South Korean artist JONGHAN serenades us in his latest single Rainy Day. The soft and smooth vocals from him fits the theme of the track. It all revolves about how he feels as he’s holding this one umbrella in the rain. And to use it as an opportunity to have his partner come even closer to him, out in the rain. There isn’t anything extraordinary about the production and JONGHAN’s singing, but it didn’t need to be. It’s the type of mood and vibe I’d experience in an intimate moment holding my partner in the rain. It’s a beautiful song.
A group effort from Korean artists and producers TOUT Y EST, Daul, and 죠지 (George) has brought as a smooth jam in Avenue blending English and Korean. Upon seeing the music video, I instantly associated this group with Londoneer Samm Henshaw. The connection is that you have modern grown men able to talk about their feelings during and after a breakup situation, but not in a contemporary R&B way. It sounds like a lot of mental gymnastics, but I can hear and see those connections.
Speaking of hearing things, the singer (I think is George) sounds so smooth in his voice. Bold, and clear delivery. And to be honest, I could have gotten everyone’s names incorrect so if I did, someone hit me up. The strings and added production towards the end of the track just leading us home felt so good on the ears. A nod to the producers TOUT Y EST and Daul on that. And the music video, I felt so heartbroken. It looked like this relationship was going to go somewhere and then after that initial friction, it just stopped going. They are great actors for the camera. I hope to hear more from this group.
This track has South Korea’s Doyi Lee playing three versions of herself in her new single STFU. There is the office worker, the one who doesn’t give a F***, and the boss lady, which I thought was interesting. So I don’t know, in the music video, if she was just expressing the different states she is in at times in her life because to see the office worker clashing with the boss lady was interesting. Could it mean that her wanting to just make it through the day sometimes doesn’t gel well with getting her responsibilities done? That was my initial thought.
I do think that the Doyi Lee who is a rebel is the best one because she got to a point where she got tired of all the bickering between the two. So much so that she had to break through her particular computer window just to clean house. I think there is some messaging behind having the boss lady underneath a pigeon mask. And to coincide with that whiteboard with the “OKUUUUUUUURT!” sign up top. The responsible one seems to sound like a pigeon to her. I didn’t expect to see the third version of Doyi underneath the mask like a Scooby Doo Mystery. She asks for silence and for everyone to leave their lives comfortably; to not dig deeper than necessary and ends up being left alone in her own silence.
The production on the beat is nice and full of energy. It feels like Doyi is doing some flow in the track as well, but her singing is pretty good. You know what you are going to get when you have a trap beat and it’s more along the lines of that. This track is definitely a club banger for sure and I appreciate the bilingual delivery in the song. Take a listen to the track.
This week had a little more entries than usual, but when YUGYEOM and DeVita came on with their new song I Want You Around, it really caught my attention. This song is about two people who want to get together, but the guy is too shy to make his feelings known and the woman is saying all you gotta do is make that first step.
It’s interesting that in the music video you see him being tied down with rope and I wonder if this “symbolized” YUGYEOM doing it to himself because of his feelings of the current situation? Because as the video went forward, he started to open up a little bit about his internal struggle with the situation. Towards the end of his part he has this line “Like the shining stars, You shine so bright that I can’t look at you…” and this is the theme for the song. Before the transition to DeVita, you see various shots of him looking up (at DeVita).
I think DeVita killed her part. The whole vibe of her is enchanting, especially how she looks at the camera with a commanding presence. Even YUGYEOM had to cover some of that light he was speaking about with his hands as he was looking up. It sucks that her part was short because I can listen to her sing all day long. In fact, I gave her a shoutout last year with her song EVITA! back in April 2020.
It’s songs like I Want You Around that makes me happy as a curator and fan of R&B music. It’s no secret that K-Pop is the main music engine, but every-so-often you get gems like this. As it turns out, this is the first track of YUGYEOM’s EP Point of View: U which consists of seven tracks. Always lead with your best foot forward, or song in this case.
S. Korean artists Jay B and sokodomo has put together one of the most modern R&B tracks from the country by a country mile. The production is fresh with a lot of bounce to it. One of my biggest gripes is that Korean R&B was taking too long to expand on their production choices, but I’ve really been enjoying the songs this year. I liked the setting for the music video being out in the woods. The added part with the microphone was the cherry on top for me. You can hear that this isn’t a voice-over track but actually performing. Speaking of performances, sokodomo was giving one towards the tail end of the track. Lots of energy from him. This was a great performance.
So Blind is an interesting track. The lead of the track is also the dancer, Lip J, alongside the vocalist, Becka. The producer is ZIONN and they all give a great performance. I am always a fan of a well-choreographed video. This reminds me a lot of Rola’s Ride or Die where you have a group of dancers in all black in a similar setting. So the question is why would I give this track shine if the focus is on the video? Well the song is really good as well. Or I wouldn’t have stopped to listen to the track when I first heard it. I will also say, I just became a fan of Lip J. My goodness she’s so talented. It’s a good thing that she’s headlining this track.
South Korean artist Kangta releases his latest single Freezing at the ripe age of 41. I don’t know much about the landscape of K-Pop or the music scene for their stars, but someone had to make mention of this. It’s probably not often you have long lasting careers such as him. BoA is the only one I can think of at the time.
The production is a nice mix of contemporary R&B and pop. The sound gives a nice vibe to bop your head to. The lyrics talks about something that doesn’t get discussed often. What is that feeling like when you are the only one getting hurt, but you are living off the good times in hope for better days? It’s like freezing 365 as the song goes. That’s a great depiction of what kind of relationship this could feel like. So a lot of credit to the people who wrote this song.
When you have a well-written song, you got to have a great music video to go along with. The production of the music video is so well done. It ties with this theme of being “trapped in those cold words, 365 freezing”. Kangta is in a literal cage while six versions of the person he’s with is methodically walking around him. It’s as he says, he’s trapped and doesn’t feel good. But we do get a happy ending where he’s able to muster the strength to leave. He ends up putting the one he was with in that same cage. This was a great song and the package was perfect.
On the first New Music Friday of this year, I mentioned of a music video and song from Rain and JYP called Switch to Me. It was an ode to Bobby Brown’s Every Little Step in sound and choreography. Well I didn’t know that this song was going to catch fire as it did and it inspired a cover of this song from two other K-Pop artists, Dahyun and Chaeyoung. I think as for as the video production, less is more. It feels sort of eerie that it’s just the two of them, when the JYP/Rain version had people beside them. However, these two made it work with the different shots and loads of clothes changes throughout the video. They kept the energy throughout. I don’t know, I think I fancy this version over the first one. What do you think?
Cover Art – BUMKEY ft NONE – Letter To Heaven
I knew from the moment I heard Letter To Heaven that it was going to be something special. South Korean artists BUMKEY and NONE came together to sing one of the most heartfelt songs I’ve heard in awhile. And why is that the case? It’s a lot of things from what I can take. It’s the pianist behind the song that really sets the mood. The chords that they are hitting really gets you in a certain mind space. The way these two sing the song and how they really dig deep inside perform in the ambiance of it all. I don’t know if they had someone in mind when they were singing, but I was emotionally connected. The lyrics, oh my goodness, the lyrics.
How hard it must have beenBUMKEY ft NONE – Letter To Heaven
I couldn’t reach out to you
I hate me. I hate me so much
I take it that the meaning behind these lines and the song overall is some regret that they didn’t get a chance to be there more often, in their moment in need, or even the moments this person passed away. So the way they can express themselves is through a song, a Letter To Heaven. Even I teared up reading through the lyrics.
You know what this song reminds me of? Brian McKnight – One Last Cry, but just the piano version. Emotionally, it hits me there. The structure of the song of the sounds are similar in my opinion. I’m probably there are other examples, but it got me thinking of him. I would love to hear and see this song performed live. Not a dry eye would present after this song was complete.
Kuban and Simon Bayle – Luna In Acquario (Moon in the Aquarium)
The Italian-Cuban artist Kuban is really an international star singing in different languages and working with various record labels in the USA. Her latest song is in all Italian, Luna In Acquario, offers a proposition. On where if one wants to get to know her and get involved, she’s going to need help escaping this prison, or aquarium, that she’s in right now. I think the time she spent in Atlanta really helped influence this track that she’s on now. The production and how upbeat it is correlates to her not running out of hope to get out of the rut of bad relationships. She’s ready to live her best life with someone, the right one.
Tash Sultana – Sweet & Dandy
You will have to get over the fact that you’ll see Tash on here over and over and over again. This Australian singer here in a generational talent and proves it again in Sweet & Dandy. I may have stumbled upon some video of festivals she’s done in years prior and the amount of instruments she plays and live production she can do among thousands, tens of thousands of fans takes so much hard work and talent.
I think every single she has put out for the upcoming album Terra Firma has made its way on the final list either as the Cover Art or as a shout out. The guitars and strings, the way this track feels like a lullaby in how dreamy Tash’s voice is, the softness and grit Tash can make the voice on sudden changes. Just an amazing talent. Again, musical arrangement, production, singing is all done alone. Just another masterclass of a song and production. It’s unique to Tash and that is what make this and all of the previous songs so special. Also if you didn’t know, Tash identifies as nonbinary and you get a glimpse of that in the lyrics.
And I don’t have to define by the sexes, oh
And I don’t have to get down with none of that bullshit
XY’s, and exes, no
But you’re crossing your T’s and you’re dottin’ your I’s
I’m staring right in those deep blue eyes
You always had a moment for me when I needed to run and hideTash Sultana – Sweet & Dandy
Did I mention that Tash can write songs too. Generational talent.
Danitsa – Let Go
The beginning and ending of the music video for Let Go are like night and day. French singer Danitsa came in and out that 3 minute situation having her whole life changed. Well that is going to happen when you end up walking behind two people and the next second, you wind up on a stage with people dancing all around you and you have a “What in the hell is going on?” expression on your face.
I am really feeling the theme behind the track, to be confidence in yourself and just let go. “I’m going to fight for confidence never give up until I win.” That’s the right mentality and might I add, having some Brazilian trap as the cornerstone for the production is perfect. If you need to get amped, this is the stuff you need to be playing at loud volumes. I also noticed in the video that there was a scene where Danitsa ends up walking through a group of mannequins with the secondary theme playing throughout “I don’t want to be like them.” I think the connection might be Danitsa not wanting to be fake.
We are almost at the end of a week and we are excited because this week is represented by new beginnings for the blog. We’ve switched over to a new platform where I have more ownership of what I can present to you all. So thanks for sticking with us. This week, we have another single from Irish singer Cosha with Shygirl in Lapdance from Asia. Two Mexican artists from Alzada Music, guitarist Jose Macario and Yoss Bones comes together in No Hay Solucion. And S. Korean artists Bumkey featuring NONE collab in a heartfelt song called Letter to Heaven. Take a listen to them and the rest of the nominees this week.