I'm going to have to pre-write some of these posts in preparation for the upcoming week and a half. Exam period is near and I'm feeling the pressure :(
Day 4 // Your favourite non-idol Korean singer/group
Korean music is not all idols. The younger generation of singers typically promoting in groups, all of the members have to sing and dance on stage despite their role within the group. Thankfully, there are very talented non-idol artists in the industry as well. They're the ones that have me still sticking to kpop.
There are multiple non-idol groups that I absolutely love, such as Clazziquai Project, Winterplay, and Brown Eyed Soul. But Epik High is the group that I love the most. I've been following them the longest, and I have great respect for them, having witnessed all of the out of the norm risks they've taken with their career to express what they feel and think through music.
Epik High is a trio of a hip hop/rap/pop genre. Member DJ Tukutz creates their beats, and Tablo and Mithra rap to it. All three write lyrics and compose their songs, they also feature some amazingly unique voices in Korea in their tracks. The contrast in their voices (Mithra generally sounding like a wild husky voiced lumberjack) and their clever lyrics with Tukutz's style of beats combine for some amazing songs of love, politics, fears, hope and some random topics of pure amusement. Tablo, having done an English degree at Stanford in the States not only manipulates the Korean language in his amazing lyrics but also English, in the couple of English tracks they have done.
The group was backed by a music label for their debut in 2003, but after a years of struggling with resistance from their label trying to keep their music clean and less controversial, they decided to go independent, not a very common occurrence in the Korean music industry whatsoever. In 2009 they parted form their record company and started their own, Map the Soul. They released their first album (which was actually a book-album) as an indie group also titled Map the Soul. It also contained a couple of English tracks featuring MYK, a fellow labelmate and a Korean English speaking rapper.
After releasing another 2 disk album [e], Epilogue, and their single Run, Epik High went on hiatus, due to Tukutz and Mithra's leave to fulfill their military service. Tablo signed a contract with YG Entertainment (he's had close ties with them due to his wife being an actress with YG as well) and is currently working on his solo activities as Tukutz and Mithra return from their enlistment.
Something that's actually been driving me nuts is seeing new fans post comments such as "Oh, he's actually good." AS IF HE'S A NEWBIE IN THE INDUSTRY. I suppose I can't really blame them for not being very familiar with Epik High if they're really new followers of kpop since Epik High have been on hiatus for a while now, but their ignorance still pains me very very much.