Red Velvet is the latest artists to release a song on the third season of SM Station, a digital music project that allows its artist to work their creative muscles.
Notably, this is Yeri’s first solo music project independent of her group Red Velvet. Impressively, the singer wrote the lyric for her SM Station song “Dear Diary,” which conveys the unique sentimentalities of people in their twenties. With the song’s fresh and love charm and an addictive melody, it had raised people’s expectation of what to expect from the singer should she decide to release more music in the future.
As unbelievable as it may be, the 2010s will soon be over in just 10 short months! Kpop has had exponential growth in the last few years, which will also determine Kpop’s future for the following decade!
The hallyu wave aka Kpop wave has definitely become more globalized within the last couple years. There is no doubt that in 2019 there will be more Kpop fans as more Kpop idols (BTS, Monsta X, NCT, Oh My Girl, Red Velvet, Blackpink, Sunmi etc.) continue to promote abroad. Especially in the US, thanks mostly to BTS’s success paving the way for Kpop growth this year.
Hollywood is the Kpop market for this year
Based on previous patterns of Kpop idol groups like Wonder Girls, Girl’s Generation, Super Junior, TVXQ etc. many Kpop idols usually extend their fan base to other countries in Asia before pursuing Europe & the Americas. Kpop’s growth in other countries are indeed significant, but given US is home to global names like Beyonce, Taylor Swift, Lady Gaga, Ed Sherman, Chris Brown, Drake, Justin Timberlake etc. (as well as Kpoplove’s headquarters) Kpop’s future global outlook will focus on the US market for this article.
Kpop before BTS
BTS on American Music Awards (2017)
Just 5 to 10 years ago, prior to BTS’s historical invasion in the US, Kpop was just a new and upcoming genre in the US that originated from a small country in Asia. As a decades old Kpop fan, I can personally attest to instances in the past where people confused North and South Korea and probably couldn’t name any Kpop artist even if their life depended on it.
Other idols’ success in the US
However, this does not mean Kpop has never made its mark in the US. Examining only the idol groups who are no longer “active” meaning either disbanded or no longer actively promoting with all members, idol groups like Wonder Girls and Girl’s Generation have previously tried to break into the US market without as much success as BTS.
JYP’s Wonder Girls (2007-2017) released a single- ‘Nobody’ (2009)- that was No.76 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart as the 1st Kpop group on the Billboard charts. This provided the opening for the group to enter the US market and pursue international activities. Wonder Girls can be considered to have been at the peak of their career in Korea (and Asia) prior to moving to the US in 2009 to focus on US activities. However contrary to expectations, Wonder Girls was unable to continue their momentum and ended up with changing the line-up and regroup back in Korea.
Wonder Girls on Wendy Williams Show (2009)
SM’s Girl’s Generation (2007-present) released a single-’The Boys’ (2012)-officially debuting and promoting in the US a few years after Wonder Girls. Comparing various aspects like promotions, fanbase, hallyu wave’s influence and method, there are so many differences that can explain the different levels of success between the 2 girl groups.
Girl’s Generation on Late Show with David Letterman (2012)
Taking a closer look at how BTS did not need to promote in the US to have the biggest US debut stage of all in 2017 as the 1st Korean group to perform at AMAs, BTS clearly did something that sets them apart from others. Not to mention BTS performed in Korean while Wonder Girls and Girl’s Generation performed in English. Based on BTS’s sucess, BTS’s momentum can only be expected to grow further this year.
BTS’s significant role for Kpop mainstreamed in US
In 2019, there are very few individuals who wouldn’t know what the 3 letters “BTS” refers to in the US. Even if one is completely clueless about Kpop, there is a big chance someone’s family, friend or acquaintance is a BTS fan or BTS ARMY.
Similar to BTS’s predecessors (e.g. legendary Kpop idol groups Girls Generation, Super Junior, TVXQ), BTS became mainstream in Asia a few years ago and became more globally recognized as they made their mark on the Billboard charts in 2015. But unlike other Kpop groups, BTS didn’t make any special plans to promote in the US market soon after their first placement on the Billboard charts. Instead BTS continued to release more content and focused on their music letting time to gradually increase their popularity all over the world.
Why is BTS different?
BTS contributed to further spreading the hallyu wave rather than having to focus on establishing the Kpop wave. Currently in 2019, nearly everyone has a smartphone as opposed to 10 years ago. Internet is easily accessible to many age groups enabling the daily use of social media like Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, Youtube etc. This has allowed Kpop idols, especially BTS, to focus on interacting with fans and growing their fanbase. BTS members are well known for being very active participants as singers-songwriters within the Kpop industry and renowned for sharing many of their content on SoundCloud or V Live which played a significant role for BTS’s success today.
BTS’s timing may have been what led to BTS’s breakthrough to becoming the biggest Kpop group in the world. Rather than jumping on the first signs of opportunity to pursue international activities, BTS bided their time to focus on their work and to further nurture their talents while waiting for their hard work to come to fruition.
The 7 membered boy group became recognized for their global popularity when selected by international corporations like Puma, LG Electronics, Hyundai Motors etc. as global ambassadors and made significant collaborations with Mattel, Medicome Toy, Netmarble Games, Line Webtoons, Line Friends x BT21 and more!
BTS World Tour & BT21
When BTS had their 3rd world tour last summer, Line Friends x BT21 also officially opened their pop-up store in LA situated amongst Hollywood’s Walk of Fame. As someone who has accompanied various people to this store in August, September, October and December of last year, I can personally affirm the lines were unbelievably long not only when the pop-up store first opened but also for the following months. Amazingly, the lines did not really decrease much every time I had to go.
Most of my experience at this store consisted of standing in line for hours while conversing with other people accompanying their niece or cousin to the store. As to why the lines didn’t decrease much even after BTS finished touring in the US would be since BT21 items were often sold out with limited quantities, unpredictable shipments of new items, new seasonal (Halloween, Christmas) items and such.
Initially the Line Friends store was announced to stay for 3 months. Later, due to high demand, the pop-up was extended to January 2019 with plans to locate permanently. Just the fact that BT21 became popular enough to become a permanent store in LA speaks volumes about BTS’s success in the US. Aside from BT21, BTS is renowned for increasing sales for many associated businesses leading to the birth of the term “BTS effect” from major news outlets as many profit from BTS’s influence. BTS has become symbolic as a guaranteed catalyst to enhance micro and macro economics.
Lots of Kpop events in 2019
Just within 2 months of this year, there have been so many appearances or scheduled appearances of Kpop idols and artists in the US. Just to name a few upcoming events- Girl’s Generation’s Tiffany will be having her first showcase as Tiffany Young in a few days, Sunmi will be having her first world tour next month, BLACKPINK will be at Coachella in April and BTS will be touring the US again in May. Additionally, Red Velvet, Oh My Girl, Hong Jin Young and Dean have already performed in the US within the last 2 months.
BLACKPINK made their official US debut on “Good Morning America” and announced their North American Tour during the interview just awhile back. With so many activities planned in the US for the first half of 2019, many are wondering whether BLACKPINK will be able to have success similar to BTS. There is definitely a lot of potential but as previous idol groups like Wonder Girls and Girl’s Generation have proven, it isn’t easy to accomplish.
As an avid Kpop fan whose biases are mostly the first generation of Kpop idols, I can’t help but feel happy and excited to see how well Kpop is doing in the US. There are many idol groups who have also contributed to Kpop’s success like Monsta X, EXO and annual events like KCON LA or KCON NY. But amongst everything I have read, seen and heard, I want to credit BTS for really opening the door wide open for Kpop to take on the US. There have been many attempts but no one has been as successful as BTS and thanks to that, I think Kpop fans are able to have more opportunities to see their favorite Kpop idols shine for Uncle Sam.
All I could hope for would be that BTS’s continuous momentum ushers in even more opportunities for other Kpop artists to enter the US market. Till the day Kpop can be heard on various iheart radio stations in the US, “Hwaiting” to all Kpop artists!
Girl group Red Velvet finished their first tour in North American with a successful Vancouver performance.
Red Velvet concert in Vancouver, Canada was the endpiece its Red Velvet 2nd Concert [REDMARE], a seven-city tour throughout North America that included stops in Dallas, Miami, Chicago, Toronto, and more. It is a triumph for the girl group, its agency, and for women in the K-pop industry; it is the first time a girl group has had an independent tour in the west since the Wonder Girls in 2010.
The group’s last concert took place at the PNE Forum last week where they performed 20 of their hit songs and fan favorites. Songs like “Russian Roulette,” “Rookie,” “Peekaboo,” and “Power Up,” energized the fans who cheered enthusiastically. In particular, in consideration of their audience, Red Velvet performed English versions of “Bad Boy” and “RBB” their most recent releases.
Talking to the audience, the members talked about their tour and their experience “We were able to have such a good time with our American and Canadian fans and [because of that] we are happy,” they said. Thanking fans for coming to their performance they said they have big plans for the year to come.
Red Velvet has successfully wrapped up their first concert of the North American tour.
On February 10, SM Entertainment shared that Red Velvet performed in Los Angeles with the enthusiastic cheer from the audiences. Tickets to Los Angeles performance, which took place on February 7-8, sold out.
For 150 minutes, Red Velvet members performed a series of their hit songs, which include “Happiness,” “Russian Roulette,” “Rookie,” “Peek-A-Boo,” “and “Power Up.” The audiences showed passionate reactions especially when the group performed “Bad Boy” and “RBB” in fluent English.
“We can’t believe that we’re performing here in the U.S,” said the group at the end of the concert. “Thanks everyone here for greeting us with enthusiasm. We’re touched by our LA fans’ great passion.”
Following the Los Angeles concert, Red Velvet is performing in Dallas, Miami, Chicago, and Newark. After that, they’re flying to Canada for the performances in Toronto and Vancouver.
Red Velvet member Joy will partner with model Jang Yoon-joo on “Get It Beauty 2019.”
This February “Get it Beauty 2019” (formerly ‘Get it Beauty’) will premier with more exciting topics, findings, and discussions. According to reports, Jang Yoon-ju and Red Velvet member Joy are going to lead the program as the show’s MCs.
Since 2006, “Get it Beauty” has been a staple in the conversations about Korean beauty. With this new rendition, the producers have decided to focus on a “more glamorous” lineup with an emphasis on finding and explore trends. Further, with the help of influential experts, celebs, and beauty industry creators will contribute their substantial knowledge and experience to the conversation. Overall, the program is expected to be a mix of fun, sincerity, and information.
In particular, the “Beauty-Life Balance” section of the show where the cast provides their top recommendations is greatly anticipated. During this portion of the program, the MCs will be joined by A group of experts, consisting of Ahn In-sook, the president of the Korea Institute of Skin Science, professor of beauty stylists at Yonsei University Lee Eun-joo, beauty editor Kim Mi-goo and and makeup artist Park Sang-eun, to present items after careful assessment.
In addition to the “Beauty-Life Balance,” there will also be a “New Life Party” portion where they will honestly review new, hot, and trendy products alongside another group of professionals and influencers. Moreover, not only will domestic brands be under discussion, but international beauty and fashion items as well.
Talking about these segments, a production staff member said that they would be “more powerful and new” in comparison to last year. As such, they hope to provide content that will enable viewers interested in beauty to obtain information and entertainment together.
On January 12, Trot singer Hong Jin-Young held her first solo concert in Los Angeles, California. Highlights were Hong Sun Young’s surprise performance, wardrobe malfunction and other exciting segments.
Korea’s Trot fairy Hong Jin-Young, held her first solo concert in LA (technically Temecula which is 2 hours away) commemorating her 10th year since debuting in 2009.
Hong Jin Young sang all of her hit songs starting with Love Battery to set the mood followed by all of her singles like Cheer Up, My Love, Thumb Up, Good Bye etc. The concert audience consisted of a wide range of age groups from children to the elderly fans. It was a boisterous environment with lots of excitement. The stadium had a seating capacity of 3260 seats, which was filled to the max. The light sticks from the audience was mesmerizingly beautiful once the ceiling lights dimmed.
Photo of 2nd floor audience:
Permission to take photos and videos were granted!
Generally in regards to taking photos or videos during the concerts, it is not allowed. However in Hong Jin-Young’s case, the Trot fairy gave her explicit consent at the opening of the concert. Her method to convey her permission was witty, “When you all came in, did you see the sign about not taking photos or videos?” (Hearing this all the excited fans have drooped shoulders and are slowly putting away their phones.) She continues by saying, for me you can take as much photos and videos as you want. (People are in disbelief and shocked, myself included.) Hong Jin-Young says “In fact, I look better in videos, for some reason I don’t look so great in photos,” followed by “during the concert I will strike a pose and stay still, you can take photos then so the picture comes out nice.” As a result, I was able to take photos and videos to my heart’s content to share with everyone!
Highlights of the Concert
Hong Jin Young actively interacted with fans throughout the entire concert.
Hong Jin Young made sudden poses during her performance to give the audience a chance to take her picture. It was hilarious at times when the singer would be dancing then casually stay still for a few minutes at the left or right side of the stage to give fans a chance to capture a great photo. Her intent to interact with the crowd was so strong to the point her security detail probably exasperated at the artist’s determination.
Hong Jin Young visits 2nd floor audience:
Hong Jin Young shared her intention to walk to the audience to get a chance to greet them since only the fans sitting in the front can see her. The excitement from that announcement was really amazing. When the artist started walking out while singing a song, many fans blocked her path (security was busy keeping on eye on everything at this point) to take a selfie together or to shake her hand etc. Interesting point was these fans were of various ages ranging from 20s-70s. Grandfather figures were so excited seeing their favorite singer up close that they forgot about their wives and grandchildren seeing them turn into excited fan boys. One of the fun remarks about this from some people around me was “The ride back home will be full of fights for forgetting their social dignity.” Considering Korean social norms play a significant role in Korean-American society, it is understandable that for some it can seem socially embarrassing to see important figures changing into excited fan boys in front of their beloved singer.
It’s probably comparable to this scene from Descendants of the Sun when the officers in the army turn into ardent fan boys in front of Red Velvet in the drama.
Hong Jin Young had to make many attempts to reach the audience in the second floor due to many excited fans blocking her path at every point. By the time she finished her walk around the venue to return to the stage, Hong Jin Young found her shoe had fallen apart and needed to take a quick break to change them. She stated it was her first time seeing this happen although she has performed on the stage so many times, commenting on how memorable it is for her.
Hong Jin Young’s shoe fell apart:
During the segment where Hong Jin-Young reads all the post-its prepared in advance by fans, the most remarkable one was asking about her sister. As a result, Hong Jin Young called out her sister Hong Sun Young to the stage and the two performed a song together followed by Hong Sun Young’s solo performance. To be able to hear Hong Sun Young’s amazing vocals in person, it really reminded me of BMK in terms of her voice and singing style.
Hong Sun Young was shy and taken aback by the enthusiasm from the audience whenever everyone chanted “encore” at the end of her songs. Unfortunately the cheers were even louder for Hong Sun Young than for artist Hong Jin Young, which were remarked by the singer.
Hong Sun Young performance snippets:
Since 2018 there have been lots of speculation and interest in whether Trot singer Hong Jin-Young and former-idol Kim Jong-Kook are (or will be) dating.
Both Hong Jin-Young and Kim Jong-Kook have expressed their chemistry with each other on screen. Many fans who have watched the variety shows when they appeared together have been wishing for the two people to really date. The crucial variety show that broadcasted their chemistry was seen on SBS’s Running Man where Kim Jong-Kook has been a cast member since 2010 with Hong Jin-Young appearing as a featured member various times. Additionally, SBS’s Ugly Ducking where Hong Jin-Young and Kim Jong-Kook are both cast members since 2018 is also memorable. Much of the public have been very supportive of these two to become a couple in real life, including myself.
I don’t think I really understood how much love and support Hong Jin-Young and Kim Jong-Kook had been receiving as an on screen item until now. It has already been established on screen to consider them to be a potential couple with the ambiguous atmosphere and hyping from the MCs. Both have been flirty on screen in various shows with the editing building it up. This was confirmed when a compilation of those flirty scenes were played at Hong Jin-Young’s solo concert in Los Angeles.
Towards the end of the concert, Hong Jin Young started singing any song the audience requested. Lo and behold, Kim Jong Kook’s song was requested with many people shouting for Kim Jong Kook’s One Man. The cheers when Hong Jin Young sang Kim Jong Kook’s songs one after other were the loudest cheers during this segment. People were cheering for them to date, shouting they look great together etc.
Kim Jong Kook covers:
Someone yells “Kim Jong Kook” snippet:
Freebies like light sticks were given to cheer for Hong Jin Young.
Due to many local and corporate sponsors for the concert, there were some free stuff available for the audience before the concert like light sticks, health magazines, vitamin samples and coupons being handed out with some giveaways of skin care, electronics, gift certificates, health supplements and even a grand prize of one round trip to Korea from Korean Air.
Overall everyone had a wonderful time.
Hong Jin Young’s concert was not catered to one specific age group, but for all ages. Whole families from young to old had a great time listening to Korean Trot, ballads and great song covers from Hong Jin Young. Hong Jin Young was very proactive in interacting with the audience, not the mention the unexpected appearance of Hong Sun Young, which made an unforgettable experience.
Personally, I enjoyed the concert very much and glad for the spontaneous decision to go. If it wasn’t for my friend’s acquaintance being unable to go hours before the concert, my friend and I wouldn’t have had the chance to see and hear Hong Jin Young in person. There may be many memorable parts to the concert but what I shared are what was most memorable for me. Looking back to the concert a week later, I hope there are more chances to hear Hong Sun Young perform whether with her own debut as a singer or participating in her sister’s songs. She sounded awesome and would be perfect for Kdrama OSTs.
Congratulations to the popular Baby Shark song for getting listed on Billboard’s Hot 100 chart for 2 weeks in a row!
On January 15, OSEN reported the English version of the children’s song Shark Familyknown as Baby Shark was No.38 on Billboard’s Hot 100 Chart!
This isn’t the first time the Baby Shark has made its mark on a Billboard chart. Back in July 2018, the catchy song made its appearance on Billboard’s Kid Digital Song Sales chart. Additionally, the Baby Shark video on YouTube has gotten over 2.1 Billion views since its release on June 2016.
The catchy “Doo Doo Doo Doo Doo Doo” has gone viral gaining international love and attention. There have been many headlines wondering what makes this song so addicting like CNN’s headline “What’s behind the insane popularity of ‘Baby Shark’? Lets examine.”
It has been said Baby Shark became an international sensation largely thanks to Kpop groups like BLACKPINK and Red Velvet singing and dancing along to the cute song. As a result, it became viral first in Korea followed by other parts in Asia (especially in Indonesia) before it made its way to the US to captivate children with its catchy beat. The song is popular with not only children but also adults through the “Baby Shark Challenge” that has gone viral. What do you think of the song?
Apink’s maknae Hayoung shared on her Instagram with a picture promoting Apink’s new mini album ‘PERCENT’ released Jan 7 at 6pm (KST).
2019 has been with a busy start for many female Kpop idol groups like Red Velvet, BLACKPINK and now Apink as well. Apink’s 8th mini album ‘PERCENT’ was released on Jan 7 at 6pm (KST). What do PANDAs think of the M/V?
Apink’s Hayoung promoted her group’s new mini by sharing a photo with pink hair and background with the caption ‘%%’ the name of their title song, which means (응응) or yes yes in Korean.
Red Velvet, one of the hottest female Kpop groups, will be coming to US and Canada for their ‘REDMARE’ solo concert tour in February 2019.
Kicking off the new year, Red Velvet will be touring in the USA and Canada in a month! Red Velvet will be performing for 5 days in the USA, (2/8) Los Angeles, (2/10) Dallas, (2/13) Miami, (2/15) Chicago and (2/17) Newark. Red Velvet will also be performing for 2 days in Canada, (2/19) Toronto and (2/21) Vancouver. This will be the first time Red Velvet is touring Canada. More details can be found on Red Velvet’s official Facebook Page. Reveluvs are you ready?
For those who need something to tide you over until the concert tour kicks off, Red Velvet will be releasing a new digital single [SAPPY] in Japan on January 6 12AM (JST). The teaser is already out on SMTown’s Youtube Channel.
KBS announced the 29 participating groups and singers for its yearend song festival.
On December 20, KBS announced the third and final lineup for 2018 KBS Song Festival, which will be held on December 28 at 8:30 PM.
The newly announced teams are Celeb Five and Kim Yeon-ja, who have established their own genres in K-pop with unique music and performances. With their participation, a total of 29 teams are performing for the upcoming song festival.
Take a look at the list below for the artists to make appearances in 2018 KBS Song Festival:
Boy Groups – BTS, EXO, Wanna One, Seventeen, BTOB, Norazo, VIXX, NU’EST W, GOT7, Monsta X, and NCT 127 Girl Groups – TWICE, Red Velvet, GFriend, A-Pink, Oh My Girl, (G)I-dle, AOA, Lovelyz, Momoland, WJSN, and Celeb Five Solo Artists – Hwang Chi-yeol, Sunmi, Chungha, Yong Jun-hyung, 10CM, Roy Kim, and Kim Yeon-ja