Drama

Lo-fi Songs That Could’ve Been a K-Drama OST

Lo-fi music (perhaps controversially pronounced as “low fye”, and short for low fidelity) is a subgenre of electronic music that shares qualities with the likes of downtempo music, chillwave music, and chill hip-hop. Lo-fi music has elements of house music, jazz music, and easy listening. The beats and samples are normally created with a DIY music aesthetic that emphasizes the imperfect homemade quality that makes the genre so lovable. Lo-fi music is considered normally relaxing audio that many people find calming background music or to listen casually. It is especially popular with students and people who have trouble sleeping. 

The most popular form of Lo-fi music you may know is from the YouTube Channel known as ‘Lofi Girl’ (formally known as ChilledChow), a channel that runs 24/7 and is purely dedicated to providing a livestream that plays a Lo-fi hip hop radio – beats to relax/study to and another 24/7 livestream that plays a Lo-fi hip hop radio – beats to sleep/chill to, respectively. The channel is now almost at 11 million subscribers. However, there are more than just that one channel, and they aren’t just playing lofi hip hop. Nowadays, it is easy to find anime, rock, Japanese, stress relief type Lo-fi music, and that is just scratching the tip of the iceberg! 

The reason I became fascinated by Lo-fi music is because, like many other students who hate silence, it is the perfect type of music to listen to whilst studying. When I study, I find music (via lyrics or a beat that is too uptempo) distracting, and I also find complete silence distracting, too. However, once I stumbled upon Lo-fi music, I felt at ease. Not only does the music help me focus during tough times of mental battle, but I began to realise that I also love listening to it after studying. I always thought that I would only like music if it had lyrics, and nowadays, thanks to Lo-fi, it proved me completely wrong (of course, I still do listen to other genres). 

Since I love both Lo-fi music and K-Dramas (plus a great OST also helps ^^) I thought of creating this article to share some Lo-fi songs that I thought would be a perfect fit in a K-Drama OST. 

But, why would Lo-fi music in a K-drama OST be a good match? Well, I believe there are many advantages to having meaningful music without lyrics (also, it’s not like all songs in an OST contain lyrics anyway). It can be added to portray a certain view, or to add a non-verbal implication, or to aid the beautiful scenery being shown. Another point to make is that it isn’t too distracting. Recently I have noticed that some OST’s have become distracting, with the lyrics being overlapped with when a character is saying something, which can hinder the experience. Anyways, enough blabbing, onto the choices!

Inspiration for my article came from here.

[Click on the song title and the song will start to play in an external tab.]


Blue Wednesday – Introvert 

Reason for choice: 

A song that includes an irresistible piano melody alongside other instruments such as the triangle and a subtle caribbean drum. The music sends the message of an everyday struggle at the start, but during the middle, it comes alive, and by the end, it gives the vibe of “while the struggle may be long, in the end, the wait was worth it.”

Types of scenes I had envisioned it for: 

Generally for a depressed character, perhaps younger (e.g. school or college student) who perhaps is lonely and introverted (great song title by the way), who studies hard and is rewarded for their hard work (e.g by receiving a great job or finding some genuine friends). 

Genre example: 

Life, Family, Youth, School

Character and drama example: 

Song Da Hee in Once Again (played by Lee Cho Hee)

Song Da Hee is one of the most easy-to-love characters in Dramaland. The reason I feel like this song would be perfect for her is because I had envisioned the struggle (her getting divorced/annulled in the first episode), her coming alive in the middle (learning to defend for herself, fighting for her academic passions) and her worthwhile wait (marrying her “Mr. Right”).  

 See the source image


Limes – Jovial 

Reason for choice: 

With the strums of the harp, the quiet and subtle beats of the drum and piano send me the messages that this song was created amidst a heartbreak. It’s sad, but also inspiring, especially with the switch-up of instruments and fade-out at the latter end of the song.

Types of scenes I had envisioned it for: 

Since I feel this song was created amidst a heartbreak, either a breakup scene or a post-breakup scene depicting the struggle of finding oneself after a split would be best here. However, I would aim this more towards a more serious romance drama instead of a fluffy one.

Genre example: 

Romance

Character and drama example: 

Kang Hwi Ru in Matrimonial Chaos (played by Bae Doo Na)

Kang Hwi Ru is a difficult character to read. If you haven’t watched Matrimonial Chaos, I’ll try and best explain her character to you: She’s like a more confusing Phoebe from the US Sitcom ‘Friends’. Clumsy but means well. Sometimes clueless but always passionate in her own way. Someone who comes out of her shell after her breakup. This song would have been perfect to encapsulate her feelings that she cannot convey in any other manner.


Cammie – Lost Woods

Reason for choice: 

It’s a very chilled out song with not too much going on. However, the melody is surprisingly addictive and gives inspiration. It’s a song of very few notes, with a hint of suspense.

Types of scenes I had envisioned it for: 

Either a night-time for those scene for finding evidence that was previously thought to be destroyed, or for a scene that the suspect is thought to have been found out. 

Genre example:

 Law, Thriller 

Character and drama example: 

Hwang Shi Mok in the Stranger series (played by Cho Seung Woo)

Just like Hwang Shi Mok in Stranger, sometimes you never know what that man is thinking. You know he’s competent, and you know he will dig to great depths to find success, but his sometimes almost ‘eerie’ vibes give you tingles. A song of few notes goes perfect with a man of few words. Both are meaningful and competent and compliment each other, even if there is silence along the way.

See the source image


Varden – When The Sun Sets

Reason for choice: 

The slow fade-in accompanied with the slow tempo increases during time, as does the intensity of the instruments. It’s like the song also portrays a sense of reminiscence of loneliness at the start, but as time goes on, memories and feelings alter sometimes too. 

Types of scenes I had envisioned it for: 

Perhaps an insecure person who has lots of ideas but has always had his self-esteem measured based on the values of others decides enough is enough and that now is the time to start fresh. Another idea I had for this song was an unpopular musician staying up late and on their musical grind until he writes the perfect song. 

Genre example: 

Business, Music 

Character and drama example: 

Heo Jong Tae in Argon (played by Jo Hyun Chul)

Heo Jong Tae isn’t really the mega player in Argon, but his character development is the biggest in this drama. He’s considered slow to a few, or a man with brilliant ideas, just with no presumed trajectory. A slow-starter transformed into something many people wouldn’t believe. Just like the song given.


Dizzi – through the motion of the masses

Reason for choice: 

Out of all the songs included, this is probably the one that screams out sad vibes the most. It’s a song that never truly wants to get going and instead wants you to hear the sadness from the echoes and slowness of the different sounds combining with one another.

Types of scenes I had envisioned it for: 

A farewell scene of any kind, but perhaps with two living characters. When listening to this song, it’s more of a “see you down the road” type vibe, instead of a “they’ll be looking down at me from up there”.

Genre example: 

Any


This article is written based on my personal opinions, and I would love to hear your own opinions below! There were many different types of Lo-fi music to choose from and many songs that I had to cut out from my list. Have you heard of any of these aforementioned Lo-fi songs? Many people who like listening to Lo-fi music, either via live streams or otherwise, forget song names. What are your own opinions and thoughts on these songs I have chosen, and about Lo-fi music in general? 

Thanks for reading my article and comment down below your Lo-fi song choice and what drama it would make a great soundtrack for!


Edited by: devitto (1st editor)

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