Korean, KPop, Music

On My Radar: Neo Culture Technology (NCT)

TVXQ, Super Junior, Girls’ Generation, SHINee, EXO, Red Velvet and now with Neo Culture Technology aka NCT. Huh, SM fully knows how to hook me and claw its way in to my ears – and heart.

I’ve been gone from the Korean pop music scene for several years and it was just last year when I started getting reacquainted with it. Big changes and tons of new groups welcomed me back. Like, BlackPink. Weirdly enough my curiosity and excitement spiked when YG Entertainment started dropping teasers for their debut. So when their D-Day came, I found myself streaming the debut showcase, watching the two M/Vs that they released and instantly became a fan. The power and edge that they are channeling through their music and image are definitely not the common ones we get from girl groups. In which makes them stand out more. I told myself that I would just stick with them and nothing more.

But EXO, who has been trying to catch my attention for the most part of 2016, strikes once again.

EXO members Chen, Baekhyun and Xiumin (now EXO-CBX) participated in the original soundtrack of Scarlet Heart: Ryeo with the song “For You” which immediately made me fall for their voices. ChenBaekXi’s voices and Chanyeol (whom I encountered through his Chinese movie, So I Married an Anti-Fan) became the nth straw.

I caved in.

EXO stood out from the all the boy groups, hauled my lazy behind and roused my dormant heart. For a month or two, I poured my attention into everything EXO. I learned about the ins and outs concerning them and their fandom. Almost five years to catch up? I breezed through it because I had fun getting to know about their members, the glorious (and miserable) events that transpired, the inside jokes and basically everything that I must know. At first, I was hesitant if I’m going to do the entire fandom thing because ain’t I too old for that? But with them it was truly impossible not to. There are a lot of things happening to EXO and I felt the ultimate need to communicate with my fellow EXO-LS. They’re the ones who’ll be able to understand me and what I’m feeling. Read some of the blog posts that I’ve written about EXO here.

With being exposed to Korean music daily, I little by little started opening up myself for more, encountered other groups, started listening to them and appreciating their craft. Just like AKMU, Seventeen, GOT7, K.A.R.D and more. Even solo artists.

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I’m knowledgeable of NCT’s existence. They’ve been on my radar since I’ve attached myself to EXO and with how today’s fandom power work, you cannot just miss NCT. They performed during the year-end award shows and won some rookie awards too. In which I’ve seen some cute interactions that they had with EXO. I adore their sunbae-hoobae relationship because I can feel the love and respect that they have for each other. The only reason why I had a hard time convincing myself to 100% check NCT out is because I’m thoroughly overwhelmed by them. With the SM Rookies thing, their sub-units and the unknown definite number of members – I feel like I won’t be able to take everything in.

Continue reading “On My Radar: Neo Culture Technology (NCT)”

Baekhyun, Fresh Release, KPop, Music

Fresh Release: 바래다줄게 (Take You Home) by Baekhyun

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If we’re Facebook friends or you’re one of my Twitter followers, then you must know that Byun Baekhyun is my ultimate bias from my favorite group, EXO. I post, tweet and talk about him every time I get an opportunity to do so. I just love him so much. There are a lot of reasons why I swerved into his lane and I think that’s good for another blog post. But among my pool of reasons is his vocals.

Fun fact: He ended up as my bias because of this certain Don’t Go fancam. I don’t know how someone can watch that and not end up being his fan.

With every note he hits and every lyric he utters, you can hear and feel the exact emotion that he wants for his listeners to feel. His voice is able to perfectly translate the desired emotion of the song. Emotionally-packed voice, as I liked to refer to it. I’m vulnerable when it comes to him because he has this power of turning me into a mush. My heart just instantly fills up with various emotions. 어떻게?

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So upon the news of SM releasing a song in which he took part of, I was over the moon. Fans were highly anticipating it because it has been for quite some time now since Baekhyun released a solo song. For me, I experienced double the excitement because it’s the first solo song that he’s releasing wherein I’m already an EXO-L and his fan.

April 14th, D-DAY, SM finally released the song and music video. As expected of Baekhyun, he made his charming-self appear in the MV in full force and sang the song into perfection. Never did I doubt that his song for SM Station 2 would be anything but that.

Take You Home (바래다줄게) music video is aesthetically pleasing and thoroughly captured the message of the song. People who doesn’t understand Korean will be able to at least guess the gist of it. But don’t be too fooled by its happy vibe because it actually masks the tinge of sadness of its lyrics. Read the English translation here. It’s about an unrequited love and the guy still choosing to be there for the girl even if he is not her man.

Continue reading “Fresh Release: 바래다줄게 (Take You Home) by Baekhyun”

KPop

Thank You: #5YearsWithEXO

This post is going to be sappy. I recently figured out that EXO brings that out of me.
Source: Mr. Xiumin

Five years of burning passion.

Five years of flourishing hard work.

Five years of bliss yet patched with gloom in places.

Five years of mutual respect and love between EXO and EXO-Ls.

Five precious years spent with us.

Happy 5th Anniversary, EXO!

I was not here since Day One. Or even during their first, second or so anniversary. People may say that I’m being overly dramatic with even blogging about this while only being a 7-month old EXO-L but I believe celebrating this momentous event is a must for every single EXO-L out there. Old or new into the fandom must rejoice, be proud and be thankful for this day. Five years may be a small number for others but in an industry where people could basically come, go and be forgotten, it is an outstanding feat already. I’m so proud of EXO and this fandom and I know my words wouldn’t be able to encompass all of my thoughts and feelings.

To SM Entertainment, thank you. Thank you for bringing these boys together and thus far, the greatest achievement your company has done in my eyes. Thank you for believing in these boys from the start. Despite all the issues, I got to give thanks to you for the existence of EXO.

Photo grabbed from Twitter

To all the Korean EXO-Ls & to those who were present from year one (two and so) and who chose to stay until today, thank you. Thank you for being with the boys through thick and thin. Thank you for expressing love and being their support system when they were experiencing the low points of their career. I know the earlier years were such a rough path and there were several stumbles along the way but you chose to hang on to them and fully believed that these boys could make it big in the industry. Look at where they are now? With EXO’s talents & perseverance and EXO-L’s unwavering love, together you’ve achieved (and will continuously walk through the path to achieve) something beyond magnificent and something that will truly be imprinted forever. I could only imagine what you are feeling today. Though, I’m sure it’ll be five times the intensity as to how I’m feeling right now. All the lengths you went through to show love to them have come to fruition and I know it is such a fulfilling sentiment. I look up to every single one of you and hope to achieve at least half of what you’ve done for the boys.

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Photo grabbed from Twitter

To PH EXO-Ls, I may not have a lot of mutuals on Twitter & still get shy when talking to you but thank you for making me feel welcome and part of the family. I can attest as to how welcoming you are when I attended EXOrDIUM in Manila. Even when we don’t know each other’s names, most of you shared a smile and even carried on a conversation with me. Knowing each other wasn’t even a big deal. It felt like if you love EXO and it’s a done deal, we’re friends. Continue reading “Thank You: #5YearsWithEXO”

KPop

A LOOK BACK to 02.26.17: EXO’rDIUM in Manila D2

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Six months ago, you’d possibly find me reading a book, surfing through the web for the next Korean drama that I would be doing a marathon over the weekends or just randomly tweeting stuff. Because that is how I usually spend my down time.

Six months ago, if you said that I’d be hauling my ass off all the way from Albay just to watch a concert of a Korean boy group – I wouldn’t believe it and I’d tell you you’re crazy.

But life loves to play games and to surprise us in crazy ways.

I’m weird. I have this weird thinking that Korean dramas are enough for me and I don’t need to involve myself with Korean music. So prior to this, the only recent Korean songs that I listen to and know by heart are the ones featured in Korean dramas that I watch. I don’t even dare to get to know more and follow the activities of those artists who sang whichever. I just know them by name and the drama they’re associated with. In a sense, Korean music felt like a no go and been there, done that area for me. I stanned Super Junior back in the days but my fervor for Korean songs little by little waned. I’m blaming my younger self for that.

I thought that was the end of it.

I thought I was fully done with fawning over Korean idols.

Well, I thought wrong.

In just a span of six months (or let’s say, three months since the deets for EXO’rDIUM were announced in mid-December 2016), a lot of things happened and changed. How I felt for EXO, was as easy as hook, line and sinker. There was something about their group that made me want to stan, protect, support  and love them.

From a non EXO-L, I became a full-blown “I need to attend their concert, oh god I’m gonna die if I don’t” EXO-L. Crazy. I didn’t expect to reach this level of being a fan of them in such a short span of time. But I remembered my Mother telling me over dinner, “Ganyan ka talaga noh, kapag naging fan ka hardcore. All in.” In my defense though, yes I easily become a fan of someone but what happened here with EXO – only happened twice in my fangirl life (for Jonas Brothers and One Direction). There are other artists that I listen to and appreciate but I can still pass up the opportunity of attending their concert.

With EXO, my want and need to see them perform live equaled to Jonas Brothers and One Direction. Now, I can proudly say that I’ve been to the concerts of my three faves. 

Continue reading “A LOOK BACK to 02.26.17: EXO’rDIUM in Manila D2”