Around the World in Kpop MVs

The majority of Kpop MVs are filmed in locations close to home, so when a Kpop act decides to create their video in a foreign country it tends to stand out. While featuring an exotic location can memorably express a song, it can also inspire others to appreciate the unique aesthetic and culture of that place.

Life as a Kpop artist involves a lot of travel, but that can sometimes be limited to hotel rooms and concert venues. As Kpop grows globally, Kpop artists are starting to have opportunities to share the mood and scenery of other countries and continents in their music videos, giving their audience a chance to experience this vast world right along with them. Today, we’ll look at a few MVs that showcase rare, far-away, and even some familiar destinations to the fullest.

Treasure – ATEEZ

Perhaps the luckiest group on this list is ATEEZ, who before they had even debuted set off to Morocco to film a pair of MVs. As a team with an emphasis on performance, setting their creative choreography against a backdrop of sweeping deserts, white stone arches, and colorful tiles was a brilliant production choice. Despite some weather challenges, they managed to achieve two absolutely beautiful MVs for their debut tracks, Pirate King and Treasure, ensuring that they would start their career with a bang.

True Love – Kim Sungkyu

Although Hong Kong is a fairly popular shooting location for MVs and films alike, there is a certain ethereal magic to the story of Kim Sungkyu’s True Love that gives the city a new feel. Setting out to deliver a letter by hand, Sungkyu strides away from side streets and past harbors to rise above the busy metropolis. This tour through the city uses a variety of lighting from dawn to sunset to reflect the emotional journey of a whole relationship in a matter of minutes.

Let Me In (소년, 소녀) – LOONA/Haseul

LOONA presents a one-of-a-kind Kpop experience, with their members debuting gradually via solo and sub-unit singles. Wherever possible they boldly and purposefully filmed these MVs in new countries, including rarer locales like Hungary and New Zealand, as though to match these settings to their own diversity. Leader Haseul had the distinction of travelling to Iceland to frame her lyrical solo Let Me In with black-rock mountains and unbelievable icescapes that linger in one’s memory.

I Do Love U (널하다) – Monsta X

Most places have their own iconic markers, and I Do Love U’s windmills and tulips leave no doubt that it is set in the Netherlands. Bright and playful, this MV follows Wonho, Minhyuk, and Kihyun as they spend a day sightseeing: visiting shops and landmarks, eating delicious food, and enjoying nature. Much like their earlier From Zero MV filmed in Paris, this laid-back video is shot in such a way that you can easily picture yourself touring alongside them.

Namanana – Lay

Never one to be held back by convention, Lay is an artist that continually seeks to improve himself and reach new audiences regardless of distance or language barriers. It is fitting, then, that he chose to venture to Western Australia to celebrate the stunning natural landscapes found there for his recent single Namanana. Adding elements of fantasy to the MV’s storyline is a perfect highlight for the otherworldly desert, cave, and ocean scenes that define this coastal region.

Potion – Eric Nam (ft. Woodie Gochild)

When it comes to featuring a location, Eric Nam’s MVs for Potion and Honestly set a new standard. Although they do include lovely visuals of Mexico, the real success lies in the Potion MV being performed entirely by Mexicans as an artful display of their culture, while Nam is simply there to experience and admire it. This respectful approach to filming in a different country results in an authentic experience that makes the MV come alive.

Likey – TWICE

As a Canadian Kpop fan, there is nothing quite as exciting as knowing that a Kpop MV was shot in your own country. TWICE’s Likey, set in Vancouver, is so familiar – right to the very details, like the style of the school lockers and the Terry Fox Run banner you can spy in the background – that it sends a thrill down to one’s toes as two worlds meet. Best of all, you can clearly identify some signs and landmarks that will allow you to track down these locations yourself if you so desire, since for many of us Vancouver is a little closer than Seoul.

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