K-Pop Unmuted: KCON & Produce 101 Releases

In the 22nd episode of of KultScene’s K-pop Unmuted, Stephen Knight, Alexis Hodoyan, and Tamar Herman discuss what it was like being backstage at KCON 2017 LA and New York, and how Produce 101 is shaping K-pop right now. We also discussed new music, including Henry Lau’s sentimental “That One,” Sunmi’s groundbreaking “Gashina,” and HyunA’s age-defying “Bebe.”

You can listen to this episode, and previous ones, of KultScene’s K-Pop Unmuted on Soundcloud, iTunes, Google Play Music, and Stitcher.

Let us know what you think of K-pop in July and KultScene’s K-pop Unmuted 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 2016 NY’s M! Countdown Day 1 Concert Recap

Courtesy of CJ E&M

Courtesy of CJ E&M

It hasn’t even been a year yet but it’s already that time when all things Hallyu are celebrated in one convenient location here in the States. After its first installment last August, KCON returned back again to the East Coast, bringing its M! Countdown concerts to the famous Prudential Center in the NY’s metropolitan area. This time, not only did the convention grow from being a one day event to a two day event, spanning from June 24 to June 25, but KCON 2016 also saw a lot of new faces and talents. KCON 2015 NY felt like a pilot episode in comparison.

On Day 1 of KCON 2016 NY alone, popular rookie group Seventeen met senior boy group BTOB at both their first KCON experience. Soloist Ailee drew both female and male Korean pop fans in throngs, while Amoeba Culture’s Crush and Dynamic Duo made their second KCON appearance and welcomed Korean hip-hop philes to the 18,000+ seat venue. The roster this year was a significant upgrade from last year, which haphazardly seemed to throw together a bunch of repeated acts from previous cons. What’s more, the lineup for KCON 2016 offered more diversity, reflecting the careful planning that went into maximizing concert turnout (as of now, the attendance is still TBA).

But the music is just one aspect of Hallyu, with K-Drama as another. A new addition to KCON 2016 NY was the special guests, which included idol actor Yim Siwan (“Triangle,” “Misaeng”) and actress Park Bo Young (“A Werewolf Boy,” “Oh My Ghostess”). Together, the two stopped by the South Korean entertainment network tvN booth during the convention and acted as special MC’s for a segment of the night, giving the regular hosts a break.

Courtesy of CJ E&M

Courtesy of CJ E&M

As per usual, the MC’s were selected from the pool of performers. Ailee, a native English speaker slated to perform during the first night, was an obvious pick. As the she ascended from the stage lift, however, the fans cheered doubly for not only her but also for co-host, Rap Monster from BTS, who made an early appearance ahead of his scheduled Day 2 performance (in hindsight, the two also served as MC’s for KCON Abu Dhabi back in March so perhaps it was my bad for not seeing it coming). While introducing the event in both Korean and English, the bilingual duo quickly became half the attraction with their charming chemistry. And with their rallying cry “Let’s KCON! Let’s M! Countdown,” the other half was shortly set in motion as well

Rookie King Seventeen Makes Their KCON Debut

Emerging out of 2015 as one of the hottest rookie groups, Seventeen didn’t fail to deliver a remarkable performance. Under the dim lights, a VCR of the members dancing to the intro song “Shining Diamond” segued into the real deal. A chorus of screams at the appearance of 12 (rapper Wonwoo is sitting out of promotional activities at the moment due to health problems) half clothed in black, the other in white, indicated that the show was finally underway. They wasted no time as they dove right into their latest hit “Pretty U,” blithely working a couch into their choreography in front of a color pop of city streets backdrop. They really set the standard for the following track, the EDM-trap mix “Chuck,” which varied stylistically from the musical-esque number from before, but still sustained the same austerity of in-sync choreography.

Also on Kultscene: KCON 2015 NY’s M! Countdown Concert Recap

To finish off their half-hour set, the boys threw it back to the classics that shot them to where they are now (though would it be much of a throwback if it was only to last year?). Starting with “Mansae,” the audience transformed into a sea of arms swaying to the beat of the “mansae,” the point choreo that the members took time out to teach beforehand. It’s always a welcome sight to see the union of fans and artist, even if it’s just in such a simple gesture as waving an arm. Even in “Adore U,” which marked the end of their set, there’s that familiar point dance – a literal point dance – during the hook that’s easy enough for even the average caveman to follow. When they are on stage, Seventeen just exuberates overflowing youth and spryness. The only drawback to this, however, is because they are still maturing as a group, they are still stuck playing by the books, which means they couldn’t make full use of the stage that was given to them. A forgiving qualm, though, for the group with the insane vocals and an entertaining live show to boot.

Crush Gives New Meaning to One Man Show

Being a soloist on a stage of such a grand scale is always going to be nerve wracking. Projection becomes all the more important, and hyping the audience up requires extra effort. Fortunately for Crush, he’s got that covered, and all in just a-less-than-usual three songs too. No introductions were needed here for the R&B singer who went straight into his 2014 slow jam “Sometimes” as soon as the music cued him to the stage. From start to finish, he single-handedly turned the M! Countdown concert into a lounge party, belting out a string of long notes and ad libs to a round of cheers in the process. Besides his interesting Canadian Tuxedo x French beret collaboration that he donned – which must be a fashion faux pas in at least ten different cultures – the guy really did no wrong.

Courtesy of CJ E&M

Courtesy of CJ E&M

“Sometimes” was only warm-up for what’s to come. The palm leaves that decorated the LCD displays behind him were very appropriate for the summer vibe-y single “Oasis.” Crush even revealed his knack for rap when covering for an absent Zico in his “It G-Ma”-styled verse, during which he doused crowds with bottled water while jumping around on the extended stage. By this time, the crowd was already so amped up that his request for the audience to put their hands up seemed superfluous. This revelry continued well into “Hug Me,” which featured help this time from Dynamic Duo’s Gaeko, and even more of a water show. Things were only now just getting heated.

Queen Ailee Makes Her Return Home

Ailee’s just one of those artists where even if you are not a fan, you are a fan. Her vocal prowess cannot be denied, and she was able to demonstrate it once again during an incident that happened while she was performing her routine to “Mind Your Own Business.” About halfway through the song, a technical malfunction caused the backing track to stop, leaving a visibly rattled Ailee to finish her verse acapella. Audiences applauded her diplomacy, even when she stepped backstage to resolve the issue (one concert go-er in my section made the snide remark that someone was getting fired that night) and when she came back for her second take.

Courtesy of CJ E&M

Courtesy of CJ E&M

“This has never happened to me before,” the New Jersey native says before making light of the situation and viewing the glitch as a welcome home gift. One thing remains certain, and it’s that we can at least count on Ailee to provide fans with honest stages, which is something that cannot be said about all idols in the K-pop industry.

After going through both break-up power anthems “Don’t Touch Me” and “I Will Show You,” the diva also disclosed how nervous she was to perform that night (“I’ve never been nervous before, not even my debut performance, not even my first solo concert”) in front of all her friends and family for the first time, all the while holding back tears. The sincerity of her words compounded by the overall pathos of her homecoming were probably what compelled audiences to stand for her closing song “U & I.” Fans could not even be pressed that she did not perform “Q&A” with Seventeen like some thought she would. Cute as it may have been, this was all about her.

BTOB Did That!

Ever since their first music show win with “It’s Okay,” BTOB has swapped out their charismatic boy band image for something more softcore, which has still been working out in their favor. Presented by an enchanted forest visual display and a LCD light show that signaled the coming in of the members clad in rose quartz suits, they opened with the ballad “Remember That,” riding on the same success the aforementioned “It’s Okay” amassed for them. Rappers Minhyuk and Ilhoon still served with their subdued raps, while the vocalists never once faltered in their department.

Courtesy of CJ E&M

Courtesy of CJ E&M

The group also filled their slots with their lesser known singles, such as “All Wolves Except Me” and “Beep Beep,” the former a jazzy swing track bursting with all kinds of brassy sounds and the latter a similar funky saxophone-centric piece that seem more in line with their personalities. The youngest member Sungjae even worked in some aegyo (a cute display of affection), sneaking a quick “bbyu” before the lights lowered, causing fans to giggle.

Personally, the main highlight of their stage wasn’t even their live performances off of their own discography, but their impromptu rendition of One Direction’s “History.” As if he was not already savvy in the art of rap, main rapper Ilhoon wowed the audience with his overwhelming high notes. Sometimes it is actually stressful how underrated this group is, but hopefully KCON bringing them out for the first time will lead to future invites and more recognition.

If You Didn’t Stan Seventeen Already…

…Then you probably did after seeing their special stage. Part of the appeal of KCON’s “M! Countdown” concerts are their exclusive performances in which the acts cover the hits of others or collaborate together to produce something greater than the sum of their parts. This year, in a phenomenal medley Seventeen returned back to the stage with a cover of After School’s “Bang,” the bop that made being in a marching band cool again. They even looked the part in their ornamental navy military jackets topped with epaulettes, cheering “S-V-T” with Pledis pride. This transitioned smoothly into a modern, more synth-y (if that’s even possible) version of Super Junior’s “Sorry Sorry.” It may not be the first time the group has shown us their spin on the iconic dance (check out their “Weekly Idol” appearances), but it’s exciting nevertheless seeing it done on American soil. To wrap it all up, Seventeen paid homage to the reigning kings of K-pop TXVQ with their bubbly render of the 2006 song “Balloons,” which is, like, oh my god, the last time they did this was when they were still trainees shooting for their mini series “Seventeen TV.” Not tied down by any choreography, the twelve were finally able to make full use of the extended stage, merrily greeting their U.S. fans for the first time.

Also on Kultscene: Tips on How to Maximize Your KCON 2016 Experience

Dynamic Duo Brings the Club Over to KCON

Debuting in 2003, Dynamic Duo made the most sense as headliners. But more than just seniority, they also possess the attitudes and the finesse of a headliner. Before they even stepped foot on stage, their digital selves were already initiating a call and response tactic, asking “Who Are We?” followed by concert attendees hollering out their names. When they did make their noble entrance, they came in full-force from the get-go with “BAAAM,” employing more call and response approaches. Jiving freely to the upbeat tempo that the DJ on stage was mixing, they had genuine fun on stage and the audiences reciprocated that.

Courtesy of CJ E&M

Courtesy of CJ E&M

By the time they were performing the EDM infused hip-hop jam “Shoot – Goal In” the crowd were already on their feet, dancing in place. Again, who knows how many folks actually knew the song, never mind the lyrics, but the manner in which members Choiza and Gaeko were able to hype each other up (e.g. – rapping to each other as opposed to with each other, echoing each other’s words, etc.) was entertaining to watch and exhibited real artistry.

The rest were an honest blur. The duo picked up enough momentum and was not about to break it as they went straight into Gaeko’s own percussion based “Rhythm is Life.” When the time came to conclude the night already, they were bouncing around to their dance party anthem “Friday Night,” which could it be any more fitting? In the midst of the smoke and light sticks, the place was a full fledge rave, and everyone was high.

And with the customary shower of confetti, Day 1 of KCON 16 NY was over. A vast improvement from last year’s KCON NY, it really set the bar high for future ones. One day of KCON NY fun still remains, however, who knows what will happen then?

Did you attend KCON 16 NY? 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.

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.


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.”


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.


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.”


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.


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.


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.


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.

Inside KCON NY 2015

IMG_7472editAfter four years of hearing the question “Why not New York?” CJ E&M and MNET America answered our prayers. KCON 2015 graced the New York metro area (The Prudential Center in Newark, New Jersey to be precise) with its presence for one day; a far cry from the three day extravaganza that Los Angeles was treated to the week before, but none the less KCON came to the East coast.


Because of lack of space within the Prudential Center, the brains behind KCON utilized the streets and area around the venue to host expo booths, panels, and workshops. Although the amount of booths available to visit were few, there was still plenty to do between the fan engagements, workshops and panels. There were booths where you could try on and take pictures in hanboks (traditional Korean clothes,) eat ddukbokki (Korean spicy rice cakes) and various other exhibitors doing raffles where attendees could win prizes. There were also vendors selling fan-made goods and band merchandise as well as fan group booths to visit.

Throughout the day, one of the most popular booths, other than the food vendors, would have to have been the Toyota (one of the convention’s sponsors) tent where people could dance along to their favorite K-Pop video and get a prize. At one point, idol group Teen Top stopped by the tent for a photo op right before their fan engagement.IMG_7251edit

Also on KultScene: Fantasy vs. Reality Performances To See At KCON NY 2015

The K-Pop Festival booth was another place to be; there was a DJ blasting non-stop K-pop hits and throwing out random prizes into the audience. It was not uncommon to see people randomly bust a move in the middle of the street when their favorite song came on. Although there was enough things to walk around and see, the variety of exhibitors and vendors cannot be compared to that of KCON LA. According to CJ E&M America’s Chief Marketing Officer, most of the exhibitors and vendors are based on the west coast or in Korea so traveling the extra distance to the east coast made things difficult.

Additionally, the lack of space available was a challenge to host anything on the scale that’s similar to KCON LA. Another factor that greatly affected KCON NY was the fact that CJ E&M America and most of the other groups involved in putting KCON together are not based on the east coast. They are not familiar with the area, the venues, or the companies and vendors that are willing to participate with an event like KCON. Hopefully by seeing the success the exhibitors had this year, there will be more exhibitors and vendors willing to set up booths for the following years.



The panels and workshops at KCON NY were similar to the ones that were held at KCON LA. Fans got to sit down and hear what industry insiders had to say about certain topics like Korean rap and American crossovers, or to catch up with their favorite YouTube stars. The ever popular Korean beauty routines were also taught in the workshops, which gave attendees a chance to get out of the sun and relax a bit between events.



The New York KPOP Festival held a mini event that even those who did not have a ticket to the MNET concert could attend. With the party like atmosphere, K-pop fans enjoyed music and dance acts from different groups and performers. Finalists from online polls also competed to be the opener at that night’s MNET concert, and with the special appearance of VIXX’s N as a judge made fans extra excited.

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

As the debut appearance of KCON on the east coast, it seemingly went off without any major problems. Seeing the success of KCON LA and KCON NY; there was a combined attendance of about 75,000 people, no small feat for anyone. Hopefully it will bring more interest in the festival and K-pop in general. Being able to create an event that is more than just a concert, but actually give fans a chance to get more involved with the culture that they love is a great thing. Not to mention the friendly and harmonious environments that was created by the organizers and attendees would make anyone proud.

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Inside KCON LA 2015 [PHOTOS]

Red Velvet  KCON 15 LA KultScene Red CarpetIn its fourth year, KCON LA expanded to add an extra day from last year, and headed to a larger venue at the Los Angeles Convention Center. Between July 31 and August 2, fans and purveyors of Korean culture in the United States kept busy with a variety of different activities.


This year, KCON LA’s booths became a full on expo. Previously, KCON had featured only a handful of vendors, websites, and fanclubs. But this year, there were many more booths, plus an added business conference on the first day. The expo area was divided into different sections, including CJ Street featuring a variety of CJ E&M booths, the Marketplace where attendees could free up their dollars, the K-ICT Dream Zone featuring technology, and the K-Goods Zone, selling an array of Korean products.

Some of the most prominent booths included Verizon, Asiana, MBC America, Nongshim, and Toyota, sponsors of the event, but Korean beauty and technology brands, like Iope, K3I, The Face Shop, and Kakao, also were spotted throughout the event. People walking around could sing karaoke, try out virtual reality goggles, purchase Korean oriented clothing or ridiculously cute t-shirts, check out booths hosted by Korean channels like Mnet and TvN, buy K-pop posters and albums (and, of course, official KCON souvenirs!), and practically anything Korean wave related. Websites like Soompi and Glow Recipe also hosted their own booths.Glow Recipe KCON 15 LA KultScene

Fanclubs played a big role in this year’s expo, with many K-pop fanclubs organizing fans in a variety of special events planned for artists during the concert. One Super Junior fanclub planned a banner event with the members of the group, while another handed out blue headbands that led to the first night of KCON 2015 appearing like a sapphire blue ocean. Fans of the show “Running Man” set up a Running Fan corner of the expo, where KCON-goers could try to reenact their favorite games of the variety show. Red Velvet fans sold jewelry featuring the members, and even fanclubs of artists who weren’t appearing at the show made themselves known. Fanclubs of groups like EXO and MYNAME were also there, gathering in North American fans.

Also on KultScene: Amoeba Culture Tour 2015 With Dynamic Duo, Zion. T, Crush, Primary, & DJ Friz Turn Up New York City


Along with the expo panels themselves, there was a central stage that featured performances throughout the three-day event, including Roy Kim, Buzzfeed’s The Try Guys (!), performance group Double The Fire, and violinist and dancer Jun Sung Ahn. GOT7 even surprised the convention on the second day by putting on a fashion show in collaboration with the Korean fashion brand Beyond Closet. Designer Ko Tae Young also appeared at the event, and GOT7 wore the clothes for multiple events throughout the day.


With a whole three days to fill, there were a lot more panels at this year’s KCON, and a lot of interest. Many panels were cram-packed with people who wanted to hear what was going on, with multiple lines wrapping around the corner of the convention center as fans tried to get seats close to their favorite panelists.

Irene Kim KCON 15 LA KultScene

Korean drama producers, fashion icons, actors, YouTube stars, writers, and other sort of industry insiders made their rounds, giving their thoughts and opinions on a variety of subjects. Panels addressed the meaning of K-pop, Korean indie music, cultural clashes, behind the scenes of websites and dramas, K-Pop’s LGBT fandom, and a lot lot more.

KCON attendees were also able to learn the dances of their favorite songs, cook food, learn tips about applying Korean beauty products, and a lot more. For more culturally inclined people, KCON-ers could try on traditional Korean clothes, watch a Korean wedding ceremony, and learn about traditional Korean tea.

Adrienne Kdramastars KCON 15 LA KultScene

Several Korean dramas and films also were aired during the convention, including “Twenty,” “Emergency Couple,” and the premiere of “Mr. Baek The Homemade Food Master,” featuring KCON guest So Ho Jun. One event that gained a lot of attention on the Internet post-KCON was an 18+ fan fiction open mic, hosted by KCON’s Hoon Bae.

Fan Engagements

One of the highlights this year for many fans at KCON was the success of the fan engagements. In previous years, there were issues with meet and greets being too limited so that many fans couldn’t attend, poorly timed events, cancelled events, or not enough interaction between fans and their favorite idols. But this time around, KCON LA got everything very right.

Also on KultScene: 10 Things Seen On The 2015 DramaFever Awards Red Carpet


Many of acts who would appear at the M! Countdown concerts, including SHINHWA, AOA, Monsta X, Red Velvet, Got7, and Block B, held fan engagements with their fans. All of the meet and greets featured question and answer sessions, and most featured hi-touch events. After initial confusion on the first day, when two fan meets had to swap their times due to scheduling issues, all of the rest ran orderly and the majority of fans possible were able to enjoy. Morover, attendees also got involved in the KCON meet and greet black market, where you could trade tickets and, maybe, make a bit of cash. It was hard to walk through the convention without hearing “Looking for GOT7 hi-touch tickets!” or “Who wants a Roy Kim audience ticket?”

JB GOT7 KCON 15 LA KultScene


Let’s talk about the grub. Along with the standard convention center fare of hot dogs, pizza, and coffee, there were free McDonalds samples being given out throughout the majority of the weekend and Korean cooking lessons from brands like Bibigo, where KCON-ers learned how to make bibimbap, a Korean meal in a bowl. There were also food trucks and stands from several Korean-oriented companies, like Tous les Jours and Shin Ramyun.

Bibigo KCON 15 LA KultScene


While there were three days of KCON LA 2015, there were only two nights of concerts, so for the first day KCON introduced something brand new. Klub KCON opened up in the convention center after the expo ended for the day on July 31, giving attendees a place to party. SISTAR and Monsta X performed at the event, surprising KCON-ers in the intimate atmosphere with tastes of what they were going to perform the next night at the Staples Center.

Sistar KCON 15 LA KultScene


One of the most innovative things at KCON LA 2015 was an app that people could download to their phones, which would alert KCON attendees about events going on and schedule changes. People could look up the location and time of events and even make planned out, personal schedules for themselves.

Red Carpet

The Red Carpet was the highlight for many fans, since artists like Super Junior and Kim Soo Hyun had not held fan engagements, meaning this was the event to get close to them before the actual concert. But let’s not bore you and go straight to the pictures from that day of all of Korea’s top celebrities.

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Did you go to KCON or wish you had gone? Share your experience and 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.

5 Things We Want To See At KCON LA – GOT7 Edition

Coming off of their First Fanmeeting in USA earlier this year, and with a recent overwhelmingly show of support for their recent comeback with “Just Right”, the boys of GOT7 are at the peak of their careers. Known as JYP Entertainment’s international group, with members from Hong Kong, Thailand and America’s very own, California, GOT7 garner’s love from every corner of the globe. Here at KultScene we’ve compiled a list of five things we want to see from GOT7 at KCON LA.

1. Bromancing At It’s Finest

GOT7 is the walking definition of “bromance”, which can be defined as a close, emotionally intense, non-sexual bond between two (or more) men (Wikipedia). Sure, there are other male groups that share mutual bromances with each other, but there’s usually some awkwardness that comes along with it. GOT7 is the polar opposite. A lot of it could be the fact that GOT7 has three foreign members who weren’t raised in a reserved Korean culture, therefore they act differently around guys than others would.

The members of GOT7 show major affection towards one another on and off the stage, even if it involves putting one another in harmless headlocks as they try to peck the other ones cheek or slapping each other’s butts, like they do in the NBA. Although it’s been confirmed that member Jackson, the mood maker and biggest bromancer of them all, will not be attending KCON LA due to his filming schedule for Laws of the Jungle, don’t you iGOT7’s fret. Even though the other half to MarkSon couple (Mark+Jackson) won’t be there, there will still be a lot of aegyo (cuteness) and bromances going on between the members.

2. Mark Tuan Speaking English

With one American member whose hometown is Los Angeles, a lot of KCON goers are hoping to see Mark speak in his native tongue. One would think, “well, of course he’s going to speak in English!” but Mark is rather timid and shy, so he tends to let other members do a lot of the talking, i.e Thai member BamBam spoke a lot of English when GOT7 held their fan meeting in Chicago. Seeing how KCON LA will be their 3rd US show this year, and the other English speaker Jackson will not be in attendance, hopefully Mark will have had the chance to prep and prepare himself to openly and confidently speak to the crowd in English. Better yet, what if Mark sang/rapped in English? Let that sink in for a bit and tell me that wouldn’t be anything less then awesome!

Also on KultScene: Got7’s “A” Music Video Review & Rundown

3. Girl Group Dances

Throughout the second half of their careers, GOT7 has solidified their right of way into the covering girl group dances hall of fame. “But what male idol group hasn’t done a dance cover to a girl group?” you ask. Of course, it’s only a matter of time before a male group is seen doing girl group dances on a variety show or at a concert, but it’s pure gold when the members in a group are genuinely and eagerly doing so. GOT7 is known to voluntarily break out in girl group dances; there have been times where they’ve even had in-group wars between the other members to see who does the better covers. With their smaller body frame and flexibility, members BamBam and JR are usually the best with girl group covers, although GOT7’s maknae (youngest member) Yugyeom, even with his taller height and lanky arms, is able to do one mean body wave.

4. A Collaboration With A Senior Group

This might be stretching it a bit considering artist collaborations aren’t usually done at American Korean shows, but considering how a lot of the other groups that will be at KCON are indeed GOT7’s seniors i.e. SHINHWA and Super Junior, there is a small possibility looming somewhere. Whether it would a full song done together, maybe an English song since they’re in America, or even if it’s a mere 20 seconds done together somewhere during the day or at the end of one of the shows, it’d definitely be something worth witnessing. Not only will the audience be in for a treat but also GOT7 as a group would probably be over the moon if given this opportunity if it were indeed to happen.

Also on KultScene: Summer 2015 K-Pop Fashion Trends

5. Derpiness On Full Mode

If you didn’t already know, each and every member of GOT7 has a different level of derpiness, ranging anywhere from a “whoops I made a dumb face” to border line “if I keep this up, my face might end up like this.” I’ll wait while you go back and look up their past fan cams and fan taken photos. Not too impressed with them? Well, then have you see their latest music video for “Just Right”? A part of me wants to believe that they were directed to make the derpy faces that were made during the chorus but another part of me knows that even if they were given directions to do so, the members probably took it upon themselves to make the expressions to be extreme as possible. Considering the average age for GOT7 is 19, this is probably just a phase they they’re going through. Or maybe not. Regardless of all that, I hope that they continue to showcase their derpiness because it makes them unique and loveable.

As a KCON attendee, I’m not only grateful for being able to be at the convention and seeing GOT7 again, but it’ll be the icing on the cake if at least one of these five things listed actually happens!

What and who are you looking forward to seeing at KCON LA? 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.

Things Learned at KCON 2014

This past weekend, Los Angeles’ Exposition Park saw the presence of thousands of fans for KCON 2014, looking to delve into different aspects of Korean culture with food, music, and overall entertainment. While most of the panels and workshops gave attendees great insight on several topics, it’s safe to say that everyone who purchased a ticket for KCON did it with the intention of seeing the artists in the incredible two-day lineup for M! Countdown.

But whether it was the concert or the convention itself, KCON was a great learning experience filled with eye-opening facts. Here’s a short list of that:

1. BTS is the new/next EXO
Before inciting EXO-L (exotics?), let’s look at the facts: If you attended KCON last year, you’ll remember the sea of fans wearing EXO apparel at the event and the frenzy the boys created at the concert. They were so arduous that it was even easier to hear the fans singing along to Wolf rather than the group itself.

bts kcon

Courtesy of CJ E&M

This happened again this year, but with BTS. Throughout the day, ARMY could be easily spotted from their fan apparel and cosplay. And who could forget the wails heard throughout the arena once the boys levitated from the platform, or even the fan chants (which don’t necessarily always happen at U.S. events)? This made Rap Monster’s reiteration of their group’s name sound funny when it was clear that half of the audience was there to see them.

2. Eric Nam is the friendliest idol ever
Viki brought Eric Nam to KCON as their special guest, where he held meet-and-greets with fans on each day of the convention. Furthermore, he also served as the host for the two red carpet events (one for each day), where fans and press met the artists for quick questions and pictures.

During the fan meetings, the line at the Viki tent extended well into other areas of the Marketplace. Many fans lined for their chance to get a selfie with Eric, since this was open to everyone and didn’t require a card like the other fan meetings with the performing artists. Eric received every fan with a great smile, seemed genuinely thankful when hearing compliments, and was as chatty as ever.

Furthermore, during the red carpet events, Eric interacted with the fans more so than the featured artists themselves. He responded to their screams, sang bits of Ooh, Ooh, and even stayed behind after the event ended to take many pictures with fans.


3. Taeyeon seemed fazed about her first performance post-scandal
KCON marked Girls’ Generation member Taeyeon’s first concert appearance since hell broke loose with her dating scandal involving EXO’s Baekhyun. Right from the start, the leader had a somber look and didn’t appear as her fierce self, seeming a bit disengaged when she opened up their set with Mr. Mr. Was she reluctant about the audience’s response? Did she fear another black ocean? We might never know, but what we do know is that, by the end of their performance, Taeyeon had warmed up to the audience. Maybe this was due to fans’ holding up messages commemorating Girls’ Generation seventh anniversary, saying they would always support the group. Or maybe the fans’ reception of them and their songs gave her confidence. But, again, this is only speculation.

Girlst generation kcon

Courtesy of CJ E&M

4. What you see is what you get with Jung Joon Young
Throughout Jung Joon Young’s multiple KCON appearances, the rocker made it a point to separate himself from the idols joining him on stage. How he did this? Well, by being real — or realer, for that matter. During the Danny from L.A. taping and the red carpet event on August 9th, Joon Young repeatedly said he felt sleepy and showed no signs of fake amusement. Even at the red carpet, when Eric tried to get some kind of emotion out of him, Joon Young stuck to his guns and only proclaimed that he was tired, and smiling for fans and photographers briefly. While this kind of behaviour would be seen as rude from idols, it serves the rocker’s bad boy image that we see in similar artists.

Jung Joon young  3

5. IU’s English is very good
Despite IU being pretty well-established in Korea, KCON was the singer’s first U.S. performance. In order to introduce herself to American fans for the first time, IU spoke exclusively in English, apologizing for what she thought was sub-par English. This, of course, wasn’t true. Compared to other acts, IU was a native speaker. While she was hesitant upon every uttered word, her deliverance was spot on and intelligible.

iu kcon

Courtesy of CJ E&M

6. Asian American acts featured were very talented and popular
The Asian American Artists panel at the convention featured rappers Shin-B and DANakaDan, producer Jeff Bernat, and singer Jhammel, highlighting the acts’ popularity among con-goers. They all even held fan meets and performances on the outdoor and main stage throughout the weekend with great turnouts, which showcased not only their innate talent, but their ability to hold their own in an event with foreign language-speaking headliners.


7. Video games are Korea’s number one cultural export, not K-Pop
When you hear “Hallyu,” the first thing that generally comes to mind is K-Pop, right? I mean, the Korean Wave’s poster child has to be Korea’s number one cultural export. Wrong. As Euny Hong points out in her book, The Birth of Korean Cool, and at the Hallyu Culture Shock panel, in which she participated, Korea’s main cultural exports are video games, not K-Pop. This came as a surprise for an audience who was used to the association of “Hallyu” and “K-Pop” together. Truly eye-opening, indeed.

Did you attend KCON this year? Share with us your experience! And be sure to follow us on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Tumblr, and Bloglovin’ so you can keep up with all our posts.

KCON 2014 Day 2: Convention Highlights

After a pretty good experience on Saturday, the first day of KCON 2014 at the Los Angeles Memorial Sports Arena, expectations were high for the following day on August 10th. Needless to say, fans definitely enjoyed themselves throughout this two-part convention and concert event. Here’s our review on the highlights during the day!


The line wasn’t as bad in terms of aesthetic appeal on Sunday (it didn’t stretch across a block or so around the venue), but it was still a force to be reckoned with. Luckily, it was an easier process as most of the con-goers bought tickets for both days.

As mentioned before, the Marketplace was quite the popular spot for fans waiting for the convention gates to open at 10 a.m., as everyone checked out the booths, food trucks, and outdoor stage. In contrast to Saturday, which had many G-Dragon fans, Sunday brought forth a large population of the Girls’ Generation and BTS fandom, which made up a majority of the attendees.

In the beginning, day two appeared to be more organized with less crowds than day one, but, upon the time of the concert, three ambulances showed up by the entrance to the venue. It was certainly a shocking sight, but it seemed like everything was under control by the time the concert began.

Much like the previous day, the second day of the convention offered more workshops, panels, performances on the outdoor stage, Danny from L.A tapings, a red carpet event, fan meetings with artists, and much more.

Danny from L.A. taping

Due to our busy schedule, KPOPme unfortunately missed BTS’ Danny From L.A. taping. But thankfully we were right on time to see Korean rocker Jung Joon Young‘s appearance. Different from idol groups, Jung Joon Young’s presence was very laid back. He kept his really cool I don’t care appearance. His English was very  fluent and natural that he even forgot that it was being taped and constantly used curse words, which kept everyone in the audience laughing.

He played a game with Danny and Parker in which they had to drink lime juice and soy sauce and see who would last longer without making a bitter face.  Ultimately, Jung Joon Young won and the audience cheered for him.

Here are some pictures from the taping:

Red Carpet

Similar to the fan engagements, access to this event required attendees winning a pass on their scratch off cards given in their goodie bags. And the despite the events with artists being closed off to press, the red carpet was not. Photographers lined the first row of barriers separating the public from the artists, while the fans were situated behind press and another barrier.

Eric Nam hosted the event, introducing each act, adding his funny commentary, and just being his adorkable self. The red carpet featured the acts that would perform at M! Countdown that night, including BTS, CNBLUE, SPICA, and Girls’ Generation, as well as actors Lee Seung Gi and Lee Seo Jin.

As each artist came out, Eric would interview them for a little bit, and then the first would pose for pictures. Some of the acts, when coming out, would pause to greet fans who stood closer to the door. Stay tuned for we will later post a video from this event so you can see for yourself all that happened!

By the end of the event, Eric stayed behind and took many, many pictures with fans, despite this not being part of the show and him having a fan meeting at the Viki tent earlier on the day and the previous day.

Check out some of our pictures from the red carpet event:

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Discussion: The Best and Brightest Rookies

One of the first panels of the day took place at 11 a.m., called the Best & Brightest Rookie Groups, with Johnny Au (The Au Review), White Boy KPOP, Nadia Leong (TGM Events), Lyra Jazmine (Hallyu LA), Colleen Lee (Japako Music), and June Saladino (Hallyu Magazine) taking charge of discussing rookies in the industry.

Statistically speaking, Johnny brought up the issue of how, generally, only five percent of rookies make it in the industry; he took the time to ask the panelists to each give their opinion on the low number. White Boy KPOP talked about how rookies often took on concepts that didn’t work, while Lyra and Nadia both decided that it was dependent on the companies. June referred to White Boy KPOP when saying that appealing to the global music style was important in order to succeed, and Nadia added, “Korean agencies don’t listen” to our recommendations and advice, looking back on 100%’s unfortunately named 2nd mini album, BANG the BUSH. Colleen also emphasized on a working concept and built upon that idea by saying how music stages also need to work with the group as well.

When moving onto what made rookies succeed, Nadia took no time in simply saying that they have to be “really pretty or talented,” with the other panelists agreeing and adding that having both attributes ups the ante for success. She referred to EXO as an example; although they had some recent issues, she said that they had “no visual flaws” and thus gained a lot of popularity. In regards to newer, highly popular rookies, White Boy KPOP couldn’t help mentioning BTS due to their overwhelming “charisma, confidence, and stage presence,” to which the panel and the crowd unanimously agreed.

Of course, failed trainees and their outcomes were the next topic at hand; the panelists lightheartedly talked about how these specific trainees end up as stylists, back-up dancers, or just move on to other groups. This led to different tangents of conversation, as questions were raised about companies targeting specific areas or countries and reaching out to publications about upcoming rookies. SM Entertainment was brought up in terms of dominating the Chinese market, as Nadia talked about how they actually created Chinese headquarters to ensure that EXO would have no problems with performing in the country. She pointed out that, due to SM’s control of China, YG focused on Japan while JYP looked towards Thailand for popularity.

The panel then went over shock tactics for rookies and the increase of shocking debuts as time passes, bringing up WASSUP’s “twerking” and A.KOR member Kemy’s diss rap towards Park Bom. To close off the panel, everyone talked about their favorite rookies, with GOT7, WINNER, Kiss & Cry, Red Velvet, Megan Lee, Bob Girls, Mamamoo, and Royal Pirates being some of the honorable mentions.

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Cooking with Crazy Korean Cooking

Grace and Stephanie

Right after this was Crazy Korean Cooking’s interactive cooking panel at 11:30 a.m., in which they made kimchi fried rice and hotteok (sweet Korean pancake) for the crowd to sample. Volunteers were asked to come and help Grace Park and Stephanie Maing as they put their multitasking skills to the test, talking about ingredients, Korea’s food culture and history, and cooking the very delicious food, all at the same time. Much like in their videos, the ladies were a comedy duo that retained all their seriousness in food while making everyone laugh with timely jokes.


In addition to showing the panel attendees how to cook the featured dishes, Grace and Stephanie went over the health benefits of foods like kim (seaweed), giving out some sheets to hesitant newcomers to try out the ingredient that would be going into their kimchi fried rice. KPOPme had a hands on experience with the panel and helped out with making hotteok as Grace cooked the kimchi fried rice while Stephanie fed hungry fans. By the end of the panel, the food on the plates was wiped clean, and the crowd happily applauded the ladies for their hard work.

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Stay tuned for an upcoming interview with Crazy Korean Cooking, as KPOPme asked these ladies about their KCON experience, current missions, and future goals.

Asian American Artists

As the Danny from L.A. taping featuring Jung Joon Young took place over at the Mnet Square at 1 p.m., panel tent one garnished a sizable amount of attendees looking to hear and see rappers Shin-B and DANakaDAN, singer Jhameel, producer Jeff Bernat, and moderator Christian Oh. More than focusing on K-Pop, the panelists addressed being of Asian descent and making it in the U.S., including the support of their families, the fans, and the industry as a whole.


In regards to promoting yourself, the panelists talked about how Soundcloud was the platform for emerging artists since corporate America hasn’t figured it out, as opposed to Youtube (even though there’s money there, but competition is high). Jeff proclaimed that “Asian Americans are going to be the new face of the music industry… you’ll be seeing a lot of us in the future.” As for already established Asian American acts they look up to, the consensus among the panelists were Dumbfounded and Far East Movement, and Jeff brought up Blue Scholars.

When it comes to art and Asian Americans, the issue of family support often comes up. Shin-B shared her experiences being a female rapper in a world where parents think rap is all about sex, drugs, and misogyny, and that only, and how she has had to work hard to make them change their minds. But Jeff broke it down perfectly by saying, “at the end of the day… don’t listen to your parents about your career… your life, your choices.”

During the audience questions portion of the panel, the topic of the downsides of being associated with K-Pop came up. And while none of the panelists said anything negative about the genre and industry, Jhameel shared some insight by saying, “K-Pop has really good production, like, crazy good… that’s just hard to compete with, but it pushes you [as an artist] as well.” He also talked about K-Pop excelling at branding their idols, and how its hard when fans want to see you under the same standards –especially when you’re pushing for a different image yourself. Shin-B brought into the discussion the matter of because South Korea has the fastest internet connection in the world, trends come and go just as fast, with fans following you one day and gone the next:

It’s very hard to compete in that market because its production value is super up there. [And] for someone that’s not already working with those people that are behind that, it’s very, very hard [to compete], because [the audience] are going to compare you [with them]… It’s very hard to keep [the fans’] interest going.

Because of an audience question, the panel came back to the topic of promoting yourself as an artist. While Dan encouraged people to put yourself and your work out there, Shin-B said, “It’s all about the collaborations. The more we all come together and collaborate on each others’ tracks –there’s power in numbers… it will get more attention.” Jeff agreed with Shin-B and added, “in the art scene, it’s who you know.” He also recommended to meet other artists –even if they’re not big– and make “good music.”

K-Pop’s LGBT Fandom: WE LOVE IT!

This panel gathered a lot of support from the crowd. Special guests AJ O’Day, Andy La, Desmond Kwok, Miles Jai, and Nicola Foti where moderated by Derek Graves. The panel touched bases on how K-Pop idols influence the gay community, and how it has even elevated the way that heterosexual men dress and enables them to wear makeup without being judged.

Continuing on the topic of fashion, Nicola Foti applauded everyone by saying, “[KCON] is the most stylish convention I’ve ever been to!” This got the crowd giving him cheers and screams of support.

After wrapping up the fashion conversation, they went on to a more serious topic. Derek asked the panelist how they felt about Korea not being very accepting of the gay community.  Everyone in the panel stated how it was time for a gay idol. Even though the gay community already aspires on K-Pop artists, they really needed an openly gay idol to connect to.  They also said they loved how K-Pop brings not only the gay community together, but everyone as a whole.



Fan Art Workshop & Battle!

everyone picture

Shannon Rudder, a fabulous 17-year-old who caught attention at last year’s KCON with a beautiful rendition of the EXO members, headed this workshop at 4 p.m., teaching the crowd about her experience in art and having a draw-along session that featured Girls’ Generation member, Taeyeon.

Due to the time restraints, Shannon explained to the attendees that she would focus only on establishing a good outline for her portrait, which was blown up on a large easel to help those in the back. She gave everyone paper and pencils, along with other options for drawing: B1A4’s Jinyoung and VIXX’s N.

From beginning to end, Shannon went over basics of drawing, like how to establish proportions and having an eased hand to maintain control. She also brought up her own experiences in art: “I’ve always liked drawing.” It was only when she “was a freshman in highschool that [she] learned how to draw,” and it was very obvious to see that Shannon truly has a knack for art.

In regards to the K-Pop fandom, Shannon expressed happiness that “fan art” was “alive in the community,” adding how she really enjoyed looking at other pieces of fanwork and having this connection with so many other people.

For the battle portion of this workshop, the participants were reminded that Shannon would be picking three top pieces to win signed albums (complimentary of KCON). Many fans were new to artwork while others were very experienced, but Shannon’s teaching helped everyone create great works of art in the end. With difficulty in choosing the winners, Shannon finally picked three wonderful artists: Elizabeth Medina, Carina Li, and Ronni Seth. Here’s their happy faces when they found out they had won:

Here’s some of the entries:


Did you attend KCON 2014? What was your favorite part of the convention? Don’t forget to subscribe to the site and follow us on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Tumblr, and Bloglovin’ so you can keep up with all our posts.