[ALT] Kim Jin Pyo – Zombie (Walking Dead)
Alternate Listening Tuesday this week might be able to aid in what surely feels like long wait any fans of AMC’s The Walking Dead are suffering between the US release Sunday just gone and when Season 4 finally hits UK screens on Friday (18th October) via FX.
Today we’re taking a look at a rapper, formerly know as a member of Panic and Novasonic, host of The Voice of Korea, but also well know as the longest standing host on Korean channel XTM’s adaption of the BBC’s franchise Top Gear, currently alongside Ryu Si Won and Danny Ahn.
Kim Jin Pyo
As a Top Gear host one of Jin Pyo’s films for the show caught head lines all around the world as in a Chevrolet Corvette ZR1 he raced against an AH1 Cobra Helicopter. He beat the Cobra but seconds later the helicopter crashed, thankfully no one was injured.
His spot on the Top Gear Korea team isn’t so confusing when you know he races for the Chevrolet Team.
As for his music, its colourful and varied, checking out Panic and Novasonic will tell you as much. Kim Jin Pyo has been active in the music business since 1995, and releasing as a solo artist since 1998. This year he’s releasing JP 7 which is, of course, his 7th full solo album.
JP 7 features collaborations with artists such as: Kim Yoon Ah of Jaurim (last week’s ALT artist); SiJin and TROY’s Kanto from BrandNew Music; solo vocalist John Park; and the one I will focus on, R&B vocalist LYn.
Zombie (Walking Dead)
Zombie (Walking Dead) is the lead track from JP 7. Despite what the title suggests the song isn’t about Zombies, more about using the theme of Zombies as a metaphor for how a person can be empty of feeling and Zombie-like when they break up with someone they love.
The mv for Zombie (Walking Dead) ties in fantastically with the lore set up around Zombies by the comic and tv series by Image Comics, AMC, Robert Kirkman, Frank Darabont, and their many other collaborators.
AMC’S The Walking Dead, as with many other countries across the world, is a big hit in Korea, rating as one of the most watched Western tv shows on FX Asia.
(The breakdown of this mv will contain no TWD Season 4 spoilers, only confirmed lore from the TWD Universe as of the end of Season 3)
The concept isn’t too hard to follow, it is a Zombie apocalypse and we follow two human survivors. It is the strong links to the styling and stories of TWD that are possibly most interesting.
Once the human survivors have been driven out of their hide out, the male is attacked and bitten. His fate is inevitable, but their journey continues, as they journey across a field they find a Zombie child. Child Zombies are encountered the least in the show but they bring back the cruel reality of the life they are living though showing the brutality of how they need to be killed. Just as the male takes an axe to this Zombie childs head at 2:05 you can be reminded of Rick having to shoot Carol’s daughter Sofia on finding her as a Walker.
The female has to leave the bitten male at 2:23 to look for water and finds dead solders wearing gas masks. We could guess that these soldiers were the first line of defence in trying to control the Zombie uprising. Regularly in TWD we see the remains of the Army’s attempt to control the breakout. One of the most remembered images of the army would be the abandoned forces vehicles in Atlanta. Rick even climbed into a tank for safety, though found himself sitting next to a turned soldier.
Something we do see in Kim Jin Pyo’s mv that we can’t attribute to the Walkers in TWD is the colour of the Zombie’s eyes. When the female returns to the bitten male at 2:45 he has changed. We see that the virus turns the iris of the infected red.
Players of Call of Duty: Black Ops II may recognise this as something recently used for the Zombies in Mob of the Dead, one of the Zombie maps included in the second downloadable content pack, Uprising. Though Call Of Duty doesn’t rank the same in popularity in Korea as it does in the west as gamers have much different tastes.
The female knows what she has to do even though she loves him, she has to end his life, and the way she chooses to do this is with fire. We’ve always seen that to kill a Walker you target the brain, but for the Season 2 finale we learnt during the dramatic scenes where Carl sets fire to Hershel’s barn and razes it to the ground that fire works just as well.
As we get to the end of the mv we find out that the female is infected too. The virus runs through her face and her irises are red as her boyfriend’s had been, but the virus in her face isn’t black like it had been with the others. It is more golden, and her eyes are still partly brown. Maybe she still holds some of her own humanity, she could be the hope for claiming back life from the walking dead.
The female wasn’t bitten, and neither to our knowledge was Kim Jin Pyo, who we see buried alive infected with the Zombie virus. One of the most important pieces of information from TWD, that Rick learns from Dr Jenner at the Centre for Disease Control, can be applied here – Everyone is infected.
The female has become infected to tie in with the lyrics however because she lost the man she loved, she was tied to him and his infection passed to her. This is how the lyrics portray the zombie-like emptiness of losing someone.
Where else can you find Kim Jin Pyo?
- Sorry That I’m Sorry features G.Na, and also some not so subtle Chevrolet advertising
- You Made Me features Jo Hyun Ah of Urban Zakapa, the mv features Lee Sem from Nines Muses
- Kim Jin Pyo worked both in front of the camera and behind the scenes for the mv for Shouldn’t Have Gone featuring Joo Young
What do you think of this track and its mv? Did you love it or hate it, let us know!
Are there any kinds of genres you’re interested in seeing from Korea or any niche artists or groups you’re in love with that you really want us to feature on ALT? Leave us a comment and we’ll definitely have a look!