The Ningin Round Table is a feature in which we pose an Asian entertainment news-related question to Ningin writers and they give us their colorful opinions and thoughts on the matter. Recently the Kids React to KPOP caused quite a stir, especially over the choice of MVs shown to the kids. We asked our writers, “If you could introduce your non-KPOP listening friends to KPOP, what three MVs would you show them?” Here’s what some of them had to say:
Ana Pastrana: “The Kids React to KPOP” video that has brought many Kpop fans into a frenzy lately is a quick and effective reminder to Kpop fans that despite the growth in popularity of the Kpop world, not many people know about it and such reactions are to be expected. Well, at least expected from kids. If I could introduce my non-Kpop listening friends to KPOP, the three MVs I would choose would be DBSK’s “MIROTIC,” BEAST’s “Fiction,” and Epik High’s “Run.” DBSK is my favorite band so ofcourse I would show my friends one of their music videos first, haha! I choose “MIROTIC” because it has that sexy guy appeal that can be appreciated by both girls and guys. At the same time I beleive their smooth choreography and powerful vocals would give off an impressive first impression compared to one of their laid back music videos like “Hug.” As for BEAST’s “Fiction,” it is more relaxed on the choregraphy, atleast in the penguin dance part. However, this would be my second choice because of the unique depiction of a guy preserving his gone love in a fiction. Last but not least I would choose Epik High’s “Run.” Besides the catchiness of the song the music video show many scenes that are relatable in how we might want to run away from every day life. Despite those obstacles, this video shows that your’re not alone with that struggle, so in that note, the lyrics are very meaningful and inspirational so they are something I’d want to share with my non-Kpop friends.
Felicia Phan: The three videos I would present to my comrades would be: “Gee” by SNSD, “Without You” by 2PM, and “Pray” by Sunny Hill. The videos I selected were targeted towards my three general types of pals: hormonal boys, boy-crazy ladies, and the oh-so critical. I chose “Gee” by the popular girl-group SNSD for the boys because teenage males happen to love seeing cute girls dancing to an upbeat song, as sad as that may sound. It also doesn’t hurt that SNSD’s male audience is quite a big number. The reason for the next video, “Without You”, is very much similar. Girls love eye candy, so the muscles of these beasts are bound to stimulate plenty of gushing from the females. “Pray” is the third video I picked and it’s directed towards my friends whom always criticize media for lacking meaning and importance. This deep video relays several possible messages regarding society, and should please my third type of buddy. Hopefully these three videos would show my friends that the KPOP world isn’t as frightening as it seems!
Lisa Nguyen: Since the majority of my friends are female, I would show them music videos of two male artists and one female artist. I would first show then the music video for Big Bang - Haru Haru. It was one of the first KPOP music videos that I watched and probably the music video that had me researching KPOP. The song isn’t too extreme and it isn’t too boring as well which is good because it won’t scare my audience away. The music video is well directed - great storyline, the acting isn’t bad and overall is not too monotonous to watch. Next I would give my friends some nice eye candy by presenting the music video for BEAST - Shock. The lighting and props in the music video help emphasize the hotness of these six men and their charisma. The chorus of the song features a reasonable amount of English so it would be easy to sing along to and the choreography is pretty easy to follow. Though there is no storyline to the music video, it is not at all tedious to watch. The choreography is intense and the overall directing of the cameras make the music video great to watch. Time to turn it up and show them a different style of KPOP music videos. The third MV I will be showing to my friends is is for Miss A - Breathe. The overall music video is colorful and very appealing to the eye - the choreography and the directing is so quirky but at the same time so entertaining to watch. The track itself is nice to listen and I believe it gives a happy and playful atmosphere.
Megan Schulz: It is always difficult introducing someone to another genre of music, especially foreign groups, because there seems to be this need for people to categorize or compare. That said, I think it is essential to give new-listeners a variety in terms of looks and musical style. On another level, my first instinct would also be to conform to sex appeal (since most of my friends I would corrupt with KPOP are female). It is easiest, I believe, to begin with a solo artist, such as Se7en in “Better Together,” just to keep things simple at first. Not only does Se7en have a great voice and attractive looks, his dancing skills and the upbeat melody provide an area of interest for a wide range of listeners/viewers. I think B2ST’s “Breathe” would be a good second MV, as it introduces the idea of the group in a dynamic way: with an interactive dance and a great range of vocal performances. Also, the shirtless scene is a great eye-opener to the fit bodies that most KPOP artists seem to have. As a final video, DBSK in “Balloons” would break the cycle, so to speak, that all KPOP groups only go for sexy. It shows their silliness and ability to have fun, while appealing to the female love of cute things.
Tamari Kharebava: I have already spread my KPOP knowledge to every single one of my friends. It’s impossible to keep this addiction just to myself, so they already know all my favorites. If I had a friend who didn’t know anything about KPOP I would drag them to the computer and start showing them SHINee’s Lucifer right away. I think that video would appeal to both; a girl friend and a boy friend. There would be a little explanation needed for their good looking faces. The dance is energetic and enticing as well. Most important part of the video is of course the music, which, I’m pretty sure is going to make them start singing “Loverholic, Robotronic, Loverholic, Robotronic’ by the second verse. As soon as the video would be over this ‘clueless friend’ would watch SNSD’s Run Devil Run. If it’s a guy friend I’m pretty sure he is going to stick around until the MV is over just for the girls’ beauty, but soon enough whoever is watching, is going to be mesmerized by the song and the sexy ‘run’. Another video that I would absolutely show my friend to introduce them to KPOP is definitely Super Junior’s No other. That song tends to create a bubble of positiveness and love, whenever one watches it. The boys all look adorable in the video with their smiles and the song is also really sweet. Everything about the MV makes my heart squeeze; the cute acting, dancing and heart shapes everywhere. Anyone looking at them would start falling in love with Super Junior and KPOP itself.
Jessica Clark: As I have already converted one of my friends a few years ago using KPOP MVs I think I would probably use music which is similar to western music such as 2NE1 and F.T Island. When I converted my friend into liking KPOP the first MV’s she saw were DBSK - Mirotic and SHINee Ring Ding Dong and it followed on from there. If I had to convert a boy though I think I would use the power of 4Minute to try and show him the wonders of KPOP. Since 4Minute are not just talented but they are sexy too and the boys might find that attractive, while girls might prefer Super Junior or B2ST. I think using different genres also is important depending on the type of person you are showing, if they like rock music I would show them more of F.T Island and C.N Blue than the pop/dance music. If they prefered hip hop/rap I would show them Big Bang and 2NE1 and maybe Supreme Team as well. I don’t think going for the more crazy MV’s would help trying to convert them though, MV’s such as Mr Simple wouldn’t convert my friends at all, while they have happily sat and watched F.T Island like a birds MV with me. I think the three main MV’s I would show them would be 4Minute Mirror Mirror, because it’s a good song and the music video was so good and the quality of the song and dancing blew me away. The next MV would be F.T Island Like the Birds MV, because it’s my favorite band and a lot of my friends play guitar so they might be attracted to the fact they play instruments. The last MV I would show them would probably be between a SNSD MV and a B2ST MV. Since they are both popular yet they might find songs such as Gee annoying. I would probably choose a B2ST music video since they always have a good story behind it.
And now you all have the floor - do you agree or disagree with the round table?
Which 3 MVs would you show your non-KPOP listening friends?