Ah, the KMAs. It’s probably the only music award in Korea that I really look forward to. And here are my two cents on the nominees. Unfortunately I have not listened to much of hip-hop/rap, jazz/crossover or the soundtrack categories, so I will be almost purely be guessing for those, but let’s see who I think will win, and who I want to win for each category! I’ll make sure to mention if I didn’t listen to a nominee.
Album of the Year
The big thing! And phew, this year I listened to all the nominees so I feel like I have some ground to base my predictions. All great albums too. I would’ve loved to see eAeon’s Guilt-Free be nominated for Best Album since that was my favourite album of 2012, but oh well. I’m also disappointed that No Respect For Beauty didn’t get nominated for anything! Their debut album Why Perish easily placed top 5 albums of 2012 for me.
Who I want to win: 3rd Line Butterfly’s Dreamtalk. Definitely the best album out of the list in my opinion.
Who I think is going to win: 3rd Line Butterfly, hands down. They’ve been topping all (and I mean all) the ‘best of’ lists everywhere, and seeing that KMAs are decided by music critics and experts who make these ‘best of’ lists, it’d be surprised if 3rd Line Butterfly doesn’t win in this category.
Song of the Year
A very interesting mix of songs in this category! I absolutely adore 3rd Line Butterfly’s album but “헤어지는 날 바로 오늘” is not my favourite track from that album (“스모우크핫커피리필” is more my thing), while I really dig G-Dragon’s “One of a Kind”, the music video kinda turned me off from fully enjoying the song. Busker Busker’s “Yeosu Night Sea” is a gem, although I expected to see “Cherry Blossom Ending” be nominated instead, so it was a bit of a surprise. Biggest surprise was probably Kim Dae Joong’s “300/30”, a song I haven’t checked out when the nominees were released. Interesting choice, not sure if it’s something I’d really like though. And “Gangnam Style”. Oh, Psy. How can one forget – the biggest song of the year.
Who I want to win: I honestly don’t know! My indie-loving side is telling me that I want 3rd Line Butterfly to win, but just judging based on the songs, I probably enjoyed Busker Busker’s “Yeosu Night Sea” the most out of all 5 songs.
Who I think is going to win: I don’t know what the criteria for picking the winner for this category is exactly, but if last year’s winner (IU with “Good Day”) is anything to go off of (they mentioned concerns for the song being written/produced by someone else, but eventually picked it for the significance the song had in 2011), Psy will definitely win this year with “Gangnam Style”.
Artist of the Year
Again, interesting mix of nominees! Unfortunately I have never heard anything from Choi Baek Ho, so I can’t say much about him. I sort of expected to see Primary be nominated here since he did so much in 2012.
Who I want to win: Again, clashing feelings for all the nominees. I’d love to see Jeong Cha Sik win though, because both of his solo albums, released in the last two years, were phenomenal.
Who I think is going to win: This is a hard one. I think it’s a toss between Busker Busker and Psy. If Busker Busker dominated the early half of 2012, Psy slayed the second half. Both artists made a huge buzz with their respective accomplishments. But! I’d probably have to go with Psy, because what he accomplished this year is just mind-blowing.
Rookie of the Year
So many indie artists in this category! I wouldn’t mind seeing someone more mainstream like Ailee in this category (and also because she had one of the strongest debuts this year) but hey, I ain’t complaining. And I’m dying to give 404’s album a listen, I’ve heard only good things about it but haven’t had the chance to check it out yet.
Who I want to win: I don’t have much to say for this category, but if I had to pick one artist I enjoyed the most, probably Mukimukimanmansu. Oh boy, it’d be so great if they did win over Busker Busker…
Who I think is going to win: … but I think we all know that Busker Busker will probably take the prize. Definitely the strongest debut I’ve seen not just in 2012 but in the last few years, and so loved by all!
Best Rock Album
Unfortunately Jeong Cha Sik’s 격동하는 현재사 and Lowdown 30’s 1 are the only albums in this category that I had the opportunity to check out. Method’s music really isn’t something I enjoy and like I’ve said earlier, I’m dying to check out 404’s 1 but haven’t had the chance. I’m surprised that Galaxy Express isn’t nominated for this category!
Who I want to win: Jeong Cha Sik, please!
Who I think is going to win: Eyeing the best album nominee list it’s probably going to be either Lowdown 30 or Jeong Cha Sik. It seems like a battle between les enfants terribles – both albums caused quite a stir when they were released. I have a feeling Lowdown 30 will win this round though.
Best Rock Song
Again, I haven’t listened to 404 and clearly I really have to, but I really love Gate Flowers’ “잘자라”! Such a great song.
Who I want to win: Gate Flowers, because “잘자라” is still my fav. And although I loved Jeong Cha Sik’s album, “풍각쟁이” wasn’t my favourite from that album.
Who I think is going to win: Seeing how Kim Dae Joong’s “300/30” is nominated for best song, shall we assume that it’s going to win in this category?
Best Modern Rock Album
The only album I didn’t listen to from this list is Noisecat’s Sunday Sunset Airlines.
Who I want to win: I’d love to see 9 and the Numbers win since 3rd Line Butterfly is probably gonna snag Best Album of the Year, and I really enjoyed the 9 and the Numbers’ album.
Who I think is going to win: Seeing how winning in multiple categories with the same album is possible, I wouldn’t be surprised to see 3rd Line Butterfly win for this category, too.
Best Modern Rock Song
Two songs from 9 and the Numbers! And a song from Lang Lee! I love her debut album.
Who I want to win: Oh man, 9 and the Numbers’ “눈물바람” is such a fantastic song, I’d love to see it win.
Who I think is going to win: I’m assuming 3rd Line Butterfly will take the cake and take home 4 awards, kinda like what happened with Jang Kiha and the Faces last year.
Best Pop Album
Unfortunately I’ve only listened to Go Chan Yong and Busker Busker from this category, so I don’t have much to say….
Who I want to win: Really, I don’t have much to say since I’ve only listened to 2 out of 5 nominees. But Busker Busker’s album was really, really great and I’d love to see them win.
Who I think is going to win: I have a feeling it’s going to be a toss between Busker Busker, Yoon Young Bae and Choi Baek Ho. I have a feeling Choi Baek Ho will win, though.
Best Pop Song
Again, more varied list than I expected! Gain’s solo EP was a solid release and “Bloom” is such a great song. Younha’s “Run” is fantastic as well.
Who I want to win: Busker Busker with “Cherry Blossom Ending” because that song is just so good.
Who I think is going to win: I think Busker Busker’s “Yeosu Night Sea” will win, seeing it’s nominated for Best Song and all.
Best Dance & Electronic Album
Oh boy, what a fun category! This category is probably my favourite this year. Although I loved G-Dragon’s “One of a Kind”, I wasn’t the biggest fan of the EP, so I’m very meh on it being nominated for best dance & electronic album, although I did notice that critics loved it a lot. I’d much rather see Clazzi be nominated instead, to be quite honest.
Who I want to win: without a doubt, eAeon. Since I think he was snubbed Best Album of the Year, I really want to see him win this at least.
Who I think is going to win: It’s super competitive up here! I do think eAeon has a chance, but I have a feeling f(x) might actually win it this year…
Best Dance & Electronic Song
Two songs by f(x)! You go, ladies! Really enjoyed their EP, glad to see it get the acclaim it deserves. I’m probably one of the few people who didn’t really think much of Sistar’s “Alone”. I found it rather lackluster.
Who I want to win: You know what? I’d love to see f(x) win with “Jet” because that song is so killer and it’s totally my jam.
Who I think is going to win: I think Psy will take this one too, with “Gangnam Style”.
Best Hip-Hop & Rap Album
I’ve only heard two albums from this list, Beenzino’s and Primary’s. From the little I’ve heard from all the nominees, it seems like a very diverse group.
Who I want to win: Primary, all the way! Primary and the Messengers LP is such a great album, with so much diversity.
Who I think is going to win: I’m also gonna go with Primary for this one. I feel like that album was just such a standout album, critically and widely well-received.
Best Hip-Hop & Rap Song
Again, interesting list here. Beenzino’s album was something that I thought was okay, but I really liked “Aqua Man” so I’m glad to see that song included here.
Who I want to win: Primary’s “Poison” feat. E-Sens, please, please, please. Definitely one of my favourite songs of the year, I’d be so happy if it wins, because I really like E-Sens and that song is seriously one of his best to date.
Who I think is going to win: I’d like to believe Primary and E-Sens has a chance but it might go to G-Dragon with “One of a Kind”, the way KMA works with whatever nominated for Best Song of the Year getting the genre awards. Still crossing my fingers for Primary and E-Sens.
Best R&B & Soul Album
Wow, I’m not rooting for any of these albums! Maybe this just isn’t my category. Urban Zakapa’s album and Park Jung Hyun’s albums I found sort of boring (I’m sorry?), Park Jae Bum’s album was interesting but I feel like it was more of a Dok2 album than a Jay Park album at times, Naul’s album was interesting but I soon lost interest in it…
Who I want to win: I honestly don’t have any favourite among these, but I think I Junggigo’s album was the most memorable out of the five, so I’ll just go with his album.
Who I think is going to win: either Naul or Junggigo, but I think Naul will take the award home.
Best R&B & Soul Song
Fascinating. Kinda surprised to see Lee Hi’s “1,2,3,4”. I personally found the song catchy but felt that it lacked the soul oomph.
Who I want to win: Definitely Primary’s “See-Through” featuring Zion.T and Gaeko of Dynamic Duo. Absolutely adored that song to bits. It’s a fantastic song and Zion.t is fabulous on it.
Who I think is going to win: Naul with “Memory of the Wind”.
Best Jazz Album
Unfortunately I did not listen to any of these albums nor do I know anything about the artists. Entirely guessing on this one – Han Ji Yeon’s Ascetic.
Best Crossover Album
Again, they all seem really good but I’ve only listen to Jambinai and a couple of songs from Bard, Timirho and Jung Jae Il. I really want to listen to more of Jung Jae Il’s Incendies though, it’s supposed to be the soundtrack for the Korean production of the play Incendies. I saw the Canadian film version of the play and I thoroughly enjoyed it, so I’m curious to see what the rest of Jung’s album sounds like. Timirho is the project group of Kim Jae Hoon, mostly known as the musician who collaborated with Autumn Vacation on their 2012 album, and also as Fruits Kim who played the melodeon for now-defunct Bulnabang Star Sausage Club.
Who I want to win: Jambinai. Such a great album.
Who I think is going to win: I can’t really say as the only full album I’ve listened to is Jambinai’s, but I’m gonna go with Jung Jae Il’s Incendies.
Unfortunately, I’ve only heard Jambinai’s Differance…so that’s going to be my pick. Really hope it wins, it’s a really good album!
The only soundtrack I’m vaguely familiar with is the one for Nameless Gangsters, so that’s also going to be my pick.