When South Korea music comes into mind, most people could almost only think of one word; K-POP (Korean Pop). So during my last trip to Seoul, as an aspiring music traveler, I wanted to get a taste of the other kind of music that South Korea has to offer. And I’m not talking about other K-pop groups, but about 100% LEGIT show bands (not that I have anything against the mainstream Korean pop bands). And to me, there’s no better place to find music in Seoul than in Hongdae.
Hongdae is an area around Seoul’s Hongik University. It is a cultural melting pot where you can find various shop finds, art exhibitions as well as a bustling nightlife. So if you’re the party goer type, then Hongdae is for you. What’s even more interesting is that they have these “Club Day” and “Music Day” events going on periodically throughout the year.
Among the places that you can visit in Hongdae is the Hello Kitty Cafe, Coffee Prince Cafe, and the Trickeye and Ice Museum. But the most memorable highlight of this place are the street performances that you can enjoy as you frolick around.
One notable performance that I’ve seen during my visit to Korea last month is from a band by the name of Soundbox (Learn more about them here!). They held a street performance in the Hongik Children’s Park. Among the songs they played was their own spin of Hanson’s hit “Mmmbop”.
There were also street dancers all over the area doing performances as well as other bands playing different genres of music. So if you’re in Seoul and you’re craving some indie music and art, then Hongdae is the place to be.
Recently, one of the Farro brothers, Josh, released their first music video under the band name, “Farro” (guess they ran out of band names.. lol). I wondered what kind of sound it would be knowing the two brothers who left Paramore both did punk rock. Well I was half-expecting that it would somehow be rockish.
But thank goodness it was not as I expected. Farro’s music style is not even close to what Josh Farro had done with Paramore, and to hear him singing in this track is another bonus. I’ve learned that Josh is not particularly fond of singing, but I personally think that he could use this hidden talent a bit more. He has a lot of room for improvement in the vocal department based on his latest single with Farro, but other than that, his singing ability was better than I imagined. Check out their music video below:
What’s even more surprising to me is Zac’s band, HalfNoise. And he’s the VOCALIST. . OMG. They released some videos a couple of months before, but it wasn’t until a while ago that I saw it. Upon hearing it, Coldplay instantly came into my mind. It definitely screams INDIE.
I just love how they all look so passionate in this video.
While I’m very sad that they’re no longer with Paramore, at least now they get to express their artistry in their own ways.
All of us music enthusiasts have our own personal music heroes (I know you do). And here I would like to just list my women music heroes (of course I have others :P), because I would just love to share them to you, especially for those who don’t know them yet.
Just a little disclaimer: A lot of video links ahead. 😉
6. Armi Millare
Known as the vocalist and keyboardist of the Filipino band Up Dharma Down, this super talented artist captured music fans with her unique voice quality and artistry. Some of their most famous songs are “Oo”, “Tadhana” and “Luna”. The band categorized their music as electronic, experimental and post rock. Check out some of their music below.
5. Kitchie Nadal
Formerly, she was the vocalist of the Filipino band, Mojofly. But it was her solo hit song, “Huwag na Huwag Mong Sasabihin”, which became the most played song in the Philippines last 2009, that really launched her music career. She also had other hits like “Bulong” and “Same Ground“. Then last 2013, she released her latest album “Malaya”.
For all those Jpop/Jrock (Japanese Pop/ Japanese Rock) fans out there, especially the YUI/Flower Flower loyalists, we have something to celebrate and look forward to! (o^^o)♪ Flower Flower will make their debut album available to their international fans! I couldn’t be any happier when I read this tweet from the official band staff twitter account:
If you’re reading this and have no clue what I’m talking about, please allow me to provide a little bit of a background story. 🙂
YUI is a Japanese singer-songwriter and multi-instrumentalist (and occasional actress) who made her debut in 2005 with her album “From Me To You”. Since then, she went on to become one of the most successful artists in Japan by having multiple number 1 hits and topping polls all over Japan and Asia. Anime fans would know about her music as she contributed theme songs such as “Life” and “Rolling Star” which were featured in Bleach and also “Again” which was used as the first opening theme of Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood (my personal favorite ;]).
However, since last year, she announced a hiatus, but apparently after a few months, she was spotted playing gigs with a new band. For some time, people could only speculate about YUI’s career move until it was confirmed that YUI has actually formed a new band by the name of Flower Flower and has even let go of her old stage name, “YUI” and stylized it as “yui” instead. Their sound to me is more of electronic, indie rock as opposed to YUI’s old sound of acoustic and pop rock.
So there you go. 🙂 Now all that’s left is to wait for that album to be released!