Tuesday, July 10, 2012

JYJ: My First KPOP Concert

I would not say I'm the obsessed KPOP fan but I have a liking for it.
Before I knew JYJ existed, I never really listened to KPOP (Korean Pop) .The only music I listened to was Cpop (Chinese pop) such as Jay Chou, Jolin Tsai, Leehom Wang, etc.. I was first exposed to JYJ when a few friends had posted on their Facebook about their excitement over JYJ’s concert. During June 2011, JYJ came to perform at the college I’m currently attending, San Jose State University. I was curious who this band was to have made so many fan girls excited so like always, I did a research on them and found out they are a really famous kpop group based in South Korea. JYJ was formed by 3 members named Kim Jaejoong, Kim Junsu, and Park Yoochun who were originally former members of the 5-member group, Dong Bang Shink Ki (DBSK). They had left their original group in 2010 due to personal conflict with their company and so DBSK is now left with only 2 members. The first song I heard from JYJ was “Empty”, a song from their first English-language album called “The Beginning”. When I first heard the song, I thought they were singing in Korean because of their strong Korean accent. However, after listening to it a few more times, I realized that they were singing in English. My personal favorite from their English album would be "Be My Girl". They had also collaborated with Kanye West for one of their English songs, “Ayy Girl”. Many people thought the song was badly done but I thought it was pretty catchy and interesting. Here is the MV of "Ayy Girl":

After doing further research, I also found out they sang in 3 different languages: korean, japanese, and english. They had also sang in Japanese when they were still with DBSK. On Youtube, when I searched for DBSK’s music videos, the first one I stumbled upon was their most popular Japanese single, “Why Did I Fall In Love With You?”. At first listen, I was completely sold. This song was very beautiful that I couldn‘t stop listening to it:

After sampling their songs, I decided to attend their concert since many people said it’s an event not to be missed out. Also, it’s the first time a KPOP artist is coming to my school so why not go? Even though I wasn’t officially a fan girl at that time yet, I still had the desire to attend their concert. I bought the cheapest tickets but on the day of the concert, I was allowed to move up to closer seats because more than 1/2 of the seats were empty. I find it very interesting to see that more than 80% of the audience who attended the concert were non-Koreans. That was when I realized that kpop was quite successful in attracting fans of different nationalities. I also find it interesting that many people listen to KPOP even though they don’t understand the Korean language. I have been to 3 Chinese concerts but barely saw Non-Asians such as Hispanics & White.

On the day of the Concert, when I finally saw the 3 members of JYJ, I got quite excited although I wasn’t officially a fan yet. All 3 members were very handsome and had unique voices that I was completely blown away by their performance. The pretty boy of the group, Kim Jaejoong has an angel-like voice that is neither high or low. The maknae (youngest) of the group, Kim Junsu has a voice that is very soft and of the highest tone. Park Yoochun, who is the rapper of the group, has the lowest voice.

The song that captivated me the most was “In Heaven” which was the last song they performed at the concert. The melody was very touching and melancholic that tears were brought to my eyes when I heard it for the first time. This song was composed by Kim Jaejoong in dedication of his good friend Park Yong Ha, a Korean actor who had passed away last year. However, this song wasn’t officially released at that time; it was released in their 1st full length Korean album called “In Heaven”.

Here's the FULL 10 min. version of "In Heaven" MV. Even if I don't understand the song, it still sounds beautiful to the ears.

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