Shelfie of the Week: @asianmusickingdom

Back with Shelfie of the week, and I think this is without a doubt the most varied and largest featured on KpopWise. Meet Asianmusickingdom, who's collected over 2250 albums and began collecting in 2010. An impressive excel sheet is curated to keep an eye on their collection, a person after my own heart. So what got them collecting, and what bands should we all be listening to? Read on below to see what tips and advice he is, and check out the wonderful unboxings on his Instagram. 

What was the first band that got you into K-pop, and what was your first Kpop album purchase?


I got into K-pop in 2010 when I first heard "Tell Me Goodbye" by Big Bang. Before, I was a huge J-pop fan, and I heard the song by accident by browsing new releases. I gave their first Japanese album a try, then I listened to "Remember," and it became my first K-pop purchase. I still own this CD, and it's my personal treasure, as it marks the starting point of my K-pop journey.


You have a very large extensive collection with over 2250 albums. What got you into collecting?


As long as I can remember, I always liked collecting various stuff. First, it was Pokemon cards and toy cars, then video games and magazines. As a teenager, I got into manga and anime, which is important to note because my first experience with Japanese music was actually through openings and endings in particular series. Then one day I got a CD single from "Fullmetal Alchemist" and it all started here.

Although half of my collection is J-pop albums, nowadays, I mainly buy K-pop releases, as I appreciate how creative the companies are with concepts and packaging. I feel like it's more than just another CD; they feel more like collectibles. Music is my main focus, so if I like the songs, it's enough for me to buy the album, but getting a photobook and all these extras makes it feel very special.


Out of all the albums you have, which would you say has the most aesthetically pleasing packaging?


K-pop packaging is something I can go on about for hours. Jewel cases have become a standard in the industry, but they were never that exciting to begin with. K-pop companies went a different route and gave us something special, so you can fully experience the concept and aesthetics. This is what made me stay in the collecting community for so long.

I know many people enjoy book packaging and digipaks, but I'm always looking for something I don't already have. I loved the P.O.S version of aespa's "Savage", it felt futuristic and consistent with the era. Red Velvet's "Feel My Rhythm" was shaped like a music box and the first pressing of PSY's 6th mini album had a fish globe housed in a special box. There are way more examples though: Miss A's "Hush" had a triangular shape, Key's "Gasoline" resembled a VHS tape, and G-Dragon's "Heartbreaker" had a face cast as the cover. How cool is that?

For K-pop collectors with a large album collection, how do you like to display all your shelves/albums? 


It's not that easy, as I prefer to keep everything in order, but K-pop artists tend to have albums with different shapes and sizes for each release. I'm doing my best to keep particular groups together on one shelf. Some of them look like a game of Tetris or are double-layered because I don't like to waste space. Collecting is my hobby, but balance is the key. I don't want to flood my apartment with K-pop goods, so I'm trying to maximize the capacity of my shelves. I do display albums I really like though, but it requires some time and creativity.


What tips and tricks do you have for those who either don’t have much space or want to build their collection?


When it comes to space, you just need to know your limits. If you feel your shelves are crammed with albums or you just get bored with how they're arranged, maybe it's high time to take them off and start from scratch. If it's not enough - and at some point for me it wasn't - then you need to think about your collection as a whole. I dropped some groups before and decided to collect only one version of each album.


One thing we all should remember is that every collection is beautiful, no matter how big. If you want to expand it, don't be afraid to look for second-hand CDs or albums with no inclusions. You can build your collection much faster if you buy three used albums instead of one sealed. Don't be afraid to look through auction sites, I found some of my most precious possessions at very low prices. You might be surprised by what you can find!

Your instagram feed is jam-packed with creative displays of albums unboxed with the photo book and photo cards. For you what is your favorite part of unboxing albums? 


I love unboxing albums. The feeling when the package finally arrives is unmatched. I created my Instagram account to share this joy with people with similar interests. I'm always so flattered when they enjoy what I do. Looking through the photobooks and inclusions is probably my favorite part of each unboxing. Taking photos, later on, is so much fun too.

With so many K-pop albums you collect, is there one particular band that captivates you the most, that you have to collect all their music/merch?


I do have my favorites, but the group I love the most is SHINee. I came across their music during the "Ring Ding Dong" era and I'm lucky to own almost all of their releases so far. I do have some merch as well, but stuff like lightsticks or concert goods aren't exactly my thing, so I keep it simple. I love Stray Kids, TVXQ, and NCT Dream too. Dreamies were the reason I came back to collecting after almost a 2-year hiatus.


For readers who perhaps want to delve into more K-pop bands, out of the albums you have what are the top five?


I do believe SHINee's "Don't Call Me" was a very solid album with a lot of pop gems. f(x)'s "Red Light" is a classic and it might be my favorite album by a K-pop girl group ever. I'd also highly recommend NCT Dream's "Hello Future", Stray Kids' "NO EASY" and MONSTA X's "Take.2 We Are Here".


Is there a particular album or Photocard that you’ve yet to source and collect?


I do have a wishlist, and there's one album I've been trying to get for years... It's Jackson Wang's "Mirrors" album. It only came in LP format and was very limited, so the prices are absurd, even for a second-hand one. Rumor has it I will finally feel complete the day it gets into my hands. So far I had no luck.

You’ve been collecting since 2010; what is it about K-pop that you love that enticed you?


K-pop artists work very hard to achieve their dreams, and I respect it so much. You can feel the energy through the music, this specific charm that makes them likable and relatable. Back when I got into K-pop it was still a niche, we would do flash mobs in Warsaw and around 30 people - me included - would attend to dance to "I'm the Best" by 2NE1. Now it's a global phenomenon and it's so fascinating. There's something special about K-pop that keeps me enchanted and entertained. We'll see what the future holds.


Finally, is there anything else you’d like to mention?


As I mentioned earlier, every collection is beautiful. You can have 5, 200, or 2250 albums, but it doesn't translate to how much of a fan you are. I created my account not only to share the joy of collecting but also to find friends. That's why I'd like to take the opportunity and thank every single one of my followers. You made me feel I'm not alone, and I appreciate it so much.


Follow Asianmusickingdome over on their Instagram hereBe sure to stick around @KpopWise for more updates on all your favorite Kpop artists and idols!



Kirsty Bright

A UK freelance writer, who stumbled into the land of Kpop while studying Korean. Her bias groups are BTS and Seventeen, but she loves a range of groups and finding new artists to listen to! Contact on Insta: @kirstybright_ Portfolio:

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