Sunday, March 11, 2012

Do you listen to "asian music" or only "kpop?"

I, for one, love music. So I listen to all types of music in different languages such as Spanish, French, Korean, Japanese, Chinese, Vietnamese, and Thai, whether it be pop, R&B/hip-hop, or traditional.
All the time, when I stumble on some Asian music video that is not Korean, people are
always saying, "oh that's Kpop", "oh they're copying Korea, they're not original." First of all, Korea did not invent pop. America did. So saying things like that is equivalent for Americans saying Kpop is a copy of American pop. But being butthurt like the delusional and ignorant type of people they are, it's not true for them because Kpop is somehow "different" than any other pop culture.

Compare pop idols like Justin Bieber + Lady Gaga to Kpop guy/girl groups and notice that there's actually no difference. You got your tweens and fangirls. Both are fucking nuts. Yet people keep going on about how Kpop is unique. It's not. It's just a variation of American pop just like any other countries' pop culture. I've also heard people say "american music suck thats why i listen to kpop". Oh my God, that is the dumbest and most ridiculous shit ever. First they ridicule their own nationalities music(which I doubt they even know some good English songs to begin with), then you idolize the idols that idolizes our idols... ironic isn't it?
Why idolize an idol who idolizes an idol you hate?

Basically what I'm trying to say is have an open mind about music. Don't be so close-minded and trash other music preferences. If you really love music, try listening to other languages and genres also. You'll never know what you would be missing out on. I sometimes hear people explain that they only listen to one type of genre, for example Kpop, and it's just sad to know because there's so many varieties of music. So why limit yourself to one?

One reason why people don't branch out is because it's hard to find the music that's why i would like to share some of my interests in hopes of other people expanding their own taste in music.

Many people already know Kpop but Kpop didn't get me into Korean music, Korean rap and Korean RnB did. Don't get me wrong some Kpop are nice but what really seals the deal are underground Korean music. I have no understanding of the Korean language whatsoever but that doesn't stop me from listening to good tracks. One thing im disappointed in is the lack of traditional korean musical intrusments incorporated into the songs but thats just my asian fanatic taste.
Artists to look for: Crucial Star, Nell, Urban Zakapa, 4men, Bumkey, Fana, Maslo, Rimi, Dumbfoundead.

A lot of people also know about Japanese music but still not quite enough. It's harder to find good music here than Korea because they don't really try to expand internationally outside of Japan which is a shame. Japan is famous for its Jrock and Jpop but for me I dig the Jrnb/hiphop stuff. They always have some kind of "Japanese sound" like Japanese instruments for example. A good thing because it's what differentiates them from other asian countries music. A bad thing about Japanese music is that they don't really expand like what korea is doing.
Artists to look for: M-flo, Zeebra, Emi Hinouchi, Hiromi, Jine, Jinno, Shota Shimizu, Ayaka, Utada Hikaru, Chelly, Ikue Asazaki.

If you like traditional asian ballad music then Cpop is what you're looking for. They do have other genres also but their traditional chinese sounding music are one of the best. Cpop is one of the pop cultures where I never cringe listening to it because it just doesn't sound cheesy to me. If you just want to chill and relax then Chinese music is what you should listen to. A bad thing about Chinese artists is it's even fucking harder to find the right kind of artists for your taste because there's so many, I don't know much about C-rap though, only Chinese rapper I know is Jin and he speaks English.
Artists to look for: Jay Chou, Wang Lee Hom, JJ Lin, Jolin Tsai, Evan Yo, Khalil Fong, Jin.

[ 아저씨 recommends this higher quality without subs: ]

I'm Vietnamese myself and I was really surprised when I recently heard some of their music. Their music industry is improving pretty fast. Vietnam is 2nd in fastest growing economy in the world at a steadfast pace next to China who's 1st. That would mean better productions of entertainment and better music. Their Vpop and Vrnb are pretty good and I wasn't expecting that when I first heard some songs. People like me who like asian music skipped Vietnamese music because basically 10 years ago, viet music was utter shit so we searched elsewhere to places like Korea and Japan. Now that Vietnam is actually "modernizing" their music I can find myself listening to it more in the future. A bad thing about Vpop & Vrnb is that the hip-hop subculture has only started so there's not much, the only good artists that I like would be Vietnamese-American or with American influence also Vrap, Vietnamese is a high toned language so when you have a high pitched voice rapping it sounds pretty gay imo.
Artists to look for: Emily, JustaTee, Kim, Rapsoul, Karik, B.Sily, Suboi, Miu Le


  1. Is that really anti kpop-fangirl? Excellent article...
    I also like krap, I think korean sounds really cool when rapping, but I find it not easy to discover underground korean artist.
    I think Japan doesn't try to expand like korea does, because the price of a CD in Japan is exorbitant and they have already have a market of 120 millions people... I found some pretty good japanese jazz, indie-rock music. Japanese has a sound soft that I think matches well with mellow music.
    I don't really like chinese music, mostly cause I cannot get over the ch/zh/sh sound they seem to overuse.. Maybe with time, this will change though. For hip-hop how come you don't know of the infamous Edison Chen ?

    1. Thank you
      Really? i think underground korean hip-hop is the easiest to find lol other countries are harder.
      Yeah I'm pretty sure the Japanese don't want even more people coming in overpopulating their space limited country. It's like when a bus is full you wouldn't want more people to come in you know.
      Every country has a sound they overuse, chinese was the first asian music i encountered so i guess thats why i don't seem to be bothered with it like some people.

  2. I only listen to music from around the world because I'm not fussed about language so much as quality. I'm in mainstream kpop because I happen to think that I think its nice that they still try with the pretence of "nice, really good looking guys for sale"
    I only really listen to Nell and Epik High, along with Kyuhyun's solo performances [because I think he has a beautiful voice that's wasted on pop]

    But some of my favorite bands in the world are Dir en grey and MUCC, and they're Japanese. Hm.

    1. Some fans are clueless that these korean girl/boybands are selling their looks to them which is a pity but some fans like you know they're selling their looks to you yet you indulge in it o_o

      On a scale of 1 to 10(1 being low & 10 high) on musicality, i would rate kpop 3 epik high 7 nell 8. That just goes to show that there's more good music you're missing out on.

    2. Haha well pop music was never really made for dignity or for actual musical quality; I like kpop stars when they're on reality shows because when I come home and I'm really stressed, I adore reality TV [you know, people fucking each other over for money and stuff], regardless of how scripted it is.
      And I'm listening to that Crucial Star song you posted; it isn't half bad. Hip hop isn't my preferred genre of music at all, but I do appreciate it when its done well.

      And I just noticed you also posted Khalil Fong. Adore that guy.

    3. I also love Dir en grey there entire catalog is amazing from Missa to Dum Spiro Spero.Not long after the new album was released I read a metal magazine review from Europe I think and the reviewer said it was some of the most amazing,diverse, experimental, and original music he had heard in a long time.Even though a lot people dismissed them as another vk band imo they have always made original,diverse and amazing music.

  3. being a huge ass Mflo fan, I love that PV. Love the synth sounds, it is so much better then his collab with 2ne1....14th cant come fast enough!!

    I wasnt a big listener of kpop when I first started, what got me into korean music was the krock/indie scene. LoveHolic and basically the entire Fluxus artists was what got me into korean music.

  4. I listen to what my ears like, sadly they are whores who like to spread their legs open to whatever that comes to them.
    For example, i fucking love Honey by KARA, but i also love Tuck by A-Team.
    Or i am a huge fan of Kyari pamyu pamyus tsukematsukeru and pon pon pon, but also love GazettE.
    Actually, Gazette portrays my rock side, as i Love Reila, cassis, leech, filth in the beauty, suicide circus, invisible wall, distress and coma.etc... Also Love maximum the hormone.
    I fucking love Antic Cafe, escapism was and still is my shit.
    For chinese pop, jolin tsai, S.H.E and Faranheit.
    And then i love Rap, mostly 80's ad 90's rap though, Like B.I.G or Ice Cube, lil kim, khia etc.
    Then i go and love Beyonce. Adele as well.
    Then we come to the shit that people go "how the fuck do you listen to this":
    Digitalism, Daft Punk, Capsule, MGMT, Justice and my favorite band ever, Anamanaguchi.
    And lastly, the nerdiest/geekiest would be gaming soundtracks, portal 2 soundtrack and Legend Of zelda 20th Anniversary soundtrack are the shit.

    1. The portal 2 soundtrack is amazing, in your defense..

    2. An Cafe stopped being amazing the minute Bou left. Escapism was awesome, though.

    3. Takuya is actually not a bad guitarist in some ways he is better than Bou for example imo he has a better arsenal of chords and in someways is a better rhythm guitarist.Bou is primarily a lead guitarist even most of his rhythm parts are lead lines turned into power chords.That being said I have to agree with you 100% when it comes to An Cafe Bou is a lot better and even though I said most of his rhythm stuff were just leads turned into power chords they were still amazing .I mean Bou could make a guitar hook like no other.

  5. I take that you are into songs with rap but saying Viet music was shit 10 years ago is really ignorance of you. Vpop was never changed imo, it was all about ballad just like how Cpop was. Songs with rap have been going on in Vpop for like 5 years, they just start to get more popular recently.
    It's your opinion anyway that you like Vpop nowadays more than the past. But Viet music have always been great to my ears. What I like about Viet music is the young singers/producers are new and refreshing, but the oldschool folks are still pretty relevant.

  6. I only heard m-flo through 2NE1
    Not much people listen to underground asian music because it is harder to get and it isn't as popular.
    Many people know about stars like SNSD, KARA, etc.. because they have big businesses backing them up like SM, YG, etc....

    1. M-flo is a pretty big name in japan especially among international jpop fans, it's hard not to know them unless you're only following JE/AKB or HP.

  7. Nice article, korean music industry has a lot to offer but it's sad to see that even the korean especially the youth focuses too much on idols/looks when they have a range of good variety music going on. If only they can emulate japane or even the chinese music industry where there is a balance between idols and musician, where both idols and musician are able to compete based on their capabilities. I'm astonished to see korean artist who have 15-20 experiences are only getting recognition from general public only after appearing in " i am a singer" whereas it's a different scenario with their neighbouring country where band with more than 30 yrs experience still maintain their popularity among public regardless of their age.

  8. i started liking jpop first because of chemistry, mflo, utada hikaru and crystal kay...
    now i got more kpop songs because its much easier to get your hands on kpop than jpop...
    i recommend aziatix, geeks, dynamic duo, jay park and boni if you like music similar to those mentioned above
    and fuck yeah, m-flo is making a comeback this march after 5 years

  9. Just so you know Vietnam does not have the fastest growing economy and neither does china contrary to what most would believe. Zambia had the highest gdp spike last year, just saying.
    Moving on, I for one listen to all types of music plus music in practically every language from finnish to french to mando, so language really isnt a barrier for me. Although I must admit I can't listen to any japanese music it never sounded right to my ear, i don't understand japanese but I always found the language sounded really flowery which annoyed me.
    I think it's silly when people scoff at a song just because they don't understand what is being said. People always talk about how music "speaks" to them through the sound yet they can't get over the language gaps funny really.

    1. imo it is understandable that a lot of people do not like Japanese music because a lot of them sing through there nose which most Americans and other countries are told is wrong so it probably doesn't sound good to them.What do you mean by flowery?

  10. The music coming out of Japan blows my mind. I'm constantly amazed by their creativity. They're pretty much the masters of post- and math-rock, and i have no idea why. Their stuff is just unparalleled.
    I'm really happy that their society appreciates non-idol and pop-music more than South Korea. Korea has a pretty decent indie scene, but the bands have such a hard time of actually making themselves known.

  11. I thought you said Kcrap at first lol
    Can I add Jin Chang, Yoga Lin, Stephanie Sun, Cheer Chen and Sodagreen on the Cpop list?
    I think C-rap & Crnb aren't really developed you hardly find any Rap/RnB songs(or it's just so hard to be found) and in my opinion, rapping in chinese sounds shit anyway. I think the chinese language doesn't fit in rapping
    I think Korean underground music is the easiest to find compare to other asian underground music too, and recently I'm really into Krap and Krnb, it gives me hope in the korean music industry
    and Japanese music has always been my thing except rock isn't my thing so unlike most people I don't listen to Jrock
    and I've heard some Thaipop which are quite nice too

  12. Oh my gosh. Dude. I freaking love you for posting "Red Bean." So much nostalgia <3

    The sad thing about Cpop for me is that I hear a lot of really good songs in restaurants and stuff, but I can't look them up because I have no idea who the artists are, and my parents don't know the artists' names in English :( Darn my elementary knowledge of Cantonese >.<;;

    Good article, by the way :) I adore music; I always thought it was one of the only truly universal things in the world - it doesn't even matter if you don't know the language. I don't see the point for competition amongst fans of different countries ._. It saddens me that I can't even go onto a Jpop/Jrock song on youtube anymore without a flood of Kpop fans saying "Kpop is way better, these people can't even sing" and vice versa.

  13. you better listen some Indonesian Pop like Mocca, they have much songs that pretty popular in Korea tho, like The Best Thing and so on

    I like Jpop , tho , like shugo tokumaru, but right now I kinnda like AKB48 , and I think their songs was refreshing and high spirit one

    1. Give me five on the AKB48 shit.
      I didn't really care about those bitches but Beginner changed my mind. Fucking stan Takamina now, that adorable midget.
      Their theater songs are much better than their usual single, A6 and K6 stages are the shit. I guess they go more upbeat songs to target the mainstream audiences.

    2. I think Give me Five is a grower tho, but I like Heavy Rotation and Beginner as the best. surely they need upbeat song to get audience, but their songs Sakura no Harabitachi ( or another song with Sakura on it) are pretty much good ballad

    3. I will add in Rossa ,Chriseye ,Ran,Gita Gutawa, Afgan,Iwan Fals, five minutes, and Omelette they are amazing especially Nissa Hamzah.Her and Prisa should do some guitar and bass collaboration. Also Project Pop always gets my spirits up when I am feeling down.


    Also, I didn't come here for some feel good "let's be hoity-toity and trash on K-pop", if I wanted that, I'd just watch a T-ara MV and record myself.

    I can't speak for teenage K-poppers but I know why I listen to the glorious K-pop. It's simple, attractive, catchy and entertaining. Much like watching a big budget Hollywood action film, you get your goods (Heat/Star Wars/Genie/Wedding Dress) and your bads (Michael Bay/T-ara/SuJu).

    Plus, there is a disturbing lack of hawt photos in this article. I know Shin-B is vetting this shit but come on, this is AKF.

    1. You're the type of person on why i did this article LOL. No ones trashing kpop in here, if you think that then u misunderstood my whole article. It's about loving music and respecting other peoples music without throwing shit at them cuz u dont appreciate it.

      Some people have different perspectives on music whether it be kpop or jpop and thinking that one music is better than another is fine, it's what you think afterall, but then trashing someones preferred genre to make ur own preference look better is what i call an inferiority complex. Then theres ppl who always compare korean stuff to american things like you just did, it makes me think less of kpop.

      Also every country uses drugs it's an underground type of thing that's why u don't see it on the surface of asian media, america is just more open about it.

    2. Okay, besides the J-pop part, it does suck.

    3. Okay, I guess K-pop does rock, and Americans are drug using sexual deviants, but I like drugs, and I like sexual deviancy so...

      What was this article about again?

    4. HEY, AKB48 sucks, ayumi hamasaki, koda kumi, namie amuro are awesome...
      Opinions though

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  17. plus Johnny's Entertainment spent millions on stupid pandas instead of using the money on the tsunami disaster.

    Uh, no, they changed it . They are now spending their personal money from the company instead of the donated amount. >.> Do you even research before making those articles? And what does that have to do with Jpop anyways? o_O "OMG KPOP IS RACIST AND THEREFORE I DON'T LIKE IT!!!"


    Here is the source for my previous mentioned article, and you must know that most people were against it from the start, and thanks for the V-pop suggestions. They sound cool c: I only know that Vpop group which sounded like Suju or TVXQ or sth and they got crap from Kpop fans

    1. My mistake on my part although they still mentioned using donation money on pandas, even that idea alone was stupid.

  19. so you listen to asian music huh? check this out then...^_^

  20. I think the british band Queen were the first to make a music video as we know it now and it became really popular , could that be considered the first 'pop' music ? as we know it today ?

  21. Finally someone who doesn't blame other asian music styles to be "kpop copies", gosh, that's so annoying. BTW thanks for the underground music part, I think it's hard to find good underground artists >__<! This article just needs T-Pop and K-Indie to be complete :D

  22. For the 1st time I reply for this Site... And I really agree of you, it's not like K-pop is one on the genre, it's just a trend now a days, and for my view, starting from 3rd generation K-pop idols, they are start rush in producing their artist for MONEY!... becoz it's trending...

    Honestly I'm also heard many genre of music even I don't know much about music, but for me Jay Chou song it's brilliant... Till now even K-POP is trending, Jay chou still produce a good song... I'm also can't take it if other say, other Asian copying K-POP, it's ridiculous.. please open minded to hear other song...

    P/s: I heard: Malaysian (I'm Malaysian), Korean, Mandarin, Japan and English..

  23. Hey for the Vpop: u can check out these singers cuz what u listed there r all rappers: 365 band, noo phuoc thinh, dong nhi, bao thy :)) i love ur blog n ur opinions

  24. the reason i read your blog is that i want to see k-pop music in a more objective way.well, i'm from indonesia and internet is my only source for k-pop. i like k-pop, but internet is full of k-pop overrated article that maybe made by fans, that's why articles about k-pop is getting subjective and i can't rely myself on how to value k-pop by reading them. it's difficult to believe on what they're reviewing until i listen to the song by myself.

    i start listen to k-pop since 2002/2003 when JTL release my lecon, a better day, etc, i like their music. i knew them because their song, my lecon was booming in indonesia (7 years later, in 2010, i just knew the reason why they made promotion album outside korea, it's because they had problem with their agency, huh k-pop industry is tough). but after that, i never heard anything about k-pop, except for the drama OST.

    in 2010 I rediscovered k-pop through youtube. I listen to bonamana and run devil run. i find k-pop is interesting and i search for another k-pop singers/band/boy&girlband and songs, and they're good, that's the starting i began to listen to k-pop again.

    well, i like k-pop but i also liten to other pop like ipop (indonesian), cpop, thai-pop, jpop, us songs, uk songs, european songs (turkey, romania, icenland, ireland, etc).

    i like some of your articles and i agree with your opinion that we should listen to many many kind of music and songs regardless the laguage. it's true for me, because when i got bored with UK and US song, i tried to listen to turkish songs, k-pop, cpop, etc. maybe the're all the same in genre (pop, r&b, rock) but they have different colour that keeps me listening to music

  25. I love you for this. I freaking hate it when someone (who probably isn't even Korean) disses their own country's music/music that is NOT k-pop simply because they only love kpop. Honestly, sometimes they need a good slap across the face. No music is COMPLETELY original; they always grow from something else.


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