Topic Tuesdays: Raw & Personal

10/9/20: letting go.

I woke up to the sound of my alarm clock reminding me to take my anxiety medication this morning. We did, after it what feels like an eternity since I actively started to take it again. My best friend, Ro, yelled at me for not taking it one night and since then, I’ve been trying my best to remember to take my medication in the morning. It was a weird day for me; today I mourn the loss of my former self, the person that I was in the last decade, the person that needed to grow and prosper and although that person is forever grateful for what they went through, they simply don’t belong in this version of my life anymore. I was reminded of the first time, on this day, so many years ago. I remember that person, what she was wearing, where she was walking home from, what fucking happened that day in school. I don’t think I’ll ever forget how the events of this day happened, but I’m allowed to let it go for my own well-being.

Being in the city today, spontaneously taking a trip with my sibling to help them find a place they’ll be going to in a couple of weeks felt refreshing. To get a metro-card, slide it into the subway station, and sit on trains that I haven’t taken (and in the direction towards the city) since August 2019 felt like I was accomplishing something. I felt like I was able to not block myself off from a part of my city because I was afraid of everything coming back. I was afraid of seeing the old version of me walking those streets, getting off those train stops, surrounding themselves in the scenery of what felt like a second home to them; I was always afraid of looking back. But here I am, taking the train to the train stop where I always got off, where I got most of my goodbye kisses, where I passed through for the last decade of my life. I took it and wlaked like nothing ever happened within that train platform.

Nevins Street. Hoyt Street. Borough Hall. Clark Street. Wall Street. Fulton Street. The train ride to our destination didn’t take too long, but taking the train nowadays always gives me a great deal of anxiety. It reminds me of the time where a man grabbed my wrist to keep me on the train when I was trying to get off on a stop that clearly wasn’t mine. It reminds me of the time when I got into the hugest fight with a partner in the middle of a subway platform and broke down in tears. It reminds me of the fact that I was stuck on an above-ground train coming home one night in a full-crowded cart. The trains were never my friend, and I now avoid them at all costs. For my sibling, though, I would try to forget and let those things go in order to help them get somewhere they needed, and if anything – I never have to ride the train again if I don’t want to. Nevertheless though, riding the train was something that I feel like real New Yorkers do. I felt like a real New Yorker today, going into the city doing city shit, the typical New Yorker shit.

I used to go into the city a lot when I was younger. When I was 17, I spent practically a week and a half traveling back and forth to Carnegie Hall for rehearsals with my choir. I remember the night of that performance, some of my choir mates and I rode the train home and started to sing on the cart. A woman and a man, who didn’t know each other whatsoever started to sing “S&M” by Rihanna with us, and might I add they slayed with their vocals. We were all in total shock; just a whole train cart of talented singers on a Sunday night.

When I was 22, I met up with a couple of my acting friends during the summer to go out for dinner. We traveled to Chinatown to this Ramen place that had possibly some of the best Ramen I’ve had in a really long time. We laughed, we took pictures and videos to post on Snapchat, and we walked through lower Manhattan through a festival happening in Little Italy. We traveled pretty much everywhere in the city; even to Times Square for Coldstone Ice Cream to end our day. It was one of the days I will forever cherish because I was at my happiest that year. Those people made my year possibly the best out of my college experience. They were my squad.

It wasn’t long until I found myself back in the train station, telling my sibling where they would need to go and what side of the train to take in order to get home the day of their test. I don’t know when or how I became one that just knew the subway line system well, but I did, and my sibling always depends on me to help them get to places in the city that they may not ever been before. I guess the fact of the matter is, I traveled the city a lot. I’ve been all over the city, all over Brooklyn, in parts of the Bronx and Queens and I mean, even Staten Island; I always loved traveling around the city because I was able to see different places other than the neighborhood I lived in. There’s so much to see in the city, and I sometimes take that for granted because I know one day I won’t be here, I might not reside in New York when I get older and live on my own, I may not have the time to see the city for what it si and how it’s constantly changing into what the world currently is. I may not be able to take a spontaneous trip to the city with my sibling to just help them out and get to a place they need to get to. I may realize that New York will always be my home, despite where I may be in the future, where I may go, live, travel; whatever I may be, I can always come back home to this city.

Despite where I may go in my life; the people that come into it, the events that happened, and the versions of myself that I was, I will always find my way back home. I will always have this body and this space where I can grow and learn in, where I can continue to be when life moves forward and I face new challenges and make new memories. Despite what happened and how I got here, I’m still here, and I need to let go of what was.

My future needs me, my past doesn’t.

Topic Tuesdays: Raw & Personal

10/3/20: an entry.

I looked up at the blue sky yesterday afternoon and took this picture. I wasn’t laying down on grass or anything, but I was surrounded by the trees that were living their last days being green, sheltering me from the sun beaming too harshly on me, protecting me from anything blurring my vision.

I used to come to this park when I was 19-years-old. I wasn’t in the best place in 2013; being a freshman in college and wanting to drop out, living my life in constant fear due to death threats, and constantly thinking about every car driving by hitting me in the streets because I just didn’t want to be inside my own mind anymore. 19 was just a duplicate of 18, just not in high-school anymore.

When I felt the worst on days, I would walk 2 miles towards no destination, and then walk 2 miles back. I sometimes would walk to the dog park to watch the dogs be carefree and happy with their owners, I sometimes would walk to the bridge and sit near the water and take the view of the borough across from where I was. In the winter time, I used to walk down the blocks with the most Christmas decorations. No matter where I went, I discovered something about the neighborhood that held some beauty to my eye.

On most of my adventures, I would stop in this little park about halfway through. It’s a little park with some benches, no playground, no kids, no noise. I would come here to sit on a bench and rest for a couple of minutes; grab some water, check my phone for any messages or calls I missed, and just breathe. I don’t know why whenever I would walk that way I felt the need to stop here, but I did, almost every single walk I went on.

I remember one of the last times I came to this park. It was August 2013 and I was saying my last goodbyes to a person that I loved dearly, but needed to let go in order to prosper and take care of my own well being. While that was the last time I ever saw that person, I guess the memory of sitting with them on that bench was too hurtful to ever return there again. Life got busy, and I ultimately stopped walking.

1:16pm:

Coming back here as a 26-year-old in a new decade with practically a new life compared to my 2013 one, I sat on the bench I always sat on and watched around me. There was a couple cuddling and talking to one another, there was man reading a book, another man with his bike chugging down a water bottle, and a man playing catch with his dog. Despite everything that may be happening, the world moves forward with people doing their own thing, spending time the way they want, and I guess those other people and myself decided we wanted to spend our time being in this moment, in this park, just taking in whatever it is we need to take in for our own peace of mind.

For me, it was the fact that for a really long time, I haven’t had the time to think about myself. I’ve felt like I haven’t been able to actually think and take care of my needs, and I guess my mind and body kept telling me that I needed to slow down. Because I haven’t had the time to do the things I wanted to do, I’ve found myself losing a lot of my interest in the things that made me happy; kpop collecting, writing the blog, etc. I’ve been so mentally and physically exhausted from the constant working and appointments/tests for bariatrics surgery that I haven’t had a moment to myself and just… not be busy or think about anything else that is normally on my mind.

1:34pm:

I’ve been living in another universe a lot these days. My best friend, Ro, has been writing a “novel disguised as a fanfic”; that’s as good as I can describe it. In this universe, I am the spunky and spicy fireball of a best friend that doesn’t take shit from no one and makes sure her voice is always heard. Sure, she’s a character that is somewhat based on me, but as a writer myself, I love living in the universe of characters, and I’ve been really invested in Ro’s writing universe. During my time at the park, it give me time to have some really cool conversation with them about this universe and where they are thinking about taking the narrative and story as a whole and it was just a feeling I enjoyed a lot; it was a feeling that I didn’t want to stop feeling because it was me at my most peaceful state for a really long time.

I also found out that some of my peace stems from picture taking. These days, I am finding myself stopping in the middle of the street, randomly taking pictures of different things I found interesting or picture-worthy. Whether I’m on my way to work surrounded by campus trees and open space or I’m walking on a crowded street in Brooklyn’s Chinatown, I feel the need to capture the things I see with a camera. I’m no photographer, but I’ve been really enjoying capturing the moments I see around me.

2:17pm:

Perhaps I just want to be a little artsy and creative since being in this really long writer’s block. I’ve been putting my creative energy in taking pictures and posting them on my personal account on Instagram as a “journal entry”, sorta just going through the thoughts I may be having that particular week or something. It’s not much and it’s not a whole thought out piece like my blog, but it’s something. It’s still allowing me to create and put together word that I have to say, and if anything, that makes my voice still being heard, and me having things left to say.

Welcome to how life has been for me lately.

Blogust 2020: The Series, Music Reviews, Topic Tuesdays: Music

Day 11: A Kpop Trash’s Thoughts on Seungwoo’s Solo Album, “Fame”.

mars; 𝐅𝐀𝐌𝐄 𝐀𝐔𝐆𝐔𝐒𝐓 𝟏𝟎 (@hanseungwoah) | Twitter

Hey, guys – welcome back to Letters From Liz!

This has been a summer of a lifetime for me, let’s just say that.

If I had to sum up my summer 2020 in one word, it would be KPop. I started my collection during this time, I’ve made some really great friendships in this community, and a ton of new music came out. My wallet was crying, y’all.

But the most exciting thing I was looking forward to was Victon’s Seungwoo and his solo debut! It was announced back in June that he was releasing his solo album in August and well, it came out yesterday and wow, I have some thoughts on this bad boy.

*Also note that the English translations for the titles written in Hangul could be inaccurate!

1.) “Fever”

So, the album starts off with this banger, first of all. If you followed Seungwoo’s documentary-style series on the Victon YouTube channel, we were teased with the hook of this song during it’s lyric-making process. A common theme I sense in this song and in a lot of the other tracks was that want for need for comfort, which homie was not lying about when he said that this album is those who need comfort. “Fever”, in my opinion, felt like the second title track; I felt like this song could’ve been the more pop-style title track that I believe would’ve been okay as a title track, but I’m glad it’s not for reasons we will discuss in the next song! This is definitely a song I’ll have to listen to more and grow with, but for now – she’s a strong start to a highly anticipated album.

2.) “Sacrifice”

When I tell you this title track is possibly the strongest and well distributed songs on the album! “Sacrifice” is the title track that shows Seungwoo’s abilities to rap and sing and do it flawlessly in a track. People who were introduced to Seungwoo through X1 and PDX101 (like myself) didn’t get to see much of Seungwoo’s rapping skills, which is what he occasionally does in some Victon’s songs following Hanse, their main rapper. So lyrically in this song is about needing to give up something that you love, but ultimately it will always be a aprt of you… I suck at translations but that’s the gist of it, haha. This song has a nice balance of both the rap side of Seungwoo and vocal side because, oof the high note he hits at the end is deadly. Also, the rap part will forever be stuck in my head because it’s just so fucking catchy and good and UGH – this is such a strong title track, especially one that is considered a debut.

3.) “Reply”

This song is the song you listen to in your car, driving down a street on a hot summer day with your shades on and top down. It’s typically a song not waiting to wait around for a reply but feeling uneasy about being alone, which I could be This has such a summer feel, and it instantly makes me smile. It also has a nostalgic sound, to both 2000’s R&B music and even to some earlier Victon music with some hip-hop flare to it. It’s definitely much the sound that Seungwoo would come out with, it’s classic Seungwoo and I think it was a good idea for him to have a on this debut to showcase that sound that we’ve been familiar with in a lot of his Soundcloud related songs.

4.) “I Just Want Love”

If there was a genre (which there probably is) that was called “Kpop baby-making music”, this song would fall under that genre. This song is definitely my favorite b-side of the album. The beat instantly gave me some 2000’s R&B Usher vibes, and I mean it’s a hell of a sexy song. The lyrics mimic that whole sexy vibe that clearly is saying like… oof I’m hella feeling you and your vibe right now. If there’s one thing Seungwoo can do well, he does sexy extremely well and this song showcases that. To his breathy tone and his falsetto and the infamous moan-like singing he’s known for doing, this song will get you hella flustered. I know it did for me. I feel like Seungwoo really shines in this song and the chorus… first of all he opens the chorus with “baby, melt me in your arms” and then ends with “I just want love!” And his high notes like, what?! This song is just everything and a certified bop.

5.) “forest”

“forest” is the first slow/ballad-like song on the album; he teased that this song was meant for his fans that those who feel like they need comfort, he will provide that by being our forest, which is really beautiful. The lyrics (in the best translation possible at the moment) speaks directly to someone; a friend, a loved one – or in this case – his fans, and let’s them know that if they every feel lonely or need some comfort, he’s there to “be their forest”. I like the very chill melody behind this sing; it still carries a momentum like the other, upbeat songs have, but this song does carry this comfort and chill vibe that is even soothing at some points. Seungwoo has a very soothing voice, even when it’s in a higher pitch and falsetto-like. I really enjoy this song and I honestly think it’s a great song (in my opinion) that can help calm people down and ease their mind. It does for me.

6.) “Child”

I love the guitar playing in the track! It’s so simple with just Seungwoo’s vocal and the guitar playing; you can definitely tell there’s some influence behind this song to Dean’s “Instagram”. It mimics that energy, but is also so different in its own way. It also has a very similar sound to Seungyoun’s music, which I mean, I always believed that they had a very similar musical taste, but yeah! I really enjoy the calmness in this song as well! Lyrics wise, I can honestly relate when he still feels like a child in the world despite being an adult and like, honestly that’s a big mood.

As someone who’s followed his journey for a year now, I am immensely proud he got the opportunity to make his solo debut because he’s fucking talented and it needed its own album to showcase that. Seungwoo has been showcasing some of his skills behind the scenes for awhile now; he’s been helping write lyrics and rap verses for Victon songs ever since their debut in 2016 and this album proves that he’s able to do that for himself, and on his own. You can tell this project meant so much to him and it extraordinarily shows through the final product. Wooya, fighting (or Sacrifighting!)

Victon Members supporting their hyung: a whole vibe.
Blogust 2020: The Series, Monthly Favorites, Topic Tuesdays: Music

Day 4: July 2020 Favorites… Well, Discoveries!

Dear, guys – welcome back to Letters From Liz!

So, July was a very interesting month for “favorites”! I say favorites because, well, these things have so much potential to be favorites possibly this time next month!

July was a month that I got the pleasure to listen to a lot of new music and meet a lot of new people through the trading community who recommended these new songs to listen to!

Shall we get straight to it?

1.) WayV

WayV is Here to Awaken The World — The Kraze

So first, I’ve met an amazing person this past month that has become literally one of my closest friends in the community alongside Amy and Ella; their name is Ro and they’ve been making my days so great lately by either spamming my DMs with pictures of my ult, Seungsik, and crying over the fact that Sejun is a literal masterpiece. Just recently, they’ve put me onto a boy group that I’ve occasionally heard through the KPop community but never really checked out: WayV!

WayV is the fourth and most recent sub-unit in the whole NCT mega-group in SM Entertainment. What makes them different than the other NCT groups is that this is the first NCT-related group to be based in China; so technically they aren’t Kpop, but instead Cpop! This is also the first group under that is fixed, meaning they don’t change members for every comeback like most of the other NCT-related groups which, for me at least, I like. I don’t really much like change, especially when you’re researching a new group trying to get into them and know who the members are and all of that. For WayV, there are 7 members: Kun, Ten, Winwin, Lucas, Xiaojun, Hendery, and YangYang.

Anyway! These boys are, like, crazy with their duality. One minute you’re sweating over their very sexy dance moves and songs, and the next minute you’re uwuing over their cuteness. They have a very similar familial energy that Victon has, which clearly I’m a complete sucker for groups with crazy-ass chemistry. But yes, after getting educated on WayV by Ro, I’ve started to realize just how much I was about to double-bias in this group. I instantly was hooked on Ten, possibly my favorite dancer ever, and who’s vocals are like butter. Honestly, that man took all the damn talent. He has a duality that I guess is my type in Kpop biases because he’s oof one minute and then smiling like the baby he is. Ugh, such a talented man! My second bias is Kun, the leader and eldest in the group and someone who has the prettiest vocals ever. He sorta came in out of nowhere, like I was not expected to bias him but like… the bias is real and I’m not complaining.

Honestly y’all, just stan WayV!

2.) BTS

BTS Reveals Title And Teaser For New English-Language Single | Soompi

Hi, my name is Liz and, like, I’m getting into BTS?! Who would’ve thought that me, LIZ, would get into BTS in any way! I still have a long way to go to learn about them, but from what Ro showed me and exposed me to, they are a talented ass group that although get so much love, needs to be recognized for their productions behind the scene. Hah, BTS…

Anyway, if you don’t know who BTS are, they are a 7-member group under BigHit Entertainment that debuted… I believe back in 2013? Do not come for me, Army. They gain international success a couple of years ago and have been the most known Kpop group in westernized countries. So these 7 members are RM, Jin, Suga, J-Hope, Jimin, V and Jungkook. They also carry such family energy that makes it hard to not like them. After a couple of research videos and performance videos, I’m definitely also double-biasing. First of all, J-Hope is such a fucking cutie like, his personality is so 4D and he’s completely the most chaotic one in the group. He’s one of the rappers in the group, but like his dancing is what got me; it’s incredibly clean and so animated like, wow, we stan talent. Also, Jimin and his pretty ass vocals wrecked me; it’s funny because Victon’s Sejun is a huge BTS fan and he has a bias just like the rest of us and his bias is Jimin so like, talent stanning talent; we love. But yeah, gimme a couple of weeks to fall head over heels for BTS, like I already brewing inside my Kpop heart already.

3.) A.C.E.

A.C.E Profile | KpopInfo114

I adore ACE for so many different reasons, let’s be real. They are a very different type of Kpop group; they aren’t your typical “we just do cute and sexy concepts” type of boy group, they are very different in their styling and aren’t afraid to come off as too feminine, especially Byeongkwan: our crop top king! So ACE is a 5-member group under Beat Interactive and they debuted back in 2017! Their names are Jun, Donghun, Wow, Byeongkwan, and Chan. When listening to their earlier stuff, it’s definitely so unexpected like if any group knows how to switch up genres, it’s them for sure. What i like about this group is that they all are some serious all-rounders; they all can dance insanely well and their vocals… like, stan a group where every member in the group can hold the main vocalist position. I definitely have to do some more research on them, but like I’m already so in love with them and their vocals so I’m excited to get into them a little more!

That’s it for now! I know for this month there’s going to be a ton of favorites because, well, so many comebacks and albums are coming and like, we are living for it. Until then!

Topic Tuesdays: Random

How I’m Coping with my Summer Depression.

Hey, guys – welcome back to Letters From Liz!

As I’m writing this, it’s been a while since I got to sit down and actually write something for the blog; not because I’m disinterested or anything, but because I have this weird thing where I can only focus and write when I sit in my kitchen, and lately it’s been waaay too hot to sit in there and sweat while I write some content for the blog.

Although I try to be consistent and even do Blogust every year, I do tend to write less in the summer because summer is the season that my seasonal depression kicks in. I physically get sick from the heat, I sweat a lot and it’s sometimes hard to make it stop, and I feel very restricted to what I can or cannot do during the summer because I just don’t do the “normal summer things” that people do with their friends. If anything, the summer makes we want to stay in even more, in my bed, and just rest.

It is times like this when I wish my job was still open because I feel like if the pandemic didn’t hit us, a lot of the depression I usually feel in the summer wouldn’t be as intense because I’d be busy being productive and being around people that I really like. But, I do work at a college bookstore and we just don’t know what is going to happen with the colleges in the Fall.

Prior to my last therapy session, I had started to get myself into a community that I was secretly an outsider looking in: the world of Kpop trading and selling. For months, I quietly collected photo cards here and there and as my collection started to build up, I so desperately wanted to be a part of the community and hope to trade for cards that I couldn’t find anywhere and that I was missing. I made my own trading account on Instagram, and honestly the rest was history. I got to meet a couple of other fans who liked Victon and connected through that, and I got to trade and buy some cards that I thought I never knew I needed! Seungsik is my ultimate bias in Victon and I pretty much completed his entire album photo card collection because of this community. It’s really insane, to be honest.

Even though I’ve been happy, I still struggled to feel as if I belonged in the Kpop community; being a 26-year-old collector felt childish to me, but it’s a collection and people collect things all the time. I don’t know why I can’t accept myself in the community when everyone else has, but it’s a constant struggle for me to openly embrace that I collect Kpop photo cards.

In a conversation with my therapist at our last session, I opened up to her about the fact that this has become a hobby of mine within the last couple of weeks and that I really enjoyed it. It was the first time physically speaking about this to anyone before; sure, my family knew what my time was being spent on, but not to my therapist for anyone outside of my household. It felt weird, and it felt embarrassing, but she said something that made me change my perspective on it.

She told me that she was happy that I found ways to keep myself busy during these crucial months of my depression and that I shouldn’t feel ashamed for having this hobby because hobbies are a healthier anti-depressant behavior. It keeps me busy, it keeps me engaged in social activity during a time where it’s so easy to isolate yourself for a long period of time, and it’s something that makes me happy. I didn’t see my collecting as an anti-depressant behavior, to be honest but I have to be real, talking to people like Ella, Amy, Laelonie, and the rest of the beautiful people I met through trading have been keeping my mind off of my depression and in a positive space! It has helped me really go through the days and weeks as smooth as possible, and although my summer depression comes every now and then, for most of my days it hasn’t been as intense as it has been in the last couple of summers.

So, yeah – that’s how I’m coping with my depression! I found a really great hobby that I’m interested in and I’m learning how to embrace it as much as I would embrace the fact that I write blog posts as a hobby! I know many of my readers are not Kpop fans, but I hope that my love and passion for the genre influences you to give it a listen or if you are Kpop fans I hope that I introduce some new music for you to listen to!

Take care if yourself by engaging yourself in something you enjoy in life.

Topic Tuesdays: Music

What’s On My Shelf: A Trash’s Kpop Collection.

Dear, guys – welcome back to Letters From Liz!

In all honesty, this blog has become a third of Overexposed series, a third of scenes, and a third of Kpop music-related things, and I’m honestly not complaining whatsoever. If there’s anything that I’ve gained during this time of self-discovery, it’s that I’ve accepted my trash for KPop, and I started to do some album collecting. At first, I tried to avoid buying albums because I know myself well enough to know that I would want to buy every album for the groups I liked, so at first, I was only going to collect the albums of my ult groups, and only one version of the album as well. Kpop loves doing this thing where a group makes a comeback and wants to realize 7 different versions of the same album and like the trash community we are, we buy all versions… I’m talking about you, BTS! Although I started to listen to Kpop in 2018, I didn’t start collecting until the end of 2019, and even then it took me a while to finally get the courage to buy some albums after my ult group suddenly disbanded. 

But without further ado, here are the things on my shelf!

Magazines/Monographs:

Allure Korea’s 200th Edition (feat. Seungyoun)

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After X1 disbanded suddenly at the beginning of the year, I was devastated that I wouldn’t be able to see those boys together for future comebacks. Also, I wouldn’t be seeing this one interact with the other members and being my whole bias in X1 anymore. I told myself that whatever Seungyoun does in the future, I will support him and his journey because I like him as an idol. Although he’s back doing his music thing and his solo album is finally here, he started his year doing some magazine spreads. This magazine, in particular, has some of my favorite photos of Seungyoun ever in it, so it was a must-have.

1st Look V.191: “Youth Blue” (feat. Seungyoun)

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If I knew that 1st Look magazine was actually the size of a damn newspaper, I would’ve found a more productive way to store it rather than folding it and paper clipping it. Again, I just wanted this magazine in my collection of Seungyoun things, and from what I remember it was only like 3 dollars, so I said: “Yeah, why not?!”

TWICE “Fancy You” Album Monograph

I feel like because Twice is so wildly popular in the Kpop scene, they do more than just release some albums and eras and then call it a day. Ladies and Gentlemen, these girls come out with monographs. It’s basically a photobook of behind-the-scene photos of shooting the music video and the album photobook, or “jacket making”. Twice was the group that started my Kpop trash obsession, and although they aren’t an ult group (like ITZY is) they still make fire ass music and I’m always excited for their comebacks. This particular comeback was my favorite one thus far; all of the songs were different for the group and unique from each other. The only reason why I didn’t buy the album was because sadly the physical album wasn’t my favorite, but the monograph was beautiful. I’m glad to have some sort of “Fancy” physical thingymabob in my collection.

Albums:

X1 1st Mini Album “비성: Quantum Leap” (QL Version)

This album holds a special place in my heart because it was my first ever album I got. It’s kinda funny; when I started my job at the bookstore, the only thing I wanted to use my money for was to buy this album. It took me about 2 months after it was released to finally buy it, but I definitely knew this was the version I wanted out of both. For my pulls, I got the Seungyoun bookmark and the Dongpyo standee. I also was able to snag Seungyoun’s AR card later on because Seungyoun will forever be my X1 bias. But yeah, not bad for a newbie collector.

VICTON 1st Mini Album “Voice To New World

This album was the main reason why I started to stan Victon and decide to collect all of their albums. Out of all of their albums, their debut one is my favorite track-list wise. For a rookie group at the time, I like that this was a very fresh concept and I believe it made them stand out from the rest of the boy groups at the time. With this album, it came with Seungsik’s first photocard and this Byungchan photocard whereas the other Seungsik photocard in the came with my signed copy and the Seungwoo photocard I bought on eBay because I have bad luck when it comes to pulling Seungwoo in my own purchased albums.

VICTON 2nd Mini Album “READY

This album is so overlooked for everyone that it’s even one of the albums I don’t really go back and look at (which I should). This concept and album weren’t my favorite; I don’t go back to this album to listen to it that often because it just has songs that are just okay to me. For this album, I pulled our maknae, Subin’s photocard.

VICTON 3rd Mini Album “IDENTITY

This was the second Victon album I purchased because out of all of the concepts, this one is one of my favorites. It’s fresh, it’s summery, and the music video to the title track is unique and weird, which was cute for them to do! The B-sides of this album were also really good and I always go back to it every now and then. During the time I got this album, Sejun was totally a major bias-wrecker, so when I pulled his photocard, I was really happy.

VICTON 4th Mini Album “From. VICTON

I wish I was able to showcase this album better because out of all of them, this concept is my favorite. This album, in particular, felt personal; it was more so a gift to their fans rather than a mini album. The photobook and even the mini book of journal entries from the members were really cute to get with this album, so I tend to always go back to this album just to look at it. I was also very lucky to get this Sejun photocard; he lived on my phone case for a really long time after pulling it. These are some of the hardest photocards to find on the internet, so my journey to getting at least one From. Victon era Seungsik card is still on.

VICTON 1st Single Album “TIME OF SORROW

This is their first single album, and even though it’s not my favorite physical album because of its simplicity, the concept is just so fucking pretty and angelic; I look through it every now and then. Seungwoo’s curly hair in this era was such a fucking look, as well as Sejun’s pitch black short hair. All these boys looked so fucking good in this era! When it comes to pulling photocards, I seem to always pull Byungchan’s photocards, so that’s exactly who I pulled for this album as well. In addiction, I’m also getting Seungwoo & Seungsik’s photocards, as well as Seungsik’s broadcast photocard which is rare af.

VICTON 5th Mini Album “nostalgia” (nostos Ver.)

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This was the first album that was different from the other Victon albums. This was more so a box of goodies than an album! This concept for the boys was so fucking good and majestic and mature; the concept was everything, the outfits were on point, and the album as a whole is so fucking good. Because this was the era that came after Seungwoo and Byungchan’s appearance on PDX101, this was the era that I started to listen to them in and didn’t appreciate it when it first came out! This is the nostos version, and the goodies I got was a Seungsik/Chan mini-poster, Subin’s message postcard, and Hanse’s “nostos” photocard. Also, I had to get Seungsik’s nostos photocard because it’s the cutest ever.

VICTON 6th Mini Album “Continuous” (Blue Ver.)

This is their recent mini-album release which I pre-ordered once the album was put on selling sites. I was completely excited for this to be Victon’s first comeback as a 7-member group and with 3 versions being out for this album, I decided to get the middle one, or the Blue version. This album was really strong; all the songs on the album were co-written by the members and they are all so mature and pretty. Personally, for me, Subin owned this era, hand down! He definitely is going into his own and he’s just not our maknae anymore! Regarding pulls, I got the Seungwoo x Hanse lyric book, the “back of the head” transparent card, Byungchan’s AR photocard, and Chan’s photocard. As time passed, I decided I would get at least one of each member for this album because some of them were just too cute to pass!

VICTON 2nd Single Album “Mayday” (Venez & m’aider Ver.)

Fire off a Mayday, but I can’t wait! Seriously, this title track is one of my favorites because it’s so catchy and so different from their previous comebacks. Of course I’m 100% Victon trash and I bought the pre-sale copies (5 actually, don’t ask why) once it was online to buy and the photos in both these versions are so fucking pretty. Personally, my favorite concept is the Venez (the colorful version) just because the scenery is breathtaking and Victon with flowers are everything. For my first two pulls, I got Subin’s Venez card (which was on my Mayday PC Wishlist), Sejun’s Venez card (which I traded for Seungsik’s Venez card) and then Byungchan & Hanse’s m’aider card, which I might keep for myself. Of course in true collecting fashion, I seeked and bought most of my Mayday wishlist!

ITZY Debut Single Album “IT’z Different” (Photobook)

The biggest mistake JYP Entertainment made was to not release a proper single album for this debut because it’s undeniably one of the best debut tracks of 2019. Y’all. When ITZY first debuted with their first title track, “DALLA DALLA”, it was nothing like a girl group has done before in my opinion. Describing ITZY’s concept is always hard because it’s rather unique for your typical KPop girl group. I was happy that then they released their first mini album, they put together the photobook portion of their single album as a pre-order benefit. This concept was one of my favorites of theirs and for a rookie group at the moment, it was everything!

ITZY 1st Mini Album “IT’z ICY” (IT’Z Ver.)

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Shortly after seeing ITZY in concert earlier this year, I decided that it was only right to collect their albums. I always liked them and their music, but having seen them in concert and perform live during their U.S tour, I fell in love with this group even more, and once I finished my Victon collection, I would start my ITZY album collection. It wouldn’t be that hard to do since they only had this album from last year. This album was a good little summer thing; it wasn’t my favorite out of their discography but they rocked it when they performed these songs live in concert. For this album, I got two little ITZY freebies that the website sent with the album, as well as Ryujin and Chaeryeong’s photocard. As for the cover, I was blessed with Chaeryeong, who was once my bias at some point.

ITZY 2nd Mini Album “IT’z ME” (WANNABE Ver.)

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This album I pre-ordered, so I was also sent the pre-order benefits; the postcard set and the “Paris et. Itzy” book of pictures that they took when they were in Paris last year. This album was so fucking strong, it’s ridiculous. JYP blessed us with 7 songs, and all of them are so different from each other. Out of the three versions, I got the WANNABE version. Besides the pre-order benefits, I got Yuna’s album card, the Ryujin & Lia’s unit photocard, and Yeji’s photocard (which is my bias!)

CRAVITY 1st Mini Album “HIDEOUT: Remember Who We Are – S1

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This album was a strong one for a debut, y’all. These rookies are going ham in the Kpop industry these days. Anyway, this is the first version of Cravity’s debut album. It didn’t take me that long to stan these boys; four of them were introduced to us through PDX101 last year, and the other 5 boys just mesh well with the boys we already grew to love. Although they aren’t my ults and I don’t have a fixed bias in this group, I already find myself stanning Serim and Wonjin just a little more than the rest. For this album, I got the sticker sheet of all 9 members, Minhee’s standee and photo strip bookmark, the Woobin, Taeyoung, and Minhee polaroid thingymabob, and Hyeongjun’s cute ass photocard! In addiction, purchased Serim & Wonjin’s photocards as well because they are my two biases in this group.

Kim Wooseok’s Solo Album “1ST DESIRE [GREED]

Wooseok’s first solo debut album was so fucking good, I had to buy it for my collection! Every song on the album was so different and yet Wooseok was able to suit them so perfectly. There were three versions of this album, but I felt like the red one fit the overall concept the most (I mean, the title track is called “Red Moon”) but yeah! Very proud of Wooseok for such success in his solo debut! One-It forever!

TWICE 9th Mini Album “MORE & MORE

My first ever physical Twice album! I wanted to buy their current comeback album because of the b-sides. Don’t get me wrong, the title track is getting catchy the more I listen to it, but what really got me was the b-sides of the album. They are all so uniquely different & they are certified bops! Honestly, these girls know how to write some bangers. Nayeon wrote my favorite track on the album, “Make Me Go” and Jeongyeon & Chaeyoung wrote “Sweet Summer Day.” I knew I wanted to at least own one Twice album in my lifetime, so I decided that it would be the C version of their new comeback, “More & More”. Twice always has goodies when they make comebacks; this album came with pre-order benefit photocards, nine postcards of the members, “The Most” photocard, and 5 in-album photocards. (Oh, and a coaster that I totally forgot to insert, but I pulled Mina’s!)

Signed Albums:

VICTON 1st Mini Album “Voice to New World”

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I was going on an eBay rabbit hole when I found this signed copy of Victon’s 1st mini album floating on the internet. I impulsively bought it but I definitely do not regret it now that it’s on my desk. It’s my favorite album and it was only right that I got it. With this album, only one photocard came with the album and it was Seungsik’s (the one pictured on the unsigned copy). Seungsik is my bias for this group anyway, so I was happy to at least have both of his photocards for this album!

VICTON 5th Mini Album “nostalgia” (algos Ver.)

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Another signed Victon album because I’m absolute trash. When starting my album collection at the beginning, I told myself I wasn’t going to buy other versions of the same album because I just don’t have it like that, but I caved in when I saw this version of the album being sold online and it was signed. I saw this listing and immediately purchased it because it was an all Seunsgik set (I’m Kang Seungsik trash), signed by all members, and it was the version of the album I didn’t have yet. I’m very excited to have this in my collection because out of Victon’s discography, this has become my second favorite album (track-wise) of theirs, but this concept remains my favorite of all. In this album, I pulled Seungsik’s “algos” photocard, the same Seunsgik/Chan mini poster as my other version, and Seungsik’s message postcard which happens to be my favorite picture of Seungsik… ever.

X1 1st Mini Album “비성: Quantum Leap” (비성 Ver.)

I was so happy to find this signed copy of my first ever ult boy group, X1’s debut (and sadly last) album! Their QL version was the first ever Kpop album I purchased, so this album holds a very special place in my heart. I thought about buying this version of the album for a very long time due to the fact that this is their only album they’ll come out with, so when I found their promotional signed copy, I had to buy it. She’s probably one of the rarest pieces in my collection just because this album will soon be out of print in the future and there are only so many signed copies out in the world with all of the members. In this album, everything Eunsang was in it: bookmark, AR Photocard, and standee.

DVD:

Victon 1st Concert: New World DVD

This DVD packaging was so unnecessarily big, but the contents were so beautiful! I ordered this bad boy the day it went on pre-order because I’m Victon trash for the 1,109th time. I remember when they first did the concert and how happy I was for those boys. They had accomplished so much in such very little time and for them to have their very first concert in Seoul was exciting! Of course, this was also around the time that X1’s agency announced their disbandment, so I’m hoping that in the future, Victon are able to have a concert with OT7! This DVD thingymabob comes with a photobook, a film bookmark thing, a photocard set of the boys (which happen to be my favorite set of all time), 3 CD-DVD things, and some really cute stickers!

And that’s it… for now! This post took forever to put together because I was just waiting for all of my junk to arrive in the mail within the last month and knowing me, this isn’t the end of my album buying. Seungyoun’s 1st Solo album that I’ve been anticipating for is finally coming to me as well! Oof, we’re excited. But yeah, thanks for dealing with my trash mess once again!

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Topic Tuesdays: Raw & Personal

To My 16-Year-Old Self: A Letter.

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To my 16-year-old self,

Sophomore in high school, huh? That’s exciting. You finally know your way around the school, you have a couple of friends you like a lot, you’re settling into your own and gaining adventures that you thought you would never have. There’s even a boy in the picture. Ain’t so innocent anymore, huh girl? It seems like life is going pretty well for you, and I’m glad that it is – new environments and surroundings aren’t going to be easy for you to adapt to later on in your life for personal reasons.

Nevertheless, you look happy on the outside. You look like you’re living your best fucking life, and you deserve every part of it. I wish I could tell you to be careful, that life is going to hit you hard very soon, and this version of you will be long gone. Your insecurities will begin to show out in ways you can’t control. You’re going to start putting your self-worth because you’re afraid of losing the people you love the most. You’re going to lose yourself in this newfound puppy love you got going on and not going to notice you’re going to hurt a lot of people around you. Your junior high school friends are not going to understand where your pureness and innocence went after you tell them you lost your virginity one day during Spring Break. Your life is going at full speed, and while you think you have it under control, you are lying to yourself. You feel guilty for losing some important parts of yourself.

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I’m telling you that it’s normal to feel that way. You are growing up, you’re now in a different boat than when you were a kid, and you’re not going to stay the same forever. I some way, you’re leaving your childhood behind, entering the teenage territory and although we’ve always been late-bloomers in our milestones, we are always worried that we are losing ourselves in the process of growing. Although you don’t believe this because you just deem yourself as a one-dimension person that tries to match the image that people have of you, you always had a soul, and sometimes the soul does things without telling us or letting us know that major things are happening. I’m 26 and I’m just learning that myself, girl.

So even though you are listening to the people who are telling you that you changed for the worst and those same people are going to be in your life even when you’re in your early 20’s, you did nothing wrong, you just started growing up.

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Also, I know you’re comparing yourself to every girl at your school. Are you pretty like them? Are you as interesting as them? Why isn’t the boy you spent the whole summer with like a goddamn romance movie not calling you his girlfriend and someone else? Are you too fat for people to live you? Why am I so fucking invisible in this school, yet people only know me as “the sophomore whose best friend is the most popular senior in the school”? Why aren’t you the person that was enjoying her life the way she was just months before? These thoughts, these negative and false truths you believe are also normal to have. You feel awkward, you feel like you’re just an ugly girl with bad chin acne and two eyebrows that are almost married (which btw, we don’t have anymore, but we barely got eyebrows to begin with). What isn’t normal is allowing these thoughts to dictate how people treat you. You are not the second choice, you are not “the devil’s child”, you are not wild and easy and not important. Of course, at 16 you don’t see these things, but girl, let me tell you something: you will simply not care as you get older. You’ll love your body one day.

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Even more so, you’re going to love the person you become. Sure, it’s going to take a couple of bumps in the road and a whole lot of darkness to finally see it, but if there’s one thing that hasn’t changed about you is your heart. You love so fucking hard, you’re kind and genuine, and you are real. Girl, a person that I’ve only been friends with for a couple of months called me a sweetheart and a great friend. We never thought we could be those things, but we can and those things never change.

So yeah, you’re having some wild, spontaneous puppy love adventures. You’re performing with your school choir possibly three times a month at different venues and winning awards for it. You’re going to get your heart broken a couple of times and find comfort in the same sex (which isn’t the end of it, missy). You’re still going to do things with the kindness of your heart and well, the worst is yet to come, girl.

So when you think that the world is better off without you or that you don’t have any love or support from the people you care about the most, remember that it’s now 2020, and I’m writing to you to let you know that yeah, we’re not living our dreams living out of the state and we’re not rich with our career choice, but that we’ve grown much over the course of the decade and, well, that counts towards something even bigger than the materialistic things in life.

You have a bright future ahead of you, even though I know you don’t always think that. Listen to me, girl; I’ve already lived your next ten years of it.

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Topic Tuesdays: Music

Let’s Talk About “Kpop” Group, Kaachi.

Dear, guys – welcome back to Letters From Liz!

So, there’s something that’s been currently going around within the Kpop community that I wanted to discuss because, well, I’m very much a part of that community and I’ve been seeing non-stop discussions on this topic. 

So, let’s just get straight into it: KPop has become one of the biggest genres of music in the last couple of years; with BTS making their ground-breaking debut in the U.S a couple of years ago to now having more and more Kpop groups exploring and touring for their international fans, it’s safe to say that Kpop is this huge thing now.

With that being said, the Kpop industry is so incredibly competitive now that it has become this huge thing around the world. The big entertainment agencies are competing to stay on top, while smaller agencies are hoping their groups within their agency make their company more well known. Sadly, some of these groups go unseen for years; one example is my favorite group, VICTON. They debuted as the third official act in the company; the first (I believe) was APink, then a solo artist that I can’t remember his name, then it was VICTON back in 2016. Because they come from such a small agency, they weren’t as successful as they should’ve been back then, and there were talks of them disbanding in 2018 after releasing their single album, Time of Sorrow. It was then Seungwoo and Byungchan went to Produce X 101 for one last chance and well, the rest is history.

It’s stories like that and the unfortunate stories of other Kpop groups that sadly disbanded due to lack of success that makes this story just a little bit more frustrating for me. So, let’s get to it:

KAACHI: Grupo Kpop británico debuta con MV 'Your Turn' | miembros ...

Within the last month, there was a new “Kpop” group that debuted with their single, “Your Turn“. The Kpop group (and we’re saying Kpop as lightly as possible) goes by the name of Kaachi. Kaachi is a four-member girl group under FrontRow Entertainment; the members are Nicole, Chunseo, Dani, and Coco. The difference between this group and other Kpop groups is that this group is based in the United Kingdom and only one of the girls in the group is Korean. In other words, they are the first UK based Kpop group; westernized Kpop group.

People in the Kpop community are upset that this group exists. This project (from what I’ve seen) seemed to be quickly put together just so that their company can generate money out of a genre that wasn’t meant for them in the first place. These girls are talented and driven to be successful, but they don’t match up to the same level as rookie debut groups have these days. Their vocals aren’t sharp, the dancing is lackluster, and it doesn’t look like a professional girl group that debuted in the industry, but more so a school talent show performance performing their favorite Kpop song.

I don’t want to be harsh, but we got to call a spade and spade and talk about how wrong it is to appropriate a genre of music that was created and established in another country. In a sense, it’s like how white westernized artists are being criticized for dressing and performing music that comes from the Black community and makes it a trend or their own when it’s been underappreciated and misunderstood for decades.

For me, it’s even more than that. Being a fairly new Kpop stan in this community, I realized the difficult times these idols go through and just how different the standards are in that industry compared to ours in Westernized countries. In South Korea, you have to follow a certain lifestyle, maintain a certain weight, sacrifice their adolescent years, and train for years in hopes that their company sees them and thinks they are ready to debut in a group. That opportunity comes easy to some, but sadly most of these trainees (and even idols) never feel like they are enough, and that’s fucking sad despite how many people support and love them.

It’s just unfair to get four girls (who didn’t train with each other and had the line up for this group change a couple of times before debut) and create a Kpop group out of girls who don’t live in that industry 24/7. Sure, Kpop is just a genre of music, but the process behind the music is far more different than your typical music artist in westernized countries. I get that they are being experimental by trying to fuse the two sounds together, but with girls who are just “Kpop fans”; it doesn’t sit well with me. For them to just know basic Korean, be “Kpop fans” and interested in singing and dancing doesn’t qualify them to be Kpop idols.

I don’t wish bad on these girls and I know they aren’t the ones responsible for this, it’s the people who decide to put them together and produce their songs and just go on with this idea that it was going to work out. With the negative feedback the group received, the people who run the social media accounts disabled comments, masking the issues that the formation of this group brings into the industry.

Let’s cheer for the groups that are struggling to make it within the scene because their small agencies can’t afford to promote them properly on their own. Let’s cheer for the rookies that debuted and are worrying if their debut stage is going to be the last stage that they perform due to the lack of recognition in the industry. Let’s cheer for all of the trainees that are working hard towards their dreams of being a Kpop idol. Let’s not try to take away the hard work and dedication these people have for something “new” and “shiny” that isn’t right.

I wish nothing but success for these girls in Kaachi, but please – showcase your talents and passions in another way that not only strips away the integrity of the industry but also strips away your own identities.

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Topic Tuesdays: Music

Music Favorites: (Updated) Kpop Edition!

Dear, guys – welcome back to Letters From Liz!

So this time last year, I completely indulged in the fact that I was complete Kpop trash, and although I was still very shy about speaking about it, she’s fully exposed and she has some groups to talk to y’all about. 

Last year, I introduced some veteran girl groups and girl group rookies that I was into, and a lot has changed since then. This girl went from “I only listen to girl groups” to “I literally listen to everything that’s Kpop related.” In this post, we’ll be talking about some veterans, some rookies, some updates to on who my ultimate bias groups are, and all that jazz.

Disbanded Groups

UNIQ:

With Wang Yibo in The Untamed, The Boys of UNIQ Come Into Their ...

These boys deserved better, in all honesty. These 5 guys are (were) UNIQ, a Chinese-Korean idol group under Yuehua Entertainment. While Yuehua Entertainment was mostly a Chinese idol agency, UNIQ’s Korean members were originally from YG Entertainment. By age order, the members were Yixuan, Sungjoo, Wenhan, Seungyoun, and Yibo. Both Sungjoo and Seungyoun were Korean trainees under YG Entertainment, while the rest of the group were solely under Yuehua Entertainment. UNIQ debuted back in 2014 with their debut single, “Falling in Love“, and then “EOEO” following it. UNIQ gained some commercial success in Korea, but more so in China. Because the group was under the Chinese idol agency, many of their promotions were in China, as well as their success. With a couple of comebacks here and there, the group quietly disbanded as the years went on, and the members of the group went their separate ways. While Sungjoo, Yixuan, and Yibo went on to acting, Wenhan went on the Chinese spin-off show of the Produce series, Idol Producer and went on to debut in the project group to come out of that show. As for Seungyoun, well, I think we all know what happened after his days in UNIQ.

  • Bias: Within the group, even after being completely biased with Seungyoun, Seungyoun always stood out to me whenever I watched interviews and music shows of the group. Seungyoun is (and always will be) “the vitamin”. He always had a fun and bubbly personality and always mesh well with his members. It’s crazy to see him on the maknae line (the youngest of the members in the group) because in X1, he was on the hyung line (meaning he was one of the oldest members in the group) so it’s cute to see how much of a baby he was 6 years ago.
  • Bias Wrecker: Yibo, hands down. He’s just so fucking gorgeous; I can’t even fathom how fucking pretty he is. Also, as the main dancer, he transforms into a completely different person. Although he’s not so much in the idol scene anymore, from what I hear, he’s a pretty damn good actor. 

X1:

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My sad heart, anyway – X1 will always hold a special place in my heart because they were the first boy group I ever fully fell in love with. X1 was an 11-member group that debuted after Produce X 101 created the group from the final 11 rankings in the show. They were under Swing Entertainment, and they debuted late 2019. The 11-members were Seungwoo, Seungyoun, Wooseok, Yohan, Hangyul, Junho, Dongpyo, Minhee, Eunsang, Hyeongjun, and Dohyon. Their debut song, “FLASH” was one to truly remember not because of how good it was, but because it broke an immense amount of records on music charts, music shows, and literally if they haven’t disbanded so abruptly (seriously still so hurt by that) they would’ve been the next big Kpop group in the industry. What made this group so unique was that their chemistry was insane, and their talent was out of this world. Being a follower of what was the Produce series, I was never truly satisfied with the final line up of their groups because so many other talented trainees got robbed from it, and more so “visuals” were chosen to be members over talent.

X1’s choosing was definitely the best one they had which is crazy because they believe that the producer of the series rigged votes and whatnot? That’s another story for another day. Anyway, this group was a lot of my firsts: boy group, physical album purchase, an obsession really. As a One-It forever, I will always be sad about the disbandment but will support the guys in whatever they do within their own companies. As of now, Seungwoo is back with VICTON, Seungyoun is doing some solo activities (give us a mini-album; please and thank you), Wooseok and Yohan are doing some acting activities, Hangyul and Dohyon are now a duo group called H&D, Junho is in a pre-debut group called W Project 4, Dongpyo is in a pre-debut group called DSP N, Eunsang has done some solo things within his company and Minhee & Hyeongjun are debuting in a new group with 7 other members within Starship Entertainment called Cravity.

  • Bias: You know a group is hella good when you find your bias changing every other week. When X1 was just formed, I instantly gravitated towards Seungwoo because his vocals on PDX101 were insane, his charisma and sexiness on-stage were oof, and he’s a 94 liner! In the show, many people didn’t notice Seungwoo at first because I mean, there were 101 guys in this competition, but what instantly got me was his performance of “U GOT IT” on the show. But then something happened…
  • Bias Wrecker: CHO SEUNGYOUN WRECKED EVERYTHING. Seungyoun, like I mentioned earlier, has a very infectious personality. Even on PDX101, he was known as the person who lightened up the mood when things got too serious or whenever the other trainees struggled. When X1 started their promotions for their debut, he just always stood out to me, so when I started to dive deeper into his career prior to X1 and PDX101, I found out he used to be in an idol group called UNIQ and that when the group quietly went their separate ways, he began his solo activities under the name WOODZ.

Rookies:

Cignature:

cignature Members Profile & Photos - Kpop Profiles | Kpopping

So, one thing I like about Kpop is discovering rookie groups from smaller companies because, well, we need to give every group in KPop a chance! One group that stood out to me the most thus far was Cignature, a 7-member girl group under J9 Entertainment. They debuted earlier this year with their debut single “Nun Nu Nan Na“. The members of Cignature are Chaesol, Jeewon, Ye Ah, Sunn, Seline, Belle, and Semi and although they are fairly new and I don’t have a favorite or bias within this group, I look forward to their career because their debut single stood out the most to me thus far. A lot of people compared the song to a concept that Red Velvet would do because it showcases a lot of different genres within it, and honestly for this group to execute that concept so well as rookies and perform like season veterans already, I hope to see more of this group in the future!

MCND:

MCND | Kpop Wiki | Fandom

These boys better become successful as their career goes on because they are super fucking talented! So who are these boys? Well MCND, or “Music Creates New Dream”, is a 5-member boy group that debuted earlier this year under TOP Media. The members of MCND are Castle J, BIC, Minjae, Huijun, and Win. Although they had a pre-debut single come out back in January, their official debut single is called “ICE AGE” and oof, it fucking slaps. This group is very hip-hop influenced, and if there’s one thing every single member of this group is good at, it’s dancing. For a rookie group, they dance more neatly and synchronized than most veteran groups nowadays, which says a lot about their work ethic and talent. They are the next boy group to come out of their company after UP10TION, a 10-member boy group that debuted in 2015, which PDX101 constant Lee Jinhyuk and former X1 member Kim Wooseok were a part of. TOP Media had a shitty way of promoting them, so I hope they don’t disappoint fans with their new group!

CRAVITY:

CRAVITY are babies, y’all. This 9-member boy group debuted just a couple of weeks ago under Starship Entertainment; they are MONSTA X’s juniors. The members in CRAVITY are Serim, Allen, Jungmo, Woobin, Wonjin, Minhee, Hyeongjun, Taeyoung, and Seongmin. Very much like Victon and UNIQ, I found out about this group because of some of the members of this group being both in X1 and on Produce X 101, the popular survival show that X1 was formed in. Both Minhee and Hyeongjun were former members of X1, while both Wonjin and Jungmo were contestants of PDX101, and both were eliminated on the finale of the show. Ultimately, I really liked Wonjin in the series, so I’m so happy he was able to debut in his own company. Their debut single, “Break All The Rules” is a certified bop. It’s kinda crazy how crazy their concept matches this group, but the group is full of babies? When groups are able to be versatile like that (which shows in their debut album), then you know they’re going to be crazy-successful. I’m already obsessed with these boys.

My Ultimate Bias Groups:

ITZY:

K-pop Rookies ITZY Learn To Practice What They Preach - MTV

Last year, I included these talented ladies in my Kpop rookies post back when they were just a 2-month-old rookie group and only had their debut single “DALLA DALLA” out to showcase their talents. I will say this until the day I die: DALLA DALLA has been one of the greatest 4th-generation debut tracks I’ve heard thus far. They have a concept that is uniquely their own, and all these girls fit it so well. After their debut, they came back during the summer of 2019 with their 1st mini-album called IT’Z ICY with their title track, “ICY” and they recently came back with their 2nd mini-album called IT’Z ME with their title track, “WANNABE“. Back in January, I actually went to see them live in concert when they were touring the U.S and if that didn’t seal the deal of them being my ultimate favorite girl group, then I don’t know what did. 

  • Bias: When I first wrote about them last year, I really only knew Chaeryeong from being on Sixteen, the survival show that JYP Entertainment had in order to create (the biggest Kpop girl group now) TWICE. But as they made more comebacks and I began to follow them a bit more, my bias now is Yeji. She’s not only the leader of the group, but she has crazy dancing skills and amazing vocals. This chick eats CDs, y’all. She’s also an idol that has a duality in her; she could be very girl crush/badass on stage, but in interviews and variety shows, she’s very girly and very cutesy.
  • Bias Wrecker: Ryujin will forever be a bias wrecker, just how Chaeyoung from TWICE will always be my bias wrecker in that group. They both actually give off the same energy; not only are they both main rappers in their groups, but they also have — how do I say this — big dick energy. They will steal yo’ girls, guys. While they both can be very girly and cute off-stage, they really have charisma and badass vibe that stand out from the group. In particular, I’m so glad that with their recent comeback, she got the recognition she deserves because oof, she’s killing it.
  • Favorite Comeback: ITZY’s most recent comeback is hands down their best yet. I feel like with this last comeback, they fully established their brand and their concept, so MIDZYS (their fandom name) are only gonna expect this level of legitness in the future. Next!

VICTON:

Song Review: Victon – Howling | The Bias List // K-Pop Reviews ...

If you know anything about me, you know how obsessed I’ve become whenever it comes to Victon, y’all. Like UNIQ, I discovered VICTON when both Seungwoo and Byungchan participated in Produce X 101, and with the fans they had throughout that show, they were able to bring them along to their group which in all honesty VICTON won PDX101 over anyone else. Before the show, VICTON was rumored to be disbanding after the relase of their single album, Time of Sorrow because they were not getting the success the company hoped they would get. For VICTON, PDX101 was their last resort, and the number of fans and the amount of exposure they had from the show resulted in them becoming one of Kpop’s up-and-rising groups in the industry, with them breaking their own records and winning music shows with their comebacks. So, who are they?

VICTON is a 7-member group under Play M Entertainment, formerly known as Plan A Entertainment, back in 2016. The members are Seungwoo, Seungsik, Chan, Sejun, Hanse, Byungchan, and Subin. They debuted with their (amazing fucking) 1st mini-album, Voice to New World and were first known to be a boy idol group that was refreshing with some playful hip-hop influence in their music. If anything, they were not afraid to be a boy crush group rather than a sexy one. They’ve released 6 mini-albums and 1 single album in the duration of their careers; READY, IDENTITY, From. Victon, nostalgia, Continuous, and TIME OF SORROW.

  • Bias: Y’all, picking a bias for this group is nearly impossible; I’m literally up to my 4th bias change and it just rotates regularly. Of course, when I started to get more into the group, Seungwoo was my bias because he was also my bias in X1. But, once VICTON started to promote as a six-member group while Seungwoo was away, Seungsik became my bias. Then as I got more into the group, Sejun and Subin started to become my biases as well. So, I guess it’s safe to say I have 4 of them in VICTON. Even though it’s hard to choose, I do find myself going back to Seungsik. His duality is insane; he could be “Uwusik” one minute then “OOFsik” the other. He’s also the main vocalist of VICTON which says a lot; all of these guys could sing all crazy, but Seungsik can sing. If you wanna hear some Solosik, his single “I’m Still Loving You” is just all the chef kisses in the world.
  • Bias Wrecker: Out of all the wreckers in this group, Sejun is always the top contender to be my bias wrecker. Sejun is… eccentric. He’s definitely weird in his own way and he’s not afraid to be real on and off-stage. Many idols (I’ve noticed) are still very insecure not looking perfect 24/7 in front of their fans even when they are off-stage just chilling, but Sejun has proven time-and-time again on V LIVE that he does not give a shit and will just come as he is, which all idols should be like! Also, Sejun is a visual that is a lead vocalist, or what I like to call “second main vocalist”. We stan main vocalists, y’all.
  • Favorite Comeback: Although I officially became a VICTON fan when they came back with nostalgia, my favorite era of theirs has to be their 4th mini-album, From. Victon, which their title track was “Remember Me“. This title track out of all of them feels the most like VICTON; it still had that freshness that they had with their previous comebacks, but it also showcased a more mature side of the group as well. That mature side (to me) was the start of their more mature comebacks, which they all been since that. But everything to the music video to the album itself was just so personalized and well-balanced. She’s also the one song I know all the Korean lyrics to because, well, I’m trash.

 

And that’s it! Sorry for this post being literally so friggin’ long, but I really do enjoy writing and sharing my knowledge on the things I really enjoy in my life! But other than that, I hope you guys give some of these groups a chance; they’ve all worked hard and sacrificed their lives to make their dreams come true, so if you’re experimental with music genres, try listening to some Kpop, y’all.

Thank you for coming to your favorite Kpop-Trash writer’s TED talk.

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Topic Tuesdays: Raw & Personal

Therapy: Two Years Later.

Dear, guys – welcome back to Letters From Liz.

April has become such a special month for me because I decided to seek therapy two years ago this month, on this exact day. The day was definitely the start of a new chapter in my life that I continue to live by until this very day!

For a little background on those who may not know, I decided to seek therapy in 2018 due to the fact that I was experiencing some really intense anxiety during my time in grad school. After silently suffering for most of my grad school career with high levels of anxiety, stress, and depression, I decided that the way to take care of myself was to seek professional help and talk about my issues with someone unbiased, and someone that is willing to help me find new ways to cope and challenge the toxic things in my life.

In the beginning, therapy was something that was hard to adjust to. To have the time to talk about my issues and things that I never spoke out loud before was intense and a lot of that heaviness carried onto me during my day. I was now even anxious about getting anxious, my anxiety attacks were more frequent than they ever have been. I vividly remember having one of the worst anxiety attacks one night before going to my ex’s place for the night because I was afraid of leaving home. It was that bad, y’all.

Not only was it difficult to transition to going to therapy and getting comfortable with sharing personal things about my life, I had to realize the fact that not only did I need therapy to talk things out, but I also needed to start taking medicine as well.

Therapy, in the simplest way, helped me realize all of the unhealthy methods I had for coping in my life and all of the other unhealthy things in my life that contributed to my anxiety and depression. It made me realize that I knew more than I allow myself to admit, and it gave me some perspective on things that I couldn’t see while going through it. Sure, therapy has made me realize that I had a lot of toxic traits, that I had unhealthy views on love, and I lost a lot because of my newfound awareness of myself and my behavior, but if anything recharges me after a long and stressful week, it’s simply just having the safe space and that one hour of the week to unwind and let everything out.

With therapy, I’ve learned just how to see my social anxiety and my depression and how to not only accept it myself but to allow those around me to accept it as well. I learned how to embrace the bad times and let them be because they teach me what I need to do in order to get out of them in more efficient ways.

Whenever I speak about therapy to those around me, I get the question of “are you going to rely on therapy your whole life?” and I always felt sour about it. Therapy is not just an outlet for those who have mental health illnesses or disorders, and to this day it’s a myth that everyone still believes in. Therapy does not mean you’re “crazy” and it doesn’t mean that it’s not something that people who are “normal” (what truly is considered normal anyway) shouldn’t look into. The fact of the matter is most of us — if not all of us — need a time and place where we could unwind, reflect, and truly think about our actions, behaviors, and our patterns and understand why we do them in the first place. It’s an hour of the week that focuses on the things you don’t normally get to focus and talk about, and with us living busy lives, it’s well needed to just go to therapy and relax and talk to someone. So, will I “rely” on therapy to make me feel better for the rest of my life? Probably not, but if it does, who cares if I’m providing that time to take care of myself?

So no matter the circumstances, I will always recommend therapy to those who ask me if they should go. Again, you don’t have to be depressed, moody, anxious, or sad to seek out therapy; you don’t need some major traumatic thing in your life to go and seek it. You could just simply be having a tough patch in life and want another opinion to help you get through it. It doesn’t have to be as serious as we make it out to be, and I learned that once I started going to therapy. All the taboos you hear about therapy are quickly debunked once you attend therapy for yourself and find a therapist that you fit well with. Don’t write off therapy because someone else’s experience wasn’t that great, and don’t expect your experiences to be as great as one person makes it out to be. Everyone is different, and you’ll never know what personalized experience you’ll have if you don’t try it for yourself.

So, here’s to two years of therapy. I honestly have to thank my therapist, Cathy, for helping me get to the place I am now. Through the highs and the lows, she’s helped me through them and helped me learn parts of myself I never knew could exist in this world. I am who I am today because of her guidance, her faith in me to make the right choices in life, and for allowing me to have the time and space to speak my mind.

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