The Korea Herald


[Today’s K-pop] Hot Issue debuts triumphantly

By Hwang You-mee

Published : April 28, 2021 - 19:07

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(S2 Entertainment) (S2 Entertainment)

Seven-piece girl group Hot Issue debuted with a much-anticipated online showcase Wednesday.
The group came out with five-track EP “Issue Maker,” with its lead track “Gratata” that comes after machine gun sounds, as the group ambitiously aims to target the public like skilled snipers.
The debut of the new girl group has drawn extra attention, as it is the first band to come from S2 Entertainment, established by Hong Seungseong who has produced countless idols as the former head of JYP Entertainment and Cube Entertainment over the past three decades.
“It would be a lie if we say we didn’t feel the pressure,” admitted Hyungsin, “but we prepared solemnly taking the responsibility and hoping for a good start.”
What sets Hot Issue apart from others is that all the bandmates rap, sing and dance, instead of taking on specialized roles as is typical, Yewon said confidently, adding that they will show more mature and different sides each time they come out with new music.

ONF aims for another trophy 

(WM Entertainment) (WM Entertainment)

ONF performed live for an online showcase that marked the release of a repackaging of its first LP on Wednesday.
“Each new song from the repackaged album has our music style, establishing our identity,” said MK. “We’ve prepared with confidence and hopefully many of you’ll enjoy them.” The new album titled “City of ONF” consists of 14 tracks, adding three new songs to the original 11 from the studio album. 
Lead track “Ugly Dance” is a dance number based on hip-hop and “more powerful and hip than the music we’ve done before,” explained Hyojin. It carries on the narrative of the group’s previous hit “Beautiful Beautiful” and sings of freedom -- how the performers want to sing songs of their own instead of getting swept up in the trends, he added.
It has been only two months since the first LP came out, and even though the bandmates said that they were amazed by how they won a trophy from a television music chart show with their first full-length album, they also did not hide their ambitions.
“We want to top the charts and win more trophies,” said E-Tion. “And want the world to know our music.” 

BTS inspires beginners to learn Korean

(Hybe Edu) (Hybe Edu)

BTS fans have more reason to start learning Korean with a new series of course books.
Hybe Edu, the education technology arm under the band’s label, developed a set of books and audio aids for beginners that utilize TinyTAN, characters based on the artists, named “Learn! Korean with TinyTAN.”
It weaves along the story of a girl named Bora, whose first language is not Korean but wants to learn the language after falling in love with the band. The textbook starts from figuring out the consonants and vowels of the Korean alphabet and with a pen that reads out the letters and pictures in the book in Korean, English, Japanese and Spanish.
The most welcome function is to be that it enables learners to pick a member of the band and register the learners’ names so that they can hear encouraging comments from the musician’s voice. The voices are generated by artificial intelligence that studied the members over six months, according to the company.

Seungri reappears on Big Bang’s social media profile 

(YG Entertainment) (YG Entertainment)

Seungri, a former member of Big Bang, was included in the profile picture for the band’s Facebook account that was updated last weekend.
The black-and-white photo features G-Dragon, Taeyang, T.O.P, Daesung and Seungri walking down a road with five stripes, representing the quintet. 

Seungri left the band and retired from the entertainment industry itself, with an official statement in March 2019 saying: “This looks like the end for me, for the honor of YG and Big Bang, if nothing else.” He is currently a corporal standing trial for nine charges in the military court. He is pleading innocent.
The band’s label YG Entertainment has Big Bang as a quartet on its official website and last year announced that the four -- barring Seungri -- renewed their contracts and will prepare for a fresh return.
G-Dragon hinted that they are gearing up for a return, reporting that he is working on music for the band in an interview with Dazed Korea earlier this month.

By Hwang You-mee (