2012 was a year of great music across all the genres. Since the KMA’s are determined by critics and industry people (hopefully one day koreanindie too), the winners can actually surprise more than the other music awards. While there are a lot of bands who I hope will win, at least these bands are being recognized for their releases in 2012.

I listened to a lot more music this year and am more familiar with the nominees so here’s who I hope will win and who will probably win.

Album of the Year

The only release I didn’t hear was Jeong Cha Sik so I can’t really comment on that album. 3rd Line Butterfly returned with a very strong album post-Ice Cube and 9 and the numbers released a really good album that I heard recently. Lowdown 30‘s album is probably my favorite among the nominees. I haven’t heard enough of Primary to really know if it hold up against the other nominees.

Who I want to win: Lowdown 30. 1 is simply amazing.

Who will win: either 3rd Line Butterfly or Lowdown 30. Both bands released amazing albums and while 9 and the numbers and Primary have impressive albums, the presence from 3rd Line Butterfly and Lowdown 30 is outstanding.


Song of the Year

I may be one of the only people who really don’t find Busker Busker all that interesting. I didn’t hear Kim Dae Jung so the other songs by Psy and G-Dragon are all I can go off of.

Who I want to win: 3rd Line Butterfly

Who will win: Psy. You can’t deny the popularity (and subsequent disappointing breakdown and analysis of the song by international journalists) of the song. It’s fun to listen to, but no other song can really reach the same dispersion.


Artist of the Year

What do you base this on? By what they did during the year or their presence in the Korean music industry?

Who I want to win: 3rd Line Butterfly. Which will not happen because of Busker Busker or Psy.

Who will win: Psy. He went beyond Korea in 2012 and while Busker Busker was really popular in the beginning of 2012, they were quickly washed aside because of Psy.

Rookie of the Year

There are too many great artists in this category and it’s much more difficult to be unbiased.

Who I want to win: The Electric Eels. I’m biased. I really like The Electric Eels and they seem like the most “new” artist of the bunch. Their two EPs before the debut full-length are some of the best releases from a young band that I heard. Their full-length is still in rotation. Though I can’t discount 404, Mukimukimanmansu, or Glen Check. Though I don’t really consider Glen Check to be a new artist anymore.

Who will win: Busker Busker. Unfortunately, I see their popularity as the winning factor against the other bands. 404 released great music, Mukimukimanmansu have one of the most DIY-sounding albums which I enjoy. I don’t think Glen Check really fit this category either.


Best Rock Album

I can only speak to Lowdown 30 and 404 for this one.

Who I want to win: I think 404 have one of the best albums of 2012 and since Lowdown 30 can win album of the year, 404 can claim rock album of the year.

Who will win: I’m actually not too sure who will win this category. It’s going to be a difficult decision.


Best Rock Song

I’m a little biased because Yellow Monsters are good friends and I really like any song they released. Though 404’s “숲속에서” is damn impressive. Gate Flowers had a good album, but I didn’t really listen to it after the first few playthroughs.

Who I want to win: Yellow Monsters. Though I think “Ice Cream Love” is a better song, it’s not really rock compared to “K.O.”

Who will win: I think Kim Dae Jung is a strong song and the style is different from the other nominees. I think anyone who wins this category is fine.


Best Modern Rock Album

The only album I didn’t hear was Noisecat so I can’t speak to that album, but the other nominees all have good albums.

Who I want to win: Mukimukimanmansu.

Who will win: I think this will come down to 3rd Line Butterfly or Smacksoft. I think anyone who wins is really fine though. They all have albums worth listening to.


Best Modern Rock Song

I don’t understand how an artist can have multiple songs nominated, which kind of alters the choices.

Who I want to win: The Electric Eels. I like all their songs.

Who will win: 3rd Line Butterfly probably have this one with little problems. 9 and the numbers have two great songs and Lang Lee is good, but 3rd Line’s return was amazing.

Best Pop Album

I listen to very little pop music other than idol groups which is a little sad so I don’t know most of these people other than Busker Buster so I can’t really decide anything. Only that I hope Busker Busker don’t win.

Best Pop Song

I only heard Gain, Younha, and Busker Busker for this category.

Who I want to win: Younha. She has the potential to really break out of the Kpop world, if they would only let her.

Who will win: Busker Busker.



Best Dance & Electronic Album

I listened to all the albums for this category and it’s going to be a tough one to decide. While I’m biased towards eAeon and Glen Check, I think the other three have albums that are strong in their own ways. Though f(x) in this category is a little strange because not all the songs on Electric Shock were dance.

Who I want to win: Either eAeon or Glen Check. I’m more partial to eAeon’s album, the second disc of instrumentals is amazing.

Who will win: I think G-Dragon may have a slight lead. Cassette Schwarzenegger‘s nomination is great, but they don’t have the pull next to the other albums. If it’s not G-Dragon, eAeon should have the win.


Best Dance & Electronic Song

Double nominations for f(x), Psy, Sistar and Cassette Schwarzenegger. I don’t really know if “Alone” qualifies as a dance song because of the slower tempo, it could have been a good R&B song if they arranged it a little different.

Who I want to win: “Electric Shock” was a random song that I found a lot of fun in. It’s easily disposable, but is one of their better songs.

Who will win: It’s going to be Psy. It’s the definition of a dance song, complete with it’s own signature.


Best Rap & Hip Hop Album

This category is difficult. Jerry K., Beenzino, and Primary are albums I’ve listened to a lot. I think this will be a surprise with who will win.

Who I want to win: Beenzino. He has great instrumentals behind all this tracks. How he flows his rhymes is what I’m currently enjoying the most.

Who will win: I think Primary will take this one. His multiple nominations should result in at least one win.


Best Rap & Hip Hop Song

This is more difficult to choose the strongest song out of the five nominees.

Who I want to win: Soriheda. This is more based off the guests on the track because the combination of all of the artists makes the song that much stronger.

Who will win: I think Primary will take this one again. I can’t see G-Dragon taking this category at all.

Best R&B & Soul Album

I’m partial to Lena Park and not a fan of Urban Zakapa. I’ve hear little bits of the other albums.

Who I want to win: Lena Park. Even though her album is a bit more pop than the category, I like it a lot. IF she doesn’t win, then I’m all for Naul.

Who will win: I can see Jay Park or Junggigo taking this one. For popularity alone.

Best R&B and Soul Song

I would like to see a win for Naul in this category, but it’s going to be another interesting win.

Who I want to win: Naul. He has a great voice and deserves some recognition.

Who will win: I don’t know why, but I see Lee Hi or Primary taking the win.


Best Jazz Album

I should listen to more Korean jazz, but still have no idea about this category.

Best Crossover Album

I can only speak for Jambinai so I hope they win.

Who I want to win: Jambinai’s Differance is damn amazing.

Who will win: Probably someone I never heard of.


Best Jazz & Crossover Performance

Again, I have to go with Jambinai.

Best Soundtrack

My Korean movie watching decayed a lot in 2012. I didn’t watch a lot of movies during 2012 and can’t speak to any of these movies. Though I do think the music in Korean movies is really excellent.


These are my choices for the KMA’s of 2012. As seen last year, I choose pretty poorly and will probably have the same result this year again.

Korean Indie Editor-At-Large The person in the background watching over everything.