by: Jeffrey posted: 3 years ago
Dear readers and patients,
One of the reasons K-pop is so appealing is because it encompases a variety of musical genres. In the following posts I will feature some of these music genres within K-pop starting with my favourite: electronic.
Seo Taiji otherwise known as “the president of culture” is one of the most prominent icons in all of K-pop. He responsible for bringing a wide variety of popular music genres from the US to Korea in the 1990s. He started his career all the way back in 1989 with the heavy metal band Sinawe. After its disbandment he started the boy band Seo Taiji and Boys which included the founder of one of Korea’s big record companies, Yang Hyun-suk. After that he moved on to a solo career and released music under a variety of genres like metal, rock, rap, pop and of course electronic. The music video for Sogyeokdong is his latest release and has a lot of historical context. You can read about it all here if you are interested. One other cool thing is that this video has a counterpart. The video of Seo Taiji shows the story from the girls perspective while the video with the same title by IU shows the story from the boys perspective.
Ever since their debut in 2009 they have brought out songs falling under the genres electropop or synthpop. 4 Walls is their latest release and their first one without Sulli, who left to focus on her acting career. That is the official statement that was released by SM Entertainment of course, as most people probably suspect this is not the true reason why she left. Sulli first went on hiatus on 25th of July 2014 because she was exhausted due to her busy and chaotic schedule. Three weeks later it was confirmed that she and the 14 years older Choiza from Dynamic Duo had been in a relationship since September of 2013. To put things in perspective she was 19 years old at the time they started dating and he was 33 years old. In a society were age is everything such an age difference is huge. Did she leave the group because of this? We can only speculate.
Another group under SM Entertainment is BeatBurger. However, this is not just any average group. They were formed in 2009, but they only released their first album five year later. The group consists of several people who have all been profesionals in the entertainment industry for a long time. Vocalist Shim Jae-won has worked with many artist from the label. Choreographer Hwang Sang-hoon can be seen in a lot of music videos. Gu Jong-pil is the sounder director and engineer for SM Entertainment and Flash Finger is a producer and keyboard player. Other members include rapper MQ, guitarist Stephen Ju and VJ Park Kyu-yong. There is also someone very special in the music video, namely actress Ko Hye-sun. Why is she so special, you might ask? That is because she is under rival label YG Entertainment and it doesn’t happen a lot that these labels interact with each other. She was asked by the singer, because they are long-time friends.
In my opinion the queens of the electronic genre are T-ara. However, I might be slightly biased, as they are my favourite group and the group that got me into K-pop. The line-up of T-ara has had many changes througout the years. The original pre-debut line-up consisted of current members Eunjung, Hyomin and Jiyeon together with now Spica member Jiwon and Hana from Jevice. Jiwon and Hana (then known under the name Jiae) left the group due to differences in music style. Three new members were added to replace them. This include Qri, Boram and former SM Entertainment trainee Soyeon, who was in the original line-up of Girls’ Generation. These six members have been the core group througout the years, but in 2010 Hwayoung was added who then later left due to their famous bullying scandal. Areum was also a member of the group for a very short time, but she left the group to pursue a solo career.
Clazziquai or Clazziquai project as they are also known by is one of the few co-ed groups to still exist within K-pop. The group was formed by DJ Clazzi back in 2001 who then released his music as a solo artist. The Korean-Canadian siblings Christina and Alex Chu were later in charge of vocals for his three experimental albums. The response online was so good that they later released their first official album. However due to Christina’s work in Canada she quit and Horan filled her spot. Christina does still provide some vocals for the group from time to time, but as a guest artist. Their first album was such a success that eventually 5 songs were used in 6 commercials. Many of their other songs have been used since then for not just commercials, but also movie and series soundtracks. In 2005 an English remix version of their song was even used for a commercial featuring David Beckham.
Hope you enjoyed this edition of K-pop 101. In the following weeks I will feature some more genres starting with rock.
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