K-Pop filmed right here in Vancouver
By Jerrison Oracion, Senior Columnist
The music videos of K-Pop songs are interesting because of their elaborate sets and creativity. Many of these music videos are filmed outside of South Korea. Vancouver is in the background of a music video for a song made by, in my opinion, the biggest K-Pop group in South Korea right now: Twice.
I first heard of Twice when I saw the music video of their second hit single ‘TT,’ which I would describe as the Halloween hit of 2016. The music video is great, and I like the part when one of the members of the nine-member group dresses up as a superhero.
The music video of “Likey,” which is the first hit single from the group’s first album Twicetagram, was released on October 26 of this year. It begins with one of the members of the group getting her handheld camcorder and follows her day as she films herself touring around Steveston. We also see the rest of the group playing around English Bay. Back in the day, if you wanted to film yourself you used a handheld camcorder, which sometimes has a better picture quality than a cellphone camera.
Next we see one member riding her bike through a typical Vancouver neighborhood, one member skateboarding in Gastown, and one member rollerblading along the Seawall in Stanley Park. Also, we see group shots of the group in a gelato place, an alleyway in Gastown, and a gym in a secondary school in Vancouver. We even see a member on the pier in White Rock, and we see the group dancing in the Skytrain, so there’s a possibility that they passed by the New Westminster campus when they were riding on it.
There is a part near the end of the music video when one of the members does a brief dance solo. The music video and the song are similar to “TT” because of the style of the group’s music videos. Most K-Pop groups have a specific style in their music videos and the same structure. In some scenes, the camera zooms in and out of the group at various times.
Each member has a solo, and the whole group takes turns singing and rapping throughout. There is a scene when one of the members gets her hair braided by the rest of the group in stop motion, and another scene when the same member moves her hands and the rest of the group jumps in super slow motion. The gesture the group makes in “Likey” is like the one in “TT.”
When these types of music videos are filmed, there is often security around the set to prevent K-Pop fans from seeing their favourite groups. Since the group filmed the music video here in Metro Vancouver, there may not have been security around the set of it, and some fans of the group might have seen them and gotten to talk to them.
Seeing the city in the music video is interesting because when you watch it, you will probably say, “I know that place.” It is a typical K-Pop music video, and Kim’s Convenience star Jean Yoon described it on Twitter as “musically derivative & shallow,” and wrote that “It will likely launch years of an irritating revival of the treacly & vile expression, ‘Me likey likey.’”
The song is currently number one in South Korea and with the success of the music video of the song, Vancouver is in the spotlight worldwide again.