Songs to introduce your non-Kpop friends to

K-pop is the universal language.. you kind of get everything thrown in there! EDM, Hip Hop, Pop, R&B, Rock, Singer-songwriter, Indie.

Everyone has their own list. Here is mine, kind of like a mini playlist to get everyone started. Also covers all the major groups out there so when these names get thrown around you/they’ll know what’s up! I’ll make a separate indie one later. These are all on Apple Music and I’m sure they’re all on Spotify as well:

Big Bang.. ok really if you are 8-80 you really can’t go wrong with any Big Bang songs..Get them all

  • Bang Bang Bang / Fantastic Baby
  • If You / Loser
  • FXXK It / Sunset Glow / Sober


  • KoKoBop
  • Monster


  • Serendipity / Best of Me / Butterfly / Save Me
  • Run / Blood Sweat Tears


  • Girls Girls Girls / You Are / Never Ever
  • I Like You / Just Right / Look

Eric Nam:

  • Honestly
  • Can’t Help Myself / You, Who?
  • Hold Me / Spring Love


  • Good Day
  • Palette / Someday
  • You & I


  • Hot Summer / Electric Shock
  • Deja vu / Danger

Super Junior

  • Sorry Sorry Sorry
  • Black Suit
  • Super Duper / Mr. Simple

Misc songs:

Winner: Everyday // NCT (U/127/Dream): Baby Don’t Stop,  Boss // Wanna One: Boomerang // Pentagon: Shine // iKON: Love Scenario // Mamamoo: Starry Night // Red Velvet: Bad Boy // Epik High: Love Story // Twice: Like, What is love // DEAN: Instagram // Miss A: Bad Girl Good Girl

You can listen to most of the songs on here:


To new beginnings

This was originally published 3/26/2010. Over 8 years ago! A lot of the sentiments are still the same, which is why I decided to repost this.. Really, I still love Kelly Clarkson, Hanson, the HSM soundtrack. You just need to add Kpop into the mix and really, it’s the same. Add to the fact I got to tour with one of my idols before he passed away. I was low key about it emotionally in real life but now that I will never have that opportunity again I’m really sad about it after the fact.

This was supposed to be a blog about food, but since it’s MY (Mai) blog..whatever.


Music is such a powerful tool. Touring with bands has shown me how deep strangers can connect to music made by another stranger. People are inspired by music, people are healed by music and people are connected through music. My closest friends and I are all connected through music even though we listen to all sorts of different things.
My best friend, Kristy, grew up as a hardcore punk rocker, she still only wears black, dyes her hair black and will punch you in the face if you disrespect her or any one of her friends! I met her at NYU during a summer session for a music industry class. We were both too intimidated by each other to become friends right away. I thought she was too ‘punk rock’ for me, and she thought I was to ‘indie’ for her. We kept running into each other around the city so having lunch with other finally became unavoidable! During lunch we found out we had a whole bunch of things in common, including our music! I loved one of her favorite bands- Alkaline Trio and she could totally tolerate mine- Hanson! Since then, I’ve surprised Kristy a bunch of times with the music I’ve been open to and vice versa. You’d never look at Kristy and suspect she’s a Lily Allen or hardcore Coldplay fan. Similarly, you’d never look at me and suspect that I’m a hardcore fan of the LA punk band, X, or that I’ve been to more screamo shows than you could imagine.
My musical tastes are pretty eclectic. I’ve shared and transferred a lot of music with the people I’ve met over the years and the only thing I’m embarrassed about, in regards to my iTunes collection, is that I really haven’t listened to a lot of what’s on there! A lot of my music is for show, and by that, I mean if I hear about an interesting band and someone else has, I’ll most likely put it on my iTunes and sometimes I’ll get a chance to listen to it, but most of the time it’ll just sit in my iTunes collection for other people to look at and judge along with the rest of my collection. But here’s a glimpse of what I do listen to and what I think it says about my personality.

  • High School Musical Soundtrack (and remixes!)- Teenybopper trapped in a 22 year old’s body.  It’s true, I won’t ever hide my love for Zac Efron so don’t ask me to. I recently acquired a bunch of HSM memorabilia through a lighting guy’s wife, who used to work for Disney and I was quick in putting them on my iTunes and YES, I have listened to it! People make fun of HSM but I think the songs are pretty smart. Does that also mean I am simple-minded and want to live in a Disney-esque type of a world like the HSM characters? No way!  I think it just means I don’t take myself too seriously…or I could be going through a pre-quarterlife crisis.
  • Ray LaMontagne: Til the Sun Turns Black- One of the few men in music who is capable of turning me into mush. Is it about the music or the raspy, rugged mountain voice that gets me going? I think my love for him may or may not give people a hint of the type of men I love. Maybe?
  • Ben Kweller: Melange- Having this particular album means I am a.) a Kwellerhead and b.) Kweller snob. Melange is BK’s first solo release. It’s hard to come by and Kweller fans kind of just trade it amongst themselves…if they deem you worthy! What does Ben Kweller say about my personality? I don’t know. I think being a Ben Kweller fan automatically inducts you into a slightly cultish fan club.  He is still considered an ‘indie’ artist but the fans who love him really love him. I’m an upper tier Ben Kweller fan so that makes me persistent, goal oriented, able to hide stalkerish tendencies well, and adventurous. How did I come to that conclusion? For two weeks I followed Ben Kweller in Europe. I just turned 18, I went to like 7 European dates…alone. I was just a huge fan. A year later I got offered a job with him and almost 3 years later, I’m still at it.
  • Mt. St. Helen’s Vietnam Band: S/T- New band hailing from Seattle. One of the few buzz bands I love.  I used to try really hard to keep up with the blossoming indie rock scene but after working in the music industry for five years, I’ve become a bit jaded. I haven’t bought Cds from new bands in a long time, as I have a hard enough time keeping up with old bands I listen to! This band made me fall in love with what music can be.  I think having them in my collection gives me renewed street cred with indie-rock snobs, but they also signify my renewed interest in music and up and coming bands.
  • Hanson- Who needs an album name? The fact I have any HANSON on my itunes goes back to my teenybopper ways.  Oh Nostalgia. I’ve been a Hanson fan since I was 11 and I still buy new Hanson records and I still go to Hanson concerts. Much of my Ben Kweller discrete stalkerish ways evolved directly from my Hanson days. I have no shame for having Hanson in my collection and anyone who meets me will know right away that I like Hanson.  What does this say about me? I’m loyal. Once you make an impact on my life I’ll always be right there in a supportive manner. 11 years and counting for Hanson and I’m still a supportive fan. Most people don’t know that ‘MMMBOP’ was a song about friendships and relationships and how important it is to keep the people who matter close to you, because in the end they could be gone in an ‘MMMBOP’ ha!
  • The Good Life: Help Wanted Nights- An ode to my emo ways. This album in particular is more acoustic and simple, but has all the makings of an album that will make you want to cry everyday, even when it is sunny. Their name is soo ironic to me because for having a name like ‘The Good Life’ their songs make you think the singer’s life really sucks! Like any lover of emotional music, I am sensitive and emotional. A true Cancerian. Basically, this is what I’d sing about if I was ever in a relationship that went awry.
  • Kelly Clarkson-Breakaway- God, in looovee with Kelly Clarkson. One of the new POPPOPPOPPOP POPPOPPOPPOP POPPOPPOPPOP mainstream artists I like. And she’s female and I normally hate female vocalists!! ‘Since You’ve Been Gone’ is like my jam. Having this as part of my ‘pop’ collection means I’m adaptable. People may hate Kelly Clarkson but it is hard not to admit that her songs are pretty catchy. Just because I love listening to independent artists doesn’t mean I don’t listen to pop music. People may not know who Ben Kweller and The Good Life are, but if I add Kelly Clarkson to the mix people will understand!! They might judge me for it but whatever! Kelly Clarkson is a good time!
  • Tom Petty: Anthology: Through the Years- I’m still usually the youngest on every tour I go on. People I tour with are normally shocked when I tell them I didn’t grow up listening to music and I am horribly incompetent when it comes to classic rock&roll (the music that inspired the bands I listen to now). Two years ago I wouldn’t have been able to name one Petty song. I may have known of his songs but didn’t know that he was the one that sang them.

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