There are certain pre-conceptions that come to mind with the term K-Pop, and Ulzzang Pistol doesn’t sound the way you’d expect him to based on that characterization. The Manila, Philippines-based artist is readying his second album, Waste, for release, and today, we are happy to premiere a dream pop-inspired new single, titled “Photosynthesis.” Listen to it below, exclusively on Nerdist.
The artist’s name might not make much sense at first, but it’s more clear once you break it down. “Ulzzang” is a South Korean term meaning “best face” or “good-looking.” The meaning of a “Ulzzang Pistol” is one that aims to destroy or subvert traditional standards to beauty and encourage everybody to express themselves in whatever way is most natural for them.
The song is taken from Ulzzang Pistol’s second album, Waste, and there’s more meaning behind that as well. We’re told that the “waste” indicated by the album can refer to a “simultaneous sense of apathy and change. A blooming self-realization that only results in an existential question of wasted effort. Much more literally, the album also speaks on the ‘waste’ of talent. The unsung voices, the short-reaching, yet emotionally riveting sounds of the global underground”
There’s a strong point there. While K-Pop has enjoyed greater international success over the past few years, it has come with a price, namely the potential marginalization of non-mainstream K-Pop acts such as Ulzzang Pistol. There’s more to K-Pop than the super-cheery and mainstream-oriented sounds whose YouTube videos have millions of hits, and Ulzzang Pistol is a fine example of a successful departure from that model.
What do you think of “Photosynthesis?” Let us know in the comments below.