After a look at the albums and songs nominated in the Best Rap & Hip-Hop genre category for the Korean Music Awards 2013, we’re moving on to the albums and songs nominated in the Best R&B & Soul category.
Best R&B & Soul Album
Naul – Principle of My Soul
Brown Eyed Soul‘s Naul made his solo debut with cover album Back To The Soul Flight in 2005, getting him nominated for Male Artist of the Year, Best R&B & Soul Album and Best R&B & Soul Song at the 3rd Korean Music Awards. It took him seven years more until he released his first full-length album Principle of My Soul in September 2012. Delving into the sound of 70’s soul, 80’s synth and 90’s R&B Naul invites to healing through music as he expresses his beliefs.
In addition to Principle of My Soul getting nominated for Best R&B & Soul Album, album lead track “Memory Of The Wind (바람기억)” is nominated for Best R&B & Soul Song.
Jay Park – New Breed
After getting kicked out of 2PM in 2009, the idol groups former leader Jay Park launched a successful solo career. Following a number of singles and EPs Jay Park released his first full-length album New Breed in February 2012. Featuring a combination of R&B, pop, eurodance and electronic hip-hop songs big names such as Dynamic Duo and American producer Rob Knox were involved in the making with artists such as Dok2, The Quiett, Tiger JK and Yoon Mirae featured on the album.
Lena Park – Parallax
After graduating from the first season of I Am A Singer Lena Park, who released her first album in 1998, made a return with eighth full-length album Parallax in June 2012. More than 150 people worked with her on the album, including eAeon, who is nominated himself in the Best Dance & Electronic Album category, and Neons, who won Best Modern Rock Album in 2006 with Mongoose. As a consequence the album offers a great deal of variety even while largely operating within the R&B genre.
Urban Zakapa – 02
Urban Zakapa debuted as a full band in 2009 and had turned into the R&B ballad trio it is today before the release of the first full-length album in 2011. First album lead track “그날에 우리 (My Love)” warranted Urban Zakapa a nomination for Best Pop Song at the KMAs last year, and with second album 02 came the nomination for Best R&B & Soul Album. The casual and soulful mix of one female and two male vocals is what attracted the KMA selection committee, with lead track “똑같은 사랑 똑같은 이별 (All The Same)” being the highlight of the album.
Junggigo – Pathfinder
Jungigo released his first solo single in 2008 and proceeded to release five more before putting out his first EP Pathfinder in August 2012. Offering a variety of musical styles on this R&B release, from hip-hop and acoustic style songs to neo soul, the KMA selection compliments Junggigo on his raw tone and stable vocals.
While Pathfinder is nominated for Best R&B & Soul Album, EP track “DLMN (Don’t Leave Me Now!)” is nominated for Best R&B & Soul Song.
Best R&B & Soul Song
Naul – “Memory Of The Wind (바람기억)”
“Memory Of The Wind (바람기억)” is the lead track off Naul’s first proper solo album Principle of My Soul, released in September. With lyrics taken from his own experiences the song is said to tell a beautiful message for people. The KMA selection committee compliments this R&B ballad for its relaxed atmosphere as Naul combines both calm and explosive vocals.
In addition to “Memory Of The Wind (바람기억)” getting nominated for Best R&B & Soul Song, the album which it comes from is nominated for Best R&B & Soul Album.
Lee Hi – “1,2,3,4 (원,투,쓰리,포)″
Lee Hi signed with YG Entertainment after placing second on Survival K-Pop Star in 2011 and subsequently made one of the most anticipated debuts of 2012. Her first release under YG management was digital single 1,2,3,4 (원,투,쓰리,포), including only the soul pop number with the same name. The song topped both Billboard’s Korea K-Pop Hot 100 and Gaon’s Digital Chart when released and granted Lee Hi the Best Rookie Award at both the Seoul Music Awards and the Golden Disk Awards.
Junggigo – “DLMN (Don’t Leave Me Now!)”
At the Korean Music Awards in 2012 Junggigo won the Best R&B & Soul Song category with “Blind“. This year he’s nominated again, with “DLMN (Don’t Leave Me Now!)” from his first EP Pathfinder. The song features is set to beats from DJ YTst of 360 Sounds, giving it a hip-hop soul vibe with sparsely placed, brief samples from Korean hits of the 90’s. Junggigo’s rhythmic and melodic vocals on top of it all contributed to the nomination.
While “DLMN (Don’t Leave Me Now!)” is nominated for Best R&B & Soul Song the EP from which it’s taken is nominated for Best R&B & Soul Album.
Kumapark – “Close Eyes (눈감아봐도)”
Experimental jazz hip-hop band Kumapark released first single Donut Shop in October 2012, following up with a self-titled full-length album in November. “Close Eyes” is a sensual cover of Park Jun Hee‘s early 90’s hit “눈 감아봐도“. As the song progresses the jazz elements become all the more vivid and varied, lending the song a bit of drama appreciated by the KMA.
Primary – “씨스루 (See-Through)”
When hip-hop producer Primary came to part 3 of his Primary And The Messengers series in April 2012, the lead track was “씨스루 (See-Through)” and of course it was also included on the Primary And The Messengers LP. The song features Dynamic Duo‘s Gaeko and R&B singer Zion.T and appeals to the KMA because of its refined melody and colorful beats.
While “씨스루 (See-Through)” is nominated for Best R&B & Soul Song, “독 (Poison)” from the same album is nominated for Best Rap & Hip Hop Song whereas Primary And The Messengera LP is nominated for both Best Rap & Hip Hop Album and Album of the Year.