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Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Interest Monday - Internet Broadcasting and K-Pop

Hi my fellow magicians!
I've ended my radio hibernation and now I'm back... sort of. I tried out a new medium last week called Mixlr and it's a live broadcasting service. I did my first episode of my online show MK on Mixlr and it's about my experiences with Kingdom Hearts 2.5 and my review on Sailor Moon Crystal's first season. You can easily recap it on my Mixlr page by clicking on the banner below. The best part about it is that I can talk to you in real time during my broadcasts via the chat box. But even if you can't jump in live, you can still answer questions that I'll post every episode and respond to them right away.
My live broadcasts happen every Saturday from 5-6pm. This episode will be about the lore of Kingdom Hearts 2.5 in honor of KH2's 10th anniversary. I may give a little swing to a 50 y.o. sci-fi series as a bonus for those who stick around! ;) My episodes will be only an hour long since I can only broadcast an hour at a time with the free membership. My ultimate goal is to go longer. If you could help me, even if it's a small gift, I'll be eternally grateful. :)

DJMKonMixlr is on Mixlr
I've also been exploring a relatively fresh music scene for me. While I've been exposed to this for a while (10 years to be exact), it's only now that I've started to get a bit more hardcore. That music scene is the Korean Pop genre - K-Pop for short.
I've played a few K-Pop songs on my show. But I tend to stick more towards the J-Rock and J-Pop circuits mostly due to my lines of work and communication. But it all came to a head when my cousin and I had a music marathon last weekend composed of over 107 videos (and yes we watched them all - the crazy girls we are). Oddly enough, even though I was the one who introduced my cousin to K-Pop, she was the one who really taught me a lot more in terms of the music scene. Lately she's been pushing me to audition for an American Idol/The Voice mashup show called KPOP STAR. To be honest I've been rather hesitant about the idea from the get-go. Reasons?
  1. I don't know Korean, let alone read a smidge of Hangul. K-Dramas didn't save me in that respect!
  2. To my knowledge (unless my parents' "in-laws" count), I don't have any Korean ancestry let alone any Asian links.
  3. I'm an American, specifically a Cameroonian-American. The very first thing they'll probably ask is "How come you're not hitting up the American circuit? There's no place for you here!" And being an INFP, I'll have the answer prepared but when that camera hits... blank page.
  4. Wouldn't I be considered "old" in this industry - domestic or international? No matter how much experience I have, in the end if you don't have a huge "shelf life" or have a standout quality, you're not getting past Round 1. (I'm 22 years old - <sing> *I'm up in that danger zone!* </sing>)
But apparently in recent years, foreign acts have started picking up in Korea and the auditions are reflecting that. 40% of audition prospects are non-Koreans - the majority of them non-Asian POCs. Also, the current cycle (Season 4) has had a lot of competitors around my age, if not older. The oldest competitor to date was 34 years old. [Reason why I'm using past tense? SPOILER ALERT - he was eliminated last episode.]

I also found a singer from Season 1 who is like the Korean Jennifer Hudson. 23 year old Lee Michelle (or Michelle Lee), a half-Korean, half-African-American singer, got up to the Top 5 in KPOP STAR where she signed up to YG Entertainment to debut in the group SuPearls. (She was 20 at the time.) However, supposedly due to the sudden solo success of Lee Hi (Season 1 runner-up and fellow SuPearls member), the group was disbanded before their debut. Lee Michelle subsequently joined the DIMA and LOEN Entertainment labels and released her solo debut Without You. The song brought me to tears. The music video certainly helped in that respect. I'll let you look it up and see for yourself. ;)

Another person I've been bumping into (and one I'm a big fan of - I don't know what is it with me and soulful singers) is Park Jinyoung AKA JYP. He runs his own label (JYP Entertainment), has judged on KPOP STAR since its start, and performs and writes his own songs. He has even worked around the US market in the 90s and 00s with the Fresh Prince himself! Cultural barrier or none, he is all about the music.
I came across the visage of all the hit works I've been listening to via the show Roommate (another one of my little cousin's introductions) and I was enamored by his motivation and passion for what he does! Last night, I bumped into an episode of Happy Together where he expresses his "hidden charms" (the theme of the episode) and explained the back-story of some of his greatest hits. If I did end up going for the show and get into a good position, he's the guy I want to work for.

I've been listening to this song since December - first with Gook Ju's performance during Christmas and now with JYP's original performance. The song is like a mash-up of early No Doubt Gwen Stefani and Toshinobu Kubota - subtly sexy yet intensely heart-felt. Now I shall share the beauty that is JYP's work. Thankfully because of the push for international works by Western fans, some of his works have become widely available to the masses - USA included. So jump on over to iTunes, my friends!

JYP - I Have a Woman (2001): This song is a hotly performed song in Korea and no doubt US audiences would be in love with it if a proper crossover gets done. It's so popular that many female singers have rearranged it many times - most notably with Gook Ju's performance in Roommate and last cycle's KPOP STAR auditions. According to a Happy Together episode, JYP explained that this song was written during his 1st marriage and he was dealing with strong feelings of attraction to other people. The polarity was tearing him up and he didn't know how to deal with them except through songwriting. Thus this hit was born and along with it a string of awards nods and wins that cemented his superstar status. Thankfully his romance story has a happy ending. Though his 1st marriage fell apart, he remarried in 2013 and it's still going strong. :) I recommend you keep the annotations - it shows the song's meaning!


Feel free to swing by my Mixlr page and give my first episode a listen. My next livestream is Saturday 5-6pm. My FM radio show's 3rd season will start February 13th followed by an After the Show livestream and another MK on Mixlr episode on Valentine's Day!

Phew... This is so long. Then again, when you have a passion for something, you can't help but go along with it! Jump on next Wednesday for some more interesting content!

Happy listening!

<3 TM

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