Posted by : Madhavi
Last updated on December 28th, 2020 at 02:02 pm
In 2020, there’s no question K-pop is now part of the mainstream. It’s a different environment than even two years ago, when “League of Legends” virtual group K/DA broke YouTube records and charted on Billboard’s world lists.
“As real musicians, we wanted players to interact and ‘stan’ over them, the same way they can with other musicians in the real world through social media,” said Patrick Morales, Riot Games’ creative director for “League of Legends,” K/DA and Seraphine, the new music-based Champion character. “Much of what began as a celebration of music has gone on to inspire content from skins to limited-time in-game events … creating a unique ecosystem.”
The K/DA production line has three tracks: the songs, the in-game skins and events, and the marketing, which Morales oversees. Toa Dunn, head of Riot Music Group, said they write music that “makes sense” for the characters and the lore. It’s not necessarily about chasing the latest sound or trends in music.
“Even for us back in 2018, a lot of us were really passionate and inspired by Western pop and K-pop at the time, and the differences between the two,” Dunn said. “It’s exploring what we’re passionate about and having that as the North Star we chase, as opposed to what is someone else is doing. We think that’s something that resonates with players. We’re not trying to imitate, we’re just driven by pure passion and what our players like. And that’s how we end up in the spaces we’re at.”
“We didn’t do it with the intention of following what was happening at the time, because there was no parallel to K/DA,” Morales said. “We just wanted our own take on it, and we know our players. Our only hope with K/DA was to channel their love of the game into a place they didn’t expect. The unique thing about K/DA musically is that it is a different mix of eclectic inspirations. … Broadly, it feels like pop to me.”
Riot Games has finally released K/DA’s last concept music video featuring Ahri’s “I’LL SHOW YOU” and also helped to produce the song. This last track from the “ALL OUT” EP features artists like Bekuh BOOM, Annika Wells, and popular K-pop group TWICE. The MV has plenty of visuals that hint at many struggles she faced throughout her carrier.
With the August release of K/DA single “THE BADDEST”, Riot Games virtual K-Pop act have made their ultimate takeover as they dropped their first EP, “ALL OUT ”, on November 6, 2020 (Friday).
— K/DA (@KDA_MUSIC) October 2, 2020
K/DA the four-member K-pop act may not be physically available in our timeline, but through the digital magic of Riot Games, they emerged from digital DNA to chart-toppers in this world. The digital group found mainstream success in 2018 and was composed of League of Legends champions Ahri, Kai’Sa, Akali, and Evelynn with the release of their viral debut single “POP/STARS.”
Stream the new EP below.
Ahri (voiced by Miyeon) is a nine-tailed foxgirl mage in League, who is one of the most popular characters in the game. In-game, her abilities revolve primarily around dashing around and a Charm ability that forces enemies to walk towards her. In K/DA, Ahri and Evelynn serve as the main vocalists. According to Miyeon, she started learning more about League and actually played the game as Ahri to better understand her character.
— K/DA (@KDA_MUSIC) September 23, 2020
Evelynn (voiced by Madison Beer) is, similar to Akali, an assassin-type character, whose lore is centered around being a succubus. In K/DA, Ahri and Evelynn serve as the main vocalists.
— K/DA (@KDA_MUSIC) September 11, 2020
Kai’Sa (voiced by Jaira Burns) is a relatively new character in the game and a marksman character. According to her lore, after spending most of her life trapped in The Void, a horrific alternate dimension, she returned as a killer who zooms around and shoots missiles from cannons floating above her shoulders. In K/DA, Kai’Sa is the main dancer of the group.
— K/DA (@KDA_MUSIC) September 14, 2020
Akali (voiced by Soyeon) is an assassin-type character in League who weaves in and out of the darkness and throws kunai at opponents. In K/DA, Akali is the rapper of the group. Soyeon said she tried to “feel like Akali and move as if I were Akali” during the motion capture for Pop/Stars.
— K/DA (@KDA_MUSIC) September 2, 2020
The MV is packed with stunning visuals and great vocals gaining more popularity on Twitter with the hashtags #ILLSHOWYOU and #KDAxTWICE. Among these tweets, were ONCEs and (K/DA’s new fandom) BLADEs having fun picking out the tiny details that reminded them of TWICE, the featured artist on the track. The most notable of all the references were the two lotus scenes.
The lotus scene is very similar to TWICE’s “FANCY” and “I CAN’T STOP ME”.
The umbrella scene and the picture view scene also reminds of ONCE’s memories with TWICE’s “Feel Special”.
The pose is very similar to TWICE’s “FANCY”.
Also, some K/DA fans found that the mirror scene is similar to the Japanese release of TWICE’s “Fake & True”.
K/DA fans still enjoyed finding these small things that reminded them of TWICE. It’s nice to see K/DA paying a small homage to their guests, TWICE.
K/DA UPDATE (10/09/2020):
The group announced the official tracklist for their upcoming EP “ALL OUT”. Their post also revealed that the official music video for their next single “MORE” is scheduled to drop on October 28 (Wednesday).
— K/DA (@KDA_MUSIC) October 9, 2020
K/DA UPDATE (10/16/2020):
The group shared a new update about their upcoming EP, revealing collaborations with the likes of Madison Beer, Lexie Liu, Kim Petras, Aluna, Bekuh BOOM, TWICE, and Annika Wells.
Below you can check out the K/DA – “ALL OUT” EP tracklist.
“THE BADDEST” ft. Bea Miller, Wolftyla, (G)I-DLE
“MORE” ft. Madison Beer, (G)I-DLE, Lexie Liu, Jaira Burns, Seraphine
“VILLAIN” ft. Madison Beer, Kim Petras
“DRUM GO DUM” ft. Aluna, Wolftyla, Bekuh BOOM
“I’LL SHOW YOU” ft. TWICE, Bekuh BOOM, Annika Wells
After the announcement of the release of the “ALL OUT” EP K/DA has been inviting fans to share dance covers of “THE BADDEST” as well as their cosplay outfits of each member.
All Out was written by Bekuh Boom, and produced by Riot Games composer Sebastien Najand. Riot says the EP represents a more ‘global pop sound’, as opposed to purely a K-pop one, which I’ll admit I didn’t quite understand when listening to The Baddest, More, and Villain—three tracks I see very much at home in modern K-pop.
K/DA UPDATE (10/23/2020):
The countdown to the release of K/DA’s “More” music video has begun and a new video teaser looks like K/DA will be unveiling another full-production video for their next single, backed by their thundering bass drops.K/DA’s ‘“More” music video was scheduled to premiere on October 28 at 10 p.m. (PHT/SGT).
Thank you all for taking part in the past month of #KDAMORE. Now, experience this first look of the upcoming music video: "MORE."
— K/DA (@KDA_MUSIC) October 23, 2020
— K/DA (@KDA_MUSIC) October 25, 2020
— K/DA (@KDA_MUSIC) October 26, 2020
— K/DA (@KDA_MUSIC) October 27, 2020
K/DA UPDATE (10/29/2020):
The group finally unveiled their second single “More” off of their upcoming EP, “ALL OUT”. The animated visual sees the group share their first collaboration with Riot Games’ virtual influencer Seraphine. Since it’s 10 p.m. (PHT/SGT) release, the visual has garnered over 6.5 million views at press time.
Check out the video below.
K/DA UPDATE (11/01/2020):
K/DA made their AR return to the World’s stage at the Pudong Football Stadium in Shanghai for its 2020 installment before a crowd of around 6,000 fans.
K/DA performed their latest single “More” with a special live appearance by Chinese pop star Lexie Liu, who lends her voice on the recorded track as Seraphine.
THE BEGINNING OF K/DA
The team behind the Riot Games staged an elaborate production with American pop-rock act Against the Current, who performed “Legends Never Die” as a virtual dragon swooped into the arena through augmented reality for its opening ceremony when the annual League of Legends World Championship (a.k.a Worlds) was held in Beijing, China back in the year 2017.
When the team found out that the next Worlds would be held in South Korea, the ideas started running in their heads as the next one had to be even bigger. And there was no better way to go big than by tuning to Korea’s greatest export—K-Pop.
The Riot Games team initially didn’t know much about K-Pop, they knew they wanted to create something big that would surprise fans—a music video with dance choreography that leaned toward K-Pop. So they researched and learned. Gathering inspiration from the many sides of the explosive genre while living and breathing K-Pop. The team went back to the drawing board revamping the soul-devouring nine-tailed fox Ahri from her 2013 Popstar skin (which closely resembles Girls’ Generation’s Genie era) to continue her story. They had their thinking hats on constantly asking themselves “What would Ahri be now?” taking the idea further and they found her to be an empowering leader of the pop quartet that vibed along the lines of pop and hip-hop with music that was hard-hitting and made listeners feel good and pumped up.
K/DA DEBUT :
K/DA was debuted by Riot games at Worlds 2018 Incheon, South Korea with “POP/STARS” featuring (G)I-DLE’s Miyeon and Soyeon who lent their voices to Ahri and Akali, respectively, as Madison Beer and Jaira Burns recorded and performed as Evelynn and Kai’Sa, respectively. The augmented reality versions of their counterparts appeared onstage with them for the opening ceremony presentation.
And that was just the beginning. From there, K/DA rose to fame as their debut single, “POP/STARS” topped iTunes and Billboard charts with over 170 million digital streams. Its official animated music video was an entire powerhouse of its own as it reached over 377 million views, making it the most successful debut for a K-Pop group in YouTube history.
After their announcement, K/DA revealed that they will be releasing their debut EP, ALL OUT, on November 6, 2020 (Friday) featuring collaborations with the likes of Seraphine, Lexie Liu, Kim Petras, Aluna, Bekuh BOOM, TWICE, and Annika Wells. Leading up to the release K/DA dropped teasers for the release of their third single “MORE” which features Seraphine. The animated video garnered over 6.5 million plays in 15 hours of its premiere.
Throughout the month of November, Riot Games released concept videos for each track off of K/DA’s “ALL OUT” EP.
You might have heard the name of the famous online sensation Bailey Sok and One Million Dance Studio. K/DA collaborated with them making fans filled with their updates and feeds with collabs and dance video.
“I’LL SHOW YOU” the track on K / DA’s first official EP album, features a fast pace with a unique K-POP musical style. Members of the popular Korean girls’ group ‘Twice” Jihyo, Nayeon, Sana With the participation of Chae-young, it attracted a lot of attention even before the song was released.
The video “1MILLION XK / DA-I’LL SHOW YOU” has received strong reactions since its release on the 26th at 10 pm. This video shows a refreshing choreography combined with a fast, gaudy pace and is directed directly by LIA KIM (Kim Hye-rang), the representative of the One Million Dance Studio, and the chief choreographer who works on TWICE’s ‘TT’ and Sunmis ‘Gashina’ worked, choreographed. Draws attention by creating and appearing. Debbie, Yujin, and Canal, who also appeared in the “1MILLION XK / DA-MORE”creative choreography video of the EP album’s title track ‘MORE’, including choreographers Minyoung and Ara, showed brilliant choreography. The video reached 5 million views within two weeks of its launch.
This concept video was another impressive creation of Riot and should be able to hold K/DA fans over until the group returns with another set of hit songs.
They also have a fan kit containing concept photos, art, turnarounds, and instrumental stems which you can download for free here.
WHICH IS YOUR FAVOURITE CHARACTER FROM K/DA AND WHAT DO YOU THINK ABOUT THEIR LATEST MV? LET US KNOW IN THE COMMENT SECTION BELOW.
Stay tuned here for more updates on K/DA.
Tags: Ahri, AKALI, ALLOUT, Annika Wells, Bekuh BOOM, BLADES, EVELYNN, fandom, GAME, ILLSHOWYOU, Jaira Burns, K/DA, KAISA, KDA, kmusic, korea, kpop, LEAGUEOFLEGENDS, LIGHTSTICK, MadisonBeer, Miyeon, MORALES, MV, ONCES, Patrick Morales, POP/STARS, RAPPER, RIOT, RIOTGAMES, RIOTMUSICGROUP, SERAPHINE, Soyeon, Spotify, THEBADDEST, TOADUNN, twice, VIRTUALREALITY, VOCALIST, YouTube
April 12th, 2021
Namaste Hallyu is super excited to share our interview with our Artist of The Month – Singer and Songwriter Dvwn!
If you’re a fan of versatile Korean music, you might have definitely heard his song, ‘Being Left’ with Zico or ‘Fairy’ or even ‘Last’ and if you’re a KDrama fan, you must have heard him when listening to the OST ‘No Problem’ from the drama, ‘The Uncanny Counter’ or you might have seen Park Shin Hye featured in his latest music video, ‘Free Flight’.
Soundcloud has been a big platform for various artists around the world, both popular and rising and this platform holds the stories of many world famous artists who initially started there including Dvwn’s musical journey. He gathered a lot of attention on Soundcloud and is known for his soothing melodies that are self-written and composed and this caught the attention of one of the biggest South Korean rapper, Zico. Dvwn is now signed with Zico’s KOZ Entertainment, a subsidiary of HYBE Corporation (formerly known as Big Hit Entertainment).
Dvwn has not only made music for his fans but he has also worked with various artists. Dvwn has worked with EXO’s Lay Zhang and Chanyeol, separately for ‘Mapo Tofu’ and ‘SSFW’. He further participated in SHINee’s ‘Heart Attack’ from their recent album, ‘Love Yourself’ by Eric Nam, Babylon’s ‘Karma’, and had also featured in Kang Daniel’s track ‘Movie’. Dvwn has also received IU’s appreciation for his cover songs.
What we love the most about Dvwn is how he effortlessly shifts genre and makes it his own. Dvwn cannot be classified as one genre of artist and that is why, it is best to understand his style of music by listening to his music because he creates a genre of his own. But if we have to categorise him, then it would be ‘Versatile’. Ahead of his EP ‘It’s Not Your Fault’ releasing on the 14th of April, we got to speak with Dvwn. Read on to know about his musical journey, his inspirations, the upcoming EP and more, including a special message for his Indian fans.
Namaste Hallyu (NH): First of all, congratulations! You came back with a new single ‘Free Flight’ and it has been well received. What does the song ‘ Free Flight’ mean to you ? You have also mentioned that it was written and recorded two-three years ago, is ‘Free Flight’ in any way different from your album series ‘Dawn Defibrillation’- lyrically and musically?
Dvwn: Thank you very much! I tried to express a journey of flying into one’s dream to tell things that I wouldn’t be able to tell in reality, and then flying back to reality with clearer conscience with ‘Free Flight’. A friend of mine who is a producer wrote the song as an instrumental track, which we rearranged to complete it as it is now. This song was supposed to be one of the tracks in ‘Dawn Defibrillation’ and you will find many similarities but on the other hand, the topic of the lyrics and the genre form are quite different. ‘Free Flight’ is a song where I tell a story in a more calm manner.
NH: You have been giving us so many amazing songs. What is your process when you’re writing a song? Any musical artist/art in general that has a major influence on your style?
Dvwn: The music writing process differs for each song. I sometimes stumble across a word in my daily life and start from that word and sometimes I get inspired by a book. Most of the time, I start by just sitting down in a chair. The artists that influences me the most, changes all the time and recently, I’ve been most inspired by films directed by Yorgos Lanthimos.
NH: It has been two years since you released your first self-produced album, ‘Panorama’ and ‘Fairy’ still remains as your most streamed song from that album and since then, it has been a journey of so many amazing songs. Which is your favorite work so far?
Dvwn: My favorite work changes all the time. I always find myself liking the most recently written song the most and I believe that many artists would relate to that. Of all the released songs, I like ‘Free flight’ the most. It must be because I prefer calmer music nowadays.
NH: You mentioned in a previous interview about how The Black Skirts is one of your favorite musician, have you ever thought of a possible collaboration and how do you think it will turn out?
Dvwn: I do like The Black Skirts very much but a collaboration is a very difficult process. I feel that it would be better to keep my favorite artist as the favorite artist and nothing more but if I were to collaborate with him, I think the song will turn out to be a very rocking one.
NH: You have never been bounded by a single genre and in the past, you had mentioned that you would like to try ‘Gospel’ music, is that still the same or is there any particular genre that you want to try?
Dvwn: Yes, I still want to try Gospel music someday, as the majestic feel of the genre can’t be replaced by any other. Other than Gospel music, I would love to try to write psychedelic or alternative rock music.
NH: ‘Dawn Defibrillation’ has continued as a series and you have also expressed that it will be finalized as an EP or LP. So can we expect it in the near future?
Dvwn: I have currently pushed the project to a later time, and am focusing on the upcoming album. As it is a series, I feel that I would need more time to think about it. It will happen when the time is right.
NH: You had shared a snippet in your Instagram Story which seemed like a demo of ‘Free Flight’ but in English. If it is the English version, we were wondering if your fans would get a chance to listen to it.
Dvwn: It’s actually not an English version, but a demo with rough melody guides. I normally sing in gibberish English when I’m writing the melodies, and it must have sounded like an English version. I would love to release an English version if the meaning of ‘Free Flight’ can be translated into English without losing its meaning.
NH: You have recently sung the OST, ‘No Problem’ for the K-Drama ‘The Uncanny Encounter’ and it has been wonderfully received. How was the experience? If we are not wrong, isn’t this your first OST? In addition, is there an OST of any Drama or Movie in particular that you like a lot?
Dvwn: Yes, it was my first time, and it was a very unique experience. I have never had anyone direct me in the recording process and so, it was awkward at first but I enjoyed the experience. I love the OST of Reply 1988, “A Little Girl” sung by Oh Hyuk.
NH: We heard that your new EP ‘It’s not your fault’ will be released soon. As it’s the first record after signing with KOZ Entertainment, we are wondering what kind of story it contains. Could you give us a spoiler before it’s released?
Dvwn: I think the listeners would find the album quite heavy overall. It contains many feelings and stories and its difficult to explain in a short sentence, but I would say the main keywords are sadness and loneliness. You will know what I mean when you listen to it. To spoil it a little, the album consists of songs with many different genres. Please don’t miss out on ‘It’s not your fault’.
NH: Lastly, any message for your Indian fans and what to expect from you?
Dvwn: Thank you so much for listening to my music. I have been working hard to present good music to you. My new EP ‘It’s not your fault’ will release soon, so please look forward to it! Thank you so much again for all the love!
Dvwn has an intense passion for music and sheds light on the importance of fans being able to resonate with his music. We are very happy to have interviewed such a versatile artist who produces fervent music and we are grateful to Dvwn and KOZ Entertainment for the opportunity. We look forward to all the new music and we hope to see him perform in India, someday.
Dvwn’s new EP, ‘It’s Not Your Fault’ is releasing on April 14 featuring various artists like lIlBOI, CHE, jane, and Kwon Jin Ah. KOZ Entertainment Announces Dvwn’s Comeback
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Big Naughty (Seo Dong Hyun) from H1gher Music is a 2003 born soloist with a soothing voice perfect for the sensible rap that he is known for. His vocals does not limit him to rapping as he sings well too and recently he released his latest contemporary R & B Genre, EP “Bucket List”. In his EP, he has shown a different side of his music taste from that he is usually known for. Read on to read our review.