Black On’s USA tour pens a love letter to his fans

K-pop star Black On performed on July 6 at the Cutting Room.
K-pop star Black On performed on July 6 at the Cutting Room.
Photo by Amanda Moses

K-Pop idol Black On poured his heart out on stage July 6 at the Cutting Room, creating an unforgettable evening that was what many are calling a love letter to his fans.

South Korean artist Black On rode New York City’s heat wave in style as he hosted two free fan meet-and-greet events while promoting his USA Luv Tour this month, making sure that his supporters felt seen and heard.

Since his debut with Xplore Entertainment, Black On has always put his fans — affectionately known as Angels — first.  amNewYork Metro saw this firsthand as we documented a week with Black On visiting New York City for the first time. He lifted the veil of stardom, and showcased the sacrifices and difficulties behind being a K-Pop artist, but also his sheer dedication to those who enjoy his music.

“When the fans tell me they like my music, it makes me so happy. It moves my heart because I’ve been making music for a long time. I’ve been training hard and every day I want to level up and sing for my Angels,” Black On told amNewYork Metro. “It makes me feel so grateful to them.”

Photo by Amanda Moses

While his first meet-and-greet event was held in the Upper West Side at Mochi Dolci on June 30 where he performed songs and signed autographs for fans, the second event at Heuk Hwa Dang in K-Town July 3 provided a more interactive opportunity to have ice cream, receive a hug, selfie and really get to know his followers.

“I’m always on your side forever,” Black On said about his Angels. “I promise you I will try to be a good person and make good music. I love you.”

Twenty-year-old Kayla Green made sure to attend both of Black On’s free events, as well as his concert, sharing that as a new member of the Angel fandom, she was nervous to meet her idol in person. However, the experience went beyond her expectations with Black On sweetly holding her hand as she expressed her love for his music and that they share the same birthday. 

Photo by Amanda Moses

“I love his style of music, it gives a [Korean] RNB/K-HipHop feel. His voice is amazing, and I literally can’t get enough of his singing. I play [his song] ‘Lilac’ almost every day,” Green said enthusiastically.

“After actually meeting him in person and getting to know him, I could tell that he enjoys performing and that he’s genuinely just a sweetheart. The way he interacts with fans is like hanging out with friends or even family. From him to the staff, Black On is just a pleasure to be around,” Green added.

As Green watches him grow as an artist, she says that his interactive stage presence was an absolute treat and felt very authentic.

“He’s great at fan service and I can tell he enjoys it. Seeing the pure joy on Angel’s faces as they got recognized by the artist they admire so much was definitely a highlight of the night. You can tell he genuinely likes to be with his fans and are grateful to any fan he meets,” Green said.

Photo by Amanda Moses

With a bright smile on his face and outstretched hands, Black On strove to make those around him feel comfortable to discuss their dreams, feelings, and most importantly the different types of food they like to eat.  There were also several deaf and hard of hearing fans who brought their notebooks so that they could have a written conversation with Black On.

One woman formed the ASL symbol for love with her hands after he autographed a photocard for his admirer. Black On placed his hand over his heart and wrote down how much he appreciates her love.

For Angel Kinney, 25, Black On’s visit to New York City was a much-needed respite during a difficult time. They find that his music provides an indescribable source of comfort, and to be able to meet him in person and engage with the man who has become a beacon of light in dark times was truly a cherished experience.

“I love Black On because I was having an incredibly hard day. I went on Instagram and came across the meet up and decided to go even if I didn’t know the artist. I binged his music on the bus, and it made me feel so much calmer and grounded into joy. For me to have such a hard day and then it completely flipped around by his peaceful voice and light really meant a lot to me. For us to have a conversation and connect, and ending up having the same MBTI made me feel that my dreams in music are even closer to me than I thought. I feel encouraged. Seeing his fandom name be ‘Angel’ made it even more special because that’s my real name as he put it ‘It’s like destiny’ that I was there,” Kinney said.

Angel Kinney says Black On cheered them up during a difficult time. Photo by Amanda Moses

Toshi, an up-and-coming artist residing in Queens says that it’s Black On’s authenticity and mentorship that has inspired him as a musician. For the young man who immigrated from China to New York City as a child, it takes a lot of courage to pursue a musical career in such a fierce and cutthroat industry. However, Black On has taken Toshi under his ‘Angel’ wings, offering him advice and friendship. 

“He is so fun to be around and I see him as a big brother,” Toshi told amNewYork Metro. 

Toshi has opened for Black On five times, and through each experience they have taught each other about their respective cultures. 

“I’ve learned so much from him, and he’s learned from me about American culture. I’ve also learned how to be more respectful in Korean culture,” Toshi said. “It was his first time in New York, my hometown, so I got to show him my favorite spots.”  

A hard of hearing fan uses a notebook to communicate with Black On.Photo by Amanda Moses

While off stage Black On has a cheerful, thoughtful and humorous demeanor, on stage he is a force to be reckoned with. On July 6, despite the thick and sticky humidity, as well as a feebly air conditioned environment at the Cutting Room after being shut off during the holiday closure, South Korean artist Black On gave a showstopping performance with amazing vocals, rap styles, and precise dance moves.

When the lights dimmed, a whole new intensity, almost hunger, showcased in his eyes as he belted out songs such as “Lilac” and “Love Doesn’t Suit Me.” Glistening with sweat, Black On jumped onto a barricade of tables to get closer to those in attendance. Some formed hand hearts with him, while others boldly cupped his chin as he serenaded them.

The concert culminated with a power house sneak peak of his new album title song ‘Antebellum,’ leaving fans screaming in excitement while they watched him effortlessly glide across the stage.

Black On’s next stop on his Luv Tour will be in Minneapolis, Minnesota on July 13 at the Granada Theater. 

Photo by Amanda Moses
Photo by Amanda Moses
Photo by Amanda Moses
Photo by Amanda Moses