EE Are South Korean Performance Artists Fitting Outside The Box [Interview]

Take every genre of music that you love, a few that you can’t stand, over-the-top theater productions, and half of what you’ll find in every post-modern art exhibit, and you may stumble upon South Korean performance-musician duo EE. EE, comprised of married couple Lee Hyun Joon (Big E) and Lee Yun Joung (Little E,) recently featured on MFBTY’s comeback song Buckubucku alongside BTS’s Rap Monster, and are getting ready for their shows at 2015 SXSW.

Little E took a few moments to tell KultScene about the duo’s plans for the future.

Can you please introduce yourselves to KultScene’s readers?

“We’re EE from Korea! We call ourselves a “total art performance group.” It sounds really big and fancy, but it just means that we like to mix many different things together like art, music, visuals, and fashion to make really cool and unique performances.

What does “EE” mean?

Lee is our family name, the letter “E” is easy to say, and it can also be used in lots of different words. That’s why we chose the name EE.

What’s your creative process like?

Big E and I are married. So we have many conversations every day about our lives and contemporary issues. We talk about these things, scribble and draw about them, and write about them. Then we take our ideas and make them into sounds, videos, art exhibitions, and performances.

Also on KultScene: Artist Spotlight: DaeNamHyup

What music, style, artists, etc. influences your performances?

We’re mainly influenced by older artists like Joy Division, David Bowie, Jean-Michel Basquiat, and others. Sometimes I’m influenced by art exhibitions and sometimes by my baby too.

The two of you are married. Does that ever make it difficult to work together?

Sometimes it makes things extremely difficult! But we’ve learned how to separate things. At home, we’re family. At work, we’re co-workers. That mindset helps us keep things a bit more balanced.

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What was your reaction when you found out you’ll be performing at SXSW?

We jumped in the air and chest bumped each other! We were obviously very happy about the news.

EE previously performed in the US at Coachella in 2011, becoming the only Korean band to ever play at the festival. What was it like performing for an overseas crowd that maybe wasn’t so familiar with your style?

Coachella was a really cool experience. We played early in the day, and as you said not many people were familiar with our music. But when we began our set, people started literally running over to watch us. I saw them from the stage and I was thrilled by their actions.

What do you expect from the audience at SXSW?

We always do whatever we want and never think about how people will react to things. But we’re hoping the crowd at SXSW will come in with an open mind and will want to play and have fun with us. We want to get crazy together with everyone!

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You just released “Wiggy Dawn.” Can you tell us a little bit about the song?

“Wiggy Dawn” is about Korean working moms’ escape into the dawn of the modern world. Korean moms often feel “locked up” by Confucian ideology, their duties as mothers, and stress from work. A mom has to be Superwoman. This is my story too. “Wiggy Dawn” is from our new EP, “Dear Door.” I think doors always represent the ability to go to another place or to escape.

“Dear Door” came out on March 13 and we released the music video for “Wiggy Dawn” that same day. Please check the EP and music video out!

Can you suggest a few songs for new fans of EE to listen to?

“Curiosity Kills,” “Gaweebaweevo,” “Banging Till I Die,” and “High Collar.”

What are EE’s plans for 2015 and the future?

Big E is going to have an exhibition at the Venice Biennale. I’m working with my first band, Pippi Band, again to make something for our 20th anniversary. Also we have plans for more overseas gigs for EE. And since we have a new EP out, we’re thinking about maybe doing some performances in a museum in Korea.

Is there anything else you’d like to let fans know about EE?

Many things in the world fit nicely inside in a box. But EE exists outside of that box. If you want to experience something that’s different, weird, and fun come find us! You’ll be happy you did.”

EE will be playing two shows at 2015 SXSW. If you’re in the area, make sure to stop by and see what this couple’s performances are like! :
March 18 Austin, Texas (11 pm) @ 405 Club
March 19 Austin, Texas (10:30 pm) @ Elysium (K-Pop Night Out)

Check out the music video for “Wiggy Dawn,” and then watch it again while you try to figure out what is going on.

What do you think of EE? Do you like this performance style art? 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.

Artist Spotlight: Fromm

Fromm has been on the Korean Indie scene since 2012 when she released a digital single album titled Wasn’t it Love. Since then, she has released a full-length album and two digital single albums. Fromm’s musical abilities and vocal strengths are present throughout her songs, showing different vocal tones on her songs. She sometimes even sounds similar to female Western singers, but aside from those brief instances, Fromm’s vocals are her own. She doesn’t sound like any one person.

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Artist Spotlight: Giriboy

If you combine cute, good looks with a made for variety TV dorky persona, and rap-songwriting skills, what do you get? Not an idol, that’s for sure. Or at least not in Giriboy’s case. The up-and-coming not-so-underground-anymore Korean rapper with his big rimmed glasses and soft, melodic flow has been creating a flawless bridge between this genre and K-pop since his debut in 2011.

Signed under Swing’s label Just Music Entertainment, Giriboy has been taking the Korean entertainment industry one step at a time by releasing several solo albums, stacking up the featurings on other artists’ songs, and appearing on TV shows. Many might remember him from his participation in the hip hop competition program Show Me the Money 3 and as a mentor and judge on Mnet and Starship Entertainment’s survival show NO.MERCY.

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Hong Si Young’s stage name translates to “to see the way” in Korean, which, to him, means that no matter what he does, the things in front of him are bright and promising. “Giriboy” serves as the best metaphor for the multifaceted rapper and singer. Because even if he’s signed under the Show Me the Money 2 fierce winner’s label and on the roster with artists like Vasco, Nochang, CJamm, and Black Nut, Giriboy is the type of rapper the ladies love. No, seriously, he has a big female following…

giriboy profile korean rapper

via imcheol @ Tumblr

As opposed to what’s trending in hip hop nowadays, Giriboy’s style is similar to that of Crucial Star. His flow is soft spoken and tender, and the music and beats he tends to rap over are feel-good with melodies at the hook that are easy to sing along to. Which, in theory, completely clashes with the notion that Swings consistently features on most of his songs, starting with his debut single You Don’t Look Good To Me. And yet, Swings puts the yang in Giriboy’s yin. Swings generally kicks back and delivers a slower paced rap, never diminishing Giriboy’s style. In last year’s Camp, both artists contrasted swag with emotion seemingly effortlessly.

The thick rimmed glasses wearing rapper’s discography includes Fatal Album and Sensual Album, while his latest solo release is Evil Cut. As is accustomed by rappers, many other of his acclaimed peers have collaborated on songs for his albums, such as You’re a Chemical with Beenzino and 계획적인 여자 with Zico.

Last year, critics speculated that his distinct style might have been the reason why he didn’t perform as well as the other contestants on Show Me the Money 3. But even if he didn’t survive long among traditional rap heavyweights, he quickly won Tablo as a fan, who was eager to work with him, but Giriboy ultimately chose YDG’s team and the Epik High leader often sulked about it. Moreover, upon his increasing popularity, the mainstream rapidly jumped on his mellow flow. Some of his K-pop collaborations include Anticipation Note with NS Yoon-G and Arm Pillow with SISTAR’s Soyu and NO.MERCY trainee Kihyun, and this is only the beginning.

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Giriboy’s voice and flow are a great alternative to the traditional hard, jumpy, EDM infused hip hop that’s so hot right now. His assertiveness lies in his lyrics, proving that you don’t have to spit aggressively to be a valid rapper.

giriboy profile about korean rapper

via huckleberryb @ Tumblr

Do you like Giriboy? 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.

Artist Spotlight: DaeNamHyup

Nowadays, it’s not just K-pop that benefits from the Hallyu craze. Korean hip hop has been on the rise for the last two years, with more and more rappers achieving international fame and recognition, like Beenzino, Dok2, and Simon D. After years of struggle, Korean hip hop is rapidly finding and cementing its way to the mainstream. And while there are big names out in the game killing it, you can’t forget where they came from or the one’s who are still underground. Hell, some of our favorite idol rappers started out in the underground in crews.

Such is the case of DaeNamHyp, short for “great southern joseon [Korea’s last dynasty] hip hop cooperative,” a Korean hip hop crew comprised of rappers and producers Marvel J, i11evn, DJ Snatch, Supreme Boi, Kyum2, Samsoon, ILLIPS, Iron (아이언), Kidoh, and Rap Monster. Yes, you didn’t read that wrong. BTS’ Rap Monster and ToppDogg’s Kidoh are still part of the collective, even though they currently focus on their idol groups. Marvel J is the crew’s leader, and their ages range from 28 to 21-years-old, with several ‘94 liner members. They have been active since 2009.

DaeNamHyup profile

via rapmon-dongsaeng @ Tumblr

DaeNamHyp, or DNH, as a group, is not signed to any label and release their music the old fashioned way, through mixtapes. Their latest release 제 1차 회동 (First Meeting) features all of the members with the exception of Rap Monster (who was really busy last year with BTS) either rapping or producing. Their sound draws influence from Southern rap (the American South, of course) and krump. While their flows and rap styles vary, they all spit with a little aggression, dropping their verses hard. As opposed to the established rappers’ albums, 제 1차 회동 lacks overproduction, and its rawness and emphasis on the members’ rap is what gives the mixtape a fresh and authentic feeling.

Their rapping styles are best represented on the tracks where they show their clique love, DNH Cypher and Crew Love. As for sound, Do It and Uranus show the range of talent DaeNamHyp has, going from the hard hitting beats to the mellow, easy-going raps, but killing it either way.

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However, hip hop crews are not like idol groups who are always together. It’s more of a group of friends who share the same interests that sometimes release group material, but also pursue solo work. While Rap Mon and Kidoh are the only members currently in idol groups, Supreme Boi is a producer for Big Hit Entertainment and has worked with BTS before. He recently dropped the fresh and feel-good track Hawaii under Big Hit.

Iron, for his part, came in second place on the competition TV program Show Me The Money 3 and recently delivered a rap verse for SHINee’s Jonghyun’s first solo project Crazy. He previously released his first mixtape Ixtape, and has featured on other artists tracks, such as Hyorin X Jooyoung’s Erase. Iron has a deep, hoarse voice that is reminiscent of BIGBANG’s T.O.P, but his spit and demeanor are far more aggressive than the BIGBANG member’s raps. Moreover, Iron was once part of the original BTS lineup, but is now signed with Polaris Entertainment and is slated to debut in a group called HIVE.

Marvel J and i11evn are not as active as the previous members with their solo work, but do upload tracks to their soundcloud pages. i11evn is signed to Factory Boi Records and recently collaborated with Supreme Boi on Kidoh’s So Busy at 1 o’Clock off of his solo mini album Small Album.

As mentioned before, Kidoh is part of ToppDogg, but missed out on a group promotional cycle in order to release his solo mini album Small Album last year. This release was different from what was previously seen by him under ToppDogg or DNH since he sang more than rapped. The title song, Taxi on the Phone, is a jazzy, piano and electric guitar lead song. His fellow ToppDogg member Sangdo featured on the track, but Kidoh kept DNH love flowing by having Iron appear in the music video playing a drunk. Moreover, So Busy at 1 o’Clock, with Supreme Boi and i11evn, sounds more like DNH material, being the only traditional hip hop track on the album.

Rap Monster, as A.R.M.Y. (BTS’ fanclub) knows well, uploads solo tracks to BTS’ soundcloud now and then. His verses on these tracks show a less restrained Rap Monster, spitting about topics he wouldn’t on his idol albums.

Samsoon and ILLIPS, for their part, are said to be currently inactive in DNH activities and haven’t released any solo work lately. Kyum2 is currently in the army and has released solo songs, but requested that fans wouldn’t upload them to any platform. Lastly, DJ Snatch is still grinding, uploading pictures to his Instagram in support of Supreme Boi’s recent showcase and a video with Kidoh in a studio, which suggest he’s still working with his DNH members. He is also expected to debut with HIVE.

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DaeNamHyup’s released their latest mixtape early last year and had a showcase in March. They also held a concert with Royal Cla$$ in the summer, attended by Kidoh but not Rap Monster. And in order to bring 2014 to a close, Iron, i11evn, Kidoh, Supreme Boi, Marvel J, and DJ Snatch performed at Speakshow with other rappers like Crucial Star, GEEKS, and Giriboy.

Even if some of the DNH members are in idol groups and others are pursuing their own solo careers, the boys always support one another by holding showcases together or featuring on each other’s work. All of the members are still in their 20’s, which, contrary to K-pop idols, means they’re just getting started. Whether it’s as DaeNamHyup or as solo acts, the crew are on their way to slay the Korean rap game.

DaeNamHyup profile dnh

via dementho @ Tumblr

What’s your favorite DaeNamHyup song? Share your thoughts in the comment section below and be sure to subscribe to the site and follow us on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Tumblr to keep up with all of our posts.

Artist Spotlight: Yoon Mirae

When it comes to talented women in South Korea, Yoon Mirae is on, if not at the top, of the list. Singer, rapper, dancer, mc, mother, wife, activist—there’s hardly a title that Yoon Mirae hasn’t held since the 1990’s when she entered the Korean music scene. As one of the first rap and R&B singers in Korea, Yoon Mirae set, and continues to influence, the tone for the future of Korean music.

Born in the United States to a Korean mother and an African American father, Natasha Reid debuted in Korea under the name T, sometimes Tasha, as part of the original line up Uptown. Since then, along with being a talented solo artist, Yoon Mirae has been associated with various hip-hop crews in South Korea, including The Movement, Drunken Tiger, and MFBTY (short for My Fans Are Better Than Yours.) Each of these crews includes both Tasha and her husband, Tiger JK of the group Drunken Tiger.

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Yoon Mirae appears to thrive on collaborating with others, and her solo songs are nothing to scoff at. Nowadays, she’s been gaining a lot of attention for her soulful songs for the soundtracks of dramas like The Master’s Sun and It’s Okay, That’s Love. Such a prolific artist is hard to summarize in a few songs, but here are several songs that paint a picture of Yoon Mirae’s talent and her typical style.

Memories (Smiling Tears) came out in 2002, and is an early song that highlights Yoon Mirae’s rapid-fire rap skills and her R&B style that is reminiscent of some famous singers, particularly Lauryn Hill. Yoon Mirae’s songs are almost always inspiring, and Memories is one of her iconic songs with lyrics like “all the hopes and the dreams will survive.” It also has an example of numbers, which appear in several of Yoon Mirae’s songs.

Next up is Black Happiness, from Yoon Mirae’s 2007 album T3 – Yoon Mi Rae. This is one of Yoon Mirae’s most iconic songs about her heritage as a biracial artist in Korea who was met with racism since a young age, but turned to music to find refuge. Even though her father’s skin color was the “problem,” Yoon Mirae sings that her connection to music is thanks to him, and that music has gotten her through everything. Her aggressive rap complements her inspirational lyrics, depicting the struggle that Yoon Mirae went through while growing up.

They told me to wear a mask
They said my mom’s race was okay
But not my dad’s

I felt like I was in jail
And I leaned on myself
I spent endless, painful days
I ignored their warnings
And because I missed music
I tried to escape

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Get It In was the start of a new sound for Yoon Mirae. Mixing her traditional hip-hop sound with electronic music. Get It In, featuring Tiger JK and solo singer Jung In, has a club feel to it and ends with a pounding beat that Yoon Mirae rarely utilized in her earlier iconic songs. Released in 2011, the song is about someone searching for their own place in the world– continuing Yoon Mirae’s philosophical style. Personally, I interpreted the battle scene in the music video as the singer’s fight with the world around her to continuously improve.

2013 brought a new, more popular version of Yoon Mirae with the song Touch Love from The Master’s Sun soundtrack. Without her usual rap, the song doesn’t really feel like it’s Yoon Mirae’s style, but Touch Love just shows another side to Yoon Mirae’s talent, where she goes the typical Korean ballad route rather than sticking to a more Western-influenced style. The song won multiple awards, and Yoon Mirae also sang I Love You for It’s Okay, That’s Love OST.

And, finally, Yoon Mirae’s latest song Angel. Not only does she look fantastic in the music video, but Yoon Mirae’s powerful singing appears in a mature, heartfelt way. The song isn’t about a lover in specific, but the people who support you when you’re having a hard time. Yoon Mirae released the song after a year where she lost her father-in law (This article had previously said her father), was betrayed by someone she trusted, and started a new company, but even so she has people around her who help her keep faith during hard times. Angel’s meaning led it to reaching the number one spot of multiple Korean music charts shortly after being released this month.

Do you like Yoon Mirae’s style? What’s your favorite song. Share your thoughts in the comment section below and be sure to subscribe to the site and follow us on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Tumblr to keep up with all of our posts.

Artist Spotlight: Almeng

All of you who followed K-Pop Star 3 got to witness the incredible talent of the Almeng co-ed duo. In every round they delivered incredible unique performances, from arranging an established song and making it their own to creating their self-composed song. They never ceased to amaze the viewers with their talent and originality, leading them to debut under YNB Entertainment this past October.

Almeng is composed of Chae Rin and Lee Hae Yong, two friends who started collaborating due to their intense love for music. As soon as they began to work together, they found their unique voice. The duo composes and produces their own songs, and they love to inject their unique personalities in their work. All of this came together with their debut mini-album, CompoSing of Love.

Almeng Cover via YNB Entertainment
The group’s album is very fresh to the K-Pop music industry. It contains elements of different music genres, and is heavily influenced by hip-hop, R&B, and pop. The album tells different stories about love and the meaning of the word through the members’ eyes. Choi Rin is in charge of the main raps, which create a fluid conversation though every track. Her flow and soft yet powerful raps mixed with Lee Hae Yong’s unique and tender vocals give you a feeling of listening to a musical. Choi Rin has also the ability to vocalize beautifully, which enables her to harmonize with Lee Hae Yong’s voice.

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They made their debut with a double single, Half an Hour and Phone In Love. The later is their first official single, and it gives listeners a modern take on blind dates. It talks about how those dating apps give a different take on the old ways of how people used to meet each other and fall in love. Almeng dwells on how the virtual world has changed the way people interact with each other to the degree that it has even changed the way that we fall in love.

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Half an Hour shows a couple complaining about those thirty minutes that could have been spent loving each other, but instead, they are used for waiting, fighting, and not paying attention to their loved ones.

Judged on K-Pop Star 3 praised Almeng for creating music and stages that were relatable to everyone. YNB Entertainment gave the duo their full trust on letting them manage every detail of their debut album. By doing so, the group was able to be themselves and continue to relate to every listener out there. Almeng only just debuted, but they sure have a long way to go with their unique take and creative minds.

Do you like Almeng? 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.

Artist Spotlight: Crucial Star

The combination of a calm beat, soft vocals, and rapping is something that’s becoming popular in the K-Pop scene. But where did this style come from? Surely something in the mainstream must’ve had its beginnings somewhere else. Crucial Star, real name Park Se Yoon, is a South Korean rapper, producer, composer and lyricist who has that craft down to a T in the hip hop spectrum.

crucial star rap korean

via Grandline Entertainment X N’Ouir

The 25-year-old began his career at the age of 17 performing with the hip hop group Libra Twins, but then joined label Soul Company and became a solo artist. Crucial Star debuted in 2010 with his first single Catch Me If U Can, and released his first mini-album A Star Goes Up in 2011, where he featured artists like Dok2 and Basick. He followed that up with A Star from the Basement in the same year, where he talked about the Korean hip hop scene and how most artists in the game don’t understand the fundamentals of the genre.

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In 2012, Crucial Star changed labels again after Soul Company went under and joined Grandline Entertainment, home to Geeks, Rimi, and K Jun. The piano and percussion song Nothing Lasts Forever from his mini-album Fall, is his reflection on the aftermath following the company’s disbandment, where he talks about his dreams and determination going forward. However, it was Flat Shoes from his previous EP Drawing #1: A Dream Spokesman featuring Lovely that was a hit.

Crucial Star draws inspiration from his daily life, talking mostly about his own experiences and especially women. He loves a heavy bass within a gentle beat, which is the staple in his music. His rapping style resembles that of American rappers Drake or Kid Cudi by being laid back and cool. The artist mixes his rapping with his vocals effortlessly, which creates a very nice ambiance in his music. He also tends to do many collaborations with other hip hop and even K-Pop acts.

In 2011, he composed I Just Want U and iPod Girl for then label mate Mad Clown. Once situated with his new company, Crucial Star collaborated with Zion.T, TakeOne, and The Quiett for Own Way for his EP Fall. Geeks also featured him on their remix version of Out of Breath, along with Ugly Duck, Zion.T, DJ Dopsh, 화나, and Block B’s Zico.

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As far as collaborations with K-Pop idols, Crucial Star was featured on Jepp Blackman’s, a.k.a. B.A.P’s Yongguk, Last One. And earlier this year, he released a remake of the jazzy Park Hye Kyung’s 2000 song Three Things I Wanna Give You together with Girl’s Day’s Sojin.

The rapper released two EPs in 2013, Drawing #2: A Better Man and A Winter Love Song, and is now preparing to release his first full-length album. Midnight will mark his fresh start. The first single is Paris, a song that compares a woman to the city of lights. Directed by Lee Byungil, the music video is a beautiful work of cinematography that’s simple and chic at the same time, and has a very romantic feel to it.

The second single Pretty Girl dropped on October 1st, and is a bit more uptempo than its predecessor. Pretty Girl is yet another collaboration with Lovely, who adds her sweet vocals to a very fresh and clean, soft hip hip song.

Midnight, a 15-track album, will be released on October 24th, Crucial Star’s 26th birthday.

Do you like Crucial Star? We’d love for you to share your thoughts, and don’t forget to follow us on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Tumblr, and Bloglovin’ so you can keep up with all our posts.

Artist Spotlight: Beenzino

K-Hip hop artist Beenzino creates a world with his music where fashion, art, and music blend. His lyrics contain various sexual innuendos that are tastefully depicted, the love for surrealist artists like Salvador Dali, high fashion, and his love for women. Beenzino rose from the underground hip-hop scene, and is a free spirit that never compromises his artistic identity.

Growing up in New Zealand, Lim Sung Bin developed a love and admiration for hip-hop music. At first, he couldn’t understand the foreign lyrics, but that helped him develop his flow. After this, he began writing lyrics that would be relatable to people, thus creating a bigger connection with his audience. His stage name persona, Beenzino, is a tribute and parody to American rapper Benzino and a play on his name Sung Bin.

Fast forward to today, Beenzino is pursued by many artists to be featured in their songs. He is one of the best rappers in Korea, with his very unique flow and artistic sensibility. He  incorporates a lot of singing onto his tracks (unlike other rappers that only rap) that create a very cool and melodic experience in his tracks.


The 27-year-old rapper is currently signed with The Quiett and Dok2’s independent record label Illionaire Records, and has two albums in his roster. His first mini album 24:26 was released in 2012, and has collaborations with Dynamic Duo and labelmates The Quiett and also Dok2. The music takes you back to the ‘90s, when hip-hop was a its peak. Some songs, especially Boogie On & On, really make you want to stand up and dance. This song really highlights his singing voice, which is very smooth and has a very unique color.

Dali, Van, Picasso was only released as a single, but is a very powerful track. Beenzino really dug deep within himself while writing the lyrics of this song. He lets us know how much he loves these three artists and how they shaped his life and artistic sensibility. He makes powerful statements of who he is as an artist, what he wants to become, and where he wants to take his music in the future. This track is Beenzino’s self-portrait.

With his second album Up All Night, released July 2014, he continued with his signature funky, hip-hop vibe. He still shows his love for fashion and art throughout the album. His first single How Do I Look? talks about how he loves to look fashionable and chic and definitely loves a woman who appreciates fashion as much as he does.

Beenzino How Do I Look

The highlight track of the album is without a doubt the title track Up All Night featuring Mayson The Soul. Beenzino lets go of all his emotions, and this is what really makes the track so memorable. You can feel his suffering from the way he raps and sings in the song. Not only that, but the lyrics are intense and portray a feeling of sadness, regret, and hate.

When it comes to Beenzino’s music, there is no comparison to any other artists out there. He is very unique and his music really takes you places. Not only are his lyrics are relatable, but they also make you feel like you are digging into his life. Even if Beenzino is collaborating with K-Pop artists like HAT:FELT and Lee Hyori, hip-hop camarades like Dok2, or K-indie artist Zion T, he always injects his special touch to every collaboration.

Do you like Beenzino as much as we do? What do you think about his work? We’d love to hear you thoughts and don’t forget to follow us on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram,

Artist Spotlight: TOKiMONSTA

Korean-American DJ and producer TOKiMONSTA has a unique vision when it comes to the work that she creates. Her tracks are a very cool and have a different take on the electro indie, R&B, and dance music genres. TOKiMONSTA, takes us on a nostalgic journey with every song she produces. Her creative mind comes alive not only on her tracks but also in her music videos, which are visually stunning.

The California native, née Jennifer Lee, got her stage name from the Korean word tokki, meaning “bunny.” She gained a spot on the MNET America show Alpha Girls, which showed TOKiMONSTA preparing for her first show in her motherland South Korea. She was invited to participate on the “Asian Americans in Entertainment” panel at KCON 2013 with fellow artists Will Yun Lee, Joe Hahn, and Lydia Paek.

Moreover, TOKiMONSTA was the first female artist to be signed with Flying Lotus’ BRAINFEEDER independent record label. She later moved to another label, Ultra Music, but after several moves between labels, TOKiMONSTA created her own, Young Art Records. She plans to support new and emerging artist and develop her own record label more.

She grew up listening to hip-hop and classical music, and both have influenced her work. She loves to experiment with different tools and instruments in order to create very unique sounds. TOKiMONSTA uses actual musical instruments (violin, flute, clarinet) to record the sounds they make and then she later distort them with sound effects. She feels that it’s very important in the digital area to still use real instruments even while most of other DJ’s stick to computers to create their sounds. She also loves to shop for old vinyls to sample music and incorporate it into her songs.

The artist is about to release her new album Desiderium, the follow up record to her hit album from last year, Half Shadows. Her newest track, Drive, features vocals from singer/songwriter Arama. The song has very heavy bass sounds that create a big feeling of nostalgia. The chorus is very catchy and when you listen to the track it feels like if you are taking a trip back to when R&B ruled the ‘90s.

TOKiMONSTA exhibited so much excitement about her new work that she even released her newest single early, Steal My Attention.

Her very unique nostalgic sound goes from hard house to soft house while mixing with hip-hop and R&B. TOKiMONSTA makes vintage sounds look cool in our modern digital era. If she were to produce any songs or collaborate with a K-Pop artists, it will surely have an amazing outcome.

How do you like TOKiMONSTA unique and creative music? Don’t forget to let us know in the comment section below. We’d love to hear you thoughts and don’t forget to follow us on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Tumblr, and Bloglovin’ so you can keep up with all our posts.

Artist Spotlight: HISTORY

Debuting in 2013 with Dreamer, HISTORY is a great group that hasn’t gained as much popularity as it deserves.

When LOEN Entertainment (now known as 1theK) announced its first boy group, there was a lot of anticipation. This would be the first male idol group coming out of LOEN, which produces IU, Sunny Hill, Fiestar, and several of the Brown Eyed Girls’ solo songs. As a result, the Korean entertainment industry knew that the new group would have its own unique style.

LOEN advertised its upcoming group as an “alternative group” to the usual idols

HISTORY was introduced via several teaser videos, beginning with “Do You Know Us?” which starred IU. Next came a set of teasers called, “Real Dating Tip Book,” where each member gave comical advice about dating. However, instead of being helpful, the members acted out the exact things that would disgust the object of their affection.

The quintet debuted on April 26, 2013 with Dreamer, a song with a big band sound that seems more suited for Broadway than K-Pop. IU narrated the song, and Son Dambi appeared in the music video.

While Dreamer was HISTORY’s debut song, the public already knew several of the members. Leader Song Kyungil was well known as a dancer, who appeared in several of IU’s performances; he was also known to be friends with BIGBANG’s G-Dragon and T.O.P.  Rapper Kim Si Hyoung had appeared in the third season of Ulzzang Shidae while main vocalist Jang Yi Jeong had become a smash hit on Birth of A Great Star 2; Na Do Kyun went by the name “Na Yul” when he was a member of the rock-ballad group Buzz. Only Kim Jae Ho hadn’t been known in the past.

HISTORY’s first comeback was the following August, with Tell Me Love. In comparison to Dreamer, Tell Me Love is a much more typical dance song. The video, like so many Korean music videos, had the members in stylish outfits and dancing on a single set.

In November, HISTORY announced yet another comeback, with the mini album Blue Spring. HISTORY filmed the music video for title song What Am I To You in Germany, and featured yet another side to HISTORY; Dreamer was a showtune, and Tell Me Love was a dance song, but What Am I To You is a Latin-inspired pop song that featured the members as bad boys living the rough life. The video had a 19+ rating for drugs and violence, which is rare for rookie idol groups to discuss.

After the Blue Spring comeback, Jang Yi Jeong featured on IU’s self-composed song, Friday. The sweet song emphasizes both IU and Jang Yi Jeong’s vocals and showed a different side to HISTORY’s youngest member. (IU recently sung the song with Teen Top’s Niel at KCON.)

HISTORY made their 2014 comeback only after several months of not hearing from them—the group made a comeback in June with Psycho. The song and music video are most thematically similar to What Am I To You, showing HISTORY’s darkside.

However, each song from HISTORY has a unique sound and style, and this latest song was influenced by the classic Alfred Hitchcock film, Psycho; the members depict a man suffering from multiple personality disorder who is obsessed with a woman. The song is haunting, and the dance is one of the sexiest to come out of K-Pop this year.

HISTORY has also starred in a handful of variety shows featured on Loen Entertainment/1TheK’s YouTube page, but has yet to star in any popular variety shows or dramas.  Hopefully HISTORY’s unique style and talented members will get more attention soon, so that fans can see more from the members.

Do you like HISTORY’s sound and style? What type of song should the group come out with next? Leave your thoughts in the comment section below and be sure to subscribe to the site and follow us on FacebookTwitterInstagramTumblr, andBloglovin’ so you can keep up with all our posts.