The world ofkpop you and I know today is one ruled by chart positions, views and streams. A release is typically followed by meticulously-organised streaming parties andstrategic trending of hashtags, and its relative success or failure is tangibly determined by the numbers it pulls.
Once in a while, however, a new song elicits a different kind of response.
YG Entertainment septet iKON brought their New Kids series of albums to a closure on 7 January this year with the release of New Kids Repackage: The New Kids. The series, which has spawned hits like Love Scenario and Killing Me, welcomed one final addition: solitary single "I'M OK".
The mellow pop-rock track is meant to express “A person’s mindset of wanting to cry more when told, ‘Don’t cry’ and feeling more uneasy when asked, ‘Are you ok?’”, as described by writer B.I.
Its lyrics - overflowing with a sense of rawness and desperation - seem to have struck a chord with fans and non-fans alike. Where fans usually discuss view count and video aesthetics, the comments section of 'I'm OK''s music video features listeners sharing the stories behind their personal connection to the song.
The outpouring of anecdotes in the comments - and subsequent support offered by others in their replies - has fans likening the video to the Oprah Winfrey show
Fans of the band were touched by the overwhelming response to the song - by the way its managed to bring listeners together across timezones and language barriers, binding them through their varied interpretations of its lyrics - and hope that it will reach iKON themselves. The members, who say they turn their phones off after song releases to avoid charting news, have previously emphasised that they hope to make music that resonates with listeners.
“The passion...and the sincerity of fans are the only things that make the performance a great one.” - B.I
If you've yet to give it a listen, check out iKON's 'I'm OK' and don't forget to pay a visit to the comment section: