February (AKA: When KPop Forgot Other Months Existed) was packed full of new music, new records, new awards, and of course… new drama. [Kell’s interjection: What? Drama? In KPop? Nooooo…that can’t be right… ]
Luckily, this month had a lot less goodbyes than January. But we did see an explosion of debuts.
- 6th – SPICA. B2M Entertainment announced the disbandment and release of girl group SPICA. In a radio interview on 7 February the group stated that they are choosing to focus on solo careers. Their debut was in 2012. Their 5th anniversary would have been 9 February. [No more secret time with SPICA]
- 9th – ZE:A. This announcement didn’t really come as a surprise since most of the members have been more focused on individual career projects or are serving enlistment. Their last release was a compilation album in 2015 titled Continue. [Continue….was a LIE (so much sobbing) *sniffles and hands Kell a tissue*]
- 9th – L.Joe leaves TeenTop. TeenTop vows to continue on as 5 members. [Seriously the Wikipedia entry changed like 2 minutes after the announcement. Harsh.]
- 10th – Wonder Girls. Final goodbye song, Draw Me, released on their 10th Anniversary. [Even louder sobbing]
- 17th – Lee HwaYoung leaves Boys24 and dissolve his contract with CJ E&M and Liveworks […I won’t say he deserved it but…you know…he wasn’t the sharpest stick…knife? However that saying goes…]
- Special Goodbye and many good wishes to T.O.P (BigBang) who began enlistment on 9 February. We look forward to when your enlistment ends. [(insert ugly sobbing emoji here) Agreed. Total ugly crying.]
The Hellos (debuts):
- 6th – 1NB, Stalker (digital single)
- 6th – Yoo Young Woong, 20 (single)
- 6th – Grace Shin, The Faith (single)
- 9th – H.U.B, Girl Gang (digital single)
- 10th – Titan, SA SA Hae (single)
- 14th – Moon Kim, Dark Chocolate, (Royal Pirates, solo debut, album single)
- 15th – Lunatic Syndrome, Russian Blue (single)
- 15th – Various, Barbie Girl (digital single)
- 15th – FMT (ft. JXL), Melt In Your Mouth (single)
- 16th – Tsun, Tell Me (single)
- 17th – Eden, I’m Still (single album)
- 17th – Sunny Play, Alice (single)
- 20th – Couple Diary, 넌 멍멍 난 야옹 (Woof Woof Meow) (single)
- 21st – Dash, I See U (ft. Microdot) (mini)
- 23rd – DaystAr, Flow (single)
- 24th – Monoday, The Day Is Gone Without You (mini album)
- 24th – Lee Si Eun, Tears (single)
[….am I that terrible person that doesn’t know a single one on that list outside of Royal Pirates? I am? Ouch.]
February means it’s finally the end of the Korean Award circuit [thank merciful heavens] [You’d think that meant I could sleep and use my computer for other purposes. But that would be wrong.]. The most well known; of course, is the Gaon Chart Awards.
22nd – The 6th Gaon Chart Awards. The Daesang awards are divided by quarter. The winners were as follows:
- 1st Quarter – GOT7
- 2nd Quarter – EXO
- 3rd Quarter – EXO
- 4th Quarter – BTS
A full list of winners and awards can be found on Soompi.
25th – Japan Golden Disc Awards. If you aren’t familiar; the Japan Golden Disc Awards is based mainly off sales and downloads [which we love] and is the highest and most respected music awards in Japan. [We also love that there is no award ceremony. Ceremonies are nice, but after 10,000 in 3 months we’re all kind of done.] The Korean artists who won awards this year were:
- BigBang – Best Asian Artist, Album of the Year (MADE Series), Best 3 Albums (MADE Series), Song of the Year Download (Bang Bang Bang) , and Best Music Video (“Made” World Tour DVD).
- BTS – Best 3 Albums, Youth
- 2PM – Best 3 Albums, Galaxy of 2PM
- iKON – Best 3 New Artists
- N.Flying – Best 3 New Artists
28th – The 14th Korean Music Awards. Not to be confused with the other KMAs- these KMAs focus more on genres like Indie, R&B, Jazz, HipHop, Rock, Folk and so on. Congrats to Jay Park for Musician of the Year, Bolbbalgan4 for Song of the Year, Jo Dong JIn for Album of the Year, and to all the other winners.
Unless you lost all internet connection for a month, crawled under a rock, and refused to speak with a single person who has the slightest inkling Korea exists…you probably are aware there were were a few YouTube records broken in the KPop world this February. But beyond the “Race For The Views” there were numerous other records that were created or broken. And frankly; we here at KpG think these new records are much more impressive than how many times we all stole our friends and family’s devices and forced them to stream. [This is, um… purely hypothetical. Right. Clearly, we would *cough* never do that.] [My hypothesis is that no one needs to use their devices if it’s not in front of them. So if you hide them and use them for more noble purposes, it’s fine.]
- 23rd – TWICE becomes the only girl group in Hanteo history to sell more than 100,000 copies in less than a week. Congrats to TWICE and ONCE.
- 13th – With the song Spring Day, BTS became the first ever Korean group to enter the US iTunes chart in the top 10 (entering at #8).
- BTS is the first Korean act to have 3 songs in the US iTunes top 20 simultaneously.
- With YNWA, BTS is the first Korean act to have 4 consecutive albums chart in the Billboard 200.
- 27th – BTS is the first Korean artist to have been on the Billboard 200 Chart 6 different times.
- BTS is still going strong creating the record for the most number of weeks on Billboard for both World Album Chart and Social 50.
- BTS sets a new record for all Korean artists with Not Today being their 10th song in the Top 10 Twitter Tracks and being the first group to reach position #1. (Psy’s collaboration with Snoop Dogg, Hangover, is the only other Korean artist to reach #1.)
- Music Bank: BTS sets a new record for highest score on Music Bank (24 March) since the change in the ranking system implemented in 2013.
- YouTube Likes:
- BTS’s Spring Day sets the record for the highest number of YouTube likes in 24 hours and the fastest MV to hit over 1 million likes in 29 hours.
- BTS now has the most number of MVs of any Korean artist (solo or group) to be “liked” over a million times. They are currently sitting at 6 MVs with over 1 million likes: Dope, Fire, Save Me, Blood Sweat & Tears, Spring Day, and Not Today.
- Psy previously held the record with 4 MVs.
- BigBang and EXO are tied 2nd in group and 3rd overall with 2 MVs each.
- BTS set a new record of hearts on V app with 145,775,947 hearts for the YNWA Preview Show. They also set a new record as the most watched individual/group live (as in not an award show or festival) with 3,904,214 viewers.
1st – 3 almost former members of Wa$$up (Nada, Jinju, and Dain) filed lawsuits with Mafia Records for lack of payment as well as finalization of their contract termination. Mafia Records still insists the March release will go forward with the four remaining junior members.
8th – SM Entertainment and KB Kookmin Bank are under investigation for dodgy bookkeeping, back door dipping from the National Pension Corporation, and preferential treatment for excessively low loan rates on extraordinarily large loans. [Say it with me Korea: Antitrust Laws. You need some. Like, yesterday.] [But, if they had those laws, then there couldn’t be corruption and bribery…how would the cogs of capitalism work without the greasy fingers stuck in everyone’s pots? And now I’ve grossed myself out with my own analogy.] Also the funding/banking/loan ties between SM and KB are connected through Choi Soon Sil… because organized crime and political corruption were just the edge this story was missing. [Aww, nerts. So the SM/Banking link is the same woman that’s been prosecuted for extorting chaebols and deeply involved in the Sewol Ferry corruption. Lovely, SM. You know how to pick ’em.] [Well I mean, if you’re gonna go that route, you actually DO want the one that has the greasiest fingers…yeah, I might as well go all in with that analogy.]
18th -SM Entertainment announces they plan to sue creators of the Indian film “KANNAYA” for plagiarizing EXO songs for their OST.
20th –JTC (J Tune Camp) folds. MBLAQ put on a we-have-no-idea-hiatus. MadTown had previously been signed to GNI in January 2017. [OMGT! YOLO! (sorry for my terrible MadTown jokes)]
21st – BigHit Entertainment (BTS) website gets hacked and their own MV is replaced with TWICE’s Knock Knock. [Pffft! Yes, I’m ARMY. And yes, I find this hilarious. Illegal, but hilarous.] [The Twitterstorm that blew up from this pulled out a lot of the crazy conspiracy nuts too. It was pretty entertaining.]
22nd – GNI Entertainment is investigated for fraud and the CEO has been arrested. [Holy hanboks! MadTown just can’t catch a break can they?!] [Ok. Now I feel almost bad for my previous jokes. But where else was I going to use those?? Also, don’t judge me, I really like those songs.]
22nd – “Ermahgerd Plagiarism” is back. [*sigh*] VIPs and a YG producer accuse BTS of plagiarism over a stock image and the knetz go wild. (Spoiler: Gaon staff apologized and admitted it was their mistake and neither BTS nor Big Hit Entertainment had anything to do with it). [Honestly- Gaon never should have had to apologize. It was a stock image for crying out loud. You can’t “plagiarize” a stock image.]
24th – Cube refuses to allow BEAST to keep their name. [Bastards. 100% Agreed.]
The band from here on out will be called Highlight and they will debut under their new name in March.
27th – new rules for Korean streaming sites begin.
28th – South Korea’s Supreme Court denies Yoo Seung Joon’s appeal to reenter Korea. (For all you newbie kpoppers- Yoo Seung Joon was a crazy famous star back in the day who attempted to dodge mandatory military enlistment by applying for dual citizenship in the US in 2002. Korea deported him, revoked his citizenship, and has denied his entrance into Korea ever since.)
28th – Jay Park signs with American artist Jay-Z’s label ROC Nation. [Good luck Jay!]
17th – MIXX chooses “MATCH” as their fandom name. [Honestly I think it’s a really cute fandom name.]
21st – Jung Joon Young fanclub gets an official name: Jungbrahimovic [Can I say how much I adore this guy?! He’s such a lowkey troll. He gave his fandom a name that can’t even be pronounced in Korean just because he loves Zlatan Ibrahmimovic and Korea wouldn’t let him officially change his last name.] [Everyone should love JJY.]
38th – Fantagio announced that ASTRO’s official fan colors will be Space Violet and Vivid Plum. Congrats Arohas.
Starting this month we’ll be adding our top 5 favorites to the monthly lookback. Hopefully you’ll find something you like, and maybe something new. Let us know.
Seoul’s Top 5 Tracks from February:
- BTS – Not Today
- BTS – Spring Day
- Grace – Zombie High
- Rhythm Power – Bangsaneung
- Taeyeon – I Got Love
Honorable Mention: Code Kunst – Fire Water
Kell’s Top 5 Tracks from February:
[I figured it’d be redundant if I had the same list as Seoul so here’s my “give it a listen if you haven’t heard them yet” tracks. Also, maybe narrowing down this list to only 6 songs was WAY harder than I thought. Right?! Not an easy task.]
- Day6 – You Were Beautiful
- Jung Joon Young – Me And You
- K.A.R.D. – Don’t Recall
- B.I.G. – 1.2.3.
- Mad Clown – Lost Without You (Featuring Bolbbalgan4)
Honorable Mention: SF9 – Roar
For a full look at the calendar of events and releases from February 2017… go here.