Category Archives: kpop

Never, never give up!

It’s been way too long since the last installment of my “Kpop for Writers” series. All that PitchWars and writing shenanigans eclipsed my music, especially since my iTunes is currently gone. Yeah, crashed computer and all that. But boy, do I have a new ear worm for you guys. This one is not just a scene-inspiration song, it can also be a personal theme song or hype helper, if you will.

In recent years, with some of their main members in the military, including their leader, Leetuk, and vocal back-bone, Yesung (*swoon*), Super Junior has been on a small hiatus. I featured Super Junior (SuJu) in my last post, and I also mentioned that they have several sub-units. Super Junior’s sub-unit “M” (for Mandarin) launched a mini album in China a few days ago and the rest of the world has another week to wait. This 8-member unit is made up of six original Super Junior members, one Chinese singer, and one Canadian-born Chinese/Taiwanese jack-of-all-trades superstar (seriously, Google Henry Lau). Today’s pick is Super Junior M’s latest single “Swing.” No, it’s not Kpop despite 6/8 Korean members. It’s Mandopop! Take a listen.

Their music video for “Swing” came out this weekend, and I’ve been shamelessly listening to it on repeat since I got to work today. This song has some serious energy and hype. By the eighth play-through, I was rocking out in my office and praying my boss wouldn’t pop in. Though my “Kpop for Writers” picks up to this point have contained almost no English lyrics, that’s not actually typical. You’ll notice in this song that one English phrase stands out over everything: “Swing! Never, never give up!”

Coming on the tail of PitchMadness and just before PitMad, I thought this song would be a perfect pick. Not only can you play this while you write your Rocky Balboa montages, but you can also play it as a pick-me-up to press onward after a rejection letter or your name absent from the short-list.

Some of my favorite lyrics from “Swing.”

Hurry and shout with all your might along with the music
Swing never never give up
Even with worries, no big deal, you’ll forget it in a second
Hurry and shout with all your might with the music
Swing never never give up


Life sometimes complains with exaggeration
Don’t mind it, with me it will be a perfect show
So relax, be cool
Come with me, happiness is attracted like magic
Open your eyes everyday, there will be new experiences
Be the truest you

Sometimes you’ll lose your way
Your heart will sink to the deepest sea floor
Let this tune give you an escape
Dance with me tonight
Swing my baby, tonight!
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Plus, no one’s fooling anyone. We’ve all wanted to break out into dance like that at work, too. ^_~


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No Other for your sweet love

Here’s installment #2 of my Kpop for Writers series: Super Junior’s No Other.

I classify Kpop artists into three categories: you have Kpop with rock (bands like C.N. Blue), Kpop with Hiphop (groups like B.A.P, BigBang, Beast), and straight pop groups. Super Junior would be considered a straight pop group. Every single member is a singer –  no one raps (except Eunhyuk on occasion, but it’s so light, it’s hardly considered rap), and no one plays instruments. They all sing, and they all have beautiful voices on their own. Super Junior is your quint-essential boyband.

One of the cool things about Super Junior (SuJu for short) is their subgroups. Some Kpop groups will have members break off to do other things under a different name. SuJu, for instance, has, most notably, Super Junior M (Mandarin), who put out Chinese music and K.R.Y (stands for the three members KyuHyun, Ryowook, and Yesung – the three most swoon-worthy voices from SuJu) who do really powerful ballads. Yeah, that was a really long, choppy sentence, so I hope you’re still with me.


Yesung – add some black glasses, and that’s my character, Hazel, dead on.

The other cool thing about Super Junior is that they have twelve members. Yep, twelve. Their numbers have dwindled some due to two serving in the military (it’s mandatory over there) and one dropped to do acting. I was immediately sucked into Super Junior because of one member: Yesung. Not only does he have the most gorgeous voice ever (seriously, youtube him – his nickname, Yesung, means art-like voice), but the moment I saw him, my jaw dropped, and I blurted out loud to an empty room: “Holy SH**, it’s Hazel!” Yes, Yesung is exactly how I pictured my secondary main character if you just put a pair of glasses on him (and those photos do exist, ladies and gents – chyeah Google!).

Okay, so enough about SuJu (and Yesung) – I brought you here for music! I now present you with Super Junior’s “No Other.”

If you don’t watch the video, you can already tell by the music that it’s dripping with a sickening sweetness. There’s something pleasant about how the lyrics roll off their voices, like the feeling you get when someone you love surprises you, or a phone call from a friend you’ve long lost touch with.

We arrived on the same road, we’re just the same, how surprising, how grateful, it’s love

There’s no one like you, even if I look around it’s just like that, where else to look for?
A good person like you, a good person like you, with a good heart like you, a gift as great as you
How lucky that I’m the person who will try his hard to protect you, where else to look for?
A happy guy like me, a happy guy like me, the guy with the happiest smile like me

Taken from the refrain – this song is your typical, super-sweet love note. Watch the video if you haven’t already: cavity-inducing gestures of love. Seriously. You’ll need a dental visit after.

Suggested scenes: Put this on repeat for your characters’ love confessions, marriage proposals, or any scene where a character does something nice or romantic for another. Moments of pure frolicking happiness between two love-birds. Maybe not so much for crushes, but definitely for deep-seated aches of real love between couples with longevity.

One last batch of lyrics, the mini light-rap section:

You know, I’m a little bit shy sometimes, you don’t know but you’re burning like the sun, please understand my feelings
Even those girls that appears on TV shows are sparkling, you’ll always be the one in my eyes (I’m going crazy crazy Baby)
Hearing you tell me that you love me, I have everything in this world, You & I, You’re so fine, is there no one like you?
I love you Oh, please know it, to me there’s only you, that I see you as my everything

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Crooked for your crazy broken heart

Okay, so now that I’ve done the introduction (if you haven’t read it yet, click back a post) I can kick this series off with G-Dragon’s Crooked.

Don’t watch the video, just listen to the song first. Go on, I’ll wait.

What does it make you think of when you listen to it? It’s upbeat, but there’s a hint of something more underneath. Can you hear/ feel it? It sounds like it should be a party anthem, but the way the refrain is done in a choppy manner and ends in a downward run of notes gives it a hopeless feeling.

Now watch the video. It looks like some punk kid trying to start trouble, losing himself in clubs, picking fights with people on the street. Keep going to the end. What do you see? Exactly. I admit I tear up at the end of the video every time.

In english, the second half of the refrain is this:

Leave me alone
I was alone anyway
I have no one, everything is meaningless
Take away the sugar-coated comfort
Tonight, I’ll be crooked

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The song is about losing someone and going nuts on a binge of troublesome activity to fill that void, but it’s still there, eating you alive.

Recommended scenes: Your MC suffers a devastating heartbreak and has no way to contain his/her feelings. The MC proceeds in a downward spiral of unhealthy activity to cope with a loss or a devastating event. I think of Will Herondale when I listen to this. Got a menacing character with a tragic past? This song’s for them.

Other noteworthy lyrics – second verse:

I’ll put on thick eyeliner, use a whole can of hairspray
Leather pants, leather jacket with a frown
I want to hide my pain and become even more crooked
So you can feel sorry, I’ll spit toward the sky
You’re scared of my crude words and my rough eyes
But actually, I’m afraid, I want to go back but I have nowhere to go
I want to love but no one to love, what am I supposed to do?
I can’t turn it back

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Feel free to use this song for your desperate scenes of heartache. Happy writing!

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Introducing Kpop

My last post gave me an idea.

I mentioned in my Pitch Wars Bio that I have an exorbitant amount of Korean Pop music to inspire any writer. Well, why not do a blog post series? If you haven’t read that post, here is the reiteration:

“Not knowing the Korean lyrics is actually a good thing. For one, you don’t need to know the lyrics to feel what the song is about. It’s like classical, except… not. It allows you to focus on writing your scenes without a singer putting words into your head.”

So, that’s what I’m going to do, starting with the ever popular G-Dragon and his most recent song “Crooked.”

Leave your conceptions about pop music at the door – Korean Pop music (Kpop) is not like American pop music. Kpop artists range in genre from ballads to rap to electronic to rock, and some groups have multiple genres even in their own groups. Take G-Dragon, for instance. He’s know for his crazy antics and his ability to both rap and sing. He’s also a group member of a Kpop group called BIG BANG.

Within BIG BANG is T.O.P (I’m sure you’ve noticed by now that they like to use nicknames. A smart choice for companies who see their stars going internationally). T.O.P has a deep, smoky rap voice. I’m not kidding. Most people I introduce to Kpop cant believe the tone that comes out of him. Also in BIG BANG are DaeSung who has a powerful ballad voice, and Sungri who is also a singer. Then last, but not least, is Taeyang who has a soulful singing voice but is also adequate at rap.

If you pair G-D and T.O.P (or Taeyang) for a duet (“Baby Goodnight” or “Turn it Up”), you’ll get some pretty good rap, coupled with some very good singing (and I hate American rap). In songs where Daesung is the vocal lead  (“Love Song” or “Wings”), you get beautiful melodic music that may have some hints of heavier stuff in the background.

This post has gone on way too long, so I’ll save my run-down on G-D’s “Crooked” for my next post. I’m sure my explanation on the diversity of Kpop hardly did the genre justice, so I suggest to give it a listen. For BIGBANG, I suggest you start with Fantastic Baby (electronic/rap/melodic), Bad Boy (hiphop,melodic), Love Song (melodic with some hiphop), T.O.P’s Turn it Up (rap).


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