Friday, March 30, 2012

K-Pop: Shinee

The Korean pop music scene is filled with many boy bands but among my favourites is Shinee, (pronounced "shiny") a group formed in 2008 by SM Entertainment. The group consists of five members; Jonghyun (Kim Jonghyum), Key (Kim Kibum), Minho (Choi Minho), Onew (Lee Jin Ki), and Taemin (Lee Taemin). All of the members were discovered through SM Audition Casting. At the time, SM Entertainment expressed the hope that this group would set a trend for young people in both fashion, dance and music.

Shinee's first full-length album was released in 2008 and debuted at number three on the charts. Shinee won the "Best New Male Group Award" at the MNET Asian Music Awards in November, 2008. True to the group's mission, they won "Best Style Icon" as the 2008 Style Icon Awards.

In 2009, the group released their third mini-album, 2009, Year of US which contained their hit, Ring Ding Dong, one of my personal favourites. Characterized by a driving beat and strong vocals, Ring Ding Dong is about a guy who wants a girl to take a chance on him. The video is an unusual menage of hip hop dance moves, and dark ethereal scenes.

The group's second full length album, Lucifer was released in 2010. The single of the same name has garnered over 31 million views on YouTube. Shinee also had their first world tour during this year.

2012 has seen the group release a new album titled after the single, Sherlock, which has done well, reaching the number one spot on several international charts. Their sound is more mature, reflecting the group's continuing development as R & B artists.

Today, Shinee has an important influence in Korea culture not only because of their music but also due to their trendy fashion style. Noted for their skinny jeans and high top sneakers, their look has been dubbed the "Shinee trend".

Kim Jonghyun is my personal favourite in the group because of his unusual looks, dramatic presentation and his outstanding vocals.

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