I’m singing my blues (in Korean).

Yup, you can probably infer from the title that I’m one of those who’ve caught on to the K-pop craze. (Whoops.) While every other teenage girl obsesses over One Direction, I’ve got BIGBANG, one of the most well known boy bands in K-pop.

The song that I’ve chosen is “Blue,” one of their ballads off of their last album, “Alive.” This song was the first one I’ve ever heard from them, as one day I was scrolling through the “Most Viewed” page on YouTube and my curiosity made me press “Play.” Ironically though, it wasn’t the song that made me a fan. That happened a few months later as I found their song “Still Alive” on Tumblr. (The location of music video for the song above should be familiar, as it was shot here in New York City.) Before BIGBANG released “Alive,” their previous EP titled “Tonight” had given rise to international interest. “Tonight” reached the Top 10 on the US iTunes chart, the first K-pop album to do so, and was the only non-English album on the Top 100. They also found success in album pre-orders and sales, with numbers reaching the hundreds of thousands. In that same year (2011), BIGBANG also won an EMA for  “Best Worldwide Act.” If “Tonight” peaked interest internationally for BIGBANG, “Alive” shattered that record, making them global superstars. They held 5 spots on the Top 10 of Billboard K-pop’s Hot 100, and were 150 on Billboard 200, the first K-pop artists to do so. They have received recognition and acclaim from sites such as Time magazine, etc. “Alive” kicked off their first world tour in partnership with Live Nation and sponsored by Samsung, visiting 21 cities over 13 countries, including 2 cities in the US (sold out shows in Anaheim, CA and Newark, NJ). Laurieann Gibson worked with BIGBANG on the tour, and she is affiliated with such acts as Lady Gaga, Nicki Minaj, Michael Jackson, Alicia Keys, and Beyonce. BIGBANG has achieved much success internationally in the past few years, but they’ve been around for quite a while.

Members of BIGBANG include Kwon Jiyong, Dong Youngbae, Choi Seunghyun, Lee Seunghyun, and Kang Daesung. Kwon Jiyong, otherwise known as G-Dragon (“Ji” sounds like the letter “G,” and “yong” translates to “dragon”), is a rapper, singer, songwriter, dancer, producer, and fashion icon. He is the leader of BIGBANG. GD trained under YG Entertainment for 6 years before debuting. Alongside GD in those 6 years was Dong Youngbae, known as Taeyang, the group’s main dancer and singer. Yang Hyun-suk, founder of YG Entertainment, had plans to have both trainees debut solo or as a pair, but it was finally decided to form a boy band instead, so auditions were held. Those who made the cut included Choi Seunghyun, known as T.O.P, Kang Daesung, and Lee Seunghyun, known as Seungri. T.O.P had been long time friends with GD, and he was an underground rapper formerly known as Tempo. He is the main rapper in BIGBANG and a movie star. Daesung is the main vocalist, and Seungri is the group’s youngest member, and a main singer and dancer. Seungri hadn’t made the cut the first time, but was offered a second chance and gained a permanent spot in the group. BIGBANG finally debuted in 2007, and since then have released many albums, and each member has a successful solo career as well. Currently, G-Dragon and Seungri released 2nd solo albums, each gaining massive success and recognition. GD worked with Western artists such as Missy Elliot, Diplo, Baauer, Boyz Noize, and Sky Ferreira on his new album, Coup D’Etat. Seungri is also very successful as an actor, model, and host in Japan. Taeyang and T.O.P have released singles, and Daesung released a Japanese solo album and tour. They are currently on a dome tour in Japan, one of the largest a K-pop group has ever done. Plans to release a new BIGBANG album for 2014 are in the works, as well as another world tour.

I can’t tell you how I love BIGBANG, even though it is K-pop, a language that I definitely do not speak. I just do. Not only do I enjoy their music, but I also respect and admire them as individuals. It brings me joy just as One Direction brings joy to other teens. I can go on and on about them (as I kinda did here). K-pop is definitely a genre that should get more recognition and respect, just as they respect Western music. Just think of it this way: if non-English speaking countries love our music, why can’t we love non-English language music? Music is one!

I hope anyone who listened enjoyed “Blue,” even if it was because of the location (that was me before I was a fan!). Here are the English lyrics, it really is a nice song:

“The winter had passed
And the spring has come
We have withered
And our hearts are bruised from longing

(I’m singing my blues)
Used to the blue tears, blue sorrow
(I’m singing my blues)
The love that I have sent away with the floating clouds, oh oh

Under the same sky, at different places
Because you and I are dangerous
I am leaving you
One letter difference from ‘nim’
It’s cowardly but I’m hiding because I’m not good enough
Cruel breakup is like the end of the road of love
No words can comfort me
Perhaps my lifetime’s last melodrama
Now its final curtain is coming down

I was born and I met you
And I have loved you to death
My cold heart that has been dyed blue
Even with my eyes closed, I can’t feel you

The winter had passed
And the spring has come
We have withered
And our hearts are bruised from longing

(I’m singing my blues)
Used to the blue tears, blue sorrow
(I’m singing my blues)
The love that I have sent away with the floating clouds, oh oh

I feel like my heart has stopped beating
You and I, frozen there, after a war
Trauma, that has been carved in my head
Once these tears dry up, I will moistly remember my love
I’m neither painful nor lonely
Happiness is all self-talk
I can’t stand something more complicated
It’s no big deal, I don’t care
Inevitable wandering, people come and go

I was born and I met you
And I have loved you to death
My cold heart that has been dyed blue
Even if you have left, I’m still here

(I’m singing my blues)
Used to the blue tears, blue sorrow
(I’m singing my blues)
The love that I have sent away with the floating clouds, oh oh

Again tonight, underneath that blue moonlight
I will probably fall asleep alone
Even in my dreams, I look for you
And wander around while singing this song

(I’m singing my blues)
Used to the blue tears, blue sorrow
(I’m singing my blues)
The love that I have sent away with the floating clouds, oh oh

(I’m singing my blues)
Used to the blue tears, blue sorrow
(I’m singing my blues)
The love that I have sent away with the floating clouds, oh oh”

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