On these shores, Korean pop music—more popularly known as K-Pop—is perhaps most identified with the club-ready electronic beats and slickly tuxedoed look of global phenomenon (and newly crowned “King of YouTube”) PSY. So why is K-Pop duo 2YOON heel-toeing in a barnyard in their new video? Why are they wearing overalls? Why is there a saloon in the background? And more important: what’s with their new K-Pop-goes-country sound?
Country music and K-Pop may seem like strange bedfellows right now, but musicians and producers are betting that this unlikely union could yield the next chart-busting hit. Meaning: we could start hearing American-music influences in one of the world’s most popular and dynamic pop genres.
In a recent interview with TIME, 2YOON’s Gayoon (who, seemingly inspired by Dr. Seuss, shares the stage with a partner named Jiyoon) explains that the duo listened to country music before recording their first album, Harvest Moon, released in January. Artists like Carrie Underwood and Taylor Swift, they thought, seemed to have something that was missing from the music they made as members of the girl group 4minute (from which 2YOON splintered). “Country music is very easy listening and very relaxed,” she says, through a translator, noting that K-pop music and dance are much more regimented.
More than that, both found something fresh in contemporary country music. The sound “was unfamiliar to the Korean audience,” says Gayoon. “We were the first to mix country and K-pop. It was a brand-new genre.” A genre they—as the newly formed 2YOON—hoped would differentiate themselves in an already crowded market. “It was time for us to show a different side,” says Jiyoon.
4minute members Jeon Jiyoon and Heo Gayoon who used to perform with boldness and grandeur have returned sweet-looking and pure.
2YOON’s first mini album ‘Harvest Moon’ and country pop title track ‘24/7’ have opened a new path in Korea’s music industry. Their addictive choreography is also overwhelmingly energetic. Jiyoon’s tomboyish look and Gayoon’s feminine image have transformed them into country girls of West USA.
This double charisma has captivated fans of many age groups but what does 2YOON like to wear when they are not on stage? A reporter was able to find out from 2YOON during an interview in a cafe.
Gentle Girl Jeon Jiyoon:
I like to cook nowadays, always doing this and that at home. We were lucky to win an oven from ‘1000 Songs Challenge’ so I have been wanting to make dishes with it every day. Hahaha.
My second concern is English? I’m watching a lot of popular American dramas these days and making an effort to learn English. I also like hotel design and management. I’m the type that would try if I don’t know whether something is good. The book I read recently called ‘What Is Management’ has taught me a lot of things.
Brave Girl Heo Gayoon:
I am madly in love with motorbikes recently. I wonder how it’d be like if I get to the practice room from our dorm on a motorbike, but I’m scared of the attention from people.
I love fashion. I’ve planned for 2YOON’s style this time and I always adjust my own style after looking at our photos. I’m close with Go Junhee unnie and she gets serious when she is teaching me about fashion. We have the same interests so we chat a lot.
I hope to get a snake the most. I really really like snakes. This is the snake year and I was also born in the year of snake, so I pleaded them to get a snake for our cover shoot. But since snakes don’t belong to the country style, we could only use chicks. Hahaha!
and before my post gets flooded with surgery accusations, heo gayoon has always been this slim, svelte and stunning.
SOURCES | TIME, NYLON Youtube, THECUBEUNITED (1 + 2), 4MF-TRANS, KOREA STAR DAILY, Elle Girl