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KINGDOM are Inspired by Ancient China in the Breathtaking Video for ‘Karma’

The South Korean rookie group continue their ‘History of Kingdom’ album series with the tale of tribal Emperor Chiyou

Riddhi Chakraborty Jul 01, 2021
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South Korean boy group KINGDOM have returned with their new track “Karma.” Inspired by Chinese history and culture, the alluring video accompanies the group’s second EP, History Of Kingdom: Part Ⅱ. Chiwoo. The concept for the album focuses on rapper and youngest member Chiwoo, while their debut record, History Of Kingdom : Part Ⅰ. Arthur, focused on vocalist Arthur to narrate the legend of King Arthur and the Knights of the Round Table.

The music video for “Karma” is a striking tribute to the mythological tribal Emperor Chiyou of China (who also inspired Chiwoo’s stage name) and incorporates various elements from traditional Chinese culture in its set design, costumes, props and dance moves. All seven members are dressed as royalty with Chiwoo on the throne to represent his namesake; the entire music video alludes to the Three Sovereigns and Five Emperors era in Chinese mythology. With a focus on performance, the clip sees KINGDOM perform powerful yet graceful choreography in intricate, flowing costumes, alternating between dark-themed, hard-hitting visuals and dreamlike sequences by a tree with red leaves. The music video ends with Chiwoo seated high upon the throne while his members surround and lift him up as members of his court. With Arthur and Chiwoo having completed their parts of the History of Kingdom concept, the music video also gives us a glimpse of the next story, with an eerie snippet of vocalist Ivan–who represents King Ivan IV aka Ivan the Terrible–walking through snow-covered mountains.

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“Karma” blends trap and synth with traditional Chinese instrumentals to keep with KINGDOM’s new concept and deliver a modern take on ancient history. The lyrics outline a story of lost love and betrayal and the need to move on, determined that surrendering to fate and karma will lead to better things: “Take your fate and swallow the pain, I’m ready/ Irrejectible punishment/ Wonderful magic spreads high up to the sky/ Irreparable fault/ A steady flow/ Flowers bloom in the eternal waiting/ Karma, Karma come over.”

History Of Kingdom: Part Ⅱ. Chiwoo comprises a total of seven tracks: “Intro: Echoes of Nirvana,” “Karma,” “Eternity,” “Magical,” “Warning,” “Make Us” and an instrumental version of “Karma.” Like Chiwoo and Arthur, the remaining members of KINGDOM each represent a different monarch from ancient history: leader Dann’s stage name is inspired by King Dan of Denmark, vocalist Mujin by Emperor Jinmu, the first emperor of Japan, vocalist Louis by King Louis XIV of France, and Jahan by Emperor Shah Jahan of the Mughal Empire. The stories of each royal will follow as the group’s History of Kingdom album series unfolds.

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