Blackpink, Lady Gaga, and the importance (or not) of Western collabs in K-pop

We are exactly two weeks away from the release of Lady Gaga‘s sixth studio album, Chromatica, and with that the first new Blackpink song in over a year, Sour Candy. Sour Candy is next in a list of collaborations between western acts and K-pop groups. The discourse around these sorts of collabs is often mixed, so I wanted to take a deeper look into them, their pros and their cons. Blackpink aren’t the first K-pop group to feature on a western act’s song. The Lady Gaga collaboration isn’t even their first time doing it, as they featured on Dua Lipa‘s[…]

Every look in Chung Ha’s Stay Tonight MV Ranked

Chung Ha released her latest music video – Stay Tonight. It’s her first pre-release track, and it promises big things for her actual comeback. The music video is glossy, with precise choreography, taking inspiration from voguing, with daring makeup looks for both Chung Ha and her dancers. There are five distinct looks in the music video, each of them brilliant, each of them fabulous, each of them allowing Chung Ha to steal the spotlight as she rightly should. Rather than just review the song and music video – it’s great, watch it, listen to it – I’ve decided to take a[…]

My Favourite K-pop of 2020 Quarter 1: From ANS to Weki Meki

It’s safe to say 2020 has been a weird year so far, what with everyone being stuck inside and the world coming to a bit of a standstill because of coronavirus. It’s affected the world of K-pop, naturally, with some releases pushed back and, on a more physical level, Korean music shows filming without audiences. With that in mind, the groups and artists that have released music so far this year have done incredibly well to keep going in what must have been quite scary and challenging conditions. Groups like Hinapia, (G)I-dle and Blackpink all pushed back their comebacks that[…]

K-pop and Physical Music: Why I Collect K-pop Albums in 2020

K-pop artists, like most musical acts, bring out physical albums for some of their releases, ranging from singles, to mini-albums (what Western artists would refer to as EPs) and full albums (LPs). They also have comebacks which are digital only, though they often do produce physical versions which go to radio stations or press. In a world where digital wins and streaming is one of the main ways people now listen to music, you’d be forgiven for thinking there was no place for physical releases any more. But in the world of K-pop, physical releases mean so much more than[…]

Being a BLACKPINK stan is really difficult

BLACKPINK were the first K-pop girl group that I completely fell in love with. Jennie, Rosé, Jisoo and Lisa completely captivated me and had me hooked from my first listen of As If It’s Your Last (I got into them late, OK?) But it’s actually really difficult being a fan of them. Yesterday on Twitter, #BLACKPINK1YearOfHiatus trended, while #OneYearWithoutBLACKPINK was up there too. Today marks one year since BLACKPINK released their most recent mini-album and music video, Kill This Love. Since then, the girls have had no more comebacks. That’s not to say they’ve not been working and busy. BLACKPINK[…]

Best K-pop album tracks of 2019

It’s been a hell of a year for K-pop released, with incredible music videos and music show performances. But it turns out, in my opinion, artists don’t always release the best song on their mini-album as the title track. I’ve really enjoyed getting deeper into groups and soloists this year, listening to more than just their title tracks. In some cases, I’ve found I prefer the album tracks to the song that was given a music video and promoted on music shows. So, to try and open some eyes to some absolute bangers that people might be missing, I’ve put[…]

Best K-pop songs of 2019 – Part 2 – Hwasa to Weki Meki

Following from the Best K-pop songs of 2019 Part 1, which ended with my favourite new group of the year, Hinapia, here’s the (highly anticipated, I’m sure) second and final part. As with part 1, artists and groups mentioned on this list only have one entry each, regardless of how many of their songs I loved from this year. I’m looking at you, Mamamoo. There’s even another token boy group on the list, which will come as no surprise if you’ve read my favourite debuts of January to April post. No big introduction for part 2, let’s get straight into[…]

Best K-pop songs of 2019 – Part 1 – Apink to Hinapia

It turns out 2019 was a great year to be a K-pop fan. From strong debuts from the likes of Itzy and Everglow, to powerful comebacks from Twice, Chung Ha and Mamamoo, 2019 truly was the year to be a multi-stan. It’s also been the year people have tried to downplay its significance and belittle its fans. Yes, I don’t understand what they’re saying (unless I look at the translated lyrics, which I often do), but it’s undeniably good pop music. Maybe it’s time to accept that K-pop doesn’t “suck”, you’re just a little xenophobic. Sure, pop music isn’t for[…]

Top 5 K-Pop debuts of 2019 – Jan-Apr

This blog is slowly becoming focused on K-Pop, but I feel like it has taken over my life since I started listening to it. I’m completely fine with that, by the way. It’s already been an incredible year for new K-Pop releases – Blackpink’s highly-awaited comeback, Twice’s Fancy and BTS’ collab with Halsey have been a few recent highlights. But for this post, I wanted to focus on my favourite debuts of the year so far. It’s a difficult task to rank them, but I’ve done it. Or at least as well as I could, because nobody can make me[…]

I saw my first K-pop concert: Hyolyn The 1st Solo Concert TRUE

I’ve made it no secret that I’m a huge K-pop fan after having got into it in January 2018. But given the fact that it isn’t mainstream popular in the UK, I never thought I’d get to see the artists or groups I like perform live. Luckily, I was wrong. A few months ago, I saw Hyolyn, formerly of SISTAR, post on Twitter about a European tour and quickly found out she actually had a London date. Tickets were cheap, just £30 for the standard ones, and it was just a few away. I don’t have many – if any[…]