I know that not everyone celebrates Christmas. I know that there are a multitude of holidays during this time of the year…heck, various members of my own family celebrate a wide range of special days during the months of November, December, and January. Kpop, however, really doesn’t do Hanukkah songs. There is a huge lack of Kwanzaa tunes hitting the charts overseas. Forget Yule. So for this particular post, I am going to share a sampling of Christmas themed songs released over the last few weeks by some of our favorite Kpop artists.
It’s gonna be a longer than usual post…this is not an exhaustive list.
Kpop Christmas songs, like fall and winter songs in general, tend to be ballads. This is often an opportunity for big companies to pull together random group members and solo artists, all of whom had a particularly good year, and have them sing a sentimental tune about how much they love each other, how much they love the fans, or how much they loved that special someone who either done them wrong or done them right to the point where they just have to sing about it under a tree. Probably unwrapping a gift. Or eating cake. And there is often a random rap part. I promise, it will be jarring. It won’t make sense.
I love so many of the artists featured in the videos below. I really do. I just don’t dig the Christmas ballad. It’s not my thing. But I know soooo many people (or a couple, because really, how many of us know sooooo many people who even listen to Kpop?) who love a good ballad and really get into the season, so the marriage of the two seems pretty important.
Jin (BTS) – Awake, Christmas Version
Jin is perfection. His solo song, Awake, on BTS’s sophomore full album, Wings, is lovely (not perfection, but definitely lovely). He has that softer, nasal voice shared by so many Korean ballad singers and he is well aware that his looks really are his strongest feature as an idol. In celebration of the upcoming holiday season, he has re-released Awake as a Christmas song…which means that they added sleigh bells to the backing track. Sleigh bells. It is, for all intents and purposes, the same song with sleigh bells. And a lot breathier. Which is, if I am in a certain mood, a bit sexier. MAYBE they changed the lyrics to make it more celebratory of the holiday, but my Korean is exceptionally limited on my best days so I didn’t notice a difference. But….here it is……Jin’s contribution to the season.
I like it better sans sleigh bells.
Mamamoo – Draw, Draw, & Draw
Mamamoo is one of my all time favorite groups. Really. There are a very limited number of groups that my family and I have agreed to see live…together… when they come to the US. Mamamoo is one of them. We ALL love them. They are fun, super talented, cheeky…I am SURE that I will dedicate a post to them some day in the not so distant future. This video is not the worst I have seen. It was pretty. The ladies are adorable. They do presents. They eat cake. Moon Buel raps. Hwasa’s manicure (highlighted at 2’21”) is frightening. It is everything that it is supposed to be. I hate it. I LOOOOOOVE it.
Shinee – Winter Wonderland
They are so pretty.
This is not strictly a Christmas song. It is a winter song. But we all know where they were going with this. They are in a snow globe for a good portion of the song, it is a ballad, and you can artfully see their breath as they preen for the camera. They are in over-sized warm coats and softer focus.
They are so pretty.
Junggigo, Mad Clown, Yuseungwoo, Brother Su, Hyunseong (Boyfriend), and Kihyun (Monsta X) – Love Wishes
Yeah, this is exactly what I was talking about up there in paragraph two. Just weird. Come on Mad Clown, you are better than this. But darn, Kihyun is looking mighty decent with that pink hair.
HaHa and Oh My Girl – White (Featuring M.TySON)
I love HaHa on Running Man. I find him charming if somewhat (completely) childish on Infinity Challenge. I wanted to eat at his restaurant in Hongdae, but we couldn’t find it and we were too hungry to keep looking. I don’t, however, particularly enjoy Reggae. A Reggae Christmas song with a girl group…yeah. I hope you like it. I really hope you do.
There are gifts. There is cake. They are singing under a tree…there is a rap(ish).
Yang Da Il, Chancellor, MC GREE, As One, and Kang Min Hee – Already Christmas
Very pretty song with a mix of male and female singer. Chancellor has such a great voice…
Christmas tree. Reindeer headband. Rap outta nowhere (thanks MC Gree). Seems just right for about one week out of the year.
Baek A Yeon – Just Because (Feat. JB of GOT7)
This one is not billed as strictly a Christmas song, nor are there trees or gifts or gratuitous holiday trappings. But it SOUNDS like a Christmas release. It is a very pretty duet. Their voices blend nicely. It is upbeat, they are wearing winter coats inside…I am counting it.
LOOΠΔ/HeeJin, HyunJin, HaSeul – The Carol
I am not the demographic for this group. I am not into this kind of thing and I know very little (honestly, nothing) about Loona or the types of music they do. I am sure that someone, somewhere, thinks that this is some pretty rockstar stuff. I am not that person. I figured I should include this video on this list because it met all of the important criteria of being Kpop and being a Christmas song…the last song didn’t even really do that so……Yes, there are gifts, there is a tree, and there are antics with the gifts under the tree.
Hoody – Your Eyes (Feat. Jay Park)
This one is a bit trickier…It doesn’t fit the mold at all. It is a sweet R&B duet with Hoody and Jay Park. There are no trees (though he gets decorated with lights at one point), no gifts, no snow…It is just snippets of the life a young couple has built together. I am including it here because of one line that Jay Park sings at 1’32” “혼가서는 외로운 커라스마스.” This roughly translates to being lonely living by yourself at Christmas. He isn’t lonely because he is with her. It is terribly lovely.