Why are charts so pertinent? Sure, charts are a direct indication of how a song fares with the public, but they also reveal the influence of an artist by how long a song stays on charts. And now there’s a new force to be reckoned with that is neither an idol group nor a male singer: Heize. Following her stint on Mnet’s Unpretty Rapstar, the 26-year-old self-composing musician/lyricist has enjoyed a steady rise in popularity that is finally reflected on the Top 100 charts of Korea as the public cannot get enough of her musical sensibilities.
Showing that she is here to stay is Heize with her 3rd album /// (You Are Cloudy), with her double title track release occupying the top two positions across the charts (except for Gaon). “You, Clouds, Rain” continues to reign supreme despite its contrasting gloomy vibe to the sweltering heat of the current Korean summer. And perhaps that is what lent it such prevalent popularity as Heize and featured singer Shin Yongjae provide contrasting reactions to a past relationship whenever it rains. Despite the festive atmosphere that comes with summer, the occasional gloomy, rainy weather will inevitably evoke feelings that perhaps haven’t been so well forgotten in a failed relationship that we can all relate to.
The album’s second title track “Don’t know you” continues to hold the runner-up position across the major charts. While the track is also about a failed relationship, instead of the man, Heize is now the perpetrator of the failed relationship as she sings about a belated understanding of what her man really wanted. Despite the lyrics, the song is produced in her signature groove style like her other works with DEAN in “And, July” and “Shut Up and Groove.” The track is a solid piece but brings nothing new to her repertoire.
Next, it’s a tight battle for the second and third positions between girl groups MAMAMOO and BLACKPINK, as their respective comeback titles “Yes I Am” and “As If It’s Your Last” flip-flop positions through all the major charts. It shouldn’t be a surprise, as both groups have the same girl crush concept coupled with more than capable vocals and rap. One features powerhouse vocals comfortable with harmonizing with a rapper in her element, while the other group is an unapologetic, well-balanced fusion of girl with ‘tude and a killer sense of fashion. “As If It’s Your Last” has already broken 50 million views on YouTube, and as they say, “In Teddy We Trust.”
While summer is still revving up, the public still shows favor to slower tempo, vocal-centric songs like Bolbbalgan4’s latest track “We Loved”and Hwang Chiyeol’s “A Daily Song” with their positions in the first half of top 10. Never underestimate Koreans’ love for a soulful ballad of how hard it is to forget a loved one. And both songs of varying heartache are just the cure to that.
Where there is a chart, there will be G-DRAGON, and he has continued to prove his esteemed presence with his latest act, “Untitled.” In a rare quiet moment, the multi-talented artist has channeled his inner turmoil at losing "the one" and a plea to regain her love again. For the first time, G-DRAGON’s title track showcases his singing, and we are graced with his stylized fragile falsettos befitting of his emotional state.
Despite its lukewarm reception at best, “Five” still remains relevant enough to round out the bottom half of the charts. Breaking past the seven-year curse, Apink is here to demonstrate that though charting well is good, it is not everything. “Five” stands as a testament to the group’s longevity in the tried and true Apink style that the public still continues to adore, and the girls will have each other’s backs as they uniformly renewed their contracts.
“Shape of You” by Ed Sheeran continues to enjoy immense popularity not just stateside but all the way across the world as Korea can’t get enough of the song. It certainly wasn’t harmful for the sensational reality program Produce 101 Season 2 to use a remix version during one of its stages. As the program continues to make headlines, so will the songs produced out of it, and Ed Sheeran is enjoying the ride.
Which songs do you think will continue to chart as the heat intensifies? Who are you anticipating to sweep the charts next? Let us know in the comments below.