The initial novelty of collaborations between Western and K-pop acts are slowly wearing off, and no longer are they limited to only huge names in the industry. With both non-English music, in particular Spanish and Korean, rising in global popularity, it is no surprise that even smaller groups, such as A.C.E – with their collaboration with French DJ and producer Hcue last year — are beginning to feature in such cross-cultural musical exchanges. After the success of Super Junior’s “Lo Siento” featuring Leslie Grace, Grammy-winning production duo Play-N-Skillz are back with another K-pop project, this time with A Team Entertainment’s boy group VAV and American singer De La Ghetto.
With last year’s “Senorita”, VAV have already shown they possess the allure and maturity needed for such music styles. Thankfully, unlike many of VAV’s early music videos, budget and effort were not spared in helping the song reach its maximum effect. Filmed in the tropical backdrop of Bohol, Philippines, the music video features all the typical elements of any summer party track. A beach setting, a swimming pool, palm trees, a yacht, girls dancing in the background… Of course, a member goes shirtless at some point with a beach towel draped around his neck. “Give Me More” is exactly what it was written to be: an energetic, summer track, and while the music video is not creative or groundbreaking by any means conceptually, it is its artistic and stylistic choices that showcase the beauty of K-pop music videos at its best, especially to a foreign audience.
The main highlight of the music video is undoubtedly its set design, with the main set boasting an elaborate display of flamboyant and vibrantly coloured tapestry and textiles. Towards the end of the music video, the same set is drowned in hot pink lighting, which later transforms into a rainbow-centred and striking neon event. The result is an arguably excessive yet gorgeous nod to the Latin influences of the song, presented in a very K-pop way.
The average K-pop fan is accustomed to crisp, over-saturated, bright colour palettes in summer music videos. In “Give Me More”, it is no different, only made more extravagant. From the additional use of CG animations of flowers and fruits scattered around the video, green screens to create intentionally artificial-looking backdrops and jarring changes in lighting and setting throughout, the video pulls all stops to ensure a dynamic, endlessly eye-catching viewing experience.
Yet, the attention is not drawn away from the members themselves, who are still very much the centrepieces of the video’s overall glamour. VAV switch between casual beachwear to printed, glossy or flowery outfits that express the luxurious frivolousness of the music video. As the song hits its climax at the end, the fashion choices become progressively flashy with tassels, shiny accessories, glitter embellishments and glow-in-the-dark straps. In spite of all of this, the members don’t look pretentious or obnoxious, going through the scenes with laid-back confidence, giving both the song and video added credibility overall.
VAV are not as dance-focused as most of presently active boy groups, but this actually works to their advantage here. The members are not as mechanically synchronised and sharp as K-pop choreography is famously known for, but instead perform with a reassured flair that suits both the grooviness of the latin beats and the hard-hitting beat drops. Nonetheless, the choreography still retains classic elements of K-pop as a dance genre, and VAV are still presented as a cohesive unit. As it turns out, the choreographer is 1 Million Dance Studio‘s Mina Myoung, who is also responsible for Mamamoo‘s recent “Gogobebe”, and the involvement of yet another big name shows once more how VAV are pulling out all stops for this special single.
Perhaps the main weakness of the release is in its timing. Tropical house and latin-infused K-pop are both trends that featured more prominently in the past two years than in 2019. As such, “Give Me More” ends up feeling a lot less unique, but the infectious punchiness of the song is still likely to get just about anyone on their feet, and get those new to K-pop or VAV curious.
As a group that had an extremely slow start in finding themselves musically and conceptually, it is heartening to see VAV shine the way they have in recent comebacks. “Give Me More” is proof that even four years into their careers, VAV still have a lot more to offer and showcase. Amongst all its counterparts, the music video for “Give Me More” does the best job at encompassing all that is good and exciting about both Latin Pop and K-pop, with its perfect fusion of what the genres have to offer visually and musically.