Kpop and the slow crawl into the United States

Way back in March, I wrote on my blogspot site about why I thought Asian pop music would never really make it into the United States as a full blown genre. Equally, I didn’t think that groups or singers would be able to be really successful beyond the core ethnic fans in the area that were dense in Asian population.

Well, the Wonder Girls have broken the boundaries very well with their continuing tour with the Jonas Brothers. Their English has gotten better with each interview and it looks like an album is going to be released for the fall. An amusing thing about the video for the song “Nobody” is that about 80% is the Korean version of the song with small close-ups rerecorded in English.

Another Korean transfer was BoA who at 22 is a huge star in Japan and South Korea. When she got here her album was a significant difference from her Asian language releases. More electronica and dance music over her English could have been an interesting album release for her Asian fans, but as a debut in the United States it came across as an album that would have been more welcomed if released a few years ago.

Though her newest single, Energetic, is very good in terms of the production value more than the music.

When I look at all the pop groups that are in South Korea and the new ones that are debuting, they follow a very specific system. Depending on the members, each one has a defined persona, even if that is not how they are off-camera. The interesting thing about South Korean television is that there are tons of music competition shows and many of the more popular groups have “behind the scenes” videos that fans can watch. Most of which involve the members of groups waking up without makeup.

This is something that would probably not work so well with the American audience because marketing groups do not always want their stars looking less than perfect.

A well known singer and variety television star (variety television in South Korea is much different than the United States) Lee Hyori recently released a online shopping site.

She is also on a variety show called “Family Outing” where her persona is largely different from her music image. In the most severe case, it is an entire 180 from what her “working” image is.

It is just more possible that Korean entertainment firms want fans to be inundated with their artists.

Essentially, Korean artist can break into the United States, MTV Iggy is a good example of what was a major music player trying to find a sub-audience. Also allkpop.com is a great site to get information about South Korean music news. The fans in the United States are the ones getting the information out there. Fansubbing groups which have been around since the days of anime are now performing their magic on shows of all types and making non-Korean fans happy.

I think now, Korean artists can make an impact in the United States. As long as it is done on the grassroots level in the beginning and not as a full media blitz. BoA is returning again to try to build a career and Se7en burned out early. But the Wonder Girls are winning fans by being attached to a big name in entertainment and that is the smart way to go.

And I admit this right now. Even though I listen to mainly punk, rock, and harder forms of music, I do love me some disposable Kpop and Jpop.

Just like this.




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