There has been some major controversy in the past few days concerning SM Entertainment. More specifically, about Jessica’s withdrawal from popular K-pop girl group, Girls’ Generation.
Recently, Jessica posted on her Weibo (the Chinese microblogging service) that she was unjustifiably released from the Girls’ Generation and she was devastated that she can no longer serve as a member of the girl group.
And why was the popular member released from the group? Well SM Entertainment released an official statement saying her release was caused by disagreements with Jessica’s new fashion business, Blanc Group, which launched earlier in August.
The agency claims they discovered Jessica was embarking on her new fashion business without full approval and no agreement, but Jessica is disagreeing with these allegations.
Jessica argues that she had multiple discussions with both her agency and her group members over her new business. Jessica claims that there was a clear understanding about her new career and it was agreed that she would remain a member of Girls’ Generation.
On September 16, she met with her agency representatives and received permission to continue her business, but later on September 29, she was notified that she was no longer part of Girls’ Generation.
Meanwhile, there have also been rumors that Jessica’s withdrawal was related to her engagement with her Korean-American boyfriend Tyler Kwon, CEO of Cordiel Group. However, Kwon made clear on his Weibo that he was not planning to get married any time soon and further encouraged Jessica to remain patient for a little longer as “the truth about what really happened will be known.”
Girls’ Generation is an internationally recognized K-pop girl group that has been active since 2007. Although Jessica is no longer a member of Girls’ Generation, she had recently renewed her contract with SM Entertainment for an additional 3 years. SM has stated that they will continue to support Jessica with her solo activities.
“Your upper body is stable, but your lower body is having a sex party,” casually explains BuzzFeed video producer Eugene Yang, completely poker-faced and effortlessly imitating “The Arrogant Dance” made famous by PSY’s “Gentleman.” He’s teaching the staff some provocative motions in BuzzFeed’s latest Korean-inspired video titled, “Americans Try K-pop Dance Moves.”
The staff learned–or attempted to learn–the moves for a handful of popular K-pop songs, including “The Butt Dance” (aka “Korean twerking”) by girl group Kara. They quickly realized that the art of K-pop dance is way more challenging than it actually seems.
“I’ve never felt more un-athletic in my life,” said one worn-out dancer. Another guy was more optimistic: “I didn’t do it well, but I had swag in my face, so I think it’s gonna sell.” And another just embraced his bad dance skills, admitting, “My whiteness is revealing itself right now.”
As exhausting as this dance session turns out to be, in the end, participants triumphantly exclaimed in unison: “Korea, hwaiting!”
After expressing her interest in writing lyrics for a K-Pop song in an interview earlier this year, teenage singer-songwriter Lorde, whose debut album was just named to Rolling Stone’s 50 Best Albums of 2013, has continued to show her love for and rather impressive knowledge of hallyu. In an interview with Universal Music, Lorde notes that a collaboration between her and YG Entertainment’s Lee Hi is something on her wish list, as she’s a fan of the K-Pop Star-bred songstress. “I particularly like her,” she notes.
Lorde praised the K-Pop industry for its fresh take on pop music, something she says that she doesn’t see in the West:
“The melodies and songs [in K-Pop] are very interesting. Their melodies are a lot more charming than the Western pop which I grew up listening to. If it is pop music, it should be to that extent.”
She later goes on to demonstrate her (somewhat surprising) K-Pop knowledge, as she mentions being a fan of 2NE1 and wanting dance lessons from Girls’ Generation.
But the prospect of a Lee Hi x Lorde collaboration is definitely something we’re interested in hearing. With both being 17-year old’s with singing chops that go way beyond their years (it should be noted that both were named to Billboard’s 21 Under 21), we’d love to hear what a duet could sound like.
So if you’re reading, YG and Universal Music — make it happen. Please.
It would be a bit rude, perhaps, to call Super Junior a “boy band” as the pop veterans recently celebrated their 8th anniversary. While the K-pop superstars might be a tad older now, that still didn’t stop them from embracing their quirkiness and thanking their fans by showcasing a bit of cosplay before leaving for their world tour.
Some members dressed up as Korean celebrities, including Seo Taiji, while others took it to another level, like Leon and Mathilda from the 1994 film Leon: The Professional. Shindong and Heechul arguably took the most creative liberties, as they cosplayed as “League of Legend” characters, Ahri and Lee Sin.
It wasn’t the first time Super Junior has cosplayed for their fans’ enjoyment. They went a bit more mainstream with Dragonball, Avengers and what even looks like Jet Liearlier this year. Their Avengers cosplay even includes Spiderman and Wolverine from the X-Men, which might make comic book aficionados happy.
Donghae dressed like Seo Taiji.
Ryeowook channels his inner ajumma.
Sungmin dressed up as a popular character from variety show Gag Concert.
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After two jam-packed days of anything and everything hallyu, it was finally time for the convention’s biggest and most anticipated event — the star-studded concert and recording of Mnet’s über-popular music show, M Countdown. But just before the curtains (or more appropriately, LED screens) rose, Audrey was lucky enough to have red carpet access, and we’re bringing you some photos of some of K-pop’s top stars.
A finalist on Mnet’s talent competition program, Superstar K4, sixteen year-old Yu Seung Woo melted hearts with his adorable smile and sweet, acoustic tunes.
Next up was the ever-charming ballad group, 2AM, dressed to a tee in suspenders, bow-ties and perfectly pressed shirts.
Despite the scorching LA heat, DJ Koo kept it cool in his all-leather outfit and later on, made sure to hype up the crowd with his K-Pop mix at the start of the show.
The only female artists in the line-up, SM Entertainment’s f(x) looked stunning in their printed, Versace-inspired outfits. During the red carpet, Amber was able to express their excitement for the big show, as well as their gratitude to their American fans for their continued support, even being halfway around the world.
Undoubtedly one of the most anticipated acts of the night, if the ear-piercing screams proved to be any indication, the 12 boys of EXO showed no signs of jet lag (after arriving in L.A. just the day before), making jaws drop with their perfectly fitting uniforms, coiffed hair and handsome looks.
The guys of Teen Top, caught our attention with their colorful hair and charming charisma, showing very little signs of nerves, despite their KCON stage being their first performance outside of Korea.
Decked out in a clean, well-fitted suit (brownie points for him!), Super Junior-M’s Henry hit the red carpet, delighting fans with his lovable personality, showing off an endearing sense of confidence that you couldn’t help but get drawn to.
For more exclusive KCON Red Carpet photos, check out our gallery below:
In just a matter of days, KCON makes its way back the City of Angels to celebrate all things hallyu. This year’s two-day convention will be filled with workshops and panels and culminate in a star-studded concert and filming of the popular Korean music show,M Countdown.
Excited yet? We know we are!
But just in case you aren’t yet, us here at Audrey wanted to give you taste of what to expect for this year’s show through our musical go-to guide of some of this year’s featured artists!
The newest boy group to come out of mega-label SM Entertainment (and an Audrey favorite!), EXO is a 12-member Korean-Chinese band made up of two subgroups, EXO-K and EXO-M, who promote in both Korea and China. Though they just debuted last year, they have made a name for themselves in the K-Pop industry, already winning an Mnet Asian Music Award (MAMA) for “Best New Asian Act.”
For their latest comeback, the two sub-groups have reunited and have gained notice with their cool, R&B-inspired single “Growl.”
Starting his training at YG Entertainment at the tender age of 13, G-Dragon is known as a K-Pop multi-hyphenate as the leader, a rapper and producer of mega-popular boy group Big Bang. Alongside projects with Big Bang as well as a duo project with fellow Big Bang rapper T.O.P., GD launched his solo career in 2009 with the release of his first album. After his hugely successful “One of a Kind” world tour this past year, he has recently announced the release of his third solo record, “Coup D’Etat,” which will have a feature from hip-hop heavyweight, Missy Elliott.
Debuting in 2010 with TOP Media (the media company founded by Andy of K-Pop legends, Shinhwa), Teen Top broke onto the scene with their first single, “Clap.” With a string of hits under their belt, including “Supa Love” and “Crazy,” the young teen idols will be releasing their new album, “Class,” in the coming weeks.
With a distinct electronic pop sound, f(x) has become known as one of the hottest girl groups in K-Pop today. With songs like “NU ABO,” “Hot Summer,” and “Electric Shock,” the girls are nothing short of a K-Pop powerhouse. Composed of members Luna, Krystal, Amber, Sulli, and Victoria, this SM Entertainment quintet has continued to surprise and delight fans with their unique style.
Henry Lau, known just as Henry, is multi-talented member of Super Junior’s Chinese sub-group, Super Junior-M. Knowing a wide range of languages, including English, Korean, Mandarin, Cantonese and French, this 23-year old has a penchant for music. He is able to play both the violin and piano and has composed songs. Earlier this year, he released his first solo mini-album, “Trap” and has just released the song “1-4-3” featuring fellow SM Town family member, Amber of f(x).
From JYP/Big Hit Entertainment comes 2AM, a popular ballad group made up of members Seulong, Changmin, Jo Kwon and Jinwoon. Winning their first Mutizen award in 2010 for “Can’t Let You Go Even If I Die,” they have melted hearts with their sweet harmonies and outstanding voices. Earlier this year, they made their Korean comeback with the release of their second full-length album “One Spring Day.”
YU SEUNG WOO
At just 16 years old, Yu Seung Woo first began to catch people’s attention when he appeared on Mnet’s popular singing audition program, Superstar K4. His soothing guitar playing and gentle voice have made many a fan, especially on tracks like “You and I” and “Hello,” off of his recently released album, “First Outing.”
This team, made up of long-time friends Choiza and Gaeko, have become one of the most respected acts in South Korea’s hip-hop scene. Active since 2003, they have released a number of hit albums, including “Taxi Driver” and “Enlightened.”
As the only female rapper to have six platinum albums, to say that Missy Elliott is a major player in the hip-hop scene is an understatement. A five-time Grammy Award-winner, the rapper-producer-singer-songwriter has sold over 30 million records worldwide. With a discography that boasts six albums and 70 singles (including 43 features), including hits like “Work It,” “The Rain (Supa Dupa Fly),” and “One Minute Man.” Her connection to the K-Pop scene? She’s recently collaborated on G-Dragon’s latest album, to be released at the end of this month.
A former member of ‘90s dance duo Clon, DJ Koo is a popular electro-house DJ who made his debut in 2003. Playing festivals like Miami’s Ultra Music Festival, DJ Koo has demonstrated his immense skill and creativity in arranging, mixing and producing electronic dance hits, even mixing for some of K-Pop’s biggest names including f(x) and SHINee. In 2013, he released his latest single, “BOB BOB DEE LALA.”
As a finalist on the 11th season of American Idol, Heejun Han caught America’s attention with his soulful voice and funny antics. Recently singing with Polaris Entertainment in Korea, he will soon be releasing a single in the US entitled “Bring the Love Back” with Pusha T.
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Audrey Magazine is an award-winning national publication that covers the Asian experience from the perspective of Asian American women. Audrey covers the latest talent and trends in entertainment, fashion, beauty and lifestyle.