8 Songs, 26 Minutes

EDITORS’ NOTES

After solidifying himself as Korea's smoothest singer/rapper, Zion.T signed with a subsidiary of YG Entertainment­ for OO. The multifaceted album proves Zion.T deserves his place. The production shines on "Cinema," which blends bossa nova and hip-hop beats, while "Your Song" brings a fresh pop vibe to R&B. On "Complex," he pokes fun at the K-pop scene while referencing the U.S. magazine of the same name; guests like G-Dragon and Beenzino just help make his messages hit that much harder.

EDITORS’ NOTES

After solidifying himself as Korea's smoothest singer/rapper, Zion.T signed with a subsidiary of YG Entertainment­ for OO. The multifaceted album proves Zion.T deserves his place. The production shines on "Cinema," which blends bossa nova and hip-hop beats, while "Your Song" brings a fresh pop vibe to R&B. On "Complex," he pokes fun at the K-pop scene while referencing the U.S. magazine of the same name; guests like G-Dragon and Beenzino just help make his messages hit that much harder.

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About Zion.T

Zion.T is the stage alias of Kim Hae-sol, a popular South Korean singer and songwriter recognized for his smooth vocal delivery and genre-sampling R&B. Kim studied music briefly at the college level, but decided that it wasn't for him, determined to record on his own. He released his first song, "Click Me," in the spring of 2011, and had his first chart appearance with the stand-alone single "Two Melodies" (featuring Crush) in 2013. Zion.T's debut album, a set of off-kilter R&B titled Red Light, arrived later that year via Amoeba Culture and featured guest rappers such as Beenzeno and Gaeko. Partly in Korean and partly in English, the record produced the Top Ten song "Babay" and won Best R&B and Soul Album at the 2014 Korean Music Awards. The EP Mirrorball and a string of hit singles followed, including the stand-alone single "Yanghwa BRDG," which landed on Billboard's International Digital Songs chart. As his popularity grew, appearances on Korean television followed, and he accepted an invitation to perform at a K-pop showcase at the SXSW music festival in Austin, Texas in 2016. Titled OO, Zion.T's second EP was released in early 2017 by YG Entertainment's The Black Label. An eclectic mix of smooth pop, bossa nova, R&B, jazz, and rap, it included guest spots by G-Dragon and, again, Beenzeno. The EP reached the Top Ten in Korea and appeared on Billboard's Heatseakers and World Albums chart, where it peaked at number two. ~ Marcy Donelson

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