Hello, OOPS MN fam! My name is Anna Hashizume and I’m a Japanese-American singer-actor here in the Twin Cities. Today, we’re going to journey into the wild, wonderful world of K-pop!
Being half-Japanese and half-white, I rarely saw people who looked like me in the media. If I did, they were one-dimensional stereotypes. To be completely honest, I didn’t feel much of a connection to my Japanese side growing up. Sure, I ate a lot of Japanese food and we celebrated Japanese holidays but I didn’t really connect to it - it was just something we did. It wasn’t until I was in my mid-20’s until I really started connecting to my heritage. It’s a shame and it’s something I’m still working through.
In the summer of 2020, I stumbled upon BLACKPINK. I saw four Asian women who were fiercely talented, determined, feminine, sexy, kawaii - everything I either told myself I couldn’t be or told myself I didn’t want to be. I know how silly it sounds to say that a girl group changed the way I looked at myself but they did. Through BLACKPINK I discovered ITZY, TWICE, aespa, and so much more! I’ve always been very attracted to music that I can dance to, so all of music I’m sharing today are true bops that you can move and groove to. So, please, join me in celebrating these multi-dimensional Asian artists!
**I encourage all of you, if you’re able, to watch the videos as opposed to just listening to the songs. The dances and outfits are so fun!**
Kill This Love by BLACKPINK
This was the first song by BLACKPINK that I discovered. For those uninitiated into the world of K-pop, BLACKPINK is one of the most popular girl groups in the world right now. They performed at Coachella in 2019 and have done multiple Asia tours. They even have a special on Netflix! One of the things I was attracted to from the beginning was how seamlessly they moved between Korean and English.
Not Shy by ITZY
ITZY is a newer group that made its debut only two years ago. They’ve won a few Rookie music awards and the outfits in this music video are *chef’s kiss*
As If It’s Your Last by BLACKPINK
A lot of K-pop groups sing in multiple languages. They usually have Korean, English, and Japanese versions. I fell in love with the Japanese version of this song!
Black Mamba by aespa
aespa is a very new group - they debuted last year. I attached a dance practice video of this song, so you can see some of the precision these artists have with their dances.
Mic Drop (Steve Aoki Remix) by BTS
Of course I had to include BTS in this mix. BTS is a boy group and they’re one of the most popular K-pop groups in the world!
I’m Not Cool by HyunA
For my last selection I picked this new song by HyunA. Previously part of a girl group, HyunA is now a solo artist and recently came out with a new EP that includes this song.
Thanks for joining me today! I hope you had as much fun listening to these songs as I do!