JULY 20 - JULY 26
Welcome back to another great ICYMI. We're back again to deliver you more great updates in all things Asian Entertainment!
#1- It was announced that Jessi will be making her solo comeback on the 30th of July with a collaboration with Penomeco. Weeekly will be continuing promotions for two more weeks with their b-side, "Hello" Meanwhile, RBW has revealed plans to debut a new 7-member girl group, Purple Kiss. Are you excited yet?
#2- It was announced that Yoo Yeongseok and Lee Kwangsoo have renewed their contracts with King Kong by Starship. Later that week it was revealed that Lee Hi has signed a contract with AOMG following her departure from YG in 2019. Meanwhile, it was reported that Naver has invested 100 Billion won into SM Entertainment — which is coincidentally the same amount the media conglomerate invested in YG back in 2017 — which will make it the second-largest shareholder after the company's founder, Lee Soo-man.
#3- SOMEDAY FESTIVAL 2020 has announced its scheduled lineup with Exo's Baekhyun, AKMU and Crush confirmed to attend. Oh My Girl's Arin and TXT's Soobin were revealed as the newest MC's for KBS "Music Bank". Did you catch them on TV yet?
#4- MOMOLAND's JooE will be joining APink's Bomi & Lee Sookyung as the new MC's for Lifetime TV Beauty's program, "Beauty Time". Show Me the Money will be returning for a 9th season later this year. MAMAMOO's Moonbyul has been announced as the newest member for Naver NOW's "Avengirls", a radio program consisting of five idol girls that each host the show on a different day. Moonbyul will be hosting on Tuesday, a slot that was previously held by Lovelyz Jiae. Will you be tuning in to any of these programs?
#5- It has been announced that Ailee will be partaking in a coronavirus song project as the Korean representative involving several Asian countries. Meanwhile, T-ARA's Hyomin has been appointed as the goodwill ambassador of the 4th Korea Youth Day set to take place in September. We congratulate them on these new and exciting opportunities!
#6- Onew was discharged from military service. We welcome him back and hope to see more great content from him soon!
#7- Takita Kayoko from AKB48 Team B has tested positive for Covid-19. We hope she recovers soon.
#8- Following the cancellation of her Acoustic Tour, Aimer has penned a letter to fans and announced that she will be holding an online concert on the 27th of November.
#1- BTS will be performing at the 2020 iHeartRadio Music Festival online concert alongside other artists such as Usher, Coldplay & more.
#2- It was announced that Jeon Somi has signed a contract for global promotions with Interscope/UMG Records.
#3- GWSN's Minju has been cast in her first acting role for the web drama, "Colour Prison". We can't wait!
#4- The upcoming sports variety, "Cashback" has announced its cast members. With Gary, Na Taejoon, Kim Yohan and more set to join the fixed cast! WEi will be receiving their very own reality show before they even debut. Meanwhile, VEVO has announced that AB6IX will be appearing as the first-ever Kpop artist for their DSCVR program. SBS has announced their lineup for their upcoming variety show, "Delivery Today". IZ*ONE's Kwon Eunbi, Song Gain, Soyou, Vixx's Ravi and more are set to star in this great new show!
#5- It has been announced that BlockB's Zico will be enlisting for mandatory military service on the 30th of July. We wish him a safe and healthy service.
#6- Yang Hyun-suk, the former CEO of YG Entertainment will formally be going on trial for charges of habitual gambling. What are your thoughts on this?
#7- It has been announced that SEVENTEEN will be promoting as twelve members for the time being as Seungkwan is currently recovering from surgery. We wish him a speedy recovery.
#8- THE RAMPAGE has announced that they will be releasing a new single, "FEAR" this September. What are your expectations?
#9- Yamy, formerly of Rocket Girls 101 took to Weibo earlier in the week to express her frustrations against her boss for his demeaning behaviour towards her, exposing an audio recording where the CEO insults her looks, fashion sense, appearance and singing ability announcing that she was requesting for the termination of her exclusive contract with the agency. We wish her well as she tries to make a move that benefits her and brings her happiness.
#1- It has been reported that Rocket Punch will be making their comeback in early August. Meanwhile, Highline Entertainment has confirmed that Wonho is in preparations for his solo debut. SM in collaboration with the Seoul Philharmonic Orchestra released an orchestral version of Jonghyun's "End of Day". GFRIEND's Yuju released "First Day", an OST for the JTBC drama, "Was It Love?". What release are you most looking forward to?
#2- Pentagon's Hui is set to make his musical debut in the musical, "Sonata of a Flame" alongside N.Fliyings Hwesung and Golden Child's Joochan. Im Nayong and Kwon Hyunbin have been cast as leads in the upcoming web drama, "Romantic Hacker". We can't wait!
#3- GFRIEND and Oh My Girl will be appearing on KBS "Idol On Quiz". Will you be checking it out?
#4- It was announced that Ryusei Yokohama has tested positive for Covid-19. We hope he gets well soon.
#1- It was announced that former Produce X 101 contestant, Nam Donghyun would be making his solo debut with "Retro Love" on the 26th of July. He has since made his debut, have you checked it out yet?
#2- It has been revealed that Goo Hyesun has signed an exclusive contract with MIMI Entertainment. We wish her the best in her future endeavours.
#3- It has been revealed that Kara's Park Gyuri will be joining PICAPROJECT as a curator participating in the Haeundae art exhibition. Meanwhile, Park Boyoung & pianist Lim Donghyuk have been appointed as ambassadors for the Jecheon Film Festival. We congratulate them on this new and exciting opportunity!
#4- The cast of "Okay! Madam" consisting of Uhm Jung-hwa, Lee Sang-yoon and Lee Sun-bin will be appearing on Knowing Bros. Are you excited for that episode?
#5- Lee Joon has announced that he will be holding an online fan meeting on the 5th of August. Will you be tuning in to this?
#6- King & Prince have announced that they will be holding a series of live shows as the album release tour titled "King & Prince CONCERT TOUR 2020 ~L&~". What are your thoughts on live shows coming back so soon, and do you think it's realistic?
#7- It has been revealed that the lead vocalist of TOKIO, Nagase Tomoya will be leaving both the group and the company, Johnny's & Associates, in March 2021, bringing the groups' line-up to three. The remaining members will establish a label associated with Johnny's and Associates next April.
#8- WayV have proven themselves to be generous yet again when it was revealed that the group had donated ¥ 100,000 CNY ($14.2K USD) to the China Social Welfare Foundation's charity project in an effort to help people who have been stricken by disasters in Jiangxi and Hunan. We thank them for their generosity!
#1- It has been announced that Park Jinyoung will be making his comeback next month in August. Meanwhile, it has been confirmed that MAMAMOO will be featuring in Rain's upcoming solo single released via the MBC variety, "Hangout With Yoo". The Coinlockers will be releasing their newest Summer single, "Yume ga nai boku ga yume o mitanda" (I Have Dreamed No Dreams). We can't wait!
#2- In variety news, Running Man has revealed that Jessi, Lee Youngji, MAMAMOO's Solar & Jeon Somi will be appearing on the upcoming August 2nd episode. So Yoojin will be replacing Lee Mido as the new narrator for "Superman is Back" It has been announced that Monsta X's Minhyuk will be attempting radio for the first time through the NAVER NOW show, "I Want To See You Show" which he has been confirmed to be hosting.
#3- BLACKPINK's Lisa has been selected as the brand ambassador for BVLGARI. Earlier in the week, Victoria Song and Fan Chengcheng were announced as the newest global spokespeople for Tmall Global. We congratulate them on this new and exciting opportunities!
#4- After speaking out about bullying and harassment that she endured as a member of iLUV and the announcement that a number of her harassers would re-debut in a new group BOTOPASS last week — whose debut has currently been delayed — it has been revealed that iLUV member, Minah has been rushed to the hospital. We hope she is doing well, and wish her the best.
#5- In quite a weird turn of events, it has been announced that CHU-LIP will be debuting and dissolving on August 23. The 3-person group will perform two 75 minute concerts and a live stream in a single day. This marks the fastest dissolution in idol group history.
#1- TH Entertainment has announced that they will be debuting a new girl group later this year. It has been rumoured that some of the members will consist of those that recently participated in Chuang2020. Will you be looking forward to this?
#2- Choi Suhwan, a former contestant of ProduceX 101, has announced his fandom name as "LAKE". What are your opinions on this name?
#3-GFRIEND's Memoria will be returning for a thirst season beginning on the 7th of August. This time the group will be travelling to Yangyang, Gangwon-do to have a summer vacation. We can't wait!
#4- DSP Media has announced that they will be taking legal action against anyone proven to be spreading malicious rumours against APRIL's Naeun.
#5- The NMB48 official shop has temporarily closed following confirmation that one of its employee's contracted and tested positive for Covid-19.
#6- Radwimps' Yojiro Noda has recently come under fire following his proposal for governmental eugenics. What are our thoughts on this?
#1- There was no relevant news on Sunday.
BY DRAGON OF THE WEST & POLARIS_TAE
#1- IRENE & SEULGI - NAUGHTY
Irene & Seulgi's follow-up track, "Naughty", from their debut EP "Monster" has finally been released on streaming platforms after it was originally only available through the physical copies of the album. The song has a rhythmic deep house sound that sneaks its way in, pulsing on a groovy bass loop that’s heralded by a pitched vocoder hook. Irene and Seulgi bring an effortless cool to the track, never needing to stretch their voices, but rather meeting the rhythm with pinpoint precision. Their expressive performance keeps "Naughty" interesting throughout, especially when they play with the melody during the second verse. Its lyrics compare the tension felt in a thrilling relationship to playing a game of hide-and-seek. At the very least, this song's percussive arrangement fits well with the summer season and embraces old trends but also harnesses the kind of quirky style that some would say, fits Red Velvet best.
#2- WU JIACHENG - WILD ISLAND
Wu Jiacheng is a Chinese soloist best known as the leader of the currently on hiatus group XNINE, which was formed through the 2015 survival show XFIRE. The group is currently on hiatus and a number of the members are pursuing careers separate from the group. Most notably, Xiao Zhan with acting and three other members — Yan Xujia, Xiao Xiguang, Zhao Lei — currently promoting in R1SE. Due to this, the artist has largely been promoting as a solo artist. "Wild Island is his latest release, a retro 80s style synth-heavy electropop track that is the perfect song to waste your summer days away to. The music video for "Wild Island" is just as thematically consistent as the song. It keeps to the overarching theme of reminiscing about summer, and how its always over too quickly much to most people's disappointment, while it also gives us a washed-out summery aesthetic to establish the overall bright and summery scene. Overall it's a great song by an often overlooked member of XNINE that I've had stuck on repeat for most of this week and we just can't wait to see exactly how he grows in the future.
#3- SOMI - WHAT YOU WAITING FOR
13 months after her official debut with the single "Birthday", Somi is finally back with another digital single in the form of "What You Waiting For", a song produced by R.TEE, 24, Somi and of course, Teddy. However, unlike some of Teddy's more recent productions, this song actually has a chorus which is something he has strayed away from in recent times but that's a topic for another day. "What You Waiting For" opens with a plucked xylophone loop. As the song progresses towards the chorus, it quickly builds-up into somewhat of a club banger. The pulsing chorus has a refreshing EDM beat and feels like something straight out of the early 2010s. Given the time gap between her releases, this track makes it obvious that her vocals have improved by quite a decent amount, and she feels more comfortable as a solo artist. The music video is a lot more extravagant than that of "Birthday", and it shows her portraying several different personas including "Party Somi" & "Boat Somi". Nothing too over the top, but it's great seeing her company putting in more effort into this release.
#4- HARUMA MIURA - NIGHT DIVER
Following the news that shocked the entire entertainment industry that Haruma Miura had passed away last week — who was incidentally OP's favourite Japanese actor, and one of the main reasons I took up learning Japanese in the first place, thus making it doubly shocking — his agency, A-Sketch has released the artists' final single, "Night Diver", a song that the artist was slated to release later this year prior to his scheduled online concert. The song is an upbeat song that gives off a carefree attitude — the absolute opposite to what I was feeling as I was tearing up when writing this review — while the music video is a performance video that gives us the sight of Haruma singing and dancing surrounded by water. I feel like the only thing I can say is that this was an amazing release by an artist that was gone too soon and I truly hope that he is in a better place right now, no longer feeling sad and knows that he was loved and will be forever missed.
#5-CHANMINA - ANGEL
Chanmina is back with her latest single, "Angel" and in typical Chanmina fashion, it is a banger from the get-go! An uptempo acoustic dominated song, where the artist portrays herself as a cold-hearted devil compared to the "Angel" that is the object of her affections. Telling him that he doesn't know the real her and that even if they love each other, he is too good for her. The music video displays a modern dance interpretive performance in that leaves you second-guessing time after time as her partner constantly appears and disappears from the screen. Is he real, a figment of her imagination of a memory? We'll likely never know for sure, but one thing that we do know is that we'll be keeping an eye on Chanmina who is slowly but surely becoming one of our favourite Japanese soloists!
#6-ARASHI - IN THE SUMMER
Everyone's favourite boy group Arashi is back with another great summer song "In The Summer" where the group shows everyone just how great social distancing can be by spending a relaxing day together on the beach at least 1.5 meters apart! The song is an upbeat trap-infused summer song that is somewhat similar to their previous release, "Love So Sweet" while at the same time differentiating itself by sounding much more Western in its production. The song talks about spending the Summer with the people you love, and just because the seasons change doesn't mean that their feelings will. The music video for "In The Summer" is a simple music video that captures the group singing side by side on a 10-mile long beach likely due to the strict restriction in place due to the current COVID-19 pandemic. Overall, it's a great song that will have you wishing that you could waste all your days away with Arashi "In The Summer".
#7- YUKIKA - SOUL LADY
If you're a fan of the city-pop genre like I am, then you're probably going to love Yukika's latest single, "Soul Lady" taken off her first full-length album of the same name. The song starts off with a very noticeable brassy instrumental and delivers a satisfying dance beat tied in with airy backing vocals. While the song does have many similar elements from Yukika’s past work, "Soul Lady" feels fuller and definitely more exciting. Even when it slows down during the bridge section, you know that its punchy chorus is waiting just around the corner and the hooks themselves are sharp enough to get stuck in your head. The song tied in with the very retro feel of the music video definitely captures the aesthetics from the 80s period when the genre was first starting to blow up, which is a testament to how well she owns this sound in the K-pop scene.
#8- LEE HI - HOLO
Lee Hi’s "HOLO" is her first solo track since leaving YG Entertainment in late 2019, and her first piece of work as an official artist under the AOMG label, a signing that was officially announced the day before the song was released. "HOLO" is a classic R&B soul ballad, with elements of blues and even some gospel flavour. The track is melodically rich, even if its melodic themes are not necessarily something new within these genres. The track's emotive, slow-burn structure allows the nuances in Lee Hi’s voice to shine. The track's arrangement never strays from the genre expectations and clocking in at just under three minutes, it definitely makes sure to pack a wallop within its tight frame. It’s a beyond satisfying come back from one of K-pop’s most captivating vocalists, and we're all excited to see what more she has in store for us.
#9- NAM DONGHYUN - RETRO LOVE
After proving himself on the 2019 survival show, Nam Donghyun has finally made his solo debut with the track, "Retro Love" which is a song that sounds like it belongs distinctly in the 20th century alongside artists like the Beach Boys or David Bowie. The song further dives into its concept through the music video. this is established through the fantastic colour grading and use of filters that make it look dated even though it was filmed and released in 2020 as well as the choice of outfits and set design as we see both Nam Donghyun and his partner dressed in vans, tucked in shirts and colour-tinted glasses, which is something that would be more common in the 80s than today's society — though granted, some of these have seen a recent resurgence in today's society — overall I found this song to be a great debut and only wish that there were more artists that are willing to try fun and interesting concepts like this!
BY DRAGON OF THE WEST
#1- SSAK3 achieved a Perfect All-Kill on Korean Charts with their song "Summer Sea Again" making it the fastest song to achieve this feat in 2020. Congratulations to the power group!
#2- BLACKPINK's dance practice video for "How You Like That" has surpassed 100 million views on YouTube, making it their 21st video to achieve this milestone! Along with that, the special edition album for "How You Like That" becomes their fastest release to surpass 200,000 sales on Hanteo, doing so in just 7 days. Pretty darn impressive for a surprise physical release. Finally, the group is now the #1 female artist in the world with the most subscribers on YouTube, as their channel recently surpassed 42.3 million subscribers!
#3- BTS has achieved a new Guinness World Record title for most viewers tuning in for a live concert stream as they managed to attract over 756,000 fans to watch their online concert, "BANG BANG CON The Live". That's not the only record they broke though, as they managed to secure the highest weekly sales for an international male act in Japan with their latest album "Map of the Soul: 7 ~ The Journey ~" which debuted at #1 on the Oricon Weekly Albums chart with over 564,000 sales.
#4- THE BOYZ music video for "Reveal" reached 20 million views on YouTube, making it their 2nd MV to achieve this after "No Air". A truly well-deserved feat for the winners of Road to Kingdom.
#5- SNH48's sub-unit 7SENSES have taken home the award for Most Popular Group at the 27th Chinese Top Ten Music Awards! Huge congratulations for winning the award!
#6- Based on the sales report from SoundScan Japan, it has been revealed that SixTONES' 2nd single album "NAVIGATOR" has sold 545,578 copies in only 3 days! Congrats to them on achieving this just months after the success of their debut track "Imitation Rain"!
#7- The upcoming album from ATEEZ, "Zero: Fever Part.1", has reportedly exceeded 250k pre-orders, making it their highest selling album yet. Congratulations to them!
#8- GFRIEND has broken a record and are now the group with the most number of wins at SBS MTV The Show, with a total of 15 wins during their career so far!
#9- Finally, some bittersweet news for X1 fans as the group's debut, and only music video for "Flash" has surpassed 100 million views.
Here are all the awards that were added to the system this week! You can request them here (don't forget to follow the instructions in the OP)!
One of our favourite events trainees Astannie hosted "Demon Slayer Long Mafia". the game is still ongoing and we can't wait to see who comes out on top!
We are taking nominations for the User of the Month for the month of August. The next user of the Month will be announced on the 1st of August.
Shop+ fans, our team was busy again this week adding more fun items to our store for you to display alongside your amazing sets! Purchase them today!
The social media team published one article this week
Dragon of the West gave us their thoughts on Seventeen's latest album with his review of "Heng:garæ"
The translations team was busy as always this week in fulfilling your requests for song translations.
Vanilla Cupcake gave us lyrics to SiS's "Night Surfing" & Jacky Cheung's "I Just Want To Sing"
Lurkette helped us understand SHINee's "Password" & Elephant Kashimashi's "Ima o utae"
Jana22sal trusted us with the secret that was lyrics to GFRIEND's "Here We Are"
Hallyu+ is actively recruiting for staff. If you want to contribute to the forum's growth and join our amazing team, don't hesitate and apply now!
We are searching for new members for the following teams GFX, EventsTranslations and SM Team - Press Division.
This brings us to the end of another great ICYMI. We'll see you again next week for more great news, updates and more!
GFX BY @jindori
PROOFREAD BY @Dragon of the West