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Jae-Ha Kim
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Mom, Wife, Journalist. I'm here, there & everywhere.
Mom, Wife, Journalist. I'm here, there & everywhere.

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My +Rolling Stone essay on BTS' willingness to sing about controversial topics: In modern South Korea, pop stars and politics don’t often mix. While some hip-hop acts (such as Epik High) address controversial topics, many idol groups stick to a slick, apolitical formula with a proven record of success.

BTS, who just became the first K-pop act ever to top the Billboard 200 album sales chart, have become a record-setting success story in part because of their willingness to buck this convention. The seven young men who make up the group have been speaking their minds since their debut, openly discussing LGBTQ rights, mental health and the pressure to succeed – all taboo subjects in South Korea. Their stance is particularly bold given the Korean government’s history of keeping an eye on controversial themes in pop music. By straddling the line between maintaining a respectable image and writing critical lyrics, BTS have offered a refreshing change from what some critics and fans dislike about the K-Pop machine.

#BTS #방탄소년단 #bangtanboys #kpop
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Comedian Ronny Chieng makes his movie debut in "Crazy Rich Asians," where he portrays wealthy investment banker Edison Cheng. "This is my first film project, so I don't have anything to compare it with," says Chieng, 32, who's based out of New York. "But the cast got along really well. One of the greatest things about Singapore and Malaysia is the food culture. The cast would meet up on our nights off and go out for the local food and then go for karaoke. It was the best! I also got to see my parents, grandmother and old high school friends, who all live in Singapore. It was also super hot. In fact, I think the crazy in 'Crazy Rich Asians' refers to us wearing three-piece suits in the tropics."

Our interview in the +Los Angeles Times:
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💜 People ask why I talk so much about the past. It’s because the past’s still with me, even though I’m no longer a child. I didn’t hate myself for being Korean, but others did. I didn’t have a forum to express myself then, but I do now and “Epiphany” cuts through to my soul.
💜 “Epiphany” hit me hard, because the lyrics mirror much of what I felt when I was little. I was angry at horrible people, but also angry at myself for accepting it. I was 5 and so hard on myself. (“I adapted myself entirely to you. I wanted to live for you.”)
💜 I used to pretend it was all OK. But if I could go back in time, I would’ve told my parents, instead of trying to protect them from what was happening to me. My parents loved me more than themselves & would’ve made it right. (“I got to reveal myself under the smiling mask.”)
💜 People always described me as a tough and strong-willed child, but I hurt underneath. I’m not a child anymore. And knowing all this, I want to protect my child. But will he tell me? (“The shining me; the precious soul of mine.”)
💜 BTS came into my life at the perfect time – When I had a son who was meant to hear their words. (“I’m the one I should love in this world.")

#bts #jin #진 #jintro #Epiphany #방탄소년단 #kimseokjin #김석진
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Not long after James Lee celebrated his 27th birthday, the Royal Pirates bassist was involved in a freak accident in Seoul that nearly severed his hand and left it permanently damaged. No longer able to feel the strings of his bass, he quit his band and returned home to California, where he was born and raised. Lee, 30, is celebrating his burgeoning solo career, which includes performances at KCON LA, a premiere party for his EP "The Light" and an acoustic duet of "Let's Get Away" with his good friend Sooyoung (of Girls' Generation). Though based out of Los Angeles, Lee is on the road as much as he's at home and phoned from Hong Kong for this interview.

#JamesLee #RoyalPirates #Kpop #IndieMusic
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A European university student asked if I wanted to be featured in her K-Pop newsletter. Um, yeah!

K-Pop For Thought: In times where some people say that being over 18 is too old to like pop music, could you talk a bit about your experience as a K-pop fan and mother?

Jae: I used to say that I wish K-pop had been around when I was a child. I felt that I missed out on so much. But when I really think about it, I’m glad that I’m able to enjoy K-pop with my child. It really is fun seeing and hearing things through the eyes of someone who is not yet jaded. It’s not always easy for a child to grow up as a minority. They are at an age when they want to fit in and not stand out for being different. So for my son to see BTS winning accolades on American awards shows… to know that the whole world watched EXO perform at the Olympics … to hear Eric Nam live in concert singing in both Korean and English … I think he knows that it is just an awesome time to be Korean.
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There was very little wrong with the Korean series, “What's Wrong With Secretary Kim." If anything, it was a near perfect K-Drama with a well-paced plot and engaging lead actors, whose chemistry was so strong that (of course) the off-screen dating rumors have surfaced.

Both Park Seo-Joon and Park Min-Young deny they are anything more than friends, but you almost can’t blame netizens for their wishful thinking.

SPOILER ALERT: The series is over, otherwise I wouldn't spoiler the ending here... But if you haven't seen it yet and don't want to know what happens: STOP READING NOW.

For the rest of you: While I’m not a huge fan of K-Dramas that do a lot of flashing forward in the final episode, I had hoped that Mi-So would get to explore the world before marrying Young-Joon. Or, I wish the series would’ve showed that though married, she wouldn’t be working for her husband as his secretary, but was attending college. With her brains, work experience and life skills, she would’ve been a shoo-in for Seoul University. There’s nothing wrong with being Young-Joon’s secretary, especially when she excels at what she does. But I had the nagging feeling that she decided to remain at this company not because she really wanted to, but because she knew that he needed her there.

While, of course, she loves him and vice versa, sacrificing her dreams to fulfill someone else’s needs is what she had done all her adult life.
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Jae-Ha Kim: What was the first trip you took as a child?

David Foster: My parents didn't take us on vacation, but my father did take me on little trips with my cousin and uncle, around the islands where I grew up in Victoria, British Columbia. The four of us would head out in a 20-foot boat for a few days and really rough it. Awesome! I loved, loved, loved it!

Read more of our interview in the +Los Angeles Times:
http://www.latimes.com/…/sns-201807310031--tms--celebtrvctn…

Syndicated by the +Tribune Content Agency.
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My interview with Rosanna Arquette in the +Los Angeles Times:

Q. "Sideswiped" centers on dating. Where have you had some memorable dates?

A. It's embarrassing to say, but I never really dated much, because I worked from the time I was 18 and didn't have a lot of time to date. But my husband and I travel a lot. We enjoy that. That counts as memorable dates, right? (Laughs)

Q. Absolutely! Does your travel style mesh with his?

A. Yes and no. He loves to travel. And I realize how I'm very lucky to be able to travel and I don't take it lightly. I love to go to different parts of the world and so does he. But he likes more fancy things and I'm more of the backpack and sleeping-on-the-floor in different places kind of traveler. I prefer to do it that way. It feels more authentic to my spirit than to just take these fancy trips. But he likes being comfortable and I get that. It's nice to be comfortable, too, of course. But I like to explore a little bit more, so I went to India without him.
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There was a fun meta moment in WHAT’S WRONG WITH SECRETARY KIM, when Mi-So refers to 개새 (Dog Bird), which was Park Seo-Joon’s role in HWARANG. Seo-Joon is good friends with BTS’ V. Then I’m looking at the decor and … Do you see what I’m getting at? 👀

+BTS 방탄소년단 #bts #parkseojeon #parkminyoung #army #logo #WhatsWrongWithSecretaryKim #Kdramas #Kdrama #KoreanDrama
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Musician Russell Dickerson says one of the perks of touring is getting to explore. "I've learned so much about history on my travels, even to smaller towns around America," says the Nashville resident. "Whenever we pull into a new city, we usually look up a little history on that place. It's cool to learn why this town came to be, like was it coal or oil or a certain good that made this city what it is today? I've definitely been getting some history lessons." Dickerson, who is part of the Summer Plays On Tour with Lady Antebellum and Darius Rucker -- is promoting his album "Yours" and his single, "Blue Tacoma."

Read more of our interview in outlets such as the +Chicago Tribune:
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