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Weekly K-pop Faves: Jan. 2-8

The second week of January brought K-pop the busiest week of 2017 (two down!) so far, with a variety of releases from well-known acts. Long-lived boy band Shinhwa released a new album, while VIXX member Ravi dropped some solo music. Rookie acts Akdong Musician (aka AKMU) and Day6 also returned with brand new music that turns away from K-pop’s typical dancepop sound.

“I Wait” by Day6 (Released Jan.6)

Day6 kicked off their year-long release cycle with the first single, “I Wait.” The song is the most boisterous single from Day6 so far, and it changes the group’s sound up quite a bit with a blend of electro and alternative rock. The song’s title in Korean, “Aw Why?” (“아 왜?”) makes the stilted rhythm all that much more anxiety-inducing, but the English one actually makes “I Wait” seem a bit more sentimental. It’s an altogether heavier sound from the band, but still maintains Day6’s typical lovelorn lyrics and paired with their typically cinematic music video. It’s the first of 12 singles Day6 plans to release in 2017, so prepare to be overrun with this band’s ever growing discography.

— Tamar


Also on KultScene: WJSN, April, & MIXX: K-Pop girls trying to take 2017

“Touch” by Shinhwa (Released Jan. 5)

Shinhwa still manages to blow my mind with every comeback. As the members evolved over the last decade, so has their music, and “Touch” is no different. The song is heavily future bass influenced, which keeps the listeners in a trance from the beginning until the end. The group actually premiered “Touch” at the 2016 MBC Gayo Daejun, which was sort of a spoiler since viewers were able to see the choreographed version first instead of just the song itself but it was nonetheless a worthy performance. It’s even more applause-worthy to see these guys keep up with the ever changing music scene and the continuous efforts that they put into making it work, even after almost twenty years.

— Tam

“Bomb” by Ravi feat. San E (Released Jan. 8)

If you’re already immune to the rampant cultural appropriation in K-hip-hop and can get past the mildly cringey intro, Ravi’s first solo endeavour “Bomb” quite exceeds expectations. It looks and sounds a bit dated, not to mention it’s very similar to Zico’s “Tough Cookie” aesthetically. It’s really not that interesting sound-wise; your standard hard K-rap beat. However, Ravi’s delivery was spot on — miles away from his second hand embarrassment inducing verses on VIXX’s early songs — and showed he’s still growing as a rapper. Not to mention the chorus is easily sung a long to and has earworm potential. Furthermore, I’ve never heard a song featuring San E that I’ve liked, but I don’t mind his presence that much here. Overall, it’s nice to see Ravi doing better and working on the betterment of his craft.

— Alexis


Also on KultScene: What’s the deal with A.Leean?

“Will Last Forever” by Akdong Musician (Released Jan. 2)

Korea’s beloved sibling duo made a return this week with their third album “Spring to Winter,” accompanied with a music video and a beautiful musical short film. While their title track “Last Goodbye” pulled at my heartstrings a lot (I’m going to miss you Chanhyuk), “Will Last Forever” went a step further in actually moving me. There’s just something tragic about two young kids singing about lost hopes and forgotten friendships. It hits you with a cold dose of reality and forces you to wake up from your youthful dreams.

— Anna

”Fall Back” by A.Leean (Released Jan. 7)

“Fall Back” is different from Ailee’s previous songs for a reason. The single, produced by LA-based Westside Entertainment, was carefully engineered for a new audience; it sounds as if it was chosen specifically for its potential to climb the U.S. charts. Although an agency representative compared A.Leean’s vocal ability to that of Whitney Houston and Ariana Grande, Ailee’s new song “Fall Back” is more likely to evoke a Katy Perry feeling. From its urgent workout-worthy beat to the catchy refrain, it’s the kind of song you put on when you need to rev up your day. It’s memorably appealing but it was not designed to make the most of Ailee’s incredible vocal range. While the sections of “Fall Back” that give Ailee center stage may remind K-pop fans how lush her voice can be, the song’s production does not let her voice resonate as emotionally as it did in her recent hit “Home” featuring Yoon Mirae, or her OST contributions, “Goodbye My Lover” and “Day by Day.”

“Fall Back” is heavy on the percussion, which sometimes distracts from Ailee’s voice and other times successfully uses a tinsel effect to make the song sound celebratory, which is fitting for a debut. It may be just the formula to climb the U.S. charts, but “Fall Back” doesn’t really live up to K-pop’s standards. The lyrics are about wanting to revive lost love, trying to return to the moment when everything was good, and make things work out after all. The optimistic turn-back-the-clock lyrics may be just the kind of lyrics needed in 2017, and they’re easy to hum along to.

— Joan

Which song was your favorite? 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.

Weekly K-pop Faves: Dec. 26-Jan 1

It’s a new year so, of course, there is new music! (Okay, but really they were mostly released last week.) This week’s K-pop favorite playlist features some old and new tunes from the likes of old-school K-pop boy band Shinhwa, JB of Got7, and rising vocalist Jin Won.

“T.O.P” by Shinhwa (Performed at MBC Gayo Daejejeon, Dec. 31, 2016)

It’s been almost two decades since Shinhwa released “T.O.P,” the first song to bring the group success after their debut a year prior. The usage of Tchaikovsky’s “Swan Lake” in “Twinkling of Paradise,” the song’s full name, gives “T.O.P” an everlasting magical aura, which puts listeners into an eternal trance. What made this performance at “MBC’s Gayo Daejejeon” even more special and raw was the addition of the live violinist. Shinhwa still oozes charisma, despite having performed “T.O.P” for what feels like an ungodly amount of times already. But no matter how many times, how many versions have been played, it’s timeless and continues to be a crowd favorite.

— Tam


Also on KultScene: 50 Best Korean Songs of 2016: Part 2

”So Beautiful” by Jin Won (Released Dec. 26, 2016)

I’m a sucker for ballads, and the moment I discovered Jin Won’s swaying rock ballad “So Beautiful” I knew I was about to be absorbed by it. Although I’ve never heard of Jin Won before, my first listen of “So Beautiful” was life changing. Maybe that’s a bit of an exaggeration, but Jin Won’s expressive vocal performance on the wintery tune is enchanting. The track isn’t just a typical ballad though, as it features slight quirks like resonating wails and record-like scratches. Jin Won appeared on a season of Superstar K, and I for one would love to see “So Beautiful,” and other future releases from him, featured on the soundtracks of Korean dramas.

— Tamar


Also on KultScene: Best Korean Albums of 2016

“Holic” by Def. aka JB of GOT7 (Released Jan. 1, 2017)

2017 hadn’t even begun in the western hemisphere and GOT7’s JB, using his artist alias Def, dropped exactly what fans have been asking of him for years: solo R&B tracks. Out of the three uploaded to his Soundcloud account, “Holic” stood out for not using a rapper nor relying on the hip-hop elements to resonate. Instead, in “Holic,” JB captivates the listener with his heartfelt yet incredibly sexy rendition of the song. And while JB is never not immersed in his feelings during GOT7 performances, here is a new side to the singer that fans knew he had in him, but had never been able to put on full display in the group’s musical repertoire. “Holic” further proves that JB is an R&B singer, and that if given a chance, he’d kill it. Hopefully, he’ll continue uploading more solo songs, for he’s too good to stop now that we got a taste.

— Alexis

What was your favorite song from the last week of 2016 and the first day of 2017? Share your picks and thoughts in the comment section below and be sure to subscribe to the site. Follow us on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Tumblr to keep up with all of our posts.

Weekly K-pop playlist- November 28th – December 4th

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As 2016 reaches it’s end, K-pop releases start to slow down in light of the new year. In previous years, December was largely abandoned by artists and reserved for the kitschy Holiday tracks. However, over the last couple of years, companies have carried on throughout the month business as usual. We may not be getting an influx of releases like before, but we’re still seeing some comebacks and random singles. So, as per usual, here are a few of our faves from the week from acts including Seventeen, Shinhwa, Hyoyeon of Girls’ Generation, and more!

“Orange” by Shinhwa (Released Nov. 29)

“Orange,” title track off of Shinhwa’s 13th studio album “Unchanging,” is a song well worth the title. As a SHCJ (Shinhwa Changjo, their fanclub name), I’m quite honored that they chose to name a song after their fanclub color. Yes, you guessed it, orange! “Orange” is reminiscent of what everything ‘90s K-Pop was, bubbly and totally cringe worthy, but in all the right ways. It’s a cheesed out love song. “My floating and fluttering footsteps go to you/ Baby I’m in love with you,” yeah, it doesn’t get any more skin crawling then this and maybe it’s because I’m a die heart SHCJ, but I’m absolutely fine with the finger and toe curling lyrics.


Also on KultScene: 2016 Gift Guide For Fans Of Korean Pop Culture [GIVEAWAYS]

It’s probably safe to say that if you listened to the song with no previous knowledge of who Shinhwa was, you probably wouldn’t have guessed that they were six guys all in their mid thirties. but if you watched the music video first, then, well, that’s a different story. Why are these guys mega dorks? It might’ve helped with the recording session, considering the fact that the members are always acting like fools, on screen and off. They’ve been together for so long, that whatever it is that you’re seeing on screen, is literally how they always act when they’re around one another; sudden tickle attacks, everyone ganging up on leader, Eric, and six guys, who just can’t stay still. Now that we’re entering the winter months (here in the Northeast), “Orange” will be a nice song to listen to whenever I need some cheering up from the cold weather.

— Tam

“That Fool” by Jung Seung Hwan (Released Nov. 30)

The talented vocalist from the fourth season of Kpop Star finally made his official debut with Antenna Music recently with the album “His Voice,” featuring the title song “That Fool.” Within hours, his songs took the top spots on Korean music charts and for good reason. The ballads on his album, and this title song in particular, highlight the emotional and passionate way Jung sings. While his voice is stable and technically skilled, the feeling he pours into the song really touches his listeners. This has also been evident from the many popular OSTs he has released this past year, including “Wind” from Scarlet Heart: Ryeo and “If It Is You” from Another Oh Hae-young. Even better, he sounds absolutely amazing live. He promoted his album on Yoo Hee Yeol Sketchbook recently, and performed “That Fool” in a way which absolutely captivated his audience. Jung Seung Hwan is going from strength to strength and I hope this continues for a long time to come!

— Anna

“Mystery” by Hyoyeon (Released Dec. 2)

Every Hyoyeon fan has dreamed of this, but to be completely honest, none of us expected it. One of many surprises from SM’s STATION project this year, “Mystery” is Hyoyeon’s first solo musical effort. A mix of Indian instrumentals and influences from hip-hop and electronica, the song is both hypnotic and dance-heavy, perfect for a hard-hitting performer like Hyoyeon to break it down. While the song hasn’t received much promotional effort from SM (it is a STATION song, after all), she is promoting the song on music shows this week, showing everyone that the queen of girl group dancers can perform both choreography and vocals in a way that no one thought she could.

— Kushal


Also on KultScene: B1A4’s “Good Timing” Album Review

“BOOMBOOM” by Seventeen (Released Dec. 4)

Well, Seventeen has done it again. After “Pretty U” and “Very Nice,” you’d think they would be done with 2016, but oh no. Getting it in just right before the year comes to an end, the group put out “BOOMBOOM.” To say their new track sounds like all of their past singles sounds like a bad thing, but it’s actually not. Seventeen always find a way to take the most childish and saccharine beats and turn them into trendy, hyped-up songs. For “BOOMBOOM,” they took the bubbly guitar reminiscent of Disco era jams like “Play That Funky Music” and turned it into yet another pop gem in their discography. The amazing thing about Seventeen is that, with every release, they follow the same formula, but unlike other groups or producers, it comes out fresh every time. Seventeen’s song, with “BOOMBOOM” being no different, have the shift in beat and vocalists’ tempos that make it an exciting audible experience. Bubblegum pop has always been fun, but Seventeen have taken their signature brand to a whole new ball park of sugariness delight.

— Alexis

What was your favorite song of the week? 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.

Jun Jin’s ‘Wow Wow Wow’ Music Video & Song Review

Jun Jin, Wow Wow Wow, Jun Jin Real
After a six year hiatus from his solo activities, Shinhwa’s, Jun Jin, popped back onto the music scene with his newest song and music video titled “Wow Wow Wow,” which also features fellow member Eric. Due to the lengthy wait, fans all over rejoiced in excitement at the announcement of his comeback. Many hoped to see how much Jun Jin had matured musically since the release of his first solo debut single back in 2006, dating to his last solo project in 2009 before he left for his military enlistment. With the wait finally over, let’s dive right in with this KultScene writer as she reviews the long awaited Jun Jin comeback.

Song

Hearts stopped beating and quickly came back to life from the moment Jun Jin started the song with the “looking at looking at looking at you” along with the overlapping of Eric’s sexy whispers of “I’m looking at, I’m looking at you”. When was it ever okay (but in fact it really is okay) for an artist to start a song in such a seductive manner as Jun Jin and Eric did in “Wow Wow Wow”? Read more

Best Of The K-Pop B Tracks Pt. 4

K-Pop B Tracks, ZE:A, GOT7, C-CLOWN, B.AP, SHINHWA
Are you ready for yet another installment of our Best of the K-Pop B Tracks series? It’s been almost a year since our last article, but no worries; we’re back with a fresh and manly list, consisting of some older and newer songs for the latest installment of our series!

Artist: GOT7
Album: “Just Right”
Song: “Nice”

It can easily be said that 80 percent of GOT7’s albums usually consist of dance tracks. They’re young guys bursting at the seams with explosive energy, so why not, right? Straight from the get-go, “Nice” had a hypnotic beat with semi sensual lyrics. Not only have the members of GOT7 grown physically, but their voices have also matured a great deal since debut, with member Youngjae being the most noticeable with his honey-like voice. With the release of each mini album, there always seems to be that one track — how should I put this? — that puts you in the mood, makes you feel some sort of way, and “Nice” just so happens to be that particular song.

“Nice” is filled with what has a sophisticated level of ecstasy and has a contagious chorus and yet I can’t seem to wipe off this smile from my face, unable to take them seriously because I’m already so used to them acting like silly kids. I wonder what it’s like having these guys in the recording studio; it’s hard trying to image their level of seriousness when they’re always acting so goofy. Am I the only one that feels this way about GOT7? Regardless of all that, take a listen and I promise you’ll be singing bam bam bam bi dam bi da bi dam bam for the remainder of the day. Read more

Breaking Down KCON ’15 LA’s Red Carpet Looks

RED CARPET KCON LOOKS
Red Carpet fashion is always fun, but when it comes to a K-pop red carpet, we never know what we are going to expect. With no assigned dress code on KCON’s red carpet, the interpretation of fashion was open to the imagination of the artists’ stylists. Some opted for classic suits, while some looks seemed to come out of fashion editorials and others simply wore their performance outfits for that night of the “M! Countdown” concert. Here is this year’s break down of KCON ‘15 LA Red Carpet looks.

The Classic Suits

The easiest look for men on a red carpet is to go with a classic suit, but there are always some things you can add to make you stand out. Roy Kim kept it simple with a navy suit and paired it with a grey mandarin collar shirt and white sneakers. It was a very safe choice that transitioned perfectly onto his performance in the concert.

Photo Alejandro Abarca for KultScene

Photo Alejandro Abarca for KultScene

Son Ho-Jun, for his part, opted for a classic dark navy suit. The jacket had black detailing under the lapel that offered a modern take on the classic look. He paired it with a white shirt that featured a black collar and kept it crisp with a white skinny tie. The actor looked very happy and confident with his outfit, and made all the fans of “Reply 1994” scream and shout for him.

Photo Alejandro Abarca for KultScene

Photo Alejandro Abarca for KultScene


Also on KultScene: KCON 2015 LA’s M! Countdown Concerts Recap

Eric Nam’s bright and contagious personality really shone through his clothes. He wore a blazer and dress pants, but sported them with a casual shirt and sneakers, making him look fresh and modern but still appropriate for a red carpet. Eric is known for this kind of look, so this was no surprise for his adoring fans. Eric looked sharp and very handsome and created a great atmosphere on the red carpet that made everyone in the audience have fun and enjoy his three minutes in the spotlight.

Photo Alejandro Abarca for KultScene

Photo Alejandro Abarca for KultScene

In SHINHWA’s case, the group’s stylist made bolder choices. From Eric’s red jacket, and pairing black trousers with blue blazers on Jun Jin, the choices were daring but very fun. The member’s perfectly tailored suits looked incredible on them and made all of the Shinhwa Chanjos (SHINHWA’s fans) go crazy after their long wait to see this legendary group.

When Super Junior came out, everybody in the audience went nuts! The boys looked incredibly handsome and chic in their suits. The black suits fit well on each member, and everyone added their touch of their own personality to it. Heechul added his trademark style with a face mask that read SUPER JUNIOR” and paired it with amazing shoes that featured gold metal accents. Eunhyuk and Kyuhyun were the only ones that sported red bowties that made them stand out from the other members. Moreover, Ryeowook was the only one who wore a different jacket with a white trim on the lapel, but it still managed to look cohesive with the rest of the group’s styling. Super Junior was definitely one of the best dressed at KCON’s red carpet.

We all already know that Daniel Henney is a gorgeous man. But with the look he sported on the red carpet, he made everybody in the audience fall in love with him even more. The cream suit paired with a white shirt and black patent leather loafers was a risky choice, but it turned out to be a home run for Henney. He managed to look elegant and casual at the same time by opting out of a classic bow tie or wearing a tie. The look was minimal and clean, and it clearly made a fashion statement in the red carpet.

Photo Alejandro Abarca for KultScene

Photo Alejandro Abarca for KultScene

There’s really not that much to say about Kim Soo Hyun; he is simply perfect! For his very short appearance in the red carpet, his stylist dressed him in a beautiful classic three piece black suit. He looked like a prince out of a fairy tale. His hair was pulled up, letting us see his gorgeous eyebrows and facial structure. Plus, the oversized black bow tie added a little fun to his look.

True To Their Concepts

In comparison to the men who were generally decked out in suits,girl groups usually dressed in costumes or their current concept of the album that they were promoting. SISTAR sparkled in their red carpet outfits. Hyorin, Bora, and Soyou opted for sequin daisy dukes in silver, gold, and emerald green, while Dasom sported a sequined long sleeve crop top, making the girl group look cohesive and performance ready. SISTAR wore these outfits to the concert and, literally and metaphorically, shined on stage.

Following their recent concept for their comeback “Heart Attack”, AOA sported their cheerleading outfits. The orange V-neck crop top with white and black trim was balanced perfectly with the circle wrap skort with orange piping. The outfits flattered each member and the color combination (even if it was a very Halloween palette — made the girls stand out.

The ladies of Red Velvet went a more casual and normcore route in their styling. They all wore tennis skirts in different colors, paired it with school athletic tees. Seulgi and Wendy wore baseball caps that made them look really cool. The pastel color palette looked great on the members and made them look very relatable and down to earth. They managed to look fun and young while still following their “Ice Cream Cake” concept.

The Fashionistas and Avant-Gardists

BLOCK B’s stylist really had fun with each member. Everyone was dressed in a different style that still showed each boys’ personality and fashion sense. Jaehyo wore one of the most coveted fashion items for this season, a Moschino by Jeremy Scott soda sweater. Zico wore a Thrasher jacket full of patches, tank top, and sweatpants, making him effortlessly cool. P.O. looked amazing in his suit and B-Bomb rocked the culottes in a very cool way.

Furthermore, GOT7 graced the red carpet with looks especially created for them by designer Ko Tae Young, who held a mini fashion show with the group during the convention. Bam Bam wore an amazing coordinated bomber jacket and shorts that were styled over ripped jeans a longline T-shirt and amazing Chelsea boots. JB looked very handsome with his hair up, oversized sunglasses, and patched military jacket. Mark stood out in a sleeveless jacket, showing off his arms, and paired with white culottes. While the rest of the members were styled in similar fashion, the group looked cohesive and ready for a fashion editorial.


Also on KultScene: Inside KCON LA 2015 [PHOTOS]

MONSTA X is another case like Block B. Each member had a different styling that showed their personalities really well. They had a more urban and streetwear inspiration for their styling, which made them look edgy and cool. The best look was Hyungwon’s long parka with the amazing Raf Simons for ADIDAS sneakers. Wonho and Minhyuk almost looked like twins, but still managed to bring out their personalities through their styling; Minhyuk looked cute, while Wonho looked sexy. Jooheon looked handsome with his red hair and a pink snapback. Shownu, Kihyun, and I.M.’s styling was a little bit more simple than the rest of the members, but still made them stand out and look cool.

Zion T. & Crush were two of the coolest men to grace the red carpet. And even if Crush’s look was a little bit more casual, the one who stole the show was Zion T. We all are accustomed to the amazing avant-garde looks and silhouettes he presents with his daring fashion choices. He looked simple yet fashion forward with his wide legged black culottes, a simple black T-shirt layered with a printed dress shirt (which had the same print as Crush’s dress shirt), an oversized blazer, Vans sneakers.


Which artist was your favorite in KCON’s ’15 LA Red Carpet? 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.

The Best Songs At KCON LA 2015

Super Junior  KCON 15 LA KultScene Red CarpetSunday’s come and gone, and an avid KultScene reader may have realized that we didn’t publish our usual Playlist Sunday list. Don’t worry, we didn’t forget! We were just busy making sure that we covered every single moment at KCON LA 2015 to make sure we let you in on all the details. Instead, the three KultScene writers who covered the event picked our favorite songs of each night’s M! Countdown concert.

On the first night of the show, Super Junior performed a variety of songs from throughout their decade-long career. As a longtime ELF, or Super Junior’s Everlasting Friend, I couldn’t handle myself the minute I realized they were performing “Shake It Up.” The pump up party song is one of Super Junior’s most fun songs (in my opinion) and it seemed like everyone in the Staples Center on August 1 was stomping their feet and clapping along to the members’ antics.

During the second night, the final song of the first set was my particular favorite (barring Shinhwa, because let’s be honest, Shinhwa is a legend). When the opening chords of Red Velvet’s “Happiness” began, it seemed like everyone immediately began singing and dancing along. The song’s popularity and the relatively easy dance moves reminded me of a lot of circa 2009 K-pop songs, which thrived on their iconic dances, like Girls’ Generation’s “Gee,” Super Junior’s “Sorry Sorry,” and Wonder Girls’ “Tell Me.” As the opening act for the second night of “M! COUNTDOWN Feelz In LA,” Red Velvet got everyone moving and that’s nothing more than I could ask for.

— Tamar

As mentioned in our KCON 2015 in Los Angeles recap, on the first night of the concert, sapphire blue lights illuminated the Staples Center to welcome K-pop kings Super Junior. And since L.A., and overall America, craves the Super Show, Suju treated attendees to a medley of some of their most fun songs. But one of the most random if not mind boggling track choices was Donghae and Eunhyuk’s latest release “Can You Feel It.” Even if it was a quick snippet, the song was completely unexpected but completely appreciated, given that we got to see ALL of the guys derping around doing the choreography. Seeing this performance, along with the rest on the medley, only made us crave a Super Show even more and proved that audiences receive even their less known songs well.


Also on KultScene: Inside KCON LA 2015 [PHOTOS]

As an ELF, Saturday completely drained me of everything inside of me. Sunday was going to be a night for me to sit back, chill, and watch performances by groups I wasn’t heavily invested in. Sure, I liked some Block B songs, but I didn’t consider myself a big fan… that is until their sub-unit BASTARZ came out and performed “Zero for Conduct.” P.O, B-Bomb, and U-Kwon, literally, gave me life and got me lit as soon as the opening siren came out the speakers. I was dancing and completely vibing throughout the whole performance even though I didn’t know the lyrics of the song. And that, ladies and gentlemen, is by definition how you put on a great show.

— Alexis

Although the lively Jackson wasn’t in attendance at KCON LA with his group, GOT7 made sure to still put on a dynamic show for the crowd! The anticipation was already high since all the iGOT7’s (GOT7’s fan club name) knew the guys were going to sing “Just Right,” their newest single. But GOT7 took it to another level when they performed “Bounce,” which was the debut track for members JB and JR when they were JJ Project. “Bounce” is always such an enjoyable performance to watch, with all the crazy head bobbing, infectious frolicking as they run wild around the stage, and, of course, the cute “shake it shake it for me” butt shakes. What started as a two-person song and performance has now evolved into a song that the entire group can genuinely enjoy performing together!

Going into Sunday’s night’s concert, I already knew I would’ve been content with whatever setlist SHINHWA played. A part of me expected 80 percent of their set to be songs off of “The Return,” “The Classic,” and “WE,” considering these albums were all released within the last three years, with of course an addition of the song that brought them to their stardom, “T.O.P”. My predictions for their set was rather on par, but what blew my Changjo (SHINHWA’s fan club name) mind was when “Hey, Come On!” started playing. The crowd was already hyped and the energy was already through the roof, so can you imagine what it was like when the beat dropped for this song? The choreography for the songs they performed prior to this were all relatively mellow and synchronized versus the constant jumping and arm waving choreography for “Hey, Come On!” These legendary idols couldn’t have put together a better set list! Let’s just say the Changjo in me sobbed happy tears that night.

— Tam

I have never been a devoted fan to BLOCK B  but I have always liked them due to their aesthetics and their funny, big personalities. After seeing them perform live at KCON LA 2015, I  become a hardcore fan of the group. As soon as they began to perform “Very Good,” I went crazy. I started dancing and singing like crazy along with BLOCK B. Seeing them do all of their funny gimmicks and the unforgettable choreography of the song while commanding the huge stage at the Staples Center was a blast to my eyes and ears. The energy of the night got pumped up by BLOCK B making it a night and performance that I will never forget.

— Alejandro

 

What song would you enjoy seeing performed live? Let us know 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.

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.

Expo

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.

Panels

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.


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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

Food

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

Klub KCON

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

KCON App

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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Fantasy Vs. Reality Performances To See At KCON 2015

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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”


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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”


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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