I wanted to recover a section I had quite abandoned to show you a group that… “surprised” me quite a bit. It is “Super Junior” (슈퍼 주니어), no less than ten (yes, ten, and they used to be 13!) that have become Asia’s teenagers’ idols. I say Asian because they are succeeding not only in Korea but also in countries like Japan, China or Thailand.
Super Junior, when they were 12 members, apparently all of them in love with pink color.
I also wanted to show you one of their last songs, “No Other” (너 같은 사람 또 없어) where you can see how different the Korean (and Asian in general) musical culture is compared to the west. To tell the truth, it is quite difficult for me to imagine this kind of song succeeding in the west, but on second thought, the style does not differ much from a song that became a great hit in Spain not long ago, “Amo a Laura” (I love Laura) 🙂
Taking the opportunity brought by her new album release, H-Logic, I thought I would dedicate this post to one of the most internationally best known Korean singers, Lee Hyori (이효리). I am quite sure she is the highest paid female singer in Korea, and also one of the sexiest, although being 31 years-old, she is starting being a little too-old for a music market (the Korean one) which is full of teenager groups.
Hyori started in music as a member of teenager group Fin.K.L. (핑클). She would soon stand out and decided so separate from the group and start her solo career.
“10 Minutes”, from her first solo album.
“Mr. Big”, my favorite 🙂
First song from her latest album, “Chitty Chitty Bang Bang”.
I remember when I first arrived in Korea this Hyori poster for Cheoeum Cheoreom soju was in every bar. But this soju brand’s posters are for another post 🙂
With this post, I am going to start a series about Korean music. And when I say Korea music I mean commercial music like what you can hear when you walk around any street in Korea.
The first song is one of my favorites. The song is “사랑이 뭐길래”, which means literally “What is Love” and would be pronounced something like “sah-rang-i moh-kil-leh”. The group is called “Miss $” (미스에스) and is quite a singular group, as its components are two rap-girls with quite a “tough” image when the rule in Korea for girls groups is totally the opposite (you’ll see it in next posts, don’t be impatient!):
Miss $: Hye-Young Tae (태혜영) on the left and Yumi Oh (오유미) on the right.
As a video to show you, I have chosen a performance they did live for the SBS. It was hard to believe to me, but the main girl in the video is not part of the group, she’s another singer called Nimo (니모) and in my opinion she does an awesome job. I was also surprised that they sung live, because here in Korea playback is quite popular, even in concerts…
Another curiosity is that the official video of this song has been quite controversial because it shows some too-explicit images, at least for Korean culture, and taking into account that this kind of videos is mainly seen by teenagers (you can see those images as well as the whole video here).
Ok, so I’ll stop the talk now and let you see the video. Notice that when a Korean group sings on TV they usually show the lyrics on the screen so that people can sing the song like in a karakoe. And don’t miss the detail of the Nike shoes that the girl on the left is wearing! 😉
Nami Island (Namiseom, 남이섬) is a Korean island on the river Bukhan (Bukhangang, 복한강) on the border between Gyeonggi-do and Gangwon-do (approximately one hour and a half drive from Seoul). Although this place is very popular among Koreans, and can be seen in most Korean dramas (specially in romantic scenes where the boy declares his love to the girl), it’s not usually visited by foreign tourists.
The island is small, but quite pretty, perfect to relax for a while and spend the afternoon walking around a beautiful scenery. Now there is a shuttle bus that goes directly from Insadong to Namiseom for around 15,000 KRW the round-trip (more info here), a bit expensive, but probably the most convinient way to get there for tourists, as it is not easy to get there by conventional bus or train (for instructions, check here).