Introducing Notes on K-pop's 2024 Fellows

Introducing Notes on K-pop's 2024 Fellows
IVE are correct: Being a writer is a fantasy

A few months ago, I decided to launch a fellowship to give an opportunity to new voices with the first Notes on K-pop Fellowship/Mentorship. A lot of people applied, and it was a struggle to narrow it down, but I ultimately picked some people whose applications stood out. With the help of some Notes on K-pop supporters, I was able to expand the funding to pick four fellows.

I've been working with them for a few weeks, and I wanted to introduce you to all of them before you start seeing their bylines in coming weeks. I'm excited for what they'll bring to Notes on K-pop, and looking forward to the work they'll bring to entertainment writing and other media spaces.

Taylor Cross

Taylor Cross (pen name Carmen Young) is a Bay Area-based freelance writer and Crunchyroll News contributor with a passion for K-pop (KISS OF LIFE's "Midas Touch" has been on repeat since it dropped), K-dramas (slow-mo kisses and messy, morally bankrupt chaebols are her jam), and intersectional pop culture conversations. When she isn't writing, you can most likely find her cocooned in a blanket, nestled into the corner of her couch, eating dried mangoes (or re-watching Avatar: The Last Airbender).

Katie Doan 

Katie Doan is a multimedia storyteller with a keen focus on Korean pop culture. Graduated with a Bachelors in broadcast journalism from California State University, Fullerton, she has since created fan documentaries highlighting fan culture, written immersive concert reviews for K-Pop live music for K-Pop Concerts, and in-depth deep dives on the industry through her YouTube channel, nhi's space. 

Katie has been a fan of Korean music since she was 15 after discovering K-Pop through a friend. Since then, she has supported a variety of groups, both popular and still budding since the second generation of idols. Beyond her professional pursuits, she channels her energy into supporting causes close to her heart through community workshops, fundraisers, and events. 

Katie is looking for people who have participated in group orders, either as group order managers (GOMs) or as customers aka joiners. Get in touch with her here.

Kimberly Szeto

Kimberly Szeto has been a passionate K-pop fan for over 15 years. She loves attending concerts and collecting albums and photocards. Besides K-pop, Kimberly has a keen interest in Cantopop and the emerging AAPI artist scene. She is currently working in the AAPI nonprofit space, and a freelancer/consultant for other clients. She is hoping to expand into entertainment journalism, with a focus on AAPI stories.  

Sarah Zhang

Sarah is a student at New York University studying Media & Communications and Entertainment Business. With an interest in Publicity/Public Relations, her previous experiences include communications work for organizations such as her school and UNHCR. Growing up Asian-American, she has always been interested in East-Asian pop culture. She is all about the fandom life, jumping from young adult fantasy, to musical theater, to K-Pop over the years. In her spare time, she can be seen picking up a new instrument (currently, she is trying to teach herself how to play the Pipa).

Please stay tuned to what the Notes on K-pop fellows are working on this summer!

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What I've been up to

I think I inadvertently launched a "Journalists on Journalism" recently, starting with a conversation featuring Steffi Cao talking about Wonyoungism. I have an upcoming similar discussion with another writer coming out in a few weeks, and maybe I'll have to continue this trend. Have to do some thinking!

For NME, I wrote about Chicken Nugget being one of the best Kdramas of the year (so far) and shared my appreciation of Wooah's "Blush" for their mid-year K-pop list.

What I'm listening to

As I write, I'm listening to the glory of MEGAN, but also spent the day listening to Stayc's first LP, Metamorphic. I'm not really sure about the single, "Cheeky Ice Thing" yet, but I've been spending a lot of today thinking about the distorted vocals. To me, they recall some of the sleek, taunting electronica vocalization style that was a frequent sound during early second generation of K-pop, particularly recalling Son Dambi and Brown Eyed Girls' "Abracadabra" to my mind. So it's making me curious if we're now transitioning rather rapidly from Y2k sounds to early aughts K-pop... But I guess we shall see!

Some real talk... I'm kind of bored with K-pop at the moment, despite everyone I know telling me 2024 is pretty good. I like a lot of the singles, but I think I maybe need to sit down and really do some thinking re revisiting what I liked and maybe forgot about. Drop me your favorite releases of 2024 so far in the comments, please!

What I'm watching

I have a slightly obsessive personality and sometimes get sucked into TV. Over the past week I binged back-t0-back Atypical Family, The Bear season 3, and all the recent episodes of The Boys season 4 and the new Star Wars series (starring Lee Jung-jae!) The Acolyte. I was going to publish this earlier tonight, but I had to watch the new episode of House of the Dragon and later I will watch some Lovely Runner. Am I in my TV era? Should I be watching something else? Do I need sleep? Stay tuned and find out!