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K-Pop Beyond The Charts: KARA's Park Gyuri Finds Her Ideal Accompaniment In Indie Act From The Airport On 'The Little Prince' [VIDEO]

By Rehnuma Majid | July 10, 2015 03:52 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.

There are some artists who I recognize have immense talent, but, for a number of reasons, their artistry still doesn't work for me. Up until recently, Park Gyuri (frontwoman of the K-pop girl group KARA) was one of those artists.

KARA has consistently put out dance numbers that are excellently choreographed, with a decent amount of vocal talent, due in no small part to Gyuri's contributions. But the KARA leader's voice, I've come to realize, isn't bad, it just didn't fit with the high-energy pop tracks her group has released. Quite often, Gyuri's voice was getting lost in the production.

Released on June 14, the KARA vocalist's collaboration with South Korean indie-rock duo From the Airport, "The Little Prince," allowed her to explore softer and less hard-hitting tones, where her singing can really shine through.

The song starts off with a pulsing synth-based beat fueled with electric guitar, solidifying From the Airport's move away from their typical style of music (the duo is normally a bit less danceable as an alternative rock band).

From the Airport do not contribute vocals to "The Little Prince," so when you begin to hear random inserts of a breathy whisper, it's most definitely Gyuri. This vocal texture sets the mood for the rest of the song; you know can already tell that even if the tempo speeds up, the singer won't push the melody to the upper limits or her vocal range, something that I've heard way too many times on KARA tracks.

When Gyuri does begin singing, I was pleasantly surprised. Her singing shows a maturity that really isn't afforded to her in a pop group, especially since most Hallyu fans have an image of KARA that ranges from cute to sexy with little room for depth.

"The Little Prince" isn't a chart topper by any means, but it's not your average café-backdrop toon either.

The vibe is relaxed, something I've come to appreciate in much of From the Airport's music.  This easy quality makes Gyuri appear more comfortable her performance--she's not straining herself.

It's an ease that carries over to the song's video, which is noticeably devoid of dancing.

Some of the initial fan reactions to "The Little Prince" pointed out just how cliché the theme of love was on the track, to which I say who cares? Most pop songs are about love or heartbreak, but are all the artists equally as capable in getting that emotion across through their singing? I don't think so.

With the help of a very talented pair, Park Gyuri was quite successful in doing just that.

Watch the music video for Park Gyuri's collaboration with K-indie group From the Airport on "The Little Prince" RIGHT HERE

Rehnuma Majid is a writer, artist, radio DJ, events promoter, and avid rock climber. Culture, advocacy, and pie are her passions.

Tagged :  KARA, Park Gyuri, From The Airport, K-Pop Beyond The Charts


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