Archive for the ‘k-pop love’ Category

I read the news in Soompi about Kris of EXO filing a lawsuit against SM Entertainment to terminate his existing contract with the company. Though the details of this request for contract termination were not discussed in detail, it was mentioned that his circumstances are similar to that of former Super Junior member Hangeng/Hankyung who also filed a lawsuit against SM Entertainment years ago for contract termination.

Though I’m not a hardcore EXO fan, I must admit that I was a bit shocked by this news. I was shocked not because of the fact that Kris was asking for his contract to be terminated but because of how soon this happened. I was somehow expecting this to happen some of the members of EXO especially considering how ‘focused’ SM Entertainment is to this group, similar to how ‘focused’ the company was with DBSK and Super Junior before. Add to that, we’re talking about SM Entertainment here who is a company known for its sneaky and unfair contracts and treatment of its artists. The long list of artists who left the company due to the same reason is enough to prove this. With Kris’ case, I was just not expecting it to come this soon because EXO has been in the business for only around 2 years. Well, I guess Kris has had enough of whatever it is that SM  Entertainment is giving him/them so he decided to end it as soon as possible. I mean if he’s not happy with it anymore, then why stay, right?

Just a word of advice to EXO fans from a Cassie who has been in the same situation years ago: let Kris be and respect whatever his decision is. You will never know what he feels and what he’s going through because you’re not in his shoes. Yes, this kind of situation is surely painful for the fans but you must also remember how much more painful this is for Kris and the other EXO members. Try to understand him and just support him no matter what. Taking sides in this kind of situation is inevitable but if ever you choose not to support Kris’ decision, then it’s ok to leave him alone as long as you don’t put him down. I know sometimes it takes a lot of time and courage to accept these kinds of things and move on from it. For those who have been following this blog, they know that I, for one, is guilty of taking sides when  DBSK was put in the same situation. I chose to support  JYJ and though I tried to keep supporting Yunho and Chamgmin too, I failed in doing so. I felt a sense of disappointment towards Yunho and Changmin so I just decided to let them be – I avoided watching their performances or listening to their music to try and ease the pain and bitterness that I’m feeling towards them. This proved to be effective because in time, the pain, disappointment and bitterness I felt was gone. I’m actually ok now, I can finally enjoy watching the two of them again, maybe not the same joy as I felt before when they were DBSK5 but at least I’ve already accepted their situation now and I’ve completely moved on. Yes, I still consider myself a Cassie (I always will) but I think I’m a more “mature” Cassie now, something that I hope DBSK5 members will be proud of.

EXO fans are probably still in the stage of denial right now and I know how hard this is for you but stay strong and support each other. Take care of all the EXO members because what they need most now is your love, understanding and support. Look back at how Cassies and ELFs responded when put in this kind of situation before and learn from our mistakes. EXO is a young  group and your fandom is just at it’s beginnings. This is just a challenge and a test of character for you so do everything you can to pass this with flying colors for this will be the foundation of your fandom in the years to come.

As what we Cassies always tell each other before: Always keep the faith!

111001 K-pop Music: For the Eyes or For the Ears?

There are only two genres in K-pop. It’s either music for the eyes or for the ears. Although it may seem like an over generalization, it’s the unfortunate truth in the world of Korean Entertainment.

The stars who make music for the eyes are your everyday bubble gum pop groups, such as SNSD, Kara, SS501, BEAST, or basically any K-pop group that appeals to the highly emotional and loyal teenage girls and boys.  These groups are in the business of turning a profit by satisfying your sense of sight.  They appeal to their set target demographic though the use of smokes and mirrors, or as they call it in Korean showbiz, photoshop and cosmetic surgery.  The concepts, the looks, the personalities are all fabricated to make them desirable yet approachable.  Common marketing jargon that doesn’t make sense, but that’s the basic thinking behind these groups’ formation and existence.

Then, there are artists who make music for the ears.  These are the talented artists, such as Gummy, Big Mama, Park Hyo Shin, etc, whose sole purpose in life is to make great music.  They don’t have a predefined target market that they want to appeal to.  These artists are just passionate individuals who focus on satisfying the sense of hearing by producing solid tracks, what I would like to define as music.  Because these true artists are behind the scenes creating music, they hardly make it to the press with their nonsensical Tweets or self-indulging sel-ca pictures like the stars mentioned above.

And it’s no surprise that artists for the eyes are driven by profits while artists for the ears are driven by passion.  Two very different outcomes, as the result of two very different approaches to what people loosely refer to as music.  Unfortunately, because individuals and companies cannot live off of passion alone, we are seeing many talented artists slowly changing their focus to appeal to the eyes.  One latest example of this trend is Brown Eyed Girls.

Since their last album, Brown Eyed Girls are slowly re-positioning themselves to fall into the former category: music for the eyes.  Of course, it doesn’t hurt that they already possess musical talents and can sing, but with the change in focus, one cannot help but to notice in the decline in their music. Abracadabra was that pivotal (and pitiful) song which allowed the ladies to completely re-market themselves.  The hit song was OK but I’m willing to duke it out with anybody who argues that Abracadabra has high musical value.

And fast forward to September of 2011, the ladies are back with an album titled “Sixth Sense” and although the majority of folks are praising their album, in my mind, the track doesn’t take advantage of their vocals.  In fact, it does a better job of making us focus on the visuals, their sexy/mature/oppressed look.  Great.  Another artist lost to the music for the eyes.  Perhaps that’s the reality of this show business.  When media coverage and CF deals dictate your next move, one can make a case that Brown Eyed Girls’s management made the right business decision.

As a fan of music for the ears and as a former fan of Brown Eyed Girls (and still heart the track, Da Ga Wa Suh), sitting through Sixth Sense music video was an excruciating experience.  I’m not questioning their talents, but due to this album’s strong focus on the imagery and concept, the weak song didn’t do justice to their voices.

Maybe Brown Eyed Girls are just ahead of the curve and will become the norm.  True artists will eventually reshuffle their priorities, from music to appearance, to sustain their living.  But isn’t it ironic that even with the expansion of the Korean music industry, it’s the only music for the eyes that are benefiting.  Will artists for the ears survive this tough market?

Conversely, there are some K-pop acts who used to make “music for the eyes”, slowly re-positioning themselves to make “music for the ears”.  The latest example of this trend is JYJ.  The trio was part of DBSK, one of K-pop’s biggest and greatest music for the eyes group of the last decade.  The five pretty boys dressed up in funky animal customs, to well, please Cassie’s eyes, despite their great voice.  After parting ways with SM and weathering legal battles, JYJ released their latest album, which as Patricia noted bid farewell to mainstream K-pop.

Although there are some trying to redefine themselves or refine their skills to produce music for the ears, one cannot deny that current landscape of K-pop is predominately populated by music for the eyes.  And sadly, the music for the eyes make up majority of the music export.

Source: Seoulbeats
Shared by: JYJ3

110923 ‘Friends Of The Same Age’ Kim Hyun Joong-Park Yoochun Are Hallyu Star Rivals?!

Kim Hyun Joong and Park Yoochun, close friends who were both born in 1986, are pursuing a variety of activities as Hallyu stars.

The two singers both made their mark as Hallyu actors through the dramas ‘Boys Over Flowers’ and ‘SungKyunKwan Scandal’ respectively. Also, Kim Hyun Joong is from SS501 while Park Yoochun is from TVXQ, both of which partook in overseas activities even before the global K-POP craze began and became forerunners of the new Hallyu Wave.

Since appearing in ‘Boys Over Flowers’ in 2009, Kim Hyun Joong changed agencies to Keyeast Entertainment, which also works with Bae Young Jun, and quickly rose as ‘the second Bae Yong Jun’.

Making a comeback in Korea this June with his first mini album ‘Breakdown’, Kim Hyun Joong has been active in countries such as Japan and China. As his album ‘Breakdown’ was released simultaneously in all regions of Asia, it topped various overseas music charts, music programs and online music sites in countries such as Japan (Oricon charts for imported CDs), Taiwan (5 MUSIC, G-music), Philippines (ASTRO) and Hong Kong (KKbox).

Also, Kim Hyun Joong held promotional activities in seven countries in Asia, beginning in Japan and going to countries such as Vietnam, Taiwan, Singapore, and Malaysia, making a successful debut as a solo singer and solidifying a position as a rising Hallyu star.

Recently, he was chosen to model the Japanese clothing brand Heatfact and on the 16th of this month, he performed the closing act at the Shenzhen Bay Sports Center, proving his immense popularity.

With such successes in his pocket, Kim Hyun Joong plans to hold an Asia tour concert starting from December.

JYJ’s Park Yoochun is also receiving much love overseas as an actor and a singer.

Making his debut as an actor through last year’s ‘SungKyunKwan Scandal’, Park Yoochun was chosen as the most popular actor in Asia at the ‘Seoul Drama Awards 2011′. He also won the Best Actor Award for Hallyu dramas.

Park Yoochun held his first individual fanmeet in Thailand on the 17th to promote his drama ‘SungKyunKwan Scandal’. This was the first time he was partaking in promotional activities and fanmeets as an actor and not for the JYJ World Tour.

The company that held the fanmeet in Thailand said, “‘SungKyunKwan Scandal’ is currently recording high viewer ratings in Thailand, and as the popularity of Park Yoochun, who played the part of Lee Seon Joon in the drama, is immense, we decided to plan an individual fanmeet for him.The tickets were sold out almost immediately and we were amazed by his popularity once more.

Park Yoochun plans to fly to Europe in October to spread the Hallyu Wave further. Since finishing their world tour that began in April, JYJ, of which Park Yoochun is a member, are planning to hold concerts in Europe.

JYJ will be holding their first European concert in Barcelona, Spain on the 29th of October. They are also planning to hold another concert in Berlin, Germany on the 6th of November.

In real life, Park Yoochun and Kim Hyun Joong are close friends. Their friendly competition as rivals began with their debut as singers and has continued into their acting careers, and we are curious to see if they will maintain in a ‘win-win’ situation as Hallyu stars.

Source: [asiatoday]
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110726 New Topic In Kpop : Overcome Three Main Barriers

Currently, K-pop has broken past the first barrier. That is to say, they have already established the value of their existence. However, this is just the beginning. To globalize K-pop, there are three main issues they need to overcome.

Break away from “Idol Stars”

The first generation of Hallyu was led by actors. Korean dramas were pushed forward in large numbers, with Bae Yong Jun, Lee Byung Hyun, Song Seung Hun, Kwong Sang-Woo and other actors becoming popular as Hallyu idols. However, due to extensive “blank periods” and poor management, the hallyu wave that was led by actors became stagnant.

During this time, the idol stars seized the opportunity and took over this space. Led by TVXQ, and now SNSD, Kara etc, a large volume of girl groups have been gaining the attention of overseas markets. They spearhead the Korean Idol culture, and have broken the geographic barriers between countries.

However, this trend is starting to be a little overdone, and has established the stereotype that “Hallyu = Idol stars.” Aside from music, even dramas such as “Playful Kiss” and “You’re Beautiful” star members from idol groups. To ensure that Hallyu wave can make better progress, aside from appealing to the younger age groups with idol groups, we urgently need to grasp and establish ourselves in a broader age categories and a variety of Hallyu elements. A person related to one of the idol groups said, “We need to discover new hallyu stars, to appeal to the overseas fans who do not like idol groups. If we can give them a stage (opportunity,) then the hallyu wave will be able to progress further.

Break Away From The Japanese Market

Japan, which is located next to Korea is one of the biggest appreciators of the Hallyu culture. From another angle, you can say that it was the Japanese fans’ support that have helped the hallyu stars to grow. Aside from Japan, China, Thailand, Singapore, Malaysia and various Asian regions have seen a rise in popularity for Hallyu stars. However the truth is, a majority of the hallyu stars are over-reliant on the Japanese market’s support.

With TVXQ, Big Bang, SNSD, Kara and others, recently everyone is trying to break into the Japanese market. They are very sensitive towards the Oricon rankings. The strange thing is that, compared to the current lack of emphasis on song ranking programs in the Korean market, Korean singers are more sensitive to the ranking charts in Japan. This shows that they are using this (Oricon rankings) as a measure of their popularity in Japan.

Aside from Japan, starting from the time of H.O.T., Hallyu stars have been enjoying great popularity in China. However, the issue is that the public is only focused on a specific few stars. Although Super Junior, Rain, SNSD and other are very popular, but China, unlike Japan, is still unable to allow more groups and singers to actively promote there.

And under such circumstances, the group JYJ released their first English album “The Beginning” in October last year, and was judged as “daring to try something new.” JYJ joined hands with famous American producers Kanye West and Rodney “Darkchild” Jerkins, and using the new group name “JYJ” released their first album produced in English. This album bears the significance of “starting their journey towards the world stage.” The three members, who have dominated the Japanese and Asian markets, have set their sights on the global market, and can be regarded as leaders in “breaking away from Japan.”

Someone in the music industry said, “When you analyze the structure of the Chinese market, it’s not hard to know that they are more appealing than the Japanese market. But so far, the progress of singers has not been as smooth as in Japan. Aside from that, they should also be looking at Singapore, Malaysia, Taiwan etc, and create more roadways for the Hallyu wave.”

Break Away from Stereotypes!

The first pioneers of the hallyu wave were dramas. “Jewel in the Palace,” “Winter Sonata” made it big, and big stars like Bae Young Jun and Lee Young-Ae were born. Recently, due to “You’re Beautiful,” Jang Geun Suk has become the new hallyu star, but compared to the time of “Winter Sonata,” the power of dramas in the hallyu wave has been considerably diminished.

And the space left by the dramas was filled by K-pop. The hallyu market which was dominated by male idols has now hit a turning point led by SNSD and Kara. K-pop can be considered as the successor to J-pop, which has captured the Asian music market.

On the other hand, the power of the hallyu wave at Chungmuro (T/N: refers to the film industry – Chungmuro is the street in Korea that is famous for culture & film) has become plain. Actors who have become hallyu stars through their dramas also boosts the popularity of the movies they are featured in, but using popularity to break into the Japanese film industry is not enough, a situation where “the spirit is willing but the flesh is weak.” Someone related to sales in the hallyu market said, “Korean movies have been promoted in various overseas markets, but the effect is not strong enough to be considered part of the hallyu wave. Unlike television dramas which can be watched on public broadcast, movies require an entrance fee, so the visibility among the masses is lower.”

If we want to the multi-faceted Korean culture to be embraced in all fields, not just for dramas and music, we need to promote our movies, games and food as well as other areas, and introduce more variety.

Source : [Jrw8008 + Hankooki]
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110724 JYJ Kim Jaejoong : ” While Drinking, Kim Hyunjoong Said That He Wants To Release An Album Together”

JYJ member Kim Jaejoong showed his close friendship with Kim Hyunjoong.

In a recent interview with Seoul News NTN. Kim Jaejoong talks about interesting episodes between himself and Kim Hyunjoong, who are both same-age friends in the entertainment circle.

On this day, when Kim Jaejoong was talking about being a director for concerts, he was asked, “What if you were to be the director for another artist’s concert?” Jaejoong thought about this question for a while, then asked the reporter, “How about Kim Hyunjoong?” Kim Jaejoong said, “He will probably do it himself, although I’m not sure if he will do a concert or not, but it’s possible that he might do it.”

“A few days ago, while drinking with Kim Hyunjoong, we talked about when we could possibly record an album together, and actually this has been a topic that we had discussed much earlier before. Then, Kim Hyunjoong had not signed a contract with a new agency yet so there was a rumour that he would join our company, but somehow, we talked about it again (Laughs)”

Kim Jaejoong also said “Working with Kim Hyunjoong should be very interesting, and it would be nice to hold a concert together, not for profit  but just for the fans. If I were to direct that, there should be no problems.”

Aside from Kim Hyunjoong, Kim Jaejoong and soccer player Jung Tae-Se, actors Song Joong Ki, Im Ju Hwan, Park Ji Bin, as well as Japan’s Ayumi Hamasaki, Yamashita Tomohisa and Shirota Yu were photographed together, earning him the nickname “Entertainment Network King” with “Crazy (amount of) contacts”

When talking about this, Kim Jaejoong waved his hands and said “I’m really not a network king”

“Korean artists and Japanese artists do make contact with each other, but it doesnt happen often. I too don’t have a lot of friends, but it so happens that my friends are very famous. My friends are mostly interested in fashion, dance and acting, and we have common interests and points of views so we naturally became friends.”

Also, Kim Jaejoong will be making his debut as an actor, playing the role of the “Prince of the Financial World” Cha Mu Won “Protect the Boss,” which airs on 3 August.

Source : [BaiduTVXQ + Seoul News NTN]
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110712 Eric And Park Yoochun Have An Attention Grabbing Strategy Of Sharing Similar Attributes?

Idol stars of the old and new generation are battling it out in the drama industry on Mondays and Tuesdays. Eric(32-Moon Jung Hyuk) and Park Yoochun(25) are grabbing the attention of their viewers by sharing similar attributes.

In KBS2′s ‘Spy Myeong Wol’ which began airing on the 11th, Shinhwa’s Eric  showcased a variety of charms as Hallyu star Kang Woo to leave viewers with a strong first impression in his first drama since completing his mandatory military service. With the beautiful country of Singapore as his background, Eric used his experience of living in the USA to speak fluent English and even showcased his dancing skills by acting out a scene in which Kang Woo rehearses his choreography with his backdancers. In a shower scene, he attempted to capture the hearts of his female viewers by showing off his toned upper body.

JYJ’s Park Yoochun appears in MBC’s ‘Miss Ripley’, which airs at the same time as Eric’s drama, and is utilizing the same strategies as Eric. Having grown up in the USA as a child, Park Yoochun showcased his fluent English-speaking skills by giving a speech in English during the drama. He even expressed his worries about Jang Miri through a shower scene.

The person who won the first round is Park Yoochun. ‘Miss Ripley’ was in the lead with nationwide viewer ratings of 14.2% (according to AGB Nielson Media Research) while ‘Spy Myeong Wol’ began with the lowest ratings of 9.6%. On the other hand, SBS’ ‘Warrior Baek Dong Su’ had ratings of 12.7%.

Source: [sports seoul]
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110628 Shrieking ‘Oppa Troops’ Have Become Benevolent ‘Good Deed Troops’

The fandom culture, that used to chase after stars, is experiencing a change. The generation of ‘Sasaeng Fans’(Fans who chase stars’ private lives) and just writing letters to stars is over. Recently, fans have been spreading the culture of giving back to the community and getting their stars a better image and more publicity.

◆Rice instead of flowers… Even creating a scholarship fund in their celebrity’s name

These days, it’s hard to find ordinary flower stands at musical concerts or concert venues. This is because fans have been replacing these flower stands with ‘rice stands’ through donation drives.

At the venue of the successful musical ‘Mozart!’, the entrance of the building is decorated by the ‘rice stands’ donated by Kim Junsu’s fans. ‘Rice stands’ from other stars such as Eom Gi Joon, Song Chang Ui and Park Eun Tae fill the entrance as well. These ‘rice stands’ have been distributed to social welfare centers, retirement homes and to the elderly who are living alone.

Kim Hyun Joong’s fanclub became a hot topic last year when it created a scholarship fund with their favorite star’s name titled ‘The Kim Hyun Joong Scholarship Fund’. After donating 14 million Won to a childcare center, they have been monetarily supporting students who leave the center due to their age.

Fans of JYJ’s Park Yoochun have been donating at regular intervals since 2010. They collected a total of 40 million Won this year and after donating 10 million Won to a social welfare center last year, they’ve been helping child patients since then.

Lee Minho’s fanclub ‘Mizuno’ donated 20 million Won to celebrate his birthday. A different fanclub of Lee Minho also donated alms to a devastated district through Unicef and they’ve been avid supporters of the Green Energy campaign.

◆Take care of our star..Sending lunchboxes to staff

When stars spend the night filming on location, fans prepare lunch boxes for the members of the staff as well. Everyone knows about fans making lunch boxes for their celebrities to ensure that they don’t skip their meals, but recently, fans have begun preparing lunch boxes for staff members as well. They take care of their stars’ image by leaving a message with the stars’ names on each lunch box.

These lunch boxes are delivered to a variety of locations such as concert venues, and filming locations for movies or CFs. At the press conference of ‘You’ve Fallen For Me’, which features CN Blue’s Jung Yong Hwa, fans impressed the reporters and production company crew by providing everyone with lunch boxes.

Not only do these fans help maintain the image of their stars, but they also help the morale of the star. As more fans buy lunch boxes in large quantities for their fans, new ‘support lunchbox businesses’ have sprung up.

◆Money is no issue… They even create newspaper ads

It has become a natural thing for fans to celebrate stars’ birthdays or promote albums through advertisements. Fanclubs collect money for a variety of mediums such as newspapers, buses, and electronic scoreboards.

‘Girls’ Generation’ fans have been garnering attention for making newspaper ads for the birthdays of the members. Last year, their fanclub ‘HwaSuEunHwa’ created newspaper ads for members such as Seohyun, Sunny, Soo Young, Jessica and Yoona.

When Yoochun, Jaejoong and Junsu, who have transformed from ‘TVXQ’ to ‘JYJ’, released their music essay in January, fans hired 120 buses across the nation to hang advertisements for the group on the side of the vehicles. To make it happen, it was said that the fans collected a total of 200 million Won. After this, JYJ fans also placed ads in 21 subway stations.

A broadcasting representative stated, “Though the current mature culture of the fans who think of their star’s image is desirable, there is still fierce competition amongst the fans in certain areas,” and “I hope that the fandom culture becomes something mature and truly for the star and his or her well-being.”

Source: [etoday]
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