It’s Monday again so its time for more songs! This week we’re going to be focusing primarily on artists who either went solo and became huge KPOP stars or some that left us entirely. Cue up the playlist because it’s time for another round of #MMMPlaylist!
Bobby-Firework (YG Entertainment)
Kim Ji Won aka Bobby from IKON is a mini supernova at YG Entertainment. This guy sings, raps, dances (WELL) and also produces his own music. Bobby was born in Seoul but grew up in Virginia, USA before eventually moving back to Korea at the age of 16 after getting into YG. He competed on the WIN: Who’s Next and was part of Team B (Team A ended up forming the group Winner).
Bobby’s main claim to fame came from his appearance on the god awful elimination show, Show Me The Money 3. Despite my hatred for that show (and Unpretty Rapstar) it wouldn’t be right if I didn’t say that Bobby did his thing on it and it really helped keep his name on the lips of young Korean kids and KPOP fans alike. Eventually he went on to join IKON and the rest is history. They’re a dope group but Bobby has some solo tracks that blow their collective music out of the water and Firework is one of them!
Lyrically I find this song adorable, I love the line where he says;
‘I’m different from your exes
I won’t compare you with other girls
You know I’m only myself in front of you, baby
I’m happy I can lean on someone
That’s what you taught me
If I can always lean on you’
Firework can be found on Bobby’s full length solo album, Love And Fall.
Check out this fun lyric video here
Taeyon-Cover Up (SM Entertainment)
Kim Taeyon aka our Former Dear Leader of SNSD aka Girls Generation. There’s no reason for you to be a KPOP fan and not know who Taeyeon or Girl’s Generation is. They’re really that legendary.
SNSD had the bubblegum pop game on lock for 10 years. While other equally as talented and legendary groups like 2NE1 went for a more edgier sound and look, SNSD revelled in being cute (border-lining on Lolita at times…) and ultra feminine. Taeyeon’s versatile voice as the leader has been the foundation of their sound and once she finally went solo and brought us the single, I, she showed the world that she had the chops to stand alone.
In 2017 she released her full album, My Voice which featured the single Cover Up. Despite immense promotion by SM Entertainment, much like Dark Panda, from last #MMMPlaylist, I feel like it came and went. It’s a shame because Cover Up should’ve made some noise last summer since the album dropped last February, but alas it just didn’t make enough waves. That still doesn’t stop it from being a fun upbeat track to add to any summer playlist, we hope you enjoy!
Stream her album here.
Kim Junsu aka Xiah Junsu from one of Korea’s most famous groups DBSK, released his first full length album Tarantallegra (yes, it’s a Harry Potter reference) in 2012. That album gave us some serious gems like the title track, Intoxication, No Gain and the wonderful track Lullaby. It might seem out of place on this playlist, but since today’s list is mixed-genre, it definitely fits. This song was written and composed by Junsu and Fraktal and the song is pretty much a bunch of sweet nothings put to music. Seriously, check this song out, it’s so damn beautiful.
Park Jaebom, formerly of 2PM, (under the JYP label) left Korea in 2009 after some ignorant comments he made about Korea on myspace were unearthed. I think that’s the first time I can recall witnessing the ‘cancellation’ of an artist that was flying so high.
When Jaebom left and went back to Seattle to work for his parents, no one expected him to be able to recover from such a public flogging, but the kid persisted. He released covers on youtube, most notably a rap/vocal version of B.O.B’s Nothin On You that went viral. Jaebom continued to write and release songs in both Korean and English and slowly re-built his brand and fanbase from the ground up. In 2012 he released his first full length solo album New Breed, which gave us the single, Know Your Name that eventually led to certain parts of the dance being banned on Korean TV for being too suggestive. This album had hit after hit after hit and is a solid R&B project, which was seen as quite risky at the time (hell it’s still risky now). Star is one of the best songs on the album for it’s sweet lyrics and melody. After this album, Jaebom went onto release more music in different incarnations, he toured all over the world, opened up a Cafe in Apgujeong, would routinely kill it on SNL and eventually went onto found his own label AOMG. His most recent activities involve him being signed to Jay Z’s Roc Nation label and he got to meet Beyonce…and her husband. Not bad for someone who was once officially cancelled by Korea!
SHINee-Romance (SM Entertainment)
SHAWOL ROLL CALL! WHERE Y’ALL AT?
I couldn’t do an #MMMPlaylist without including SHINee. This amazing group debuted in 2008 with one of my all time favourite songs, Replay and I’ve been a massive fan ever since. SHINee are/were: Key, Taemin, Onew, Minho and Jonghyun. Sadly in 2017, Jonghyun lost his long battle with depression and passed away in December.
Two years before that in 2015, SHINee released one of their best full length albums called, ODD. This album featured the single, View which gave us Taemin’s sexy shoulder dance that we’ve been obsessed with ever since. Romance is a song that’s often overlooked, which is sad because it’s actually much stronger than View and has more replay (zing!) value. Check out this lyric video to understand how fun and suggestive this song is lyrically. After Jonghyun passed away, SHINee took a break, then went onto tour Japan and have most recently released a new album called, The Story of Light EP.1.
Seeing the boys as a quartet isn’t right. None of what happened is right but such is life. RIP Jonghyun.
Jonghyun-Hallelujah (SM Entertainment)
I’ll try not to dwell too much on our dearly departed Jongyun. But he really should be the King Of #MMMPlaylist simply because he really was that overlooked and underrated and there was plenty of time to hand that man his roses when he was alive but…
I said I wouldn’t dwell on it so let’s talk about the song. In 2015, Jonghyun released an EP called Base which was a mixture of his favourite genres, R&B, Soul and uptempo. Hallelujah was co-written by Jonghyun and my fav Wheesung, and that’s really evident in the way Jonghyun is singing down to the background vocals, that’s Wheesung’s soulful stamp all over the track. Despite it’s name, Hallelujah is a sexy r&B ballad intersecting a spiritual realm. He’s literally singing the praise of a WOMAN. Jonghyun really could do anything, may he forever rest in peace.
Also, if you have time, check out this full list of songs written by Jonghyun. Are your favs on there?
Catch us next week for another round of #MMMPlaylist!
Credits: SM ENTERTAINMENT/YG ENTERTAINMENT/UNIVERSAL MUSIC/POPGASA/YOUTUBE/WIKIPEDIA