No Gangnam style for some K-pop acts
GLITTERING costumes and colourful streaks of hair have become the trademark of K-pop singers, who are now known as much for their flashy visuals as their hypnotic music.
In the hypercompetitive world of K-pop, recent releases have been toying with niche concepts to stand out.
Boy band Vixx chose to take the supernatural horror route for their single Fantasy from their fourth album Hades, released recently.
The music video features the six members dancing in a dark forest and posing in an eerie manor, with crowns of thorns on their heads and their lips bloodstained.
This is not the first time the band have experimented with dark, extravagant concepts.
In the video of 2014 release Error, the members were cast as blue-eyed figures emitting rays of electricity.
Voodoo Doll from 2013 starts with a scene featuring human parts. The concept brought them fame, in contrast to the lame response to Vixx's 2012 debut song Super Hero, which took a "boy-next-door" approach.
Another striking artist is DJ, producer and EDM musician Hitchhiker, known for performing in a metallic space suit.
Last week, he was announced as the first South Korean musician to participate in the soundtrack of a Netflix original movie, Xoxo, with his song Ding Dong, alongside global musicians Disclosure, Diplo and Skrillex.
The film will be released on Netflix on Aug 26.
Hitchhiker's 2014 video 11, which combines 3-D animations and live figures, is said to have grabbed the attention of foreign labels.
Last December, he signed with American entertainment agency William Morris Endeaver and label Deckstar for his official international debut.
Like other DJs such as Deadmau5, who performs with a Mickey Mouse helmet, and Daft Punk, known for a metallic helmet, Hitchhiker will perform on the global stage wearing his trademark suit.
YG Entertainment's newest girl group Black Pink have a little bit of everything in both looks and music.
The title tracks Whistle and Boombaya are hip-hop-based, with the latter featuring elements of Indian music.
Fashion-wise, the girls don everything from plaid schoolgirl skirts to cross-shaped earrings.
THE KOREA HERALD/
ASIA NEWS NETWORK