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Holland’s summer/Pride playlist: 8 songs to check out

By Yim Hyun-su

  • Published : Jun 18, 2019 - 13:50
  • Updated : Jun 18, 2019 - 13:50

Music hand-picked by Holland to highlight LGBTQ rights

In celebration of Pride Month, Holland was kind enough to let us know some of his favorite tracks for summer, many of which emphasize LGBTQ rights.

The singer also told The Korea Herald that he hopes to release a new song sometime this year.

In the meantime, you can enjoy this exclusive playlist consisting of songs from BTS, Blackpink and Frank Ocean -- plus one of his own.

Holland -- ‘Nar_C’

“Nar_C” is the latest single from Holland, a great house dance tune for the summer. And the singer says the video for the song reflects his own experience of romance.

“I wanted to show a relationship struggle with a boyfriend who becomes so much like myself after dating for a long time and even taking on the traits that I hate about myself. Through metaphors, I wanted to depict that the guy who seems like my boyfriend is actually me,” he told The Korea Herald.

“I wanted to say that if you want to love someone, you need to know yourself and love yourself first. The video is about me finding myself after a breakup,” the singer added.

Sia -- ‘The Greatest’

The self-empowering song from Australian singer-songwriter Sia from 2016 also made it onto Holland’s Pride-themed playlist.

The catchy tune with no shortage of strong beats features positive lyrics that keep the Pride spirit alive: “Don’t give up, I won’t give up. Don’t give up, no no no.”

And the accompanying video sends out a subtle message in support of the LGBTQ community -- right at the beginning, the model puts rainbow-colored face paint on her cheeks.

Some fans also noticed that the number of dancers in the music video, 42, matches the number of people killed in a 2016 mass shooting in Orlando, Florida, which took place at a gay nightclub.

Anohni -- ‘Drone Bomb Me’

The English-born singer’s electro dance tune from 2016 is one of Holland’s favorite tracks this time of the year.

Speaking to BBC Radio One, Anohni said, “It’s a love song from the perspective of a girl in Afghanistan, say a 9-year-old girl whose family’s been killed by a drone bomb.”

“She is kind of looking up at the sky and she’s gotten herself to a place where she just wants to be killed by a drone bomb too,” she added.

The music video features none other than supermodel Naomi Campbell.

Frank Ocean -- ‘Self Control’

Though a bit of a departure from the rest of the playlist, Frank Ocean’s R&B ballad came to the mind of the 23-year-old singer, whose work has also centered on the theme of relationships.

The four-minute track relies on echoes of Ocean’s raw, soulful voice with the instrumental part taking a back seat so his voice gets full attention.

BTS -- ‘Spring Day’

Holland also chose BTS’ “Spring Day” for the playlist. The group’s 2017 single is an EDM-tinged up-tempo chart topper that went on to bag Song of the Year at the 2017 Melon Music Awards.

During an interview with The Korea Herald earlier this year, Holland praised the group’s speech at the United Nations last year.

“I think they are doing well because of their general message of positivity with their albums and speeches. I can’t remember the speech word by word since it’s been some time but I’m sure there are a lot of LGBTQ (people) among their fans and I think it must have made them feel supported,” he said.

Blackpink -- ‘Playing With Fire’

Another K-pop tune on the playlist is Blackpink’s massive hit “Playing With Fire.” Since its release in 2016, the song has racked up over 400 million views on YouTube.

The four-piece group’s songs, which also include “Boombayah,” are among the go-to songs played at the Seoul Queer Culture Festival.

The Rose -- She’s in the Rain

The Rose is a South Korean band that debuted in 2017. Its string-heavy rock ballad “She’s in the Rain” from 2018 is another of Holland’s picks.

Though the four-piece band has just a couple of singles and EPs, its music seems to have left a strong impression on many music fans, with the tune having spawned a number of YouTube videos with the lyrics translated into other languages.

Anne Marie -- ‘Boy’

The British singer-songwriter has had a number of massive hits in Korea, such as the retro-themed tune “2002,” but Holland opted for the percussion-heavy 2015 single “Boy.”

As you’d expect from the outgoing singer, the song features playful lyrics. “Are you into me, boy, or are you into someone else? Like maybe that boy, ’cause you know I never can tell, ooh boy,” the chorus goes.

The song is about a girl who has feelings for a boy whose sexuality she can’t determine. She tries to get his attention, but it’s clear the feeling isn’t mutual -- one of those rare songs about girls who fall for gay guys.

By Yim Hyun-su (hyunsu@heraldcorp.com)