K-pop 101: #13 rock edition

by: Jeffrey posted: 3 years ago


Dear readers and patients,


After last week's electronic edition I now have something completely different, rock. As you can imagine most of the groups that make rock music within K-pop are bands who play their own instruments, something you don’t see very often within the K-pop industry.

Toxic – Countdown

Although technically not part of the K-pop genre, but of K-indie, I still wanted to put them on the list. Toxic is a duo that consists of Kim Jung-woo and Kim Seulong. Jung-woo is in charge of guitar and keyboards, Seulong is in charge of drums and both provide vocals for the group. They debuted back in 2012 after winning the first edition of KBS’s audition program TOP Band in 2011. It’s pretty hard to find any information about this group as they are quite unknown and of course any information I find is in Korean. It’s a shame they are not more popular as their music is pretty good. Up until now they only released two music videos, their debut "Lonely" from their album First bridge and "Countdown". If you are very attentive and you have seen Dream high 2, you might be able to recognize them from the first episode where they do a street performance with Jinwoon of 2AM.


F.T. Island – Pray

Debuting in 2007, F.T. Island is Korea’s first idol rock band with ages ranging from 14 to 17 when they debuted. Their debut single “Love sick” attained number 1 on all of Korea’s music shows, a feat that is not easily replicated. Their popularity has waned a bit over the last few years, but they have been actively promoting not just in Korea, but also in Japan. If you combine the Korean and Japanese releases they have released a total of around 50 music videos. Not only have they been active with making music videos, they are also actively involved with writing lyrics and composing music. And not just one member, but every single member of the group has contributed to writing of their own songs. One final thing to mention is that you shouldn’t be fouled by the music video for “Pray”, it’s their heaviest song yet and usually they release more mellow songs.


Bebop – I’m the best

When I first found the music video for “I’m the best” I was super excited. A female rock-pop band was something I had not yet seen in K-pop and one of the members was even a former Girl’s day member. And for those thinking what about AOA, they debuted as a band? Sorry, but I don’t think you can even compare them a little bit with Bebop. AOA might have started out with a band concept, but that was all it was, a concept. The sad part is that they only released one official music video, one live music video and a collaboration with the singer WAX. Even more sad is that a short while ago Ji-in, the former Girl’s day member, left the band, so it is very uncertain if they will be releasing more music. The two remaining members did release some music together before their debut as three members, but I am curious if they can still make the band work with only a guitarist and drummer.


Royal pirates – Run away

The Korean American rock band Royal pirates started way back in 2004 under the name Fading From Dawn. They played on Korean events around California for 4 years until disaster struck. The bassist and brother of the guitarist-vocalist of the band died in a car accident. This of course affected the band heavily and they rarely played live anymore. They did however start making rock versions of popular K-pop songs on Youtube and this drew the attention of the Korean media. They started promoting as Royal pirates as they felt that they could not promote under the old name without their former member. Later on a new bassist joined the group. There seems to be a curse on whoever is the bassist in the group however, as again an accident happened. This time not fatally, but the bassist almost lost his hand in the process. He will most likely never be able to play bass again and that’s why you can see him smash his bass guitar in the music video.


LEDApple – Time is up

The group LEDApple has been through many changes over the last few years. Debuting in 2010, the LED part in their name stood for “Logic Egoism Delete”. This only lasted for a year as it then took the meaning of “shining as brightly as LED whenever they perform”. The apple part stands for the fresh image and music style they perform with. The meaning of the name is not the only thing that changed, as a year before they disbanded they changed their name to LedT. This change happened after one of the many confusing member changes. The group has had a total of 13 members, with a maximum of 6 during their “Time is up” promotion period. Many of the members left for a variety of reasons such as personal or medical problems. The group was quite popular and they are one few groups to have two European tours where they performed in a total of 12 different countries.


That completes the second part in the music genres of K-pop series. Up next week will be one that is not for everyone, but I hope you will check it out anyway as you may find some welcome surprises. It’s K-pop 101: #14 rap edition.


Yours sincerely,


Dr. Hallyu 

K-pop 101: #12 electronic edition K-pop 101: #14 rap edition

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