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K-Pop Beyond The Charts: Zzapa Finds An Original Sound That Reels You In On 'Blackout' Featuring Yezzer [AUDIO]

By Jesse Lent | September 29, 2015 06:51 PM EDT


K-Pop Beyond The Charts is a weekly review column highlighting Korea's modern day musical innovators who have yet to find mainstream success.

Any modern music fan seeking out new sounds knows one of the greatest moments to be attained is when an artist creates something truly unique that demands your complete attention.

Yet, for an artist, it is the dangerously untested quality of unfamiliar sonic ranges that make many mainstream producers, artist management or even more cautious band members plead for preconceived genres, styles, patterns and progression--in other words, to tread on safe ground.

South Korean vocalist Zzapa and rapper Yezzer don't reinvent the wheel on "Blackout," the B-side of the former's new single "New Days," released on Sept. 22. But between Zzapa's signature melodic sense, Yezzer's nearly catatonic behind-the-beat delivery and a beat and synth sound referencing 1970s West Coast funk bands like Zapp (who Zzapa's name is presumably a play off of), yet with still enough class to prevent it from being a cartoonish throwback, "Blackout" breaks the mold in several ways.

What's exciting about Zzapa's voice is that he isn't aping any one singer, American, Korean or otherwise. There are flashes of elite funk icons from Sly Stone to Rick James and more than a passing resemblance to trot legend Cho Yong Pil, but Zzapa doesn't seem to be bound to any one style or attempting a sound-alike performance of any variety.

The instrumental end of "Blackout" possesses that same freedom of space--nothing is forced into the frame. Rather, by allowing anything to happen, Zzapa and Yezzer have let the best kind of music materialize on this recording, the kind that isn't forced, pretentious or preplanned.

That's one pretty good recipe for success.

Listen to the new single "Blackout" from South Korean vocalist Zzapa featuring rapper Yezzer RIGHT HERE

Tagged :  Zzapa, K-Pop Beyond The Charts, Yezzer, blackout, K-Pop, New Days, review, Reviews, rapper


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