Urban Zakapa (어반 자카파)
Members: Kwon Soon-il, Jo Hyuna, Park Yongin
Zappy. Kaleidoscopic. Passionate. One of Korea’s representative R&B groups, Urban Zakapa specializes in a smooth jazz and acoustic soul — brought to life by three distinct voice colors. Anchored by female member Jo Hyuna’s powerful vocals, the husky bass of Park Yongin and the delicate falsetto of leader Kwon Soon-il make for the perfect balance of sweet and soulful. The three childhood friends write, compose, and produce all of their own music, placing much emphasis on their lyrics, which range from recounting trivial day-to-day experiences to contemplating the endless cycle of falling in and out of love. After debuting with “Café Latte” in 2009 (originally as a nine-piece group with four vocalist and five instrumentalists), Urban Zakapa gradually rose to fame in a very organic fashion, in contrast to their K-pop counterparts, driven by their impressive live performances and their refreshing break from the rest of Korea’s heavily-produced dance pop. The group’s popularity grew purely through word of mouth, eventually hitting the blogosphere and becoming the airplay royalty they are today.