That’s right! Our wishes of seeing more Asian women in the media have been answered. Sure there’s Lucy Liu on Elementary, Brenda Song on Dads and Aubrey Anderson-Emmons on Modern Family, but it’s not very typical to see english-speaking shows focus entirely on Asian women. Mnet has hopes to change that.
Mnet America, the first and leading national television network centered on Asians, is releasing a new original series Alpha Girls. The show, which will debut on February 26 at 8pm ET/PT, follows the lives of successful Asian women and the struggles they have to endure to reach success. And don’t worry, the series also shows all the personal drama we love tuning into.
The premiere season of Alpha Girls follows TOKiMONSTA (DJ/ producer), Mina Kwon (artist, illustrator, graphic designer), Lanie Alabanza-Barcena (founder and lead designer of Hellz Bellz) and Soo Joo Park (fashion model).
TOKiMONSTA (Jennifer Lee)
TOKiMONSTA is a Korean American electronic music producer, recording artist, and DJ. She has been ranked LA Weekly’s #1 female DJ in Los Angeles, has two albums released and is currently signed to Ultra Records.
Mina Kwon is a Korean artist, illustrator and graphic designer known for her distinctive aesthetic and fresh look at modern day Hip Hop and street culture. Currently, she travels internationally to design album covers for Chris Brown, Sean Kingston, Soulja Boy, Swizz Beats and other big names.
Soo Joo Park
Soo Joo Park is a force to be reckoned with on the fashion runway. Her resume includes top names like Tom Ford, Karl Lagerfeld, Roberto Cavalli, Emporio Armani, Ter Et Bantine, Osklen, Alexis Mabille, Vivienne Westwood.
In 2005, Lanie Alabanza-Barcena launched her own clothing line called Hellz Bellz. Based in Los Angeles, Lanie’s company has expanded, gained popularity and has collaborated with names such as Stussy, Vans, Nooka, Reebok, Sanrio Japan and G-Shock.
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.
Who are you most excited to see this year? Let us know in the comments below!
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.