This can, Rolling Stone India is proud to present The K-Music Spotlight Number. We’re dedicating the entire month to the Korean music industry and its various facets by choosing amazing artists who are pioneers in their field to be our cover stars. With a total of seven covers (one main and six digital), each musician will represent a different pillar of the industry and their unique take on the subject. This has never been done before and the issue is the first of its kind in the world.
Curated by our Associate Editor Riddhi Chakraborty, Managing Editor Debashree Dutta, Managing Editor Divyansha Dongre and Digital Strategist Oysmita Majumder, the May 2022 issue will feature a massive roster of Korean musicians, including those who don’t part of the K-pop sphere. According to Rolling Stone Indiathe six pillars that are most integral to the Korean music experience are concept, performance, production, fashion, hip-hop/R&B and rock, and we’ve tried our best to bring you the points view of the artists themselves on each category.
A versatile artist will grace the main cover while six other artists will each receive a digital cover and pages in the print issue. the K-Music spotlight issue also features interviews with various other artists in each section and discussions of their growth and contribution to their respective fields. In addition to the musicians, we spoke to the people behind the scenes, the people who built the bones of the industry – producers, songwriters, stylists, makeup artists and choreographers. We also dug deeper into the business side of things to better understand the roles of publicists, event companies, concert production, A&R and marketing, bringing the total number of names participating in this project.
After months of discussions, Rolling Stone India chose South Korean sensation Kang Daniel as the cover star for May 2022. Besides being the CEO of his own company, Kang is a songwriter, actor, dancer, singer, and rapper, making him a unique and powerful artist who perfectly represents the drive, dedication, emotion and attention to detail of the Korean music industry. The K-Music Spotlight Number was designed around Kang and the core values he believes in as an artist.
lead our Fashion segment is South Korean pop icon Sunmi. She is famous for her unique sense of fashion and retro pop music, taking on the role of producer, singer-songwriter and singer in her work. Her artistic style is known as “Sunmi-pop” as she often experiments with disco, funk, 80s synth pop and electro-pop. Fashion plays a key role in all of Sunmi’s music video concepts, as she uses style, makeup, and clothing to portray otherworldly imagery and symbolism.
Bang Yongguk is our Production cover the star. Formerly the frontman of pioneering boy band BAP, Bang is a rapper, singer-songwriter, and producer. He is known for his honest lyricism, deep baritone voice, and fierce hip-hop personality. He often writes and produces music for other Korean artists and is a filmmaker, making his own music videos and creating documentaries. He is revered as one of the first K-pop artists to fight for the right to produce his own music.
No one merges Rock and metal in K-pop better than Dreamcatcher. Consisting of members JiU, SuA, Siyeon, Handong, Yoohyeon, Dami, and Gahyeon, the septet has constantly reinvented its craft through the power of rock. While the industry may have just recognized the revival of the genre, Dreamcatcher had made the genre their signature almost half a decade ago, making them the face of rock in K-pop.
P1Harmony leads the Performance part of the problem. Consisting of Jongseob, Theo, Soul, Jiung, Intak and Keeho, the fourth-generation boy band is rapidly climbing the stairs to global pop dominance. Famous for their powerhouse scenes and choreographed routines, the band anchors their discography in pop, hip-hop and R&B to tell stories of perseverance, teamwork and confidence.
For our Concept cover, we turned to (G)I-DLE. Consisting of Soyeon, Minnie, Yuqi, Miyeon, and Shuhua, they are one of K-pop’s leading fourth-generation girl groups and are known for their eclectic artistry. Their stage presence is particularly powerful and they constantly challenge themselves by experimenting with new genres, concepts and live performances. The quintet is also involved in its own production and songwriting with frontman Soyeon holding credits on nearly every track.
Last but not least, BIBI will represent the Hip Hop and R&B industry side. Although she just debuted in 2019, BIBI is one of the strongest names in Korean R&B having captured worldwide attention with her alternative style and bold attitude. She stands out for her dark lyricism and experimental music videos, unafraid to delve into topics like mental health, toxic relationships and individuality.
Some of the other artists to be featured in the issue include: singer-songwriter and producer BamBam, singer-songwriter and producer Suran, VIXX rapper and producer Ravi, singer-songwriter Holland , alternative band Glen Check, rapper, songwriter and producer Do Hanse of Victon, rock band Rolling noticias, singer-songwriter and producer Junny and many more.
Join us during the month of May as we reveal in-depth conversations with each artist, website-exclusive interviews, exclusive photo and video content, live streams and more.
Rolling Stone India Annual Collector’s Edition: K-Music’s Flagship Issue will be available for purchase in digital and physical form. Watch this space for more information.
Covers and curation by Riddhi Chakraborty, Divyansha Dongre, Debashree Dutta and Oysmita Majumder. Promotional artwork by Palak Joshi.