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What is going on with ZE:A and Starship Entertainment? What should we take from it?

Leader of K-pop boy group, Moon Junyoung demonstrated just how much of a headache idols’ social networking accounts can be for their agencies in a way that hasn’t been seen since those few days in November 2012 when Big Bang’s Seungri was let loose in the USwith a smartphone, some Red Bull (and presumably no minder). But, while Seungri’s twitter account escapade ‘made For Study English’ was a…

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What the K-pop industry must learn from Ladies’ Code’s tragic accident

Almost the entirety of the K-pop fandom was shaken up a few days ago when news broke that idol group Ladies’ Code were involved in a serious car crash that killed member EunB leaving fellow member RiSe and Sojung in a critical condition. It appears now that Sojung will make a good recovery but for Rise the future is still uncertain with it being reported that she is still unconscious after having…

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KCON 2014: The convention we got, and the convention we could have

As a resident of the rural American Midwest, I’ve logged some experience as one of thousands of people attending a festive gathering that puts culture on display. No, I’ve never been to ComicCon – but I have been to the state fair. I commented to my friend as we departed Los Angeles Memorial Sports Arena after a hot, exhausting day at KCON 2014, that KCON bore a lot of resemblance to the state…

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The Maternal Role in Korean Dramas: Motherhood and Womanhood in South Korea’s Popular Culture Media

In most Korean dramas, mothers are characters in the background, appearing in the foreground only to cause a plot to move forward. Although, depending on the format and genre of the drama, there are also a handful of examples in which mothers play the main role in the foreground; one example being You’re the Best, Lee Soon Shin. More often than not, especially in the genres of melodrama or…

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Behind the Scenes in K-pop: YG Music Video Director Dee Shin Interview pt. 2

A couple of days ago we released the first part of an interview we recently did with Dee Shin, a music video director who is currently working with YG Entertainment. In that article we discussed Akdong Musician’s Melted and what it is like to work for YG. If you missed out, you can read it here.

In this second part of three, we will be focussing on her thoughts on the video for Come Back Homewhic…

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"I haven’t worked with other K-pop labels yet but, from what I’ve heard, idols don’t really talk, you know? It’s all the executives and the marketing people who come up with ideas. But with YG I have meetings with the artists themselves and can get inspiration from how they see their music. I think this kind of set-up is almost non-existent on the scene, it’s just YG. Total respect."

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BH Playlist – The 10 best idol compositions of 2014 so-far

After much speculation, Ye-eun of the Wonder Girls finally made her long-awaited solo debut this week with self composed track ‘Ain’t Nobody’. The song has been garnering praise for solid composition and meaningful lyrics and much has been made of the fact that Ye-eun has now shown herself to be a talented composer and artist, setting herself out from the idol crowd. But just how rare is it for…

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The Korean Wave: Korean Popular Culture – Book Review

Finding decent academic books about Korean pop culture until recently could be very difficult. Luckily, in the past few of months there are been a number of new releases which have really added to the breadth and depth of Hallyu analysis in English. One such book is The Korean Wave: Korean Popular Culture edited by Professor Yasue Kuwahara and published by Palgrave Macmillan.

9781137350275The Korean Waveis…

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“‘Cause you’re in my city”: Examining Seoul through K-pop

I was walking down the streets of histories
I was weaving all the wasteful energies
I see a million different faces in my dreams
Can’t tell if it’s fake or reality

-Love X Stereo, Soul City

 The enterprise of K-pop music is a highly geographical one: performers make their name through concentrated promotion in one of the world’s largest metropolises, Seoul. Although domestic and international…

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Thou Shalt Not: Christianity and Personal Freedom in Sunny Hill’s “Pray”

In an industry mostly fuelled by toothache-inducing sugary melodies and sweet visuals, the music video of Sunny Hill’s “Pray”takes the road much less travelled by introducing the haunting and ‘creepy’ story of a physically deformed man. In all its morbidity and dark message that markedly different individuals are at higher risks of discriminatory or even dehumanising treatments, the video is also…

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