Get Stuck in Time with ‘Melting Me Softly’, a Futuristically Fun New K-Drama!

Take a journey through time that will surely melt your heart as Ji Chang-Wook returns in the futuristic romance Melting Me Softly, his first drama since being discharged from the military in April 2019. Directed by Secret Garden’s Shin Woo-Cheol, Melting Me Softly premiered on September 28, starring Suspicious Parner’s Chang-Wook and Won Jin-Ah (Life) as the main leads, promises a relationship between the two characters that proves some things are worth melting for. 

The first episode begins with irresistibly charming TV program director, Ma Dong-Chan (Ji Chang-Wook), visiting a mysterious laboratory that experiments with freezing humans alive. He’s the kind of PD who films the most popular variety shows that do extraordinary things to get viewers’ attention, so he’s understandably intrigued by the idea and science behind the project, and offers his help to the doctor by providing his own body as a test subject. 

Meanwhile, Go Mi-Ran (Won Jin-Ah) is a quirky young woman who’s struggling to find a serious job, but is crazy enough to test games for variety shows. Where she has a hard time finding success in her career and love life, Dong-Chan is winning awards, has a girlfriend he loves, and makes sure to live his life in a way that he won’t regret when he’s old and grey. See how different their lives are?  

Dong-Chan’s grandiose dream—to film something no one else has—sets him off on a search for another person willing to join him in the freezing experiment. At first, everyone thinks he’s crazy: his boss refuses to give him the filming permission, and even his girlfriend tries to convince him to give up on the idea. However, Dong-Chan proceeds to look for a partner, and sees it in the face of Go Mi-Ran.

After a ridiculous quarrel with her boyfriend Hwang Byeong-Sim (Baro, a former member of K-pop group B1A4) in the park, Mi-Ran finally gets to talk to Dong-Chan about the experiment. He tells her it’s a chance to be a part of history that might have the power to cure people someday. Still, “in the name of science” isn’t enough for Mi-Ran to risk her life.  We’re not sure what actually makes her change her mind and join later, but it’s bound to be revealed in future episodes. 

At the tail end of the episode, it goes back to the mysterious laboratory,  where everything seems shrouded in conspiracy around the suspicious murder of a former doctor who took part in the experiment in America. There are seven minutes left until the thawing when everything seems to go terribly wrong, leaving you on the edge of your seat and just as confused as the doctor assistant, wanting to know what will happen next. Don’t worry, we gotchu! 

While some dramas build the storyline slowly with each episode, others set the tone for what’s to come with just the first two. Melting Me Softly does a bit of both with a layered storyline that establishes itself without reducing the characters, allowing our curiosity to stay put. 

The second episode starts off chaotic as characters are in a state of shock and panic with very few minutes left before the thawing takes place. In an unfortunate turn of events, Mi-Ran and Dong-Chan go into comas, and the families almost give up hope. The emotional state of their relatives is explored in a way that is personal and relatable. Time passes quickly, and just like that, twenty years pass by. Without giving much away, the drama finally comes around to its important plot point with Dong-Chan and Mi-Ran waking up in pain from the doctor’s experiments, but this is just the beginning! With these utterly confused characters, we are left to see how they make peace with their bizarre situation.

Melting Me Softly forms a perfect balance of lighthearted banter in the first half of the episode with a thrilling ending, allowing viewers to get a sense of how the narrative is eventually going to unfold over the course of the drama. While playing with time is a common trope, the show seems fresh both in the storyline and its characters. Mi-Ran’s playful and kind nature fits perfectly with Ma Dong-Chan’s ambition, and the imagination in the details makes it easy for viewers to feel like part of the story. 

If you’re looking for a fun and fantastical drama, Melting Me Softly seems to be the perfect starting point! Plus, the pairing of Ji Chang-Wook and Won Jin-Ah is only going to make it so much more worth the watch. Melting Me Softly is available on Viki with new episodes weekly.

Cover Image: Melting Me Softly (tvN)
Written by Monica Boyadzhieva & Sayantani Banerjee

More K-pop Idols Who are YouTubers

From fansigns to hi-touch, photo opportunities, signed albums, Instagram and Twitter, there are a million different ways for K-pop fans to connect with their favorite idols. Now, with YouTube added to the mix, K-pop fans can enjoy even more content!

On top of hours upon hours of binge-watching K-pop variety shows, you can now enjoy self-produced content. These YouTube videos give fans a closer look into their ultimate bias’ lives and what they’re up to when they’re doing things outside of their normal idol schedules.

We covered a handful in K-Pop Idols Who are YouTubers, but it doesn’t end there! Without further ado, here are even more K-pop idols who also make YouTube videos:

  • Lilifilm Official – Lisa from BLACKPINK

BLACKPINK’s youngest member, Thai princess, and dancing extraordinaire Miss Lalisa Manoban started her own YouTube channel almost a year ago. She has only uploaded a few videos but has already racked up over 1 million subscribers. Lisa uploads every now and then, mainly consisting of little travel vlogs from her adventures on tour with fellow members Jisoo, Jennie and Rose. From the footage and editing of her videos, it’s clear she puts a lot of effort into her videos!

  • Johnny’s Communication Center – Johnny from NCT

While Johnny doesn’t have his own YouTube channel, Johnny’s Communication Center is uploaded onto the NCT Daily Channel, where extra bits of content from NCT are uploaded, usually in a vlog-like style, and the members are able to be their usual goofy selves. Johnny’s Communication Center, in particular, is mostly in English so international fans can enjoy the luxury of understanding without the need for subtitles. Johnny’s series on NCT Daily also features his fellow NCT members, and fans can catch a glimpse of how it would be if they were YouTubers instead of K-pop idols in an alternate universe.

  • CHEN – Chen from EXO

While Chen only started uploading on his own channel around half a year ago, he has already garnered over 1 million subscribers (as expected for one of the members of the biggest boy groups). On his channel, he uploads studio covers of songs from a range of Korean artists.

  • Minny J – Somin from KARD

Somin is one of the newest K-pop idols to the YouTube scene, and often uploads beauty and lifestyle videos to her channel. If you had absolutely no idea she was a K-pop idol, you might even think she was just a beauty and lifestyle vlogger, judging by her bright and colorful thumbnails. On her channel, she introduces her makeup routines and favorite skincare products, so if you’re hoping to achieve that flawless K-pop idol glass skin, this is definitely the channel for you. She even uploaded a “Get Ready with Me” for her “Bomb Bomb” promotions with KARD to give fans a glimpse into her idol life.

  • Baekhyun – Baekhyun from EXO

Similar to his fellow YouTube-ing EXO member, Baekhyun has also recently started a YouTube channel. He uploads cute little vlogs every now and then, and fans can see more into his life outside of being an idol and even behind-the-scenes of music video shootings. Viewers are able to see Baekhyun enjoying some time off, hanging out with his members and friends while wandering around the streets of Seoul.

Amongst the K-pop idols that are newer to YouTube, who do you enjoy watching the most and who do you hope will start a YouTube channel soon?
Let us know in the comments below!

Cover Image: Johnny and Jaehyun of NCT (SM Entertainment)
Written by Stephanie Leung

Light Up Your Night with the Busan Fireworks Festival!

If you enjoy fireworks and going to the beach on a cool breezy night, then you’ll love the Busan Fireworks Festival. This festival is a high-tech fireworks extravaganza that takes place every autumn along Gwangalli Beach in Busan. It’s one of Korea’s most popular festivals attracting around 1 million visitors each year, according to the Korea Tourism Organization. It’s a festival like no other, worthy of putting on your fall must-do list. 

  • Beginnings 

Although it’s a renowned festival for locals and tourists now, the Busan Fireworks Festival began in 2005 as a way to commemorate the Asian-Pacific Economic Cooperation Summit being held in the city. It quickly became a people’s favorite and five years later, over two million attendees were at the festival in a city with roughly 3.5 million people! 

  • Not Just Fireworks

The thousands of fireworks lighting up the sky to the festival’s theme song may be the main attraction, but that’s not the only festivity you’ll find. Leading up to the event, you’ll find a carnival-style setup at the beach with different street vendors, music, and games to enjoy while you wait for the show to start. Many people also use this occasion to have a picnic at the beach while reserving a spot for the night, the best of both worlds if you ask us! 

  • How to Get the Best of It

The beach is the traditional (and arguably, the best) view for the fireworks; so you must get there early to secure a good spot as it can get very crowded early on and traffic jams are to be expected. Since temperatures can get vary from the 70s to low 50s in late October, make sure to bring either a sweater to layer up or a small fleece blanket.

  • Other Views 

If sand is your public enemy number one or you don’t want to deal with the crowds, there are other options to enjoy the show, such as the Hwangnyeongsan Mountain, Igidae Coastal Park, and Dongbaekseom Island. All of those will give you a great view of the fireworks.

This festival is free and open to the public, and this year, it will be held on November 2. 

Let us know in the comments below if you’d love to go to the Busan Fireworks Festival!

Written by Dianelys Fuentes

Exploring the World of Tofu

It can be hard, soft, and acts as a sponge for sauce… What is it? Tofu! Often considered just for vegetarians, this ingredient is so much more. Tofu isn’t plain, it can convey a variety of different flavors and textures. So, here’s a tour of tofu in Korean food. Some of these side dishes might be sweet and some might be spicy, they might convince you to join the tofu fan club. 

  • Fried Tofu Rice Balls (Yubuchobap, 유부초밥) 

Rice balls and tofu? More likely than you think! These tofu balls are quite popular as a snack. If you go to a Korean grocery store, you’ll definitely find a yubuchobap kit! It comes with the tofu shell, and all you have to do is stuff it. It is surprisingly hearty and sweet, though it depends on what you put inside. Usually, they are filled with rice and veggies. You can also add ingredients like egg and tuna to your liking!

  • Pan Fried Tofu (Dububuchim-yangnyeomjang, 두부부침양념장)

Not too complicated and full of flavor; pan-fried tofu is definitely a side-dish for those just starting to venture into cooking Korean food. Made with firm tofu, so it doesn’t break in the pain, this side dish can also be a salty light appetizer. It is also seasoned with yangnyeomjang sauce. This staple seasoning is made out of rice vinegar, soy sauce, and red pepper flakes called gochugaru. It’s delicious and you only need a pan to make it. 

  • Tofu Pickles (Dubu-jangajji 두부장아찌) 

This recipe doesn’t have any pickles but instead has shiitake mushrooms. It also includes ingredients like onions, apples, and of course tofu! The tofu is pan-fried, giving it a crispy texture, and the onion adds to that crispiness. The brine used here is quite salty since it has vinegar. This side dish goes well with some rice or noodles to stave off that bitterness. This is great if you want a more filling side dish since the mushroom adds some meatiness. 

  • Spicy Braised Tofu (Dubu-jorim, 두부조림) 

Similar to pan-fried tofu, spicy braised tofu is made the same way. The key difference between the two is that this recipe is significantly spicier. Red pepper flakes are mixed with soy sauce to make the sauce. Green onions and white onions are caramelized making it slightly sweet. Perfect if you want some spice in your life! 

  • Kimchi Soft Tofu Stew (Soondubu-jjiga, 김치순두부찌개)

Do you like kimchi? Do you like pork belly? If you answered yes, then this might be the dish for you! This stew also adds a little twist but also including soft tofu and packs a punch with red pepper flakes. The tofu adds to the texture with its chewiness. Add a side of rice and enjoy! This stew is filling and will also fill you with happiness. 

Tofu is more than a flavorless chunk of texture, it’s unexpected comfort food! If you go to a Korean restaurant, you might see these side dishes. Did this tour make tofu make your next culinary destination? 

Written by Stephanie Lemus

Travel Back in Time by Visiting the Set of ‘Arthdal Chronicles’

Arthdal Chronicles is a South Korean fantasy TV series that began airing in June of this year. It’s set in the mythical land of Arth during ancient times, featuring different tribes and ethnic groups that are fighting either for power or to stay alive. 

The stellar cast includes the much-anticipated return of Song Joon-ki as the lead character, fellow Descendants of the Sun actress Kim Ji-won, plus Jang Dong-gun and Kim Ok-vin as the antagonists you hate to love. 

Most of the action occurs in the capital city of Arthdal. Its shrine, villages, the main square, and castles are something like you’ve never seen since it takes place way before the historical dramas we’re used to. It’s a completely new world and so well-done, sometimes you forget it’s fictional. 

Although much of Arthdal Chronicles was filmed abroad in Brunei (Southeast Asia), there is an actual filming set in the city of Osan in Gyeonggi Province. It is not far from Seoul, so if you’re visiting it is a perfect getaway from the bustling city. 

You can relive some of the show’s most back-stabbing *ahem* iconic moments through a guided tour of the city of Arthdal. 

The best part? It is free to the public!

According to the official site, the tours are held every hour from 10:00 a.m to 5:00 p.m. and it takes over forty minutes to complete it. During the weekdays, it is first-come first-serve basis, but a reservation is needed during the weekends. 

  • Address: 240 Naesammi-dong

Take the subway line 1 in Seoul and get off at Osean University Station. From there you can take a taxi, bus, or test your inner warrior with a 20-minute walk. 

The tours will be available from September 1st until November 8th

Whether you’re a fan of the show or are in the mood to see some cool set designs, going to  the Arthdal Chronicles filming location will definitely be an experience to remember. 

Let us know in the comments below if you’d be excited to go! 

Cover Image: Arthdal Chronicles (tvN)
Written by Dianelys Fuentes

Enjoy the Green in Seoul

Warm seasons gift us many green plants and beautiful, colorful flowers; and quite often, once the weather is colder and it’s all gone, we really miss it. Well, Seoul has a wonderful solution: With an abundance of themed cafes, indoor and outdoor gardens, you can experience nature brimming with life even during the coldest seasons. For that, most of these places have the plants and flowers inside, so no matter what the weather conditions are behind the walls, the greenery inside is well cared for and safe. Let’s take a look at some of these places you can visit in Seoul!

  • Ver’s Garden

Once you enter, you are immediately surrounded by different plants and flowers, the wooden interior giving the cafe a more natural look. In the evening, it all looks like something out of a Studio Ghibli movie—a magical flower shop that lights up and turns into a cafe buzzing with life. The interior is so alive, people come here just to take a picture. Korean photographer Mugung also used the cafe for a photoshoot, which fit her flowery concept very well. There are flowers hanging from the ceiling, flowers hugging the walls, and some even find a way to decorate your drink. Just like the name of the cafe, it is like an indoor garden, and a great place for some tea or a refreshing glass of a fruity lemonade. The drinks have small flowers and leaves to blend in with the concept of the cafe, and even the desserts have some nature sprinkled on them.

  • Seoul Botanic Park

A new botanical garden has been built recently, attracting nature lovers and couples seeking out good spots for a date. With an impressive display of plants from twelve cities around the world, massive eye-catching architecture and extra activities to pass the time; the park has certainly gained many visitors since it’s opening in May 2019. There, you can find a learning area for kids, a cafe, cafeterias and places to buy botanical plants to decorate your home. The park is still new and the outside greenery needs time to grow, so when you think that it’s time to visit the Seoul Botanic Park, take the subway Line 9 or the Airport Express Line and take exit 3 of Magongnaru Station. Just a short walk and you’ll be there in no time!

  • Agreable Cafe

This cozy cafe is situated in Gangnam. A display of plants and small trees greet the customers right at the entrance, so it’s quite easy to spot the place. It’s a bright space during the day and when it gets dark, the cafe lights up and the yellow gleam shines on the plants, inviting people to come inside. Although the drinks and desserts might be pricey, the atmosphere is worth the trip. Each corner is adorned with plants and flowers, some of which you can purchase. Grab a cup of flower tea or your favorite cup of coffee, take a seat on the second floor, maybe get your favorite book, and don’t forget a camera — you can take some great pictures there!

  • Namsan Botanical Garden

Unlike other places, this botanical garden is outside, but that is what makes it so special! As the seasons change, you walk the paths and admire the change in nature, too. It is a perfect place to find some shade in the summer heat, a colorful wonderland in autumn ideal for a jog, a walk with a warm cup of cocoa in your hand as you stroll through the snowy path in the winter… Could you imagine all the little flowers and plants bursting into life in the spring? It truly is a blissful thought, so if you’d rather experience the plant life in its natural cycle, then Namsan Botanical Garden is just what you need to please your soul.

Green is the color of life, energy, and growth. It makes people feel calm, and when the leaves are gone from the tree branches, we either search some plant life while travelling to warmer countries or try to find the green in the city. As it turns out, Seoul is prepared for that! Grab a drink in a nature-themed cafe to take a walk in a botanical garden any time of the year. It’s a great way to escape hectic city life without actually leaving the city.

If you would like to travel further than Seoul, there are more captivating indoor botanical gardens in South Korea, such as:

From all of these wonderful places, is there one that caught your eye the most? Share with us in the comments below!

Written by Ruta Balzekaite

Donuts Floating on Coffee 🍩

Do you have a love for donuts? Or a love for taking aesthetically-pleasing pictures? Well, you’re in luck! Old Ferry Donut is known as one of the best and most popular donut shops, located in Hannam-Dong, Yongsan-gu, Seoul. It’s on the second floor of a new modern officetel, and will require a little bit of walking, but worth it!

At Old Ferry Donut, the most popular item on their menu is the tube latte, a cup of coffee with a mini donut on top of it! It is known to be very sweet, so if that’s not for you, you can simply have a coffee and a donut of your choosing!

It is also recommended you eat the donut after your picture for Instagram or else it will get all soggy. The best way is to scoop it out with a spoon (or fork)!

These donuts are handmade every day, which makes them taste even better, and makes all those stairs completely worth it!

They offer a sample box that contains nine mini donuts with flavors of your choosing.

And you can enjoy large-sized donuts as well! Enjoy a matcha donut with matcha filling, and your ice coffee to compliment the flavor!

Prefer something a little less sweet? Try their tiramisu donut!

How about a traditional raspberry-filled donut? A favorite among those who visit!

Perhaps a coconut glazed donut with coconut creme filling? Perfect for summer!

A creamy peanut butter-filled donut with glaze and crushed peanuts on top would go perfectly with a cup of coffee!

Want something sweet and will put you in an autumn mood? Then, try the cinnamon-glazed donut with apple filling! It’s been said to taste great with an iced Americano.

Those with a sweet tooth would love the creme brulee-glazed donut with creme filling!

Old Ferry Donut is also the perfect place to celebrate a birthday with their jumbo donut! A delightful alternative to cake! The shop is also pet-friendly since it has an outside area; a perfect rest stop for you and your furry friend!

If you find yourself in Seoul, you need to stop by this donut shop and have a taste test for yourself! It’ll be perfect to please your taste buds and your Instagram feed!

Cover Image: (x)
Written by Ashton Carson

10 Korean Movies You Must Watch 🎬

Cinema is one of the biggest and most influential art forms in the current world. It not only serves as entertainment and aesthetic purposes, but also provides an insight into human psychology and world issues: whether it’s a cute love story, a possible futuristic apocalypse, or a critique of society, films have explored virtually everything. 

Korea has not fallen short of this revolutionary art form. The first film was introduced in Korea in 1897, where the first cinema was built to show foreign films. Soon after, Korea started producing their own films. To begin with, it was mostly documentaries or kino-dramas (a live theatrical production with a film in the backdrop). The first feature films came around 1920s, and since then the Korean film industry has grown massively. Hallyuwood (a compound word combining Hallyu and Hollywood), has massive support from the Korean government, and in recent years the Korean box office has made around $700 million per year with only national films.

Here are 10 amazing Korean films you cannot miss!

  • Chunhyang-Jeon (1921) 

Chunhyang-jeon is a film many consider to be the first Korean feature film (although some people argue it’s Plighted Love Under The Moon (1923). Whether it was the first feature film or not, it was unarguably the first Korean sound film, color film, and widescreen film. It was one of the films that revolutionized cinema in Korea, as it gave people an understanding of how amazing this new invention could be. It tells the story of the popular 17th century folk tale of two people falling in love from different classes, and having to face societies judgemental obstacles. 

  • Farewell (1927)

Jalitgeola (Farewell) is a 1927 Korean silent film. It was made by Na Woon-gyu, a famous and highly-influencing film director and star. He is considered one of the first Korean movie stars, and his films are a big part of what is known as the Golden Age of Silent Films—one of the most important eras of film for Korea. In fact, his most famous film, Arirang (1922),  started the era, but is considered a lost film as there are no copies to be found anywhere. Farewell tells the story of greed and lust, with shocking scenes of murder, prison sentences and blackmail throughout the film.

  • The Man With Three Coffins (1987) 

Following the Korean War (1950-1953) and severe censorship in the 1970s due to the heightened tension of the Cold War, Korean cinema underwent a period of regression. However, when the ‘80s came around, censorship laws loosened up, and the Korean film industry was able to recover. The Man With Three Coffins is one of the greatest films produced in that era. It provides a critic of the Korean War in an extremely artistic manner, and it was praised for the use of sepia tones, pansori sounds and unconventional storytelling. Watching this film will give you a sense of peace and melancholy simultaneously, as the themes and the aesthetic harmonize each other, despite being polar opposites. 

  • Taegukgi: The Brotherhood of War (2004)

Taegukgi: The Brotherhood of War is a 2004 war film, directed by Kang Je-kyu. The story follows two brothers (Jang Dong-gun and Won Bin) who are forced to join the South Korean army due to the outbreak of the Korean War. It is one of the most-viewed modern Korean war films, and many say it’s comparable to Saving Private Ryan (1998); however, it’s more successful with being relatable to the audience as it involves family.  

  • The Admiral: Roaring Currents (2014)

The Admiral is Korea’s highest-grossing film of all time, making $4.7 million. It also surpassed Avatar (2009) as the most-watched movie in cinemas. It tells the epic story of the Battle of Myeongnyang (1597), one of the most remarkable Korean navy victories. The film has a sixty-one-minute long battle scene, which viewers said never felt long, and has been praised for pulling it off, something Hollywood sometimes struggles to do. 

  • Train to Busan (2016) 

Train To Busan, directed by Yeong Sang-ho is one of the most widely-recognised Korean films. The zombie apocalypse film takes an original twist as it shows passengers on a train to Busan struggling to survive the zombie outbreak. The film shows horrifyingly fast zombies, and how the outbreak successfully spread so quickly, something many zombie fans have long waited for – a decent explanation to the thrilling world of an apocalypse. 

  • Midnight Runners (2017)

Midnight Runners is an action-comedy film by Kim Joo-hwan that tells the story of two Korean National Police University students who decide to take on an investigation after they witness a crime. Although it tries to stay real and as accurate to police investigations as possible, the movie is filled with knee-slapping jokes that are incredibly relatable and the kind of humor anyone would have with a good friend. Needless to say, the chemistry between the two main characters (Park Seo-joon and Kang Ha-neul) is both hilarious and brotherly, making for an awesome Friday night film.  

  • Be With You (2018) 

Be With You is a cute family film based off a Japanese book of the same name. The story is about a father and his son living their messy day-to-day life, when the mother makes an appearance one year after her death, with no recollection of her husband or son. The film makes you watch this family grow fond of each other once again, and teaches the audience the power of love and fundamentals of a family. You also will not be able to resist Kim Ji-hwan’s adorable (and brilliant) acting! However, grab some tissues, as this film truly is a tear-jerker!

  • Burning (2018)

Burning is a film directed by Lee Chang-dong, which was shortlisted for Best International Film at the 91st Academy Awards (2019 Oscars). The film is one that leaves the entire audience confused and intrigued until it ties beautifully at the end. At the Cannes Film Festival, it was described as “a dance that seeks the meaning of life.” The film stars Yoo Ah-in, Steven Yeun (who is most-known for Glenn in The Walking Dead), and Jeon Jeong-seo, who have been highly praised for their performances in the film. This film is ideal to watch if you fancy pondering the true values of life. 

  • Parasite (2019) 

Parasite is a film directed by Bong Joon-ho, that won the Palme D’Or at the Cannes Film Festival. The film shows the unemployed, poor and hopeless Ki-taek (played by Song Kang-ho) who poses as an English tutor for the daughter of a rich family. The films offers a consistent pace, and shows scenes that will make the audience go through every emotion. The actors have been praised for their amazing performances as their extremely well-written characters. The film is definitely one of the most unique and deeply moving films of the 2010s, and it leads us to ask, will it be the first ever Oscar-nominated film (and winner!) in the award show next year? 

This is the list of must-watch films! Korean films have all sorts of genres, dating from the 1920s, and it is impossible not to find a film that you will fall in love with. Have you watched any of these films? Which one seems most appealing to you? Let us know in the comments below!

Cover Image: Midnight Runners
Written by Lucille Bamber

Sam Kim: The Sunshine with an Angel Voice

More Korean-American artists are coming back to their homeland to make music and expand the boundaries of K-pop, but the choice of what to listen to can get a little overwhelming for the audience. Every single artist has their unique flavor, bringing the best of both West and East culture. Today, we will have a look at Sam Kim – the charming and heavenly voice of Korean contemporary R&B music!

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Sam’s debut EP, My Name Is Sam, was first released March 28, 2016, when he was only eighteen years old, including the pre-release song Mama Don’t Worry. The acoustic sound of the guitar complements his calming voice and sets the mood for what kind of music you can expect from him in the long run. 

He officially debuted April 10, 2016 on the show K-pop Star 5 with his full-length EP, I Am Sam, and his its lead single “No 눈치 (No Sense),” featuring Crush. The lyrics show the complicated sides of love and how frustrating it can be when the one you like doesn’t get the signs you are trying to give them. On the other hand, the soulful jazz rhythm of the song will have you stomping your feet to the beat.

If there is one artist whose music is a soundtrack to the perfect date, it would be Sam Kim. His cheesy but sweet song lyrics mix so well with his high notes, and the lovelorn instrumentals blend with the beat in what is a very chill, dreamy illustration of romance.

K-drama lovers, there is no way you haven’t heard his voice at least once, even if you haven’t realized it. One of the most popular K-dramas in recent years, Guardian: The Lonely and Great God (Goblin), has a song performed by Sam on its soundtrack. “Who Are You” is an iconic track on the OST playlist. It even reached #3 on the Korean music charts!

A trendy drama from this year, Search: WWW, also has a song written and performed by Sam. The melodramatic, soft sound takes you on a journey where you can listen to Sam’s voice for hours and calm your mind from all the daily worries. Of course, you might as well run the drama series over a binge session and enjoy the best of both worlds, just sayin’!

If you already wish to see him perform live, don’t worry, Sam is touring all over the world! He was in Europe this spring and recently performed in Singapore as well. His live stage performances are just as captivating (if not more) because you can see his passion for the music he made by himself. His genuine smile and interactions with the audience are absolute signs that you will have a great time yourself if you decide to buy a ticket for his concert and go!

Sam Kim doesn’t only have soft, sentimental vocals but a very charming personality off the stage! If you wish to see more of his content, he has a YouTube channel where he uploads vlogs from his tours, daily life and covers. Check it out and don’t forget to give him lots of love for all the hard work he is doing for his fans and to popularize this type of genre!  

Cover Image: Sam Kim (Antenna Music)
Written by Monica Boyadzhieva

Mukbang’s Best Foods!

Mukbangs have exploded in popularity over the years, and now you can find a video for just about any food. There are even mukbang ASMR videos if you want to relax while watching. From hard candies to fried chicken, there’s a large variety to choose from. The options are endless and mouthwatering. Though, some foods appear more often than not. Here are some of mukbang’s best and most eaten foods. 

  • Jellies 

Jellies or gummies aren’t just for kids! They’re famous in Korea for their chewy texture and their mild sweetness. In mukbangs, you can find jellies in many different shapes and sizes. The standard jellies in mukbangs are round but other times they can be quite extravagant and shaped like actual food or items. Above, MINEE EATS made her own jelly in the shape of a keyboard!

  • Seafood

Even western mukbang personalities have taken a liking to seafood, but in Korea, it goes much further than just crab legs. You can find monkfish, sashimi, squid, lobster tails, prawn, and the occasional raw octopus. If you like shiny things and seafood, then there’s a video for that too. In the video above, Ddong-gae adds a twist to seafood by adding gold to the mix. It’s a match that goes along quite swimmingly.

  • Ramyeon

Ramyeon is everywhere on YouTube (looking at you, spicy ramen challenge.) Though, mukbangs are another place where this meal shines! You can find a large variety of videos with different toppings on the ramyeon. There’s cheese, octopus, eggs, spam, jalapenos, and the classic kimchi. These toppings adds an extra oomph to the ramyeon. Kimchi and spam provide a satisfying crunch.

  • Jjajangmyeon

Jjajangmyeon or black noodles are a savory dish with a wicked sauce. It’s the official dish of Korea’s unofficial Single’s Day every year, so it’s no surprise that it’s featured in so many mukbangs. Its famous black sauce is Korean black bean paste, vegetables like onions, and pork. Usually, they’re eaten in a large amount. Like SIO ASMR, he grabs a huge plate. It is an unofficial rule of mukbangs, the more the better! 

  • Chicken 

If you love crunchier textures, you’ll love chicken mukbangs. There’s Korean fried chicken, which is packed with seasoning and thick breading. The crunch in these videos is some of the most satisfying that you can find. Every now and then, chicken is paired with tteokbokki, rice cakes, to balance out the crunch with a nice chewy noise. Another branch of the chicken genre is chicken wings! Though it isn’t as crunchy, it’s mesmerizing how a person can wipe the meat of the chicken as YouTuber Sea Bear demonstrates above. 

All of these foods are pleasing to watch and will definitely make you crave food. What are your favorite foods in mukbangs? Any dish that we should know? Tell us below!

Cover Image: Eat with Boki
Written by Stephanie Lemus