Saturday, 9 November 2013

[SPECIAL FEATURE] Qualmless Idols, On Their Way to be A-dols?

[SPECIAL FEATURE] Qualmless Idols, On Their Way to be A-dols?

by Park Hyo-Jae(mann616@kyunghyang.com) | Sep 26, 2013

Aged idols = Adult idols = A-dols

Aged idols, also known as the adult idols (A-dols) has recently been gaining much popularity. Idols who once competed with cuteness may have aged, but now, the fact that they are A-dols isn’t something to hide but it is used as a material for publicity. A-dols can boast their experience and sexiness, which also means more opportunities to expand their fan base.

beg_killbill

Brown Eyed Girls in MV Kill Bill

“We are quite ripe”

The 4-member girl group Brown Eyed Girls who enraptured their fans with the song “Abracadabra” and the ‘arrogance dance,’ doesn’t hide the fact that they have been in the music scene for 8 years, safe to say, the longest-living girl group. Not only do they boldly display sexy concepts on stage, their qualmless high rated talks on entertainment programs easily creates a stir. On the cable channel tvN’s Taxi aired on Sept 16, when MCs asked, “What is Brown Eyed Girls’ deadily weapon?” member Narsha replied, “We are quite ripe.” Then, near the end of the program, Brown Eyed Girls and the two MCs, Kim Gura and Hong Eun Hee went to a club in Itaewon in Seoul to dance.

Besides the fans, junior singers also look up to A-dols as role-models. At an interview with the Kyunghyang Shinmun, the girl group Apink said, “We want to be a group that grows old with our fans, like Shinhwa.” Male vocal trio Honey-G who debuted recently through the audition program Superstar K4 also said, “Group Shinhwa, who’ve come this far without any changes in members, is our role model.”

The 6-member male group Shinhwa celebrated their 15th anniversary this year since their debut in March 1998. They released their 11th studio album The Classic and completed the Asia tour from Hong Kong, China, Singapore, Taiwan, and Japan. Shinhwa is the only case for a dance idol group to be active for 15 years still intact with its original members.

Sunmi

Sunmi performing ’24 hours

 Young idol singers are emphasizing their ‘adulthood’

Perhaps ‘A-dol’s competitive edge has been recognized. Young idol singers are emphasizing their ‘adulthood’ more and more. They try out sexy concepts and emphasize their maturity. Former Wonder Girls member Sunmi is such a case. She came back as a solo dance singer after 3 years and 7 months, attempting an image that reminds us of singer Park Ji Yoon’s famous song, “Seonginsik” (“Coming of Age Ceremony”). On stage, she dances barefoot, wearing a bodysuit that almost appears as an undergarment revealing her legs in the most sensual way. Her solo debut title “24 Hours” sings, “24 hours is not enough. When I touch you and you touch me…” When you think of the lively and cute Wonder Girls, Sunmi’s transformation is unconventional.

SNL idols

Left: 4Minute / Right: Seungri

Recently, making appearances on talk shows and on programs intended for adult viewers are a kind of a coming-of-age ceremony to the idols. The cable channel tvN’s adult comedy program SNL Korea has become a passageway to become an A-dol. For instance, the girl group 4Minute made an appearance with a sexy and comical concept, while Seungri of Big Bang presented adult humor on SNL Korea.

Entertainment management agency Sidus HQ where Park Jaebum, one of the fixed member of SNL Korea, is associated with, has even put the rookie girl group 2eyes as one of the crew as well.

On MBC talk show Radio Star, aired on Sept 4, Kang Ji-young of the girl group Kara, confessed to having watched an x-rated movie when she was still under age. She said, “I watched it alone at home, then with my family, and even with my friends.” When MCs mentioned the x-rated Korean movie My PS Partner she replied, “That’s not that erotic isn’t it?” and laughed in embarrassment.

Park Hyungsik_A Real man

Park Hyungsik of ZE:A in MBC’s A Real Man

Park Hyunsik of the boy group Children of Empire, a.k.a ZE:A, is showing a process of becoming a man through MBC’s reality-variety show A Real Man. He has been appealing his manly image by making hard efforts to adapt to various military environments without any complaint. Through the show, he caused quite a stir and raised his as well as his groups awareness in Korea.

He also appeared on the cable channel tvN’s Taxi on Sept 23. When he was asked who his ideal woman was, he immediately replied, “Amanda Seyfried is Perfect! Charming and perfect! did you see her singing and playing guitar? It’s to die for!”

 ”Sexy code has become a trend on its own”

The changes in fandom, the broadcast environment, etc., were considered as possible reasons to why the adult image has become such an emphasis to idols.

Kim Sun Hwa, the head of the public relations at Sidus HQ, commented, “Sexy code has become a trend on its own. In the past, public in general felt uncomfortable towards idols using adult humor or sexy concepts, but now it’s at a point where such things are acceptable to some degree.”

The decrease in the influence of the record industry and the music program with the introduction of cable channels, is one reason why the constraint on expressions have weakened. Choi Chang Hyuk, the managing director of Sidus HQ stated, “Mysterious concept doesn’t work anymore. This isn’t the era where hundred thousands to millions of albums are sold. The more the people know about us and like us, the better it is for us.”

On the other hand, there are concerns of sensationalism becoming too dominant. Ryu Jae Hyun, the manager of the agency Star Empire where ZE:A is associated with said, “Perhaps idols come out with unconventional and provocative concepts because there are not much to show on variety programs.”

“the by-product of excessive competition”

Lee Dae Hwa, the music critic stated, “It’s become harder to expect distinguished music, because the album industry has transformed into producing digital singles from producing albums.” He added, “As the circulation cycle of trends shortens, the impression that emphasizing unconventional concept is the best way to survive seem to be strong.” He also pointed out that this trend is the by-product of excessive competition in the music industry.



Tuesday, 5 November 2013

Big Bang Rapper G-Dragon Is K-Pop's Highest Paid Songwriter-Performer

It's official. G-Dragon is the highest paid active songwriter-performer in K-pop, according to the publication eNEWS.

The Big Bang rapper and frontman was the only performer to be mentioned on a list of South Korean composers earning the most from songwriting royalties in 2012.

G-Dragon was listed as number five on the list, compiled by the Seoul Broadcasting System program "Good Morning," with total earnings of $744,000.

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SM Entertainment staff producer Yoo Young Jin, responsible for writing hits for major acts like Shinhwa and Super Junior, landed the number four spot with $782,000 in 2012 songwriting royalties.

YG Entertainment's star producer Hong Jun "Teddy" Park was third on the list with $886,000. Teddy has composed hits for girl group 2NE1 and Big Bang. While Zia and 2BiC producer Cho Young Soo was number two with $914,000.

The top earning South Korean songwriter in 2012 was JYP Entertainment CEO Park with royalties of $1.1 million. Park, although not currently active as a touring artist, formerly had a lucrative performing career under the name JYP.

All amounts were calculated before taxes.

At age 25, G-Dragon is the youngest on the list of top-earning songwriters.

And the K-pop superstar appears to have no intentions of slowing down, most recently composing and producing "Ringa Linga," the title track off of his Big Bang bandmate Taeyang's new album.

In a press release published on YG Entertainment's website on Friday, a representative for Big Bang's record label explained why G-Dragon's active role in Taeyang's new single is noteworthy.

"As a producer, G-Dragon has composed countless songs for Big Bang and also for himself, but him being involved in writing and composing the song for Taeyang's title track is unprecedented."

Later this month, T.O.P. will become the fourth member of Big Bang to release a solo album this year, making Daesung the only member of the group not to drop his own record in 2013.

Singer Seungri's solo album "Let's Talk About Love" dropped in August and G-Dragon's wildly successful double album "Coup D'Etat was released in September.

Big Bang kicks off their Dome Tour of Japan on Nov. 16 at the Seibu Dome in Tokorozawa City, opening up for the group will be YG's newly-crowned boy band WINNER.



[News] Girls Generation’s Yuri, Hyoyeon and Shinhwa’s Lee Minwoo to appear on Mnet’s ‘Dancing 9’ as dance masters

Girls Generation, Yuri, Hyoyeon, Shinhwa, Lee Minwoo
[News] Girls Generation’s Yuri, Hyoyeon and Shinhwa’s Lee Minwoo to appear on Mnet’s ‘Dancing 9’ as dance masters

Girls Generation’s Yuri and Hyoyeon, and Shinhwa’s Lee Minwoo will be appearing on Mnet’s newest global dance survival show, ‘Dancing 9’, as “K-pop dance masters” alongside other notable stars Lee Yongwoo, Park Jiwoo, Park Jieun, Woo Hyunyoung and more.

Known as the dancing queens of the Girls Generation, Yuri and Hyoyeon will join Shinhwa’s Lee Minwoo and the others on coaching the show’s contestants as K-pop dance masters. They will be sharing their experiences and help contestants who are trying to make a name for themselves with dancing.

Yuri and Hyoyeon said, “We want to share the fashion, trend, stage performance, team work, and other things we’ve gained through group activities, as well as various experiences and know-hows to ‘Dancing 9’ contestants. We will try our best to give them the most practical help.”

Mnet’s ‘Dancing 9’ will start on July 20th at 11 pm (KST).


Credit: Soshified

 M/s : kenvilthomas@kpopupdates.com



[News] Shinhwa starts to sell tickets for the finale of their Asia tour in Seoul in August

Shinhwa
[News] Shinhwa starts to sell tickets for the finale of their Asia tour in Seoul in August

 The group Shinhwa wild hold the finale of their Asia tour in Seoul on August 3 and 4 at Seoul Olympic Stadium. According to a June 12 announcement by their agency, tickets for the Seoul concert will be on sale on Interpark from 8:00 p.m. on June 12.

The 2013 Shinhwa Grand Finale of The Classic tour, in SEOUL, will be performed on the widest stage ever used at Olympic Stadium and will include a thrust stage so that the group can interact well with the audience. Shinhwa is preparing totally different program from the last concert in Seoul, in March.

In the meantime, Shinhwa is keeping up the heat with its tour, as the group proceeds to the Mercedes-Benz Arena in Shanghai, China, for a June 22 concert.

M/s : kenvilthomas@kpopupdates.com

[News] Shinhwa’s “This Love” tops Soribada for four weeks in a row

Shinhwa
[News] Shinhwa’s “This Love” tops Soribada for four weeks in a row

Having already wrapped up their music show promotions, Shinhwa continues to dominate music charts with their latest title song, “This Love”.

According to music website Soribada, Shinhwa’s comeback song “This Love” remained number one again for the first week of June, making it the fourth consecutive week to be on top since its release on May 16th.

MBLAQ’s new song “Smoky Girl” ranked second on the chart while 4men’s OST single Only You placed third. EXO’s comeback track “Wolf” and Rainbow’s “Sunshine” also ranked within the top five of the chart.

Meanwhile, Shinhwa is currently busy with their ‘2013 Shinhwa Grand Tour: The Classic’ which kickstarted in Hong Kong in June 8th.

 M/s : kenvilthomas@kpopupdates.com



[News] Shinhwa successfully kicks start Asia Tour in Hong Kong

Shinhwa
[News] Shinhwa successfully kicks start Asia Tour in Hong Kong

After the sucessful promotions for “This Love”, Shinhwa launched its 2013 world tour with first concert in Hong Kong.

The group held the first show of ‘2013 SHINHWA GRAND TOUR “THE CLASSIC” in HONGKONG’ on June 8th at ASIA WORLD EXPO with 15,000 cheering fans in the audience. Not only it’s the first show of their new Asia tour, it was also their first solo concert in the country.

About 1,000 fans waited at the Hong Kong International Airport to see the group to touch down on June 7. There were also a big crowd of fans near Marriott Hotel where the group stayed for a night.

According to SHINHWA Company, “Even though it was Shinhwa’s first solo concert in Hong Kong, a great number of fans attended the concert. All of the members and staffs were very excited for the fans’ warm cheers.”

Starting with Hong Kong, Shinhwa plans to continue performing in Shanghai, Taiwan, Tokyo and Beijing, before finally wrapping up with another set of concerts in Seoul.
 
M/s : kenvilthomas@kpopupdates.com



‘Shinhwa Broadcast’ Comes Back With Heartwarming Moments and Laughter

"Shinhwa Broadcast", a multi-entertainment show featuring Shinhwa, made its comeback after a 5-month hiatus. Their last episode aired in June. Although Kim Dong Wan is no longer with the show, the five members did a good job shoring up his empty spot with their wit and teamwork.

The first episode of the second season featured Shinhwa visiting a dog shelter to find "little legends" ('Shinhwa' means 'legend' in Korean). "Little legends" are chosen by Shinhwa to honor them as people who humbly do extraordinary things.

The members received a lead from one of their fans who told them about the dog shelter that is located in Incheon. They all received their rabies shots prior to arriving at the dog shelter. Their hearts melted as they saw the dogs that were abandoned and abused.

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Eric could not look away from a particular dog. Her name was 'Ara'. She was an abused and abandoned dog that was rescued by the owner of the facility. As would be expected, Ara was extremely defensive and did not let anyone get close to her. Eric did not give up, however, and finally won over Ara with gifts of food.

Andy quietly cleaned the dirty dog houses without complaint, and Lee Min Woo and Shin Hye Sung washed and walked the dogs.

The "little legend" that they discovered were the people who ran the dog shelter, one of whom graduated from the prestigious Yale University. Their affection for the abused dogs kept them there. When they spoke of how they miss the dogs that were successfully adopted, Shinhwa members shed their tears as they were touched by the love for the dogs that these workers had.

Season 2 of "Shinhwa Broadcast" is planned, as was the first episode, to be both entertaining and touching in the ensuing episodes as well.

Photo credit: JTBC