Hello everyone, and welcome back to another edition of SB Week in Review! Catching up on American politics feels like a mammoth task sometimes, but thankfully this week’s K-pop news is relatively easier to follow:
- After the sexual assault case against SNL Korea cast member Lee Se-young was thrown out by police, she will be returning to the show as it prepares to air its ninth season on tvN.
- MBLAQ member G.O claimed to fans that J.Tune Camp had closed up shop — but the company claims that they are still active, and even planning to debut a new artist. Madtown seemed to have the right idea in switching over to GNI Entertainment, but the investigation of the head company’s CEO into fraud has placed their future in some doubt.
- The Gaon K-pop Chart Awards took place this week, with artists honoured for their chart performance throughout 2016. The digital awards, awarded by month, included a host of girl groups, a couple of non-idol male singers, and Big Bang. Meanwhile, the physical awards, awarded by quarter, was dominated by Exo in two quarters. Black Pink and NCT 127 took home the digital and physical rookie awards respectively. Check the comments below for the full winner list!
- From Monday onwards, real time charts will only show rankings between the hours of 12PM and 6PM KST. The aim of this effort is to curb the growing number of instances in which an act is able to claim a high ranking at times when the general public is not active on streaming sites. The move is likely to affect K-pop groups that rely on overnight streaming by fans to clinch high chart positions.
Debuts & Comebacks
- Check out this week’s singles in the playlist above!
- BTS dropped the MV for “Not Today,” a high energy track focused on social issues.
- Twice also returned with “Knock Knock.”
- BtoB put out their pre-release track, “Someday.”
- Mamamoo‘s Solar put out single “Happy People.”
- The Starship–SM collabs continue with Junggigo and Chanyeol‘s “Let Me Love You.”
- Meanwhile, Yesung duetted with ALi on “You Are Not Here.”
- Yoon Jong-shin and Zico blend old and new in “Wi-fi.”
- Astro released special winter mini, Winter Dream
- Grace released the dance video for “Zombie High.”
- Gavy NJ dropped the MV for “An Obvious Melo.”
- Top Media‘s middle child, 100%, have come back with “Sketch U.”
- Baek Ye-rin teamed up with Car, the garden for a Soundcloud single.
- Monday Kiz and Kim Na-young teamed up for “Tears.”
- R&B singer Dash debuted with “I See U,” featuring Microdot.
- Dal Shabet‘s Subin continued her run of solo releases with “Circle’s Dream” and “Strawberry.”
- San E dropped the MV for “What If.”
Teasers & Announcements
- Produce 101 season 2 will begin shooting this weekend. While the Big 3 (SM, YG, and JYP) won’t be sending any of their male artists or trainees to the show, SM’s BoA has signed on as host. We can also expect to see at least a couple of debuted idols as contestants, with Pledis already confirming Nu’est‘s involvement. This has also created a scramble among groups to make clear their non-involvement in the show, as was the case with KNK.
- “Wow!” I’m looking forward to this cute Lovelyz comeback on the 26th! Ye-in may have to sit out promotions after injuring herself during comeback preparations. We’re wishing her a full and steady recovery!
- Ailee will be dropping a new single on Monday.
- Imfact will also be coming back on the 27th.
- We have a few things coming out on the 28th:
- Gugudan‘s “A Girl Like Me” and Narcissus
- Code Kunst‘s “Fire Water,” featuring G.Soul and Tablo. The name of his album alone (Muggle’s Mansion) has me looking forward to it.
- Taeyeon‘s first LP, My Voice, of which there will be two versions.
- Veteran singer Park Ji-yoon will be releasing her ninth studio album on the 2nd.
- Are you Ready for Victon‘s comeback on the 2nd?
- G-Friend will be coming back on the 6th. March is shaping up to be quite the clambake!
- B.A.P are looking real good in these teasers for March 7th’s “Rose.” TS Entertainment has also confirmed that leader Bang Yong-guk will be resuming activities with this comeback, after taking a hiatus to treat a panic disorder.
- Crayon Pop‘s brother group K-much plans to follow in Dreamcatcher‘s footsteps, by adding an additional member and picking a new name for themselves. To that end, fans can vote on the name at Makestar.
- Tiger JK and Yoon Mi-rae will be attending this year’s K-pop Night Out at SXSW. The couple join a line-up of Hyorin, Red Velvet, Galaxy Express, No Brain, and Big Phony.
- Live Nation will be bringing Kiha and the Faces to North America as part of its Asia on Tour. Thailand’s Slot Machine will also be performing, and Japan’s Miyavi is the headline act. Learn more about the tour here.
- tvN’s adaptation of fantasy manhwa Bride of the Water God has a cast! Nam Joo-hyuk and Shin Se-kyung will be playing the leads, while Gong Myung and f(x)‘s Krystal have signed on for secondary roles.
- tvN has also cast Yoo Ah-in, Im Soo-jung, and Go Kyung-po in Chicago Typewriter, about three writers from Japanese-occupied Korea, and their modern day reincarnations.
- Jay Park is revealed to have collaborated with Minzy for her solo debut — looking forward to seeing what they have cooked up!
- Winner have flown to LA to film their upcoming music video. I refuse to get my hopes up until after I’ve seen the MV.
- Twice will be debuting in Japan this June.
- He just switched agencies, but Kwanghee will be enlisting in mid-March. Rumours on his possible Infinite Challenge replacement have been making the rounds.
- Actress Kim Min-hee became the first Korean to win the Silver Bear Award for Best Actress at the Berlin International Film Festival, for On the Beach at Night Alone. In it, she plays an actress mulling over her relationship with a married director. In a case of art imitating life, Kim thanked her director for this film, and her lover, Hong Sang-soo.
(10Asia, eDaily, Facebook, Instagram, KoreaDaily, Korea Herald, Makestar, News1, Soundcloud, Sports Chosun, Sports Donga, SXSW, Twitter, Xsports News, Yonhap, YouTube. Images via: Woollim Ent., J.Tune Camp, CéCi)