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K-pop music: Orange Caramel and the Japanese market

K-pop music: Orange Caramel and the Japanese market

Michel Lebon and Lee Jay Walker

Modern Tokyo Times

Orange Caramel certainly fit in well with kawaii culture in Japan and this K-pop group which is a sub-unit from After School continues to grow. BoA and Kan Mi Youn, alongside other talented individuals from South Korea, have international appeal in abundance and Orange Caramel is going in the right direction because each new track is creating a new buzz.

Obviously K-pop groups like After School, Kara, Girls’ Generation (SNSD), BoA, T-ara, and many others, will continue to focus on the Japanese market while remaining in tune with the vibes of South Korea. Therefore, it is nice to see the natural progression of Orange Caramel because they provide a wholesome image and with luck they won’t go down the over-the-top sexual image.  

Raina (Oh Hye Rin), Nana (Im Jin Ah) and Lizzy (Park Soo Young) look natural together and since they formed their image is very different from After School and clearly it is working. Therefore, the track “Shanghai Romance” highlighted a lovely image which was wholesome, cute, stylish and warm.

T-ara is another K-pop group which is showing great promise in Japan and in time both T-ara and Orange Caramel should continue to blossom and of course the same applies to After School. Currently Kara and Girls’ Generation are very popular in Japan and in other nations and T-ara made a big impression when they debuted in Japan.

The delightful BoA will also remind Japan about her rich talents because her new single called “Milestone” which will be released on December 7 is a real gem. Therefore, K-pop is certainly in the driving seat and many Tokyoites and people throughout Japan are hoping that BoA and Orange Caramel will focus even more on the Japanese market.

Orange Caramel can also learn greatly from BoA and Kan Mi Youn because these two stunning ladies hit the heights when they were very young. Today Kan Mi Youn continues to flourish and her last few tracks were full of energy and “Milestone” by BoA is one of her best tracks ever.

It is also important that K-pop groups and soloists show a rich variety and certainly Orange Caramel have their own natural vibe. This will enhance the richness of K-pop in Japan and of course in South Korea where these fantastic ladies come from.

The image of Orange Caramel certainly fits in well with kawaii culture and the energy of Harajuku in Tokyo. Therefore, their fan base will continue to grow and flourish and this will also be a huge benefit for After School.

It will be interesting to see how Orange Caramel develops and hopefully they will stick to their natural, wholesome and cute image alongside catchy tunes.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jxxoq7uqnbU Orange Caramel

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=I3u9f8LTEiI Orange Caramel

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=m5db5p5i0sE Orange Caramel

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9J6zsvcvhaU BoA and “Milestone”

Images wikia

http://moderntokyotimes.com (please visit)

 

 

 
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Posted by on November 12, 2011 in ASIA, Japan

 

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K-pop: Kara reaches number 1 with Korean song in Japan on Recochoku Chart

K-pop: Kara reaches number 1 with Korean song in Japan on Recochoku Chart

Michel Lebon and Lee Jay Walker

Modern Tokyo Times

According to Soompi which gives latest information about K-pop and Korean entertainment and is highly regarded (http://www.soompi.com), Kara have reached number one with their Korean version of “Step” in Japan.  This applies to Japan’s Recochoku Chart and this not only shows you the popularity of Kara but it also highlights the growth of K-pop which is sweeping many nations.

Soompi states that “Topping this chart is extraordinary as the song is in Korean and has reached number one while competing against Japanese artists. The Korean market seems to be influencing others around it and this has proven to be noteworthy.”

This is further evidence that the youth of Asia are bypassing traditional norms which kept people divided based on past history or religion. After all, K-pop is extremely popular in Japan and Indonesia, and many other nations. 

Of course, cultural influences work both ways and Harajuku fashion and the fashion sector in Japan is widely respected internationally and in recent times major Japanese J-pop groups have ventured into China and other nations.  Therefore, K-pop is adding to a unique generation in Asia which is utilizing technology and with great marketing skills, and talent coming out of South Korea, you are seeing global interest into the K-pop boom.

Kara is one of the most liked groups in Japan because of catchy lyrics, stunning features, a powerful image of zest and control, great fashion sense, and the characters in the group appeal individually. 

In Japan their fans are eagerly awaiting their new single “Winter Magic” which should be released by the middle of October.  The title is appropriate because with the rays of sunshine weakening and dress styles changing, then people need some winter magic to reach them.

Therefore, I am sure that “Winter Magic” by Kara will just do the trick and maintain their high visibility.  Kara and other K-pop groups and soloists are showing another side of Korean culture which is reaching out internationally. Also, with the music market being so large in Japan it makes commercial sense to be visible in major cities like Tokyo, Osaka, Yokohama, Nagoya, Kobe, and throughout Japan.

“Step” by Kara is very catchy and all members ooze energy, freedom, and passion and for this reason they are in high demand.

“Jumping” was another great success and the same applies to many other  tracks by Kara. Therefore, fans in South Korea, Japan, and internationally, are looking out for their next move. Tokyoites and music fans in the rest of Japan are keenly waiting for the release of “Winter Magic” because “Korean cool” continues to grow in Japan.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zYoYoBtLqOY&ob=av2n  “Step” by Kara

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qMLh_xe46w0&feature=related ”Jumping” by Kara

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NEhsbjFydg8&feature=related “Go Go Summer” by Kara

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2AwFX_59Ryo ”Honey” by Kara

http://www.soompi.com/news/

 
 
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Posted by on October 4, 2011 in ASIA, Japan

 

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Kan Mi Youn: another buzzing track from the angel of K-pop

 

Kan Mi Youn: another buzzing track from the angel of K-pop

Michel Lebon and Lee Jay Walker

Modern Tokyo Times

Tokyoites and people who reside in Japan have another powerful K-pop track to listen to because the latest tune by Kan Mi Youn is a fabulous track. Therefore, the growing trend of high quality sounds from “Korean cool” is being maintained by this exquisite lady from South Korea.

Kan Mi Youn once more hit the heights because “the angel of K-pop” certainly pleased her fans and with this lovely track more will be following. “Won’t Meet You” was energetic, fantastic beat, exquisite dancing movements from this stunning lady and of course a voice which graces the ear. 

Simply put, “Won’t Meet You” was A-one and even for house/trance vultures like me, I can feel my heart melt to yet another amazing track from “the angel of K-pop.” Kan Mi Youn is having an amazing 2011 and I thought “Paparazzi” would have been hard to beat but “Won’t Meet You” hits every chord and so much more.

The preview of “Won’t Meet You” looked promising but the real McCoy was even better than imagined. Not only is the track the real McCoy but Kan Mi Youn is the “triple McCoy” and clearly this special lady graces international music.

In Tokyo and throughout Japan the K-pop scene is growing and while you have many fantastic groups and soloists within K-pop, I firmly believe that Kan Mi Youn stands out because of her verve.  Her voice appeals to the ear and Kan Mi Youn plays to her strengths and this applies to style, panache, and stunning looks irrespective of hair color – but the brief blonde look in the video certainly increased an already high temperature.

Therefore, with the music market in Japan being huge it will be interesting to see how this track does in major cities like Tokyo, Osaka, Nagoya, Kobe and throughout Japan.

Fashion wise, perfect because “if you have it then you don’t need to flaunt it” and clearly the sex appeal of Kan Mi Youn is an added bonus. Throughout the video of “Won’t Meet You” she looked snazzy and so adorable and the movement to the track worked perfectly.

In the track Kan Mi Youn sings:

My mind is in and out in and out
My mind is in and out in and out
Mind is in in Mind is out out
My mind is in and out in and out

You love me, you love me
You whisper in my ear every day
But today you’re with this girl, tomorrow, with that girl
You met them behind my back and got caught

If you keep saying that it’s not (do you think I’ll forgive you)
If you say you only love me (do you think it’ll be okay)
What about the other girls?
If they are just friends, do you kiss your friends?

I won’t meet you, won’t meet you, won’t meet you
Why would I meet you, I won’t meet you
I don’t know, I don’t know, I don’t know
But I meet you again, why am I meeting you again
I won’t meet you, I will never meet you, for real
I don’t know, I can’t help it, I meet you again

* repeat

Don’t meet other girls (promise with me)
Please just love me alone (pinky swear)
I know I can’t trust you but
Like a fool, I fall for you again

repeat (x2)

The track is certainly a hit when it comes to a catchy beat, sweet voice, lovely dancing moves, exquisite singer, style, amazing fashion sense which matched the tune, and a high octane track which hits the heights immediately.

If you are new to K-pop then Kan Mi Youn is the lady to follow because the “angel of K-pop” doesn’t disappoint one iota.  On the contrary, this stunning music artist makes you want to search and check other K-pop soloists and other groups.

However, no matter how much you search you only have one soloist who is the real McCoy, and this applies to Kan Mi Youn, who is adorable and elegant beyond words.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Kz1zjpWOB2c Kan Mi Youn and “Won’t Meet You”

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tzlQ1KtWsFA&feature=related  Kan Mi Youn and “Paparazzi”

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=N_1KfUDB1zU   Kan Mi Youn and “Going Crazy”

http://girlspic.blogbus.com/logs/14277489.html Beautiful photos of Kan Mi Youn

http://www.thecnstar.com/    Magazine for latest K-pop/culture/entertainment

http://www.kanzume.jp/  

http://moderntokyotimes.com

 

 
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Posted by on September 30, 2011 in ASIA

 

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K-pop and “Korean Cool”: tunes hitting Seoul, Tokyo, and further afield

K-pop and “Korean Cool”: tunes hitting Seoul, Tokyo, and further afield

Michel Lebon and Lee Jay Walker

Modern Tokyo Times

Korean pop (K-pop) is whirling its way throughout Asia and beyond because of great singers, fantastic imagery, passion, an abundance of talent, and sheer quality.  Of course you will have great artists in all nations but currently it is the K-pop scene which is dynamic, forward thinking, and expressing “Korean cool.”

This article was written just before the beautiful and exquisite Kan Mi Youn releases her latest record called “Won’t Meet You” on September 29. Therefore, comments will be made once her latest tune is released but the teaser points to yet another powerful song like “Paparazzi” but with a completely different format.

Recent tunes that have made a big splash in South Korea in the last few months or have just been released include “Syndrome” by Chocolat, “So Cool” by Sistar, “Top Girl” by G.na, “I Remember” by Bang Yong Guk and “Step” by Kara.  Other tunes have also hit the streets of South Korea, Japan and much further afield.  However, these tracks stand out from an international point of view because of energy, connection and vibrancy.

“I Remember” by Bang Yong Guk was an instant success and the style, lyrics and video all came together.  The ending of the video is a little over dramatic but the scene of the body on the ground while holding a lady was a good touch.  If other tracks by Bang Yong Guk have the same energy and creativity then surely his career will bloom.

The track “I Remember” by Bang Yong Guk would certainly appeal internationally because despite the dramatic scenes of the video the singer gives you “a raw street image.”

“Syndrome” by Chocolat impacted on the charts and was full of energy and will appeal to the market it is aimed at. Not the raw energy of Bang Yong Guk but clearly a different style of music and shouldn’t really compare. 

Clearly Chocolat have a bright future and “Syndrome” is a track which would do well in Japan. It will be interesting to see how these beautiful and talented ladies progress over the next twelve months because they have so much to offer and I can’t wait for their next track.

“Top Girl” by G.na was turned into a lovely track by this very elegant lady who sings with a lovely melodic voice.  Energy is one thing that all these tracks have and clearly K-pop is doing this to a T.

The track “Top Girl” itself was average with regards to the lyrics but G.na made it special because of her individualistic style and vibrant nature.  G.na is certainly adding to the K-pop buzz and long may she continue to bless the world with her talents.

“So Cool” by Sistar was a catchy tune but the video was a mismatch of energy, uncertainty of where it should go and then back to girl power.  Music wise, a track which will appeal because of the raw energy of the group and the sex appeal adds to the dimension because they are all stunning ladies.

I get the feeling that Sistar are about to reach new heights because they certainly have something special about them.  The track “So Cool” seemed to contain them in the video after reaching a high. Therefore, listening is where the power of the track belongs and these ladies provide such a positive image and work together elegantly.

“Step” by Kara had a great beat, lively lyrics despite simplicity, movement, vibrancy, and a strong connection with the listener who likes this style of music.  All ladies ooze power, energy, freedom and you can feel their passion when you watch the video or you can hear their love of music when you listen to the track.

Kara is a group which is widely respected in Japan and they project such a positive image of K-pop.

Overall, in the last few months you have had many fantastic tunes coming out of the K-pop scene and clearly not all the great tracks have been mentioned.  However, K-pop is rising and with so many groups and solo artists around then the future looks fantastic for “Korean cool.”

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=t5wO8ejwVRI “Top Girl” by G.na

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zYoYoBtLqOY&ob=av2n “Step” by Kara

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1ucP3UhrhF8  Chocolat – Syndrome

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nHrx5dWxcJ4  Bang Yong Guk – I Remember

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Pj3q0ZChgFE  Sistar – So Cool

http://www.thecnstar.com/    Magazine for latest K-pop/culture/entertainment

http://www.kanzume.jp/

http://moderntokyotimes.com/2011/09/04/korean-pop-music-continues-to-hit-the-heights-in-japan/   – Article highlighting K-pop by Modern Tokyo Times

http://moderntokyotimes.com/2011/09/22/kanstyle-magazine-to-open-up-south-korean-fashion-k-pop-culture-in-japan/ – Highlighting Kanstyle Magazine

http://moderntokyotimes.com/2011/09/27/kan-mi-youn-and-k-pop-new-powerful-song-to-be-released-on-sep-29/ – Kan Mi Youn

http://moderntokyotimes.com

 

 

 
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Posted by on September 28, 2011 in ASIA, Japan

 

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