Welcome to day three of the 2016 earthings! Fantasy Festival, a week of live performances that’s all just happening in our heads. Today, staff writer Shalla Yu flies in with her usual selection of five Asian acts… and once again, it’s an all-female line-up, featuring yet another blog favorite.
I don’t think I have ever invited a non-Asian act on my stage. And I don’t think I ever will. There’s something about East Asian music that I can’t quite put my finger on. I love that I don’t get to understand the lyrics right away, unless I’m listening to Chinese songs. [SY]
I first stumbled upon 2eyes during my YouTube sidebar adventure. There was nothing else to watch that day; I had already gone through the acts I regularly listen to. And me being me, of course, I knew better than not tapping on an unfamiliar group’s name (vibrant video still and all). “Pippi” was a little over “meh” for me during the first verse, but then Dasom’s rap came in and everything clicked into place. It brought more sense to the otherwise earworm-y song. They’re all talented and I feel terrible for them when a university accidentally books them for a performance (it’s like a norm in South Korea for celebrities to perform during orientations. Or something) thinking they were Twice. Honest mistake, yeah. The names sound the same and there wasn’t much difference if you write their names in hangul. The students were outraged, which was pretty heartless for me. I can’t imagine them performing while trying to ignore those hurtful remarks (assuming there will be, but I hope not). But here in my stage, in our imaginary festival, 2eyes performs, not by mistake, but because they’re pretty awesome.
The Japanese love their groups too, and one of their bigger ones is Dream. It started off as a trio a decade and a half ago, and now it’s a four-piece without the original members. I first encountered them when I was looking for celebrities with the same surname as me on Yahoo (yes, Yahoo!). I ended up finding Hasebe Yu, although that’s her first name. Ha. She hadn’t left the group at the time. I know her more as a model though. I haven’t heard much of their music until E-girls was formed. Together with Happiness and Flower, they form a 20-member group at present – you’ll never know when the changes happen. Speaking of changes, I was really sad to see Kyoka leave Flower. Her and Reina’s vocals have so much chemistry that it’s kinda weird to hear Reina alone. That’s part of the reason why I’m only inviting Dream, not E-girls. At least Ami can still make my heart go doki doki.
And the first Taiwanese musician to be invitied is… Liang Wen Yin. Or Rachel Liang. I know her more as Wen Yin though, partly because my Singaporean friends love her a lot. I love how her sound has that whole atmospheric sweepy family feel. If you know what I mean. I’m not that updated anymore, but she released “梁文音還是朋友” back in 2011(?) which was more upbeat, but still Wen Yin. I don’t know, but like I said she has this sweept family atmospheric feely feel.
Ayaka is another bigshot Japanese musician I’m inviting onstage. I’m a huge fan of Zettai Kareshi (a manga series also known as Absolute Boyfriend), and hearing Okaeri again today brought me to tears. I heard that the mangaka requested that Ayaka write the song. Or something. Doesn’t matter.
Quite unexpected. I never knew I was gonna be a Mamamoo fangirl, but here I am. I had long ago acknowledged their talent as a vocal act, and pretty much let Niko do the fanboying (if you could call it that). I pretty much let them do their thing without paying special attention until I watched the special clip for Kisum’s “Love Talk”. See, Hwasa was featured on the song. I was more of a Kisum fan. But man, Hwasa is hot. I mean, she’s young but super glam and super sassy. Add the fact that she growled (or purred) a lot during the special clip performance with Kisum… I was hooked! I got hooked, yeah, which led me to look Mamamoo up, which led me to well, becoming a full-fledged Mamamoo fangirl. (Or moomoo, as they call themselves.) It’s hard to pick a bias these days, but my love switched from Hwasa to Moonbyul, and I think it’s only a matter of time when said love bounces from Wheein to Solar.
[Tomorrow: Niko Batallones wraps up the Fantasy Festival with his five acts.]