Fritz, the K-Pop Senior Behind The Patbingsoo

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Way before K-pop reached its peak as a worldwide phenomenon, there were already a few people who have devoured the genre. People from outside of Korea who have been fans of K-Pop since 2007 or earlier are now called K-pop seniors. This week, we are featuring one of the people who celebrated the K-pop craze with me during its earlier days, and he’s here to share his K-pop playlist.

1. Please introduce yourself.
Hi, my name is Fritz and I run a K-Pop blog called The Patbingsoo.

2. What do you do / what keeps you busy?
I have a day job in public service (char) and that keeps me quite busy most of the time. Whenever I have free time though, I update my blog with thoughts on whatever I come across in the Hallyu world. I also play games, do a little graphic design and doodling, or just stay in. I love staying in!

3. How did you come to love music? How would you consider yourself, a melophile (music lover) or a melomaniac (music addict that’s hyperbolically abnormal haha)?
Hmm, I think it was in high school that I really got into music but it’s probably because of the music video era if that makes sense. Remember when music channels aired on free TV? I’d stay up late watching music videos from artists I did and didn’t know, follow music chart shows religiously (TRL got me into pop music, tbh), watch features about them, and so on. Since then, music has been with me in every moment of my life.

I guess I’m more of a melophile though because I do love listening to music. I do see it as a companion too which helps me get through the day and whatever it is that I have to do. My earphones are a daily essential too, so you be the judge. Haha.

4. What’s your most favorite genre and why? Sorry, but you can only choose one.
I’m following the theme so I’m gonna say K-Pop. Pretty accurate though because apart from a few acts, I usually listen to K-Pop. Its influences cast a wide net of other genres that I enjoy too, say, for example, electronica so…K-Pop it is. Haha.

5. Who’s your most favorite artist in the world and why? You may choose two.
Honestly, I don’t have one. I just try to enjoy whatever I get to listen to. By K-Pop standards though, my biases are Girls’ Generation/SNSD (OT9 always and forever) and f(x). Soshi owns one of the greatest pop songs ever (Genie) while f(x)’s music and overall concept inspires me on a creative level.

6. What’s your most favorite song in the world and why? You may choose up to three.
1. Tell Me Your Wish (Genie) by Girls’ Generation – Right when K-Pop was starting to gain some steam here in the PH because of the WonderGirls and 2NE1, I saw the MV for this song on a local music channel and everything just clicked. This one made me want to see and hear more K-Pop and eleven years later, I’m still here. It encapsulates what I like about K-Pop: being unapologetically camp.

2. The Chaser by Infinite – This song is penned by Sweetune who happens to be one of the best producers in K-Pop. Sweetune has a distinct style which is predominantly inspired by vintage synthpop and dance music. This song is their best work – its relentless energy is infectious (at least for me, haha).

3. Shadow by f(x) – Like what I said earlier, f(x) has a great influence on my views about visual art which has affected my preferences on everything – even my output at work, tbh. This song somehow encapsulates that – pleasing with the right amount of whimsy. I always end up imagining/visualizing something every time I hear this song.

7. Please tell us about your playlist. You may choose to explain a few songs and tracks in it and relate it to what you do in your daily life/work.
This playlist is part of a post in my blog called “More K-Pop Songs That Defined the 2010s”. It is inspired by a Billboard feature of the 100 best K-Pop songs from the last decade and while it covers a pretty good deal of legendary bops, I do think the tracks here are deserving of some shine because of the impact they have in shaping what K-Pop is now.

For example, included in this list is Crayon Pop’s FM. This song reminds me of what I love about the genre the most: how conceptual and kitschy it can get. FM pays homage to anime and the sentai genre with its visual and sound. This may be puzzling and even off-putting to some but for me, it’s one of the greatest things ever created. Heck, I have yet to see another act put the chemical formula of glucose in their lyrics but until then, FM=1, others=0. It also reminds me of what K-Pop has kinda “lost” when it started gaining serious global attention. I can get to it in detail but maybe some other time, haha.

Art by Fritz Flores and Jim Morada.

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