Summer’s almost over, but it’s never too late for one last adventure! Want to join me for a little trip today?! I’ve discovered a great selection of songs that will take us to Japan, China, and The Philippines. If you want to expand your horizons and experience some great tracks outside the realm of K-pop, hurry and join the tour!!
Chen – ‘Light of My Life’
First up, a new song from Chen’s first solo Japanese album! Well-known as one of EXO’s main vocalists, he brings all the power and beauty of his voice to ‘Light of My Life’. I love the use of the strings in this pop-ballad track, and his ad-libs at the end of the song are just gorgeous!!
Pentagon – ‘Pado (Wave to Me)’
I was so excited to see Pentagon pop up on my new release radar! This fresh track off their Japanese album Pado is the perfect end of summer soundtrack. The combination of groovy EDM and strong bass beats is very addictive — I dare you to listen just once!!
INI – ‘Fanfare’
I’m sad I wasn’t able to travel to L.A. to attend KCON this year. But as a fangirl, I did the next best thing and bought an online pass — I couldn’t miss the amazing 3-night concert line-up! I was very happy to get to know some of the newer groups a bit better. and one of these was INI. This eleven-member team, formed from the winners of Produce 101 JP (season 2), really impressed me!! I loved their energetic stage presence and bubbly personalities — ‘Fanfare’ is an excellent anthem for this group, showing off their great vocal talents and high-energy choreography!!
Santa – ‘Rough or’
I first discovered Japanese artist Santa because of his amazing dance talents! He’s very popular in Chinese entertainment circles, having appeared on MANY dance competition shows, and currently he’s part of the Japanese-Chinese boy group WARPs UP. But it’s his latest solo drop in the world of C-pop that we’re visiting today! ‘Rough or’ is an explosive rock track showcasing his well-rounded performance skills — I love jamming along to this song!!
Nana OuYang – ‘Mama Said’
Brand-new to me, Nana OuYang is a multi-talented Taiwanese artist! Actress, musician (piano, guitar and award-winning cellist), and singer, she caught my attention with this track from her newly-released album The Star. A departure from her usual piano and strings, or acoustic guitar-style ballads, I really enjoyed the rebellious rock vibes she played with for ‘Mama Said’!!
SB19 – ‘GENTO’
The ‘GENTO’ dance challenge has taken over the social media scene recently. And after seeing a cover from a favorite Kpop artist, I HAD to go check out the original song and choreography!! SB19 is a hugely popular Filipino pop group and this newest track off their album Pagtatag! is definitely worth every bit of the hype. Not only are they using word play in the lyrics to bring light to the downtrodden lives of the working class, but the strong beat of the music is gripping and choreo powerful — it’s an outstanding combination!!
How was the trip, fellow K-Pop adventurers — any of these great artists find a spot on your playlist?! Who are your favorite Asian artists outside of Korea?? Drop down to the comments and let me know!!
Dramas with a Side of Kimchi