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Super Junior ‘Mr. Simple’ is Fifth Most Viewed YouTube Video in the World

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2011.08.27 17:58 Mwave Park, HyunMin

Super Junior’s music video for ‘Mr. Simple’, the title track from the group′s fifth studio album, was the fifth most viewed video in the world on YouTube for the month of August.

The music video has been receiving a lot of love from fans all over the world since its release on August 4.

Super Junior ‘Mr. Simple’ is Fifth Most Viewed YouTube Video in the World

Super Junior was the only Korean artist to rank in the top 10 on YouTube’s ‘Most Viewed’ chart, among the likes of pop stars Lady Gaga and Kanye West, making the accomplishment all the more noteworthy.

The music video is also currently the ‘Most Discussed’, ′Most Liked′ and ‘Top Favorited’ video on YouTube in Korea.

Meanwhile, the music video for ‘Superman,’ the second single from Super Junior’s latest album will be revealed on August 26.

Photo credit: SM Entertainment

There is a female duo currently active in the Hongdae indie scene named lalasweet. Thanks to their team name, you might expect to hear some typically ′sweet′ music, but there’s nothing in their music that meets those expectations. Because of this mismatch, their listeners hear their music and shrug in confusion.

Super Junior ‘Mr. Simple’ is Fifth Most Viewed YouTube Video in the World

Lalasweet is comprised of two members: Kim Hyun Ah as the vocalist and guitarist, and Park Byul at the piano and melodeon. They may seem like young girls, but actually both of them are in their late 20s. They put together lalasweet in 2008, and that same year, on MBC’s Campus Song Festival, they made a big debut with their silver award-winning My Old Orange Tree.

They didn’t exploit their new status as a silver award winner, however, and continued to mature through a string of performances in Hongdae clubs. Starting with their pitch in the 2010 compilation album Life with a song titled Good Bye, they continued to realize their acoustic pop with their mini-album Lalasweet, and were invited to perform at the Grand Mint Festival, the stage of their dreams. They won EBS Space’s Hello Rookie Award of the Year in 2010, and finally this year released their first studio album, titled bittersweet.

Super Junior ‘Mr. Simple’ is Fifth Most Viewed YouTube Video in the World

A new kind of healing

The name lalasweet actually came from a dessert shop in India. While the members were searching for a name that had no real meaning, sounded great with 3-4 syllables and wasn’t already taken in Korea, they found the name lalasweet, the name of a shop they met during their trip in India and had jotted down in their notes. Later on, it turned out that wasn’t the name of the shop; the shop’s name was Lala, and it sold desserts under the name ‘sweets’ - but in any case, the story proves they didn′t put ′sweet′ in their name because they were aiming for saccharine music.

The title of their album, bittersweet, says it all. Their ‘sweet’ team name and their ‘bitter’ music come together in a new harmony. The album also showcases a type of music entirely different from the songs in their mini-album, switching from simplistic music to songs with a lot of band sounds. Rather than have the vocalist Kim Hyun Ah whisper her notes, the songs have her shout out with her strong vocals. The group’s aim is, however, still to comfort and heal with its music.

Kim Hyun Ah said, “If other people usually comfort with the words ‘Though today was bad, tomorrow will be better’, we say ‘Are you having a bad time? Me too, so I’ll cry with you’. We comfort people by relating to them.”

Park Byul agreed, “Of course listening to songs that say ‘It’s okay. It’ll all turn out to be fine’ makes you feel good. But there are things I can do, and there are things they can do. It’s just a difference in sentiments.”

Super Junior ‘Mr. Simple’ is Fifth Most Viewed YouTube Video in the World

Everyday music

Their new album bittersweet came into being after three years of effort, being produced by the members themselves. The album managed to contain the lyricism characteristic of female artists, bold band sounds and dramatic melodies. The inspiration for their songs came naturally from their everyday lives.

Kim Hyun Ah leaves memos on her smartphone whenever something pops up in her head. These pieces come together and branch out into an infinite number of sentences, finally coming together into one final sentence. Her habit of jotting down everything in her diary since she was little hasn′t changed a bit; it’s just that now she jots things down on her phone memos rather than her diary. Park Byul also writes lyrics from the phrases she stores away when they come to her.

The lyrics of their first single cut, Where Are We Right Now, are based on Park Byul’s experiences with love that changes with time.

“People change. You can accept that fact, or you can suffer because you can’t. The song itself talks of the pain that comes from changed love. The lyrics are so real it’s actually embarrassing. I wrote this song right before I broke up [with my boyfriend]. Amazingly, there were people who applied it to their own experiences; people standing at crossroads, even though they’re not of love, seemed to relate also,” Park says.

Super Junior ‘Mr. Simple’ is Fifth Most Viewed YouTube Video in the World

Sailing toward the ocean of the unknown

Lalasweet has just released its first album; it still has a long way to go. Like the many bands that have been performing in Hongdae for the last 10 years, the road in front of the duo still stretches far toward the horizon. Fortunately, K-Pop has been turning more to different genres of music such as band music or indie music instead of just concentrating on idol dance, so now is actually a great chance for the duo.

Musicians who write music would, of course, love to have as many people as possible listen to their music. Hongdae musicians are no different.

“In the past, I used to think blindly that it would be okay to enjoy doing the music I want to do in the place I want to be,” Kim Hyun Ah says. “But now when I make music, I hope as many people as possible listen to it. I feel a responsibility to let our music be known so that more people will hear it.”

They’re not thinking of becoming stars, but they just want to let anyone within their reach listen to their comforting and healing music. Their first album is, therefore, an important starting point.

“It’s been three years since we’ve formed lalasweet, but it feels like we’ve just made our debut,” Park Byul says. “It’s our take-off toward the open sea, perhaps? We’ll just continue to work harder than we are now.”

Photo and video credit: Happy Robot Records
Translation credit: Erika Kim

Super Junior 20110827
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