Entertainment

Meet the hispanic kpop idol Hearthrob Topping The K-Pop Charts

Meet Samuel Arredondo Kim — or Samuel, as he’s better known in South Korea where he’s currently a K-pop idol. Yes, you read that correctly. There’s a Latino K-pop idol.

Credit: Brave Entertainment

While there have been other half-Latino figures in Korean entertainment industry in the past – like the Korean hip-hop pioneer Carlos Galvan (Mexican/Korean-American) of the ’90s group Uptown and Tia Cuevas (of Puerto Rican descent) from the now defunct K-pop girl group ChoColat – Samuel (half Korean half Mexican) is the most prominent and only current figure since Hallyu (Korean wave) exploded worldwide.

Born in Los Angeles to a Korean mother and Mexican dad, the 15-year-old made his solo debut this past August with the electro bubblegum pop jam “Sixteen” and gave us major Justin Bieber “Baby” era vibes.     

Korea calculates age differently, making people one or two years older depending on the month they’re born. That’s why Samuel sings about being 16.

The  singer speaks English, Korean and poquito Spanish.

https://twitter.com/kimberrytae/status/899651250911948800

However, he has said he feels weird speaking English since he’s lived in Korea for so long.

Since he was very young, Samuel exuded star potential. He got his start making extremely cute commercials for a Volkswagen dealership in Bakersfield, which the internet speculates is owned by his family.

And because all that talent couldn’t be wasted, Samuel moved to Korea at 11 years old and started training to become a K-pop idol at Pledis Entertainment. 

Pledis Entertainment

He was initially part of the original lineup of the now very successful boy band SEVENTEEN, where he was the maknae, or the youngest member of the group.

SEVENTEEN trained for many years together, gearing up for debut as a 17 member band. However, the wait was long and some members ultimately left, including Samuel, citing personal reasons.

But this wasn’t the end of the road for Samuel. He soon joined another Korean company, Brave Entertainment, and debuted as the hip-hop duo 1Punch.

He performed under the moniker Punch along with another member, One. He was 13-years-old and One was 20.

While cringey and hella problematic, “Turn Me Back” and “Nightmare” gave us the first results of his training. The boy had not only grown in dance, but was also singing and rapping. 1Punch didn’t last long though, and One soon left to join YG Entertainment, the entertainment giant home to acts like PSY, Big Bang and 2NE1.

Punch gave it another go, though, and released an East-meets-West collaboration with the “Watch Me (Whip/Nae Nae)” singer Silentó.

Even though the song won the Global Collaboration Award at the Seoul Music Awards earlier this year, “Spotlight” didn’t lead to much success for Samuel. And yet, he persisted.

Samuel joined the second season of the competition show Produce 101 in early 2017.

Produce 101/Mnet

On Produce 101, participants competed against each other through a series of performances in hopes of making it into the 11-member supergroup lineup. The participants were all trainees of different South Korean entertainment companies, and most (though not all) had yet to debut. Viewers served as “producers” and voted for their favorites to make it onto the top 11. By the end of the show, the group Wanna One was formed. Because the show turned out to be a smash hit, they group is the most popular K-pop act of the moment.   

Throughout the show, Samuel was considered as one of the top contenders for the win. He immediately gained attention for his dance skills and the fact that he co-choreographed most of his teams’ performances. Samuel continuously placed within the top spots and was among the most popular trainees.

But in an unfortunate twist of events, he ended up placing at number 18 on the final and didn’t make the group. Fans were livid, especially the ones outside of Korea who weren’t allowed to vote, and even set up a petition seeking justice.  

International fans were especially invested in seeing Samuel win, in part, because they wanted to see a Latino thrive as a K-pop idol.

But not making the cut actually turned out to be a blessing for the singer. Within days of the show’s ending, the head of Brave Entertainment released a statement announcing his solo debut, “Sixteen.”

Upon release, the first batch of physical albums sold out, with many of the copies being shipped overseas. “Sixteen” reached number one on the iTunes worldwide albums chart in countries like Vietnam and Indonesia, and placed within the top 10 in Singapore, Thailand and other countries.

Your Moment of Kpop/tumblr

The K-pop industry is oversaturated and cutthroat, so the fact that Samuel is still standing and thriving at such a young age is nothing short of amazing. Hard work pays off, and after a successful debut EP, Samuel will be coming out with a full album in October. And if it’s anything like “Sixteen,” we’re surely in for a treat of pristine pop perfection.


READ: There’s A New Frida Kahlo-Inspired Makeup Compact Made By A Korean Beauty Brand

Are you a major k-pop fan? Then share this story by clicking that little button!

Notice any needed corrections? Please email us at corrections@wearemitu.com

K-Pop Star Chung Ha Tackles Reggaeton in “Demente” Music Video with Guaynaa

Latidomusic

K-Pop Star Chung Ha Tackles Reggaeton in “Demente” Music Video with Guaynaa

South Korean superstar Chung Ha has released a music video for her hit song “Demente” with Puerto Rican rapper Guaynaa. Both artists are longing for love in the stylish visual.

Chung Ha sings completely in Spanish for this new version of “Demente.”

“Demente” is one of the songs on Chung Ha’s debut album Querencia. She dabbled in reggaeton music for the first time with Guaynaa, who is known for the hits like “ReBoTa” and “Chica Ideal” with Sebastián Yatra. In the original version of “Demente,” she sang in Korean and Spanish. For the music video version, Chung Ha tackles the song completely in Spanish and her pronunciation sounds great.

Chung Ha and Guaynaa are a dream team in the music video.

The music video for “Demente” was directed by Daniel Duran, who has shot videos for Latin music superstars like Yatra, Maluma, Ozuna, and Becky G. Chung Ha looks stunning as she walks through an empty hotel. Guaynaa is alone as well at the hotel bar. The two artists never meet as this was probably shot from two different locations, but Duran does an immaculate job hiding that. This genre-bending collaboration really deserved a video and Chung Ha came through.

“Songs like ‘Demente’ wouldn’t have been possible a few years ago, when streaming was just starting to chip away at genre and cultural barriers in the music industry,” Chunga Ha said in an interview with Billboard. “I think that today everyone is more open. I’m so thankful for that and for all the K-Pop artists out here with us [pushing boundaries].”

Another standout collaboration on Chunga Ha’s Querencia album is “Dream of You.” She crossed over to the world of EDM with the help of Dutch producer R3HAB.

Click here for Latido Music, 24/7 Latin music videos & more

Read: Sebastián Yatra Celebrates the will.i.am “Chica Ideal” Remix with Thirst Trap

Notice any needed corrections? Please email us at corrections@wearemitu.com

K-Pop Meets Reggaeton in Chung Ha’s “Demente” Song with Guaynaa

Latidomusic

K-Pop Meets Reggaeton in Chung Ha’s “Demente” Song with Guaynaa

Puerto Rican superstar Guaynaa has joined forces with K-Pop star Chung Ha. Their two cultures collide in the song “Demente” which was released on Feb. 15.

“Demente” is the latest in a wave of K-Pop and Latin music crossovers.

“Demente” is one of the songs on Chung Ha’s debut album Querencia that was also released on Monday. After her group I.O.I disbanded in 2017, Chung Ha has focused on her solo career. “Demente” with Guaynaa marks the latest collaboration in the new wave of Latin and K-Pop crossovers.

Chung Ha goes reggaeton with the help of Guaynaa.

“Demente” was produced by Roberto “Earcandy” Vásquez, who has worked in the past with Latin music superstars like Maluma, Wisin y Yandel, and Lali. K-Pop meets reggaeton in this refreshing, multilingual bop. Chung Ha sings a few lines of the song in Spanish with stellar pronunciation. Guaynaa slides in at the halfway point with an explosive guest verse. Chung Ha and Guaynaa are the perfect South Korea and Puerto Rico pop ambassadors here and together, they’re an unexpected yet delightful duo.

Another crossover moment on Chung Ha’s Querencia album is “Dream of You” with Dutch DJ R3HAB. Guaynaa is most known for his global smash “ReBoTa.” He’s recently scored new hits with his girlfriend Lele Pons in “Se Te Nota” and “Chica Ideal” with Colombian heartthrob Sebastián Yatra.

As far as K-Pop and Latin music crossovers go, Super Junior has done a number of collaborations. The guys teamed up with Mexican group Reik in “One More Time (Otra Vez)” and Dominican-American pop star Leslie Grace for “Lo Siento.” The future of global music is in the K-Pop and Latin music collabs.

Read: Meet the Korean-Mexican Hearthrob Topping The K-Pop Charts

Notice any needed corrections? Please email us at corrections@wearemitu.com