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The Root of K-Pop What influenced todays biggest acts Get the look Yo u r G u i d e t o l o o k i n g l i k e a K - p o p i d o l Trainee life How idols get their start

Behind the scenes of BTS: A day in their lives

Departments Departments

My Composition 5 Editor-in-Chief Maya DeNofio introduces you to your journey that you are about to embark on in this issues editors letter. The root of K-pop Travel a time line from the begining of K-pop to the worldwide phonomena it is today


Get the look 14 Follow this fashion guide on how to dress like the male idols in K-pop. Talking with twice 19 A Q&A with one of K-pop’s biggest girl groups about their global success and what the futures holds for them. Trainee life 21 Go into the music companys and see into the lives of the trainees hoping to deput in the K-pop world. Learn the lingo 30 Read over some of the terms used in the language ot K-pop to describe idols, how they act, and types of fans. industry 40 Take a look at eh big companies who manage the thousands of K-pop idols and how they built their success Light up the Night 72 Learn about one of the key elements of any successfull artist, their fans, and the weapons of war the lightstick. TAking over the world 7s We introduce you to the music world of K-pop and how this international revolution got its start Remebering 98 Join us as we relive some of our favorite memories of a beautiful K-pop star whose light was extiguished too soon.


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Art Director Vicki Meloney editor and Chief Maya DeNofio Production Manager Dominque DeNofio Photography Director Samantha Ceballo Photographers Dominque DeNofio Rochelle Reece research Director Jeanine Alessandro Assistant researcer Heather Biegel beauty Director Werner Paulino Production Design Tia Brooks Senior Designer Maya DeNofio Copy editor Elisa DeNofio Market Editor Megan Price Contributors Paul DeNofio LuAnn Caputo Thomas Galambos

My Composition There is nothing that brings me more enjoyment in life than singing and dancing to music. Growing up my parents played my sister and I music from both their time and the new hits that were coming out. Music evokes feelings form sadness and anger, to happiness and love. Can you imagine how quiet our world would be if we didn’t have music to liven up our lives?

In this issue of ˈmelədē, we are traveling to the other side of the world where when we are just falling asleep they are waking up and starting their days. Korean is a small country nestled in between the countries of China and Japan. There we are going to explore K-pop and culture within the Korean culture. In recent years K-pop has become a worldwide phenomenon that has transcended countries and generations. We hope you enjoy this issue of ˈmelədē and broaden your music library with a new genre to bring some joy into your lives.

“Music is a universal language”


Maya DeNofio Editor-and-Chief

Music is a universal language that can help us connect with people from all backgrounds Everyone in the world weather from big countries and cities to small island and tribes have some form of music that brings joy, tradition, and culture to their lives. Just by listening to music from around the world we can begin to understand and relate to the people of that country even if we can’t speak to one another.

Cr ed its: Do min

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Taking over the world How K-pop came to be Jeanine Alessandro

ave you ever turned on the radio to hear a song you have never heard before? What happens when a song becomes so popular that it transcends cultural borders? Those two questions can be answered with one concept. K-pop or Korean popular music has become so popular across the globe that it has made its way into the hearts and ears of the American music scene. Once being primarily centralized in South Korean, the music of the country has started to spread

through the nations; making an impression not only on the internet but also on television and radio. But what is K-pop? And how did it become popular enough to garner the attention of American viewers? K-pop, an abbreviation of Korean pop or Korean popular music, is a musical genre consisting of electronic, hip hop, pop, rock, and R&B music originating from South Korea. In addition to music, K-pop has grown into a

“it has made its way into the hearts and ears of the American music scene� popular subculture among teenagers and young adults throughout Asia, resulting in widespread interest in the fashion, style, and beauty secrets of Korean idol groups and singers. Recently through the internet K-pop has been making it’s rounds to the entire world through places like YouTube and Twitter. Fans are also able to keep up with their favorite groups or artist trhough social media such as instagram. Idol groups and singers using this platform have been able to grab the attention of global listeners by the popularity of their music trending online and showing up on other countries feeds. Some have been able to gain so much popularity that they have started tours and conventiosns around the world to many adoring fans.

Illustration by Anita romeo

Get Get the the look look



f you are done with all the same styles and patterns, and think men’s fashion is all about jeans and t-shirts, lemme tell you, you are wrong! There is much more yet to be explored and a tep towards that is learning about K-pop fashion! Korean menswear is at the forefront of fashion with hot-off-the-catwalk looks boasting comfortable fabrics and refined workmanship. With over 100 men’s fashion brands at YesStyle to choose from and more added every season, it’s easy to put together both classic and

on-trend pieces for a versatile wardrobe and lifestyle. Easily mix and match pieces for every mood and personality, ranging from dandy, preppy and smart casual to androgynous, boynext-door, vintage or gothic. Complete the look with key accessories such as scarves, belts, caps and ties to look ulzzang or like your favorite Korean drama or K-pop idol. The Korean style is all about bringing up the fashion game a level up every time. So, have a look at this style guide to How to Dress Like a K-pop Idol Guy!

All balck with pop Black is bae and k pop is all about playing around with the same. Distressed jeans and the color burst on your head, what else do you need?

Sequin shine Who said only ladies out there can rock sequin? You better see some K-pop idol clothes and K-pop inspired outfits for guys available out there. Their jackets and over shirts talk all about the sequins and shine game.

Accsessory love Korean male fashion does involve a lot of accessories & that’s why we love it! From belt chokers to ball and other pattern designed necklaces, you can throw on these pieces and slay your party night. Wear a headband or leave those straight hair fixed with a hairspray to keep the style game leveled up!

Camo love The perfect blend of goth and uber street looks! Rock a camouflage lower with a black go to tee and accessorize with a belt choker to keep it stylish. Photos courtesy of 9ighout

guide to looking like a K-pop idol

the print game They love prints and we can see it already! From some crazy bold abstract prints to beach-ready prints, Korean fashion throws light on many ready-to-party prints.

SHEER LOVE Once again, if you thought sheer is for just women, you are wrong. The perfect sheer with the print over it makes it a fit for party season. Many brands like Zara has already shown sheer love for men in their latest collections.

Pops of color K-pop fashion talks about prints and colors. And, pastels seem to be on the top of their style list. The blue tone of the t-shirt is a perfect fit for the pink cardigan.

gold, black, & stripes This one is my personal fav. The mustard tone of the upper with that checked trousers is sheer love. And, the bliss of the golden and black tonal hues on that long coat is divine. Simply can’t stop looking at it!

“the bliss of the golden and black tonal hues on that long coat is divine”

BTS poses for the camera as the make their way down the red carpet. photo credits: Billboard

he screaming begins just beyond baggage claim, when the first bob of purple-gray hair peeks up over the security wall separating the biggest Korean pop band in the world, in history, from its fans. Amid shrill hysteria, the seven soft-faced men of BTS stride through Los Angeles International Airport flanked by human trains of burly people in yellow “Event Staff” shirts. The boys smile, wave and, with the efficiency of British royals, slip past a few hundred young women and teen girls into black Escalades, their portal to the heart of the American mainstream.

Group leader RM (short for “Rap Monster”), 23 and palpably ambitious, compares the whirlwind trip to being “like surfers on a big wave.” But at 9 a.m. the day after BTS land, the vibe is more like “showing up for work.” We’re at a rehearsal studio when AMA reps arrive to shoot promo photos in the parking lot. Bubbly ham J-Hope, 23, an MC and onetime street-dance champ, walks out with his arms up, shouting, “Hello! AMA! Whoa!” The others trickle out with less ado and take turns getting primped, on the asphalt, by a team of stylists also in from Seoul.

It’s mid-November and BTS have flown here from South Korea, propelled by the fervor of their admirers, a diverse group that calls itself ARMY (short for “Adorable Representative M.C for Youth”). The band is here for a string of high-profile TV appearances: They go from the airport to James Corden; Jimmy Kimmel the next day; then they’ll meet Ellen Degeneres, who’ll compare their U.S. arrival to that of the Beatles in 1964. But BTS are mainly in town to perform their hit song “DNA” at the American Music Awards – a performance that will make them Google’s top trending topic and set a Guinness record for Twitter engagement.

There’s Jimin, 22, the prettiest yet most puckish, a former top modern-dance student who’s currently shaving his chin while a woman holds a mirror. The perpetually wide-eyed singer V, 21, another artschool kid, who made his screen debut in a Korean historical drama last year, gets his purple-gray bob brushed and parted. A man uses a pick to dislodge something from the teeth of Suga, who like RM started his career as an underground rapper. Lead singer Jungkook, 20, a devout Belieber who joined BTS at 15, gets a streak of eyeliner. Meanwhile, singer Jin, 25, an aspiring actor so handsome he was recruited by a boy-band casting agent while walking down the street, shuffles quietly

BTS rocks that crowd during their American tv debut. photo credits: Billboard

through the flurry. Their entourage is massive; I lose count of how many inin the mid-thirties. There are managers, publicists, a choreographer, a masseur, the interpreter, groomers, folks with cameras, unsmiling guards and several drivers who have earpieces. Back home, BTS are pretty much only breaking their own records at this point – for video views, album pre-sales and chart placement – and it’s spilling over to other countries. Their recent EP, Love Yourself: Her, which features a song written with Andrew Taggart of the Chainsmokers, topped iTunes’ album chart in 73 countries, and BTS have become the first Koreanpop group to crack the American mainstream, with a Steve Aoki remix of their “MIC Drop” recently crashing the Top. “We are so lucky that we’re living in this time, in 2017,” says RM, the only one who can carry on a conversation in English. “When we post a tweet, it becomes translated to more than 30 languages.” The group’s lyrics – which are almost entirely Korean but close-captioned on YouTube and translated for sites like Genius – are a big part of its international success. BTS songs tackle issues like depression and anxiety. They promote progressive social ideals like female empowerment and accepting people from different backgrounds. They even address the internal unease of ditching less commercial career paths to become “idols,” as K-pop stars are called.

BTS fans appreciate the band’s empathy, honesty, and independence—themes that are particularly in-demand amongst Western pop audiences these days. Plus, BTS set their message to canny hyper-modern production (frequently done by the members themselves) that devours all manner of EDM- rap- and R&B-leaning pop – think Major Lazer, Justin Bieber, DNCE, Logic, the Chainsmokers, Nick Jonas – and spits out a deeply catchy, slightly askew pastiche. Continue on pg. 80


ours before America was riveted by the eclipse on Monday morning, another star passed into L.A.’s orbit on Sunday night. Or, rather, a whole bunch of stars did; K-pop stars to be exact. photo credit: KCO he

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The South Korean pop-culture festival KCON is the year’s most authoritative gathering of K-Pop luminaries, and the pure shimmering optimism of the festival has made the concert more enjoyable than ever before.

The weekendlong event drew a constellation of otherwise rarely seen acts to Staples Center. Sunday night’s set had a mix of bass-rattling hip-hop from NCT 127, high gloss boyband dance moves from Astro and GOT7, and, in a culture defined by youthful devotion, a cameo from one of K-Pop’s most veteran acclaimed singers, Kim Tae Woo. Obviously, the mood is less than optimistic at the moment on the Korean peninsula. But if anything, K-Pop is the most reliable source for unfettered glee in pop music. It’s a world where

existential threats almost never intrude into the life of happiness. For one night at Staples Center, the K-Pop faithful could block out any bad vibes and revel in devotion. K-Pop, once somewhat of an underground phenomenon in America, has now settled into an established, multicultural fan base in Los Angeles and across the country. KCON is its church, as the scene’s top acts only occasionally embark on their own headlining tours here. When they do, the crowds come out in full force. Saturday’s set was a bit more of a showcase for K-Pop’s ascendant all-female groups Cosmic Girls and Girl’s Day, among them, alongside fixtures such as VIXX and members of Super Junior. On the fest-closing Sunday night, however, the boy bands took over and the mood was riotous. The young singer-rapper Heize had an insouciant stage presence, and her old-school soul singing and ‘90s-era rap vibes connected the hyper-digital K-Pop world to a more analog era, as did the mixedgender group Kard’s soulful, sassy modern take on pop.Wanna One’s upbeat, EDM-inflected tracks meshed with Astro’s cheeky, irresistibly fun productions. One of the best aspects of K-Pop is the fan-first attitude of the groups, and they made time for fun stunts such as mocking up T-shirts onstage and shooting them into the crowd. NCT 127 was a bit more severe and commanding; their squiggly, bass-heavy hip-hop added gravity to a generally fizzy night, and it was a welcome dose of hard knocks. Kim Tae Woo, of the classic boy band g.o.d., was the night’s semi-surprise guest, and the KCON crowd was admirably eager to journey into a throwback into an

older, retro, less digitally saturated era of K-Pop.Got7 rounded out the night with a vibrant, genre-skipping set accompanied by ear-splitting devotionals from the millions in the Staples areana,

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consists of 7 members: JB, Mark, Jackson, Jinyoung (Junior), Youngjae, BamBam and Yugyeom. GOT7 debuted on 16th January 2014, under JYP Entertainment. Fandom name: IGot7 Fan Color: Green & White


consists of 6 members: N, Leo, Ken, Ravi, Hongbin and Hyuk. VIXX debuted on May 24th 2012, under Jellyfish Entertainment. Fandom Name: Starlight Fan Color: navy and gold

consists of 7 members: Shownu, Jooheon, Wonho, Kihyun, Minhyuk, Hyungwon and I.M. They debuted 5/4/15 the members were selected through NO.MERCY. Under Starship Entertainment. Fandom Name: Mon Bebe Fan Colors: Pantone 2221 c (lost), Pantone dark blue c (guilty), and Pantone 2405 c (beautiful)

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similar to lighters people use to wave to the beat

represent the group or

Apink Gfriend

consists of 6 members: Yerin, Yuju, Eunha, SinB, Umji, and Sowon. The band debuted on January 16, 2015, under Source Music Entertainment. Fandom Name: BUDDY Fan Color: White sea

currently consists of 6 members: Park Chorong, Yoon Bomi, Jung Eunji, Son Naeun, Kim Namjoo and Oh Hayoung. APink debuted on April 19, 2011, under Plan A Entertainment (formerly A Cube Entertainment). Fandom Name: Pink Panda Fan Color: Strawberry Pink


debuted in 2009, under YG Entertainment. The band consisted of 4 members: CL, Dara, Park Bom and Minzy. Minzy left the band in April 2016. On November 25, 2016, YG announced that 2NE1 disbanded. Fandom Name: BlackJacks Fan Color: Hot Pink



contains of 6 members: Jun. K (formerly known as Junsu), Nichkhun, Taecyeon, Wooyoung, Junho and Chansung. The former leader, Jay Park, left the band in 2010. 2PM debuted on 4 September 2008, under JYP Entertainment. Fandom Name: Hottest Fan Color: Mettalic Grey

Big Bang

consist of 5 members: G-Dragon, T.O.P, Taeyang, Daesung and Seungri. The band debuted on August 19, 2006, under YG Entertainment. Fandom Name: V.I.P Fan Color: N/A

consists of 5 members: Yoon Doojoon, Yong Junhyung, Yang Yoseob, Lee Gikwang, and Son Dongwoon. Previously known as B2ST under Cube Entertainment. in 2016, they moved to Around Us Entertainment and changed their name to Highlight. Fandom Name: Light Fan Color: Dark Grey

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consists of 9 members. The band debuted on October 20, 2015, through the survival show Sixteen, under JYP Entertainment. Fandom Name: Once Color: Apricot & Neon Magenta


consist of 4 members: Solar, Moonbyul, Wheein and Hwasa. MAMAMOO deuted in 2014, under Rainbow Bridge World (formerly WA Entertainment). Fandom Name: Moomoo Fan color: N/A

Red Velvet

it’s a K-pop band that consists of 5 members: Irene, Wendy, Seulgi, Joy and Yeri. Red Velvet debuted on August 1, 2014, under S.M. Entertainment. Fandom Name: ReVeluv Color: Pink Coral


Our favorite memories of Jong hyun Adele Chan

im Jong Hyun was always the bright and optimistic one in SHINee and the number one supporter for the rest of his band members and fellow artists, both in S.M. and outside. The singer had a pretty successful career as the main vocalist of one of the biggest second generation K-pop groups that really defined the Hallyu wave back in the 2008-2010 era. Fast forward nearly 10 years later, SHINee still hasn’t faded into oblivion and Jong Hyun’s released two solo albums, with concerts planned for the next half a year. In fact, we just saw him barely a month ago when he was here in Singapore. Jong Hyun, or affectionately called Jjong by Shawols, was only

“Kim Jong Hyun was always the bright and optimistic one in SHINee” 27 when he passed on. Jjong is now remembered as part of the 27 Club, which is a club you don’t really want to be a part of because the other members include other high profile celebrities who passed away at 27

due to alcohol and drug abuse or suicide like Kurt Cobain, Jimi Hendrix, Amy Winehouse, and Jim Morrison. It’s hard to tell if it was the fame that ultimately got to him, or that because he was struggling that he could write such relatable songs. As we write this, Jong Hyun’s funeral procession is now over in Korea as his closest friends and family sends him off in a tearful farewell, but we still aren’t ready to continue on with our life. Jong Hyun is not just another member from a manufactured K-pop boyband, but he’s also a prolific writer and record producer (not as common in the K-pop world as you would like to believe), and also has his own radio show. Here’s how we’ll remember the talented songwriter and singer who managed to cheer everyone else with his bling bling happiness, but failed to find his own happiness. You did well.

“Jong Hyun is not just another member from a manufactured K-pop boyband”

Photo Credits: SHINee’s Instagram

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