Galaxy Express, Apollo 18, Goonamguayeoridingstella (Goonam), Gate Flowers: four groups at the forefront of the blooming Korean rock scene. They visit the UK, home of rock music which gave birth to so many icons – from the Beatles to David Bowie, Led Zeppelin to Dire Straits, Oasis to the Libertines, the Sex Pistols, the Clash, the Smiths and so many more. One can wonder what Korea’s got to offer to a genre past its prime, though still very much alive and kicking. The Korea Rocks Tour, sponsored by Hyundai Music Card, gave it a firm answer this Wednesday night in the So-British city of Tunbridge Wells: ebullient, skillful, inventive, raw, loud, energetic, saturnine, jaw-dropping. The Korea Rocks tour brings rock music back to its roots; “the only thing that matters is music“, I found each and every group vitally claiming at some point in their respective interviews.
The line-up is very strong and also very eclectic. Each group plays a different kind of rock with undeniable common points: enthusiasm and quality. Gate Flowers stuns by the richness of their sound and the depth of their skills that sends you back in the days where virtuosos were revered; Goonam combines dance traditions with psychedelic rhythms and electric fun that puts a dreamlike smile on your face; Apollo 18 stands as loud stumping rock that leaves your ears ringing and your head shaking with amazement; Galaxy Express hits the stage with stunning looks, rock star charisma and explosive talent that leaves you to believe you might have just witnessed history in the making.
It doesn’t matter who they are and where they come from. These are down to earth musicians, living the dream, being exactly where they want to be, playing the music they want to play. Sitting down for over two hours of interviews with each group, I could measure the bands’ common passion about their own music and the other acts on the tour, their heart-warming affability, and their eagerness to kick off this tour in such fashion. It didn’t matter that there were more staff than local spectators within the audience tonight. Each group played hard and endearingly, and special mention is due to a transcended Goonam who were seen jumping off the stage to perform a full song within the audience on a couple of occasions.
The Korea Rocks Tour will hit the UK scenes on six more occasions:
April 26: Wrexham, Wales at The Bank (Focus Wales)
April 27: Wrexham, Wales at Yales Café Bar (Focus Wales)
April 28: London, England at Barfly
May 1: Manchester, England at Night & Day Café
May 3: Liverpool, England at Studio 2 (Liverpool Sound City)
May 4: Liverpool, England at Kazimier Gardens (Liverpool Sound City)
Remember, the shows are for free except for the festivals joined in Liverpool and Wrexham. hellokpop had the pleasure of conducting a personal, in-depth interview with each group that will be published throughout the tour, so stay tuned to hellokpop for more Korean rock and attend the free shows if you’re nearby. Korea rocks – it’s not just a gimmick, it’s true!
Meanwhile here’s a little present for our followers and fellow rock fans, an exclusive cover of the Rolling Stones‘ Paint It Black by Gate Flowers. Enjoy!
Check out our gallery bellow for more shots from the show!
hellokpop would like to thank Gate Flowers, Galaxy Express, Goonam, Apollo 18, Shawn Despres (tour manager) and Hyundai Music Card for inviting us to the Korea Rocks Tour and we wish them the best of luck in making this promotional tour a success!
You can read the following related stories from the Korea Rocks Tour at Tunbridge Wells:
- Interview with Galaxy Express
- Interview with Goonam
- Interview with Apollo 18
- Interview with Gate Flowers
Source: Coverage provided by Marty M.
PR/Technical Assistance provided by email@example.com
Team H, which consists of Jang Geun Suk and Big Brother, will make its comeback at the end of the month with a new album entitled I Just Wanna Have Fun. On February 15, the duo unveiled a music video teaser for its upcoming track Feel The Beat.
The video begins by displaying a messy house party with people dancing and jumping. Jang is seen descending from the stairs and begins to greet the house guests with high fives and back slaps. The video then shows various clips of Jang dancing, playing beer pong, and wearing light up jackets with Big Brother.
I Just Wanna Have Fun will be released on February 27. In the meantime, check out the music music teaser for Feel That Beat below.
As K-pop continues to stretch ever forward into the world’s music market, the genre has been blessed with contributions from major movers and shakers from the US market on numerous occasions. From JYJ‘s early collaboration with Kanye West and the Wonder Girls release of Like Money featuring Akon, to the anticipated collaborations between PSY and Scooter Braun and 2NE1‘s work with will.I.AM, more and more international music producers and artists are getting bit by the K-pop bug.
Recently we sat down with producer and songwriter Bruce “Automatic” Vanderveer who made his K-pop debut with his collaboration with JYJ’s soulful vocalist Kim Junsu on the English single Uncommitted that was released in August 2012. We set out to not only get to know Mr. Vanderveer better, but grab some insights on how his collaboration with Junsu came to be – what was is like meeting and working with him, and how the fan’s reaction to the collaboration has changed his view on not only K-pop and its scores of fans but also the limitless talent and global potential of JYJ and its members.
Automatic, as he is called by his friends and family, was born in Brooklyn, New York and currently works as producer and song writer for Sony Music. He has worked with great artists like Pink, The Pussy Cat Dolls, and Snoop Dog along with iconic artists like Cher, James Brown and Michael Jackson over his twenty year career. Although well known in the music scene in the states, little is known about him globally. As we sat down with him, we started off with getting a little back story on how he originally got into the business and he regaled us with the story of how he got his nickname.
How did you get the nickname “Automatic”?
Automatic (laughing) : ”I can start out by telling you my story about playing guitar. I beat up a kid in Brooklyn, NY because he didn’t want to let me play his guitar. So, I kicked his (butt) very quickly and then grabbed the guitar and tried to play it as fast as I could because I knew his parents were going to come out and get me arrested or something. But, I quickly wrote a song in fifteen minutes and my mom came out and instead of her, you know trippin’ because I beat the kid up, she was just like “How did you do that so quickly?”. She’s the one who gave me the nickname “Automatic”. She was like “You automatically played that.” So she got on the phone and started telling her friends “My son automatically played the guitar.” “Little Automatic” and I [began] to use that as a dancing name.
Could you tell us a little about how you got into the music business?
Automatic: “I started a band in New York and we played everywhere, the Cat Club, and the Palladium, and we had an incredible following. I auditioned for a lot of record companies and finally Morgan Creek Polygram Records signed me. That’s how I got into the industry.”
After Mr. Vanderveer gave us a glimpse into his history in the music business, we turned to the subject of his collaboration with Kim Junsu and discussed how the collaboration came to be, the story behind the track itself, his first impressions of Junsu, and what it was like working in the studio with him.
While you have been in the music business for quite some time, your notoriety in the K-pop world didn’t make its debut till the release of “Uncommitted”. Could you tell a little about how that collaboration came to be? Who contacted you initially?
Automatic: “The craziest thing about this whole thing was that I didn’t even know who Junsu or JYJ was. I didn’t know what Kpop was until August. My daughter would constantly tell me about groups that she listened to from Korea and Japan (for the last couple of years). She would say “Daddy I just heard this great Korean group.” It was wild.”
Automatic: “The executive from CJeS, Niddy (Tyrone “Niddy” Buckner), called me and he asked me if I was “Automatic” from Sony Music, because I had a hit record a few years ago with Bettina Bush from American Idol. He said “I’m working for a group called JYJ. Do you have any songs to submit?” I was like “What kind of music do they do?” and he said “Oh, well they are from Korea but they do Pop and R&B. So, if you have any male oriented songs, we’re really interested in what you have.” So I submitted some stuff. Uncommitted was a song I wrote four years ago, so I wasn’t even going to submit that song, but at the last minute I just threw it in there anyway.”
Automatic: “I got a phone call a couple weeks later from Niddy saying that CJeS loved the song and that Junsu wanted to do it. At that point my daughter freaked out and said “Junsu! Junsu! Daddy do you know who that is?” I was just like “No” and she ran me through all of his stuff. She sat me down and gave me a JYJ and Junsu lesson. I was just blown away because these guys were not only awesome but they work so hard to perfect their craft. It was something you didn’t see that much anymore in America.”
Is there any story behind “Uncommitted”? Is it based on an event in your life?
Automatic: “It wasn’t from my life, but, a friend’s. He was a serious player. I would always tell him he needed to stop that lifestyle because everyone knew he had this reputation. It was going to be hard when he got serious. But he kept saying “I’m never going to get serious.” until he literally found a woman that was just perfect. She was just awesome. He said “This is the woman I want to settle down with.” And I was so happy for him. So he told her how he felt and she stopped him mid sentence. She said “I know you’re not going to ask me to go steady or get married.” He was stunned as she told him “You’re good for these kinds of dates but I know all about your reputation. I know who you are. I’m not going to be bringing you home to meet my parents. He was so brokenhearted.”
What was your initial impression when you met Kim Junsu for the very first time?
Automatic: “I was expecting him to be a lot more reserved but the greatest thing was that when we met it was instantly like were two old friends. He cracked a joke and then I cracked a joke. It was like we (already) knew each other. It was just not what I thought it was going to be like. I thought he was going to be reserved, quiet, and shy, and he was not at all. Junsu was hilarious, funny, vibrant, and just ready to work. We had a ball. We were laughing together like two old fools. It was crazy.”
Are there any interesting stories that you would care to share about your experiences while working with Kim Junsu in the studio?
Automatic: “We hit it off so well. When Ebony Cunningham (the VP of InRage Entertainment and my fiance) was vocally guiding Junsu on the second verse and the bridge sections of the song, he got it really well. He went into the booth and every time he did it so beautifully that I got excited and said to him “Man you sound black. You’re just a brother.” to which he replied “I’m not black, I’m yellow.” and it was hilarious. Everybody in the studio started cracking up. He was so funny. This was one of the best sessions I ever had.”
After experiencing Kim Junsu’s vocals in person, what did you think?
Automatic: “My daughter had already ran me through JYJ’s repertoire. I just didn’t know that he was so soulful. One of the things I realized is that with a lot of his songs, he records really well but you still have not heard the best of Junsu yet. That boy can blow. Every time I sang a note he would sing that note and out-sing it. He would sing it better. He’s got so much soul. I don’t know where it comes from but I’m just blown away by it. He has talents and the gifts that people haven’t even heard yet. He has got the skills and I want to capture that onto records, on tracks. He reminds me of Michael Jackson. He’s the Michael Jackson of Asia to me.”
We then started to discuss a key point that InRage Entertainment and Automatic are great proponents of when it comes to the music industry – artist freedom. While it’s highly accepted by JYJ fans worldwide that their entertainment company CJeS has been very adamant about allowing JYJ all the artist freedom they desire, Automatic gave us an even deeper glimpse into the truth behind that understanding.
Automatic: “They have artist freedom and that’s what I love about CJeS. They are giving them the chance to explore other genres and languages. CJeS is just great for supporting JYJ artistically. When we were in the studio the CEO of CJeS was there. He was there for the entire session. How many CEO are there for their artists like that? You don’t see CEO’s and Presidents do that. It’s a rare thing. To see the CEO actually there making sure that Junsu had everything he needed, making sure that he was comfortable. It was amazing.”
After the entire experience, how did you feel about the time spend working with him? Did you know that the song was going to be a hit or were you a little apprehensive?
Automatic: “The greatest part about the whole session was that it was so fast. Junsu was dope. We did it quickly. We even took a break. He free style, we played guitar, he sang, and I played some other songs. Then he went back in and polished off the rest of the song. We did it in a couple of hours and usually my sessions last a day or two. Junsu is awesome – a complete professional.
I knew it was going to be a hit. I knew it when we were in the studio and he was singing the song. We were so excited, jumping for joy and clapping. We just knew it.”
We concluded our interview with a discussion on how the whole experience has not only affected his outlook on K-pop and JYJ but also how the treatment h’es received from the groups fans has affected him personally. It was quite heartwarming to hear an artist from the US, not normally associated with the K-pop industry, talk so appreciatively and respectfully about how passionate and loving Kpop fans truly are.
As most people are well aware, K-pop fans are one of the most passionate group of fans in the world. When the news was released that you collaborated on this track, the eyes of the fan base was quickly fixed on you. How does it feel to be receiving so much fan love?
Automatic: “It’s the greatest reward, really. The fans are so loving and caring. Fans hit me up and ask me things like “Are you eating?”, “How are you doing?”, and “How’s your daughter.” That’s so bizarre to me. Fans in America don’t have that kind of appreciation.They are so caring that I’m hoping that we in America can learn a lot from how these fans treat the people they respect. The fan love is incredible. They are so dedicated to making sure that JYJ progresses and their YouTube views are up. It’s such a caring movement. I love it.
I’m so glad that I got a chance to do this, and witness the kind of love that they show. I’m so happy, and so appreciative, of all the fans that I get to talk to. I enjoy talking to the fans. They (JYJ) have the greatest fans in the world. JYJ are so lucky to have fans like that. I wish a lot of artist in America had that kind of fandom. I’m hoping we can learn from these fan groups and eventually adopt some of that love and respect. It’s so rare and it’s beautiful. “
Do you have anything you would like to say to our readers before we let you go?
Automatic: “I want to thank the fans from all around the world and let them know that their love has empowered me to be a better producer and writer. I believe that we are not only fans but friends. I call a lot of my friends “InRagers” because we stand for music equality; we stand for racial equality, and artistic freedom. These are all the things that JYJ has had to overcome. All these boundaries that have been put in their way, they have overcome them. That is what my company is all about. So,all the fans out there are InRagers to me. “
Mr. Vanderveer is currently working on numerous projects in and out of the Kpop world. His band, Asphalt Messiah, recently released a new track called Lets Get Dirty 2Nite which is currently available on ITUNES and Amazon. The rock anthem melds heavy guitar and driving beat with lyrics that incorporate web terminology to get your heart racing and your feet moving. While Mr. Vanderveer was unable to give us any specifics on his upcoming projects from the K-pop side of his endeavors he made it quite clear to fully expect some amazing things in that area, real soon.
We at hellokpop would like to thank Bruce “Automatic” Vanderveer for spending time with us and allowing us to give our readers a deeper look into Kim Junsu’s personality and his work ethic along with sharing with us humorous stories about his experiences working with him. We are looking forward to everything he has in store for the all the K-pop fans and wish him all the best in his endeavors.
Sources: Video: CJESJYJ, Photos: (Main) JYJ Official, Bruce Vanderveer.
The 27th Golden Disk Awards opened with day one emcees CNBlue‘s Yonghwa, performing a cover of Payphone by Maroon 5 and Nicole from KARA showing off her infectious dance to R&B’s Ne-Yo‘s Sexy Love.
INFINITE then took centre stage to perform Chaser and Be Mine with their energetic and powerful dance moves. For the song Paradise, the idol group took off their sparkly silver jackets and capitivated the crowd with their black outfits.
The four day monstrous event started with recognition in successful artists who achieved greatest physical sales in 2012. Awards were presented in between performances as the idols expressed their gratitude for achieving the prestigious award.
Rising solo star Juniel performed her mesmerising mellow song Bad Man before sharing the stage with CNBLUE’s Jong Hyeon for Illa Illa and My Love. Both artists played the guitar so well, I hoped that they would collaborate on a track.
And then the fans screamed. Troublemaker Hyuna and Hyun Seung of BEAST lifted the temperature of the venue with their steamy song before rookies BTOB performed a number of their songs (Secret, Wow and Candle).
KARA’s performance was met with a technical glitch when the lights blacked out. Fans lead a chant for the idol group while Yonghwa distracted fans from the glitch with multiple crowd waves. After the glitch was attended, KARA returned to the stage to perform Pandora, Jumping and Step. 4minute performed Volume Up, Mirror Mirror and Hot Issue.
Pop rock idols FT Island changed the pace a little with their new songs from their 4th album. The band performed Life, Severely and I Wish. Following their senior’s performance, CNBLUE performed Hey You, First Step and their smash hit I’m a Loner.
BEAST performed Special, Beautiful Night and Fiction while B1A4 performed Good Night, Tried to Walk and Sechskies. Screams, cheers and then more screams,was all you could hear from fans screaming at the top of their lungs.
Dubbed as rookies of the year, EXO performed their powerful and charismatic debut song MAMA, History and Hot. The GDA winners of album of the year, Super Junior performed Bonamana, From You, Oppa Oppa before performing the lead song from their winning album, Sexy Free & Single. SHINee performed Lucifer, Stranger and Sherlock.
List of Winners for Day 1 Samsung Galaxy The 27th GDA in Kuala Lumpur
Album of the Year / Disk Daesang
Super Junior (Sexy, Free & Single)
Golden Disk Award Album Division / Disk Bonsang
INFINITE (Infinitize) / B1A4 (The B1A4) / FT Island (Grown-up) / CNBLUE (3rd Mini Album Ear Fun) / 4Minute (Volume Up) / BEAST (Midnight Sun) / KARA (Pandora) / Super Junior (Sexy, Free & Single) / SHINee (Sherlock)
New Rising K-POP Star / Rookie Award
EXO / Juniel
Best Dance Performance Award
Hyuna & Hyun Seung (Trouble Maker)
Best Group Performance Award
Next Generation Star Award
MSN Southeast Asia Award
Malaysia’s Most Favorite Star Award
CNBLUE / KARA
JTBC Best Artist Award
Golden Disk Producer Award
Han Sung Ho (FNC Entertainment)
**Not in particular order
Congratulation to all the winners for Day 1 of Golden Disk Awards!
About the Golden Disk Awards
Dubbed as “The Korean Grammy Awards”, GDA was founded in 1986 and it is South Korea’s most prestigious K-POP music awards show and is presented annually for outstanding achievement in the music industry. Award categories are based on the most popular K-POP music from the past year based on the digital downloads industry whilst bolstering the creativity of pop music and finding talented artists.
Candidates of the Golden Disk Awards 2013
Artistes who released their albums after December 2011, as well as albums and songs that are released or sold between January 2012 and December 2012 will be qualified for the awards. The awards are given based on the total combined sales volume of the albums, songs and judges’ votes.
Don’t forget to check our coverage of the Red Carpet & Short Interview for Day 1.
Stay tuned for our continued coverage for Day 2!
Special thanks to the organizers Joongang Culture Media, Mediartncomm Co. Ltd, RougePR known as Rouge Creative Boutique (M) Sdn Bhd.
Event covered & Photos credits : kenny@hellokpop
A TV talk show host from America’s cable network, Fox News has outraged the internet after making ‘racist’ remarks as he mocks South Korean pop star PSY.
Bill O’Reilly and Keith Ablow of Fox News’ The O’Reilly Factor have angered thousands of the viewers after they referred PSY as the “fat guy from Pyongyang or something” and said it was “fine to waste time watching the music video.”
“Back to Book today, South Korean star who calls himself PSYYYYYYYY…”, O’Reilly exaggerated as he introduced the segment on Tuesday night.
The host then continued to talk about PSY’s recent achievement of surpassing Justin Bieber with over 800 million views as the most viewed video on YouTube.
“That’s a record. So, you’d think there would be something special about it, right?” O’Reilly said before smirking at the camera as the segment transitioned to PSY’s Gangnam Style music video.
“Remember the pony? He’s just doing the pony… jumpin’ up and down and 800 million views it is, what’s going on?” He asked psychiatrist Keith Ablow, who was a guest on the show.
While psychiatrist Keith Ablow said he would not dismiss it as “having no meaning” and “just a good beat”, he then contradictory said that PSY was tapping into a market of “people who didn’t want any meaning, right now.”
“The most popular music is apparently… without intelligible words to some extent. It simply conveys you to a distant place, beat wise, doesn’t try to convince you of anything, it doesn’t to try to raise your emotions, it’s just like a drug.” Ablow said.
Ablow then continued to agree with talk show host O’Reilly who said that the song had “no meaning”.
“The meaning is that it has no meaning.” Ablow said.
O’Reilly then further made comparison of PSY and the song, which is a sharp social commentary of the social class in South Korea’s rich Gangnam area to legendary Rock and Roll singer, Elvis Presley.
“Wait, wait, wait, Elvis Presley could sing, he had a good voice. His songs had words… he put on a show,” the talk show host interrupted before singing one of Presley’s songs.
Pointing his finger, “This is a little fat guy from Pyongyang or something,” O’Reilly said, referring to the communist capital of North Korea.
“He’s jumping up and down… so there’s no comparison to PSY (and Elvis Presley).” He continued.
The talk show host said he understood Elvis Presley, The Rolling Stones, The Beatles and even Justin Bieber’s popularity but expressed his confusion over PSY’s popularity.
After the segment was aired, the video was uploaded onto YouTube and has already received over a thousand “dislikes” while only twenty users have “liked” the video since it was uploaded 14 hours ago.
One YouTube user who saw the video said he was not a fan of Gangnam Style but disapproved of the TV host’s remarks. “Why is he on TV? He’s so racist and insulting! Just because its not in English or you don’t understand it doesn’t mean it has no words or meanings.”
Another viewer said it was “embarrassing” that the segment went to air. “Words that are unintelligible? It’s in Korean… Why doesn’t the Psychiatrist/M.D know that there are MANY different languages than English…?”
PSY has sold over two million units of Gangnam Style in America where his song peaked at number two on the Billboard Hot 100 songs. The song has charted number one in over thirty countries and the music video continues to grow in numbers where currently it has over 841 million views on YouTube.
What do you think of these remarks? Do you think they are racist? Should Fox News issue an official apology? Let us know in the comments below.
O’Reilly remarks on PSY: