K-Pop, America’s Next Big Thing

K-Pop, otherwise known as Korean Pop, is a phenomenon that took Korea by storm and gave birth to some of the biggest celebrities of South Korea and China. The power of K-Pop didn’t stop there. Lately, K-Pop has sunk its unyielding grip into  younger generations all over the world, including America.

Music is different everywhere in the world. It isn’t just the difference in languages that set them all apart. It can be hard to imagine musicians, solo artists or musical groups become popular in any other way than what we’re used to. In America that means discovering talent over the web, through popular television series, talent shows, or simply by knowing the right people.

In comparison, international talent recruitment may as well be an entirely different planet. Children can be scouted for entertainment agencies like SM Entertainment and YG Entertainment as young as ten years old. Once signing with these entertainment groups, all schooling, social activities, and many aspects of life are controlled by the company. All the while, members must practice constantly in hopes of securing a spot in a group that debuts. That’s right, signing doesn’t guarantee you a place within company.

For those who successfully make it into the spotlight, the result creates a pop force to be reckoned with.

 

I was doubtful at first. Like with most new things, its best to dip your feet in the water before diving head first. Until this point, there were a handful of foreign songs I’d heard in passing. I hadn’t paid them much mind. After all, what is the point if you can’t understand the lyrics? Such is not the case with K-Pop.

Imagine the talent, popularity and allure of NSYNC  and the Back Street Boys combine. Then, pick a really large number to multiply it by. Now, you have a good idea of how large the dedicated and overzealous fan base of K-Pop is. If you thought Justin Bieber created a ripple in the water of mainstream music, K-Pop groups create a wave. One that is slowly and steadily crossing borders.

 

One of the first things to notice about K-Pop as its on its rise, is that not all of the songs are foreign in language. Therefore, not completely impossible for non-speakers of Korean to understand. Most members of K-Pop groups are actually bilingual. It’s a pretty impressive feat for an entire group to sing multiple languages. (And even more so when that group can easily reach ten or more members.)

So what is it about K-Pop that sparked its appeal in America and what is keeping their rise in popularity at such a slow pace? Interestingly enough, the same aspect that is helping them break into America’s pop culture is also forcing them to stay under that radar:

Their uniqueness.


It is as if each song is a rarity- one that cannot be copied. The members, the song, and the lyrics have a personality that set them apart from the rest. Each song in the playlist is vastly different than the next in style, sound and character. Yet, each song appeals to the same audience. If anything, the stark differences only make K-Pop that more tempting for their winning creativity. Nowadays, finding truly unique music is hard to come by, especially on the radio.

But, that very same uniqueness is also something of a downside. Culturally, K-Pop and Pop music in America are on opposite sides of the spectrum. For one, K-Pop groups or bands are gaining popularity, while in America Pop music, making headway as a musical group is a lot more difficult than making it as a solo artist. In many ways, American “boy bands” are a thing of the past, and female groups (with the exception of few) aren’t much better off.

Somehow, despite all the factors fighting against K-Pop’s popularity in America, its managed to plant its seeds in U.S. soil. But, will the love for the ever-growing genre progress and flourish, or will the expectations and demand of American’s mainstream music industry prove to be too picky for K-Pops distinct style?

Glamorous People< have you been ahead of the trend and have some K-Pop hits that you love? If so comment the youtube link, or simply song/group name below! Or tweet at us @GlamorousPaper! We love to be in the loop with all you fabulous trendsetters!

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Five unforgettable artists you haven’t heard of yet

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New artists pop up almost daily. And although the discover category on Spotify is  e v e r y t h i n g  for staying on top of new music, it’s still hard to always keep up. Here I have five unforgettable artists that I’m dying to share. They cover the gammit of new hit music that will keep you groovin’ for days and nights to come.

 ALLAN KINGDOM

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Allan Kyariga, better known as Allan Kingdom, is a Canadian born rapper who moved to Minnesota as a young boy. Kingdom first hit the scene when after dropping his mixtape “Trucker Music” in 2011. However, his abilities didn’t make a huge debut until appearing out of nowhere in Kanye West’s hit song “All day.” The song not only puts him on the radar but lands him a spot in City Pages as best hip hop artist of 2014. Kingdom’s sound is not only refreshing, but the best part is that he actually has something to say. The rapper’s lyrics run deep and every song holds a story. Kingdom’s most recent album drop, “Northern Lights” shows how truly talented he is. This album is the next step in showing the world that he’s not one to look past. With his unique rhythm and killer beats, Allan Kingdom is one to keep a close eye on.

DYLAN DUNLAP

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Dylan Dunlap, a Los angeles based Indie rock singer, found his love for music at a young age. He grew up pursuing the industry in any and every way he could. For the past three years, Dunlap has been performing his original songs on the of streets downtown Burbank for hours at a time. Dylan first made a debut performing on season 8 of The Voice. He has gone on to open for various artists including icons like Molly Ringwald and is set to open for Phil Wickham and Howie Day. Dylan’s first major release was his single “Ella” in 2015. This release lead up to his latest album “Thoughts Become Things” which was dropped February of this year. The 20 year old singer has a passion that is almost palpable when he performs. Not to mention his distinctive tone will also have you hanging on his every last word. You’ve been fairly warned now to keep an eye out because Dylan Dunlap is taking the industry by storm.

ABRA

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Abra, the Atlanta retro r&b singer, combines vintage vibes and synthesizers to create a sound unlike anything the industry has heard in quite some time. Abra has a voice that is smooth and sultry, completely enveloping you in her music. This is probably why I find myself listening to her 2015 song “Fruit” on repeat. The hit song is one of many on her album “Rose” which released June of last year. According to Billboard Magazine the album has the idea of “loss of innocence” strewn in between the lines. Abra’s latest project, “Princess”, holds similar 80’s qualities and her hit, straight from the EP, “Cry Baby” does not disappoint. Abra not only has a knack for music but one for fashion. The artist continually makes a statement in her appearance whether she is performing or filming a music video. Abra is on the verge of becoming a sensation and is an influential woman to keep an eye out for as she is already making major waves.

AURORA

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Aurora, a 20 year old norwegian singer, is bringing a new creative light to music as we know it. Her songs are haunting and poetic with a dash of edge. Aurora first released her EP “Running With the Wolves” in May of 2015 which first captured the public and landed her an award at the Spelleman Awards in Norway. From the unique sound of her voice to her editorial music videos, it’s hard not obsess over Aurora. Her latest album “All My Demons Greeting Me As A Friend”  is an absolutely magnificent work of art that entraps you in a world of what seems to be make believe. This year Aurora is on the U.S. billboards top 200 and that’s only the beginning. Expect to see a lot more of this quirky, bleach blonde, lyrical genius.

RAURY

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There are folk artists and rappers but what about a folk rapper? Well do I have something for you. Raury is a 20 year old alternative folk rapper from Stone Mountain, Georgia and to say he has talent is an under statement. Raury’s album “All We Need” is a testament to his unique style and distinct vision of music. If you know what is good for you, you will go and watch the music video for his single “Devils Whisper.” The piece has you entranced from beginning to end and will give you a new appreciation for alternative music. Raury continues to rise in notoriety and is working to make a big impact on the music industry. His idiosyncrasy and fearlessness when it comes to being different is exactly why he is on the road to success.

There you have it glamorous people, 5 new artists that we all need to keep an eye on. Comment below with any other up coming artists you feel shouldn’t be missed and let us know who we need to check out!

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Fall for Denim 2016

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Denim is a timeless staple in everyone’s closet. And by everyone I mean EVERYONE, Men, women, teens, young adults, even little toddlers in teeny tiny denim. What makes denims so timeless is that it come in all types of clothing. It is also so versatile you can either go sophisticated or edgy with the right denim piece. Even celebrities like Rihanna or Beyoncé rock denim on their days off; Walking busy streets and treating them like their own catwalk. Where denim came from as a necessity during blue collar work has transformed into one of the most long-running fundamentals in the fashion history.

With autumn arriving, that means school’s back in session. For this season, denim is heavily emphasized onto ’60s and ’70s style. This means we are seeing denim that ranges from classy, vintage, and a splash of bohemian, giving women a chic and mature look.

To keep you glamorous people on trend, here’s some of the top leading denim trends for this Fall/Winter season 2016/2017.

Flare Jeans

 

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Flare jeans are back and here to stay a while. Used in both casual and professional wear, this style of jean can be used on anyone and worn anywhere. You can dress up your denim with a classy pair of wide leg jeans with heels, or for a more casual look go for a at the knee flare. Another young and hip spin on the flare jean is the kick-flare trend which shows a bit of the ankle. Even though this a slightly bold route, you can still opt to make kick flares sophisticated.

 

Two-toned Jeans

Worn by Kendall Jenner for this past summer, these two toned jeans add dimension to any outfit. Don’t be wary of this “Canadian Tuxedo” in a single pair of pants. I promise you’ll be on point while rocking these jeans. To my dedicated trendsetters, I highly recommend investing in a pair of these jeans to play with during this fall season.

 

Patchwork Denim

Another trendsetter for this season is the patchwork denim wear. Much like the two toned denim, patchwork allows a denim spin on the technique of color blocking. This array of mix-matched patterns of different denim tones provides dimension to the wearer. Through this dimension, you get to show off your fabulous personality and fun style.

Boyfriend Jeans

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Hailed as the new skinny jean of 2015, these comfy go-tos are back once again just in time for the fall season. Who isn’t so happy that boyfriend jeans are back once again? I know I am! Just like the flares and the ever famous skinny jean, boyfriend jeans go with any outfit with more emphasis on a casual tone. (Not to mention how extremely comfortable they are too!)

 

Skinny Jeans

Last but not least, a classic denim look that is always back in season, the skinny jean. A favorite for a majority of people, skinny denim is seen, worn, and adored everywhere. This trend has been on the rise for the past nine years and has transformed into a staple for fashionistas all over the world. Whether you rock your skinny jeans at ankle length, with rips in the knee, or with a pair of chunky ankle boots, these jeans are versatile for any outfit!

Here you have it, the best denim looks to get you geared up and ready for the 2016-2017 Fall/Winter season. Comment below and let us know your favorite way to pull off denim during the chilly months! Or tweet at us a picture of you rocking your favorite denim look @GlamorousPaper! (And if you know how to make the two toned denim work, please let me know what top you paired it with!)

 

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“Magnificent Seven”- As Magnificent As Ever

The verdict is out and “Magnificent Seven” is as magnificent as it predecessors.

It’s been fifty-six years since the release of the “Magnificent Seven” (1960) and six more since the release of the twice re-imagined and original “Seven Samurai” (1954 ). Both films are spectacular in their own right, as most old-fashioned action movies are. With significantly fewer special effects and technology, older films like “Magnificent Seven” and “Seven Samurai” demanded creativity and a talented cast to make their films successful. Perfection was expected and perfection was delivered. That is why “Seven Samurai” and “Magnificent Seven” are so hard to beat in terms of quality and only the bravest of cast and crew would dare to recreate the masterpieces.

 

Fear didn’t stop Antoine Fuqua from taking the plunge, though. And it’s a good thing, too, because “Magnificent Seven” soared past my expectations.

Magnificent Seven” opens in the small town of Rose Creek, filled with farmers and honest people trying to make a life for themselves. That is until Bartholomew Bogue (Peter Sarsgaard) lays claim on the mines of gold just outside the peaceful town. During a resistance meeting of villagers, Bogue burns down the town’s church and murders a handful of the unarmed men. Emma Cullen (Haley Bennett), whom was widowed as a result of Bogue’s violent tirade, seeks out Sam Chisolm (Denzel Washington) in an attempt to take their land back. Together they recruit a small army for the righteousness and revenge of her hometown. With a large bag of gold and list of magnificent men, they round up a boozy card player, a battle-scarred soldier, a trigger happy outlaw, a Comanche warrior, a less-than-gentle giant and man who makes expert swordsmanship look like child’s play.

As someone who has seen the 1960 version of the film, I know the mix of excitement, dread, anger and apprehension that comes with the remake of a fan-favorite. You want the film to succeed, but you can’t help pointing out every possible flaw as it comes to your attention. Nowadays, where film recreations and book adaptations are becoming more popular, there are more let downs than triumphs.

Mad Max: Fury Road” (2015)  and “Star Wars: The Force Awakens” (2015) are perfect examples of this anticipation-built disappointment. Since both of these original films are renowned worldwide and highly recognized for their filmic perfection, the 2015 releases had very large shoes to fill. Now, that’s not to say that the 2015 films were anything short of visually pleasing, box office successes. However in many ways the remakes are candles held to campfires.

So how is “Magnificent Seven” different from the rest? Not only does it stick very close to the same tone of the original film, but it actually manages to fix some of the original film’s inadequacies.

Sticking to the original story line, sweet and simple, doesn’t leave a whole lot of room for surprises, but the outstanding cast more than makes up for the narrative’s lack of originality. Martin Sensmsier, Byung-hun Lee, Denzel Washington, and Manuel Garcia-Ruflo create a level of diversity that forms a more realistic take on the Old-West, in place of the typically white-male dominated portrayals.

Let’s not forget our widely-shared guilty pleasure for gun play. As in all good action movies, fight scenes often showcases the skill of one man against many. Magnificent Seven doesn’t disappoint, in this respect. Every fight scene has you white-knuckling the handles of your movie theater seat. Its two hours and thirteen minutes of clenched teeth and unblinking eyes. What I really had to appreciate was the individual fighting styles that spoke for each character flawlessly. They all had fury and prowess through each onscreen struggle.

But, you can’t win them all over. Like every film, some critics cannot admire the film for what it is and morn for what its not. Michelle Orange, on Rotten Tomatoes, had this to say:
“In their few scenes together, Hawke and Washington, so vital in Fuqua’s Training Day, hold the screen with sheer chemistry, and perhaps a bit of history. If only this film had known what to do with the richness of its raw material.”

She is right about one thing, Hawke and Washington performed beautifully on screen and with a chemistry most actors would kill for. The entire cast brought their best to the table with a genuineness that makes you forget it’s just a role they’re paid to play. It was a movie worthy of its name and deserves credit for its outstanding performances.

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Halsey: Not Gay Enough for You?

“What Does a Queer Pop Star Look Like in 2016?” This was the title of an article written by BuzzFeed, recently criticizing singer, Halsey, for her performance with the Chainsmokers at the MTV music awards. The performance featured Halsey in a sparkling white two-piece with a long brown-haired wig over her normally short, punk cut. For many of Halsey’s fans, it was yet another way that she was expressing herself- in her usual unrestrained and in-the-moment attitude. But, for critics, it was just “too straight” to accurately represent Halsey’s “gayness”.

Halsey, who has made her career on being honest and entirely open with her fans, has never been quiet about her sexuality. As an openly bisexual female, Halsey has been paving her own way through the music industry. Make no mistakes, there have been openly gay celebrities in the past. Melissa Ethridge and  Elton John being two of the most memorable. That doesn’t make Halsey’s road to success any easier, though. For someone who has promised to be her true self, discovering that ‘self’ and becoming confident with that ‘self’ can be scary. Not to mention when you have the world watching and waiting to judge every step of your journey.

All young, female pop stars are pressured to meet a certain standard to appeal to the larger audience. One could argue that Halsey’s concerts and performances with her fans are a more intimate and safe place for her to be herself. Yet, the VMAs stage is an entirely different world. Its like going to a restaurant with a dress code after years of lounging around at your local pub. The change of clothes and hair doesn’t change who you are as a person. And they certainly shouldn’t encourage people to question your sexual identity.

The beginning of the BuzzFeed article attacks Halsey’s recent VMAs performance.  Then it even questions her bisexuality because of it or at least her loyalty to portraying herself as a gay individual appropriately. Later, in the article, BuzzFeed puts the blame of her style choices on the pressure of the industry stating, “ Halsey remains an out bisexual woman, no matter what she does with her art. But she’s also working her way through the thorny tangle of an old-fashioned and male-dominated music industry, which places enormous demands on how women look and act.”

The finger pointing does nothing to take away from the ignorance of their assumptions. If anything, it only adds salt to the wound. Who is to say that Halsey didn’t make the choice in wardrobe, hair and physical interactions entirely on her own? For a singer who has been bravely honest with the world, why would she jump ships so suddenly?

An early report of the incident by Teen Vogue caught Halsey’s initial response to the BuzzFeed article via Twitter. She has since deleted the outspoken responses from her page. Maybe she decided that the article spoke for itself, or maybe she was confident enough in her own peace of mind to let to the article’s flame burn out on its own. But, the damage is already done. The bierasure has been unleashed on the unsuspecting singer, and could have a profound effect on her impressionable fans, out-bisexual individuals and curious ones, as well.

Is there such a thing as not being gay enough (not looking gay enough)? No, but BuzzFeed’s blissful ignorance and drama-seeking headlines have those of us who are openly gay, and feminine, questioning how our femininity is received, even by people in our own LGBT community.

What do you think about Buzzfeed’s response to Halsey’s outfit choice at the VMAs? Is this something that anyone should even comment on with such intensity? Even if the person is famous and in the public eye? Comment and let us know below! Or tweet at us @GlamorousPaper

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