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K-pop in Japan: BoA releases the stunning new song Milestone

K-pop in Japan: BoA releases the stunning new song Milestone

Michel Lebon and Lee Jay Walker

Modern Tokyo Times

BoA released her new track called “Milestone” and this song highlights the sheer quality of this talented lady from South Korea. The track was released on December 7 in Japan and the lyrics are truly beautiful. Therefore, if you are familiar with K-pop, new to K-pop or you are a lover of international music, then this is the track to listen to and add to your collection.

In recent times the K-pop scene is in increasing vogue throughout the world but BoA appeals internationally when she sticks to her strengths. This certainly applies to “Milestone” which is one of the classiest tracks to hit the music scene globally in 2011. Therefore, it is an honor for the Japanese market to have this track released in Japan.

The more BoA sings throughout the track you can feel her passion, emotion, and many truths within the lyrics. Also, being released in December suits this fantastic track because soon another year will end and then it will all start all over again in January.

The career of BoA in Japan replicates aspects of her career internationally. This applies to many highs and lows which is natural for the vast majority of talented artists who have so much to give. On top of this is the fusion of South Korea, America, and Japan respectively, when applied to her target market. Therefore, this would stretch any international talent but when BoA makes a track like “Milestone” then all is forgotten because this stunning lady can win people over easily.

In an earlier article by Modern Tokyo Times it was commented that “BoA is a fantastic singer who continues to grow and her new single which will be released on December 7 in Japan is one of her best. Therefore, the new single “Milestone” should hit the heights because the lovely melody is backed by her exquisite voice.”

“Milestone” is a million miles away from “Eat You Up” but her new single shows the exquisite talent of BoA.  Therefore, many Tokyoites and music lovers throughout Japan should certainly add this new track to their chart once it is released.”

“In truth, “Milestone” shows the real class of BoA and only her challenging schedule is preventing this stunning lady from reaching her true potential.”

Therefore, the track “Milestone” is a clear reminder to her fans in Tokyo and throughout Japan that BoA may sometimes seem distant from the music scene in this country, but at heart she is only one track away from igniting a strong spark. At the same time, tracks like “Milestone” are real gems because they appeal across all music spectrums and have no international boundaries.

Also, BoA and her rich talents highlight the vibrancy of K-pop because you have many amazing groups and soloists. Fans in South Korea remain close to their favorite soloists and groups and at the same time they are awaiting new talents to emerge. The same applies to music lovers in Japan and internationally because the depth of talent coming out of South Korea isn’t a flash in the pan. On the contrary, the style and sophistication is growing and the foundations which began with individuals like BoA is enhancing K-pop throughout the music world.

Overall, the music track by BoA called “Milestone” is a real gem and for people who want to feel passion and who love in depth lyrics, then this is a must buy irrespective of your nationality. After all, music can break down barriers when artists have so much panache and this certainly applies to BoA when she focuses on her abundant talent.

Simply put, the music track “Milestone” is an amazing track and one of the best of 2011 without a shadow of a doubt to come out of the international music scene.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wYKhmcNo3C8&feature=related BoA and new track “Milestone”

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kd2Cvxrxpfc BoA and “Eat You Up”

http://moderntokyotimes.com

 
 
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Posted by on December 7, 2011 in Japan

 

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K-pop essentials for Tokyoites and the international market

K-pop essentials for Tokyoites and the international market

Michel Lebon and Lee Jay Walker

Modern Tokyo Times

Korean Pop (K-pop) is growing in international esteem but for new people who are following this music scene then Modern Tokyo Times created an essential mix. Of course k-pop fans will either support or disagree with the reasons given but this is the nature of music. However, one thing that everyone will agree with who adores K-pop, is that this music scene is in the news and big time.

The order given does not denote preference because each song selected is deemed to be “essential” for newcomers to K-pop because lovers of this music scene will already have deep knowledge. However, the first track selected isn’t released until December 7 and this adds more spice.

Therefore, the first essential buy applies to BoA who is well known in Japan and her new track released on December 7 called “Milestone” is a classic track which plays to the strengths of this elegant lady. “Milestone” hits the heart because you can feel the passion of BoA and the lovely melody and exquisite voice works fantastically.

BoA hits every height with this track and shows the richness of such a talented lady and her avid followers are rewarded by this lovely tune. A must buy for people who want to feel the passion of K-pop and listen to a lady with a rich history.

The next essential tune is “Step” by Kara and clearly this group is loved in Tokyo and throughout Japan. How could you keep Kara out of any essential mix? Simply put, when you listen to Kara you can feel their international dimension. Kara, therefore, is a must for all individuals who want to feel the real vibrancy of K-pop.

Girls’ Generation consist of nine exquisite and elegant members and Taeyeon, Tiffany, Yuri, Jessica, Hyoyeon, Sunny, Sooyoung, Seohyun and Yoona, are highly loved in Japan just like Kara. The track called “Mr. Taxi” sums up the catchy and sultry nature of this K-pop group because they have style in abundance and this track is a must for all K-pop lovers in Japan.

Another essential buy is “Shanghai Romance” by Orange Caramel (a sub unit from After School) because Raina (Oh Hye Rin), Nana (Im Jin Ah) and Lizzy (Park Soo Young) look so stylish and natural together. They have a lovely sex appeal which is natural and charming and each individual plays to their strengths.

“Shanghai Romance” is a catchy tune and the singing, dancing, and image is truly wholesome. After School and Orange Caramel clearly have a bright future and the three stunning ladies who represent Orange Caramel have their own unique vibe and sound and highlight the diversity of K-pop.

The next essential tune is “Like The First Time” by T-ara because the adorable 7 girl group members are working their special charms in Japan. In truth, T-ara have played it gently on entering the Japanese market and older tracks highlight a different vibe and in time they will cross over their earlier work and create a new formula.

T-ara have evolved from five members to seven and these ravishing ladies will continue to win new hearts throughout South Korea, Japan, and internationally.  They are certainly adding to the “Korean Cool” image.

Another essential tune is “I Remember” by Bang Yong Guk which is extremely powerful and appeals internationally.  The video was over dramatic near the end but the track was fantastic and many new paths should open for Bang Yong Guk.

Future tracks by Bang Yong Guk will find it hard to surpass “I Remember” because it is that good. However, in saying this, his high octane nature and spirit may build on such a powerful tune. It will be interesting to see how he develops because all the signs look promising.

“Top Girl” by G.na is another essential buy because while the lyrics are so-so this extremely talented lady still pulls it out of the fire and creates a lovely track. This in itself shows the elegance and style of G.na because her individualistic style hits a positive nerve.

G.na appeals internationally because of her style, lovely image, interactive nature of her performance and other fine qualities. Therefore, “Top Girl” is a great tune which highlights the fine qualities of this exquisite lady.

The next group is Chocolat who have a bright future and “Syndrome” was selected because these beautiful ladies have a highly promising career and would work a treat in Japan. Therefore, this track was highlighted with an eye on the future and surely this group will grow and prosper.

“So Cool” by Sistar is another catchy tune to listen to but the video was a little negative and didn’t highlight their strengths. Despite this, these stunning ladies have a real buzz about them and clearly they work well together and Sistar have talent in abundance.

A Pink is a new group which is just reaching out but they have many fine qualities and their track “Wishlist” highlighted their individualistic talents. In truth, both writers of K-pop at Modern Tokyo Times are expecting a lot from A Pink because they have “elegance, poise, refinement and the glories of youth.”

Finally, but not least, is the lovely and delightful Kan Mi Youn whom both writers have a mega soft-spot.  Kan Mi Youn never lets you down and if you are new to K-pop then you are spoilt for choice because all her latest tracks have been fantastic.

“Paparazzi” is a lovely track and Kan Mi Youn is one of the classiest K-pop singers and like BoA both soloists are pure class. Therefore, “Paparazzi” is a must buy because Kan Mi Youn is an amazing singer and she is so talented.

The records selected were not based on order but seemed like a natural order and A Pink and Kan Mi Youn were chosen near the end for obvious reasons. Kan Mi Youn was selected like BoA to start because both ladies have hit the heights many times in the past and will continue to do so. Meanwhile, A Pink is just starting on their path and show great prospects.

Overall, if you are new to K-pop then check the many great South Korean websites online for latest news.  After all, the vibes coming from South Korea are reaching out to new people every day.

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

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KOcCNpdkjG4 Kan Mi Youn – “Paparazzi

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fhseD2tRLUY  Girls’ Generation – Mr. Taxi

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jxxoq7uqnbU Orange Caramel – “Shanghai Romance”

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2bPhbYl7rV0 T-ara – “Like The First Time”

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

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Nli8waw_5vY G.na – “Top Girl”

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aUVbf_aqU5k&ob=av2n Sistar – “So Cool”

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

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bD3LzPp6KDs  A Pink – “Wishlist”

http://moderntokyotimes.com

leejay@moderntokyotimes.com

 

 

 
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Posted by on November 23, 2011 in ASIA, Japan

 

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K-pop in Japan: BoA and her new song Milestone set to hit the heights

K-pop in Japan: BoA and her new song Milestone set to hit the heights

Michel Lebon and Lee Jay Walker

Modern Tokyo Times

BoA will release a lovely track called “Milestone” and her fans will be so happy to hear her lovely voice and this powerful track should do really well. K-pop artists are now in vogue but for artists like BoA and Kan Mi Youn they hit the heights at a very young age and continue to impress by their changing styles and sheer quality.

“Milestone” will be released in Japan on December 7 and BoA will certainly hog the headlines because of her rich following.  The track itself is very emotional and the melody is pleasing on the ear. Also, like always her voice blesses the richness of the lyrics and the lovely melody.

Boa Kwon (Kwon Boa) adopted the name BoA and despite her young years this lady is multi-talented and truly international. The Beat of Angel (BoA) is just that with her angelic voice and classy style.

BoA was discovered by SM Entertainment and like always they nurtured the extremely beautiful young lady with an adorable voice. After her debut album ID; Peace B was released in South Korea she ventured into the Japanese market in 2002 with her debut album Listen To My Heart.

The international nature of BoA led her to debut in America in 2008 with the single “Eat You Up” and this hip track suited the American market. The video style was clearly designed for the market in hand and this was followed in 2009 by her first English language album titled BoA. However, in Japan the growing power of K-pop in mega-cites like Tokyo, Osaka, Kobe, and throughout Japan, means that the new track “Milestone” should reach the heights because it is one of her best tracks and BoA’s history in Japan is deep.

The Japanese music market was clearly a great boost to her early career because the album Valenti in 2003 sold more than 1.2 million copies in the second largest music market in the world. Her next album in Japan called Love & Honesty in 2004 did well but not like the album Valenti. However, BoA’s compilation album in 2005 called Best of Soul did very well and more than one million copies were sold.

The changing nature of BoA and the complexity of different music markets meant that between 2004 and 2005 the number of albums sold from new material had gone down in South Korea. Also, her venture into China was mixed but BoA was still very young and with no settled style then a tad of uncertainty was confusing some of her original fans.

It must be remembered that Boa Kwon was born on November 5 in 1986 and in many other music markets, for example in the United Kingdom, it is rare to have someone so young who enters so many challenging markets.  Any misfortune of sales, despite still being good, should go down to the people who guided her because not only was BoA entering challenging and diverse markets but the changing nature of her style was creating teething problems.

In many ways her sixth album in Japan called The Face in 2008 saw a new confident BoA because now she was taking control over the music she performed. Therefore, with her rich and diverse background before this period the final pieces of the “real” BoA began to emerge.

However, the one weak spot was that by not focusing on one main market, then her sales and fan base was confused. Again, this would not have happened with a major British and Japanese singer/group because they would have a firm base. Therefore, in 2010 her album called Identity suffered in Japan because sales were weak compared with the startling success of Valenti in 2003.

Clearly, her move to America had mixed results and BoA was overstretched when it came to maintaining a firm base in America, Japan and South Korea respectively. Therefore, you had a highly talented K-pop artist who had matured into a stunning young lady and who was blessed with a lovely voice, however, something was amiss.

After all, BoA couldn’t match her early success in Japan despite the BoA of 2010 being vastly superior to her early period. Yet 2010 did show that her fans in South Korea remained loyal because her album Hurricane Venus did well.

BoA is a fantastic singer and continues to grow and her new single which will be released on December 7 in Japan is one of her best. Therefore, the new single “Milestone” should hit the heights because the lovely melody is backed by her exquisite voice.

“Milestone” is a million miles away from “Eat You Up” but her new single shows the exquisite talent of BoA.  Therefore, many Tokyoites and music lovers throughout Japan should certainly add this new track to their chart once it is released. 

In truth, “Milestone” shows the real class of BoA and only her challenging schedule is preventing this stunning lady from reaching her true potential.

 

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

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kd2Cvxrxpfc BoA and “Eat You Up”

http://leejay@moderntokyotimes.com

http://moderntokyotimes.com

 

 

 
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Posted by on October 28, 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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Korean Pop Music continues to hit the heights in Japan

Korean Pop Music continues to hit the heights in Japan

Michel Le Bon and Lee Jay Walker

Modern Tokyo Times

 

South Korean sexuality is being fused within K-pop (Korean pop music) in order to make further inroads into the Japanese market.  This is a sure-fire winner in Japan and a very obvious market ploy. Alongside this traditional route you have catchy tunes and a more mature outlook with pouting looks and sexy outfits to appeal to many fashion conscious youngsters of both sexes in Japan.

The South Korean girl group Shoujo Jidai (SNSD – Shojo Jidai) or Girls’ Generation, continue to prosper and grow in Japan because of catchy tunes, easy on the eye dancing, sexy and fashionable clothing and extremely good marketing.  Therefore, Girl’s Generation is showing the pulling power of K-pop. The same applies to Kara and the male group Toho Shinki who were the forerunners of making K-pop so popular despite not being the first K-pop group to hit Japan.

Girls’ Generation is a group which is easy on the ear and eye because of sweet voices, sultry looks, nice movement, look petite, and dress stunningly.  Even if pop music is not your flavor you can still appreciate and understand why this group is making inroads in Japan and other nations outside of South Korea. 

Also, given the size of the music market in Japan then it makes good business sense for J-pop groups to target Japan because the South Korean music market is much smaller. Not only this, the size of the Japanese music market internationally is one of the biggest in the world and fashion is very potent in Japan.

 

Girls’ Generation consist of nine exquisite and beautiful members and Taeyeon, Tiffany, Yuri, Jessica, Hyoyeon, Sunny, Sooyoung, Seohyun and Yoona, all appear to be not only in love with their trade but more important, it appears that they are genuinely close and this adds to the energy of their performances and videos.

K-pop will continue to develop and J-pop groups will notice the more mature outlook and this may alter aspects of the J-pop music scene.  Also, it is great to see South Korean culture growing in influence in Japan and the same applies to Japanese culture influencing the younger generation in South Korea.

Therefore, South Korean dramas, Harajuku fashion in Tokyo, modern technology, social networking, K-pop, J-pop, growing cultural ties, and other major aspects of cultural and business exchanges, are all helping to change the image of both nations in each society respectively.    

Turning back to the music of Girls’ Generation, then “Mr. Taxi” sums up the catchy and sultry nature of this K-pop group because this record track is full of energy.  The record “Mr. Taxi” shows a group which is energetic, vibrant, blessed with lovely rhythm, and a tune which enables their collective dancing skills to show their stunning features and beckoning call to buy the end product.

Kara is another South Korean group which is hitting the headlines and the album Girl’s Talk was a great success. The music tracks called “Sweet Days,” “Love is” and “Binks” gave the album Girl’s Talk a firm foundation and other tunes caught the imagination.

“Jet Coaster Love” by Kara was a huge success this year and because of the earthquake and tsunami which hit Japan badly and killed so many.  Kara donated all their profits from “Jet Coaster Love” and Gu Ha Ra stated “It breaks my heart to think about the pain of the Japanese people, who showed us so much love.”

Girls’ Generation also donated heavily from their hit single and just like Kara these elegant ladies show that they have deep hearts. 

Musically, Girls’ Generation, Kara, and other K-pop groups, have so much to offer and they are blessing Japan with their talent and other new bands will follow in their footsteps in the future.

http://english.chosun.com/site/data/html_dir/2011/03/23/2011032300710.html (Gu Ha Ra from Kara)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fhseD2tRLUY   Girls’ Generation – Mr. Taxi

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2AwFX_59Ryo KARA – Honey

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LfUrnMCLXAc  Girls’ Generation

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=na83qZNWX3w&feature=fvwrel  KARA 

 http://moderntokyotimes.com

 
 
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Posted by on September 3, 2011 in Japan

 

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