Sunday, February 26, 2012

K-Pop Artists: Big Bang

One of my favourite Korean bands is Big Bang which is comprised of G-Dragon, Top, Taeyang, Daesung, and Seungri. Formed in 2006 by Korean label YG Entertainment, Big Band mixes hip hop with a little R&B and some electronic music. The group's leader is G-Dragon (Kwon Ji Yong) who is considered a trend-setter in South Korea in the areas of both music and fashion. In Korea, such cultural icons are labelled as "fashionistas"! T.O.P. (Choi Seung-hyun, who is considered the lead rapper in the group, acts in film and Korean dramas. He starred in the critically acclaimed Korean drama, Iris, in which he played Vick, an assassin for a secret organization, Iris. TOP also appeared in 71: Into the Fire, a historical drama about the Korean war, for which he received many positive reviews. Daesung recently starred in the Korean drama "What's Up".

Both G-Dragon and TOP collaborated on an album, GD & TOP, which was released in 2010. The two artists co-wrote most of the songs lyrics on the album, which extends more into the hip-hop genre of music. GD likes to write lyrics that tell a story, as evidenced by the song, Haru,Haru.

Some of their songs are just dance numbers, with a strong funky beat and a catchy melody. Fantastic Baby certainly fits into this category. Initially, their videos incorporated street dancing but they have since moved on to using more mature dance choreography.

In 2012, Big Bang is attempting a comeback with the release of a new mini-album, titled, Alive, due out February 29th. Their annual concert will be held March 2 to promote this new album. They are also planning an international tour. The first title track, Blue, was released on February 22, 2012. Here is the video for this song:

I enjoy many of Big Bang's songs and their accompanying videos and especially love their songs that tell a story. I hope this band continues with their unique approach to music, choreography and videography. Contemporary Korean pop music far outshines its American competitors in these areas and it is this innovative approach that continues to draw young North American adults to their music.

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