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Kpop Music Monday: The Akdong Musician Special!

May 6, 2014


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This week we’re talking about Akdong Musician, and we’re really excited to talk about them because they’re totally a breath of fresh air. Check out their video for 200% if you haven’t seen it yet:

Now, for this week’s Kpop Music Monday we didn’t focus on one of their videos in particular. We thought it’d be best to talk about all three, in a way, but with more focus on AKMU as a band rather than just on their individual videos. Though, yes, talking about their videos individually would have been fun, I think talking about what AKMU bring to the table is more interesting for us.

For starters, they’re 18 and 15 years old. Question: what the hell were you doing with your life at that age? Huh?!? Ok, that’s not a fair question; I’m just saying that to emphasize how impressed I am by AKMU, for not only being musicians at that age, but also because they produced the entire album themselves. Holy snap!

Now, I usually wouldn’t be that impressed by someone making their own music. When it comes to the non-Kpop music I like, most of it is all made by the artists themselves, but I don’t hold Kpop to those standards. As many of us know, a Kpop song’s genesis more often than not resembles an assembly line with many different workers, rather than the brain-seed of an artist or group.

A lot about AKMU, for me, flies in the face of Kpop’s overproduced machinery. Two kids, brother and sister, just get together and sing songs beautifully. They know each other because they grew up together, not because they were grouped together with other random coworkers at their company. They’re not trained to dance. They’re not given songs to sing from Scandinavian writers. They’re so…they’re so much more…real. Can I use that word? They’re so much more real than what we’re used to in Kpop. There’s so much more spirit and soul in them in the traditional sense that the two of us are used to. Maybe we’re just old fashioned, but I like my music having some kinda authenticity to it. I willfully close my eyes to it in Kpop, and most of the time just say “ok, whatever: it’s just fun!” but when I see something like Busker Busker or Akdong Musician come along, and see how greatly successful they are, I get really excited, and hope that others follow suit.

And I know there will be rebuttals from other people. It’s Pop music. It’s not meant to be taken seriously. Stop holding it to standards of artistry. It’s bubble gum, yada yada. I hear you. I don’t want to be confused, though, for disliking Kpop for being so ultra-manufactured. It doesn’t get in the way of me liking it. But, I will say, when I see a musician that’s more organic, that doesn’t just fill the role given to them like dutiful workers, I’ll like them more than I normally would.

If you disagree with me, I’d love to hear your thoughts on the matter. How do you feel about AKMU? Does their backstory matter to you? Does it impact the way you perceive their music? Or are you just not as impressed because their music doesn’t do it for you? I see that they’re being voted rather highly on our KpopCharts, so we’re assuming that you like them as much as we do, no?

Let us know, also, what you think of them compared to Lee Hi:

[gravityform id=”35″ name=”KMM 17 – Best New YG Talent?” title=”false” description=”false” ajax=”true”]

Also, sorry if this Music Monday was a bit short. We’ve both got a cold at the moment, and our energy levels are just byyuuuuuuuuuuu powering down. You might see some of that if you check out this week’s bloopers, with the coughing and the sneezing. Check em out here!

And don’t forget to click on this pretty button below, which prevents you from getting colds. Did you know? It prevents you from getting colds. Quite important to click, I’d say:



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Kpop Music Mondays


Kpop Music Monday: The Akdong Musician Special!


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  1. I’m 8 months late, but I’m hoping someone can tell me who was behind the music video? The EYK Awards revealing ZanyBros being the masterminds behind the works of majority of the MVs I see makes me really curious as to who was behind the making of AKMU’s MVs. I especially love the Play In Jeju video. As someone who takes great interest in film making, I’m practically dying to know!

    6 years ago
  2. Does anyone else think that the girl in 200% and give love that plays the guy’s girlfriend, looks a lot like soo zee? Or is it just me…

    6 years ago
  3. I guess it’s because I’ve been part of the kpop world for so long, but I no longer feel attracted to self-composition nor do I turn away from “manufactured content. If it sounds good then it sounds good. However, I have to agree with you that kpop nowdays actually sounds like a formula. There isn’t much originality, or special charisma that one group has over the other. And that’s why I love AKMU, Lim Kim, Busker Busker, Urban Zakapa. They feel fresh (and their songs are good).

    However, I’m noticing that it’s often only title songs that are like this! Take EXO’s Overdose for example. The title track is kinda mmeh (good but really formulaic) but the other album tracks have an amazing r&b feel and have that breath of fresh air!

    6 years ago