Artist Spotlight: Sistar

In light of Sistar‘s recent comeback, I wanted to dedicate this Artist Spotlight to the sexy quartet. Sistar came on to the scene back in 2010, with their debut track Push Push, a Brave Brothers creation. In terms of a debut song, in 2010, I suppose it was pretty decent. As I watch the music video and listen to the song today I realize how generic and bland it is.

For me, Push Push fell flat. The autotune is too much and the beat doesn’t really add to the song. The video is pretty standard in that it is a lot of Sistar dancing in different sets with different outfits on. The song has a good amount of English lyrics, which makes it easy to sing along to and hard to get out of your head.

However, I don’t want to take anything away from Sistar’s debut. It’s hard to be able to see what a group will become from their debut song. Luckily in Sistar’s case, things seemed to keep going up and up.

Brave Brothers produced Sistar’s debut mini album, and don’t get me wrong, I love a lot of Brave Brothers’ songs and productions, but sometimes the songs all just blend together. Shady Girl and How Dare You are both different from Push Push and each other, but to me they do not sound all that different from each other; they’re too cohesive (in my opinion).

As Sistar released more and more singles, they began to show who they really were as artists and as singers. As 2012 came around, Sistar was back at it again with the help of Brave Brothers. Alone was a smash hit and this is one of the styles that I prefer from Brave Brothers. Alone is raw, sexy, and showcased the ladies’ enticing vocals.

This was a huge step up from their debut and really showed K-Pop listeners what Sistar was about. The choreography for Alone is a perfect example of how a simple leg dance can become viral overnight and help define an group’s song.

Since debut, each member of Sistar has completed solo projects. They have all done numerous activities, including Hyorin’s solo debut, Soyou’s duets and collaboration projects, Bora and Dasom’s acting, and, of course,  various appearances on variety shows by all of the members.

Each member of Sistar brings a different element to the group. Hyorin is the most recognizable and well-known member of the group. Her amazing vocals can been heard on her solo album, singing with Stevie Wonder, and singing the Korean version of Let It Go in the film Frozen.

Not only is Hyorin a well-known vocalist and member of Sistar, but she is also a member of the sub unit Sistar19 with fellow member Bora. The duo had a spectacular comeback with the Brave Brothers song Gone Not Around Any Longer, which became an immediate commercial success. The song created, yet again, an infamous dance this time with a table.

Bora is more recognized for her variety show appearances and her athleticism at the Idol athletic competitions. The petite speedster can hold her own on the stage as well as in the field with the best athletes of the idol world. Bora has recently dipped into the acting pool as well. She was a supporting character in the drama Doctor Stranger that ran from May through the beginning of July. Hopefully we’ll see her in more acting roles in the future.

Soyou had an extremely successful collaboration with Mad Clown for their song Stupid in Love. The song became a success, and even earned the duo a win on Show! Music Core. Stupid in Love allowed Sistar fans, and music listeners in general, an opportunity to truly hear Soyou’s beautiful vocals.

Dasom has appeared in a number of music videos and most notably acted as the lead in the drama Melody of Love. Out of the four Sistar members, Dasom and Bora are the only two that I have seen numerous times on variety shows. I remember watching one show that Bora and Dasom were on, and Dasom stole the show with her wit, humor, and fun and care-free personality.

Since their debut, the ladies of Sistar have continuously improved their craft and stepped out into acting and variety shows. They may not be a huge force in the latter two, but nobdy can deny that Sistar has a certain spark about them that makes people attracted to their songs.

Recently, Sistar made their comeback with Touch My Body, a fun song not produced by Brave Brothers. Sistar, as I’ve mentioned, is known for sexy and sensual dances. Touch My Body‘s choreography includes those aspects, but also adds a bit of humor and oddness with the stiff leg wiggle.

Without listening to the lyrics, the beat, instruments, and overall production of the song is a perfect mid-summer jam that makes me want to dance all night with my friends under the hot summer sky. Oh Sistar, you’ve hooked me again with your catchy tunes.

From Push Push to Touch My Body, Sistar has definitely evolved in vocal abilities and range. They are clearly comfortable with themselves to sing about deep and mature subjects such as loving and drifting apart as well as the obvious lust and attraction between two lovers.

Do you enjoy Sistar’s earlier songs or their more recent songs? 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: Dickpunks

K-Pop may be the most popular thing coming out of Korea today, but Korean rock bands are gradually becoming more and more popular. Dickpunks is one of Korea’s most popular bands right now, so here’s an introduction for everyone who may not know them.

First, the name. Freaking hilarious. Second, there’s no way to describe Dickpunks music. When they appeared on Superstar K4, the judges labeled it solely as “Dickpunks style.”

I first found out about the Dickpunks at the Lush Concert II in Seoul. I had gone to see Ailee, Baek Ji Young, and INFINITE perform, and ended up enjoying all of the performers. However, from that moment on, I fell in love with Dickpunks.

Dickpunks was formed in 2006 and began performing in Hongdae, a neighborhood popular in Korea for its music scene. The group then appeared on Superstar K4 in 2012, and lost to Roy Kim for the top spot on the show.

The group is made up of four members, and was founded when the keyboardist, Kim Hyun Woo, decided to create a band. Kim Tae Hyun is the vocalist, while Kim Jae Heung plays the bass, and Park Ga Ram plays the drums. Unlike most bands, Dickpunks has no guitarist because Kim Hyun Woo liked the idea of a piano-driven band.

The fact that the group doesn’t have a guitar is very noticeable and helps Dickpunks stand out in the Korean music scene, making their songs recognizable immediately. Tae Hyun’s voice is also very distinct.

Even though Dickpunks isn’t an idol group, it’s been compared to groups like Busker Busker and Ulalala Session for its ability to stand out in the industry with a distinctive sound.

Also, they’re incredibly handsome!

Dickpunks appeared on Superstar K4 first while performing its take on the 1968 trot hit, Ulleungdo Twist. The band’s version of the famous trot song met with favorable views, and the group continued on the show until it finally became the runner up.

After taking second place at Superstar K4, Dickpunks signed with TNC Company, and in 2013 released the album and song Viva Primavera. The song’s playful sound and music video gained a lot of attention in Korea, although it didn’t gain a lot of attention internationally. I saw them perform this at the Lush concert and fell in love.

The music video shows off Dickpunks playful style, showing the members in miniature and playing their music in the midst of a “follow the cup.”

Another song off of the album that I particularly liked was New Yorker, due to being a New Yorker myself. The lyrics and style of the song are hilarious, discussing the on-the-go lifestyle that Koreans think people have in New York City. Although I couldn’t find a translation of the lyrics, the song starts with a description of waking up and going to get coffee and then getting brunch at a fast-speed pace.

Ironically, the description painted in the lyrics actually reminds me more of Seoul’s lifestyle rather than New York’s!

After Viva Primavera, came Sunglass. Not “Sunglasses,” but Sunglass. The video, much like that of Viva Primavera, combined hilarity and randomness—the video runs in reverse. The song is about loving someone who hides their true intentions, making it difficult to face one another. Even though it’s a serious subject, Dickpunks makes a joke out of it in the video, and the tempo of the song implies levity.

After Sunglass, Dickpunks released a much more serious song, Hello Godbye, also known as Goodbye Girlfriend. The video, much like Viva Primavera and Sunglass, has a unique style- stop motion. Even though Hello Goodbye is a ballad, Dickpunks’ sound is apparent at the first sound of the song.

After releasing three music videos in 2013 and holding a concert at the end of the year, they recently made their 2014 comeback with Soulmate, a collaboration with 4Minute’s Jiyoon. Dickpunks performed a cover of 4Minute’s Muzik on Superstar K4, so it is quite fun to see the group work with one of 4Minute’s members.

Dickpunks cover of Muzik is so well-loved that the band recently performed it at the 2014 Miss Korea pageant during the swimsuit parade.

Along with their promotional songs, Dickpunks has also release music for the soundtracks of dramas like 2 Weeks and Angel Eyes.

Dickpunks style of music isn’t for everybody, but in the Korean music industry that is often ridiculed for being unoriginal, a band with a unique sound like Dickpunks is really appealing and exciting.

What do you think of Dickpunks and its style? Does this band deserve to be more popular?

Artist Spotlight: Megan Lee

Megan Lee has been around for quite a few years now. But finally she debuted with her first official single 8dayz this past May. In a world where K-Pop idols are fabricated, Megan Lee comes off very fresh. She is not only an actress, but she is a singer-songwriter and knows how to play the guitar. I first discovered Megan when I saw her on a video with Simon and Martina from Eat Your Kimchi going around Korea. Then I found more about her and I was instantly in love with her voice. Her personality was very bubbly and fun and it made me want to find out even more about her.

Even though her career started when she was 10, the 18-year-old Californian started getting recognition throughout the internet with her YouTube covers. She even won a 2NE1 cover contest and flew to Korea to meet the girls. Eventually, she joined MBC’s Start Audition season 2, where Lena Park hand-picked her to be her mentor.

megan lee and 2ne1

Last year, she signed with g.o.d’s Kim Tae Woo’s record label Soul Shop Entertainment and also with LOEN Entertainment. She had previously released her self composed songs and released a track with Kim Tae tittled Oppa, where their voices compliment each other very well.

With 8dayz, Megan shows a new side. Her whimsical voice blended really well with the country feeling of the song. And even though 2Yoon did the country and K-pop crossover with 24/7,  Megan brings a fresh twist a la Taylor Swift. The concept of the video is very fun and the boho-chic fashion goes very well with her. The song even features BEAST’s Yong Junhyung.

 And if you look closely,  you’ll notice a special cameo from Kim Tae Woo.

And there’s even has an English version of the song:

Moreover, legendary band g.o.d just released a teaser for their upcoming new music video and it features none other than our featured artist Megan Lee.

Listen to the full audio below:

I really hope you love Megan Lee as much as I do. I see a very bright future ahead of her.

Did you like Megan Lee? Make sure to let us know in the comments. 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: Neon Bunny

If we love K-Pop for its glitz and glamour, K-Indie takes a spot in our hearts for its more genuine and mellow feel. And considering that K-Pop is not even that popular in Korea, let’s take a look at a more coffee shop friendly artist of whom I love: bedroom pop princess Kim Yu Jin, more famously known as Neon Bunny.

In an international spectrum where K-Pop idols reign supreme, Neon Bunny stands out for her electro pop sound that’s completely foreign to the genre. Her 2011 debut album, Seoulight, set her apart from the mainstream dub step pop for her danceable guitars and synthesizers reminiscent of early French band Phoenix’s work. Critics acclaimed Seoulight, and it even won her the Best Pop Album award at the 2012 Korean Music Awards, where Yu Jin beat out IU. Some of the album’s standouts include Long-D and Can’t Stop Thinking About You.

Her following EP in 2012, Happy Ending, was heavily ’80s new wave influenced and delivered stronger messages with songs like Oh My Prince. Neon Bunny’s sound became more disco and therefore club friendly with more upbeat tempos than before, such as in Bubbles. You could say Happy Ending is trendier than her earlier work.

Neon Bunny laid very low after her Happy Ending success for a while, only helping out with bands Smells on Listen to your Heart and Demicat on Singing Bird. But the hiatus ended back in March of this year when she released the single, It’s You, produced by Demicat himself. And while an album or EP is still not confirmed, It’s You sufficed for us fans.

It’s You’s sound seems like Happy Ending’s continuation, embracing the retro synth and electro elements. You can see her progression since her last EP by noticing Singing Bird’s influence on the song, but still retains her individuality and signature voice. This song leaves listeners with high expectations of what’s to come from Neon Bunny in the near future.

How do you like Neon Bunny? Let me know, let’s fan-girl about it! Don’t forget to subscribe to the site and follow us on Facebook, TwitterInstagram, Tumblr, and Bloglovin’ so you can keep up with all our posts.

Artist Spotlight: Lucia

If you haven’t heard of Lucia, then you’re missing out on an incredibly soothing voice in K-Indie genre of the music industry. Her peaceful vocals and thoughtful music videos earned her the spotlight for this article, and the following three songs will show you why you should give this singer a try.

Sim Kyu Seon debuted in 2010, under pastelmusic, but she already had a musical, The Magicians, under her belt prior to moving onto a new career path. Even though she changed her stage name to Lucia a year or so after her debut, she is still best known for her calm, gentle tone and lovely ballads.

The first MV on my list is a collaboration between Lucia and INFINITE’s Woohyun, titled, Cactus.

While this is labeled as a duet, the first half consists of mainly Woohyun singing. I wish there were more harmonic parts to this, because the pair’s (most surprisingly, Woohyun’s) soft voices complement each other quite well, especially at the end.

The video itself may be sad, but it’s wonderfully put together. I am in love with the split screen, and both sides use water and tears to interact with one another. Not only does this represent the fluidity of emotions between people in relationships, but it also shows how, despite the break up, the two still have a special connection.

When discussing her works of art, I must include Lucia’s That Season for Korean-Japanese movie, Flower Shadow:

Right from the get-go, I knew that watching this music video would be a wonderful experience. The animation is simple but conveys so much emotion and movement reflecting that of the song and Lucia’s vocals. The use of colors (not to mention a lack of colors) and emphasis of red definitely highlight the strong sense of love and loss. The rise and fall of action in the video also synchronized perfectly with the singer’s voice.

This is probably my favorite composition from Lucia, mainly because I just can’t get enough of soft but strong ballads with an equally controlled voice.

Another project of Lucia’s that involves dance is Demian, from her latest album, Light & Shade:

This is where Lucia showcases her powerful voice and vibrato, along with some interpretive choreography on an otherwise not-so-flashy set. Due to the simplicity of the background, certain elements like the fluttering of fabric, the throwing of rope, and the scattering of smoke stand out and capture your attention.

Both Lucia and the male dancer perfectly express the feeling that Demian gives off, using a slow build of curves into a flight of muscles with a flow that parallels a stream setting into a waterfall. I think this is absolutely breathtaking, and it’s definitely the right representation for the theme of her album.

Four years into the business, and Lucia just seems to blossom even more with each release. It’s a shame that she’s not as well known as she should be, but I’m quite happy to be able to discover her talents and share them with you. Be sure to follow her on Twitter and Facebook to keep a tab on new music!

Are you a fan of Lucia, or have you never heard of her? What do you think about her work? Share your opinion and be sure to subscribe to the site and follow us on Facebook, TwitterInstagram, Tumblr, and Bloglovin’ so you can keep up with all our posts.

Artist Spotlight: 15&

Yerin and Jimin make up the talented duo 15&. They quietly debuted in 2012, and since then they have been relatively scarce in the music scene. It wasn’t until April of this year that I became interested in 15& when they made a comeback with Can’t Hide It. Not only did the two come back with a new single, but JYP Entertainment’s official YouTube released a number of teasers, live performances, and music videos to promote 15&’s comeback.

I really wanted to highlight 15& this week because: 1. JYP has been promoting them much more this comeback than in the past and 2. these two girls are extremely talented.

They may only be 16-years-old, but 15&’s member’s voices boast maturity and control. When Can’t Hide It came out, I was immediately drawn to the powerful vocals and the R&B feel of the song. But it really wasn’t until I saw Yerin and Jimin on After School Club that I became a fan. These two girls are not only talented in the singing department, but they speak fluent English and know how to have a good time. Throughout the entire episode all they did was joke around and enjoy themselves. Not only that, but you can tell that these two get along with each other and work well together.

The videos on JYP Entertainment’s YouTube really showcase the vocal talent of these young women. Not only are their talents highlighted in these videos, but as I mentioned before, their personalities truly come out.

Jimin is extremely outgoing and quirky. She just loves to have a good time. Yerin is a little more quiet than Jimin, and shy when she is the only one on camera. But she still knows how to joke around and enjoy herself.

An added bonus is the relationship between 15& and other JYP artists. For example, throughout the After School Club episode, Jimin constantly (and innocently) poked fun at GOT7’s Jackson. Her sarcasm is something that I locked in on right away. Even in 15&’s behind the scenes video for Sugar, we see Yerin and Jimin joke around with 2PM’s Chansung and GOT7’s BamBam, among others.

These kinds of attributes draw fans in because Yerin and Jimin seem more personable, approachable, and more human as opposed to untouchable idols. It is clear from their actions, personalities, and overall demeanors that fame has not affected them and that they are in this industry because they love music and they love to sing.

To be honest, I would love to hang out with these two. I imagine we would laugh and make fun of ourselves all day and then they would hold a mini concert so I could hear them sing in person. As I keep emphasizing, Yerin and Jimin are a talented duo whose power vocals will blow you away. As if having amazing vocal talents weren’t enough, Yerin and Jimin will also draw you in with their fun and addicting personalities.

If you’re new to 15&, check them out on JYP’s official YouTube account. If you’re already a fan of 15&, what’s your favorite song by the duo and are you enjoying their recent comeback? Don’t forget to subscribe to the site and follow us on Facebook, TwitterInstagram, Tumblr, and Bloglovin’ so you can keep up with all our posts.