10th Korean Music Awards Nominees : Rookie of the Year

The Korean Music Awards of recent years tend to have four main categories, so also in 2013. After having a look at the nominees for Album of the Year and Song of the Year in this year’s Korean Music Awards, we’re ready to move on to an introduction of the artists nominated for Artist of the Year.



404 is the joint project of Se Chung, playing guitar, and Lang Lee Band drummer Cho Inchul. Formed in 2010 the duo released first demo 11/4/4/13/8 in 2011. In 2012 they spent some time in the concrete room that is known as live music venue Lowrise, recording what would become released as debut album 1 in August 2012.

Many were surprised that 404 would get noticed by KMA, their first album being the first release on brand new label Helicopter Records. However reading the reasoning behind the nomination it seems the KMA people have had their eyes on 404 since the first New Town Culture 51+ party at Duriban in May 2010, with the duo receiving praise for their energy and rock style.

In addition to being nominated for Rookie of the Year, 404 have the debut album nominated for Best Rock Album whereas album opening track “숲속에서” is nominated for Best Rock Song.

Read our interview with 404 to learn more.


Glen Check

Merging a British pop sound with electro rock, Glen Check debuted as a trio with the release of EP Disco Elevator on Soundholic early 2011. Later the same year Glen Check returned with single Au Revoir and March 2012 came the band’s first full-length album, Haute Couture.

Shortly after the release of the album Glen Check found themselves without a drummer and have since continued with just the two core members, Kim June One and Kang Hyuk Jun. Remaining productive, the now duo released EP Cliché in September, trying out more of a retro rock, dance and funk sound.

Glen Check made Rookie of the Year at the Mint Paper Awards in 2011 but had to wait another year to get nominated in the same category at the Korean Music Awards. Additionally Haute Couture is up for Best Dance & Electronic Album.



One of the most eclectic acts in Korea today, Mukimukimanmansu formed in 2011. Equipped with traditional Korean drum janggu and an acoustic guitar, Muki and Mansu sing, shout and scream to their hearts’ content. The two girls quickly gained some attention through continuous performances and in April 2012 debut album 2012, produced by Dalpalan, was released on Beatball Music.

Prior to the album release mukimukimanmansu participated in the art project Lee Sung Woong, the North Korean Punk Rocker. After the album came out Mukimukimanmansu have continued performing and brought a bit of their characteristic style also to the work of others. During the fall webzine Young Gifted & Wack arranged a Mukimukimanmansu remix contest which attracted plenty of submissions.

Besides getting nominated for Rookie of the Year, Mukimukimanmansu is also nominated for Best Modern Rock Album with 2012.

Read our interview with mukimukimanmansu to learn more.


Busker Busker

Busker Busker have more nominations than any other artist in the KMAs this year. Busker Busker’s first album not just qualified them for Rookie of the Year, but also got them nominated for Artist of the Year meaning we already covered the band itself yesterday in our Artist of the Year nominees post.


The Electric Eels

Indie rock band The Electric Eels started out in 2009, releasing their first EP two years later. The Electric Eels tried out for Top Band 2 but had to face elimination already in the Triple Tournament, although the band got to see greater success elsewhere – having already become one of February’s Hello Rookie acts and during the summer proceeded to be one of the winning bands in Sangsang Madang’s 5th Band Incubating.

Meanwhile, second EP 최신유행 was released in March 2012 after which the band signed with Soundholic and proceeded to release first full-length album 최고의 연애 in October.

Besides a nomination for Rookie of the Year, The Electric Eels’ “송곳니” is nominated for Best Modern Rock Song.

Read our interview with The Electric Eels to learn more.

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