Check Out the Korean Music Coming to Toronto

Collage of posters and artist photos | Courtesy of CMW, TR Canada and Hypr Creative
Collage of posters and artist photos | Courtesy of CMW, TR Canada and Hypr Creative

As I get ready to head to South by Southwest (SXSW) in a little under three weeks – yay! so excited!! – I’m also getting increasingly excited about all the Korean music coming to Toronto, or possibly coming here, in the next couple of months. There’s everything from K-pop to hip hop to Korean indie music on its way and that’s a good thing for Korean music lovers here, especially as I know there’s more on the way.

2015 was a good year for Korean music in Toronto but I was worried that the increasingly weaker Canadian dollar would have a negative impact on the number of musicians coming here, and by that, I mean less musicians as hosting concerts gets more expensive. However, that’s not the case – oh, concerts are getting more expensive as the artists are paid in American dollars but there doesn’t seem to be less of them. Yay! And it’s not just good news for Toronto, Vancouver is also getting their share with a rash of concerts in January and even Montreal is getting into the vibe with an Ailee show in June.

But as I live in Toronto, let’s talk about the Korean music you can look forward to here.

Who’s coming to Toronto?

While there has already been some Korean musicians stop by and put on shows – namely Lee Seung Chul and So Young Heo in January and February respectively – the second quarter of the year is shaping up to be amazing. And of course, we’ll keep you posted on all the action so don’t forget to check out calendar of events regularly as we update it every Sunday.

Vismajor Crew

I’m sad to miss this show on March 20th (I’ll still be at SXSW), especially as one of the crew, Don Mills hailed from Toronto and I’ve seen him perform before he went to Korea. But you won’t want to miss the chance to see Deepflow and the others so keep an eye on the Facebook event page as tickets go on sale Thursday, February 25th.

Dynamic Duo

I’ll be the first to admit that I’m super excited about the chance to see Dynamic Duo live in Toronto and am ecstatic that TR Canada, KpopMe and Amoeba Culture are bringing them here. They’ll be playing at the Danforth Music Hall on March 26th and tickets go on sale at 8:00 pm on Thursday, February 25th. Check out the Facebook event page for more details. And like the Vismajor crew, they’re doing a Vancouver show too.

Run River North

If my information is correct, this will be the Korean American group’s second time playing in Toronto. They have a cool sound that you won’t want to miss and will be here on April 6th (at Horseshoe Tavern). You can get tickets here.

B.A.P

**Updated** It’s official, they’re coming to Toronto and Vancouver in April. Details on ticket prices haven’t yet been released but they’re playing Massey Hall on April 24th and more details can be found on KpopMe’s Facebook event page for the show. We’ll post details once they’re released but check out the YouTube video for now.

Love X Stereo

Not only do they have a new EP coming out this year but they’ll be playing again at Canadian Music Week (CMW) in May. I’ve caught them several times live, both here in Toronto and at South by Southwest (SXSW) in Austin, Texas (where they are also playing this March) and they always impress. Definitely check them out!

Big Phony

Big Phony will also be playing CMW this May (as well as SXSW in March) and he’s a great singer-songwriter that you’ll want to make sure to catch. With self-depreciating humour, his shows are always a treat.

VIXX

The first of the headliners of Toronto Kpop Con, VIXX will be playing the Friday night of the festival. Tickets on sale now.

GOT7

The second headliner, playing two shows which are both almost sold out (Saturday and Sunday), of Toronto Kpop Con. Get your tickets while you still can.

DAY6

The third of four K-pop groups to play Toronto Kpop Con, be one of the first in Canada to see DAY6. Tickets on sale now.

Who needs your help to come to Toronto?

AOMG

They want to come to Toronto (and Vancouver for that matter) but they need fans to show support in a super easy manner. Just click ‘Going’ or ‘Interested’ on the Facebook event page so we can get the number up to 2000 (which is only 500 more). It takes 2 seconds! You know you want to. The AOMG show would include Jay Park, Simon Dominic, Gray, Loco, and DJ Pumkin.

Festivals that haven’t yet announced who’s coming yet

Hallyu North

This first year festival has announced lots of YouTubers but no musicians as of yet. However, I’m sure there is someone cool coming (or perhaps more than one). Check out their Facebook event page for more details for now but of course, we’ll update once we know more about the event.

Final Thoughts

As you can see, the second quarter is shaping up to be a good one for Korean music in Toronto – okay, technically the Dynamic Duo concert in in the first quarter of the year by a couple of days but work with me here ^^ – and I can’t wait to see who else is announced. Plus, I’m hoping that the AOMG show gets enough support to bring them to Toronto too (don’t forget to click ‘going’ or ‘interested’). I’ve see Jay Park before (and yes, his shirt came off) but I’d love to see Simon Dominic and Gray.

Who are you most excited for? I can’t quite decide as there’s so much great music to choose from… and that’s a wonderful thing.

Cindy Zimmer

Live life to the fullest everyday – this is a the philosophy I try to live by and it’s taken me on many adventures. I write about Korean culture from a non-Korean perspective as the editor/founder of ATK Magazine and I’m the Chair of the Board of Directors of the Toronto Korean Film Festival (TKFF). Previously, I ran a Korean-English language exchange group (in Toronto) for 3 years to stay connected to my three years living in Korea as an English teacher. I love music, film, food and sports and write about 3 of the 4.

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