Remember how every year you went to Kcon (or wanted to go to Kcon) and they announced that Jun Curry Ahn would be there playing his Kpop covers on the violin. With each performance, the covers got better and he started to incorporate his dance group into the show. More recently, we began to see pics of him with the idols he admired…remember that? That’s always been a fantasy of mine – not like a naughty fantasy, but a personal fantasy – meeting someone I admire and becoming pals. It’s always a risk getting to know someone you like from a distance because there’s no way they can live up to the hype you’ve built in your brain, but what if they did and you were able to be like phone call friends, texting buddies, etc.
Over the last year, Jun dropped his high school moniker (the curry part) and started releasing serious music, trying to break into the industry on both sides of the Pacific. I applaud him thoroughly as going after your dream like that is scary and bold and incredibly laudable, but so far the stuff he’s put out hasn’t been entirely to my taste. I’ll watch it once or twice, but to this point, none of the tracks have caught my attention in a more substantial way.
This year at Kcon NY we saw a lot of Jun paling around with Jongup, formerly of BAP. They did a Reddit AMA together and we saw tons of pics and clips of them hanging out. I suppose at some level I knew they were doing something together, but I didn’t really put it together and I certainly wasn’t tracking release dates. However, as I was trolling YouTube today instead of running or folding laundry, I stumbled on the MV for REM released on August 16. It’s a polished little R&B influenced number with the obvious blend of English and Korean lyrics (mostly Korean) and some tinkling piano notes interspersed. The MV looks lush thanks to the generous use of dramatic natural images projected on the green screen. Am I blown away, no, but it’s good. Very good. It’s something I will definitely pop on a playlist to listen to while I’m working or rattling around with my daily chores.
REM, Jun and Jongup