K-pop Culture Took NYC with CNBLUE, TWICE, HIGHLIGHT & Many More!
KCON USA, the world’s largest Korean culture convention and music festival, announced that KCON 2017 NY wrapped with record-setting attendance and number of performers. The entire convention filled with workshops, panels, performances, and more, matched perfectly with this year’s banner theme – “Let’s KCON.”
Taking place June 23 and 24 at the Prudential Center, KCON 2017 NY drew an audience of more than 43,000 attendees.The number of KCON NY sponsors and partners also grew, topping 100 for the first time – with booths spread out over a new footprint at the location that was triple the size of last year’s convention. In addition to presenting sponsor Toyota, brands supporting KCON 2017 NY this year included new sponsors Amazon, AT&T, Innisfree, and State Farm, new partner iHeartRadio, and returning sponsors included Asiana Airlines, Bibigo, Com2us, DramaFever, and McDonald’s to name a few. The Korea Tourism Organization & Gangwon Province were also on site promoting PyeongChang 2018 Winter Games.
KCON 2017 NY bolstered the event series’ reputation as a tastemaker of international talent presenting a blend of multiple chart topping acts and fresh faces playing in the United States for the first time. This year’s line-up included CNBLUE, GFRIEND, HIGHLIGHT, KNK, NCT 127, SF9, TWICE, UP10TION and ZION.T – a KCON NY record nine acts:
CNBLUE is a pop rock band that debuted in Korea with the single “I’m a Loner” on January 14, 2010. The band consists of four members: Jung Yong-hwa, Lee Jong-hyun, Kang Min-hyuk, and Lee Jung-shin. Prior to releasing their first Korean mini album, Bluetory, the band had been actively performing live in Japan. CNBLUE held the record for winning first place on South Korea’s music shows within the shortest time since debut, achieving number one 15 days after their debut with “I’m a Loner.” Since then, the band has released nine studio albums, ten extended plays (EPs), and 13 singles in Korea and Japan.
Twice consists of 9 global members: Nayeon, Jeongyeon, Momo, Sana, Jihyo, Mina, Dahyun, Chaeyoung, and Tzuyu. Twice was formed by JYP Entertainment through the 2015 survival reality show Sixteen. The music video for the debut title, “Like OOH-AHH,” hit 50 million views in five months, becoming the most viewed K-POP debut music video. In 2016, Twice became the first girl group to have sold 100,000 albums in 2016 with “CHEER UP.” In February 2017, their three-day sold out concert, Twice 1st Tour: TWICELAND – The Opening, was successfully held in Seoul and was the first stop on their world tour. Along with the album sales and digital charts, the music video views of the four title songs are increasing rapidly even at this time: 142 million for “Like OOH-AHH,” 154 million for “Cheer Up,” 170 million for “TT,” and 73 million for “Knock Knock.” The group has won numerous awards, including a total of 33 crowns on TV music programs, 2016 Mnet Asian Music Awards “Song of the Year,” and 31st Golden Disc Awards “Digital Song of the Year.”
GFRIEND is a girl group under Source Music who debuted with the EP Season of Glass in South Korea on January 16, 2015. The group consists of six members: Sowon, Yerin, Eunha, Yuju, SinB, and Umji. In the same year, GFriend won several female rookie awards and made headlines as the only girl group to be nominated in the 2015 MTV Europe Music Awards’ “Best Korean Act” category, with their EP Flower Bud. After releasing their third EP, Snowflake, in 2016, they won first place on M!Countdown, Music Bank, Show Champion and Inkigayo with title song “Rough.” The music videos of “Rough” and “Navillera” were ranked 2nd and 10th in top 10 K-pop MVs most beloved by South Koreans in 2016 on YouTube. In 2017, GFriend released their fourth EP The Awakening with title song “Fingertip.”
Highlight is a boy group that debuted under Around US Entertainment with the mini-album “Can You Feel It?” on March 20, 2017. The group consists of five members: Yoon Doo-joon, Yong Jun-hyung, Yang Yo-seob, Lee Gi-kwang, and Son Dong-woon. Formerly known as Beast, the group’s five members announced the new group name, Highlight, in February and revealed that it was derived from the title of their final studio album while still signed to Cube. Their title song “Plz Don’t be Sad!” topped almost all Korean music shows including “The Show,” “Show Champion,” “M! Countdown,” “Music Bank,” and “Inkigayo.”
SF9 is a boy group formed by FNC Entertainment and is the company’s first dance boy group. The group consists of nine members: Young Bin, In Seong, Jae Yoon, Da Won, Ro Woon, Zu Ho, Tae Yang, Hwi Young, and Cha Ni. The group’s name stands for Sensational Feeling 9. They debuted on October 5, 2016 with their first single album Feeling Sensation. Their first mini album, Burning Sensation, was released on February 6th and landed at No. 6 on Billboard’s World Albums Chart for the week of February 15, 2017. On April 18, 2017, SF9 released their second mini album, Breaking Sensation, with title song “Easy Love.”
NCT 127 is part of the K-pop boy group NCT, which stands for Neo Culture Technology. The group consists of nine members: Taeil, Johnny, Taeyong, Doyoung, Yuta, Jaehyun, Win Win, Mark, and Haechan. The number 127 represents the longitude coordinates of Seoul, South Korea. NCT 127 made their debut in July last year with a mini album titled NCT #127. Their second mini album, Limitless, was released digitally on January 6, 2017, and physically on January 9, 2017. The new album scored the No.1 spot on Billboard’s World Albums Chart upon its release.
ZION.T is a Korean hip-hop and R&B solo artist under The Black Label, a subsidiary label of YG Entertainment. He has released one studio album, Red Light(2013), and two Eps, Mirrorball (2013) and OO (2017). His first single, “Click Me,” featuring Dok2, was released in April 2011. In 2014, he promoted the digital single “Yanghwa BRDG,” which became a hit and contributed to his rising mainstream success as an artist in Korea’s music scene. His latest release, OO, landed second place on Billboard’s World Albums. The song “Complex” featuring G-Dragon was selected as Apple Music’s “Best of the Week.”