All About Balming Tiger — A Mix and Match of Everything Crazy Combined
by Liam Naoe
Meet the scene stealers who keep the average out and the weird in.
The evolution of society has convinced humankind over time that ‘normal’ is the default way to go. Well, it’s certainly not in Balming Tiger’s case. The eleven-piece creative collective defines Balming Tiger as a multi-national alternative k-pop band that gleefully prides itself on being “the weirdest k-pop group” ever to exist. Members include multilingual rapper Omega Sapien, singer-songwriters bj wnjn, Sogumm, and Mudd the Student, directors San Yawn, Seoul the Soloist, and Jan’Qui, producer Lee Suho, DJ Abyss, and editor Henson Hwang.
Their group name hails its origins from Tiger Balm, an ointment typically used for pain relief not only across the borders of Asia but around the whole globe as well. Then came the phrase “Smells like Balming Tiger,” uttered as the opening line in some of their songs.
It aligned with their vision of creating something fresh but would radiate the feeling of home at the same time. One thing that fuels their artistic drive is to reimagine and show a different spectrum of K-pop music internationally — by embracing eccentricity, authenticity, and fun.
They continue to blur existing lines across musical spheres and experiment with combining hip-hop with various other genres. They have mentioned drawing inspiration from eclectic influences amongst the diverse field of arts which can be very apparent in the visuals for their music videos, especially in their most recent one titled: ‘Sexy Nukim’ in collaboration with RM of BTS.
Art is easily one of the existing mediums that have traversed countless styles and movements since the first artists learned to scribble on cave walls and mold sculptures. It is yet to be permanently defined and interpreted singularly. For Balming Tiger, it serves as an outlet of creation, enabling one another to unleash and enjoy each other’s obras regardless of what other people might say about it. To them, what matters the most is staying true to themselves as they continue to navigate their artistic journey — straying from the concept of conformity and boundlessly transcending musical borders while having fun simultaneously.