2021 K-Pop SuperFest by Sessions Live and Joy Ruckus Club
As the world starts to open up again—slowly but surely—K-Pop festivals have started to come back. There are a lot of larger K-Pop festivals that we’ve all seen, but for Sessions’ first live-streamed K-Pop festival, they teamed up with Joy Ruckus Club to present the K-Pop SuperFest. Sessions Live, the streaming service used for this festival, is a music-only live streaming platform—though, they have been expanding past music since the start of 2021. It’s designed to hold virtual concerts for artists to share around the world.
Joy Ruckus Club is the largest Asian music festival in the world. And, by teaming up with Sessions, they put on a K-Pop SuperFest that the whole world can watch. This festival was energetic, full of talent, and fun to watch. Here’s a little bit more about it in case you missed it!
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Joy Ruckus Club’s K-Pop SuperFest: All About It
On June 19, 2021 (June 20th in South Korea), the K-Pop SuperFest began. Being live-streamed from the Yes24 Live Hall in Seoul, South Korea, this virtual concert kicked off at 6:00 pm PST (that’s 10 am in Korea). There were a total of fourteen performers—a mixture of girl groups, boy groups, and soloists. With all of these performers, each showing multiple songs, the festival went on for seven and a half hours. Meaning the concert ended around 1:30 am PST (5:30 pm in Korea).
To start off the performances, the one host—AleXa—took the stage. Compared to the other performers, she only performed one song. Her stage, of her song “Revolution,” included a powerful and energetic performance. She had backup dancers and strong vocals that drove her performance to be the one to remember.
AleXa made her multilingual debut in 2019 with “Bomb.” Following this, she grew in popularity as co-host of the podcast “How Did I Get Here?” with Jae from Day6. She’s said to be making her acting debut sometime this year with the drama Goedam 2 on Netflix. And, slowly, she’s been releasing new music for her fans to check out. You can watch more from her on her YouTube channel AleXa 360.
As a five-member girl group under NV Entertainment, this first group performance at the K-Pop SuperFest came out with pizzazz. By this, I mean they came out ready to put on a performance. The group, dressed in matching sparkly outfits, performed three songs in total and definitely looked like they were enjoying the stage. They started with their song “Bad Girl.”
Since their debut May of 2020, the group has a few single albums—albums that only have two or three songs with a focus on one main single. The group started off with six members, but one left a few months after their debut due to personal reasons. But the other five members have pushed on and have started gaining traction throughout the K-Pop scene. Their latest comeback was on May 27, 2021 with their single album Wish.
The next performers, another girl group, consists of seven members. They made their debut in 2018 under Kiwi Pop (now known as The Wave Music) with their song “Puzzle Moon” from The Park in the Night Part One.
They began their performance at the K-Pop SuperFest with their song “Like It Hot.”
After a brief introduction, the group followed up with a sweet performance for their song “Starry Night.” Though this song had no choreography, it was captivating to watch because of how strong their vocals were. Lastly, the group finished their performance with their song “All Mine (Coast of Azure).” Out of the three songs, I really enjoyed this last one the most—it was catchy and they seemed to be more comfortable on the stage at this point.
Debuting all the way back in 2014, this next girl group took the stage with a finesse you don’t see in the newer performers. Lovelyz, an eight-member group under Woollim Entertainment, brought their cute and fresh concept to the K-Pop SuperFest stage in the form of beautiful dresses and sweet voices.
They began with their popular song “Obliviate.”
Filling the rest of their setlist sweet and poppy songs, the group performed six songs altogether. Including their songs “That Day,” “Now, We,” “Rewind,” “Hi~,” and “Ah-Choo.” Their performance for their song “Rewind” was probably one of my favorites. The group stood there and sang without any special choreographies or backing graphics. It was just the group and their strong vocals, so it truly felt like you were able to see how amazing the group was.
#5: Golden Child
With a total of five EPs and one full-length album since their debut in 2016, these next performers put on a stage that truly showed their style. Golden Child is a ten-member boy group under the same label as Lovelyz—Woollim Entertainment. They’re known for their EDM and bass-heavy style and strong choreographies. From the moment the group stepped on stage to perform, you could see how much energy the group possessed.
They kicked off their stage with their song “Wannabe.”
Following right after, they performed “Without You” and “One (Lucid Dream).” Both songs were really catchy and got you moving along to the beat. Next, the group introduced themselves. They were beyond energetic, jumping around and talking quickly. It was really nice to see the group enjoying themselves in this way.
Afterward, the group slowed it down a bit with a performance of their songs “Compass” and “Milky Way.” Of the two, I absolutely fell in love with “Milky Way.” The group sang so beautifully you couldn’t help but be captivated. Even with an absence of choreography, the song stood out from the others.
They finished off their K-Pop SuperFest performance with their song “Burn It.” Another powerful and energetic song to get you jumping along with them.
Fresh from their 2020 debut, Cravity took the stage at Joy Ruckus Club’s K-Pop SuperFest with power. They dominated the stage with high energy and strong choreography. However, they also brought a fun and loving performance along the way.
Their performance began with their high energy song “Jumper.” After a quick introduction, the nine-member group under Starship Entertainment showed their love for performing in their songs “Stay” and “Sunrise.”
Throughout their entire performance of “Sunrise,” the group was laughing and cheering each other on. You could see how much they were enjoying the song and stage, so it made it all that more fun watch.
Since their debut in 2016, Momoland has been known as one of the more popular girl groups. This six-member girl group brought energy and a pop sound to the stage. The group made their debut with their album Welcome to Momoland in 2016. After this, the group released another six EPs.
For their performance at the Joy Ruckus Club’s K-Pop SuperFest, they began with their song “Ready Or Not” from their recent album Ready Or Not.
Without missing a beat, the group moved on to their next song “Pinky Love.” And, after a brief talking, they concluded their stage with three energetic songs. Including “Thumbs Up,” “BAAM,” and “Boom Boom.”
Compared to some of the other groups in this lineup, AB6ix have been known individually throughout the K-Pop scene for various things. A couple of members were in the temporary boy group Wanna One and some even participated in solo activities.
In 2019, the group appeared with their debut reality show BrandNewBoys on April 18. And they made their debut on May 22, just over a month later. Though the group was originally five members, they currently consist of only four members. They’ve recently released their fourth EP, Mo’ Complete: Have a Dream.
Their performance at the K-Pop SuperFest started off in an energetic and strong way. They performed their song “Salute.”
Further, showing their sweet vocals and love for performing, the four-member group perform a total of six songs. Besides their opening song “Salute,” the group also performs “Stay Young,” “Shining Stars,” “LULULALA,” “Close,” and “Heaven.”
I must have a thing for softer songs with sweet vocals because my favorite stage of this group was “Heaven.” The group stood on stage and just sang softly throughout the entire thing. Above all, it was a beautiful way to end their performance.
#9: The Boyz
Out of the rest of the groups, I was a bit more excited for this one. Particularly because I had watched them perform throughout the survival performance show Kingdom: Legendary War. I was interested in seeing how the group would perform out of a competition setting. And they did not disappoint.
This eleven-member K-Pop group from Cre.ker Entertainment came out with a bang. They began their performance with their song “Reveal.”
After the song, the group did general introductions and teased their one member, Keven—who was actually the co-hosts alongside AleXa. With this short moment, the group moved onto their next powerful song “Scar.”
To bring the fans closer, the group spent a good few minutes just talking to their fans. Unfortunately, there weren’t any English subtitles, so I can’t tell you exactly what they were talking about. But I know it had something to do with food…
The next performer at the K-Pop SuperFest was soloist Ailee. Ailee is a Korean-American singer-songwriter who’s been a staple in the K-Pop scene since her move to South Korea in 2010. She made her debut in 2012 with her single “Heaven” and has been consistently hitting the top of the charts with her powerhouse vocals.
She started off her performance with her songs “U&I” and “Make Up Your Mind.”
After that, Ailee took a moment to talk to the fans watching. Before starting her next song, “I Will Go To You Like The First Snow,” Ailee warns us that she might get a bit more emotional during this song than usual. Apparently this song is related to something her mother used to say to her. And since her mother passed away this past year, the song has held a different and more emotional meaning to her.
The performance of the song was beautiful and you could see the emotions just swirling their way through Ailee.
Like the other performers, she also took the time to talk with the chat about various things. To show her amazing vocals, she ended up performing a lot of her songs acapella. The fans in the chat really enjoyed listening to her sing—even asking her to sing the famous Whitney Houston song (which she nailed, by the way).
Lastly, she wrapped up her performance with her song “I Will Show You,” one of her greatest hits from 2012.
To switch things up a little, the next performer brought a bit more hip-hop and R&B to the K-Pop SuperFest. He co-founded the hip-hop label MKIT Rain with fellow rappers Nafia and Loopy and made his debut with his single “Drive Thru.”
His performance started off with his song “싸가지 (So Rude).”
Following this, the rapper performed “Nae Tat,” “Hennessy,” and “Drive Thru” without taking a break. Honestly, it was impressive for him to rap song after song like that. After that, Bloo changed things up with his song “Drama”—where he sings and raps.
To finish off his stage, he sang his newest song “Come and Kiss Me Now,” “I’m the One,” and “Downtown Baby.” Personally, I was drawn to his song “I’m the One” the most. The sing-song voice he has throughout shows not only his talent as a rapper and singer, but his ability to do different styles. I fell in love with this song the moment I heard it.
However, Bloo never once took the chance to speak to the chat. So he spent his thirty-to-forty-minute timeslot rapping away into his mic. I don’t know when he had time to breathe, but that’s one of the reasons his performance was so memorable. You could tell how much he wanted to perform, and the fact he never stopped showed that.
In continuation of great hip-hop artists at the Joy Ruckus Club’s K-Pop SuperFest, Jessi took the stage next. Right from the get-go she was energetic and loud (in the best way possible, I promise). Jessi became one of the first artists signed to P Nation in 2019, gaining her even more recognition. However, it was her appearance on the reality show Unpretty Rapstar in 2015 that truly launched her into the limelight.
She came out on stage with her song “Who Dat B.”
After these songs, she once again takes a moment to speak with the chat. However, she mentions how difficult it is for her to keep her energy on stage with the lack of a crowd and backup dancers. And, as a fun impromptu thing, Jessi actually invited the hosts—AleXa and Kevin—up on stage with her to be her backup dancers for her last song.
Even if it wasn’t planned, AleXa and Kevin looked to be having the time of their lives up on the stage, singing and dancing along to Jessi during her song “Nunu Nana.” It was probably the best moment to witness throughout the entire show.
Of course, if we’re talking about K-Pop, we can’t forget about the legendary K-Pop singer Rain. He made his debut in 2002 under JYP Entertainment with his album Bad Guy. Ever since, he’s been the biggest name in the K-Pop and Asian music scene. He’s the most influential stars in Asia and around the world. He does everything, from singing and dancing, to participating in reality shows, to having his own agency—which is called RAIN Company.
His performance began with amazing vocals and amazing dancing—of course, you wouldn’t expect anything less from him—during his song “Why Don’t We.”
While being mostly out of breath, Rain takes a moment to talk before moving onto his next song “How to Avoid the Sun.” His last four songs continue without another break longer than a moment for him to breathe. He ends his performances with “I Do,” “Love Story,” “It’s Raining,” and “Hip Song.”
Of course, each one of his songs were amazing to watch and he truly showed his continuous power on the stage. He was just as amazing as you’d expect from the legendary K-Pop singer. Overall, his addition to the Joy Ruckus Club’s K-Pop SuperFest made the long hours worth it.
#14: DJ Soda
To close off the K-Pop SuperFest, a South Korea DJ took the stage. DJ Soda began her journey to become a famous DJ in 2013. With her presence in modeling and the face for various brands, she’s paved the way for her popularity.
Throughout her entire performance, she never once stopped moving—always jumping around, doing DJ things on her turntable, and waving her arms. She was enthusiastic about her performance and it made it easy to watch. Her enjoyment of the music made it all that much more entertaining and truly brought a close to the festival.
Hosts of any show can make or break them. For the K-Pop SuperFest, the hosts were soloist AleXa and Kevin from The Boyz.
Personally, the hosts were my favorite part of the entire festival. They came out between each performer and interacted with the chat. Not only did they bring an upbeat vibe to the event, but they made it a lot of fun, too. I found myself laughing along to some of their jokes (looking at you Kevin, for when you brought out the umbrella before Rain’s performance) and looking forward to what they would say next.
Of course, this might have to do with the fact that they spoke in English so the watchers could understand them without subtitles. But I think it has more to do with their personalities and sense of humor.
How was the K-Pop SuperFest?
Honestly, I had more fun watching this festival than I thought I would. It was long—really long. Like, seven and half hours long. I never thought I’d be able to sit through it all (especially since it was super late for me). However, the performers and the hosts kept me rather entertained the whole time. I never felt too bored or wanted to skip to another performer. The schedule, pictured below, was put together really well and followed very strictly.
The only “critique” I have is really for the cameramen. Multiple times throughout the group performances, the camera focused on people who were not actually singing. But it’s easy enough to overlook because of how difficult it is to handle multiple cameras for a live stream.
Lastly, if you enjoyed reading about these artists and would like to find more, feel free to check out our Blog Page. We’ve written tons of blogs on various artists. You can find K-Pop artists in our K-Pop Category. Or, if you’d like to find some other Korean music to enjoy, you can look through out general Korean Music Category for a few other artists not directly related to K-Pop. We have also created an ebook about the history of Kpop. Check out in the video below!