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Billboard Magazine : 10 Must-Watch Korean Acts at SXSW 2017

Han Myung-Gu/WireImage Tiger JK, Bizzy of Drunken Tiger and Yoon Mi-Rae attend "Jean Paul Gaultier" Exhibition at DDP on March 25, 2016 in Seoul, South Korea. Over the past few years, the Austin-based South By Southwest has hosted numerous artists heading over from South Korea to perform at its music festival. If you’re planning on attending, here’s your guide to the Korean musicians you should check out:

Big Phony

A Korean-American from New York City who now calls Seoul his home, Big Phony will bring a bit of a soulful side to SXSW. The folk rock singer’s gentle strumming and sentimental lyrics will have the whole audience swaying along to his chill tunes.

Drunken Tiger

Originally a pioneering hip hop crew in the late ‘90s, Drunken Tiger changed the face of Korea’s hip hop and introduced the genre to the general Korean public. Over the years, Tiger JK, the crew's frontman, and Drunken Tiger have become synonymous, with the the rapper using both monikers in his work. Tiger JK announced earlier this year that he'll retire the Drunken Tiger title after one last album, so make sure to check out this set. It will also feature other acts from his label Feel Ghood Music, including MFBTY -- Tiger JK's act with Yoonmirae and Bizzy that put out one of the best Korean albums of 2015 -- Junoflo, and Ann One.

Galaxy Express

Garage rock comes to life with this trio, who are famous for performing with all the enthusiasm and energy their proto-punk music demands. They’re no SXSW rookies (they played the event in 2011, 2012, and 2013), but it’s been a few years since Galaxy Express has visited the Austin festival so they’ll surely put on a memorable, passionate performance.


The Sistar member known for her breathy power vocals launched a solo career with an R&B flair in 2013, and has since attempted to pursue a more hip hop-focused sound -- including a stint on a Korean music competition seeking to find the best up-and-coming female rappers. But don't worry; Hyolyn is still very much a K-pop singer, seamlessly blending a multitude of musical styles into each of her songs. Her latest batch of singles -- “Paradise,” “One Step” with Jay Park, and “Love Like This” with Dok2 -- will definitely be the highlights of her set at SXSW.

Luna Lee

Rock music looks a bit different with Luna Lee thanks to her gayageum, a traditional Korean stringed instrument. The musician -- who regularly uploads covers of classic rock to YouTube -- blends rock, blues, and pop with the ambient sound of the gayageum to create modern-sounding songs with a throwback feel. For her SXSW debut, Lee will also work with a backing band to provide an even more dynamic show.

Neon Bunny

The ethereal electro pop of Neon Bunny makes her one of South Korea’s most talented young female indie artists, thanks to her music’s ability to reflect the creative essence of Seoul -- a little hectic, a bit lackadaisical, and always progressing towards something new. She’s embraced a wide range of sounds over the years, from ‘80s new wave to jazz, in pursuit of her dreamy pop sound and is a fan favorite.

No Brain

Celebrating their 20th year, No Brain is considered the foundation upon which the rest of Korea’s punk scene rests upon thanks to their progressive music style and refusal to be complacent with the state of music in the country. Their raw rock anthems transcend language boundaries and their powerful performances should not be missed.

Red Velvet

This year has very few actual K-pop acts attending SXSW, making this girl group’s performance at K-Pop Night Out a must-watch for fans of the genre. Produced by Korean music behemoth SM Entertainment, the five members -- Wendy, Irene, Seulgi, Yeri, and Joy -- will combine sleek choreography with saccharine vocals. The quintet recently released their new EP Rookie, which followed in the trend of their hook-filled, quirky hits like “Dumb Dumb” and “Ice Cream Cake." Their name references the group's dichotomy, with "red" referring to their pop-oriented side and "velvet" relating to their more mature side, showcased through songs like the R&B slowburn “Automatic" and the evocative “One of These Nights."


The electro hip hop duo held nothing back on their debut EP Kyomi last year, an impressive album that thrived on experimental beats and aggressive lyrics, with each track offering some new taste of what XXX has to offer. Though hip hop is currently thriving on Korean music charts, the guttural and profanity-filled music of XXX is rougher and rawer than most of what’s out there. And that's precisely what makes their SXSW debut so intriguing.


While she is half of Korea's most prominent hip hop powercouple -- she and Tiger JK got married in 2007 and their son Jordan featured on Wondaland -- and part of MBFTY, Yoonmirae is so much more than that. Simultaneously recognized as one of most talented female emcees and one of the country’s most beloved balladeers, Yoonmirae has been active in South Korea for two decades and remained relevant with the dichotomy of her provocative hip hop tunes and tender love songs.

Find all of the acts' performance schedules on SXSW's website.

Reporter : Tamar Herman
SXSW Booking Agency : Drunken Tiger / Yoonmirae
International Distribution : Big Phony / Galaxy Express / No Brain


BBC World Service : Global Beats - South Korea


South Korea is famous for K-pop, slick girl and boy bands with millions of fans around the world and now a multi-million dollar industry. But South Korea also has a vibrant independent music scene, with bands playing every genre of music you can think of, and, as Global Beats discovers, increasingly seeking their own distinctly Korean sound.

Presenter Bernie Cho introduces our pick of the freshest, most exciting artists in Korea right now, including rapper Yoonmirae who is giving Beyonce a run for her money with gorgeous R&B anthems and has collaborated with husband Tiger JK to produce some of her country’s biggest hip hop hits.

Danpyunsun and the Sailors (pictured) are as different from a perfectly coiffed and polished K-pop act as it’s possible to imagine, with a wild haired frontman making prog-folk magic on guitar, accompanied by a furious violinist and off-piste percussion. Jambinai and Jeong Ga Ak Hoe bring traditional Korean instruments roaring into the future, playing them with the gusto of a rock bass guitarist.

Neon Bunny samples old Korean songs, turning them into hypnotic, electronic melodies. Goonam have a vintage, trippy sound, which is winning fans at home and at festivals overseas, and last, but not least, 3rd Line Butterfly are an award winning indie band who perform a stripped down version of one of the their most beautiful songs, exclusively for Global Beats, which you can watch on this site.


"Growing up I experienced racism and bullying" says Yoonmirae

Yoonmirae's father is African-American, her mother Korean. She explains how her song Black Happiness celebrates this heritage and how it has struck a chord with young Koreans.

Release date : 18 November 2016 

Duration : 3 minutes

Yeom Yangchun performed on traditional Korean instruments

Jeong Ga Ak Hoe from South Korea perform with traditional instruments like the Saeng-Hwang (pictured). Recorded at the BBC's Maida Vale studios.

Release date : 18 November 2016
Duration : 7 minutes

3rd Line Butterfly: Today the Day of Separation

"I'm dumped, and I want to spit on your face" sings lead vocalist Nahm Sang-ah. Today the 
Day of Separation is a song of lost love.

Release date : 18 November 2016
Duration : 6 minutes

Jeong Ga Ak Hoe perform Wolsun's Folding

Korean group Jeong Ga Ak Hoe recorded for Global Beats at the BBC's Maida Vale studios

Release date : 18 November 2016

Duration : 6 minutes

Producer : Catherine Fellows
Presenter : Bernie Cho




2016 SXSW Showcasing Artists Zion.T with the Session, WYM, Mamamoo, Love X Stereo, Guten Birds

[Austin TX] K-Pop Night Out and Seoulsonic are back with eclectic lineups showcasing the best in Korean music at the 2016 SXSW Music Festival.

The wildly popular K-Pop Night Out returns to SXSW for its fourth year, with KOCCA (Korea Creative Content Agency) bringing yet another diverse showcase of Korean music to The Belmont (305 W 6th St) on Wednesday, March 16. This year’s lineup includes R&B singer/producers Zion.T with The Session and DEAN, IDM/minimal house producer Haihm, K-Pop girl group Mamamoo, synth indie-rockers Love X Stereo, heavy metal worshippers Victim Mentality, and more to be announced.

Seoulsonic returns to The Majestic (419-B E 6th St) on Friday, March 18 for their seventh annual SXSW showcase with the breezy electro-pop of Neon Bunny, female post-rock trio Guten Birds, the Brit-pop embracing Bye Bye Badman, atmospheric electronic rock act HEO, reggae band Windy City, and electro-pop producer WYM.

It's not to late to register for a Music or Platinum badge! With your badge, you'll receive priority entry into this and other showcases, access to exclusive networking opportunities, assistance booking your hotel room, and more.

2016 KOCCA KPop Night Out & Seoulsonic Showcases (Planning/Production/Promotions) : DFSB Kollective x SK Planet
International Distribution : DFSB Kollective (Love X Stereo/HEO/WYM)


Korean Electro-Pop Duo < Glen Check > Scores Rave Reviews at 2015 Clockenflap Hong Kong Music & Arts Festival


It's not all about the headliners. Justin Sweeting, Clockenflap's music director, provides his nominations for 10 less heralded acts you absolutely have to make time for.


If you’re looking for me at around 19:45 on Saturday night, I’m going to be (badly) dancing front and centre to Korean synth-rock winners Glen Check.  Occupying a musical space somewhere between Two Door Cinema Club, Hot Chip and Justice, it’s a very happy place to be. Come join.

Clockenflap is in its eighth year and this event brought Hong Kong another wild weekend. SCMP was blogging live until Sunday night and we present the full live experience for readers to recap. 




Back on the YourMum stage, South Korea's Glen Check put together a jaw dropping celebration of light and sound. With influences from LCD Soundsystem to Daft Punk and Hot Chip, the duo pulled out all the stops to get the crowd moving and prove there's more to their homeland's music scene than factory-farmed k-pop. If you haven't heard of them, get them up on YouTube or Spotify now, because this pair are gonna be big.

International Festival Booking : DFSB Kollective (Glen Check)


K-Pop 'Fresh Prince of Seoul' Jay Park Headlines 2015 Shanghai Echo Park Festival

The wait is over.

On September 19th and 20th 2015, a new festival breaks ground at the sprawling grasslands of the Shanghai Football Rugby Club.

Echo Park will feature 57 artists across 4 stages, and what we think might just be the broadest and deepest international lineup at a Chinese festival ever. We’re proud and excited to present a massive spread of some of the most intoxicating artists from across the globe (and right here in China of course), to help us create a truly beautiful festival experience for those who love music and life.

Escape, play, and discover A Place Less Ordinary.

Spanning the musical rainbow, from Britpop, K-pop, funk and soul to shoegaze, electronic, folk-metal and punk, we’ve curated a lineup with something for everyone. We’ve been fiddling with stages and slots for 3 months now, so we’re pretty sure you could come to the festival without knowing a single song by a single band, and still spend a magical couple of days hanging out with new music and real fans. We’ve got you covered!


Over half of our lineup is international, with artists from the United States, Canada, U.K, New Zealand, Australia, Japan, and Korea.

Headlining Echo Park, we’re proud to announce the Grammy-nominated, chart-topping, futuristic R’n’B diva Kelis; electronic titans Chase & Status; and the K-pop “Fresh Prince of Seoul” Jay Park. They’ll be joining Gerard Way, who’ll be bringing his post-My-Chemical-Romance solo project to our Place Less Ordinary. And finally, we have two icons of hip-hop playing together, confirmed, but not yet ready to be announced…

But really, we are shooting for a post-headliner lineup in a headliner world. J  We are most proud of the depth and variety of our bill and to that end, we have punk legends Pennywise, rising indie stars Swim Deep and Beach Fossils (with E********* E********* to be announced), post-punk dabblers Nite Fields, and Canadian dance-punksters We Are Wolves. And there’s more – we’ve got a full(ish) list at the end of this press release.

They’ll be joining our first round artists Young Fathers, singer-songwriter Jeff Lang, the seminal Japanese hardcore band Envy and Korean old-school Ska Group Kingston Rudieska.

On the electronic front, Echo Park has invited Manchester’s Star Slinger  (bringing you stuff you know and stuff you don’t), Nick Monaco on a disco tip, grime overlord Bok Bok, Japan houser Kikorix, plus K****** and C.*. to be announced.


From Hong Kong, Taiwan and Mainland China, we have the veteran folk-rock band Sound Toy, up-and-coming talents The Fuzz from Xi’an and Stolen from Chengdu, the Inner Mongolian folk-rock of AJINAI, hip-hop from J-Fever & Soulspeak and Itsogoo, and the dark dystopian sounds of Beijing’s Nova Heart. We also have critically acclaimed shoegaze from Forests and goth-rockers Murky Crows, both from Taiwan. They’ll be joining Hong Kong indie darlings Chochukmo, electro-rock veterans Duck Fight Goose and one of the most talked about mainland bands at the moment, The Big Wave.

A full list of Hong Kong, Taiwanese and Mainland acts can also be found at the end of this press release.

Bringing the beats from the mainland, we have Beijing’s man of the moment  Howie Lee, the tech-house of Beijing’s Y*** ****, the chop-funk of Shanghai’s Damacha, the experimental stylings of Laura Ingalls (wait, we thought he was dead?) and the relentless Cavia.

They will join the already announced urban soul of Guangzhou’s Project Ace, the psychedelic stylings of Kunming’s South Acid MiMi Dance Team and Chengdu indie darlings Mosaic.

We’re super excited to be joining forces with Japan’s Rainbow Disco Club for our Yurt stage, so expect mad installations and eccentric vibes.

Super Early Bird Tickets are sold out, but “Pre-sale” tickets can now be reserved online!

The early bird got the worm–Echo Park’s Super Early Bird Tickets were so hot they sold out within 6 hours. Thanks to everyone who supported and trusted us, without even knowing the lineup! Now, Echo Park’s pre-sale tickets can be bought online. They’ll be 200 RMB/day (260 RMB door) or 300 RMB (400 RMB door)/weekend. Check out our official Echo Park Website: http://echopark.cn for more information. Due to PSB restrictions, there are a limited number of tickets, so get yours soon!


International Festival Booking : DFSB Kollective (Jay Park)
International Distribution : DFSB Kollective (Jay Park)