The winners of the 9th Korean Music Awards will be announced next week. In our Korean Music Awards Prediction Poll post we said that we’d try to provide a bit of background on the nominated albums and songs for the various genres, but that never really happened. There’s just been too much new music coming out lately, but that in itself is a good thing so lets not dwell over that. Chris has done an excellent job reviewing many of the nominated releases. I instead offer you my predictions as to who will win the various awards at KMA 2012. And just to be clear, before we get started I should say that my guesses do not necessarily reflect who I think should win but are rather based on my anticipations on how the people that do have a say in the outcome have voted.
Album of the Year
All are solid candidates, but I would have to go with either Jeong Cha Sik or Chang Kiha & The Faces though I have yet to listen to any of them. “그렇고 그런 사이” have gotten Chang Kiha & The Faces even more popular than they were when they first rose to fame with “싸구려 커피” and “별일 없이 산다”. Jeong Cha Sik on the other hand is brilliant in everything he does and I’m guessing he’s got slightly more cred in critics circles so I’ll have to go with his 황망한 사내.
Song of the Year
Although there were six nominees I imagine this is really a question of whether Chang Kiha & The Faces or 2NE1 should win. Girl’s Generation did take home this category a couple of years back with Gee, however indie names generally fare better here so my guess would be Chang Kiha & The Faces and their “그렇고 그런 사이” will get the win over 2NE1’s “I Am The Best”
Musician of the Year
There’s no doubt that 10cm have had a huge breakthrough this year but I’m not sure that is enough to win this category. It’s usually a fairly big name grabbing this award so on that account I’m eliminating Park Ju Won as well. Yi Sung Yol would be a good candidate, but he already got the title in 2008 and to be honest I liked his music a lot better then. Chang Kiha & The Faces were nominated in the same category in 2010 without winning and they haven’t changed that much since so I’m gonna go with Cho Deok Hwan. As a member of Deulgukhwa that have were observed more so than usual he’s got a strong name already, and from what little I’ve heard I gather he did a very good job on his solo album.
Rookie of the Year
I was not familiar with either 40 or JTong before the KMA nominees were announced so I may be way off here, but I’m guessing there’ll be a tie in this category between Bye Bye Badman and Neon Bunny. Bye Bye Badman since they have a lot of that rock stuff going that has gone well over in the past, Neon Bunny because of her unique style. Not to mention that her debut album was one of the very best albums 2011 had to offer. However if there is only one winner I’m confident it’ll be Bye Bye Badman. They won Hello Rookie 2011, and winning that is something they share with the Rookie of the Year for the last couple of years.
Best Rock Album
The winner of this category usually has a very strong rock feeling which I’d say eliminates all but The Moonshiners and Yellow Monsters. Between The Moonshiners and Yellow Monsters Yellow Monsters is the heavier so I’m gonna go with Riot!.
Best Modern Rock Album
This is an extremely difficult category. The Black Skirts already won it a couple of years ago, but his sound was different then. The KOXX were snubbed on this award last year, though it does seem they’ve grown a bit since. Yi Sung Yol‘s latest was quite well received among critics, but I’m thinking this may be the wrong category for him. Except for Nunco all other nominees in this category were also nominated for Best Modern Rock Song so I suppose that will play against them. That leaves Goonamguayeoridingstella and Huckleberry Finn. Not having listened to either I’m gonna guess Goonamguayeoridingstella’s 우정모텔 as I’m under the impression that it was the more popular of the two.
Best Pop Album
Somewhat easier. This category is typically one by one of the more established names so there’s really just 10cm, Linus’ Blanket and IU to choose from. It would be wrong for 10cm not to get any award this year so’ll go with their 1.0.
Best Dance & Electronic Album
A lot of strong contenders. As much as I like them myself I’m afraid neither Trampauline nor Kayip produce the right kind of electronica to go winning out of this. W&Whale already won this in 2009 and Idiotape are nominated for best album, but then this is a category where idols do well so f(x) should stand a good chance too. I’ll go with Idiotape on this one–that best album nomination must count for something.
Best Rap & Hip Hop Album + Best R&B & Soul Album
I have no clue whatsoever about the albums nominated so I’ll just leave them alone…
I recall something about Leafie getting attention for the good soundtrack, but I’ve only seen The Man From Nowhere. Can’t recall the music in detail, but I think it was decent enough + the movie was great so I’ll go with that.
Best Jazz Album
Jazz isn’t really my genre, but I see BG Salon here and since they were also nominated for Rookie of the Year I’ll go with their 습관의 발견. Jangeun Bae has two nominations though…
Best Crossover Album
I’m not familiar with Ga Young but the rest I think I could say are good picks. Park Ju Won won this category a couple of years back. Pudditorium and Ccotbyel tend to offer very agreeable pieces of music, but I think in this context Hee Kyung Na and her ties to legendary Brazilian musicians will make her the winner.
Best Jazz & Crossover Performance
Although I’m guessing Park Ju Won does not have the strongest crossover album, his nomination for Musician of the Year must mean he’s got a lot to offer. I’ll give him this one instead.
Best Rock Song
Whereas rock album winners are usually on the heavy side that is not necessarily true for the rock song winners. Further, winning Song of the Year does not necessarily meaning also winning Best Song. Chang Kiha & The Faces did the first time they took home Song of the Year however, so I’m gonna guess they’ll repeat that feat this year.
Best Modern Rock Song
The last couple of years the Rookie of the Year winner also took home Best Rock Song. Granted this is a slightly different category, but since I’m guessing Bye Bye Badman for rookie this year it seems fair I’d also guess Bye Bye Badman’s “노랑불빛” should the trend continue. On the other I have the feeling The KOXX should get something, but if I dismiss their album then I should probably leave “12:00” alone too.
Best Pop Song
10cm got Best Pop Song already last year and I’m thinking “그게 아니고” is not as strong as “오늘 밤은 어둠이 무서워요”. At least it hasn’t been as popular on the charts. Without being a fan myself I think IU’s “좋은 날” would be a good fit for this award, but I’m thinking UV‘s “Itaewon Freedom” in all its brilliance will do better and grab it.
Best Dance & Electronic Song
I would like to say that Trampauline will win this, given that it’s the only indie act nominated. I would be even happier to say T-ara because I really, really, really like “Roly-Poly”. The songs from f(x) and Infinite have both been well liked among critics, but with 2NE1’s “I Am The Best” nominated also for Song of the Year I’ll go with that one here.
Best R&B & Soul Song
Again I have no clue so I’ll just leave it be. Or say Boni, because I like her voice. Or maybe 40 since he’s nominated for Rookie of the Year. No, I’ll just not say anything on this one.
Agree? Disagree? Let us know in a comment! And don’t forget to make your own prediction in the KMA Predicitions Poll–if you manage well you might end up with a pretty nice compilation.