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" A star is born in Korea: Kai from EXO (an interview with D&G's Swide)" plus 24 more

" A star is born in Korea: Kai from EXO (an interview with D&G's Swide)" plus 24 more

A star is born in Korea: Kai from EXO (an interview with D&G's Swide)

Posted: 20 Dec 2012 07:54 AM PST

In 1989, Nigel Martin Smith, a manager from Manchester, decided to create an entertainment product aimed at English teenagers. It may be worth noting that a few years previously the boy band "New Kids on the Block" had climbed the charts in the States. Nigel wanted to replicate their success with a British perspective. He wanted to create a music band which went further than a musical product. And he was successful. In 1990 after numerous casting sessions, Take That was born: pop music and entertainment would never be the same again. Today, phenomena such as Justin Bieber and the incredible success of the TV formats like X Factor and America's Got Talent, et all, continue to produce entertainment products that are more than just about music. It's not by chance that Gary Barlow, pillar of Take That and author of most of their songs is now a judge on the UK edition of X Factor.

Good singers, good dancers, very cute and full of energy, from Take That onward  the boy band that rose to success and waned are numerous. Many have acted as incubators for mega starts that later enjoyed a successful solo career like Justin Timberlake from n'Sync and Robbie Williams from Take That.

No one had ever thought of localizing the product until in 2011, Korean producer Lee Soo-Man from SM Entertainment had the intuition of forming the boy band EXO, subdivided in two mirror image sub bands: one for the Korean market, called EXO-K and one for the Chinese one named EXO-M. On the 30th January 2012 their first single "What is Love" was launched by the two bands, contemporaneously, in the two language versions, Chinese and Korean. Two more singles followed, "Mama" and "History", (both with over 9 million views on Youtube).

Lee Soo-Man's strategic genius lead him to introduce each member of the band with a teaser on the web, like a distilling machine which releases drop by drop hormones onto a stadium of screaming teenagers.

The first young man to be introduced to said screaming teenagers was Kai. A choice that ended up igniting a slight teenage jealousy amongst fans. It was the 23rd December 2011. A year ago. The others then followed. A crescendo of media circus and interest which swept across Asia and that now is starting to echo in the US and Europe. These days K-Pop is contaminating electronic composers and DJs the world over. Is it not time to let go of that pathetic and somewhat decadent postmodern nostalgia represented by Madonna and Gaga and allow globalization the chance to break through new cultural and visual styles?

I viewed a hundred videos, Tumblrs, websites dedicated to EXO to understand that something is definitely happening within pop music. It was an exciting journey through sounds and images and manifrom chaos. Amongst the 12 members of the group Kai stands out in terms of energy, charm, sex appeal and charisma. It may not be a revolution, EXO may not change the history of pop music, but a star is certainly born: Kai. He answered a few questions for Swide.

Kai, for those of us who are unaware of who you are, can you introduce yourself please?
Nice to meet you, I'm Kai from EXO. The name of the group EXO is inspired by the idea of the Exoplanet, a star that comes from an unknown galaxy. The group is divided in two, EXO-K for Korea and EXO- M for China. (The M stands for Mandarin). In 2012 EXO-K and EXO-M launched the same song, at the same time in the two different languages, in order to have a global impact. My specialty within the band is dance: Dance Music and Hip Hop.

Your group name EXO-K is a term referring to planets outside of the solar system. When was the last time you experienced something out of this world?
As a child I always wanted to dance and sing, while everyone else wanted to play. Maybe that was my way of being out of this world!

EXO is made up of 6 guys. What are the different personalities in the group? What problems do you have?
EXO is made of 12 members- the group being divided in 2: EXO-K and EXO-M. I feel more at ease talking about my own group. EXO-K. Suho is the leader of the group, he is always very responsible. Chanyeol is the rapper and Baek Hyunis the one amongst us who tends to sing the majority of the songs. The last two are the most fun, they always make us laugh. D.O. is the other voice, though he's older than I am, but he is very sweet. Se Hun is the youngest of the group and he just tries to get along with all of us. Each of us has a different character, but we always try to have mutual respect, it's the most important thing. 

Do EXO-K and EXO-M ever sing together? 
Of course! Some times we perform together in the two languages. It's fascinating, a truly global spectacle. Unique.

Speaking of South Korea and China, food is never far from my mind… I love South Korean food… you're from Seoul, what would you cook for me if I came to your house for dinner?
I'm so glad you like Korean food! We have so many delicious dishes. I love fish, and seafood. If you came to my house in Korea I would happily cook for you a seafood soup 해물탕.

So, let's talk more about Kai. Looking at Mama and the new Samsung ATIV Smart PC advert, you know how to dance… what is your performance training?
I started dancing when I was 9. I found it very useful to learn different styles of dance, from classical to jazz, dance and hip-hop. I practice every day and I want to keep improving. Every day is a good one to better yourself.

Your dance routines involve some… we could say 'sexy' moves. What do you parents think?
Eh eh… My parents love to watch me dance, since I was a child. They are still happy to watch me.

You are one of the hip-hop leaders in EXO-K, when did you discover the genre? Also in K-pop, hip-hop is becoming an important characteristic, its not that mundane to mix electronic pop with rap! But you do it very well. 
Thank you! When I was 16 I started becoming passionate about hip-hop, with my friends, I would love to learn how to sing melodically as well, so I'm studying a lot. I want to become a complete artist, one who can dance, sing and rap. Soon you'll see all my talents! 

What's the most challenging thing about being a pop star?
Our shows are very dynamic. Its important to be fit and healthy. Its also important to be good humored and have positive thoughts. Generally be happy.

What 3 words would you use to describe your attitude to life?
Passion, not just for music. I try to be passionate about everything I do in my life.
Gratitude, I try to be grateful to others and the world for everything that I have had, that I have and that I will have in the future!

3 words to describe Seoul?
Art, Fiume Han, dynamic

When are you most relaxed?
When I'm with my family.

3 things you could not live without?
The bracelets my parents gave me.
MP3 I can't live without music.

K-Pop is huge at the moment, all over the world. Apart from the music you make, what music are you into?
I listen to all types of music. At the moment I'm really into Super Junior, the song Sorry Sorry.

Original article in English: D&G's Swide Magazine

2NE1′s CL Gets Decked Out In Jeremy Scott For ‘Ketchup’ Magazine

Posted: 20 Dec 2012 07:20 AM PST

It's no secret that 2NE1 and Jeremy Scott are total besties (he designed their first world tour outfits, after all) so whenever the K-pop group and badass designer get together, we KNOW it's gonna be good. See: The latest issue of Hong Kong mag Ketchup. Umm, haiii! 2NE1′s own CL graced the cover (alone!) decked out in Jer's latest duds, and we CANNOT get enough of all that gold. Jeremy tweeted that CL is sporting his gold flourish silk bomber jacket, scarf print dress and flourish Jeremy Scott x Linda Farrow shades. Also, PUH-LEASE notice the dangling pearl tear drops on those bad boys. *claps* Her beauty game is equally out of control—she wears a shiny, fire engine red lip, a platinum blonde high bun, and a killer talon ring. For her jewelry, she amped up the gold even MORE with a thick medallion chain and matching earrings.

Inside the mag, CL sports more Jeremy Scott amazingness—this time a scarf print silk men's shirt with a Jeremy Scott x New Era snapback. We finally get a look at her peepers, and CL shows off killer kohl-lined lids with mile-long lashes. To see even more pics from the shoot, be sure to hit up Jeremy Scott's Twitter or (if you know Chinese) Ketchup magazine's official website. Get to it!

Source: style.mtv

Kim Min Jun announces temporary halt in acting

Posted: 20 Dec 2012 06:40 AM PST

Actor Kim Min Jun recently announced his temporary break from acting.

On December 20, Kim Min Jun wrote on his Twitter, "I've been going through endless thoughts from a few years ago, and coincidentally, I made my final decision. Please do not think that my decision is in any relation to the election result. My career as an actor 'shuts down' today until I find a reason to resume it I say it again, but this decision has nothing to do with the elections."

He continued, "Thank you for those who loved me and criticized me. I love you all. I hope I will be able to continue my career someday and this is where I say goodbye. Be happy."

Kim Min Jun, who kicked off his career as a model in 1995, has starred in several TV series "Damo", "Ireland" and most recently, "Romance Town" as well as movies "Hindsight" and "The Concubine".

Jung Hyung Don shows off close friendship with Song Joong Ki

Posted: 20 Dec 2012 06:15 AM PST

Comedian Jung Hyung Don recently displayed his close friendship with actor Song Joong Ki.

In the December 19 episode of MBC Everyone's 'Weekly Idol', the Girl's Day members appeared as guests. During the interview, the Girl's Day members picked Song Joong Ki as their ideal type to which MC Jung Hyung Don claimed that he knew the actor personally and made a spontaneous phone call.

As soon as Song Joong Ki picked up the phone, Girl's Day members screamed in joy, and even though it was an abrupt call, the actor laughed happily, showing off his unique appeal. In addition, Song Joong Ki proved Jung Hyung Don's claim of friendship by inviting Jung Hyung Don to go for a drink with him.

Gaon Chart releases rankings for December 9th – December 15th

Posted: 20 Dec 2012 05:50 AM PST

Gaon Chart is the national record chart of South Korea. It is complied by the Korea Music Content Industry Association with an aim to create a national chart for Korea similar to the Billboard charts and Oricon charts.

[Rankings for Week December 9 – December 15, 2012]

Weekly Singles Chart

1. Sung Si Kyung, Park Hyoshin, Lee Seok Hoon, Seo In Guk, VIXX : "Because It's Christmas"

2. Lee Seung Gi : "Return"

3. Akdong Musician : "You Are Attractive"

4. Yang Yoseob : "Caffeine"

5. Zia : "For A Year"

6. SECRET : "Talk That"

7. Akdong Musician : "Don't Cross Your Leg"

8. Kim Bum Soo, Lena Park : "White Winter"

9. Noel : "Things That I Couldn't Say"

10. Juniel : "Bad Man"


Weekly Album Chart

1. TVXQ : "Humanoids" [6th Repackaged Album]

2. Yang Yoseob : "The First Collage" [1st Mini Album]

3. B1A4 : "In The Wind" [3rd Mini Album]

4. Lee Seung Gi : "Forest" [Mini Album]

5. Lena Park : "Gift" [8th Repackaged Album]

6. Various Artists : "Full House Take 2" [Soundtrack]

7. Jung Yeop : "Part II" [2nd Album]

8. G-Dragon : "One Of A Kind" [1st Mini Album]

9. Zia : "Anemone" [6th Mini Album]

10. Boyfriend : "Janus" [1st Album]

< Last week's rankings

Billboard picks Psy’s “Gangnam Style” as best MV of 2012

Posted: 20 Dec 2012 05:25 AM PST

Psy's megahit "Gangnam Style" has been selected as the best music video of 2012 by Billboard.

Billboard held an online poll from its readers recently in which the public was able to vote on their favorite artists, songs, albums and more for the year. According to the results, Psy's "Gangnam Style" picked up the best music video of the year by garnering 21% of the votes.

Following Psy on the best MV category were Rihanna's "Where Have You Been" with 19% and Justin Bieber's "Beauty and the Beast" with 11%.

In related news, "Gangnam Style" was also crowned as the "Viral Sensation of the Year" by music channel, MTV.

Han Ga In signs with BH Entertainment

Posted: 20 Dec 2012 05:00 AM PST

Actress Han Ga In's future activities will now be managed by her new agency, BH Entertainment.

On December 20th, representatives of the agency confirmed that Han Ga In, who has remained as a free agent for weeks now, signed an exclusive contract with BH Entertainment. The agency manages popular stars like Go Soo, Han Hyo Joo, Lee Byung Hun, Jin Goo and more.

A representative stated, "Han Ga In has a mix of both Korean and Western beauty. The combination of her beauty and acting skills brought her love not only in Korea, but around the world as well. We will do our best to make her individual colors shine brighter domestically and internationally."

JYJ’s Junsu to release special single for the fans

Posted: 20 Dec 2012 04:40 AM PST

JYJ's Junsu has just announced the release of a surprise single.

On December 20, C-Jes Entertainment announced that the singer will be releasing a new digital single on Christmas Eve, December 24th. Titled, "Thank U For", the song was produced by a Japanese composer, Shikata. It depicts a sweet love song that fits the winter mood strongly.

According to the agency, the single is prepared as a surprise gift to fans for their love and support. This single is also being released in light of Junsu's upcoming ballad and musical year-end concert.

Rainbow and Dal Shabet to hold mini concert

Posted: 20 Dec 2012 04:15 AM PST

Girl groups Rainbow and Dal Shabet will be holding live mini concert for Dal.Komm Coffee.

On December 20, the two groups will be having a concert 'Veranda Live' and meet up with their fans at the coffee chain's shop in Sangam Fan Entertainment. This is the first time for both groups to perform at a small live café instead a big concert venue.

Dal.Komm Coffee representatives commented, It's a great chance to meet Rainbow and Dal Shabet's amazing performances at a much closer distance than ever. The 'Veranda Live' project features musicians as well as idol groups, who are developing into significant artists, and many fans will be able to see another side of them."

December writes handwritten letter to fans before enlistment

Posted: 20 Dec 2012 03:55 AM PST

Male vocalist duo December has revealed a handwritten letter to its fans before enlisting in the army.

On December 20, the group released their 2nd full-length album titled 'The Last Legacy' and member Yoon Hyuk also uploaded unveiled a handwritten letter it had penned to its fans through their official fan website.

December wrote, "It's been 4 years since we met you for the first time. Thank you so much for unchanging love. We will be starting our military service after this album. Entering the military is something that all Korean men do, so please do not worry. We'll fulfill our duties in a healthy manner and return. We just hope that we will be able to keep stay together and support each other like we're family."

Meanwhile, December released their 2nd full-length album titled 'The Last Legacy' on December 20th. The group's new title track "Don't Go" was co-written by Cho Young Soo and a rookie lyricist, JUNE.

Supernova’s collection album ranks 3rd on Oricon

Posted: 20 Dec 2012 03:35 AM PST

Supernova is faring well with their new collection album on Japan's Oricon chart.

The group grabbed the third place with their latest album, 'Supernova Collections' on Oricon's Daily Albums chart on December 18, surpassing other popular Japanese artists' new releases. The album sold 5,115 copies on its first day of sales to come in at number three.

Supernova held a vote among their fans for their favorites among the 60 songs they released in Japan and compiled a best CD. The CD as well as another CD full of their new songs were put together for their new album 'Supernova Collections'.

2PM’s Jun.K releases “Sunshine” MV for ‘My Little Hero’

Posted: 20 Dec 2012 03:14 AM PST

The music video for 2PM Jun.K's "Sunshine" for the OST of upcoming movie 'My Little Hero' has been released.

"Sunshine" was written by the movie's music director, Kim Rae Won, and will serve the main character's theme song The song's impressive lyrics and touching melody hope to grab audience's hearts through Jun.K's emotional vocals.

'My Little Hero' will be aired in January 2013.

Check out the MV below!

Ailee releases live version of “My Grown Up Christmas List”

Posted: 20 Dec 2012 02:48 AM PST

After releasing her special Christmas track "My Grown Up Christmas List", Ailee recently revealed a live performance version of the song, with producer Hwang Chan Hee accompanied her on piano.

"My Grown Up Christmas List" (Christmas Wish) will be included in "Hitman Project #1", a special project album tribute for hitmaker David Foster, who is the original creator of the song. David Foster is also known to have work with legends such as Michael Jackson, Celine Dion and Whitney Houston.

Check out the clip below!

121220 Yoseob wins on ‘M! Countdown’ + Other Performances

Posted: 20 Dec 2012 02:38 AM PST

Mnet's "M! Countdown" is back this week full of amazing performances!

The Christmas special of the show aired on December 20th, featured a handful of special performances from INFINITE H (Dongwoo and Hoya), f(x) and Starship Planet (K.Will, SISTAR's Soyou, Boyfriend's Jeongmin). In addition, Sunny Hill made its comeback with new title track, "Goodbye To Romance. "

Other performers tonight included Shin HyeSung , Nell, Yang YoSeob, Kim Sunggyu, Dal★shabet, Roh JiHoon, SPICA, Ailee, Hello Venus,, EXCITE and The SEEYA.

And for the highlight of the show, Yang YoSeob wins on this week's chart with his solo debut track, "Caffeine"!

Congratulations Yoseob!


Tonight's Performances:

Shin HyeSung


Yang YoSeob

Kim Sunggyu


Roh JiHoon



Hello Venus



Watch tonight's special stages and comeback below:

INFINITE H (Dongwoo and Hoya)
Starship Planet (K.Will, SISTAR's Soyou, Boyfriend's Jeongmin)
Sunny Hill

f(x) presents special stage on ‘M! Countdown’

Posted: 20 Dec 2012 02:37 AM PST

Girl group f(x) made a surprise appearance on the December 20th episode of 'M! Countdown', presenting a special stage for the fans in light of the upcoming Christmas holiday.

f(x) performed the song "1,2,3" from the SMTOWN winter album as well as their latest title track, "Electric Shock." The performance holds special meaning as "Electric Shock" achieved triple crown on 'M! Countdown' earlier this year.

Watch their performance below:

K.Will, Soyou & Jeongmin bring “White Love” to ‘M! Countdown’

Posted: 20 Dec 2012 02:06 AM PST

Coming together as 'Starship Planet', K.will, SISTAR's Soyou, and Boyfriend's Jeongmin performed their winter project single "White Love" on 'M! Countdown', to express the warm love they carry for each other and for their fans.

"White Love" is a way of thanking the fans who have cheered on Starship Entertainment artists every year. The song is described to be a healing love song. It rotates around the theme of Christmas and brings in cheer and warmth to wipe the cold away.

Check out the heart fluttery performance below!

Sunny Hill returns with “Goodbye to Romance” on ‘M! Countdown’

Posted: 20 Dec 2012 01:57 AM PST

Talented group Sunny Hill is finally returning to the spotlight with second mini-album, 'Antique Romance' along with title track "Goodbye to Romance", dealing with the sweet 'n sour taste of first love.

Sunny Hill, who is known for changing its concept to fit the stories of its songs, as it did for previous tracks "Midnight Circus" and "The Grasshopper Song", is back with another insightful and super creative release. The new track "Goodbye to Romance" was once again written and composed by lyricist Kim Eana and composer Lee Min Soo.

Check out their comeback performance on 'M! Countdown' below:

INFINITE H performs “Look at Her Go” on ‘M! Countdown’

Posted: 20 Dec 2012 01:44 AM PST

INFINITE members Dongwoo and Hoya will promote as sub-unit, INFINITE H, starting in the beginning of next year. Giving fans an early treat, INFINITE H held a special stage on the December 20th episode of 'M! Countdown', marking the unit's first televised performance.

As previously mentioned, the highly anticipated album of INFINITE H is set to be released next January. According to their agency, "We'll be showcasing music that holds the special charms of Infinite H. Through the unit promotions, it'll broaden INFINITE's music spectrum."

Primary, one of the skilled producers in the hip hop scene, will be partnering with Infinite H for their album, giving it an overall concept. The H in INFINITE H stands for hip hop and this team goes out with a hip hop theme.

Check out their performance below!

SISTAR's Hyolin releases Round 2 CF for "Like The First Time Soju"

Posted: 20 Dec 2012 01:19 AM PST

SISTAR's Hyolin releases the part 2 sexy dance CF for "Like The First Time Soju",check out the full CF below.

Nosebleed moment for fanboys!

Siwon dances to Gangnam style in 'The king of dramas'

Posted: 20 Dec 2012 12:28 AM PST

in the latest episode of 'The king of dramas' broadcasted on December 18, Super Junior's Siwon who plays the role of Kang Hyun Min made everyone laugh with his Gangnam Style dance 

The making video of 'The king of dramas' were also revealed after that. Siwon was seen learning how to dance the 'horse dance' with comedian Park Gyu Sun. Firstly, he danced in a funny way. After the comedian's instruction, Siwon said danced in an easy way. They seemed so happy and relaxed even behind the cameras. 

Check out the video below

Source: SBS
Written by Jenny@dkpopnews

KARA's Hara releases Round 3 CF for "Like The First Time" Soju

Posted: 19 Dec 2012 11:30 PM PST

KARA's Goo Hara releases the Round 3 CF for "Like The First Time" Soju.

Impressed with her hot dance?

Yoon Si Yoon clarifies he wasn’t looking at Park Shin Hye’s chest

Posted: 19 Dec 2012 10:55 PM PST

Actor Yoon Si Yoon cleared up any misunderstandings about a particular photo where he was captured having naughty eyes.

On the December 18th episode of SBS 'Strong Heart', Boom and Kim Ji Hoon claimed, "Yoon Si Yoon is a pervert," and brought out a picture of Yoon Si Yoon seemingly looking down at Park Shin Hye's chest.

Yoon Si Yoon explained, "Shin Hye was stepping on her own dress, and I was looking at her legs." The MCs then jokingly jeered him for using the word "legs", to which the actor corrected, "I was looking at her feet. Shin Hye will explain everything for me."

Then Park Shin Hye came to the rescue as she explained, The bottom part of my dress was ripped a bit, and my heels got stuck there. He is really looking at my feet", dissolving all the misunderstandings.

Lee Seung Gi and Psy named top endorsement models

Posted: 19 Dec 2012 10:25 PM PST

Triple threat entertainer Lee Seung Gi and the now world phenomenon Psy were named the hottest endorsement models in the biz for the past month of November. The two achieved the same feat in October as well.

According to a poll conducted by CM Value of the Korea Advertisers Association, the two stars were #1 and #2, respectively, in terms of the most popular commercial faces.

Lee Seung Gi won 10.05% of the votes and Psy followed with 6.81%. Entertainers like Kim Tae Hee, Song Joong Ki, Kim Yuna, Kim Soo Hyun, and Sohn Yeon Jae trailed behind.

As if Lee Seung Gi and Psy didn't draw in enough sales on their own, the two saw a synergy effect for their refrigerator commercial. The refrigerator, produced by Samsung, was ranked at the top, above other ads.

Source: KBS

MTV picks “Gangnam Style” as this year’s viral video

Posted: 19 Dec 2012 10:05 PM PST

MTV also gave props to Psy and his worldwide hit, "Gangnam Style."

On December 18th, MTV's Web site picked the Korean rapper's "Gangnam Style" as the "Viral Sensation of the Year".

According to MTV, "Taylor Swift sold w-a-a-y more records, One Direction stirred millions of first-crush flushes and labelmate Justin Bieber put tens of thousands of butts in seats every night of his tour, but in 2012, Psy had what none of them did: a-once-in-a-decade hit that can't be replicated."

The song "inspired more parodies than Clint Eastwood at the [Republican National Convention] and, oh yeah, racked up nearly 1 billion views on YouTube," the music channel added, referring to how Psy set a new record on the world's leading video-sharing site.

After School’s UEE shares a portrait drawn by Lee Hee Joon

Posted: 19 Dec 2012 09:40 PM PST

After School's UEE recently shared a portrait of herself drawn by her 'Jeon Woo Chi' co-actor, Lee Hee Joon.

On December 18th, UEE uploaded a photo on her Twitter and wrote, "Kang Lim (played by Lee Hee Joon) drew my portrait. Does it look similar? I think the portrait looks better. Tomorrow is election day. Let's all vote together! And Jeon Woochi will air tomorrow too. Have a good day."

In the photo, UEE is winking while making an adorable pose putting her finger to her lips. The Lee Hee Joon's drawing below captured UEE's charms, impressing the fans with his artistic skills.