Sunday, November 25, 2012

KOREAN MUSIC: Lee Hi (Lee Hayi) Updates (10)

(UPDATE)  At this very moment I'm writing this, Hi is on a plane heading to Hong Kong, together with Big Bang. Scroll down to see her pictures taken at the Incheon Int'l Airport today (Wednesday morning (11/28/2012) in KST).


Yesterday (11/24/2012), YG said Hi's new song "Scarecrow" was meant to be a surprise gift to people in their 30's and 40's (LINK). As many of you already know now, this song was written by JYP at YG's request five years ago and was supposed to be Park Bom's solo debut song.  She even performed it in 2007 Big Bang concert.  When YG chose to form 2NE1 and made her join the group, however, the song seemed doomed to remain unreleased. But as he loved the song so much and he figured out over half of Hi's fans are in their 30's, 40's and even 50's, he wanted to comfort these old school analog generations with an old school analog song. According to YG, this song will not be featured on her next album scheduled to be released early next year and her next songs will definitely lean towards soul.


(You ask me) why I don't know
that all kinds of love will change over time.
(You tell me) things will change in a year
and even the thought of you will not pain me.
But I know my heart too well;
I know too well that it will never change.
Because everyone has a perfect match,
that kind of love will never be forgotten.

(Refrain)You may think that I've forgotten you
and that I am happy with someone else.
But I still can’t forget you like this,
like a scarecrow that is left standing alone.

When the sun sets and everyone goes home,
I am left standing alone in an open field.
Darkness grows thicker and gradually makes me blind
so it scares me more and more because I'm alone.
But before I know it, when I open my eyes that I have kept tightly shut,
I see stars beautifully twinkle.
They look like you who are so far away
so I pray to them that you will come back to me someday.


You may think that I've forgotten you (oh, you may think that I)
and that I am happy with someone else (having forgotten you).
But I still can’t forget you like this (I can't forget), 
like a scarecrow that is left standing alone (even when you left me, like a scarecrow).

Like a scarecrow that is left standing alone.

Lyrics and Music by JYP
Translation by ONSEMIRO

BTW, is it just me or does this song sound quite familiar with Tashannie's 2000 song Haru Haru (하루 하루, "Day By Day")?  Tashannie's song was a cover of Jung Yeonjun's 1993 song; Jung, a former member/leader of Uptown, aka, Chris Jung, was the producer of the duo. He claimed that he wrote the song himself but in fact, the song was mostly a rip off of Karyn White's 1988 song "Superwoman."

[MV] Tashannie: Day By Day (2000)
Warning: This video contains content some viewers may find disturbing.

[MV] Karyn White: Superwoman (1988)

Lee Hi pictures taken in the Incheon Airport boarding area


  1. (Hilee Enamored)

    I really like the drawing used as the cover for this song.

    It's been reported several times that Hi did the drawing herself.

    According to the following article, YG saw Hi's doodling on the lyrics sheet and told her that she should draw the cover for the single.

    I think they should include Scarecrow on her next album. I know they maybe don't want to detract from the soul theme of the album. But I don't think it would hurt to add it as a "bonus track" or something. And while I'm wishing.... I'd be happy if they'd throw in "For You" and "Regrets" at the same time as additional bonus tracks. ;o)

    I wonder if Lydia is going to be involved in the other songs as well. It's been reported that Tablo will be working with Hi on the songs for the new album (probably on lyrics, but maybe other aspects as well). But I haven't seen any reports yet on who else will be involved.

  2. (Hilee Enamored)

    Onsemiro, I forgot to mention that I love your beautiful translation of Scarecrow.

    The most touching part to me is the part about everyone going home and she is left alone in the field....

    The combination of the words, Hi's singing and the cover art really produce a vivid mental image.

  3. Hilee Enamored, thanks for the link and the compliment as always! I also remember reading the article about her doodling being used for the cover of her song. And I think Hi is truly blessed that she has a great, talented team that works with her.

  4. (Hilee Enamored)

    The U.S. Wall Street Journal has published a report on Hi, referring to her as the "Korean Adele" and as a "Monster Rookie."

    (The above link is actually a Korean news item reporting on the WSJ article.)

    I actually read the WSJ article and it was pretty good.

    Personally, though, I don't like seeing Hi referred to as a version of any other singer, even though Adele is a great singer to be compared to. Hi's completely unique in my opinion.

    Some of the comments under the WSJ article were not pleasant to read, including people bashing Adele. But they were obviously written by permanently bitter people who didn't seem to even know who or what they were talking about. I guess it's a sad aspect of cyberspace life that when any space is open to the public, there are certain types who will use the space as a dump site for them to express their general frustration and bitterness at the world, without regard to whether there is any rational connection with anything.

    It was funny when the first Scarecrow youtube came out, a bunch of the naysayers (whether they are frustrated fans of performers who were overshadowed by 1234, I don't know) started making the same comments about stiffness, awkwardness and dancing--under the Scarecrow youtube, which wasn't even a video. I'm sure it would have just been a matter of time before some [deleted, rhymes with boron] would have started critiquing her lip-syncing on Scarecrow.

    The originally posted youtube was taken down after just one day though, so that particular gang of "critics" probably moved on to go taunt and insult kindergarten children or something--or give their expert opinion on how rainbows are overrated and can't act. ;o)

  5. Hilee Enamored, I agree that Hi is unique. I also read the article, Meet the K-Pop Star Known as ‘Korea’s Adele', but couldn't care less about the malicious comments 'cause there are way much more people who are rooting for her and proud of her, like you and like myself. :)

  6. (Hilee Enamored)

    I was just thinking the other day that if really excellent quality videos/recordings of Hi's For You, Mercy and 1,2,3,4 were brought to the attention of the general public in Europe and North America, her fan base would probably at least quadruple within a few days. (They are available on youtube, but I think the vast majority of the public outside of Korea are still unaware of them.)

    It's hard to say what will catch on at any given time. Probably nobody initially expected Gangnam Style to catch on as big as it did.

    I wouldn't expect Hi to catch on as big as Gangnam Style anytime soon. But a number of Hi's songs are so good that I think the potential fan base among genuine music lovers is enormous. (The people obsessed with lip-syncing skills and shake-yer-booty performance criteria will probably need to go get their fixes elsewhere. ;o) )

  7. Hilee Enamored, I don't see why not. Wishful thinking can come true.

  8. (Hilee Enamored)

    The singing and production are quite polished and smoothly executed in some of the other ballads in the top 10 on the charts now.

    But only Hi's singing actually pulls me immediately into the meaning and drama of the song itself. I guess it's possible that different people resonate with different singers. I'm definitely resonating with Hi. :o)

    Anyhow, she's got two songs in the top 10 right now. One (1234) is gracefully moving down after dominating the charts for nearly 1 month (graciously giving Sung Gi a chance to be in the #1 spotlight for a while). The other (Scarecrow) has been cruising along comfortably in the top 5/top10 for almost a week now and is making grown-ups cry. Not bad for a Rookie who only debuted 1 month ago!

    KPOPSTAR released a single for the "Naughty Musicians" right after the airing of the last KPOPSTAR episode and that's been ranking highly for several days now. I'm curious as to how that brother-sister team will do in future rounds of the audition competition. Last year, the format of the show seemed to exclude the possibility of teams going through the whole competition together. I don't know if that was by policy or if it just worked out that way. It'll be interesting to see if they keep that brother-and-sister act together for all of their future performances.

  9. Yay! Congrats on your one month long reign, Hi!!!!! Hilee Enamored, among other K-pop Star contestants so far, I personally found Bang Yedam, McKay Kim, and Two Thousand Won interesting.

  10. I too, congratulate, and wish her nothing but the best, as she has exceeded all almost all my expectations, even with all the anti's, and haters trying to slow her momentum with petty, jealous comments, she obviously is handling it well....(moving on) I may be late with this info, but i saw on, that Hayi & YG have decided that she is to perform with Epik High, singing her verse on It's Cold, oppose to her performing her debut song. I was looking forward to seeing/hearing her sing, but i guess i can, well, kinda except why she probably wouldn't. I wonder if the overall, YG perspective is "Why, have her sing it, if she hasn't been nominated or going to receive an award for it? Surely we'll find out later, unless they change their minds....

  11. kpopantz, actually it's going to be such a treat to see her perform "It's Cold" with Epik High as I have never seen it before. :)

  12. Mistake acknowledged...LOL (except/ accept). At times, my comments are rushed, and i hit submit before the final proof. My comments appear to be "under aged", but im not as young as the errors i make.....:) I haven't seen her sing it live either, but with that last post, i was fishing for a response, looking to see if anyone knew anything prior to what i'd just found, my apologies.

  13. kpopantz, okay, I got you. :) And no worries; I always knew they were just typos and you never sounded like you were underage.

  14. (Hilee Enamored)

    Why is Hi sooo cuuute?? Those airport pics are great. It must be a bit of a confusing and dizzying experience for her going through the airport as a superstar for the first time.

    I'm looking forward to seeing her perform 춥다 / It's Cold with Epik High. Hope they'll be feeling good and performing at their best.

    I imagine if they had Hi perform one of her solo songs while not being an official nominee, it could be seen as a bit of a detraction from the official nominees. Kind of like: "Now, for a performance by the REAL rookie of the year." ;o)

    Onsemiro, I liked McKay Kim's performance as well. It'll be interesting to see what he can do in future episodes. Two Thousand One also put on an exciting first performance. They are yet another team act, so I'm curious to see if they'll be handled as a team for as far as they can go in the audition competition. Yedam is so young, but I can see the talent in her already. With good mentoring she will probably go very far. Looks like she already comes from a very musical family.

    BTW, thanks for tolerating me Onsemiro. I know I must seem like quite an obsessed Lee Hi fan (and I am). Other than that, though, I think I'm quite normal and sane. ;o)

    I've always enjoyed music and singing a lot and have quite an eclectic list of favorite singers, such as Lara Fabian, Norah Jones, Faye Wong, Natalie Merchant, Laura Pausini, Hayley Westenra, Lee Sang-Eun, Lauryn Hill, Baek Ji-Young and so on....

    But I don't recall ever being this enthused about a particular singer before. Maybe it's the excitement of seeing Hi progressing from her very first stage in the public eye, combined of course with that fantastic voice and vocal artistry that she has.

  15. Hilee Enamored, not to worry! Your comments always bring my blog to life. And did you say you love Lee Sang-eun? You sure have such a great taste in music! BTW, Yedam is a boy (before puberty) - he's just 11 (Korean age). Surprise, huh?

  16. Looks like i need to watch the second season. I've been holding back because I don't understand much (except the obvious Korean words). The subs are 2 weeks behind *I think i just saw the first episode subbed*. I'll be lagging in all your exciting discussions!

    I think they don't prevent bands to perform together, it's just in season 1 they found one of the members at a different level than the rest of the band and therefore only pass one person? I could be wrong though.

  17. (Hilee Enamored)

    Yedam's a boy??


    I have to go and watch that again. I guess I wasn't paying close enough attention the first time.

    I thought it was funny they were comparing her [him] to Michael Jackson and talking about her [his] voice changing.

    Why was I thinking she was a girl? SMH!

    I've always liked Lee Sang-Eun's songs/voice and independent spirit. I haven't seen anything from her recently and she seems to have dropped out of public life. If you know of anything she's done recently, I'd love to hear about it.

  18. (Hilee Enamored)

    BTW, here is a relatively recent performance by Lee Sang-eun that I quite like:

    (I guess it could be translated as "Life's a Journey")

    Her voice is different from Hi's, but it kind of grabs me and pulls me in in a similar way. I can imagine Hi having a long career and continuing to do beautiful performances like this in later years.

    If I'm not mistaken, though, I understand that Lee Sang-eun has maybe gone through some rough times by going against the grain of the commercial entertainment industry. I'm hoping that things have changed and the path will be open for Hi to develop her own artistic sense in the years ahead without having to face too much resistance.

  19. Wahyimo, didn't it happen in other audition shows than K-pop Star? I may be wrong, too, though. This season, I'm enjoying listening to the critiques from the judges, which are technically thorough, very informative, and at the same time, very humorous and sometimes hilarious.

    Hilee Enamored, I mistook him for a girl too. He's from a musical family - his dad and mom are jingle singers and he also sang this very famous kids show theme song - Ppung-ppung-yi.

    As far as I know, Lee Sang-eun has been actively touring (even this year) and she was also a Top Band judge last year. And thanks for the link: She has really set a good example for generations of idol stars by successfully transforming into an artist.

  20. (Hilee Enamored)

    Thanks for the news about Lee Sang-eun. I'm glad to hear that she's still actively performing.

    I wonder if YG would ever consider looking to her to compose some ballads for Hi in the future (or if that is something Lee Sang-eun would consider doing). I imagine Lee Sang-eun, if so inclined, could come up with some songs that would be perfect for Hi's voice.

    At some point, if Hi doesn't get too diverted down the idol path, I think she has it in her to also compose her own songs. She definitely has an artist's soul and sufficient musical ability to do it.

  21. You mean about the splitting of bands? I think it happened with.. Baek Ji-woong? and the guy who didn't make it to top 10. Geez can't remember the name now. He was the vocalist of a band?

    And who is this girl? did anyone remembered her?

  22. Hilee Enamored, I'm not belittling any of them, but don't you think each of them is in a league of their own?

    Baba, Oh my, how could I forget that when Ahn Jaehong, who was eliminated when his singing partner Baek Jiwoong was advanced to the next stage, impressed me a lot. It wasn't because of his singing talent though; he was the child actor I had always wondered about his whereabouts since his screen debut in the movie "Crocodile," in which Kim Kiduk also made his directorial debut. BTW, I don't remember seeing the girl on the show either but Yoon Ilsang is one of my most favorite songwriters.

  23. (Hilee Enamored)

    You're right. It's hard to imagine a real-world scenario where there would be a collaboration between Lee Sang-Eun and Lee Hi. Like you said, they're in kind of separate leagues and moving in different circles.

    It's just a habit I have. Whenever I think about particularly accomplished artists, I start wondering "what if?" -- just imagining what a possible collaboration with other artists I admire might produce.

    I'm pretty sure YG (and Hi too) has some definite ideas about Hi's musical direction. The reference to Rita Ora in Hi's most recent official blog posting may be giving us some more ideas as to where they are going. It seems like they're looking to the UK for inspiration at the moment (a la Adele, Duffy, Pixie and Rita (though Rita's originally from Kosovo)).

    Wherever they go, I think I'll be along for the ride. :o)

  24. (Hilee Enamored)

    By way of explanation, one of the things that triggered that wild-eyed flight of imagination was recalling that Lara Fabian rewrote her "Broken Vow" song into a new song ("Imaginer") for Jackie Evancho (the very young 11-year-old classical crossover singer who popped out of America's Got Talent a year or so ago). It was quite surprising at the time, since Lara is a huge star in Europe and Jackie was just a little girl from Pennsylvania fresh out of a talent show competition. (I guess the hidden link at the time was David Foster, who knew both of them.)

    And then I remembered Yang Hyun-seok's favorable reaction to Ayeon's rendition of 언젠가는 / One Day back in March....

    But that was just a momentary "what if" that crossed my mind. In reality, it doesn't seem like the kind of thing either YG or Lee Sang Eun would do (and I don't know if they even know each other at a personal level).

    (Imaginer : Jackie Evancho and Conrad Tao)

  25. Hilee Enamored, wow, she's got such a mature voice for her age! That was a really beautiful performance. Thanks!!! Jackie Evancho Sings Imaginer

  26. (Hilee Enamored)

    I'm glad you liked Jackie's Imaginer. She's another young singer who has brought tears to my eyes a number of times (and I usually don't cry much). Her "Dark Waltz," "Mi Mancherai" and several others are all worth a listen.

    Onsemiro, have you listened to Lucia Micarelli before? (Her mother is Korean btw). She's a violinist who blew me away with her performance of "Emmanuel" w/ Chris Botti a couple of years ago.

    Unfortunately, I understand that she injured her hand not long after that. I'm hoping that she'll be able to make a comeback, but I haven't seen any performances by her for a while now.

    Back to Hi. :o) .... Looking at some of those scenes at the airport, there's no doubt that Hi is already a big star. It probably took her eyes a while to recover from all the camera flashes going off.

    I got the impression that some of the reporters were disappointed that she didn't stop, smile and chat. But I'm pretty sure that the YG staff were instructed to move her through the airport quickly for security, safety and other reasons.

  27. I know her fingers were injured by the shattered pieces of a wine glass and she has played Annie in HBO's "Treme." Maybe she's been concentrating on acting due to her injury? BTW, that was incredibly a beautiful performance! Made me cry....

  28. (Hilee Enamored)

    After reading your comment, I looked up some Treme youtubes. Lucia is really a talented actress and musician. I noticed that she plays the violin in a number of scenes, so maybe she has recovered completely from her injury.

    In Hi-related news, from chat on the Starzone / Telzone site, I found out that Hi was reported on in the regular US CNN broadcast.

    The story was broken into two links:

    Oddly, this doesn't seem to have yet been reported in Korean media. They are usually pretty quick to report such things, as they did when Jimin was covered on CNN. Maybe the reporters are having a hard time keeping up with Hi-related news. ;o)

  29. Just finished watching kpop star S2 Ep 1 yesterday, and some youtubes of the Ep2. I think there are a lot of keyboardists this time around. However among all of them I still liked Hyun Sang the best!

    I wonder how they will hold up on live performances, like Hyun Sang they will need to 'give up' showing their best skills because they need to move around in that huge live performance stage. Like Hyun Sang I think they will be made to compete on the vocal level and I think that's unfair.

    I kinda miss Hyun Sang. Anyone has news of him?

  30. (Hilee Enamored)

    If the above two CNN links give any trouble, the following may be helpful:

    Someone (더원) at Telzone apparently succeeded in splicing them into a single video.

  31. Hilee Enamored, as Hi covered on CNN is no news among Korean Americans, I thought Koreans already know of it, too. Thanks a lot for the links!

    Hi on CNN 1

    Hi on CNN 2

    Hi on CNN

    Wahyimo, as Yoon Hyunsang is signed to LOEN, I think it's only a matter of time for us to see him make a splendid debut. :)

  32. (Hilee Enamored)

    Yes, so far I haven't seen any mainstream media coverage of the CNN report in Korea. Maybe there is some kind of copyright issue. It's good to know that it's well known in America.

    Just for fun, here's a Chinese broadcast on Lee Hi. (It was up on the Tumblr site and I thought you and people visiting your blog might enjoy seeing it.)

    Apparently, Hi's name is pronounced as Lee Shya-yi in Chinese. Other than that, I don't understand anything they're saying except the "1,2,3,4" parts.

  33. (Hilee Enamored)

    Wahimyo, I liked Yoon Hyunsang too. I think he has big potential in the music field both as a performer and as a composer. (I enjoyed seeing him and Hi open the Top 7 performance of "Sunny" with their keyboards at opposite sides of the stage during the KPopstar 1 program.)

    I can't remember if I read it here or somewhere else, but I recall reading that IU especially liked Yoon Hyunsang and recommended that Loen sign him up.

  34. Hilee Enamored, thanks for the link. You're awesome! Yes, I'm kinda curious to know what he's saying.

  35. (Hilee Enamored)

    I tried to get the gist by noonchi and looking at some recognizable characters in the hanja text (like the characters for dangshi (당시)) as well as English words like "solo", just to guess that he spent some time at the beginning talking about how things went with Hi and the judges back in the audition competition days... and how well things are going now for her solo debut. (I thought I heard Jimin's name in there too.) But I'm just guessing.

    However, I'm pretty sure that at the end he said that Lee Hi is now, by unanimous agreement, the most popular singer among all Chinese people in the world and that more than 1 billion people have signed a petition demanding that she be officially crowned as the "Most High Hi and Permanent Queen of Soul" and be recognized by the United Nations as the most beautiful, pulchritudinous and talented singer of the 21st Century, as well as all preceding centuries, and that henceforth all high-schools will be called Hi-schools....

    Okay, well, maybe I'm not 100% certain that I translated that correctly, but that's what it sounded like to me. ;0)

  36. Hilee Enamored, you're so hilarious! I loved your "wishful" translation. :)

  37. (Hilee Enamored)

    Hi looked stunning and adorable on the MAMA red carpet walk.

    Here's a video:

  38. Hilee Enamored, thanks for the link! Will watch it sometime today:

  39. I risked my friendship and asked my ex housemate to translate the chinese news for us lol.
    Here's what she said:
    He just said she is very good and popular when she was a teen. She was outstanding when she was in a singing competition, and 2 of the bosses wanted her to join their companies. She doesn't sound like a Korean voice, there is the black soul inside of her.

    Haha. That's all. oh, The two companies is jyp n yge.

  40. Wahyimo, thank you so much!! My curiosity is completely satisfied now. Please convey my thanks to your ex housemate too. :)

  41. lol. no worries, what are friends for if not for translating news videos of my favorite singers!

  42. Wahyimo, still, I'd love her to know I'm thankful. :)

  43. (Hilee Enamored)

    What?!?! You mean my translation of the Chinese news about Hi was not entirely accurate? I could've sworn that was what I heard.... At least the petition part must've been right...right?. Oh well. ;o)

    Just as an update within the update, Hi has officially been declared the chart topper for the whole month of November. I think this merits her being called the "Queen of November." (I guess the "Most High Hi and Permanent Queen of Soul" title will have to wait until next year.

    Even though her stage time at MAMA was very short, she looked quite glamorous. I think YG just wanted her to have the chance to share the spotlight at MAMA in recognition of what she accomplished this year. She deserved it. The concept seemed to be to convincingly portray a lonely figure singing and trembling in the cold.

    Although it was officially Epik High's stage, I would like to have seen her given a little more opportunity to connect with the audience. Maybe have a transition for her to introduce Epik High's main number. It could have gone something like this:

    [Hi (acting) almost fainting from the cold.]

    Hi: (whispering) "It's..s..s sssooo... cold!" (Then in Hi's rich, low voice) "I think I need some Hong Kong heat. And maybe I need to hear a song about (breaking into a trademark soulful Hi riff) red. hot. burning. lu~u~u~v! or burnin'. burnin'. ha~a~a~te. 둘 다 고맙지 뭐! Maybe I need to hear Epik High's Love and Hate!" [Then she introduces Epik High's main act.]

    Anyway, that's how it would've gone if they had asked me to script it. ;o)

  44. Hilee Enamored, thanks for the link: To be honest, I didn't watch Hi's collaboration with Epik High (EH) at MAMA 'cause I found EH's costumes and makeup quite disturbing. It just reminded me of the Aurora mass shooting in last July.

  45. (Hilee Enamored)

    I can definitely understand how you feel. I was watching it live and mainly was tuned in to see Hi. TBH, I was expecting that "It's Cold" would be the feature song, so I was surprised to see that it was abbreviated to be used as a lead-in to the "Love and Hate" song--and even more surprised when I saw their costumes.

    It kind of gets back to that dichotomy I mentioned previously between music lovers on one hand and the jaded (mostly young) entertainment consumers on the other hand. The latter group demands increasing levels of "shock value" to get their attention and it's pretty clear that this was the group that EH was trying to appeal to in their MAMA performance.

    I don't know if Hi was particularly comfortable with the whole deal. Although she looked beautiful, it looked like the dress may have been cinched up uncomfortably and they may have had her standing on something under the gown. That, combined with the typically difficult MAMA sound equipment may have made it a really challenging situation for Hi.

  46. Onsemiro, you can just watch the first minute of the video and stop if when they switch songs.

    Wasn't her best vocals there. I'm beginning to wonder what sort of training she gets at YG that her live performances are getting shaky. Are they changing her breathing technique or something. Everytime I listened back to her Kpop Star videos, it's so much better. Perhaps the pressure is getting to her.

    I think she looks beautiful and so much beyond her age in that dress. I also love the dress she wore on the red carpet.

  47. Hilee Enamored/Wahyimo, Hi looks stunning in that white gown! And about her unstable and shaky voice, I think she was veeeeeeeery nervous 'cause it was her first "international" stage. And maybe because she still feels uncomfortable singing live in falsetto. Plus, unlike other singers, when she sang, there was no pre-recorded backing tracks even though I know it maybe a lame excuse. :)

  48. Wahyimo, Training? Everytime i think about it, i become furious! I recently went back and watched all of Hayi's Mnet performances, and observed the same thing. Just as you've said, her confidence has improved, but her vocals were not as consistent. Maybe it's a bit presumptuous of me, to trash YG's methods, because he's letting her "Do want she wants"(BTS video). It's only because it's a little difficult to gauge how she's being molded, without seeing her BTS practice videos. Next year, the bar will be set higher. Many of us will not be so forgiving. - Sorry Onsemiro, as you know - Me: Gasoline, Wahyimo: Matches...Fire Analogy - you get it, i know...but im the one burning here, and have been, because of what has happened to 박지연's career. Im trying to be patient, but YG is controlling the temperature in this building.

  49. kpopantz, do you think YG ruined Gummy's career? I kinda know YG wasn't a good place for Big Mama but I have no idea about her relationship with YG as I'm not a big fan of hers and thus have been following her. Could you please fill me on the details?

  50. Oh I do apologize for triggering that gasoline in you!

    Perhaps when she was in the competition she focuses only on practicing her singing and not on studies, and practiced the hell out of her songs and that's why she got a lot better? Ah what do i know.

    I can see her 1234 performances getting better bit by bit everytime. She might be too tired too.

    I'm patiently waiting for her singing scarecrow live. She needs to be solid there because the whole point of the song was to show she's got the vocals. Is she going to promote scarecrow next week?

  51. (Hilee Enamored)

    The good news is that Hi's vocals on all of her recordings (It's Cold, 1,2,3,4, Scarecrow) since going pro have been solidly excellent.

    For the past month, I think she's probably been physically, mentally and emotionally functioning in the overload red zone. I sometimes get exhausted just thinking about the schedule and challenges this 16-year-old girl has had to deal with in one month's time. On top of being put immediately more in the spotlight than she probably imagined she would be at this stage, she's had to master the choreography for the 1,2,3,4 perfomances and then go on to do 3 Inkigayo performances and 3 Mnet performances, followed by the MAMA performance.

    But I think she has probably spent several sleepless nights and has been exhausted at times. She also seemed to have had a cold for a week or two in November.

    There's no doubt that such things and just the overwhelming stress of a big debut, and worrying about the "visuals" and everything else would affect her singing and concentration at times.

    I agree with Onsemiro about the MAMA performance. Singing those falsetto lines for the first time outside of the studio in such a noisy arena and the nervousness of being on a big international stage like that... Plus, it seems to me that the concept they gave her was to portray a cold, shivering isolated girl singing weakly in the cold. So how much of the unsteadiness was due to the concept and how much was due to nervousness is hard to say.

    But she's handled the challenges like a pro all the way. And when I compare her live singing in her performances with some of the idols who don't even try to hide the fact that they're playing it safe with 100% lip syncing, I have to applaud her.

    Furthermore, because there are a lot of sustained notes in 1,2,3,4, the fact that she's singing live while simultaneously dancing and moving through her steps is going to result in some shaky sounds here and there. (Someone like JYP often designs his dance songs to have a staccato style of singing that matches up with the dance steps. I doubt that even a very experienced singer like him could avoid shaky sounds if he was trying to hold sustained notes while hopping around.)

  52. (Hilee Enamored)

    Apparently, Rita Ora dropped by to say hello to Hi and then had to rush off. All she said was "Hello, Hi, Good-bye."

    Meanwhile, I recently met several tourists from Japan and asked them if they had any favorite Korean singers. Without any prompting, virtually all of them immediately said: "Hi, Hi, Hi...."

    Sorry, just a little chilly humor while I await Hi's new album. ;o)

  53. (Hilee Enamored)

    Onsemiro, for those who might be interested, a close-up view of Hi's performance at MAMA (apparently made by a Hong Kong fan), can be seen at this link:

    It's worth taking a look just to see how poised and graceful Hi actually was in the performance. It also sounds like her live singing was quite good and some of the shakiness that people heard when viewing the broadcast was maybe due to some reverb/sound system issues. I don't know for sure...but this close-up video seems to capture more of Hi's actual voice.

    It's also worth watching just to hear how much cheering was aimed at Hi.

    In other news...;o) Hi's music video has exceeded 7 million views.

  54. Hilee Enamored, again, thanks for the link! Lee Hi MAMA Performance And I really value her courage to do without pre-recorded backing tracks (aka, MR in Korea).

  55. Onsemiro, I've had a slight change of heart towards YG, after reading some of the more updated material about him & Gummy. In an interview she said that YG told her that she's a great singer with no appeal, but spoke very well her, to the other members of YG. I realize now that this is his style for motivating his artists, as he did with Hayi. So with that said, I'll let YG do what he does best, and ill try to keep my day job.....So Hayi is to appear on a TV Broadcast on the 9th...has OSEN mentioned anything about it?

  56. kpopantz, there's something about YG's management that I don't like either and I have no guts to share here - I don't want to get stoned by the religious fans of YG. (lol) But I really wish all the best for Hi. BTW, I haven't read any article about her TV appearance yet. ;)

  57. (Hilee Enamored),

    Kpopantz, is there a particular article that you're referring to? I'd like to read it, if you have a link. TBH, I only really started paying attention to YG after I became interested in Hi. (That interest also led me to 2NE1, whom I had often heard on the radio and elsewhere, but otherwise had not paid a lot of attention to. Now, I'm a fan of 2NE1 as well.)

    Like Onsemiro, I'm hoping for the best for Hi. Most of the time, I take comfort in the impression I've gotten that YG is truly fond of Hi and has a genuine fatherly type of interest in nurturing her career and protecting her from some of the darker aspects of the entertainment business world. On the other hand, YG seems to also have a hard-as-nails businessman persona in there as well.

    It seems like both YG and JYP use a business executive technique for putting confident performers "in their place" so to speak, in order to be better able to control and direct them. Whether they do it consciously or not I don't know.

    It's chiefly characterized by a combination of praise and criticism, based on sometimes fluid, unpredictably applied standards. The result is that subordinates can lose their own internal compass as to when they're doing well or not and start depending solely on "the boss" for guidance.

    I'd like to learn more about Gummy's situation. She seems like quite a talented musician and I've often wondered how things are going for her and if she's got anything big in the works right now.

  58. (Hilee Enamored)

    To my comment above, I'd just like to add that Gummy and Jaurim were two of my favorites in the "I'm a Singer" show last year. At the time, though, I didn't know what entertainment company Gummy was with. (I previously really didn't pay much attention to entertainment companies until Kpopstar highglighted them with its format--i.e. judges representing the top 3 entertainment companies.)

    I read somewhere that Gummy actually has spent a lot of time recently in Japan, which may partially explain why she hasn't been much in the public eye elsewhere.

    In any case, YG has a lot of talent under his roof (my favorite being Hi of course). Given time, I can imagine a lot of exciting collaborations and combinations among them.

    It must be quite a challenge managing their careers, though. As they increasingly become top stars, it's going to be increasingly difficult to manage their album/single releases and concert schedules, etc., in a way that minimizes the overlap and competition between "family members" so to speak.

  59. Off topic:
    Oh no, heard they cancelled nagasu.
    Sad for a quality show!

  60. Wahyimo, I think the show has lost its magic after the first season. It'll be greatly missed.

  61. (Hilee Enamored)

    Just speculation on my part, but I imagine that there are a couple of factors that would make it difficult for the producers to keep the show going.

    First, from what I saw during the first season it really is quite a large time commitment for participating singers--especially for well-established singers who are still quite in demand for concerts, recordings and the like. (And I seem to recall some of the singers off-handely remarking that they wouldn't likely do such a thing again.)

    Second, although they all took it good naturedly on the program, I doubt any of the already popular singers who appeared on the show appreciated the "humiliation" or blow to the ego of being eliminated. Probably in the first season, each one thought they had a good chance of coming out on top. But...

    At some point after becoming well-established as a popular singer, I think most singers have a loyal fan base that constitutes their principal audience and most of the "antis" that plague debuting performers have usually just lost interest and moved on to other targets. But when singers put themselves into a competition format, they find themselves again dealing with antis and fan wars and a lot of stuff that they probably hoped was well behind them.

    As a result, I can easily imagine that the producers were having a really hard time lining up top-tier performers for future seasons and just gave up.

    It's a shame, though, because the first season was quite good.

  62. Hilee Enamored, for me, it was the frustration I had with the results: The audience didn't agree with me most of time.

  63. (Hilee Enamored)

    I know what you mean. I was quite frequently fazed, dazed and negatively amazed when some of my favorites got average or low rankings after doing what I thought was a masterpiece performance.

    BTW, have you checked out the World Music Awards site recently? Guess who's the very first name on the page for voting on the World's Best Song?

    WBS voting page:!worlds-best-song/cjfu

    WMA home page:

    (If you already covered this, sorry for the rerun. ;o) )

    Be sure to vote for that hilee talented young lady.

    (Psy is also up for several awards.)

  64. No, I haven't! Thanks a lot for the links. Let's vote, guys!

    WBS voting page

    WMA home page

  65. Well guys, and gals, turns out that what i posted was simply another scheduled Inkigayo stage for Hayi. I was anticipating her singing scarecrow, this time around but she gave us another great performance with her debut song. (Which im still dancing to...) I can't get enough of it yet! Hey!..."Come now!" I said 1,2,3!...

  66. (Hilee Enamored)

    Yep, it doesn't look like they have any plans to have Hi perform Scarecrow on stage. I'm a bit disappointed about that. I really like her singing on that song and I can imagine Hi doing a stage performance behind a microphone stand with simple acoustic accompaniment (e.g. piano, cello and/or classical guitar) that would be stunningly beautiful.

    I guess they decided to stick with 1234 this month, since it's the one that hit big and Scarecrow (according to YG) was mainly intended as a bonus for supportive older fans.

    It could also be that the time available for finishing up her album is tight and they decided not to take away from that to develop a new stage production for Scarecrow.

    Oh well... Maybe sometime in the future we'll get the chance to see her sing it live.

    Just for a fun flashback, here's a high quality video of Hi's pre-debut "Good Girl" performance in August:

    Her poise and confidence in that performance were really remarkable...and I love just seeing her moves, gestures and expressions when it's just her and her microphone. :o)

  67. (Hilee Enamored)

    Onsemiro, I'm wondering if you remember Kathy Young from last season's Kpopstar. I thought that she was eliminated way too soon.

    I don't really have any quarrel with the final results of the season. I think all of the final three deserved to be there (though fans may reasonably have subjective differences of opinion). But I would like to have seen more of Kathy Young. She really wasn't given much of a chance to show what she could do apart from the team performances, even though her solo performances in the early audition stages were really excellent. I thought she had a lot of potential, but maybe due to the language barrier she didn't get the attention she merited.

    In the new season, Nicole Curry has got my attention as someone to watch. So far just the one inital performance by her has been aired. But she seems to have a lot of potential in terms of voice, dancing, personality and so on.

    I'm just wondering if the Kpopstar format is really equipped to handle contestants who can't speak Korean. Judging from last year, it seems like it may not be.

  68. Hilee Enamored, of course, I remember her. She uploaded a vid sometime this year, together with Diana(?) Chen who is also an ex-K-pop star contestant. I thought they were going to collaborate to become famous on Youtube but I haven't follow them ever since. I liked Cathy's voice too but IMHO, Nicole is a better singer, dancer, and entertainer than her. And ITA K-pop Star should embrace contestants who can't speak Korean. :)

  69. I don't know if Nicole will get very far. I love how she sings though.
    I thought Cathy's rendition of 2ne1's song (while she sang good) didn't have much feeling, most likely because of the language. She also doesn't express through facial expressions.

    I think she just got the really short stick when she sang move like jagger. That really wasn't her song type, and the team just sux overall. Her best performance was with Hayi, and probably because she was teamed with Hayi.

    I'm surprised JYP didn't take her because he sort of mentioned to her that she shouldn't worry, and something like he'll see her again ?

  70. (Hilee Enamored)

    I'm guessing that Nicole will be performing in the next episode. Yang Hyun Suk mentioned in his comments after her first performance that he wanted to see how well she could collaborate with Korean contestants, so maybe it'll be a group performance?

    Nicole said that CL is her role model. With training and opportunities, I can easily imagine Nicole following in CL's footsteps. In any case it'll be interesting to see how well she does in the next round.

    I came across a French language blog devoted to Hi. It looks like it's just getting started and is not fully functional yet. But I really like the picture of Hi on the home page of the blog. Gorgeous!!/

  71. (Hilee Enamored)

    Just another quick note. Hi did a surprise performance at the Chosun Hotel for a sports award event a couple of days ago. (I say "surprise" because it wasn't included in the schedule posted on the YG site.)

    She wore a cute bright orange and black outfit(that would scream "Halloween" in the states).

    You can see a picture here:

    Her expression and the look in her eyes are so charmingly intense that I nearly lost consciousness when I first saw the photo. ;o)

  72. Wahyimo, I can't quite recall hearing such comments. Blame it on my bad memory.

    Hilee Enamored, thanks a lot for the links!!! I think she's just getting prettier every day (and looks healthy in that photo) and yes, I agree her outfit screams Halloween!!/

  73. Prayers are answered! Yoon Hyun Sang will feature with Sunny Hill! Excited for it to happen :) I'm sure Hyun Sang will be great though I wish he'd write another good song.

    About Cathy, I think it's my memory that's bad, not yours! I've rechecked and JYP basically just said he's sure he'll see her again. I just made some conclusion because he said he's regretful he can't bring her to the next round & he said he's sure he'll see her again and his expression seemed to want to reassure her.

  74. I like Sunny Hill! Can't wait! And thanks for your prayers, Wahyimo. ;)

  75. This is the right time & season for singers like Yoon Hyun Sang & Baek Ahyeon to make an appearance. With Christmas only 2 weeks away, ballad singers thrive in this type of atmosphere. How awesome would it be/have been, to get a Christmas digital single from him? He would totally nail it, and get an all kill, at least until the holidays are over. So he needs to put on a tux, grab a glass jar, set it on top, and start melting the ice, like he did when JYP first heard him sing. So maybe time won't permit us to get a digital single, but in a week, & half's time, he Could give us a live performance with one of those original homerun hitters, that is sure to satisfy the listeners.

  76. Well, as Nat King Cole's "The Christmas Song" is my most favorite Christmas album of all time, I think Hi also can lighten up the season's atmosphere. :D BTW, did you know Ayeon was featured on the soundtrack of SBS's "Alice in Cheongdamdong"? Her song will be released on the 15th.

  77. No i didn't. The last article i read relative to B.A.,was about JYP(which i found to be awkwardly funny) being uncomfortable with Ahyeon attending his Bad Jazz Bar for everyone 19+. The 15th? This is news to me, so i expect to her do well with whatever she does.

  78. (Hilee Enamored)

    It looks like Hi's new album definitely won't be out until February.

    According to a recent news article, she's working on some new choreography for her remaining 1234 performances this month and will finish up the 1234 perfomances at the end of this month. She will then start recording work for the new album in January.

    Scarecrow is still getting solid support from fans (although it's slipped into being in the top 20 rather than being in the top 10).

    Hi should be quite proud of Scarecrow. It has had almost no promotional support since it was released and, other than Hi's singing, the production input was fairly minimal. It kind of shows the drawing power of Hi's singing.

    I sometimes wonder if that was one of the objectives behind YG's release of Scarecrow--kind of to take a measure of Hi's popularity and the appeal of her singing.

    I agree that Hi could do a killer Christmas song. Maybe next year. It looks like she's going to be crazy busy for the rest of this year.

  79. Yoon Hyun Sang's hair..................................................

  80. I think I like his hair and the song too! :D He looks like a mad scientist in a cute way. Cold Day MV

  81. kekekeke. It made him look like an eccentric artist. Do you know if he wrote the song?
    It's very much his style but since it wasnt mentioned in news I wasn't sure.

  82. The song was composed by KZ and Gomdolgun and its lyrics were written by KZ. Both are affiliated with LOEN.

  83. Cold Day - As it appears as just an MV with 2 people singing in harmony, are we suppose to believe that they are connecting with each other on some level? Even if that's the concept of the MV, his hair is..... **Nods head, agrees with Wahyimo**...the harmony was lovely, but why was she sitting so far away from him? **snickers**

  84. Maybe it's because the song is about two people whose love has already died?

  85. Loved the I have a girlfriend rendition by the merong girl. She seemed a genius on that keyboard.

  86. Yes, I think she's a total package. Did you know she also arranged the song herself? Choi Yegeun: I Have a Girlfriend

  87. Thanks for the link, the one i watched disappeared because of copyright issues.

    I didn't know for sure, but I guessed it, since I watched the first episode. The translation said she didn't have any theories and just simply play the chords as she felt like it. It sounds too good to be true. I play a bit and I can't imagine getting that far just without the basics.

    The only comment I would make is that the beginning sounds really sad and then she gets really loud so the 'feeling' is a bit confusing for me.

    Do you have a favorite yet ? Translation is still at ep 2, I'm a bit frustrated.

  88. I can't say they are my favorite yet but Shin Jihun and bang Yedam have caught my attention so far. And I'm rooting for Yang Sung-ae of MBC's "The Great Birth." :)

  89. (Hilee Enamored)

    I really like the harmonies on the the "Cold Day" song. In a funny, Hi-obsessed sort of way, the song reminded me of two of Hi's recent songs. The connection to "It's Cold" is quite obvious. But as soon as I saw Yoon Hyun Sang's new hairdo, I also immediately thought "Scarecrow." I don't know why. Just a crazy association that popped up in my mind. I must have seen a scarecrow with a do like that somewhere. ;o)

    It looks like Hi's last Inkigayo performance this year will be on the 23rd. After that, articles are saying that she's going to be focusing on the new album, which is currently targeted for release in February (probably toward the end of February).

    Hi did well on her new choreography, which now has her interacting with male dancers in the last half of the song. She looked a bit healthier than in some of the previous performances. Some people are wondering what was up with the short crimson frock that she wore over her black outfit though.

    She looked cute anyway. I'm hoping the new album will work out really well for her and become an instant "classic."

    I came across a funny video with some of the younger K-Popstar 2
    contestants (including Bang Yedam, Kim Minjung and Pak Soyeon) goofing around in front of the camera singing 1,2,3,4.

    Here's a link if you want to take a look:

    I usually haven't paid too much attention to the dance performers/contestants (as opposed to the singers). The dancers typically don't stand out much as having a unique "personality" the way that voices do. But Pak Soyeon (박소연) was reeeaaallly good and really put some unique style and personality into her dancing. &lu=m_p_main_playlist_2

  90. Hilee Enamored, thanks for the news link: I think you sure live up to your nickname - Hilee Enamored! lol I can't wait for her new album but I'm beginning to wonder what's happening to SuPearls. BTW, I too noticed Hi looked healthier, especially her complexion. And the kids are so cute! Kids United in 1,2,3,4 And yes, I totally agree Park Soyeon is something. Not only is she a natural dancer but she can sing! I think training can educate some of the best aspects out of her voice and she will then become a superstar entertainer. Park Soyeon: Eat You Up-Better Together-Touch

  91. Re: Park So Yeon, she's good. what did the judges said about her? If someone can give me a gist.

    I like Yedam but I think the other kids have it harder because they haven't got their parents next to them when they're singing. Probably next few rounds he will have to leave dad at home.

    Can you share a link to Yang Sung-ae's video? Can't seem to find it.

    That netv link doesn't want to play the video for me

  92. (Hilee Enamored)

    Yes, I'm still Hilee Enamored. ;o)

    In the SuPearls department everything has gone quiet and has been that way for several months now. The last news I heard was that Michelle has not been available to do anything with the other SuPearls members and it's hard to imagine a SuPearls debut without Michelle.

    There was that initial rumor that she had some disagreement with YG and was refusing to show up for work at YGE. Then there were some articles that indicated that it wasn't a disagreement, but that Michelle had personal family issues to deal with and that was the reason. But everything's gone quiet since then and it's hard to say what's really going on.

    It could be that the original plan was for Hi to do a single and then work with SuPearls for a SuPearls single and/or album. But since nothing could be done for the time being with SuPearls w/o Michelle, and Hi's single proved to be very successful right from the start, YG may have decided to go with a Hi album instead.

    I'm hoping that, whatever the reason, Michelle will be back and SuPearls will be able to something at least by next spring--even if it's only to release a couple of singles. Jeong-Mi Lee and Seung-Ju Lee are both talented and have probably been improving a lot since joining YG, but for the near future SuPearls may be the only ticket they have for a debut. If things aren't worked out with Michelle, I guess they could be worked into a different group at some point--or they could even do some collaborations with Hi.

    In any case, YG often springs things on the public out of the blue. For all I know, they may already have something ready or close to ready for SuPearls and YG is just waiting to determine the right timing for their debut.

  93. Wahyimo, basically, all the judges gushed over her dancing talent and here's a video of Yang's performance: Yang Sung-ae Hope the link works.

  94. Hilee Enamored, thanks for the info. I really hope everything's well with Michelle.

  95. (Hilee Enamored)

    I can't find a clip with the judges' comments on Pak Soyeon's performance. But if I recall correctly, at one point YG said something to the effect that Soyeon reminded him of BoA's dancing when she was just starting out and YG wondered if BoA was as good at that early stage. BoA also praised Soyeon highly, but in response to YG's comment BoA confidently said the she herself was definitely that good when she was starting out.

    Judging from this video of BoA doing "Eat You Up," I'd have to agree that BoA was a fantastic dancer from the beginning.

    It's interesting that Soyeon did three dance routines--using songs from each of the judges' entertainment companies.

  96. Thanks for the link!

    If i understand correctly So yeon's dance choreography is largely taken from the originals. I kinda wish she had made something new.

    I like her style that she isn't just fixed into one dancing style.

    Yeah I was just thinking about Michelle too, I hope YG hasn't given up on SuPearls because the others. I saw the early audition clip for Lee Seung Ju. She has improved a lot in the later episodes since that early audition that's for sure. If anyone can't find it / would like to see it I'll post the link

  97. I just heard some of the greath birth 3's release.. it seems that the recording is better produced than Kpop star.

    There are some interesting tones there. I liked the Desperado singer.

    It's so hard to find their live performances youtube though. What sort of round is Greath Birth up to now?

  98. The judges/mentors will be assigned their pupils next week, which means (I think) we will watch them perform live.

  99. (Hilee Enamored)

    From what I can tell, Pak Soyeon only borrowed a few moves from the choreographies used in the originals and added a lot of her own moves.

    I couldn't find in the original Se7en performances any of the moves she used in the Se7en song.

    The hand paddle motion in the Miss A song came from the original, but most of the other dance moves by Soyeon were different.

    Similarly, in BoA's "Eat You Up" song, Soyeon borrowed the side-to-side head movement and some leg motions, but the intro and other parts seem to have come from Soyeon.

  100. (Hilee Enamored)

    Based on some recent articles, it looks like Hi and the rest of the "YG Family" (Big Bang, 2NE1, Epik High, etc.) will be doing MBC's New Year's Eve music program, the MBC Music Festival.

    Hi is also scheduled to appear on 29 December (8:45pm) on an SBS special called "The Color of K-Pop"

    Looks like Hi will be busy right up to the very end of the month and the year. I wonder if there's a chance she'll mix in Scarecrow in any of those performances.

  101. (Hilee Enamored)

    Just a quick note to say that, according to an article that came out today (link below), Hi is going to do a different "remix" version of 1234 for her final Inkigayo 1234 performance.

    The article indicates that it's going to be set to a different beat (based on Michael Jackson's "Billy Jean"). It'll be interesting to see/hear how that goes.

    The article indicates that it's her last activity for her debut year. But her schedule indicates participation in the "Color of K-Pop" on 29 December and there is also the MBC New Year's Eve Music Festival on 31 December (though I guess those could be pre-recorded at some point).

    Apparently YG is going to also give her a vacation before the intense work on the new album gets into full swing. That's good. I think she probably needs some well-deserved rest after the whirlwind schedule of the past several months. I'd guess she hasn't yet had time to fully think about what's happened and the fact that she's now officially a famous singer and celebrity.

  102. Hilee Enamored, thank you always for the prompt update! :)

  103. On episode 06 (the most recent episode) of kpopstar season 2, one contestant sang "Mama Do" and in giving her criticism, JYP said something about Hayi. Has anyone watched the episode? Does anyone know what JYP said about Hayi? This is like my go-to forum for anything Hayi-related x)

  104. I didn't watch the show yet but I'll let you know what he said when I watch it. :)

  105. (Hilee Enamored)

    I think Anon @ 7:40pm is referring to this clip:

    The contestant was Nam Da Won -- Park Ji Min's school friend.

    Onsemiro can probably explain the judges' comments better than me, but here's my take:

    In commenting on Da Won's performance, JYP mentioned that Hayi (Hi) had a very genuine cute and age-appropriate awkwardness when doing (sexy) gestures such as the knee-sweep gesture and that cute awkwardness really won over the judges.

    By contrast, Da Won (who is a junior high school student) looks older than her real age. (JYP said it's too bad that she looks like a college student and he worked with her earlier to restrain some of the gestures like the knee-sweep gesture so they wouldn't look too inappropriate for a girl her age.)

    As a result, her gestures didn't come across as having the same kind of genuine age-appropriate cute awkwardness that Hayi showed. Instead, as YG said, she came across as a somewhat clumsy professional singer in her gestures.

    The bottom line is that the judges praised her singing ability, but didn't particularly enjoy the performance because it didn't seem appropriate for her age. Hayi was able to successfully do a song like that because she looked her age and her age-appropriate awkwardness in her gestures were charming.

    Maybe I'm biased, but to me the gestures and their age-appropriateness weren't that significant. I almost felt that the judges' comments were actually directing the audience's attention away from the fact that Hayi's singing in Mercy was just way, way better in almost every respect. I think Da Won has a good voice, but her singing style was too close to the original (and didn't compare too well with the original) and didn't show anything like the level of innovation and dynamic elements that Hayi put into her version. I know Da Won is still in the very early stage of the competition, but doing Mercy was essentially asking people to compare her performance of the song with Hayi's performance. By talking about issues of age-appropriateness and cute awkwardness, the judges may have been warding off other comparisons.

    (Incidentally, Da Won's first song in the K-Popstar program was "We Found Love" -- the same song that Hayi and Ji Min sang as a duet for Kim Yuna's skating show in August.)

  106. (Hilee Enamored)

    In my previous comment, I meant to say that Hi's singing in Mama Do (rather than Mercy) was much better. (Hayi's Mercy was of course also a masterpiece. )

    I see that the editing and the judges' comments even got to me with the way that they shifted attention away from comparing Da Won's Mama Do to Hayi's Mama Do and, strangely, instead got the audience to focus on comparing her gestures with Hayi's gestures in Mercy. ;0)

  107. Hilee Enamored, thanks for your thorough explanation! :) I just watched the show, too, so may I also add more to it? JYP said Hi's gestures were kinda sloppy but "real" while Nam Juwon's were really neat and even professional but kinda "fake," which I totally agree. And of course, I too think Hi's Mama Do was much better. :)

  108. (Hilee Enamored)

    I think you more accurately explained what JYP actually said. I was having trouble with that part (하이의 엉성함이 더 진짜로 보여요) because sloppiness is usually a bad thing. But Hi's gestures in both Mama Do and Mercy seemed more natural and comfortable to watch, while also seeming to have better timing.

    I think JYP sometimes has a manipulative way of framing the focus of comments/discussion when he goes first to prevent the comments from going toward a direction that he would rather avoid--maybe due to a kind of competitive spirit that he has.

    I noticed this in his comments on Hi's "For You" performance last February. Although Hi's performance was undeniably a great one, his first comment was to declare that Hi's performance was not the best one that day and that the performance by Ji Min (whom he had coached) was the best of the day. It seemed like a strange lead-in comment and gave the impression that he was afraid his/Ji Min's "best of the day" status was in danger. (As it turned out, Hi's "For You" was indeed the biggest hit among that day's performances.)

    In Da Won's case, it looks like had coached her before the performance and he was kind of telegraphing to the other judges that he preferred to focus on gestures and avoid commenting on the singing or comparing Da Won's Mama Do to Hi's Mama Do. I don't know. That's just my impression.

  109. I hear you; I had the same problem with translating the part. :)

  110. (Hilee Enamored)

    It looks like Hi is going to perform with Epik High on MBC's New Year's Eve music program.

    It's not clear from the article whether she'll also do a separate performance (e.g 1234 or Scarecrow). Personally, I'd love to see her do Scarecrow with a simple instrumental (cello, piano) accompaniment and no fancy choreography. Hey, I can dream if want to, right?

    I guess the fact that the big-name YG performers will be doing the show is sort of a big deal, since most of the YG performers have not appeared on MBC programs for a number of years. Unfortunately, Psy is currently in the U.S. and won't be participating.

  111. The article says Hi will collaborate with Epik High. Hope she performs her solo too.

  112. (Hilee Enamored)

    I guess that must mean they're going to do "It's Cold." It'll be interesting to see how they do it this time, in comparison with the MAMA performance.

    I think it's quite challenging for Hi to do that falsetto part in a live performance because it's a very soft sound and can be easily overwhelmed by the other parts in the song. Hopefully the sound engineer(s) will be on the ball and properly balance the output, so that she doesn't have to force it to be heard.

  113. I think she will definitely sing with pre-recorded backing tracks (aka MR in South Korea) this time.

  114. Thank you Onsemiro and Hilee Enamored! I knew I could count on this blog :) Happy Holidays!

  115. I don't get why Hayi can't be let singing in just her own voice without double tracks. More often than not, the double track is distracting and it's hard to time it exactly right.

    It makes her look vocally weak, as if she need them.

    Regarding the Mama Do performance , I think they restrain making the comparison because they give a totally different vibe vocally. Hayi's was very jazzy while this one is more of a popular take I think

  116. Wahyimo, but without that, her falsetto will sound a little too weak - just my two cents though. :)

  117. personally i feel that this year, the vocal talent is not as strong as last year's kpopstar season.

    although there are many talented contestants this year, i get the impression that they more talented as song-writers, musicians, and dancers than they are as singers/vocalists.

    i also feel that the judges are very much aware of this fact hence why they have gotten tougher on the contestants this year compared to last year.

    therefore i can understand why the judges tried to take away the public's attention from Dawon's vocal performance. they most probably did it to prevent comparisons between her voice and Lee Hi's which was much more superior than her's in that song.

    it also doesn't help that alot of the young singers have been trying to copy the singing style and performance by Jimin, lee Hi, and Ahyeon from last year without trying to establish their own niche

  118. (Hilee Enamored)

    Well, the MBC New Year's Eve program may be something fun to look forward to. It sounds like Hi may be doing a collaboration with 2NE1 in which she does parts from their "I Love You" song and they do parts from her "1234."

    It'll be fun to see what they come up with. I can easily imagine Hi doing a great job on I Love You and 2NE1 doing a great job on 1234.

    Lee Hi hwaiting! 2NE1 hwaiting!

  119. sarah, so true... and more than anything, I think the judges "hate" anything fake. They were "enamored" by Hi not only because she was talented but because she showed them just the way she was without faking anything and still was attracted enough.

    Hilee Enamored, it's great news indeed! Can't wait for the show. :)

  120. (Hilee Enamored)

    Onsemiro, I think you may enjoy this article that was published in Naver News today.

    It's the first of a 4-part series in which Lee Hi tells her own story of her experiences before, during and after K-Popstar.

    She puts in details that I wasn't aware of before. For example, I didn't realize before that her older sister has been one of her main supporters from the beginning (along with the junior high school teacher that was shown in "As Time Goes By" episode). She also revealed that going to YG was her goal pretty much from the start and that her sister had advised her that YG was probably the best place for her given the style of music (soul) that she liked.

  121. (Hilee Enamored)

    Just thought I'd quickly note that Hi's music video has gone past the 8 million mark.

    Several weeks ago, I was irritated by the many inane, insane and no-brain comments that some youtubers were putting up.

    Some of the commenters have become so bizarre that it's actually entertaining. Recently, someone was trying to claim Hi for Thailand, insisting that her true nationality is Thai and not Korean. Well that led to the youtube comment section version of an old west saloon brawl. Maybe this strange new "what's her true nationality" issue will replace the equally odd comments of those that have insisted that she has no expressions and is a zombie.

    I'm almost afraid to think of what weird commenters and themes will come out of the woodwork next week.

    It's obviously a very good song and Hi performed very well in it with so many cute expressions.

    I guess the most popular videos do attract a lot of strange attention seekers along with normal people.

    But many of the comments on this one seem especially strange. I'm beginning to think that some therapeutic institution for people recovering from compulsive negative Internet commenting and maladjusted malicious misfit posting behaviors were given homework, as a form of therapy, to go to one of the most popular debut videos and try to make constructive comments. Unfortunately, a number of them apparently couldn't complete their assignment as instructed and instantly reverted to their bad habits.... ;o)

  122. Maybe it's because of her name - Hi. And what can I say? There's always internet trolls as long as the internet exists. :(

  123. (Hilee Enamored)

    Given Hi's popularity, I guess it's unavoidable. If she weren't so popular and talented she wouldn't attract that kind of attention along with the overwhelmingly positive attention.

    Hi, Jimin and Ayeon all performed together on the SBS ("Color of K-Pop") special. They each did parts from their debut songs and then sang Mercy together. It was fun to see them on the same stage together. JYP also made an appearance (via descending piano) at the end of the song.

    Here's the video:

    I thought Hi did quite well and looked quite confident in her performance. I'd guess that all the hard work that she's done for her stage performances during the past couple of months is paying off with valuable experience and confidence that she'll be able to build on in the future.

  124. Thanks for the vid, Hilee Enamored. Hi looks more confident day by day but on the other hand, I think Ayeon's singing has gotten worse. Or was she just nervous?

  125. Have any of you been watching season 2 of kpopstar? I must admit, the first few episodes were lacklustre, but the recent episode (ep. 07) shows a lot of potential. I have completely given up on trying to find another "hayi" or someone like her in the competition. This season, I find myself more attracted to the entertainment/all-around performers as opposed to merely good vocalists. I have fallen for the group that sang MJ's Thriller in the recent episode (I really hope all three of them make it to the live shows), and also, for some odd reason, I am very attracted to that Mirim girl who looks slightly like Yoo In Na...not just because she is pretty, but there is something very special about her...i can't seem to put my fingers on what is though. Perhaps it's the way she seems to break the "meek" female contestant stereotype and she does so in an effortless and respectful way. Something about her presence demands attention. I am really sorry for using this comment section as a forum to express my thoughts on issues that aren't necessarily "hayi" related x)

  126. (Hilee Enamored)

    Both Jimin and Ayeon had some parts that were sketchy. Jimin's performance was a mix of parts where her voice was strong, classic Jimin and parts that were a bit off/pitchy and shaky.

    I'd guess that both Jimin and Ayeon were quite nervous. But the acoustics and sound system may be somewhat to blame as well. It seems like during the K-Popstar performances, they (including Hi) were able to produce strong vocals week after week. It makes me wonder if, in their post-debut performances, there is something about dealing with the different sound environments, sound systems, MR usage and so on that takes more adjusting to get used to. (Several of the other performers who did significant live parts has some similar sketchiness here and there. Some didn't seem to even attempt any actual live singing. ;o)

    Hi's opening of Mercy was excellent. She then provided a steady lower tone to give Jimin and Ayeon a foundation to work with for their highlights. Hi did a good high part toward the end as well, but the camera didn't catch her as she was doing it.

    * * *

    Did you see the "Raccoon Boys" on K-Popstar 2? They were really quite good together. For some reason, I'm typically drawn to the female singers' voices much more than to the guys' voices. But McKay, Brian and Min-seok turned that bias around this week. They have very attractive voices. McKay's opening was especially really great. He has a voice that's really easy on the ears. Brian also did a fantastic job and his harmonization with McKay and Min-seok were first rate. I'm looking forward to their next performance together.

    Here are a couple of links:김동옥#playlistid=2931512&clipid=46953554

  127. Anonym@11:48 AM and Hilee Enamored, I love Lee Mirim, too; there's something feisty about her singing, look, and moves!

    And about the Raccoon Boys, I totally agree with the judges; their performance was the best of the night. Of course, I'm still rooting for Bang Yedam and Shin Jihoon though. :D BTW, do you know McKay's mom was also a singer? Here's her 1983 hit "Dream." Jung Yookyung: Dream

  128. (Hilee Enamored)

    I really enjoyed seeing Hi and 2NE1together. I think their collaboration was a big success and one of the main highlights of MBC's New Year's Eve program. (Of course for me it was THE highlight.)

    You can still hear Hi's background vocals in the 2NE1 version.

    They both did so well with each other's songs that people are wanting a Hi version of "I Love You" and a 2NE1 version of "1234." :o)

  129. Hilee Enamored, I've been pretty busy lately, so I haven't had much time not only to watch special shows broadcast by each network but also to post here. So, thanks a lot for your update and the link again!!! :)

  130. 2 weeks feels like 2 months!....So busy......What A Way to open 2013 with CL injecting a rap verse on, with 2ne1 members doing cleanup, and Lee Hayi, doing what she does best!!!! The MJ addition to, didn't really grab me, but this was bananas! I watched this 30 minutes ago, and can't seem to close my mouth!!! WOW, just WOW!...that was so unexpected!!! Im not just waiting for Hayi's album, and more consistent vocals from her, I wanna see more 2NE1 feat. Lee Hayi!!....that's it...,no words, just sounds, and was just too good...

  131. I love 2NE1 and Hi so that'll be a feast for my eyes and of course for my ears. Happy New Year, kpopantz!

  132. Happy New Year to you too, Onsemiro, and may all of your hard work be rewarded with YG or Lee Hayi sending you an acknowledgement, and a special gift for your appreciation, and translations, for our little queen performances...LOL(but sincerely).

  133. Happy New Year everyone! :)

    Watched the video this morning. I am pretty satisfied with it.. all the vocals seemed spot on.

    Just because i'm a whiny little ...., though. Like CL did her rap, I sorta wish Hayi opened the song with some deep soul for I love you, like twist the song and surprise people from their expectation of what I love you should sound. Maybe next time!

  134. Happy New Year Wahyimo! I hope your New Year is filled with all the things that make you happy! :)

    I still gotta watch the shows featuring Hi though.

  135. (Hilee Enamored)

    Onsemiro, I hear you about being busy. Hope my frequent posts don't get burdensome. I'm probably going to have to get busy pretty soon myself with a lot of stuff I've been putting off--putting off just because I haven't been able to tear my attention away from Lee Hi for the past couple of months during my free time. ;o)

    I guess while she's working on her new album in the months ahead, I'll try to get caught up on all the stuff I've been procrastinating. ;o)

    (Unfortunately, I'll probably also go through Hi withdrawal symptoms for a while too. May have to go to rehab.)

    The Daily Sports News (일간스포츠) named Lee Hi as the number 1 new artist for 2013. Based on a survey they conducted, among the many new actors, singers and other talents, Hi is the one that people have the highest (Hi-est?) expectations for in 2013. She deserves it. But I hope she doesn't feel a lot of pressure from the high expectations.


    I really loved Hi's "I Love You" dance in the collaboration with 2NE1.

    The youtuber commenters who tiresomely persist in trying to criticize her supposed "awkwardness" really come across as cranky lunatics in their obtuse refusal to acknowledge how well she moves on the stage.

    2NE1 put a lot of swagger and young-and-sassy "bad girl" vibes into 1234 and that was a fun approach to see and hear. (A lot of the commenters who try to turn it into a competition between Hi and 2NE1 don't yet seem to realize that a lot of the vocals in the first part (before Hi appeared on stage) were actually still Hi's voice and 2NE1 worked their parts in together with several parts done by Hi.)

    Hi's vocals, in a pleasant contrast to the young-and sassy 2NE1 style, sounded mature and rich when she came in toward the end of the song. At some point in her young career, Hi is just going to have to do some Norah Jones style songs. Her voice is just so good for silky smooth soulful jazziness. We may have to wait until next year. But it has to happen.

    It was a great collaboration and, like Kpopantz, I hope there will be a lot of those to come in the future. I think that's one of the several things that YG is doing right. People get a kick out of seeing their different artists come together in various combinations and share the stage with each other. They're all so good, it's silly the way some of the immature fans commenting on youtube try to stir up trouble with their odd declarations of who "won" and who "lost" when it's not even a contest between them.

    For those who may be interested, here are the words of CL's lead-in rap for

    (She goes through it so fast it's hard to catch it all the first time. Fortunately I found the words that someone else had posted.)

    CL Rap:

    "2013! It’s mine, baby.
    You ready?
    Yes, it’s me CL the baddest. Killer on the mic, let em’ know I’m savage.
    Hit em’ with the style, I’m known to click clack.
    I’m the best! It goes rat ta tat tat.
    Oh, so wicked with the flow. Ring finger’s out to let em know you a playboy. We ain’t playin around. Here it goes 1, 2, 3, POW!"

  136. Hilee Enamored, as I told you before, it's your posts that keep my blog "alive"!!! And I really appreciate it. Happy New Year! May 2013 be your best year yet! BTW, I feel older already as I finished a bowl of rice cake soup. lol

  137. We found love at SBS ent award

    Great to see them together. THey should release something!

  138. (Hilee Enamored)

    Happy New Year to you too. I hope it will be better than all our expectations.

    2012 sure did go by fast. It still feels like it just began a few weeks ago and here we are already in 2013. (When I was a kid, years like 2012 and 2013 were science fiction years--you know, years far into the future that SF writers could project their ideas onto without seeming too implausible.

    And yet here we are living in the science fiction years.

    I would never have imagined back in my school dayz that in the years 2012 and 2013 I would be a completely enamored fan of a young singer born in 1996...especially since I previously was never inclined toward the kind of fan behavior that Lee Hi has gotten me into. Keeping track of performance schedules, waiting patiently for hours through countless seemingly identical idol group performances until Hi finally appears on stage, getting excited about articles on Hi, checking in on her official blog and so on...

    Even though there are a lot of singers and musicians that I love and keep track of, I've never engaged in any of those wildly enthusiastic fan behaviors before. What has Hi done to me?? Next thing I know I'll probably find myself camping out in front of a ticket booth in order to get a good seat to a Lee Hi concert. (Do they still do that these days?) ;o)

    I found a video at the Telzone that focuses on Hi's "I Love You" dance. Next time some youtuber tries to label her as an awkward dancer, I think I'll have to arrange for that person to be forcibly committed to a facility for the rehabilitation of dangerously perpetually perceptually challenged youtube commenters.

    Here's the link to Hi's I Love You dance:

  139. Wahyimo, thanks for the link. Both girls are so lovely and I'm glad they are still good friends. BTW, I finally watched Hi collaborate with 2NE1 and I totally agree with you. Even though I love 2NE1 and loved their mature, refined performance, I'd rather see more of her deep, soulful voice.

  140. Hilee Enamored, your comments make me wonder.... I don't mean to pry but are you old enough to remember all the fuss about Y2K back in 1999? :D

  141. (Hilee Enamored)

    Unfortunately, I am old enough [insert sad emoticon here] to remember the Y2K fuss. I actually didn't get caught up in the worries though. Even before the year turned it seemed quite far-fetched to me to imagine that programmers would have been so short-sighted and incompetent as to (1) build in such vulnerability in the first place and (2) be unable to come up with relatively simple work-arounds after the fact.

    A lot of people really made opportunities for themselves with it though. I even remember that there were lawyers who specialized in Y2K litigation.

    I'm old enough to have seen probably 100 or so doomsday predictions reach their expiration date and then fizzle off into the black hole of eternal obscurity.

    I guess like a broken clock that is absolutely accurate twice a day, one of these days someone may make a doomsday prediction that actually comes true. I hope not. But in any case, I have no way of personally confirming the reliability of such predictions before the fact, so my philosophy is just to take them all with a huge grain of salt and focus on the tasks and joys right in front of me one day at a time--while keeping a watchful eye on trends, rather than specific disaster predictions and dates.

    * * *

    I saw Hi's and Jimin's "We Found Love" performance too (of course). They both did a great job. I'm happy to see that they (SBS) included them both in the special award program. IIRC, their performance was to celebrate the award give to K-Popstar. I think it's obvious to most that both Jimin and Hi were actually number 1 and equally deserve to share icon status for the first season of K-Popstar. The format of the program made it necessary to formally come up with a "winner" at the end. But they're both so good and different from each other that it's meaningless to try to rank one as being superior. There are hard core Jimin fans who will never be convinced that Hi is as good as or better than Jimin and vice versa. I like them both. They're both talented and cute. But for some reason, Hi is the one whose voice and singing resonates with me the most and has grabbed my heart the most.

    * * *

    Here's a future (year 2018) trivia question:

    In December 2011, current mega-ultra world star, Lee Hi, first came to the public's attention in the first round of an audition program by singing the song Bust Your Windows and dancing to a song by a popular girl group. On January 1, 2013, she had fans swooning as she began her first full year as a professional singer in a performance that included dancing to another song by the same girl group.

    Name that girl group and the two songs.

  142. Hilee Enamored, you don't need to be sad 'cause that means you (and I) are the transition generation from analog to digital, just like YG said on Healing Camp. I really think I'm blessed. And about fan rivalries, music taste is subjective as everyone has their own taste in music. So let's just enjoy our girl's music! :)

  143. (Hilee Enamored)

    Yep, I'm definitely part of the analog-digital transition generation.

    Just as an illustration, I've always enjoyed photography as a hobby and in the 1990s I was really into film photography. I have of course transitioned to digital photography and, at some point, digital took over the market to such an extent that it became difficult to keep doing much with the analog.

    Of course, digital photography is so convenient and provides a lot of tools for creativity that are hard to match with film. But the transition was a bit sad for me because I had some sentimental attachment for the equipment, processes and mindset that went along with the analog/film world.

    I am glad for the experience with film though. I think experiencing both the analog and digital worlds gives broader perspective and is a blessing. By being an active participant in the analog/film days of photography, I learned the "discipline of film"--meaning that film is expensive and can't be erased and reused, so you have to make your shots count. To do so requires you to think about what you're doing, to deeply understand the different qualities of light and how lenses and film can be used to capture what you want to express. The analog reality and its principles are still there. Digital is an interface with the analog world that puts an extra layer of software and buttons between the end user and the substantive analog reality. The better a person understands the underlying analog reality, the better and more deeply they can appreciate the end product--even if the end product (music, images, etc.) comes out by way of digital technology.

    A couple of interesting new interviews with Hi have been published and some of the content really dovetails with what you mentioned about us being part of the analog-digital transition generation.

    For example, one of the articles covers the topic of Hi's "older" fans and Hi mentions how she wants to focus on "acoustic" music--which I take to mean a more natural, less electronicized musical style, i.e. getting closer to the analog substance.

    In the other article, Hi goes into her experiences as a junior high school student. The way she learned to deal with a limited budget (10,000 won per month allowance) and learned to creatively deal with limitations and find fun things to do that did not require spending money, reminded me a lot of how I grew up as an analog kid. In a way, she reveals her own analog-digital transition and how she's kind of a retro kid in comparison to a lot of her peers who have grown up with all the latest video games, gadgets and smartphones, etc. Maybe that's one of the things we of the analog-digital generation sense about her.

    Here are the links to the two articles:

  144. very nice interview with Lee Hi..easily one of my favourites:

    shes such a mature and sincere young lady. u could tell that she was being honest with everything she felt throughout her experience.

  145. (Hilee Enamored)

    Just a couple of Hi updates (hi-ups):

    Hi-up 1:

    Hi is scheduled to perform at the Golden Disk Awards in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia on January 16.

    * * *
    Hi-up 2:

    The 3rd part of Hi's story in her own words was published on Naver.

    It's quite interesting to get more behind-the-scenes details on what Hi went through in the intense first several months after joining YG and especially the intense months of her debut.

    It turns out that much of our worries about her health were somewhat well-founded. She pushed herself so hard that at one point she even temporarily lost hearing in one ear.

    She also apparently had a fairly miserable time trying to work in "kill heels" (ridiculously high high-heels) and thick make-up. But pledged to try harder in the future to handle such challenges more gracefully.

    Personally, I hope they'll move away from making her wear high heels and thick make-up. It's not like she has to play basketball and needs to be tall. Let her go out on stage in comfortable sneakers and have fun! Also she has such a naturally cute face and great complexion, she should be able to get away with minimal make-up. I guess I'm no expert on what it takes to be "successful" in the music/entertainment business. But I'd prefer to see her break the mold away from the (odd to me) notion that ALL female popstars absolutely have to wear high heels all the time and so on. With just a little bit of creativity, I think they can come up with hundreds of ways she can be more stylish with less discomfort.

  146. Hilee Enamored, first of all, please forgive me for my "unintentional" negligence and I really thank you for your diligent Hi updates! ;)

  147. (Hilee Enamored)

    No problem. I just figured you were busy somewhere in the analog world. ;o)

    I think you may like this video of Hi's performance in Malaysia:

    Unfortunately, it's just a fancam video, so the sound and picture is not the best, but it's the most complete recording I've come across so far.

    She did a great slow intro to 1234. (Unfortunately the first few notes of the intro weren't captured on the video.)

    I really liked her Mama Do and the simple acoustic accompaniment. Maybe that's a hint of the type of musical feel to expect in her new album.

    BTW, she did pick up a Rising Star (신인상) trophy at the GDA. She also accepted an award for 2NE1 and particpated with G-Dragon and Epik High in accepting Psy's award. (2NE1 and Psy couldn't attend GDA due to scheduling conflicts.)

    The guys draped Psy's award around Hi's neck for safekeeping during the award ceremony. (She was really cute and adorable throughout everything.)

  148. Hilee Enamored, thanks a lot for your understanding and I really want to see Psy's award around Hi's neck too. I think you're talking about the same video I embedded on this post?

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