Roundtable: Create Your Own Sub-Unit!
Our staff have managed to get their hands on new Seoulbeats Apps Suite; the apps are great, but the recent increase in sub-units has meant that the Sub-unit Creator has been receiving the most business from our staff. You guys should check it out, too; it’s $4.99, but the trial version is free for anyone with a bit of creativity and a whole lot of imagination!
What are some prospective sub-units you think would make a potential hit?
Mark: Mine are all girl-group subunits.
Caramel Coated Candy Corn (or 4C for short): After School sub-unit consisting of Nana, Uee and Jungah, this trio will be the polar opposite of Orange Caramel in that they will bring a tough in-your-face attitude in the style of D-Unit while still keeping their high heels on of course. In continuation of their ambitious One Asia Project, their lead single will be entitled “Kuala Lumpur Club Bumper.” Nana and Uee will deepen the pitch of their voices by two octaves and learn to deliver intense rap verses with GD level swag while Jungah will strain her vocals belting the chorus over a heavy electronic instrumental.
Step-Sistars: Sistar sub-unit consisting of constantly overshadowed members Soyu and Dasom. If Jiyoon and Gayoon of 4Minute can get a sub-unit, why not these two? They will release a soulful R&B inspired album filled with sentimental electro ballads in which the lead song will be “Not Gone, We Are Still Here.”
Jieun and Zinger: Secret sub-unit modeled after the Sistar19 dynamic except there will be a much more equal distribution of lines. Part soul, part hip hop, “Ma Boo” will provide a much needed spotlight on Zinger’s rapping and Jieun’s vocals.
Of course, all of the above sub-units will be produced by no other than Brave Brothers so be prepared for sexually suggestive choreography littered with an excess of body waves, hair flicking, and moves which require the performers to bend down while sticking out their bums.
Ambika: I think I eventually broke mine. Then again, I did go for the trial version, so you get what you pay for?
Missy (also can be stylized as miss C): miss A‘s Chinese members Jia and Fei group and follow the trend with a R&B/hip-hop focused subunit, performing “Yes, I Can Understand You.” They keep the clothes casual, and the choreography lets Jia let loose. Both impress with the performance quality and visuals. The single is recorded in both Korean and Chinese, released in both countries. The unit even gets away with singing parts in Chinese multiple times on every broadcast after the first week as their audience is too transfixed to notice until after the performance has been aired.
Doubling (alternatively spelled and pronounced Dubling): SHINee‘s oldest two get together with a name, that though related to music, keeps everyone confused. It isn’t until a die-hard member of the SHINee World realizes that a combination of the nicknames for the two–Dubu and Bling Bling–approximately sounds like the unit name that everyone wonders why they ever expected more from SM Entertainment. The teasers hint at a ballad track, with Onew and Jonghyun in suits next to the words “Smile.” The release of the song and MV show otherwise: it’s actually a rock endeavor full of ripped clothes, Jonghyun hitting higher notes than thought possible, and a similarity to “Welcome to the Jungle” from the Guns N’ Roses that nobody misses. SM Entertainment assures fans that all rights were purchased accordingly.
B.A.F (Best Absolute Food): Here’s where the app started to glitch. It clearly could not come up with a good name and kept switching the members and numbers it chose, for some reason keeping Daehyun a constant. Regardless, the unit is highly focused on the importance of food, the lyrics waxing the importance of sharing, eating properly, and maintaining a good weight in “Hunger.” All sounds are generated by objects typically found in a kitchen and the natural sounds of consuming food. The unit performs in chef outfits, keeping the usual aggressive and complicated dance moves but also incorporating snazzy moves like the pizza toss, the knife master, and the mixing bowl twist.
Mark: For a few extra bucks, you can upgrade to the premium version which will include intra-label sub-units. Try it out people, it’s totally worth it!
SM-M: Feeling the pressure of other companies advancing into the Chinese market, SM decides to go JYP on it by creating the ultimate “M” unit consisting of Henry and Zhou Mi of Super Junior-M; Kris, Luhan, Lay, and Tao of Exo-M; and Victoria of f(x). Partnering with JVR Music, the album will be produced by Jay Chou and Vincent Fang, the lead single will be centered around a tragic historical romance, the performers will be decked out in eloquent yet historically accurate period costumes, the MV will be directed by Jackie Chan, the choreography will be moderate yet crisp, and there will be no English lyrics or dubstep. Chinese audiences eat it up because they forget that it’s technically “K-pop.” International fans will not be interested.
Bubblemaker: Yoseob of Beast and Eunji of A Pink will aegyo and ad-lib until their faces melt. Audiences will be generally delighted except for a few confused fanboys who were expecting a rehash of “Bubble Pop” and outraged at the absence of HyunA. “Bubblemaker” will be produced by Beast’s Junhyung and feature Ilhoon of BtoB, just in case you forgot that it’s a Cube production.
Miyoko: Guys, something’s wrong with my Sub-unit creator. No matter what group I put in, Amber from f(x) pops up! SUB-UNIT CREATOR IS BIASED.
ABC-Team: Consisting of Amber and Henry from SJ-M. SM’s attempt to target what they call the “North American market,” but what they really mean is the US and Canada (sorry, Mexico, Greenland and geographically Central America). All songs are acoustic guitar and piano compositions that beautifully utilize Amber and Henry’s stellar vocals, harmony, and natural chemistry together. Leading single is “I am a Failed ABC,” inspired by Amber’s tweet and Patricia’s excellent article. SM denies any connection to Seoulbeats.
Rapper’s D-Lite: SM’s all rap group, extending previous SMTown performances consisting of Amber, Kris and Key, then adding Sooyoung for good measure. Amber and Key lead the group, while Kris interjects with sassy smack-downs. Sooyoung only intros the songs, but insists on lyricist credit. They reprise “Like A G6,” until they are sued by Far East Movement, YG Entertainment and The Sugarhill Gang simultaneously.
Ambular: Amber’s Victor-Victoria-style release, which is technically a solo effort. (Sub-unit creator is confused.) Her songs switch between aggressive rapping and soulful singing, and her hair is predictably short on one side, long on the other. Since SM put someone like me in charge of this release, all songs reference early ’90s Hollywood comedies.
Johnelle: I think my app is broken. Is it android compatible?
Sunny Maknae: Seung-ah and Kota are older than most current female idols, but their youthful vibrance and energy are showcased in their single “Miss and Reality.” Equal parts song and rap, Mi-sung and Kota-penned ditty will build on the scathing social commentary heard in “Let’s Talk about” and “Bad Boys;” meanwhile, the MV will feature the Sunny Hill maknaes showcasing their cute and mischevious nature by playing pranks on the residents of Seoul, like pulling a guy’s pants down, placing braces between men’s legs as they sit on trains and turning urinals into fountains whenever the flush button is pushed. Later they’ll hook up with Nation’s Cutie Il-hoon and the three will dance off into the night with a move similar to something seen in SHINee’s “Ring Ding Dong.”
Johnelle: Ah, I guess I just needed the latest update for the app to work. Here are the sub-units that I generated:
DaeZy: Made up of Big Bang‘s Daesung and 2NE1‘s Minzy; he’s the voice and she’s the rapper. Daesung will have the vocals as smooth and sexy as butter and then Minzy would just come in and melt that ish up. I can just imagine it, and it would be great.
Hi-T.O.P.: What’s the use of being in the same Family, er Company, if you can’t have a chance to work with your oppa. And Lee Hi will never be comfortable around her favorite idol namja T.O.P. unless they spend more time together. Both of their husky voices in one great song? Bliss.
G-Co: Dueling rappers G-Dragon and Block B‘s Zico in a raptastic collab. Zico would be super inspired because he gets to work with one of his idols and would pen an awesome song.
Sorry, I think my Sub-unit Creator is YG Family biased–maybe it’s still a little broken, heh.
ExiVa: Seemingly a combination of Japanese mega group EXILE (blame it on the phone scanning my recent J-pop search results) and the word Diva, this group seems to answer to one of my suggested improvements to K-pop, that the singers just sing and the dancers just dance. ExiVa combines multiple popular girl groups, and plants the powerhouse trio of SNSD‘s Taeyeon & Tiffany, plus Sistar’s Hyorin in the front singing, as everybody else does high energy choreography to vocally charged songs. To allay fears the whole thing would become “THT and the band of merry ladies”, the front singers would be rotated from time to time. Of course, “vocal horrors” and “rappers” would be given a wide berth. For added scale, year end performances would feature trainees running out at the half way point of the song to showcase “EV Family” strength.
Gentle Ranters: My App also picked up on another complaint of mine, that K-pop lyrics are rather banal after a while, and that K-pop’s popularity allows for producers to slip in some sublimal messages. The app agreed with it, on one condition: That I supply the lyrics based on utterly random word combinations. “Sweetheart” is okay, but “socialism?” And Lord help anybody who tries to put “chocolate” together with “class division!” Happily, the group was made of of the most innocent looking members: Miss A’s Suzy, SNSD’s Seohyun and APink’s Naeun. It’s to easy to smuggle in a pro-government message or two when the singers look so good. Who knows we might even start another revolution!
Bto3: A sub-unit utilizing the maknae line of BtoB. Sungjae, Ilhoon, and Peniel will team up to harness their insanity and natural threesome chemistry to bring us a group reminiscent of Super Junior-Happy and Super Junior-T. Their first song will be a trot ode to cucumbers, which will feature bright green outfits and cucumber shaped mics. Their second song will be a perky and aegyo-filled number with lyrics made up entirely of terrible pickup lines, in both Korean and English. And finally their third, and most popular, song will be a cover of “Run The World (Girls)” by Beyonce. All three members will dress up like girls for this one and inevitably Ilhoon will wow us all with his S-line.
I’m pretty impressed with the app’s wide-range of knowledge on BtoB inside jokes. Unfortunately, the app stopped working after this group came up. Maybe Bto3 was too much awesome to handle?
Seoul Sisters: A JYP production. Ye-eun, Sunye, Park Ji-min, Baek Ye-rin, and Baek Ah-yeon combine their soulful voices together to form the ultimate acapella R&B girl group. The music video for “Maple Story” is filmed in the wilderness of Canada, and conveniently includes product-placement for the popular game of the same name by featuring a plot of the girls fighting to protect Princess Sunye against an adorable but voracious army of mushrooms whispering “JYP”. At the climax of the video, when all looks bleak, Prince James sweeps in on his noble steed of moose and saves the day. As a reward, King JYP grants him the hand of his daughter in marriage, and they live happily ever after.
Live performances feature the members dressed elegantly in black with maple leaves gently falling around them, and Sunye projected through Skype onto the backdrop, to accommodate for her married and pregnant new lifestyle. This group is everything SuPearls should have been. Former Cassies and Shapleys are drawn to this group due to nostalgia over K-pop acapella done right, this new influx of fans helps JYP rise like a phoenix from the ashes and re-cement its place in the music industry.
Nabeela: Guys, the App Suite interface is so colorful and sleek we’re putting Angry Birds to shame.
My sub-unit is more like a super unit and the ultimate fan girl destroying machine. And while Lord knows I love powerhouse female vocalists, y’all know I love aggressive rapper types even more, and that is obviously all this unit is about.
Careful, this isn’t for the faint-hearted.
Bang Yong-guk, Zico, P.O., Kris, Junhyung, and, I don’t know why my Sub-Unit creator is digging in the underground (note: mods this might be a glitch?), Verbal Jint. I mean, I guess they don’t call him a godfather for no reason.
I mean first of all, look at these ratios– four of the entire six are crazy talented (production and rapping skills), two of the six are insanely tall and ideal visuals, P.O. can muster a creepy but endearing effort at aegyo, Kris finally doesn’t have to hold the mic as the duizhang–it’s pretty much spelling out perfection for itself right here.
We can call them Sex Machine. Or Angry Boys. Either one.
Sophie: Wow, thanks a lot to all you lovely beta testers. Apologies to those of you who’ve had trouble — we will work hard to correct these issues before our scheduled wide release. Like Mark said, we are working hard to design a few premium packages. Also in the works is a social media “battle of the bands” style feature that pits your creation against those of your friends. Points earned in these contests translate to cash in the game, which can then be used to “gather more data” and increase the range and effectiveness of your generator. Please be on the lookout for this exciting new feature!
I also spent some time playing with the sub-unit generator.
Beach Body: K-pop is often to music what concentrate is to juice: forgetting balance and taste and just front-loading on the essential saccharine-drenched flavor. So it’s no wonder that producers decided to take it to the next level and just forget about the songs themselves. Beach Body, a SNSD sub-unit comprised of Sooyoung, Yuri and Hyoyeon takes the three leggiest members of the girl group and puts them in a video that’s half exercise tape, half advertisement for an Indonesian resort, and all bikini. The songs aren’t important, and truth be told they may be largely comprised of a bad cover of Paula Abdul‘s “Promise of a New Day” from a .99 drug store CD. But the cinematography is flawless and the members defy several basic principles of biomechanics by performing complicated dances on the sand. The members all sing along, but the camera isn’t really dwelling on their lips.
Choose Me: Since KARA is committed to their Japanese debut, their producers have taken a lesson from AKB48 and created a group that uses fan input to rank members and sell lots of products. Hara, Nicole and Jiyoung, the three youngest members (this is Japan after all!), compete publicly for the center spot, solo contracts, and television endorsement deals. All changes in group ranking are announced in televised events and there are least two cameras per girl to capture tears and despondent looks. Most of their songs are about this subjugation, including “Namida no RANKING” and “1! 2! 3! Oops!”. It’s a calculated marketing decision, but sure to be a big hit in Japan.
Nicholas: After keying in “Beach Body,” my App thought it was a great idea, and suggested a few more clever stuff. It said that including more people from other groups (up to 20) would help pad out the Music Video, but that the bulk of camera time should be given to eight popular members, which the app “helpfully” called “Yeoshin 8“. Another suggestion was to insert random fan service moments in the video for fans to squee over and non-fans to roll their eyes at or analyse. One particularly laughable idea was to have Jessica and Tiffany share hammocks, and Taeyeon stand in a corner and eat pizza. Take that, shippers.
Now excuse me while I raise money to buy election tickets to support Nicole.
(Images via: Nylon, Pledis Entertainment, Vogue Girl, 1st Look, H2, MTV, Elle, DSP Media. Verbal Jint image: credit to owner)