If you’re a fan of Kpop and were online at any time today you probably heard the buzzing, the disturbance in the K-force. A single video of a debut, never before heard of artist is being passed around from site to site, from group chat to group chat. What has everyone all a-buzz? Holland, the first openly gay Kpop artist dropped his first video, where he is clearly openly gay. For all to see.
Hot day in the morning.
This is huge. Super huge. Some are absolutely saying monumental. This really is just not done in South Korea, in Kpop. Kpop where, you can fanservice your little hearts out, where you can practically make out with your band mate — but only if your perfectly straight and would never actually dream of coming out. In a landscape where LGBT content is coming out faster and faster (holy crap, no pun intended) with it’s quality actually rising as well, South Korea is sadly behind the times.
Unfortunately? Gay is barely okay in Korea.
So, to have an openly gay Kpop artist not only being allowed to make music, but to have a video which makes no mistakes about it — this is a guy in a relationship. A guy in love with another guy? Seriously, watch the video. We have longing looks. We have cute hand holds. We have angst. We have snuggles. Then it happens. We have kissage. Like for real, kdrama level kissing. I’ve watched a lot of kpop videos in my time. The first part of the list, all regular kpop fare, but you hardly ever, ever, ever see kissing. Not only does this have a kiss, it’s a big one.
It makes you wonder though. Why are they doing this? No, not the LGBT musician thing, but having a video that’s so out there in kpop terms. Why are they not easing into it? Tiptoeing around it. Which is usually the norm around controversial topics. But not here, nope, they just jump right in. Did the management team decide to do this as a big splash? To get the attention a new artists requires to get his name out there so people actually listen to his music? Is this going to be his thing? Or is the company just super supportive and figure, well, it’s not like it’s a secret, might as well be upfront about it? People now all over the world are talking about Holland, about the fact that he is the first openly gay kpop artist. I wonder how that makes him feel? Would he rather have a chance to be known for his music and not his sexuality? We’ll take a look at the song itself a little further in as I have questions. Lots of questions.
Looking at the video there is one thing I’m looking for. Who put this out? What management label is he actually under. I looked up several different sites and was unable to come up with the information. (Turns out, looks like it might be a company called ENT. Have you heard of them?) Is he coming out with just this song? If it’s just the one song, that’s not a super big deal, a lot of artists only premiere with one song, I’m just wondering.
I wish I had more answers. I really want this to be a good thing, for Holland who is brave enough to risk everything to be who he is. I want this to be a good thing for South Korean entertainment at large, both in their music and their television. I’ll continue to watch, to pay attention, because that’s exactly what these artists, these people need.
Now let’s get to the music! I’m not usually a ballad person, which is good because this isn’t really a ballad. I’m sure there is some actual musical term or style for what this is, I’ll just say, surprisingly I like it. I didn’t love it the first time around, but upon other listenings, the song is catchy. Not slow, more moody. I’ll be interested to see what else Holland can do, where he is going to lean musically as I can’t really tell from one song if he’s going to hook me or not. I will say, if this song goes on Google Play, Imma gonna buy it, because money talks. Also. It helps I really do like the song.
The video is darling and gives you all the squeeees a good romantic video should. The tone is dreamy and the colors are blown out and are like a bright clean summer day. I’m going to have to go out and find the translation for the lyrics as I can’t tell if this is a happy song or not. If he’s all alone and wishing he were with someone—see all the spots of him being angsty and alone in a different, colder, color filter. Or if he was in a relationship but it didn’t work out – again with the him being alone, plus that section in there where they were obviously fighting. Or if he were alone in the past but now has a boyfriend and though not everything is perfect they work together to be happy. I’m pretty sure we all know where I lie on that wish list.
Whatever may come, good luck to you Holland. We’ll all be watching. And happy debut!