For two days now, the social media handles of K-pop band, KARD, have been buzzing. The Indians fans of the group can’t keep calm, for their favourite band will be performing in the country for the first time with their two-city tour — ‘Play Your KARD Right’. “We’ve planned a lot of games and question and answer sessions. We will engage with our fans, apart from singing our popular songs,” said rapper-songwriter BM, during the press meet at Delhi’s Korean Culture Centre (KCC) on Thursday evening. The band is performing in Delhi’s Talkatora Indoor Stadium on July 12 and Guwahati on July 14.
During the press briefing on the same, a number of fans thronged the lobby to catch a glimpse of their favourite band. “They are the first K-pop group to have both boys and girls, otherwise there are all-boys or all-girls bands,” said Manasvi Sharma, 19, a student at KCC’s K-pop academy. “I used to listen to English songs, but then when I stumbled upon K-pop, it just blew my mind. Their visuals were out of the world, and the dance. The lyrics have meaning and there is a story attached. Unlike American songs that are about drugs or money, K-pop songs talk about depression, anxiety, and mental health,” she says. Her 17-year-old sister Manasha, who is learning Korean at the centre, joins in. “What I like about KARD is that their music is very energetic. Their dance moves are on fire and when you listen to their songs, they can cheer you up on a dull day,” she says. Korean pop bands are making inroads into the Indian subcontinent with bands VAV, IN2IT and SNUPER who had sizeable concerts in the Capital this year.
The two-year-old band KARD — comprising members BM, Jiwoo, J Seph and Somin — managed by Korean music label DSP Media, gained a huge fan following with their debut — K.A.R.D Single Project – Vol I, II & III under which hits such as Oh na na, Don’t recall and Rumour broke the charts. Garnering millions of views for most of their videos, their MV Don’t recall has gathered together over 91 million views. They have released three mini-albums till date — Hola Hola, You and Me, and Ride on the Wind. Their latest single making rounds — Bomb bomb — was released in March this year.
While other bands mostly sing in Korean, what also makes this band different is that their lyrics are mixed with English. “We want to write whatever feels and sounds the best and people in almost all the countries speak in English, so the songs have an appeal all over the world,” says BM. Their music is usually set in the Moombahton rhythm, a fusion genre of house and reggeaton that emerged in Washington DC. “What surprises us is that we’re more popular in countries like the US, Canada, Brazil, Mexico, Japan than we are in Korea. And we’re happy to be making music in this era of K-pop and inspiring more co-ed groups to come up,” says BM. Last year, band member J Seph’s video had gone viral on Indian social media platforms where he could be seen singing the popular Bollywood song Tujhme rab dikhta hai.