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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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Kan Mi Youn and K-pop groups in Japan: behind the beauty real hearts exist

Kan Mi Youn and K-pop groups in Japan: behind the beauty real hearts exist

Michel Lebon and Lee Jay Walker

Modern Tokyo Times

The “Korean cool” image is generating a real buzz in many nations because the energy which came out of South Korea many years ago is reaching a head of steam. This momentum is based on many fabulous K-pop groups and soloists coming from South Korea.

This collective momentum is rapidly changing the image of South Korea internationally and music lovers in Japan are eagerly awaiting new tracks from Girls’ Generation (SNSD), Kara, T-ara, G.na, Chocolat, Sistar, and other buzzing groups. At the same time you have great soloists and Kan Mi Youn is one special lady because of her creativity, individualism, adorability and a lovely voice which fuses all her special attributes.

However, behind catchy tunes and powerful images of music stars who have so much to offer to their adoring fans, you also have another angle which is mainly hidden for all the right reasons.  This applies to individuals and groups which have reached out in different ways in order to help others who are not so lucky. Therefore, while K-pop stars don’t want to make capital from this because the reasons are genuine and sincere, it is still nice to focus on this side of music.

Recently Kan Mi Youn released another fantastic music track and like the high octane “Paparazzi” single it is clear evidence that 2011 is a fantastic year for this special lady. At the same time many K-pop groups are hitting the heights in Tokyo and throughout Japan. This fact is great for the music sector in Japan because it is refreshing the J-pop scene and the more raunchy style and sophisticated approach within K-pop is hitting a chord in cities like Tokyo and Osaka.

However, for K-pop groups which are based in Japan or are targeting the Japanese market, then they are fully aware of the devastating effects of March 11. This applies to the earthquake which triggered the deadly tsunami and created the nuclear crisis in Fukushima.

Therefore, Kara donated all their profits from their hit single called “Jet Coaster Love” in order to help the needy in areas hit by the devastating tsunami. Gu Ha Ra commented that “It breaks my heart to think about the pain of the Japanese people, who have showed us so much love.”  Her comment, and other comments made by this classy group were deeply appreciated in Japan because it showed you that in times of crisis, that people with hearts of gold come to the fore and help others.

Girls’ Generation also donated heavily from their hit single and like Kara these elegant ladies showed that despite all the glamour and mega attractions of being famous, that underneath the image, stunning fashion, lovely dancing and beautiful looks, are sensitive individuals whose hearts are in the right place.

Musically, Girls’ Generation, Kara, T-ara, and many 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.

However, music is just one side but when music stars come to the fore and show their humanity, then this is the icing on the cake.

Kan Mi Youn is also another lady who is a great role model because all too often famous music stars, sport stars, and so forth, forget their roots and easily fall into the trap of looking down on others or distancing themselves from reality.  However, for Kan Mi Youn she is not only a fantastic singer who is blessed with passion, individuality, creativity and stunning looks – but her heart is clearly in the right place.

This applies to being a volunteer at a rehabilitation center in Seoul whereby she helps elderly citizens and infants who have various issues to deal with.  This information was published by Soompi (http://www.soompi.com/) on their website.

Soompi caters for latest K-pop news and other areas of the entertainment world emanating from South Korea. In the report by Soompi they express several comments by Kan Mi Youn and she states that “When it’s about time for me to come, the elder grandmothers and grandfathers with behavioral problems wait outside for me. They warmly hold my hands and lead me into their rooms, sharing stories and even candy with me. When it’s time for me to leave they wave and say goodbye until they can’t see me anymore.”  

It is also clear in the article by Soompi that Kan Mi Youn began voluntary work many years ago and this fact shows a new angle to this exquisite lady.  Therefore, irrespective of individuals doing voluntary work, charity, or donating, it is nice to know that so many groups and individuals have their heart in the right place.

Of course individuals are attracted to these music stars because of their voices, melodic beats, style, movement, expression, connection, raw energy and based on so many other factors.

However, it is nice to see glimpses into the world of music stars and when you hear about individuals like Kan Mi Youn volunteering, despite her limited free time and the host of options available to this talented individual – then it is a reminder that some individuals are “real role models.”

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://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.youtube.com/watch?v=1KcQWl3Zw34 T-ara (Bo Peep Bo Peep Japanese Version)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jBMzk0qFO6U&feature=fvsr T-ara (I Go Crazy Because Of You)

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

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

http://www.kanzume.jp

http://www.soompi.com/news/kan-mi-youns-secret-life-of-volunteering

http://moderntokyotimes.com   please visit

 
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Posted by on October 17, 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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Kan Mi Youn and K-pop: new powerful song to be released on Sep 29

Kan Mi Youn and K-pop: new powerful song to be released on Sep 29

Michel Lebon and Lee Jay Walker

Modern Tokyo Times

The beautiful and elegant Kan Mi Youn who is blessed with a lovely voice will release her new song on September 29.  A short preview of “Won’t Meet You” looks full of energy and vibrancy and the lady from South Korea will hopefully visit Japan in the near future. 

Kan Mi Youn is extremely talented and her song “Paparazzi” was a classic.  Full of energy from start to finish and with a catchy tune which hits you straight away.  If “Won’t Meet You” is anything like “Paparazzi” then it will be another fantastic tune.

However, knowing Kan Mi Youn it may even surpass “Paparazzi” because this music artist is very special. Also, with the growing appeal of K-pop in Japan then it will be interesting to see how “Won’t Meet You” fairs in the land of the rising sun.

The 30-second release certainly teases because the exquisite Kan Mi Youn plays three roles in the video.  Her characters apply to a stunningly sexy star and no acting was needed for this part and the other two images are a flash doctor and a quaint and estranged patient who still looks adorable. 

Her fans are counting the days before “Won’t Meet You” is released.  Appropriately her single “Going Crazy” is apt because many people are going crazy while waiting for her latest tune. 

“Going Crazy” was another lovely hit from Kan Mi Youn and for international lovers of music then this is one lady who appeals globally.  Kan Mi Youn is graceful, stunning, and bubbly.

Also, tracks like “Paparazzi,” and “Going Crazy” are buzzing with energy and backed-up by her lovely voice and stylish moves.  The videos express a lady who is in control and highlight a real gem.  Therefore, I know that “Won’t Meet You” will be another success because like the most delicious wine this young lady matures musically with each new song.

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.allkpop.com

http://moderntokyotimes.com

 

 

 
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Posted by on September 27, 2011 in ASIA

 

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