Nikhat Parveen (New Delhi), Riya Choudhary (New Delhi), Kaamaakshi Bhat (Zirakpur, Punjab), Shruti Mishra (Lucknow, Uttar Pradesh), Sriadita Emani (Hyderabad, Telangana)
Summer Camp? Yes! you heard it right!! In this gloomy pandemic phase, the one essence of summer that we all were missing was to attend a Summer Camp. Fortunately, KHIGH, came up with a digital event called KHIGH Summer Camp. KHIGH is an independent entertainment platform providing coverage of Korean pop and culture related events, news, and trends in India. This event was designed to give the K-lovers an amazing experience to enjoy the Hallyu filled summer in the form of exclusive Fanmeets, workshops, educational content, games, activities, hangout and talent shows.
This summer camp was an online paid event for Rs. 299 for Indian audience and $5 for the international audience and was conducted over a period of 3 weeks starting from 18th June 2021. The digital event took place on Zoom and Discord. To make the experience feel more real, KHIGH specially designed Camp Tickets for the campers, and the emails were sent to each camper in an exquisite format, allowing us to revisit the rejuvenating memories of summer camps before the pandemic. Here is the review and walkthrough of the event, as attended and experienced by our team members, Ms. Nikhat Parveen, Ms. Riya Choudhary, Ms. Kaamaakshi Bhat, Ms. Shruti Mishra, and Ms. Sriadita Emani.
18/6 : Orientation and Korean language learning E- Book Distribution
On the first day of the camp, all the campers joined with great enthusiasm and excitement. The orientation took place in the presence of the host, Ms. Nikita Gupta, who is the founder and CEO of KHIGH. She warm heartedly welcomed the campers and then everyone introduced themselves to each other. The host informed us about the attending chief guests throughout the camp and fanmeets which included songwriter and record-producer, Mr. Appu Krishnan, Joseon-pop band, sEODo, and Lo-fi & Hip-Hop artist BB. The orientaton was wrapped up by a warming session of jokes, laughter, joy and excitement. To make the campers even more excited, KHIGH also distributed Korean language learning e-book that covered all the basics of Korean language for the beginners.
19/6: Fanmeet with Mr. Appu Krishnan
Second day of KHIGH summer camp started with our fanmeet with Mr. Appu Krishnan. He is an Indian-American music producer and songwriter who has worked with several K-pop groups such as April, The Boyz, and GOT7. Mr. Appu Krishnan was greeted by the fans with a loud cheer and claps. Attendees were given opportunity to ask their questions to Mr. Appu one by one. In the fanmeet, he talked about his journey like how he went from being a Mechanical Engineering graduate to becoming a music producer composing and producing songs for big artists. He said that, “if you have a dream, then have a plan for it, and once you have made a decision about it, don’t quit.” He also talked about his songs; Trust My Love and Prism and how those songs were composed and behind the scenes making of it. When asked upon would he like to collaborate with A.R Rehman, he answered, “I have huge love and respect for him.”
He addressed the recent pandemic situation and how it has been horrible for all. He said, “it’s hard to stay motivated during this time but if you do what you like, then maybe you will be able to pass this dreadful time.” At last Mr. Appu said a few words of gratitude to his fans for listening to his songs. He also hinted about his upcoming music which will be J-pop.
“There won’t be music and artists without fans. Fans are boss” –Mr. Appu Krishnan
20/6: Fanmeet with sEODo Band
sEODo or Seo Jae-hyun is a singer and songwriter who majors in Joseon Pop, a unique genre which is one of its kind. Joseon pop is a fusion of traditional South Korean music and pop music. Seodo studied traditional music and majored in pop music composition during his college years. He studied both Eastern and Western music that helped him creating a new genre Joseon pop. In 2019, Seo Jae-hyun formed a group and named it sEODo Band. They have won several awards till date including the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism Award and received 10 million won as prize. One of their recent songs, ‘The Great Recipe’ is an OST of the popular K-drama Mr. Queen. While answering one Fan/Camper, they mentioned how they got to know about India via food. Mr. sEODo mentioned Tandoori Chicken and Lassi as one of his favourite Indian food picks .
He first and foremost was happy and thanked the fans for liking his OST and then told us that they had fun while making that song and also they were very particular about the range as it was supposed to be in drama. The sEODo Band also talked about their attire. Rather than wearing a single piece of clothes or traditional Hanbok, they prefer to wear a variety of clothes in layers. The way the clothes fall when they put them on adding accessories accordingly gives them an oriental feel. They were amused to know that Indian people were aware of what a Hanbok is. He even asked “how do you know about hanbok?”
They were thankful when they were told that they feel good and feel less tired in their gloomy days when they hear their instrumental songs. It seems as an escape in more clear words. They also joked about learning Hindi as they want to visit India someday. He complimented campers for their good Korean speaking skills as they were surprised that some campers can speak Korean.
26/6: K-pop games & Activities
Week Two was refreshing as expected. Campers joined with the same enthusiasm and spirit just like they attended last week. This time the event was hosted by Ms. Nandini Iyengar, who is a senior writer at KHIGH. She interacted with Campers with wholly contentedness. Campers played different games that were interesting and were moulded into K-pop and K-drama Format and brought back those childhood memories where we used to play Crosswords and True and False. The games were designed to enhance the skills of campers about Korean dramas. These included guessing the K-dramas based on the themes and certain characteristics of the characters; choosing whether the information about the K-dramas or the actors is true or false; solve the cross-word puzzle based on K-dramas.
27/6: Fanmeet with BB
BB is a Korean Hip-Hop singer, songwriter, and producer who loves exploring different genres of music, mainly specialising in Lo-fi Hip-Hop. He has a unique and soothing voice which gives calm and comforting vibes to the listeners. People can resonate to the lyrics he writes in the songs. He debuted with the single album, Reaction in September 2016 and since then has released several singles and EP albums such as Never Wake Up, Morning Cafe, 20, Melting Me etc. Recently, he made his comeback through his new single Bad Thoughts on 27th June 2021. He has 50K+ monthly listeners on Spotify.
Campers extended a warm welcome to him and everyone was overjoyed to interact with him. He asked one of the camper their favourite songs. He also shared details on his song-making process and what inspires him. He mentioned that his song 20 is actually based on his own memories of his 20s. He mentioned that when he was younger, things were fairly easy, and now that he is in his 30s, he tried to incoproate those feelings in that song. He mentioned that he gets inspired from the people he meet. He goes to cafes with his friend and takes inspiration from people around him. When he was asked about something he knows about India, he said he knows about Delhi, and has seen the movie 3 Idiots, adding the line from the iconic song, All is well!
The fanmeet with BB was very interactive and filled with many heartfelt fan-moments when he sang a few lines from his songs upon requests from his fans that made everyone swoon. At last, he hinted that he is soon to release an acoustic version of his song, Morning Cafe in August. He also said I love you in Hindi with the help of a fan.
“The nature and people we meet gives us inspiration to go ahead in life with new things” -BB
3/7: Korean Language Learning
Korean Language Learning proved to be a great opportunity for the K-culture enthusiasts who want to understand the essence of what their favourite idols are saying. In fact, the question regarding motivation behind learning the language was also entertained and while the host of the session considers her aspiration to be a Korean language translator, other participants’ desire to understand the Korean songs without the help of subtitles that motivated them to learn the language.
In a quite informative session along with the study material that had already been shared, the host cleared many doubts regarding grammar of the language and also shared some reliable sources which offer a deep understanding of the language. The host of the session, Ms. Nandini who herself has been learning the language for the past one year also gave some insights regarding the preparation of TOPIK (Test Of Proficiency in Korean), a Korean Language Test for non-native Korean speakers. Daily practice of at least 20 minutes for perfecting reading and listening skills is what she strongly recommends. She suggested that podcasts on Spotify, online newspapers and web novels are an important medium for perfecting listening and reading skills.
4/7 – KHIGH Talent Show + Grand Prize
The session on the last day of the KHIGH Summer Camp, started with all of us joining the video call, where we were greeted by the host of the summer camp, Ms. Nikita. Before starting the session, we watched some K-pop music videos together and cheered for our favorite groups. We also interacted about how we entered the Hallyu Wave and the various problems faced by both the artists and fans. We then proceeded to start the talent show. We were shown all the wonderful entries by the participants and how they felt participating in the talent show. We were introduced to the Sponsors of Grand Prize, SAPPHO who provided the gift hamper for the Talent show winner. We were also briefed about how and when the winner of the talent show will be announced.
When we approached towards the end of KHIGH Summer Camp, we all shared our experiences and about how we enjoyed the camp, and that we were able to make so many new friends because of this opportunity. The organisers also shared about their experiences and that they thoroughly enjoyed this event themselves and told us to look forward towards all the future events organized by KHIGH.
Summer Camp by KHIGH was an interesting event that brought back the memories of us having the camp during the summer breaks. From mailing the individual tickets to the campers to having a meaningful interaction with all the campers, it was perfect in all ways. It was one of the comfortable event that all of us attended dolling up at home to meet the artists with a big smile on our faces. We really liked how they gave us time to interact with each other and be comfortable while enjoying every day of the scheduled event. It was really fun interacting with the multi-fandom fans from all over the India.
Overall the Camp was executed smoothly without any technical issues. Though the pandemic makes us sit back at our homes and makes us miss the offline events, digital events like this gave us a new experience of enjoying the K-related events at home in 1:1 interaction in this pandemic. By attending this event, it feels like digital events will become more popular because of the coziness it gives to everyone whether it is the artist or the fans. We really hope that more such events are organised for the fans of Hallyu and connect everyone in a fun way.
What do you think? Would you like to be a part of such events in the future? Do let us know in the comments.