K-pop is the best thing since sliced bread and that’s a fact. My friends might think I’m being ironic when I share my love for Korean music, but I don’t know if you watched BTS perform at the American Music Awards this year? Well. Joke’s on you dear friends. International K-pop appreciation is a now a thing.
I dreamt an incredibly vivid dream last night that I went to a dinner party and sat next to Hyuna. Naturally all I did was scream ‘I LOVE YOU SO MUCH’ repeatedly. This dream is no coincidence, because over the past couple of weeks I’ve been anticipating the release of her latest single Lip and Hip.
To give you some context, Hyuna debuted as a girl group member at the age of 14, and began her solo career in 2010, at the age of 18. Her first single as a solo artist, Bubble Pop, was a huge success. But the track’s video and performance was deemed “too sexually suggestive” by the Korea Communications Commission (KCC), so promotions of the song were brought to a halt. Since then several songs and choreographies by Hyuna have been banned, such as Change and Very Hot, for being too explicit. And just to be clear. By “too explicit” they are referring to the fact that Hyuna does the split in one of the videos.
In a culture where cigarettes and tattoos are blurred out in music videos, and girls who act cute and innocent become more popular (á la Girls’ Generation) – you would think that Hyuna would be discouraged and opt for a less provocative persona. But no! Hyuna breaks just about every social norm for women in Korean society, and is super unapologetic about it. Not to mention the aesthetics of all her music videos! Watch the video for Lip & Hip below!
My latest obsession is the music video for SANDÍA by Argentinian rapper Nathy Peluso. This vaporwave aesthetic is so millennial it makes me want to put it in a time capsule and preserve it for generations to come – together with a note saying “this is the aesthetic the post-internet era was all about”.
For those of you who are not down with the millennial lingo, vaporwave is basically a subculture of music and art that satires and celebrates pop culture. The visuals of vaporwave are coincidentally enough referred to as ‘aesthetics’. If you’re looking at something pink, with a marble classical bust, nostalgic imagery from the 90’s, and a glitching, stretched out font – you’re probably looking at a vaporwave aesthetic.
You can definitely see the vaporwave influences in SANDÍA by Nathy Peluso. Like Cabanel’s Venus photoshopped in front of a picture of Ciara = my two favourite things in life. <3
The music video to ‘I Love You Baby, I Love You Doll’ by Parekh & Singh is everything I have ever wanted and more. A combination of India and Wes Anderson-aesthetics? Yes please!
The Kolkata based indie pop band Parekh & Singh consists of musicians Nischay Parekh and Jivraj Singh. The music video to ‘I Love You Baby, I Love You Doll’ was shot on a budget of just US$5000! Consequently the duo had to DIY location scouting and art direction themselves. This Wes Anderson inspired music video is such an Internet gem!
Follow Parekh & Singh on Instagram here!
Hey! Do you want to watch the most unsettling music video ever? Let me introduce to you the Lithuanian rapper Tommy Cash. Gird your loins dear reader, ‘cus we’re about to shake it to the core with this one!
Tommy Cash grew up in a poor neighbourhood in the suburbs of Tallinn, Estonia. In an early press shoot he is seen ordering at a McDonald’s drive through on a horse. In an interview with The Guardian he says “I like to make things I’ve never seen before”. And his Instagram is a highly provocative form of self expression. Trust me, I’ve really tried to find more facts about this guy, but Johnny Cash remains an artistic enigma.
Although Tommy Cash’s visuals are questionable at best, I do consider him to be the quintessential contemporary artist. In the hyper-digitalised world we live in – where kids consume visual content at an accelerated speed – Tommy Cash has managed to combine stupidity, brains and talent in a way that leaves his audience at a loss for words.
Watch the music video to Winaloto below; a film that Tommy Cash directed himself, and his girlfriend Anna is the producer and stylist. As with a lot of art, I am so confused as to whether it is a thoughtful commentary on racism… or straight up the most racist stuff I’ve ever seen. But I like to give most artists the benefit of the doubt and opt for the first theory. With that being said, it’s sexist af. But hey! All is fair in love & war… and art? ¯\(°_o)/¯ All I know is that Tommy Cash is onto something. His Post-Soviet trap rap and very innovative visuals have me hoping that there is a lot more where this came from!
If you wish to see more from Tommy Cash I highly suggest you watch his Colors performance here, watch the music video for Surf here and follow him on Instagram here.
St. Vincent recently released two very colourful music videos for her songs New York and Los Angeles. Venezuelan artist Alex da Corte directed both videos and applied his unique aesthetic touch to each scene. Consequently these flamboyant films have garnered a lot of attention in the ‘art-blog world’.
Posted below are stills from New York, a song rumoured to be about St. Vincent’s ex-girlfriend (/fiancé?) supermodel turned actress Cara Delevingne.
Sooo Bist du down is obviously old news and we have all watched this German masterpiece a million times by now. But JUST IN CASE somebody out there loves a good 90’s hip-hop aesthetic and missed it… you now owe me your firstborn.
The 23-year-old German/Ghanaian Tarin Wilda, known as Ace Tee, directed the music video to Bist du down herself. I am actually sharing this in light of Ace Tee’s recently released EP, which is accompanied by not one, but TWO MUSIC VIDEOS. You can watch both music videos here. And don’t forget to watch the music video to Bist du down below. ***blessed***
Reo Cragun is the up-and-coming artist who studied medicine at uni but dropped out and gave up a full scholarship in order to pursue his dream of making it in the music industry.
And Reo Cragun’s video for On My Way is so nice guys!! Drake-esque dance moves amongst reindeer? Yes plz. (Or is it deer? moose? elk? cow? they’re literally all the same to me.) Using the word ‘authentic’ is something I shy away from because it’s probably the most white-girl-expression to date but then again I guess I am just that and Reo Cragun’s video truly is authentic. It’s shot on a film camera rather than using a vintage filter, and it took days to shoot because they had to hike the forests of Washington state in order to find the most dramatic scenery.
I have spent an embarrassing amount of time looking at South Korean music videos. It’s just something I like doing and I don’t know why. But then again I have also watched a ridiculous amount of Bollywood films and at the moment I am watching every documentary about Post-Soviet youth culture that I can come across.
But that’s neither here nor there… because this post is about a music video by the Korean indie rock band Hyukoh (although I’m pretty sure they are singing this specific song in a Chinese language). Oh and the video is shot in Mongolia. The entire visual concept has me screen printing every scene.