NAME: Edward Leary
HOME: New York, N.Y.
CURRENTLY: assistant editor of A.Zine magazine
INTRO TO K-POP: Leary first stumbled upon K-pop when he was in high school. "The first K-pop song I ever heard was Super Junior's 'Cooking Cooking,'" he said. "It was odd, but still quirky and charming. Wonder Girls won me over with 'Tell Me.' From there I wanted to learn more." To learn more about Hallyu culture, Leary started studying the Korean language, attending a Korean church with friends and even celebrating the nation's holidays. "Of course K-pop is a huge interest, however I believe the most interesting thing [about the culture] is how innovative Koreans are," he said. "They have a lot of unique concepts and things I would love to try, like visiting cat cafes, karaoke bars, eating soju bingsu, going to music programs and even the Teddy Bear Museum in Jeju."
THE DIFFERENCE: "I appreciate the catchy sounds and beats, but their never-ending concepts and outrageous styles are so uplifting," Leary said. "I really like how easily [K-pop performers] switch concepts, giving your favorite idols variety. The lyrics are more moving and sweet than crude and redundant."
FAVORITE GROUP: Girl's Day
"I like groups like Dal Shabet, Rania, EXID, BESTie, Nine Muses and WA$$UP for their styles, but there is a reason Girl's Day is my everything," Leary said. "I have watched them since the beginning, growing and struggling. They are the most human of all the idol groups, in my opinion...they remind me of myself, especially Minah, still starting out, with a cute smile and a big dream. After all this time, finally their efforts and talents are being recognized by the world."
FAVORITE SONG: "Twinkle Twinkle"
LIFE LESSONS: "K-pop inspired me," Leary said. "It made me realize how much I wanted to be known and to entertain people, just like idols do. Everyone agrees I'm a real people person with a charming vivacious personality. I want to share those qualities. It actually inspired me to take up dancing and try new fashion styles. From there, I feel I became even more confident."
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