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[…]

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 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[…]

BLACKPINK’s Jennie really snapped with SOLO

BLACKPINK‘s Jennie has released her solo music video, aptly titled Solo. I’ve been eagerly waiting for the visuals since I found out it was filmed in London and I’m a big fan of Jennie, anyway. But the song and MV are even better than I had hoped. Don’t let the opening section fool you – this is no sweet, melancholic love song. In fact it’s the opposite. It’s a break up song, the type you’d listen to if you need to get over someone quick and realise you’re great on your own. Until I looked at the lyrics, I thought[…]

My Top 10 K-Pop Releases of 2018 (so far)

2018 is the year I re-discovered K-Pop and fully allowed it to take over my life. I read a Billboard list of the best K-Pop released of 2017 and have practically only listened to K-Pop ever since. I used to listen to a few Wonder Girls songs in my teens and one or two 2NE1 tracks after watching Adore Delano’s lip syncs to them. But since embracing the genre I’ve followed my favourite girl groups’ and soloists’ releases and enjoyed a number of debuts from new groups. So, here is my top 10 list of K-pop releases of the year[…]