Our Story

Though the shadows of your past lurk behind
Look straight ahead, your future shines bright.
Betrayal pushed your fall deeper and harder
But trust me when I say, never worry, WARRIOR.

They marked your end as they killed your faith
But your fight only began after the first victory
I will hold your hand so leap high once again
With ONE SHOT, prove them all wrong tonight.

How much did it hurt when they all ran away?
Better forget the hasty promises and dirty lies.
In this moment, as you step back onto the stage,
Let’s show a new NOIR with those who stayed.

Don’t ever be afraid of the looming darkness
Hold on to the dreams that you shared with me
Remember that we were once unstoppable.
Awaken the POWER that never faded inside.

Don’t wait for their deceitful round of applause
Keep sending a message in the guise of a ROSE
Before they realize the beauty of your color
Prick their hearts with the thorns you cover

The world is a MATRIX of your burning passion
Turn it upside down while they are fast asleep
I will be the bridge to places you can’t reach
Show them your battle scars, keep the fire lit.

There’s no rush, you don’t have to keep running
We will march together so let’s face your fight.
On the road to survival, we all might suffer
But our FIRST SENSIBILITY will keep us alive.

Keep dreaming, your fate is mine to defend
I’ll listen to your call, keep singing your songs.
Even if the world refuses to see your worth
I’ll chant along with NO MERCY for doubters.

Fame is not a CARNIVAL, we know the truth.
They fell out of love as you fell off the top
But a masterpiece is never about the race
It’s about the story, they can never replace.

If in the end you forget the dreams we kept,
Remember the history of the songs we shared.
Though the BADMAN stole your spotlight’s glow
Keep the spark of the million vows we made.

(I was bored and I thought it would be interesting to make a poem using 10 of the album titles of my ultimate favorite idol group. What do you think? Agh, I think it’s too cheesy and simplistic! Honestly.)

MASTERPIECE

Chills! The feels! Words aren’t enough to describe the perfection that is this song. This is why B.A.P will always be my ultimate bias group. I was right all along to stan them since day one. They never fail to give us fans songs that are close to a masterpiece. They deserve more recognition; they are so underappreciated these days. Even if you don’t understand the language, you will feel the emotions in this song and be able to connect to it. That’s the power of B.A.P’s music. Yeah, I’m being such a fangirl but these are the little things that I want to celebrate. Have you never had an artist or a musician that made you feel this way?

Gosh, I’m so emotional about this. It’s just that I’ve been a huge fan of theirs through and through, and they went through a lot of hardships—the lawsuit against the company’s “slave contract,” majority of fans leaving them for younger groups, their leader’s recent hiatus due to panic disorder—to keep pushing for their dreams as artists, so I know just how much they’ve been working hard. They are very talented and grounded so they deserve all the success in the world. I wish to see them in person on day and simply thank them for bringing good music to my life.

Latest Obsession, This Band

Goodness! How are they able to make a song that gets me every time? Their songs are always so freaking good! This isn’t the first time that I turned on my fangirl mode for them on my blog. Bear with me, please! I’m in love with them!

I just wanna share with you this awesome band called Day6. They are an all-male 5-member indie rock band from South Korea, and for every 6th day of the month this year, they release a new single. For March, they just released the music video for their newest title “How Can I Say” and it’s exactly the song I wanted from them. I’m sure this will be on repeat for the rest of the month.

For some reason, this song in particular reminded me of Sid, a visual kei rock band from Japan. That’s a good thing because I love Japanese rock music! But I still hear the familiar Day6 sound that I love about them, this vibe of melancholy and desperation in their songs.

Now Playing…

My first favorite song of the year! “I Wait” by the Korean rock band, Day6. It sounds so much like Jrock and if you know me, you’d know how much I love Japanese rock. So the moment I heard the song, I knew this would be an instant fave. It reminds me a little bit of UVERworld, which is one of the first Jrock bands that I listened to, so it gives this nostalgic feeling, and a lot of fans have said that it reminds them of an anime intro (which makes sense because UVERworld performs for a lot of anime themes too). Listen for yourself and please tell me what you think:

The song is in Korean (obviously) but if you’re into the alternative, pop-rock type of music, I think you’d enjoy it anyway despite the language barrier. Music knows no language and all that, right? I feel like Day6 is kind of under-appreciated. Rock bands are a minority in the Korean music scene that is mostly dominated by idol groups so I’m kind of promoting them here. But it’s nice to see in the music video’s comment section that a lot of people are starting to appreciate them more. Rock bands need love too. Asian music needs love too! Way to start 2017, Day6!

My Top 20 Fave Songs – 2016 Playlist

The silver lining to the otherwise messy year…MUSIC! My love and obsession for it will never change. I am such a fangirl, it’s unhealthy sometimes. Too many good songs came out from across genres all over the globe. Now that 2016 is over, it’s time to look back and see what songs made my day so much brighter. I thought I wouldn’t be able to do it but here they are. I was actually able to pick at least 20 songs from a pool of what? Hundreds? Just. So. Many.

Note: If you think my taste in music is shit, I’m not gonna hold that against you. We all have preferences, okay? I based this list on two things: 1) most repeated (there’s a play count on my music library), and 2) my attachment to it (how much I loved and enjoyed the song). So even if some songs are so damn catchy—they ranked high on my play count—if I didn’t feel some sort of “connection” to it, it’s off the list. Also, I only considered songs that I have in my music collection.

#20 Boys Republic – Get Down (listen)/GOT 7 – Fly

First spot and I’m already cheating. These two Kpop boy group songs are a tie! Get Down got me into Boys Republic (they are so underrated, Kpop fans should give them more love) and I think Fly is probably GOT 7’s best title track yet.

#19 FAKY – Candy/Brave Girls – Deepened (listen)

I’m cheating again. Both are “idol” girl group songs but one is Japanese, the other is Korean. FAKY slayed my existence with them vocals and funky song! On the other hand, I’m not really much of a fan of Brave Girls but I am so obsessed with this one song from them.

#18 Little Mix – Shout Out To My Ex (listen)/Fifth Harmony – That’s My Girl (listen)

Sorry if I keep cheating but I always played these two songs together so they have the same play count—that’s why it’s another tie! Both songs are so damn catchy and make me wanna dance all day.

#17 Major Lazer – Cold Water ft. Justin Bieber and MO 

This was a case of love at first listen. I didn’t recognize the voice at first but I’m not complaining that it was Justin Bieber. The song suit his breathy, nasally voice, and I just love the lyrics and this whole water-boat metaphor.

#16 The Chainsmokers – Setting Fires ft. XYLO (listen)/Don’t Let Me Down ft. Daya (listen)

I couldn’t choose between the two. I just put them together in a spot because both songs are by The Chainsmokers. Play count-wise, Don’t Let Me Down wins but I just love Setting Fires as much.

#15 Phoebe Ryan – Chronic

This is song is so bubbly cute yet chill. Phoebe Ryan’s voice is oddly addicting too. Sometimes, I find it hard to associate her face to her child-like voice but I ain’t complaining either.

#14 Seventeen – Chuck (listen)/HIGHLIGHT

Again, I couldn’t choose between Chuck and HIGHLIGHT. Chuck was my favorite Seventeen song. I wanted it to be their title track instead of Pretty U. Then I heard HIGHLIGHT from their latest album and I just fell in love.

#13 MY FIRST STORY – Alone (listen)/ONE OK ROCK – I Was King

Another tie with the Moriuchi brothers. Technically, Alone was released 2015 as a single but the album got released just last year so I’m counting it. I Was King, on the other hand, is still too weak for an OOR song but it’s their best single this year and I still love it!

#12 MONSTA X – Stuck (네게만 집착해)

This one is another song that should have been the title track. When I listened to the whole mini-album, I was like, “This. This is the one.” ALL IN, which is what they promoted instead, is not a bad song but Stuck was everything I wanted in a MONSTA X song.

#11 Ariana Grande – Bad Decisions (listen)/Nick Jonas – Good Girls ft. Big Sean (listen)

Bad Decisions is so addicting. Say whatever you want about her diva attitude but you can’t deny it, Ari’s got one hell of a powerful voice! She’s currently my Pop Queen. Then there’s  Nick Jonas with a sexy song and a matching sexy voice. He surprised me with his latest album.

#10 Bolbbalgan4 – When You Fall In Love (listen)

Best song in their debut album, in my opinion. It sounds like an OST for a Korean drama, I badly want them to win at least one rookie award. They deserve it.

#9 Against the Current – Wasteland

This song gives me strange feelings. Whenever I close eyes and listen to it, I feel like I’m being brought into a different world or dimension. It has that kind of effect.

#8 Panic! at the Disco – LA Devotee

Maybe I’m just too dumb for this ’cause I still don’t get the lyrics but that doesn’t stop me from loving this song. My favorite song in Brendon’s latest album. The music video is slightly weird though.

#7 BlackPink – Playing with Fire/Whistle (listen)

Another case of both-songs-are-so-good-I-just-can’t-pick-one. Well, since both are by BlackPink I just cheated again and put them in a tie. I already did it in the earlier spots so why not?

#6 NCT U – Without You/The 7th Sense (listen)

I’m sure you’re wondering now why I even bothered making a “Top 20” list when I’m just going to put over 20 with ties. But this is my favorite NCT unit. These two songs might be polar opposites in genre and concept but they are equally good. And I did not expect this from an SM Entertainment artist. So it’s another tie!

#5 Ariana Grande – Sometimes (listen)

One more Ariana Grande song. Promise there’s only two! Honestly, I love her Dangerous Woman album so much and I could pick out two or three more songs that deserve a spot on this list. (Okay, I’ll name them anyway: Into You, Touch It, Greedy, and probably Dangerous Woman itself.) But this song is so lovely, I’m in love with it.

#4 Fifth Harmony – Scared of Happy (listen)

Best Fifth Harmony song in the album! I find the lyrics to be simply beautiful. It’s not too overly “lyrical” or deep but I feel that there’s actually honesty and sincerity in the words and the way they sing it. The way the song is composed (and that beat drop) is perfect. That’s just me.

#3 BTS – Blood Sweat and Tears (피 땀 눈물)/EXO – Monster (listen)

Oh yes! BTS and EXO both exceeded my expectations when they released these songs. I gotta say, their best songs yet! Even though these two songs are totally different in style, I find both songs refreshing for a Kpop release and it’s unlike their previous titles so I think it’s great that they’re evolving their style.

#2 DEAN – Bonnie and Clyde

Freaking DEAN with Bonnie and Clyde ripped my heart and soul out of my body. This song is everything to me! If I could marry this song, I would. But of course I would marry DEAN too! In fact, I would fly to South Korea just to confess my love for him and ask him to marry me. His sexy voice, my goodness! Imagine waking up to that.

#1 Porter Robinson and Madeon – Shelter

Here we are finally. Best song of the year! This song just gives me all the feels. I’ve never been this obsessed with a song. It makes me feel emotions. Even though I hear melancholy in the song, it’s also hopeful. This song has the ability to tell a story without having to say many words. I can’t believe I would feel this way for an EDM song. No doubt, my favorite this year! The moment I planned this list, I knew i just have to put this song in the first place.

Honorable Mentions: Troye Sivan – Wild ft. Alessia Cara (listen), Hailee Steinfeld – Starving ft. Zedd (listen), BTS – Save Me (listen), Block B – Toy (listen), Alessia Cara – Wild Things (listen), Nick Jonas – Voodoo (listen), B.A.P – Skydive (listen), VIXX – Fantasy (listen), Zayn Malik and Taylor Swift – I Don’t Wanna Live Forever (listen), Melanie Martinez – Mrs. Potato Head (listen).

(Obviously, there are more than 20 songs on this list but to be fair, I combined Western, Korean, and Japanese music in one mega chart. Let me know what 2016 hits are your top favorite in the comments below. Happy First Day of 2017!)

My Favorites

I don’t know what else to post today so I’ll just share the random things I love. Feel free to use the “tags” if you want to make a version of your Favorites list.

Color – Blue (It’s the safest color to like.)

Book – Anna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins (It was the very first book that I read on my own accord—not because it was required in a subject—and I enjoyed it so much, so it will always have a special place in my heart. If it’s a local book, I’ll go with Dekada ’70 by Lualhati Bautista.)

Movie – Hwayi: A Monster Boy; Twenty; What We Do In The Shadows (I couldn’t just pick one for this. The first two are both Korean films and the last one is a comedy-horror mockumentary about three vampires living together in an apartment.)

Animated Film – Zootopia (I just love that movie so much.)

Disney Princess – Although I admire everything about Mulan, Belle (Beauty and the Beast) is still my favorite princess. (So I’m excited for the live-action film with Emma Watson next year!)

TV Show – Mulawin (This one is a very old local TV drama series here in the Philippines about a race of humanoid birds with romance. I remember when I was a kid, I would sneak out the room at night just to watch TV because it used to air around 9:00 PM and that’s a bit late for children to be watching. Ah, my childhood!)

Cartoon – Avatar: The Legend of Aang (Spongebob Squarepants comes a close second.)

Fictional Character – Inu Yasha (He’s a half-demon dog, half-human anime character. Was also my very first crush.)

Anime – Zankyou no Terror; Code Geass (These two are both intelligent and action-packed. I also just heard that Code Geass is having a third season—which is totally unnecessary, and you’ll understand why if you know the ending to season two—but so I’m excited!)

K-Drama – Reply 1997 (It’s a coming-of-age, slice-of-life drama set in the late 90’s.)

Song – I always change favorite songs but right now, it’s Shelter by Porter Robinson and Madeon.

Music – All sub-genres in the spectrum of pop and rock (Korean pop and Japanese rock most especially). Recently though, I’m feeling into EDM.

Artist – For Kpop: B.A.P; For Jrock: ONE OK ROCK (I don’t really have a favorite western artist because there’s so many of them and I have to make a list for that.)

Actor – I’ll go with Johnny Depp. (He’s not really my “favorite,” strictly speaking, but despite the domestic abuse issues he’s facing currently, I can’t deny that I love the roles he’s played—except the one in Pirates of the Caribbean ’cause I never liked that franchise. I’m talking about Edward Scissorhands and Sweeney Todd.)

Actress – Kim Go Eun (She’s a Korean actress and she’s currently starring in K-Drama called “Goblin” which I highly recommend. She looks so cute and humble.)

Author – Colleen Hoover (She’s a new-adult contemporary writer. I just simply love the simplicity and heart of her writing. She’s got some of the best romance books ever!)

Writer – Hiromu Arakawa; Song Jae Jung (Both are female Asian writers that surprised everyone with their clever stories. If you’re wondering why I separated ‘author’ and ‘writers,’ it’s because the first one should have published a book or novel and the latter writes for other things, such as TV shows, comics, or even blogs if you will.)

YouTube Channel – There’s a lot actually: The Film Theorist, Screen Junkies, PewDiePie, The Fine Bros, Buzzfeed Blue, M2, and some more that I’m too lazy to write.

Ice Cream – Cookies ‘n Cream (You cannot go wrong with that flavor.)

Cake – Rich chocolate with a thin caramel layer (YES!)

Country – South Korea, Japan, and Thailand. (I’ve never been in any of these places but these are top three countries I want to visit someday. USA too but I’ll just go there after I’ve been to these three.)

Flower – Sunflower (Another safe flower to like. It just looks so cute and innocent.)

Fruit – Suha (I’m not sure if it’s Pomelo or Grapefruit in English. Anyway, I can finish that in one sitting, I’m not kidding.)

Vegetable – Bitter gourd and Broccoli (Actually, I like any vegetable as long as it has this crunchiness.)

Meat – Chicken (Who doesn’t like chicken, right?)

Dish – Caldereta (It’s a Filipino dish—pork stew with tomato sauce, carrots, potatoes, and bell pepper.)

Animal – Rabbits, maybe? (I don’t even know why I put this. I don’t have a favorite animal!)

Season – Spring (We don’t have four seasons here. It’s either just very sunny or very rainy. But I want to see spring with my very own eyes. Especially the blooming cherry blossoms in Japan. Must be lovely!)

Quote – “Love what you do. Do what you love.” (Since I’m graduating soon, I want to live by this quote as I find a job and build my career. I don’t want to be miserable in the work I’m going to take and have regrets. I want to enjoy it. I want to build a career that I will feel fulfilled about myself.)

What Makes Kpop

I’m not a Kpop expert but this I know much about Kpop. I’ve been a fan of Kpop for almost 7 years now. What’s interesting about Kpop is that even though it’s basically pop music expressed in the Korean language (and it’s true), it is still distinguished as a separate genre (with a vast range of sub-genres in it) and an industry as a whole. Why? Here’s what I’ve gathered. Take it from the fan.

1) Language

Obviously, Kpop should be in Korean (Hangul) because even though it has a huge international fan-base, it still caters first and foremost to the Koreans. Its main audience are still Koreans. Even though there are English phrases thrown here and there in the songs, its main language is still Korean because of this reason. But another important thing is that it should be promoted IN Korea. To further elaborate: If you change the language of the song (to Japanese or Mandarin) it isn’t Kpop anymore although it’s the same song. EXAMPLE: EXO-K and EXO-M. There are also lots of Kpop groups debuting in Japan nowadays. Notice that they are doing this to penetrate the Jpop scene and once they do that, they aren’t promoting as a Kpop group anymore. They ‘debut’ a second time in Japan. This time, they are promoting as a Jpop group now and their songs are all in Japanese, even though it was originally a Kpop song and even though the members are all Korean. Race/Ethnicity doesn’t matter in a Kpop group. There are Chinese, Japanese, Thai, and even half-American members in some groups. But Kpop is Kpop ’cause like I said, Kpop is in Korea and for Koreans. The basic reason.

2) Choreography

If the group is not trying to be an idol band that plays instruments (like CN Blue or FT Island) then there should be a choreography. Idol groups are very synchronized and creative with their choreography. Kpop group dances look so clean and precise as a whole, like, their movements look synchronized. The movements of the members are of the same level or intensity even though there are better dancers in the group. The way each member move and dance looks the same, if you get what I mean. Every Korean Idol group (take note I said, Idol, because there still non-Idol Korean artists and musicians) makes choreography even if it’s as simple as banging your head or waving your hands. But even if it can be that simple, it’s not just any choreography. There should be a ‘point.’ Point is the main part of the dance and it’s important. It’s what makes the dance memorable and possibly the move that’s going to trend. Even though most Kpop groups have powerful choreography, there’s at least one movement that people can easily remember and copy, and once they see it, they’ll know immediately that “ah, this move is this idol group’s signature dance for this song.” Famous example: the horse dance in Psy’s Gangnam Style. Other examples: hing dance in Seventeen’s Mansae, Thor dance in B.A.P’s Young Wild & Free, the rubbing of hands in SuJu’s Sorry Sorry, etc.

3) Music Video

Music videos are flashy and high in quality. From what I’ve seen through the years, this is how Korean music videos usually work: First, there should be the dance set or group shot. It’s where the whole group can be seen dancing as a group. Sometimes they use multiple sets or back drop theme for this shot. Often, it can be one dark-themed set and the other a bright-themed set. The whole point of this is to show the group’s choreography, obviously, in different angles or light. Second, the individual shots. Close-up of the members doing their individual parts. I think it’s also called the lip-sync shot? Because, of course, fans would also want to see their ‘bias’ or favorite member up close. Third, most Kpop MVs also have a story-line. Just a simple ‘plot’ that is connected to the song. You’d notice that many Korean male idol groups are going after a single girl in their MVs. It’s the most common plot. The plot can be as simple as that. But there are also a lot of MVs with complex story-lines that fans have to interpret. (Ahem, BTS – RUN, ahem.) Chop chop chop these scenes and put them alternately together in one video and BOOM. Your basic Kpop music video. But over-all these scenes should follow one, concise concept. Korean music videos aren’t just made up of random colorful sets and scenes. They have a single concept. There are many Kpop groups trying new styles and execution of music videos but there is still a main concept behind it.

4) Concept

Speaking of concepts, Idols take concepts seriously. Each comeback (or new album release) they have a ‘concept’ that they use, may that be a sexy concept, a cute concept, summer concept, a dark concept, a mature concept, fairy tale concept or whatever. It can be anything really. But they follow it all through-out promotion. B.A.P and EXO debuted with a concept of being ‘aliens from a distant planet.’ You’ll see that from their outfits to their music videos. It’s obvious that their concept is ‘alien.’ As they release new songs or albums, they change concepts to show a different side of them and fit into an image that they want to portray.

5) Fashion

Oh, the fashion sense. It’s important in showing off the group’s current concept. You’ll know what kind of outfits and make-up and hairstyle they have by checking out Kpop music videos and live shows. It’s kind of experimental, sometimes flashy or vibrant or fancy or trendy (it depends on the vibe they wanna show), but at the same time, uniform in the group. Their clothes, obviously, still matches the concept even with the wild statements. Like, even if the members are sporting a different style or even an individual concept, when you put them together, they still look uniform. You know there’s a theme going on.

6) Member Roles

Each member has a different role. They don’t just gather random cute guys that can sing and dance to form a group. Each one has a vital role in the group. You can call it an assigned archetype or whatever. You’ve got the main dancer, the main vocal, the main rapper, the lead dancer, the lead vocal, the lead rapper, the leader, the maknae (youngest), the visual or face of the group, and even the guy with the 4D personality. They take these roles seriously and it depends on what the member can do best. Some members take 2 or 3 roles, like the leader can also be the main dancer and the lead vocal or the maknae can be the main vocal with the 4d personality. It really depends on the skills and personality of the member. But the thing is, when they introduce themselves, that’s what they say to the fans. EX: “Hello everyone, I’m Seventeen’s vocal team leader, Woozi.” It is important as it is what makes the group complete.

7) Fandom

The fan clubs are taken very, very seriously and it’s a crazy, crazy world in the Kpop scene. You’ve got an official fan club name, official fan cafe, official group color, light stick designs, and official merchs. Being a fan of a Kpop group is serious business. Kpop groups often show their gratitude by doing a lot of fan services and there are even official OTPs and sailing ships, most of the time, boy to boy, amongst members. It’s not weird. It’s just how it is. Kpop groups have to go through a lot of activities and promotions to have a stable fandom and keep these fans happy and satisfied.

8) Training

What makes the Kpop industry different from the American pop industry is that Idols go through the training system. They train for a couple of years before debuting in a group even though most of them have real talents already. Entertainment companies still sharpen the skills they have to turn them into real Idols. Some only take a year while others even have to go through 6 years of training before finally debuting. They don’t just pop out of nowhere. Even though there are many groups debuting these days, these Idols have been trained to sing, dance, or rap prior their debut as Idols. Some even perform as back-up dancers or act as extras in the music videos of their sunbaes (seniors) before they become famous. It’s an intensive process. It’s a craft. That’s how dedicated these Kpop idols are. It’s no joke. People can’t simply say, “oh, we’re forming a group and we’re gonna sing songs in Korean” and call themselves a Kpop group. It’s so much more than that.

Note: I initially posted this on my OverlieFangirlie blog based off my YouTube comment in EXP’s Luv/Wrong music video using my fan account. I wanted to explain why Kpop is a distinguished genre and what makes it so different from other pop music scenes. Kpop isn’t just music, it has culture of its own and it’s a completely different fangirl experience.