There’s only one Kpop queen in my heart – and her name is Hyori Lee. With the recent release of “Miss Korea,” you can understand how excited I am for her comeback (it’s since 2010!) to the music scene. As usual, she’s looking gorgeous as ever as a pinup beauty queen. I wonder what her next album will pack in store.
Check out the video below!
You can also check out more goodies related to Hyori’s comeback below!
Happy Birthday to the adorable Daesung of Big Bang (he’s 24!) Check out our megapost featuring some of our favorite Daesung moments in music and television!
“Alternative folk rock group, Thao and The Get Down Stay Down, just released their latest album, We The Common, in February. Originally from Falls Church, Va., the group, made up of Thao Nguyen and Adam Thompson, collaborated with Grammy-nominated producer John Congleton, who, according to Nguyen, wanted to make a “dangerous party record … [for] a party where you get to the door and you don’t quite know what will happen. You just hear these beats coming though the walls.” The result is a mix of sounds inspired by everything from ’90s East Coast hip-hop to Paul Simon.”
G-Dragon’s release for his highly-anticipated video for “Michi Go” is here! The video well matched the high energy of the hip-pop tune – complete with wild styling in terms of fashion and and hair (oh all those hairstyles GD!) and special appearances from fellow YG mates Taeyang, Se7en, and Teddy. Even comedian Ahn Yeong Mi has a quick cameo as well!
Check the video below!
From April 28th – May 6th, YouTube Japan will be hosting “YouTube Music Week” – a week-long of live streams from prominent Japanese artists. I’m quite excited about the lineup – which includes some of Japan’s biggest female acts: AKB48, Ayumi Hamasaki, Koda Kumi, and Kyary Pamyu Pamyu! See below for the rest of the lineup.
Golden Bomber [April 27th-May 6th, 10:00 everday]
Sekai no Owari [April 27th @22:00, May 2nd @21:00]
AKB48 [April 28th]
Kyary Pamyu Pamyu [April 29th @14:00]
AAA [April 29th @22:00]
BOOM BOOM SATELLITES [April 30th @23:00]
Nightmare [May 1st @21:00]
Shonen no Kaze [May 3rd @12:00]
Koda Kumi [May 3rd @22:00]
Yakushimaru Etsuko [May 3rd @23:00]
Livetune [May 4th @18:30]
Flumpool [May 4th @21:00]
Hyadain [May 4th @22:00]
Hamasaki Ayumi [May 4th @23:00]
VERBAL [May 5th @21:00]
Denki Groove [May 6th @20:00]
For more info on how to watch the live stream for each artist, please visit this channel. In order to watch each stream, you must go to each artist’s respective YouTube channel. Note the times above are Japan Standard Time (JST).
ISSUE WINTER ’12-’13
AUTHOR KAREN DATANGEL
Think what you will of Filipina American underground hip-hop artist Hopie – she embraces the “weird,” law degree and all.
Raised on rock music, classically trained in her elementary school years, and influenced by the eccentricity of musicians like Björk and Gwen Stefani, the artist known as Hopie is one-of-a-kind in the independent hip-hop world. The Manila-born, San Francisco-raised musician (real name: Kae Hope Ranoa) is creating her mark with
her funky style, edgy beats, profound lyrics and confident stage presence — she even has a law degree to boot.
Describing her sound as “underground hip-hop from the ’90s mixed in with pop music and hyphy music,” Hopie acknowledges that her difficult childhood, her experience as an Asian American woman, and the underrepresentation of her demographic in hip-hop music are driving forces behind her lyrics. “In real life, I’m really shy to talk about stuff like that — my childhood, my socioeconomic status, my frustrations
as a human being — but in my music, I like to explore that,” she says.
Though she has been dedicated to her craft for a while now, releasing her debut album The Diamond Dane in 2008, Hopie recognizes the ongoing challenges and is motivated to meet them and grow in her artistry. Along with Björk and Stefani, she also mentions Jim Morisson, André 3000, and Del the Funky Homosapien. “People might consider them weird or off-the-wall, but I really admire how little they seem to care,” says Hopie. “When I think of myself as an artist and I compare myself to those people, I always feel like I’m not doing
enough. I can always go explore something and challenge myself more creatively.” But Hopie knows that there will always be people who do care about the weird, and not in a good way. “As an artist, you really put yourself out there for a lot of criticism and you have to develop a thick skin,” she says. “Sometimes I’m scared of the stuff I make because I have to prepare myself for criticism and people might not really understand [my music], but that’s the beauty of being an artist. It’s a challenge that I accept.”
Then again, there are the people who genuinely enjoy the music. Hopie recently landed a spot in the Bay Area Freshmen 10 Class of 2012, a yearly top 10 by 106.1 FM KMEL and Thizzler.com recognizing up-and-coming local artists and chosen by a panel of regional professionals and tastemakers. Though such acknowledgements
are exciting, to Hopie, the more personal impact of her music is what means the most.
“No accolades could compare to how it feels when someone tells you that your song makes them want to do music, or your song helped them through a tough time, or they understood you when you were trying to say something through song,” says Hopie. “I started writing music as a kid because nobody really understood me — I felt weird or alone. So when I put music out and someone responds to it, like ‘I totally understand what you’re saying’ or ‘I’ve felt this way before’ or ‘I just appreciate your point of view’ or ‘I appreciate that you wrote this,’ it feels really good. Your experience is validated.”
Hopie plans to put out a couple of new releases in the near future as follow-ups to her 2011 albums Dulce Vita and Raw Gems. Oh, and she’s going to take the Bar Exam next February — just further proof that this unique performer is motivated to do it all.
AUTHOR Kanara Ty
ISSUE Winter ’12-13
Associate Editor Kanara Ty wonders, are K-pop stars performing to break through — or just to be accepted?
While the global phenomenon that is Psy and his latest hit single continues to amaze me to no end, I find that the media masturbation of “Gangnam Style” and, more broadly, K-pop has parallels to the Latin Pop craze back in 1999, which was singlehandedly led by one man and his gyrating hips: Ricky Martin. While Americans quickly bought into the media craze behind the specially packaged (read: super-diluted) Latin music of that time, the fad died out by the early 2000s, not maintaining any true staying power. K-pop, as a musical genre trying to break into the American music industry, is following the same sort of trajectory. Two months following the release of “Gangnam Style” (at press time, the second most viewed video on YouTube following Justin Bieber), Psy singlehandedly helped K-pop crossover to American shores after he signed with talent manager Scooter Braun (who represents Bieber, Carly Rae Jepsen, and The Wanted). But just like the Latin pop craze, Psy has given Americans a product that they can buy into — and can also easily dispose of.
There is a long history of Asian pop stars who have tried to crossover into the American music industry (Utada Hikaru, BoA and Jin Akanishi come to mind) and have failed miserably. Why is that? Because rather than just giving American audiences what has made them popular in their respective home countries, they presented themselves as pop stars who conformed to what they thought American audiences would appreciate. Basically, performing to be accepted by Americans. I realize that Psy may have taken a different path from his predecessors, since he probably wasn’t envisioning that his catchy little tune would go viral worldwide. However, given all the promoting he did in the States, taking “Gangnam Style” and the horsey dance on a circus tour of numerous television and stage appearances — something that left a huge impression on Americans — I fear this is what they will continue to expect from him in the future: an Asian man who will serve as the court jester on the American stage. I firmly believe that K-pop will have some sort of future in America — not as the Korean K-pop we all know and love, but an American K-pop. Since the U.S. has the largest music market in the world, the fact that the music industry is paying attention to acts like Psy, Big Bang and 2NE1 means it believes K-pop will have some sort of success in the States in the future. But they’re still going to want to package K-pop in a way that Americans will understand (singing in English, working with familiar American talent). Contrary to belief, we don’t live in a completely post-racial society.
I’m not arguing that K-pop shouldn’t make its way over here; but as a fan, I don’t want K-pop being ripped apart by American producers either. I’m sure the sentiments as to why I love K-pop and Asian pop music in general are shared by other Asian American fans: the music resonates with me more because people who look like me are performing on stage. Even if I self-identify as an Asian American, I can’t find even a shade of myself in American pop culture. I feel more connected with what is going on in Asian pop culture (even if I don’t understand the language) because I see myself within these individuals performing on stage. So while K-pop may seem cool for now (and maybe even make Asians seem cool in the short term), I’d rather not have the crossover happen if that means putting forth a product that does not represent K-pop in the least bit.
At the age of 25, Clara C has become quite the youtube sensation. After only four years since her big break, this Audrey favorite has already set a great example for young Asian American women hoping to pursue their dreams. The young artist has decided to focus her attention on the thing she loves most- music. And what if (knock on wood) music doesn’t work out for her? She has a Psychology degree in her pocket to turn to. Beauty, talent, and brains? See for yourself. Check out Clara C’s new music video below:
BigBang is quite loved here at Audrey Magazine – and it’s no surprise T.O.P. is one of our favorite members. It’s actually rare to find the tall rapper in shirtless pics (like his fellow BigBang members) – but wait until you see what we uncovered here…click on!
Michael Alvarado and Carissa Rae prove that they’re not only a cute couple, but also extremely talented! The duo writes, composes, and sings their own songs. Don’t believe they’re that good? Come check them out for yourself in their most recent video “Falling Asleep”.