Over the past few years, more and more people in the UK have been getting into Korean pop music, better known as K-Pop. Last year I attended an amazing gig at Brixton Academy featuring girlband 4Minute, boyband B2ST and female singer G.NA, and this month 4Minute will return for another gig at the Indigo2 as part of a K-Pop & Korean Culture Festival arranged by Korean TV network MBC. Here’s my guide to the artists performing:
4Minute are a pure pop girlgroup with catchy songs, colourful videos and energetic dance routines, but their music still manages to be innovative and unique. Their current single Volume Up is a great example, and it’s been a huge hit with over 7 million views on YouTube since April. Overall on their channel they’ve had almost 100 million views! Two of the group’s members Gayoon and Ji Yoon will also release music as a duo this year, and they are currently going by the name Double Yoon. It’s like if Mel C and Mel B formed a group called Double Mel!
EXO-K is a six-piece boyband, who represent one half of a larger group named EXO. They were formed in 2011 and released their debut EP Mama in April this year, reaching the top 10 in South Korea and China. There were high expectations for the group as they were formed by S.M. Entertainment, one of the top Korean record labels, also home to Girls Generation, Super Junior and SHINee. Interestingly, one of their early singles History is the work one of my favourite Scandinavian songwriters, Thomas Troelsen!
I’d never heard of Norazo before, but the ever-reliable allkpop informs me that they are a male duo and one of the more eccentric K-Pop artists. Their latest single is called Woman Person, a strange title which (sort of) makes more sense when you find out that the song was written by an 8-year-old boy. Another weird Norazo fact is that they released a single called Constipation, but the video was banned from TV because the song lyrics were too disgusting! At least it’s original, though – have you ever heard a ballad about being constipated before?
Click here for more info on the event. Unfortunately the tickets all sold out in 3 hours, but there are a few sites running competitions to win them including We7. Good luck!