It’s Monday again so its time for more songs!
This week we’re focusing on Norebang Essentials!
Are you a fan of going to the Norebang?
What is a Norebang/노래방?
노래-Nore means song and 방=Bang means room, it literally translates to singing room. It originated from Japan where they call it Karaoke!
Join us for another round of #MMMPlaylist!
(In no particular order)
2NE1-It Hurts 아파 (YG Entertainment)
CL, Minzy, Park Bom and Sandara Park aka 2NE1 aren’t the first girl group to come from YG Family (that title belongs to SWI.T) and they certainly aren’t the first girl group to be sabotaged by Yang Hyun-Suk himself (Big Mama anyone?). However, 2NE1 are the first YG heralded girl group to really break as much ground as Big Bang and become world music icons, these are just facts we can never deny. It’s due to the success of 2NE1 that we even have our favourite dungeon dwellers Black Pink (who have a new EP out now go buy it!) pulling in 96 Million videos/streams on their music videos. There are so many great 2NE1 songs to sing but It Hurts, is an instant Norebang classic. Not only is the song easy to sing (if Korean isn’t your first language), but its a very, ‘in your feelings’ type of song that you could either sing alone like our girl Aggrestuko or with a group of friends. Ever since their first mini dropped in 2009, 2NE1 have been consistent with making sure there’s a solid R&B ballad on every project. From In The Club, It Hurts, Lonely, to If I Were You, 2NE1 showed us every time that they didn’t come to play. They came to slay, and slay they did. #JusticeFor2NE1 #CancelYG
SNSD-GEE (SM Entertainment)
Next up is Girl’s Generation aka SoNyeoShiDae or SNSD for short. These girls were around two years before 2NE1 and were able to slide into the cultural zeitgeist with their popular hook songs once Wonder Girls went off to America.
SNSD were Taeyeon, Yuri, Hyoyeon, Sunny, Yoona, Tiffany, Jessica, Sooyoung, and Seohyun. This girl band was a mixture of Gyopo (Koreans born overseas) and Native Korean girls who trained under SM Entertainment for over a decade, observing the rise of artists like BoA, DBSK and SHINee before finally shooting to megastardom in 2009. The year 2009 was a huge year for KPOP in terms of showing how powerful Hallyu really was and SNSD are big contributors to that. GEE is one of the most perfectly crafted pop songs I’ve heard in my life. Every single part of the song takes you on a mini journey-not to mention the now iconic video (with the colourful skinny jeans look that was huge back then!). Is GEE the easiest song to sing? Hell no but it’s definitely one of the most fun songs to attempt to sing in the Norebang, unless you have Korean-speaking friends-give them them mic and let them do the verses and scream the chorus!
Wonder Girls-Nobody (JYP)
Shoutout to JYP for consistently giving us great girl bands…and then making them crash and burn with his short-sighted visions. Wonder Girls are Hallyu Queens. Their second single, Tell Me helped start the worldwide trend of ‘virus dances’, which was a phenomena that involved everyone from school children, old folks and soldiers in the Korean army participating in doing the famous ‘Omona’ part from Ahn Sohee. That phrase, ‘Omona’ became so popular that an entire KPOP news site was launched based off of it. The power of Kpop folks! In 2008, Wonder Girls were: Sohee, Sunye, Sunmi, Ye-Eun and Yubin. They’ve had plenty line-up changes over the years that I won’t delve into but this iteration of WG is definitely their finest (despite their best album coming out in 2015 with a different line-up). Nobody, was a song directly inspired by the 1960s African American Motown girl groups and the musical Dreamgirls (with Beyonce, Jennifer Hudson, Jamie Foxx) that was huge in Korea. The entire concept was 1960s chic Andy Warhol era, Twiggy fashions with a cute chorus that everyone could sing. And I do mean everyone. This song is a Norebang staple and can get even the shyest KPOP fan to start singing along and doing the finger pointing dance.
Miss A-Hush (JYP Entertainment)
*Sigh* Another great JYP group that started off great and eventually crashed and burned due to mismanagement. Like 2PM and Got7, Miss A were a multi-national group consisting of Korean and Chinese members. They were, Fei, Jia, Min, and Suzy. They first debuted in 2010 with Bad Girl, Good Girl and shortly after that, came back with Breathe, which had a Soca meets Reggaeton vibe to it, and they even got a bit Caribbean with the costumes and dance routine:
I loved all these songs but I never really saw Miss A as the girl group to watch out for until 2013 when they dropped Hush. I lived in South Korea when Hush was released and I felt the impact of the song, the video, the short haircut Min had and of course those high waisted vinyl pants and crop tops! It was a thing for a while in the Korean night clubs. Miss A, had finally come into themselves as a legitimate group and I was really happy for their success. They disbanded in 2017 but at the height of their fame it really looked like they were about to break serious ground hallyu-wise. It’s a big shame what happened to Miss A but this is a tale as old as time. Hush is still such a great song to sing in the Norebang, in the shower or in the street! Just get involved and celebrate this underrated KPOP classic. Sorry to all our UK listeners who can’t see Hush on trash-ass spotify.
After School-Because Of You (Pledis Entertainment)
We’re back in 2009 again when supergroup After School debuted with Diva, it was a decent song but when After School released, Because Of You they found themselves with an instant hit. The group was former BoA dancer/choreographer and leader Kaeun, E-Young, Jungah, Jooyeon, Lizzy, Raina and Nana. After School was a mixture of women from varying age groups, and were clowned on for being older than most of the groups out at the time, but this just added to their charm as they made music that was more directed at women that had been through some stuff in their lives, and as we know, that comes with age and experience. Because of You is another one of those ‘in your feelings’ KPOP songs that will leave you feeling refreshed after singing and rapping every part. This is definitely one of my favourite KPOP songs to attempt to sing on my own. Get into it!
Brown Eyed Girls-Abracadabra (Mystic Entertainment)
What did I tell you about 2009? It was such a seminal year for Korean music in general and especially KPOP. Brown Eyed Girls had been out years before that with their R&B ballad, Come Closer (which is still a classic in my opinion and the video still messes me up), but it wasn’t until they released Abracadabra in 2009 and switched up their image to be on a more sleek, grown woman vibe that they finally got the recognition they deserved. Brown Eyed Girls are/were: JeA, Miryo, Narsha, and Gain and I find it sad and ironic that this group was actually marketed as the cute R&B girls to pay attention to their whole careers, but when they finally went for a gimmick (namely the hip dance) things finally popped off for them. It’s bitter irony at best because the success of Abracadabra forced them to change their sound a lot. They did come back with the amazing song Cleansing Cream, but it definitely wasn’t as big as Abracadabra because it lacked the dance virus element. I mean who can resist this?
But seriously, the dance coupled with the lyrics (that are really hard to hear if you don’t speak Korean) make for fun, drunken, BBQ filled times at the Norebang. You gotta try it at least once, then get into Brown Eyed Girl’s and their incredibly underrated discography. This group deserves way more that what they got.
Catch us next week for another round of #MMMPlaylist!
Question: What’s the longest time you’ve spent in the norebang?
Credits: SM ENTERTAINMENT/YG ENTERTAINMENT/JYP/PLEDIS/MYSTIC ENTERTAINMENT/POPGASA/YOUTUBE/WIKIPEDIA