best Male/Female Artist

Fantasy: Jung Yonghwa(CNBLUE)/Ailee
It’s pretty interesting how Yonghwa’s solo album that was released earlier this year was so much better than his group’s recent comeback in terms of its musicality, catchiness and coherence as an album. The title track “One Fine Day” was a great song even though it was more of a ballad than anything else, and Yonghwa had a few great collaborations with artists such as JJ Lin and Verbal Jint in the other tracks, all of which contributed to my opinion of him as the best male solo artist of the year, even though he may not be recognised widely for his efforts. Ailee, on the other hand, is definitely a well-known and respected female soloist. She has been nominated for the same award at least two times now but she has always been shy of receiving it. Her releases are consistently amazing and she is always wowing fans with her performances on “Immortal Song” or other music shows. Someone give this woman an award already!


Reality: Kyuhyun(Super Junior)/IU
I cannot deny that Kyuhyun is a great soloist and his releases so far have been nothing short of amazing. However he always sings the same genre of music (ballads) and I believe that his songs are a little over-rated. In my opinion, he may not be as deserving as other more diverse soloists like Yonghwa but he will surely attain victory thanks to his enormous fanbase. Likewise, I cannot really complain about IU because it is true that she is an extremely talented soloist and a diverse singer at that. She also has collaborated with countless artists in the past year and has even impressed fans with her performance in “The Producers” as idol singer Cindy. With her recent release “23,” she showcased a honest side of herself, all of which has helped her add fans to her already large group of supporters. While she is certainly deserving of the award, she has also won the same award previously so perhaps it is time to give the other nominees some recognition.

3. Best Male/Female Group

Fantasy: BTS/AOA
It’s been a great year for both these groups who have achieved major breakthroughs in their career. For AOA in particular, after they changed their concept from being a female band to being an ultra sexy girl group in 2014 it has worked wonders for them. They have gained a lot more fans and recognition through their releases such as “Like a Cat”, “Miniskirt”, and their most recent comeback, “Heart Attack.” BTS has been going strong ever since their debut in 2013 and has been steadily building up their fanbase of ARMY, their fan name, with addictive releases such as “I Need You” and “Dope.” Their songs are of a consistently good standard and each member showcases impressive vocal and rapping skills accordingly. What is there not to like about this group? Both these groups deserve awards for the improvements and work they have done over this year.


Reality: BIGBANG & Girls’ Generation
If Best Male/Female Group was determined on which groups were the most active this year, it would make sense that these two groups would be awarded. In the case of BIGBANG, they’ve had an extremely busy year with their “Made” album, in which two title tracks were released every month starting from May. While I am definitely a fan of BIGBANG’s songs, there were some releases that were overhyped and they did well on the charts just because they were from BIGBANG. The same goes with Girls’ Generation. With a total of four songs released this year, they have certainly been active in the K-pop scene. These songs were definitely not the best ones this year though, despite being accompanied with colourful and cool music videos that boasted SM Entertainment’s high budget. These groups have their loyal and dedicated fans to thank for being able to maintain a lead on the polls so far.


Also on Kultscene: 8 K-pop Girl Power Anthems Pt. 6

4. Best Dance Performance Solo

Fantasy: Gain (Brown Eyed Girls) – “Paradise Lost”
Brown Eyed Girls have always been known for their sexual concepts and Gain’s solos have been no exception. Her solo release was not great to me in a musical sense, but her dance is another story. She really exposed and expressed herself through her extremely sexual dance, and to be able to do that on so many stages is really amazing. Furthermore, as compared to the other nominees on this list, her dance seems to be the most difficult and technical but she pulls it off with ease.


Reality: Amber ( f(x)) – “Shake That Brass”
When I saw that Amber was leading the polls for this award, I literally had to roll my eyes. Not because I have anything against her or f(x) but because I was less than impressed when I watched her live performance for this song. The dance (and song for that matter) seems just like Amber’s character, fun and energetic, but on a technical sense, she’s not actually doing much. Once again, her popularity as a member of f(x) and being part of SM Entertainment is going to smooth her path to victory, whether she actually deserves it or not.

5. Best Dance Performance Male/Female Group

Fantasy: GOT7(“If You Do”) & 4MINUTE (“Crazy”)
GOT7 has never impressed me ever since their debut up until the release of their latest song, “If You Do.” Not only is the sound an overall more mature one from the group, their dance is simply amazing. Even their CEO, Park Jinyoung (JYP) praised them for mastering it, and for good reason. Every step is so synchronized and technically difficult, but the boys were able to master it and show off their individual charms at the same time. For a group that is only about a year old, this is an amazing showing and is proof that they will definitely continue to impress. 4MINUTE’s choreography for “Crazy” also surprised me. Previously I had no knowledge about this group whatsoever but when I saw their dance practice video for “Crazy” I saw how powerful they are. They give off such a strong aura that I was immediately drawn to them, and for that they stand out among the other girl groups in contention for this award.


Reality: EXO (“Call Me Baby”) & Red Velvet (“Ice Cream Cake”)
Even with nine members EXO is always able to showcase a good performance, and their live versions of “Call Me Baby” were executed well. I also loved the way they cleverly made use of props or their clothes to give fans a fresh and new performance every time. Their choreography for this song however, was slightly lacking in terms of its technicality. They were not particularly synchronized nor were their moves very difficult, and this was not their best dance, especially when compared to previous hits like “Growl.” For Red Velvet, maybe it is because I have never been a big fan of cute concepts, I did not find their dance for “Ice Cream Cake” very impressive. They just seemed mediocre, and were similar to several other girl groups both past and present.

6. Best Male/Female Vocal Performance

Fantasy: Lim Chang Jung (“Love Again”)/ Davichi (“Cry Again”)
With his recent comeback “Love Again” Lim Chang Jung created a stir on the music charts where his song had a very strong showing. He even won first place on some music shows during his promotions, which I can say that it was very well-deserved. He sings with a lot of emotions in a style that vaguely resembles Korean trot-singing and his voice found its way into my heart even though I did not understand what he was singing about. Davichi does this all the time as well. From the albums and songs that they have previously released I became quite a huge fan and was more than excited when they came back with “Davichi Hug” this year. All the songs on their album were amazing but none stood out more than their title track “Cry Again.” The choruses and the bridges were so touching and their perfect harmonies really shined. It’s a pity that they did not get more recognition during their promotion period but they really deserve it during these awards.


Reality: Kyuhyun (“At Gwanghwamun”)/ Taeyeon (“I”)
Okay I’m not going to lie, I would be happy if Kyuhyun won for “At Gwanghwamun” because that song is amazing. When it first came out I replayed it so many times and fell in love with it so much so that I actually went to visit Gwanghwamun when I went to Korea because of it. However, he is already highly recognised and constantly awarded either as a soloist or with his group, so I still hope that other vocalists (aka Lim Chang Jung) would get recognised during MAMA instead. I have the opposite sentiment for Taeyeon, unfortunately. I admit that her voice is one of the best in K-pop and that Girls’ Generation would definitely not be as good without her. However, her solo debut was underwhelming in that it sounded so similar to say, a Taylor Swift song and it failed to show off her individuality. Furthermore, she did not really showcase her best vocal ability through this release and is probably more undeserving of this award than the other female vocalists being nominated in this category.

7. Best Rap Performance

Fantasy: Mad Clown – “Fire”
Mad Clown is hands down one of my favourite rappers. His lyrics are not just witty and relatable, his delivery is also very smooth and confident. In particular this track, he matched perfectly with the singer featuring on his track, Jinsil, to create an overall fantastic and addictive song, but it is evident that he is carrying most of the track. His emotions are spot on as well, and he doesn’t come off as full of rage but rather he shows a more passive type of anger. He needs more international exposure and recognition so I really hope that he will be able to get this award.


Reality: Gary (from Leessang) – “Get Some Air”
Once again, I wouldn’t be very upset if Gary ends up winning this award after all. I got to know him after watching him on popular variety show “Running Man” and it is no wonder that he has such a large fan base because the show is popular not just in Korea but in a lot of countries around the world. The track is a pretty good one as well, with a great collaboration between the featured singer (Miwoo) and Gary, but his rap is just lacking as compared to Mad Clown. He also portrays his sad emotions well but his flow and delivery isn’t as smooth or as well done as Mad Clown’s, so on a technical level he may not be as deserving of this award. He did put in a lot of effort for this solo release however and I am looking forward to his future work.


Also on Kultscene: f(x)’s “4 Walls” Album Review

8. Best Band Performance

Fantasy: Hyukoh – “Comes And Goes”
This is probably the category that I feel the most for because Hyukoh is a real gem that I discovered recently due to their appearance on another popular variety show, “Infinite Challenge.” It’s so satisfying to watch them receive so much attention nowadays from Korean and international fans alike because their music is just that good. Indie bands and music have never been my thing, but Hyukoh is so unique and fresh that I can’t help falling in love with them. Their humble attitude is another plus point, especially since they are already so skilled. “Comes And Goes” has such a chill vibe to it and it makes me feel so comfortable that I want to listen to it over and over again. By far, they are definitely the best band among the other bands nominated in this category.

Reality: CNBLUE – “Cinderella”
In contrast, CNBLUE might well be the worst band listed in this category. I say this as a fan of the band, but “Cinderella” is definitely not their best work. In fact, as compared to “Can’t Stop”, which they won Best Band for in MAMA 2014, “Cinderella” is unfortunately a huge decrease in standards. Where “Can’t Stop” was catchy and addictive, “Cinderella” was rather annoying and I couldn’t even bring myself to replay it after the first time. In a year where other bands such as Hyukoh and FTISLAND showed off more of their colour and talent, CNBLUE really shouldn’t get to win this award.

9. Best Collaboration & Unit

Fantasy: VIXX LR– “Beautiful Liar”
I’ve always been fascinated by VIXX as a group, although their concepts sometimes scare me, their songs are always consistently good. It was this expectation that I had from them that caused me to check out their new subunit. It did not disappoint and this great release was a pleasant surprise for me. Ravi’s raps in the song were amazing and really enhanced the track, while Leo did his part and sang beautifully. Together they were a strong pair and it is a pity that this song seemed to go under the radar amongst other popular releases when it is really deserving of recognition. For a debut, it is definitely a great release and I can’t wait for their comeback already.

Reality: Zion T & Crush – “Just”
I probably shouldn’t have been surprised that this collaboration was leading the polls because “Just” gained a lot of attention when it was first released at the start of the year. It’s not the first time that these two artists have worked together, and it really shows in the way they are able to complement each other in singing and rapping. While it is a nice release, it doesn’t work on an emotional way like “Beautiful Liar” did for me, so I do think that VIXX LR would be more deserving of this award.

10. Best Music Video

Fantasy: INFINITE – “Bad”
Apart from loving the song, I also enjoyed watching the music video and thought that it was very cool. The way the set was used in different ways for the members intrigued me and there were even some parts that were very creepy, especially when the mirrors were used. Although the other version of the music video wasn’t nominated for this award, I also enjoyed watching the 360 VR version of it because viewers got to play around with the video while watching it to see the video from different perspectives. It was a very cool and fresh idea which made me excited for the future of K-pop music videos.

Reality: BIGBANG – “Bae Bae”
I can only use two words to describe this video: colourful and crazy. It did fit the song very well but it was extremely messy and random with abrupt scene changes and totally different vibes for each part of the song. All it does, in essence, is show off how rich YG Entertainment is, but as a music video I did not enjoy it at all. At least in INFINITE’s video there was an over-arching theme that kept the video coherent and relevant to the song, in “Bae Bae.”..not so much.

All in all, it can be concluded that MAMA awards is essentially a popularity contest, and while the fan polls are not always the determining factors for who eventually wins the awards, they are pretty good indicators. I’m excited to see how it turns out and I’ll always be rooting for the underdogs, even though they may not be favoured to win.

Are you excited for the MAMA awards? What are your predictions? Share your throughts 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.

Taeyeon’s ‘I’ Music Video & Song Review

Taeyeon music review

I am not a Sone (official fanclub name for Girls Generation) but I have always enjoyed Taeyeon’s solo releases, especially popular OSTs such as “Missing You Like Crazy” and “And One”. That was why I got excited when I heard about Taeyeon’s solo album, and even more so when I heard that her title track “I” achieved an all-kill on local and international music charts. With well-known rapper Verbal Jint featuring on this track, I knew that it would be something special. Without further ado, here’s my review of “I”.

Song

The track opens right away with the addictive chorus but is immediately followed by Verbal Jint’s short rap. The first time I heard it I found the transition a bit abrupt, especially since the chorus is repeated again after his rap. Taeyeon’s style of singing the chorus, or mainly the word “I,” reminds me of country music and Taylor Swift (in her first few releases). While it is nice to listen to, initially, I got quite tired of it by the time the song was over. The song picks up considerably during the other verses and the bridge though, both in terms of melody and the emotions in Taeyeon’s voice. I especially love how Taeyeon’s voice grows stronger and more free in the bridge as the song comes to a climax, as it clearly empathizes the meaningful and inspirational lyrics of the song.

Flower petals wilt
I had difficult times, but followed a small light
Distant day, let it go far, faraway
I fly splendidly
Sky that pours light
Renewed eyes (Renewed eyes)
Fly far away (Fly high, fly high)
Beauty that belongs only to me

The instrumentals were pretty amazing from start to finish as it started out softly but gradually built up and really enhanced the track; it honestly blew my breath away towards the end of the song. I would probably have enjoyed the song more if Verbal Jint’s presence was more prominent because he definitely added a level of intensity and depth to this otherwise catchy but musically shallow track. That’s not to say that it was bad, because Taeyeon exceeded my expectations entirely with this release.


Also on Kultscene: Girls’ Generation’s “Lion Heart” and “You Think” Song Review

Videography

The music video for this song is simply gorgeous, mostly because of the natural scenery featured frequently in it. The music video was shot in New Zealand, a country famous for its physical beauty, and the videography certainly did justice to it.

taeyeon review 3

I love the fact that this music video has an engaging storyline and an empowering message. Featuring Taeyeon as the protagonist, she plays a waitress who hates her dreary life in a cafe and is constantly dreaming about frollicking freely in nature. She eventually quits her job at the cafe (in a totally bad-ass way) and gets to live out her dream.

Don’t be afraid to follow your heart and fulfill your dreams is the beautiful and inspirational message that Taeyeon is conveying through this video. As can be seen by the comments left on her video on Youtube, this message is encouraging and relatable to many viewers who feel stuck in their tiring daily lives. It is rare to see K-pop music videos these days that have such meaning and it is certainly refreshing.


Also on Kultscene: 8 Jessi Songs To Get You Ready For Her Los Angeles Show

Styling

Taeyeon wore a few outfits throughout this video and definitely looks gorgeous in her waitress uniform even though I think she had too much jewellry on. However, her styling when she was in the fields leaves much to be desired.

During scenes when Taeyeon is surrounded by nature, she sports a country-style white dress and a cute braided hairstyle, but the make-up splattered on her face does not suit her attire at all. The choice of the feather earring for these scenes was also a bit unfortunate because it kept flying up her face due to the strong winds.

taeyeon review 2

I love this look on Taeyeon though, she pulls off the girl-next-door vibe very well. It looks comfortable but still extremely glamorous on her with her flawless beauty.

Overall Thoughts

This was a good solo debut for Taeyeon and she certainly deserves the success she is getting from it right now. The song and video were not perfect but they undoubtedly brought out the right tone and message befitting the lyrics. She has set a high bar for her future releases and I cannot wait for her next comeback.

  • Taeyeon 'I'
4

Have you heard ‘I’? What do you think about it? 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.

Playlist Sunday: Outer Space

playlist sunday kpop outer spaceSept. 27 will have one of the most spectacular lunar eclipses in recent years in many parts of the world, so in honor of that, this week’s Playlist Sunday is outer space oriented. Living on Earth is all good and fun, but sometimes K-pop gets a little bit interstellar and out of this world. Some of KultScene’s writers picked their favorite astronomy-based songs including hits by Stellar, AKMU, EXO, and more. Whether you’re going to see tonights blood moon or not, take a listen to these extraterrestrial K-pop tunes.

Girl group Stellar debuted in 2011 with title track “Rocket Girl,” featuring Eric Mun of Shinhwa, who was previously the CEO of the company the girl group was signed to. In general, I’m not one to usually listen to girl groups since a majority of their songs are usually too bubbly for my own liking. But being that Eric Mun is my ultimate bias, I thought, “why not?” “Rocket Girl” was filled with auto tune, but it wasn’t as bothersome since the chorus was rather entrancing. One could probably tell without looking up the lyrics that the song is a bit on the cheesier side but mixed in with the catchy beat, “Rocket Girl” can surely put one in a good mood. Although the music video is a bit embarrassing to watch, it’s unique, a rare sight to see in an industry where people expect to see girl groups on extravagant sets and glamorous outfits. Eric’s rap was a bit random and totally unnecessary, but it adds a fun twist and will probably have you wanting to get on that “rocket space ship” with him. If you’re feeling a little down in the dumps and need a quick pick me up, take a listen and watch the music video for “Rocket Girl” — although your brain might be scrambled with a hundred different thoughts, at least you’ll feel better!

— Tam


Also on Kultscene: Playlist Sunday: Meaningful K-Rap

When this song was released, it was immediately touted as a Samsung advertisement because of how many times the word “Galaxy” was repeated. Sibling duo Akdong Musician (AKMU) debuted in 2014 with their album “Play” and this song caught my attention immediately. Yes, it was acoustic and adorable like the rest of their songs, but it had a great mix of lively and mellow melodies. It was a relatively short song compared to their other songs, but it was extremely catchy and I soon found myself singing along with it, especially it’s catchphrase, “Galaxy”.

— Anna

Whenever I look at the nighttime sky, I can’t help but think about how beautiful it is and that feeling was put to words in Super Junior’s “Stars Appear.” The building ballad is one of Super Junior’s best songs in the past few years, bringing together the members’ voices and beautiful lyrics in the best way possible. The lyrics talk about creating memories that will make “Stars Appear” in lovers’ eyes, comparing the brightness of love to the brightness of the nighttime sky. It sounds a bit cheesy as I’m writing this, but there are millions of stars in the world, each with their own spark and flame, and there is really nothing better than this comparison paired with the crooning, acoustic-heavy backing music.

— Tamar

With its late ‘90s, early ‘00s futuristic concept and sounds, “Galaxy Supernova” is hands down one of my favorite Girls’ Generation songs. Long forgotten are these types of songs in the anticipation of the new millennium, so of course I was ecstatic when the Girls’ came up with this cosmic concept that took us back to a time when we thought everything would be metallic and minimalistic by now. The song itself uses cheesy similes comparing their love interests to a supernova and them, the great SNSD, ruling the galaxy and being like comets and shooting stars. But as international fans, half of the greatness of the song is the overall packaging and not just the lyrics. So even though it’s cheesy, it’s a pop masterpiece.

— Alexis

It’s one thing when a song or music video is centered around a galactic space theme, but it’s another when the group itself is from a different planet… Or so the story goes. At the time when EXO debuted, we didn’t really question how laughable their EXO Planet lore is; we just ate it all up. But looking back at their music video for “History” now in 2015, it seems kinda dated and – have we used this word enough yet? – cheesy, even for a video trying to play off of the futuristic concept. The boys dance on a barren celestial body in full on harem pants and moon motifs, while the song references “this planet called earth” and the “sun that is great.” Essentially, they are made out to be like extraterrestrials who are preparing to rise up and do big things one day. But even if the members are embarrassed of their past images now, “History” and its iconic “pocket dance” choreography did do wonders for the group, paving the way for their future success.

— Shelley

What’s your favorite outer space K-pop song? 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.

August’s Best K-Pop B-Sides

August B-sides
As another month comes to an end we can safely clock August as another great month for K-pop. To celebrate I’m going to look back at some b-sides that might have unfortunately gone unnoticed. With another slew of high profile releases there’s plenty to discover. This month we have lots of retro goodness, with influences coming from all over the world giving a new lease of life to K-pop.

Primary feat Sunwoo Jung-A and Gaeko “Paranoia”

If there is one artist continually releasing great work this year it is Primary. He’s had songs out nearly every month since the start of the year and there has always been something interesting amongst them. These have culminated in the fantastic album “2” and my favourite from it “Paranoia”.

“Paranoia” is a wonderfully slow and restrained piece of trip hop. Primary has never been afraid to show off his parade of influences within the genres he has worked in. He invigorates these with a new modern life while never forgetting what made them special in the first place. This time he takes on that very British style of trip hop. The echoey drums recall Portishead and give the song its gloomy feeling. What really makes it though is Sunwoo Jung-A’s mournful voice and Gaeko’s energetic rap.They seem to be directly referencing the British artists of that time like Thom Yorke of Radiohead and rapper Tricky. It lends an authenticity but mostly makes the song work totally.


Also on KultScene: Sunday Playlist: K-Pop Beach Songs

B1A4 “You Are A Girl, I Am A Boy”

More 90s alternative influenced music here with B1A4’s “You Are A Girl, I Am A Boy”.

Okay that may be a bit of a stretch this time but it was the first thing that came into my head when I listened to this track. The reverb laden guitars immediately brought Sonic Youth to mind. This thought was quickly dispelled but that doesn’t lessen the effect of the guitar. It’s an entirely new sound to be found within K-pop and is why this song is on the list. This use of the live band sounds are what set apart B1A4 for me. Amongst many samey hip-hop influenced boy groups they stand out thanks to this and their distinctive voices.

SHINee “Chocolate”

Retro was certainly a major theme for august. SHINee as always delivered an amazing throwback with the whole of the “Married to the Music” album. Jonghyun’s effortlessly sexy “Chocolate” stands out.

“Chocolate” goes for retro synths in a big way. They sound almost 8-bit and hit with a strong but smooth force. There’s layers to them that feel almost physically tangible. The verses that change tempo and general intricacies of the song make it something more than your average album cut. It’s clinically sexy yet has delicate touches that elevate it above other sexy sounding songs.


Also on KultScene: June K-Pop B-Sides That Should’ve Been the Lead Title Track

Wonder Girls “One Black Night”

Speaking of retro, I don’t think any K-pop group has ever pulled it off as well as Wonder Girls have with “Reboot”. With that “Reboot” and “I Feel You” they have released probably the best album and song of the year all while also learning and playing instruments for it.

With an album this good it’s hard to pick just one b-side. So I’m just going with my mood right now which means “One Black Night”. Ever since I first listened to “Reboot” I felt like it was a soundtrack album to some amazing 80s movie that never existed. If so then “One Black Night” would play when the main character is at their lowest point so they go out to get totally wasted for one black night.

The song starts off slow with a plodding piano and stripped back drum beat. It recalls member Yenny’s solo work as HA:TFELT, mixing solemn piano melodies in the verse with crashing electronic sounds in the chorus. The emotions are also similar, ones of pent up angst finally being released in cathartic acts. In this case drinking and embracing.

Girls’ Generation “Bump It”

Girls’ Generation came back again before the summer officially ended with their album “Lion Heart” and there’s a lot to get stuck into. Most may have assumed that with a double single release there wouldn’t be much left of interest. They would be wrong.

Album closer “Bump It” is the highlight as it cleverly walks the line between the Girls’ Generation we know and love and the Girls’ Generation many want to exist. By that I mean it starts off like a fairly standard sweet ballad before turning urban pop at Tiffany’s request. With the singles being a great signifier of what Girls’ Generation can be, this is the perfect song to close out the album.

What it does really well is using both styles within the song. Once the ballad part at the start ends it would have been easy to leave out but the piano remains and reinvigorates the song at the chorus. Similarly towards the end when Taeyeon is about to begin her crooning, Sooyoung cuts in with a rap to make sure one style does not win over the other. Girls’ Generation are at their best whee unpredictable like this.

Is there any other August K-pop B-sides you loved? Share your picks 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.

Girls’ Generation’s “Lion Heart” and “You Think” Song Review

girls_generation_lionheart_album_650b
I don’t know if it’s just me but Girls’ Generation seem to have been slightly forgotten this year. Maybe off the back of Jessica leaving and other controversies people don’t see them as the sweetest girls in Korea anymore. Maybe people are just bored of them being sweet. This is all despite releasing some great music. “Party” was underrated, lots of fun and totally suited to the summer. “Check” is their sexiest song to date, yet no one took notice of it. Even generic banger “Catch Me If You Can” was revitalized by the live stages. They are still successful of course, but the excitement for new material from them is slowly dying.

The release of “Lion Heart” and “You Think” comes a pivotal moment then. It’s a statement of intent as to who these girls, or more accurately women, are. It’s an answer to calls for them to grow up. I, for one, am still excited about what they can still do.

Songs

“Lion Heart” takes a straightforward structure to work in and clutters it with many elements. Girls’ Generation can pull off almost any type of song you throw at them, and this is no different. It is perfectly pop and sweet while still maintaining some more difficult aspects.

The song is built on a simple but weighty guitar riff. It grounds the song in its retro settings and allows it move around lots of vocals without disrupting the rhythm. Instead of the traditional drumbeat for the verse, “Lion Heart” has hand claps and finger snaps which are pushed as one of the loudest elements. They resonate really well giving the song a strong acoustic sound. Musically, the song stays quite simple throughout allowing the vocals to really shine.


 Also on KultScene: How To Get Girls’ Generation’s “Party” Music Video Summer Looks

If I were to ever have anything bad to say about Girls’ Generation it would be that their vocals are not that diverse. They have never really had a song to burst out of their comfort zone, continually relying on Taeyeon, Tiffany, Seohyun, and Jessica, when she was still around. “Lion Heart” completely dispels those worries. They don’t just push their ranges as far as they can though, the song is more clever than that.

By using only Taetiseo and Yuri in the chorus, the producers make sure that it always bursts with as much life as possible. The transition from verse to chorus creeps up on you and makes the hook even more effective. It’s a genuine outpouring of joy that makes me smile every time. It gets even better though, as the post chorus brings in the a cappella moments which will become vital to the song. These moments are a rare use of the collective voice in K-pop, where we are used to one dominant voice even in choruses. They give a great sense of unity and depth to a song.

The bridge, as well, uses their voices well as members swap out quickly. Hyoyeon’s deeper kind of rap contrasts especially well against Seohyun’s high pitched part. There’s a lot going on here, but never goes off the rails thanks to the quality of vocals. It also allows the chorus to remain the climax of the song as the bridge is more of a comedown as it leads into the most beautiful a cappella part of the song to lead us out.


 Also on KultScene: Which ‘Show Me the Money 4’ Team Do You Belong In? [QUIZ]

What was that about vocals? “You Think” goes hard too.

“You Think” marks Girls’ Generation’s first full foray into the ever popular hip-pop territory. Like “Lion Heart,” it has hand clap beats except this time in the trap sense. Musically, it’s actually quite simple with these beats taking up most of the runtime. Horns come in every now and then, but there’s little deviation. This is a technique rappers have been using since they started, taking out the middle melody of a song to replace with their raps. Here, it’s to let the vocals of the girls shine once again.

This is why Yoona, Sooyoung, Hyoyeon and, Yuri barely get a look in. It’s one of those times where unequal line distribution is important for the song. In place of them, Tiffany, Seohyun, Taeyeon and, Sunny wail and shout in all manner of ways. Sunny especially surprises with a great energy to her voice, she sounds genuinely angry at the silly boys she’s singing about. It’s a great display of talent but doesn’t save the song. Everything in it works but still, it doesn’t get past being generic. It’s no better than the equally safe “Catch Me If You Can,” but people will like it more because of the bells and whistles.

Women’s Generation

What all this really says to me is that Girls’ Generation still have a lot to offer. They are still in the process of becoming women and it can be seen in their music. These last three releases have shown a wide variety of sounds and looks. They have done this while always sticking to what made them the great group they are today. They are still the sweet, feminine girls we know from “Gee” yet they can be sexy, classy and, fierce too. Girls’ Generation are exploring what is to be a woman performer.

This is seen not only in the visuals but the lyrics too. “Lion Heart” is about a girl who is so obsessed with a guy that doesn’t notice her. “You Think” is about a girl who has had a boy obsessed with them and the girl knows she’s too good for him. Obsession works both ways. Girls’ Generation are seeing things from different sides and refuse to come down one side. They will not be pinned down.

Overall

These two songs show the girls have still got it. You have absolutely no reason to lose interest in Girls’ Generation. More than anything else the girls have matured vocally in impressive ways. With both songs we get belters and interesting new techniques.

As for the songs themselves, I prefer “Lion Heart” over “You Think”. While tonally completely different, they are similar in structure. “Lion Heart” wins out here thanks to its wonderful a cappella. Most of all, I continue to be excited for what Girls’ Generation can produce in the future and I hope they can continue to mature and show us even more new sides to their ever growing personalities.

What do you make of SNSD’s new songs? What kind of song would you like to see them perform in the future? Share your picks 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.

KCON 2015 NY’s M! Countdown Concert Recap

Courtesy of CJ E&M America

Courtesy of CJ E&M America

This year’s KCON might have been the best one to date for American K-pop fans as they learned that not only would the annual event in Los Angeles be expanding into a three day experience and moving into the legendary Staples Center, but that it would also become bi-coastal. For the first time in its four year history, East Coast K-pop fans could finally rejoice over the fact that they would not have to fly out over to California just to see their favorite acts since the con would be bringing their M! Countdown concerts to the just-as-legendary Prudential Center in NY’s metropolitan area. This didn’t change the fact that some die-hard fans still attended both events, though.

Being the forerunner to anything carries a lot of weight and responsibility to set the standard for the following years, which is why KCON NY saw less acts than its LA counterpart on August 8th. It took four years for KCON LA to grow to where it is, so the hope is that the East Coast con will also continually grow. Planning for KCON NY could have been better as attendees saw repeats in acts from the previous years as well, though none of that really mattered once the crowd of 17,000 KCON-goers started trickling in through the metaphorical gates. With this particular event, KCON proved that groups like Teen Top still got it, while confirming the popularity of relatively newer groups such as VIXX. And like the fanboy turnout at KCON LA, KCON NY too observed a very noticeable testosterone-heavy presence for the alluring and sexy Girls’ Generation and AOA.


 Also on Kultscene: Inside KCON NY 2015

But before we get to the main attraction, we have to give a warm mention to the other performers of the night. Prior to the concert’s official commencement, attendees were treated to a performance from the winners of the K-Pop World Festival in New York, The Class. Based in NY’s own Washington Heights, the group danced to VIXX’s “Hyde,” giving the original pioneers a run for their money later that evening. Popular Youtuber Jun Sung Ahn, who is better known by his social media handle JuNCurryAhn and who also attended KCON LA the week before, followed up with a morose cover of BIGBANG’s “Loser” on his trademark violin. It’s not really a song to dance to, yet that did not stop some from getting up from their seats to groove along to the tune.

INTRO NY (5)

Courtesy of CJ E&M America

Courtesy of CJ E&M America

Courtesy of CJ E&M America

After much teasing and prolonging on the host’s part, Girls’ Generation’s Tiffany finally made her grand entrance via stage lift to introduce KCON. Considering how she was the only native English speaker out of the four groups due to perform, it was really no surprise the organizers would select her to act as MC. Regardless, her appearance and the positive reception it elicited from the crowd indicated that the show was finally on the road.

VIXX – The Kickoff or the Grand Finale?

Going in order of seniority and following a boy-girl-boy-girl pattern, VIXX was the obvious choice as the opening act. Based on the way they put on a performance, however, they might as well have been the closer. The night started off with the boys lined up in a row, standing chicly until the spotlight shone on each individual member. With all eyes on them, they took turns to break out in powerful dance as the screens overheard flashed their names. This transitioned fabulously into their song, “Error,” which requires the same sobriety that was seen in their introduction. “Error” really got the crowd riled up, and this enthusiasm was equally seen throughout their next two performances for “On and On” and “Eternity.”

VIXX NY (4)

Courtesy of CJ E&M America

With their darker songs out of the way, this left room for some of their more lighthearted songs, so what else but the loveable “G.R.8.U” and their latest release “Love Equation?” Member Leo lived up to his title as main vocalist in the former song time and time again as he belted those high notes, filling up the whole of the indoor venue, and the group took no breaks as they delved right into the latter song. Though the single was released earlier this year and went by largely unnoticed, the group was able to change that with their aegyo (cute display of affection) that made all the fangirls in the building swoon. The high-spirited nature of the song allowed the members to wing their performance, which inevitably meant running around on stage (like the goofballs that they are) and getting closer to the audiences. At the climax of the song, the center was nothing but a rainstorm of streamers and screams, which just goes to show that this is one song that is better live. Whoever decided on ending their set list with “Love Equation” definitely deserves a golden medal.

VIXX NY (9)

Courtesy of CJ E&M America

AOA as The Chaser

Immediately after VIXX had exited the stage, the members of AOA strutted confidently to own the stage for the next half hour. The anthem of the summer, “Heart Attack,” heralded in the group’s first performance in the States (okay, so technically the first performance was at KCON 2015 LA but close enough…), where the girls delivered harmless girly fun. And just like their stage at KCON LA, they also revealed their provocative side in hits like “Like a Cat” and “Confused.” As expected, the fan boys chose these moments to declare their undying love for the members and were very on point with the fan chants.

AOA NY (1 (2)

Courtesy of CJ E&M America

They continued their sensual concepts with other favorites, such as the booty-shaking “Short Hair” and the sultry “Miniskirt.” While AOA debuted the same year as VIXX, the girls stood out more as the supporting act due to a lack of variety in their songs. No fancy celebratory streamers here. Nevertheless, the girls earns props for making sensual look so natural, especially with their closing song “Miniskirt,” in which sub-vocalist Hyejeong got down low – and I mean real low – on the stage floor. With the flawless execution of each song that left audiences in an uproar that night, AOA is certainly the next hot girl group to watch out for. Girls’ Generation, y’all better watch yo backs.

AOA NY (1 (9)

Courtesy of CJ E&M America

Teen Top is the Dark Horse of Live K-Pop

When you are getting goose bumps all over your body during a concert, you know it’s good. And when it’s during a slow song, you know that’s even better. The “M! Countdown” concert in NY has been an exciting and hot-blooded one thus far, but Teen Top was able to extinguish those flames with the mellow performance for “5 Seasons,” straight off of their most recent album. With such as easy-going song, the members kicked it back on the stage’s steps and swayed their bodies in time to the guitar strums of the instrumentals. It would only make sense that the subsequent performance would be for another track fresh off of their latest album, which is exactly what they did with “Ah-ah.”

TEENTOP NY (2)

Courtesy of CJ E&M America

After their member introduction, where lead rapper L.Joe showed off his limited English from his five years living in the States, the group threw it back to their Brave Brothers collaboration days with “To You” and “Miss Right.” Other than the upbeat melodies, the beauty behind Teen Top’s songs that always make for a captivating live performance lies in their intricate choreography. Despite the fancy footwork that the group is known for, the moves for the upper half of the body are rather straightforward, which is why many fans in the audience were able to follow along easily in their seats. Indeed, “Miss Right” had the fans shaking their hands in the air, engaging hundreds of attendees with the idols in this one simple gesture.

The group concluded with “Rocking,” which could not have been a wiser choice, seeing as how this was the song that started their dance image and is the closest thing they have to a club banger. The free step may look impressive done behind the computer screen, but done live? That’s next level. The mix of hard synths, adrenaline, and their go for broke attitude had everyone singing along to the addictive “jangnan anieyo” (”it’s not a joke”) hook and hollering for more. It also helped that L.Joe is an insane mood-maker, what with his repeated ad-libs. Teen Top may not belong to any big name entertainment company or have the largest fanbase, but they sure know what it means to have a good time. Maybe it’s time to book them again for KCON 2016 for the fourth consecutive year.

TEENTOP NY (28)

Courtesy of CJ E&M America


Also on Kultscene: Breaking Down KCON ’15 LA’s Red Carpet Looks

When in New York, Sing a Song About It

While Girls’ Generation were preparing for their performances, and in order to hype up the girls who were headlining the concert, the special stages that have always been critical to the “M! Countdown” concerts were scheduled right after Teen Top. Unfortunately, SONEs (Girls’ Generation’s official fandom) would have to wait just a little bit longer before they get to see their eight angels. Because the annual event was also held in New York this year (to be precise, it took place in New Jersey but how many songs about the Garden State can you list off of the top of your head?), AOA’s Yuna, Hyejeong, and ChoA did the East Coast proud by bringing a strong yet abbreviated rendition of Beyonce’s and Jay Z’s “Empire State of Mind” to the table.

Courtesy of CJ E&M America

Courtesy of CJ E&M America

Teen Top’s Niel and Chunji collaborated on a duet as well, but since English is not exactly their forte, they opted for the safe, slow-tempo “When I First Kissed You” by Extreme. The emotional song left audiences in as much of a hush it was ever going to be that evening.

22 KCON 2015 NY [CONCERT SPECIAL STAGE]

Courtesy of CJ E&M America

Girls’ Generation Shuts Down the Show

They’re the poster child of girl groups, at least in our generation. And in a sea of pink that illuminated the arena here and there, it’s clear who many were here for. With eight years of experience under their belt, it’s really no wonder that Girls’ Generation was saved for last. When the group finally emerged in their (American) patriotic sequined colors, the crowd went wild, and when they opened with “Catch Me If You Can,” the song that marked their comeback as eight members, the crowd went berserk. In a similar vein of recent songs, they followed up with “Check,” the smooth RnB number that demonstrated a more mature side of the girls. They’ve come a long way since their flight attendants and jegi-kicking (shuttlecock-kicking) days, but if their next song, “Genie,” is any indication of anything, it’s that they also have not forgotten their roots. And of course, what is Girls’ Generation without “Gee,” the hit that practically created them? It’s a requisite in every Girls’ Generation set list and if it were not for the fact that the girls had recently comeback with a new single, it would’ve been the cincher like it was in the previous year to an amazing KCON.

Girls generation (18)

Courtesy of CJ E&M America

But they did comeback with “Party” last month, so naturally it was the closer of the night. They were all smiles as they had the honor of concluding the first ever KCON NY on a lively note. Concert-goers expected the burst of yellow streamers that permeated through the air, yet we were still caught off guard when it happened after leader Taeyeon hit the intense notes during bridge. And we all still cheered like mad.

23 KCON 2015 NY [CONCERT GIRLS GENERATION]

Courtesy of CJ E&M America

Just like that, KCON 15 NY came to an end. As the first installment on the East Coast, there were some things this “M! Countdown” concert did right that should continue in the ones to come, such as the proportionate distribution of set times in spite of seniority and the high security. But then there are other things the concert could have improved upon, including more opportunities for a solo/sub-unit stage and more line-ups. With room to grow, fans can only anticipate for an even bigger and better KCON 16 NY.

Check out more pictures from the night:

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What’s your favorite KCON artist? Let us know 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.

Fantasy Vs. Reality Performances To See At KCON NY 2015

VIXX KCON NY Read more

How To Get Girls’ Generation’s “Party” Music Video Summer Looks

GG BEACH LOOKS PARTY FEATURED

Summer is here and it’s time to go out to your favorite vacation spot, to the beach, hit those endless pool parties and barbecues with your friends, and have the best time of your life. Summer is the time when you can look effortlessly chic with your fashion and have fun with bold colors and patterns and cool statement pieces. Girls’ Generation just released their new music video for “Party” embodying just that, with the girls showing different looks for this summer. And because who wouldn’t want to look as fresh as them, here’s how to get the Girls’ Generation’s “Party” looks.

Photo via SM Entertainment

Photo via SM Entertainment

Finding the right bikini can be difficult. But when you find the one that you fell in love with, you will feel like a superstar on the beach or the pool. There are many retailers and online stores out there with great swimwear, like Forever 21, Nasty Gal, Missguided, YESSTYLE, and many others, to find tropical and edgy bikinis to mimic Girls’ Generation’s pool and beach looks. In the video, the girls wore different styles, from high-waisted bottoms to ruffle tops, so you can pick the one that best suits you. You can go a little bit more edgy and sexy like Sunny and Hyoyeon with a high waisted bottom and wired cup top. Or be a little bit more feminine and fun with ruffles and tropical motives like the other girls did.

Photo via SM Entertainment

Photo via SM Entertainment


Also on KultScene: Summer 2015 K-Pop Fashion Trends

Crochet is one of the hottest trends for this summer, and they can double as bikini cover ups or as a cute breezy top for this hot season. Wear your bikini under your favorite crochet dress or with a beautiful crochet top and compliment it with high waisted denim shorts, preferably ripped to give you an edgier vibe that will contrast very well with the crochet top of your choice. If you are lucky enough, you could try to find a beautiful crochet maxi dress like the one that Seohyun is wearing on the music video.

Photo via SM Entertainment

Photo via SM Entertainment

As far as accessories go, you can’t go wrong with tropical or flower necklaces. There are beautiful options for necklaces that will add that pop of shine and color to your outfit. In the music video the girls wear a lot of flowers not only on their necklaces, but on their hair. If you are going to do a flower crown, make sure it’s subtle and that it looks as if you grabbed some small flowers from the garden and put them very delicately in to your hair. Big Lana Del Rey flower crowns are a no for this season, but smaller flower crowns are a great accent to your prefered hairstyle.

Photo via SM Entertainment

Photo via SM Entertainment

Speaking of hairstyles, did you notice that all the girls sported a beautiful textured beach hair? It varied from loose waves to beautiful beach braids. Taeyon’s hair was my favorite, with that strawberry blonde shade and pink ombre, which can be easily imitated. If you have lighter hair, color hair chalk will look great, but if your hair is on the darker side, colored hair spray will do the trick. To get that beach texture, a texturizing spray will work the best. One of the best products to get those beachy waves are the Not Your Mother’s Beach Babe series, which are made with sea salt and sea kelp. Just spray it after you dry your hair and run your fingers through your hair to get the desired texture. If you can’t get a hold of any of those products, towel dry your hair making sure it still has some moisture and squeeze your hair with your fingers in an up and down motion while you dry your hair with a hair dryer. This will create natural waves but make sure to add some hairspray if you hair is naturally straight.

Photo via SM Entertainment

Photo via SM Entertainment


Also on KultScene: SM Entertainment Goes Disney

For a summer night party, the girls opted for shiny sequin outfits. The looks were very simple, but the sequin really pops and adds a lot of fun to the outfit. You can choose from a beautiful sequin dress and pair it with your favorite heels, or if you want to be super comfortable, take a look at Hyoyeon with amazing sequin boyfriend jeans and crop top. Not only does she look edgy, but she looks amazing and suits her style really well.

Photo via SM Entertainment

Photo via SM Entertainment

There are many trends that are in for this summer, and Girls’ Generation’s stylist really nailed it for this music video. Usually, the girls are in coordinated uniforms that seem to come out of outer space or an airline. This time, the girls were styled very naturally with trendy clothes for the summer, which makes the girls very approachable.

Take a look at the items below, they are the perfect match to any of the looks in the music video.





Will you be sporting any of these looks for this summer? 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.

Meet iDR, The Man Behind EXO’s “Love Me Right” And Other Upcoming Songs From SM Entertainment [INTERVIEW PART 2]

iDR discusses EXO's "Love Me Right" with KultScene

Producer, DJ, and musician iDR spoke to KultScene about becoming a producer in the K-pop world in the first part of our interview. iDR also spoke to KultScene about working with SM Entertainment, including upcoming releases from top girl group Girls’ Generation, details about the thought process behind EXO’s latest song, and some insight into an upcoming group.

EXO’s June release “Love Me Right,” the title song on the repackage, or re-release, of the idol group’s May album “EXODUS,” is an upbeat song. It’s also iDR’s first single with the widely popular boy band EXO, and one filled with a lot of subtle meaning even though it wasn’t initially planned for EXO. “I wasn’t aiming for EXO when I was writing it because it’s more of an uppity, happy, ‘let’s go, we’re up’ song and their [EXO] stuff is what I thought of as a little more aggressive.”


Also on KultScene: EXO’s ‘Exodus’ Teasers Herald The Group’s Rebirth

In the past, iDR’s written other songs for EXO, such as “Peter Pan” and “The Winter’s Tale,” but this is his first title track for the group. Their previous singles like “Growl” and “Overdose” were hugely popular across Asia and EXO is one of the world’s most popular boy bands. But in 2014, former members Kris (Wu Yi Fan) and Luhan left EXO to focus on personal careers in China, and a third member, Tao, appears to have followed the same path in 2015. When iDR was asked to write a song, he thought that the happy, very un-EXO sounding song would be perfect.

“The thing is, and I’m sure a lot of people realize, they [EXO] have gone through a lot of drama, lost a few members, and I think, I felt and the SM staff felt, that they needed something that isn’t such a dark and aggressive track. Something that’s upbeat and happy will put a spin on the whole thing and allow them to say, ‘Hey. We’re good, we’re cool, we’re moving on, and there’s nothing to be sad or upset about. Let’s keep it up, let’s keep it moving.’ And when we came up with that feeling and that concept, that track seemed to fit, and boom! We kind of knew as soon as we had it with the A&R’s input that this would be, if not the single, one of the single’s on their [repackage] album. I’m really happy that it turned out that way too.”


Also on KultScene: 4 Ways to Promote a K-pop Trainee

Even though “Love Me Right” was a new style of song for EXO to promote as a single, the track did well in Korea. But nothing is certain, and iDR was excited to see how well the song, and style, did. “It was one of those ‘will it really happen?’ When it [“Love Me Right”] came out, I saw the video and heard the final mix and mastered version, and I was kind of blown away. You know, there’s always that little inkling inside that says ‘I feel like this is the one,’ and I had that feeling for sure. I didn’t really speak about it until this minute. I had the feeling, and I was hoping that it would turn out this way.”

Not only was “Love Me Right” successful, it helped EXO achieved multiple milestones, including becoming the first K-pop male group in many years to sell over one million albums.

Along with working with EXO, iDR has had experience working with other SM Entertainment acts. His first K-pop song ever was Super Junior’s “No Other,” and now he’s working on songs for Girls’ Generation and SM Entertainment’s next male idol group.

When asked if he could say anything else about the upcoming songs, iDR admitted that everything is under tight wraps. “I will say that the rookie group is going to be something SM fans haven’t seen before, a new twist on a group, not the typical group that they [SM Entertainment] would put out. [And] The Girls’ Generation project is also something they are really excited about. Expect to hear a mature, seasoned Girls’ Generation with their signature spunk and flare.”

Check out the first half of our exclusive interview with iDR right HERE.

What do you think about what iDR’s shared? Let us know 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.

Fantasy Vs. Reality Performances To See At KCON 2015

소녀시대 (7)

Just about every K-pop fan living in the United States has been waiting anxiously to find out who will be heading to KCON 2015, held this year for the first time on both sides of the continental U.S. Now that we know a few more acts, here’s KultScene’s second annual fantasy versus reality playlist for KCON.
The convention heads to Los Angeles’ Staples Center on July 31-August 2 and Newark’s Prudential Stadium on August 8. KCON Los Angeles will feature Super Junior, Shinhwa, SISTAR, Got7, Roy Kim, Block B, and AOA, while KCON NY, held in New Jersey, is in its inaugural year and will star Girls’ Generation and VIXX.

1. Super Junior
Fantasy: “Can You Feel It?” is a song by Super Junior D & E (Donghae and Eunhyuk,) which is technically just a subunit of the group, but it’s honestly one of the most fun songs from 2015 and it wouldn’t be difficult for the group to sing together. A lot of fans may not know the dance, but if Super Junior wants to get the place moving, a quick lesson will get everyone at the Staples Center standing up and flailing their hands all over the place. We wouldn’t be adverse to oldies like “Miracle” either.


Reality: “Mamacita” is super Junior’s latest title song, so unless the group throws a curve ball and announces a comeback before they come stateside, it’s a safe bet to say that everybody at KCON LA will be shouting “HEY! Mamacita” by the end of the night.
Also Expect: “Sorry Sorry” and “This Is Love”


2. Shinhwa
Fantasy: “Eusha! Eusha!” is old fashioned, but any old school fan of Shinhwa will want the group to play some of their iconic songs. We’d also kill for “Wild Eyes,” or a newer song that we at KultScene personally love, “On The Road.”


Reality: “Sniper” is Shinhwa’s most recent song and is absolutely amazing, so we won’t mind that they’ll perform it. They may perform “T.O.P,” one of Shinhwa’s most popular songs ever, but due to the age of many of the fans, the group may pick to some of the newer, arguably safer, sexy songs.
Also Expect: “Venus” and “This Love”


Also on KultScene: Fantasy Vs. Reality: Performances at KCON 2014

3. Roy Kim
Fantasy: A new English song. Yes, it may be asking too much, but Roy Kim is talented and spends part of the year in the United States at Georgetown. So it wouldn’t be such a stretch for him to debut a brand new song at KCON, like the ones that helped Roy Kim achieve success as a singer.


Reality: “Home,” there’s no question about it. Roy Kim will definitely sing this beautiful song about the feelings of being home. Hopefully he’ll bring the dog from the music video.
Also Expect: “Love Love Love” and “Spring Spring Spring”


4. SISTAR
Fantasy: While it was popular in 2014, it’s unlikely that SISTAR will perform “I Swear,” since “Touch My Body” was a much more popular song. If they do, it will be a nice chance to hear them focusing on their vocals more than some of their more sultry dance tracks.


Reality: We’ll likely see a performance of SISTAR’s yet-to-be-released summer track. The girl group is making a comeback in June.
Also Expect: “Alone” and “Touch My Body”


5. AOA
Fantasy: It would be absolutely fantastic if AOA performed “Get Out.” The girl group used to perform as a band, and have done so occasionally, but it’s unlikely that we’ll see a band performance from them. We’d also love to see “Confused” performed.

Reality: Since hitting success, AOA has a lot of successful songs (and a new song coming out so we’ll see that,) but nothing is as defining for the group as “Like A Cat,” their sexy, dark song. Jimin may also perform a solo song.
Also Expect: “Short Hair” and “Miniskirt”


Also on KultScene: KCON 2014 Day 1: M! Countdown 2 Nights In L.A.

6. VIXX
Fantasy: Let’s see VIXX perform “Love Equation.” It’s a remake of R.ef’s song from the 1990’s, but this 2015 release went under the radar and is too cute to be ignored. “G.R.8.U” would also be a nice way to lighten up the stage from some of VIXX’s darker songs.


Reality:Whatever VIXX performs will be good and be filled with an interesting concept.The group will definitely perform “Error,” one of their most dynamic songs to date.
Also Expect: “Eternity” and “Voodoo Doll”

7. Block B
Fantasy: “Conduct For Zero” is another song by a subgroup that we love. Block B’s Bastarz subgroup is just three members, but we’d be fine if Block B’s other members left the stage to see the trio perform this dynamic song. And if they refuse to perform a song by a subgroup, Block B should attempt to silence the Staples Center by performing their vocally impressive song, “Be The Light.”

And can Zico please perform at least one solo song?


Reality: “Her” is a slightly psychotic, fun to dance to song and the audience at KCON LA had better join in on clapping along with Block B’s song.
Also Expect: “Jackpot” and “Very Good.”


8. Got7
Fantasy: Got7 is still a new group and a lot of their lesser known songs deserve some love. If the seven member group performs “I Like You” or “Gimme,” the audience at KCON may be surprised, but we’ll be pleased.


Reality: There’s no doubt that Got7 will perform “Stop Stop It.” The group is widely popular among American fans, so expect many people to be singing along.
Also Expect: “Girls Girls Girls” and “A”

9. Girls’ Generation
Fantasy: “I Got A Boy,” because they didn’t perform it at KCON LA last year and we still can’t get over that.


Reality: Their brand new song that we’re eagerly waiting for, and perhaps a few new songs off of their new album. And “Gee.” Because they wouldn’t be Girls’ Generation if not for “Gee”
Also Expect: “Catch Me If You Can” and “Mr. Mr.”


What songs do you want to see performed at either KCON this summer? 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. Read more