Remembering Jonghyun: SM Entertainment Gives Fans Jonghyun’s Final Goodbye

SM Entertainment released, Kim Jonghyun’s, popularly known as Jongghyun,  posthumous album Poet|Artist on Tuesday. Kim’s final album showcases the artist’s meticulousness, complex artistry and the struggles of being an entertainer in a world of constant scrutiny.

Jonghyun title track ‘Shinin’ is the signature electronic-pop he became popular for while a part of South Korean boyband, SHINEE. The song is a promise to always be with a loved one no matter what. It also captures the vibrant personality Kim showed while performing and on variety shows.

The music video reflects the retro vibe Jonghyun established through his previous albums. Jonghyun transitions into various vibrant, gradient backgrounds as he croons his way into the hearts of listeners and Shawols while wearing his signature smile.

‘Shinin’ is Jonghyun’s last gift to fans.

While ‘Shinin’ is an upbeat song filled with everlasting promise of comfort, other songs on Poet|Artist present the darker sides of being an artist.

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B-sidetrack, ‘Hashtag’ tells an eerie story of how one-sided living in limelight can be.  sings of how there were constant rumors being spread about him, but there was no one who could do anything about it. His company overlooked the controversies.

This song is a powerful message about the ugly side of fandom culture and entertainment. Artists seem to be at the mercy of those buy their products, yet are the ones providing their audiences with an outlet to identify some kind of commonality in their struggles.

Beyond that, Jonghyun’s albums and death create a dialogue that has been relatively silent in Asian entertainment. The stigma attached to mental health is deafening. Those who suffer from mental illness do not seek treatment in fear of criticism, but for those who do they are simply deflected and told it is just an aspect of who they are.

However in Jonghyun’s case he did seek help. Unfortunately, he was told his mental illness was just a part of his personality, according to the singer’s suicide note.

This declaration by his doctor only encourages the ‘endure’ mentality many people of color have within their communities.

As audiences across the world remember former Shinee member, Jonghyun, it can only be hoped that his art truly speaks to the souls they were meant to touch. All of us who struggle.

Despite the sorrow that surrounds Jonghyun’s death, there is an uplifting joy. The album is a rollercoaster just like the rollercoaster of life.

The final track on Jonghyun’s Poet|Artist, Before the Spring is a sweet, reassuring track that says all will be okay. Perhaps the most gut-wrenching part is the ending. It feels like the listener can hear him slipping away as he sings his final notes. Still, the calm, sweetness of his voice does reiterate things will always turn out okay. Things are always rough in the winter, but somehow work out in the spring.

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Not only should Jonghyun be remembered for his artistry, but he must also be remembered as an activist. He was an advocate for the LGBTQ community in South Korea, and he always reassured being different was okay. He was a voice for those who felt too different to find a place in this world.

Jonghyun, 27, died on December 18, 2017 via carbon monoxide poisoning. He was the leader of international boyband Shinee. He is survived by his mother and sister.

All of the proceeds from Kim’s album will go to help those struggling like Jonghyun, according to SM Entertainment.

https://open.spotify.com/embed/album/3KrFO9QDgfa4UAiqM6flTf

M/V and Song Review: Martini Blue

Dream Perfect Regime LIVE, also known as DPR LIVE, released the music video for his newest single ‘Martini Blue’ on Thursday. Taking place in the beautiful scenery of Santorini, Greece, Martini Blue is a heavy dose of summer nostalgia and wanderlust.

Drone shots, point of view, mid and wide shots come together to capture the beauty of the city. From drone shots of the Aegean Sea to an attention-grabbing intro close up, the music video offers something similar to Jay Park’s ‘Drive.’ Pristine, vibrant colors of Santorini’s buildings and awe-inducing shots of the mountain-side. As vibrant as Santorini may be, the video produces a calm yet seductive vibe for listeners.

DPR’s director and chief editor, Christian Yu does an immaculate job of providing mid-range shots of DPR LIVE’s shadow and capturing the relaxing, comfort of a sunset. He also managed to put DPR’s signature sunset shot into the video. The colors of the sunset paired with wide-shots of the Aegean Sea create a seductive atmosphere as the song lyric’s come into play.

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photo from WHAT THE KPOP

The lyrics are rapped in a soft yet effective tone. DPR LIVE’s tone fluctuation is strong and captivating throughout his flow. The “mmm-mmm’s” and ad-libs bring a summer liveliness to mellow vibe of the song and video. His lyrics are the typical ‘girl I’m so into you and we could smash by the look on your face,’ but it’s the constant reference to Martini Blue that is intriguing. When the words are broken down and translated, Martini Blue can be an allusion to the moment a person realizes he or she is deeply, irrevocably in love with someone. Perhaps martini refers to the drunken feeling a person feels in love while blue is a deep, complex color. Putting the two together creates a drunken love that is as deep and complex as the ocean.

The overall production of the video and song is well executed. The attention to detail and immaculate editing show this project was conscious of its intended surroundings. Choosing Santorini as the location for a song that makes references to Ariel and “living in a deep blue ocean,” is perfect for showing the freshness and beauty of a relationship. Like love, Santorini is a place people dream of experiencing but not everyone gets the chance.

My Summer Ear-gasms

As summer 2017 winds down, I’m excited to share a few of my favorite music releases. From Red Velvet to Travis Scott, this summer has been filled with amazing finds and surprises. These tracks definitely made summer a whole lot sweeter.

RED VELVET- 빨간 맛/ Red Flavor

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Red Velvet filled a void let by South Korea’s “Queens of Summer” girl group SISTAR. Red Flavor captures the essence of summer with its upbeat melodies and bright visuals. The song’s bass, high-hat, 808’s, and guiro paired with the members’ vocals creates a concoction as sweet as watermelon.

Red Flavor’s music video also does not disappoint. It stays true to the quirky image Red Velvet has developed since their debut. Each member represents a favorite summer fruit and interview themselves as the fruit. The video also bounces between vibrant summer colors.

Red Velvet’s Red Flavor captures the joy, freedom, freshness and beginnings of summer. The song is how people feel when summer kicks off.

Lecrae- I’ll Find You ft. Tori Kelly

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I’ll Find You could not have come out at a better time in my life. Lecrae’s lyrics describe an all to real and close to home struggle of coming Home while battling the ways of the world. While, Tori Kelly sings the course of encouragement to hold on and promise to be found.

Kelly’s honey vocals perfectly counter Lecrae’s powerful flow. The raw emotion each gives to the song amplify its message and offers a true sense of comfort.

Religious or not, it is a song that anyone and everyone can relate to.

Travis Scott- Butterfly Effect

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It took me a while to listen to this gem, and it was nothing short of great. Butterfly Effect delivered with its soft trap beat. Scott’s voice is entrancing and relaxing throughout the song. With each listen the song becomes more captivating.

The music video’s visuals are hypnotic and transfer viewers into a realm of psychedelic colors. It’s as if we ourselves are on a trip.

Nonetheless, Butterfly Effect is exactly what this summer needed.

BLACKPINK-  마지막처럼/ As If It’s Your Last

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BLACKPINK’s latest release was the perfect K-pop track to start the summer. As If It’s Your Last’s has a flavor that’s reminiscent of 2ne1 through it’s heavy bass and toms, lively trumpet, hip hop undertones, catchy chorus and bright vocals.

The music video is vibrant in its colors of pinks, yellows, and reds. Perhaps the most memorable part of the music video is Lisa’s rap. Her rap is an appreciated contrast to bubbly vocals of the song. Her lyrics are flawless and hard-hitting while complementing her urban attire and background.

The ladies of BLACKPINK are full of energy and sweetness in song and music video. It definitely a catchy tune to groove to throughout the summer.

Suran- Walking

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photo: kpopscene

Walking is the perfect contrast to all of the tropical/dance hall influences of this summer. Suran’s mellow, entrancing voice is relief everyone needs at the beginning and end of each day. It’s the sunrise and sunset.

This song is all about growth and walking through life’s journey. It’s the pick-me-up when things get a bit scary because we’ll all be fine, and the reminder being alone isn’t as frightening as we may think.

It’s the track to keep us all grounded throughout the chaos of the summer.

Shakira – Chantaje ft. Maluma

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Shakira’s Chantaje was definitely overshadowed by the success of Despacito.

Chantaje is catchy and full of Latin flavor. Drums and a Middle Eastern undertone effortlessly show off Shakira’s Colombian and Lebanese heritage. The beat and the repeating Chantaje are addicting. Listeners cannot help but nod their heads and feel the urge to move their hips. It’s a steady groove that counters Despacito’s various rhythms.

Shakira and Maluma heated up the charts and summer with this gem.

Jay Park- Yacht (K) ft. Sik-K

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Roc Nation’s newest member definitely gave vacation envy when this track dropped this summer.  Yacht is a feel-good song that makes you want to grab your boo and get away from the craziness from the world.

Park’s smooth vocals and Sik-K’s rap combined with a groovy, RnB beat is a sweet, savory recipe. The soft tropical beat transports listeners to a beautiful waters of the Caribbean.

The keyboard, 808, and subtle steel drum makes this track a summer favorite.

These are just few of my summer favorites. Be on the look for more of my favorites!