BTS, a South Korean kpop group, beat out the likes of Justin Bieber, Ariana Grande, Selena Gomez, and Shawn Mendez to win the Top Social Artist award on Sunday night’s Billboard Music Awards. They are the first kpop group to win at the BBMAs (or any award show in America). The only other Korean artist who was able to win a BBMA was PSY back when Gangnam Style was sweeping the world.
This is a monumental moment for kpop. These boys were not only nominated, but won by a large percent, were invited to the show, and were able to go onstage to receive an award that in previous years had not been televised. That means Billboard made SURE to get BTS onstage and in front of the cameras. For that I am grateful. It goes to show how powerful social media can be when used correctly and efficiently. BTS are in constant contact with their fans through photos, messages, and videos. It’s a rare day that passes when one of them hasn’t posted something. This keeps fans actively engaged and interested in a musical world where it can be very easy to be forgotten. I am confident other kpop groups will be studying what they have been doing to try to replicate even a small percent of their success. Be active. Be engaged. Embrace the social media that is helping to connect the genre to the world.
However it is not simply the constant communication that make BTS so beloved. It’s also, and more importantly, their music. Music which they help write and produce themselves. Their songs speak of growing up, loneliness, female empowerment, temptation, being in the wrong, and more. They are singing/rapping about topics that anyone in the world can relate to, language barrier be damned. For this reason, BTS made more history when they released their second studio album Wings which debuted at #26 on the Billboard 200 charts. This is the highest debut for a kpop artist. In addition their latest single “Spring Day” landed at #15 on the Billboard Bubbling Hot Under 100 Singles Chart. In addition they recently completed 5 sold out shows in America in Newark, Chicago, and LA for their 2017 BTS Live Trilogy Episode III: The Wings Tour. Originally they were only meant to have 3 shows, but added 2 more when tickets sold out within minutes. Whew! We have social media to thank for that. Sometimes it truly is a tool for good and I have a feeling that this is just the beginning of BTS’s success in America and worldwide.
DAY6, a South Korean five piece rock band under JYP Entertainment, has an ongoing project in 2017. The project is called Every Day6. Every month, since January, they are releasing a new song and music video until the end of the year. April’s contribution to this project is entitled “I’m Serious” a song, like the ones that came before it, that DAY6 wrote lyrics for and helped write music for. The moment the song starts playing you get that feeling of finally being able to open your windows after a long winter. Warmer weather has arrived! It’s time to go outside! This is a fitting shift for them whose previous Every Day6 releases have been heavier, sadder, and filmed in dark studios. This time around the boys are running around on a beach, cruising in a jeep, and singing an infectious bit of a capella in front of a summery looking hut. The music video is simplistic and fits the song perfectly. No frills. No thrills. Just laidback fun. It’s feel good. It’s joyous. It belongs on many variations of summer playlists. Truly an instant mood changer. Go here to check out the previous Every Day6 music videos!
South Korean singer Taeyeon’s latest single “Make Me Love You” comes from the deluxe version of her first album entitled My Voice.
The music video for “Make Me Love You” is all about light. The way light moves across a window, or filters in from above, or bursts from a bulb. Light, aside from Taeyeon, is the main character in this video. Plentiful camera zooms and editing tricks are also in play. The flower floor/ceiling and Taeyeon looking down at herself are the most notable moments. That said, and despite some beautiful visuals, it’s a video I would watch again only for the audio. Isn’t it frustrating when a great song gets a boring video? So lets move onto the great song! My heart swelled from a beat and vocals that would make Kelly Clarkson tip her hat. The chorus is anthemic and subtly builds in power each time it is heard. Not to mention it’s completely in English. “Make Me Love You” is the most satisfying song Taeyeon has released this year.
WINNER is a South Korean boyband consisting of four members: Jinwoo, Mino, Seunghoon, and Seungyoon. This is their first return to music after previous member, Taehyun, left the group last year. With their new single album, Fate Number For, they prove that they are still going strong despite the change in lineup. Their two new songs include: Continue reading